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Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

Why SMC should act against PAP MP

In Humour, Malaysia, Political governance on 16/04/2014 at 4:18 am

One day after foot-in-mouth* and eye specialist Dr Lim Wee Kiak retracted his criticisms of M’sia’s handling of the MH 370, Reuters reported  Malaysia’s government has begun investigating civil aviation and military authorities to determine why opportunities to identify and track … MH370 were missed in the chaotic hours after it vanished, two officials said*.

(http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/04/11/malaysia-airplane-investigation-idINDEEA3A06M20140411)

If only he waited another day, he would have come up roses, in his original criticism. And the govt would have edlook stupid in implicitly castigating him.

Seriously, if the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) can censure plastic surgeon Dr Woolly Woffles Wu for getting his employee to take the blame for his speeding offences in 2005 and 2006 when the courts take a lenient view of this offence (unlike the UK where it is considered a perversion of justice, jailable up to eight months http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tees-23282995), it should censure Dr Lim for stupidity.

SMC is suspending Dr Wu from practice for four months, saying that in arriving at an appropriate sanction, its role was to consider what penalties would be sufficient and of specific deterrence such that no registered medical practitioner would want to take the risk to commit such an offence that would lower the standing of the medical profession.

Well the same should apply for doctors who consistently talk rubbish in public.

SMC also said that Woffles had “tarnished the good name of the profession”, “instead of setting a good example for younger practitioners to emulate”.

Well does SMC want young doctors to emulate Dr Lim? They would if they don’t take him to task for making stupid remarks.

Dr Wu’s seniority and standing in the medical profession was also found to be an aggravating factor, said the SMC.

Well Dr Lim is a senior doctor too. He too makes serious money.

As the PAP is short-listing its candidates for the next GE, it might to consider eye doctors a miss, and retiring those it already has. Think VivianB and Dr Lim, and one can draw reasonable conclusions about the kind of people who become eye doctors and PAP MPs.

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*“If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communication and Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discuss policies with media CEOs who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister’s ideas and proposals. Hence, a reasonable payout will help to maintain a bit of dignity,” Dr Lim told LianHe ZaoBao in Chinese.

**The story reported portrays the dysfunctional M’sian system:

A sixth source, a senior official in the civil aviation sector, said the plane’s disappearance had exposed bureaucratic dysfunction in Malaysia, which has rarely been subject to such international demands for transparency. “There was never the need for these silos to speak to one another. It’s not because of ill intent, it’s just the way the system was set up,” the official said.

The accounts given to Reuters reveal growing tensions between civilian officials, the military and Malaysia Airlines over whether more could have been done in those initial hours.

One of the Reuters sources said military officials in particular were concerned they could lose their jobs.

Tensions have also emerged between the government and state-controlled Malaysia Airlines.

 

Investing in Indonesia is like eating puffer fish/ TRE readership

In Humour, Indonesia, Temasek on 29/03/2014 at 7:01 am

What do I mean by the former?

S$ is a strong currency, the rupiah a weak one; but this yr the rupiah has outpeformed

The rupiah has risen 7 per cent against the US dollar this year, making it the world’s strongest performing currency, while the Jakarta stock market is also rallying, now up 10 per cent. Yields on 10-year government bonds have also come down to 8 per cent, having jumped as high as 9.2 per cent last summer – another sign of fresh enthusiasm for Indonesia’s growth story. FT on 13th March).

Gd that we have a neighbour liddat as China’s growth slows. And Indonesia’s a MINT.

And whatever TRE posters* and Chris Balding say, Temasek has made gd money in Indonesia (think telco and banking, though it has yet to exit the latter) despite a hostile political environment. Money talks.

Too bad about its aggressive, civilian-killing armed forces that would loot and plunder S’pore if given half a chance. Whether we need to spend 25% of the Budget on defence is open to reasoned debate (something which the PAP govt rubbishes) but there is no doubt that we should continuing be a poisonous shrimp to deter Indonesian generals and admirals who want to loot and plunder. The Indonesian govt does not control the military, as the constant outbreaks of internal lawlessness (including the murder of civilians) by the armed forces shows.

Example: Two Indonesian ministers have expressed regret over the inappropriate conduct by two Indonesian marines who had posed as the MacDonald House bombers at the Jakarta International Defence Dialogue exhibition on Wednesday.

In response to media queries, a statement from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean’s office said Mr Teo confirmed that Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Air Chief Marshal (Ret) Djoko Suyanto telephoned him on Friday afternoon regarding the incident.

Coordinating Minister Djoko expressed regret over the inappropriate conduct by the soldiers, and assured Mr Teo that there was no such policy to do so.

Those views were also repeated by Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, who spoke with Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on the phone on Friday.

Dr Purnomo added that the Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy, Admiral Marsetio, had launched investigations to determine who was responsible for the inappropriate act. (CNA)

Or maybe juz two-timing? What do you think?

Taz another problem. The Javanese ruling elite loves to intrigue . Raffles knew what to do when they were two-timing, he sent in the army.

As to the quality of ministers: Indonesia’s communications minister, who has campaigned against pornography, has caused an uproar on social media after he followed a Twitter porn account …

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-26680779

Bottom line: Indonesia is a difficult place to invest in (as I can personally tell you), but get it right (I didn’t) and it’s life eating puffer fish. Can die, if not careful.

Related article: http://kementah.blogspot.sg/2014/03/not-business-as-usual-for-indonesia.html

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*Yes, TRE readers have written to me telling me that the majority of TRE readers are not losers like “oxygen” and those who call me names, but are “Calm Persistence” and “Hard-pressed Anxiety” types). They dislike being associated with losers: they are hard-working S’poreans who think that the PAP has betrayed them. As to why they don’t fund TRE, they say that that as typical S’poreans, they are free-loaders by nature and that I’m wrong to associate “Calm Persistnce” and “Hard Pressed Anxiety” with community spirit and generosity of spirit. . If they were not free-loaders and apathetic, then TRE would not be the voice of S’poreans. Err, kinda confusing. I got to think thru this paradox.

How SPH, MediaCorp can get more productive and profitable

In Humour, Internet, Media on 23/03/2014 at 7:21 am

Employ robot writers to replace the Chua sisters, Han, Warren and Yaacob’s sis (Even though she needs the job as Cherian, her hubbie, is leaving NTU soon), among many others.

Not as though the technology isn’t there.

The Los Angeles Times was the first newspaper to publish a story about an earthquake … – thanks to a robot writer.

Journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke created an algorithm that automatically generates a short article when an earthquake occurs.

Mr Schwencke told Slate magazine that it took around three minutes for the story to appear online.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26614051

Here’s more

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-26689983

But let’s be fair, robots could be used productively by the anti-PAP paper activists at TOC* and many other blogs (TRE excepted, ’cause TRE makes it very, very clear that its mission is to provide the alternative voices not reported in our constructive, nation-building media.). Robots could replace regular TRE posters like “oxygen”. Kishore of the LKY School should install one to produce his chim pro-China, anti-Western; or pro PAP pieces.

A serious piece on productivity: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/productivity-ageing-population-immigration/

Update at 10am: Thinking about it, I too can use a robot to bitch about that ACS sneerer, VivianB, Auntie Sylvia, her baiyee and the two  GGs. Also for my praise of WP Low, the scholar and elite schoolboy at TRE and the SDP RI doctors treating Mad Dog Chee. My very serious point is that when we don’t think thru the issues, but instinctively give way to our prejudices when talking, writing;  we might as well turn over the writing, talking to robots.

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*Ya I got bias against TOC http://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/neighbours-show-up-the-spore-system-for-gd-and-bad/

When global rankings don’t flatter, PAP’s evolving response

In Economy, Humour, Political economy on 19/03/2014 at 5:03 am

“Troubles come in threes” is an old English saying.

he PAP may have reason to agree. The PAP has had three unflattering rankings. First off was the one early this yr from the people behind the Corruption Index.

Remember Ng Eng Hen getting upset with Transparency International (TI) for giving Singapore a “poor” rating last year for the way it spends money buying weapons. He said that TI’s assumptions for its assessment were flawed. He questioned its move to group Singapore in the same category as Iraq and Afghanistan. TRE rightly pointed out that given if the government finds TI not to be credible as Dr Ng has alleged in Parliament, perhaps the government should stop using TI’s rankings and surveys altogether.

For a start perhaps, CPIB could stop using TI’s rankings on its website. Presently, it prominently displays TI’s CPI on its home page.

Next, CPIB could remove all references to TI on its website [Link]:

[Err don't think this is done]

Also, PM Lee should remember not to quote TI in his speeches anymore [Link]:

(http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/02/19/dr-ng-condemns-tis-defence-spending-rating-for-sg/)

Smart people TeamTRE. TRE readers should note that the public face of TRE is a scholar and elite schoolboy. And they hate elites even though one of elites is on TeamTRE. Kinda irrational?

This was followed by EIU naming S’pore as the most expensive city in the world. Tharman rubbished this: My take on Tharman’s take.

BT, part of the constructive, nation-building SPH came out with a piece rubbishing the basis of the index Index and saying that it was not applicable to locals. Extract from BT is at end of article. Kinda long and boring.

Finally there was S’pore’s appearance at 5th spot in the Crony-Capitalism Index http://www.economist.com/news/international/21599041-countries-where-politically-connected-businessmen-are-most-likely-prosper-planet.

So far, there has been conspicuous silence from the govt and its media running dogs (apologies to the dogs) allies, even though the new media is flogging the story with glee, together with the takeover of Olam: anything to do in the PAP?

Could it be that the PAP has realised that silence is golden when it comes to responding to unflattering rankings. Perhaps it  has realised the self-defeating nature of rubbishing the unflattering ranking. It gives more publicity to the ranking, shows how hurt it feels and its rubbishing leaves PAP supporters wondering if the assumptions or basis of flattering rankings too are rubbish especially if the rankings come from the same organisation like in case of TI’s rankings.

As someone who hates triumphalism of any sort (the fates get tempted), I hope that the PAP’s silence extends to flattering ratings too. Pigs likely to fly first.

SINGAPORE may have climbed five spots to claim the “unenviable title” of the world’s most expensive city, according to a bi-annual ranking compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), but economists downplay the significance of the results.

While acknowledging the undeniable existence of rising price pressures here, economists The Business Times spoke to cautioned against extrapolating that the cost of living for locals has skyrocketed.

This is because two key factors – currency fluctuations and the survey’s expatriate focus – would “automatically limit” such deductions.

In order to achieve comparative indices, EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey converts each country’s prices into US dollars. Therefore, a weaker yen pushed Tokyo – last year’s most expensive city – down to sixth place, and this paved the way for Singapore to claim the dubious honour this time around.

Therefore, Singapore’s ascent to costliest city was due in part to currency fluctuations – EIU noted that over the last decade, Singapore has seen 40 per cent currency appreciation.

Said UOB economist Francis Tan: “There’s so much (buzz) about Singapore taking the top spot, but a lot of this has been fuelled by the fluctuations in different currencies. I wouldn’t read too much into it, because next year we could be number 6 again.”

Mizuho Bank economist Vishnu Varathan added: “If one were to look at cost of living from the point of view of a domestic person, then currency movements arguably don’t matter as much.”

CIMB economist Song Seng Wun was also keen to highlight the survey’s expatriate focus and its purpose as a tool for determining foreigners’ salaries.

In its description of the survey, EIU said: “The survey itself is a purpose-built Internet tool designed to help human resources and finance managers calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expatriates and business travellers.”

Still, emphasising that the basket of goods is “fairly broad to address a lot of essentials”, Jon Copestake, editor of the report, told BT: “The survey is also comparative between locations so it could be argued that if a city is most expensive for expats, then why not for everyone?”

But Mizuho’s Mr Varathan pointed out that “the survey has got inherent biases”: “As they’re looking to compare (like-for-like) items, they probably missed out on some local stuff, and that’s going to work against us. For example, if we take the price of a cappuccino, it will likely set you back about $5. But that’s not the same as getting Ah Poh’s coffee at Golden Shoe.”

Limitations aside, all three economists agreed that the survey results are worth reflecting upon, especially since currency fluctuations only tell part of the story.

Noting that Singapore’s rising price prominence has been “steady rather than spectacular”, EIU said that the city-state was the 18th most expensive city 10 years ago.

It said that Singapore has some structurally expensive items that “skew the overall cost of living upwards”, including cars. This has meant that transport costs in Singapore are almost three times higher than in New York.

Added EIU: “In addition, as a city-state with very few natural resources to speak of, Singapore is reliant on other countries for energy and water supplies, making it the third most expensive destination for utility costs.”

Although the survey’s findings could suggest that Singapore may be losing its cost competitiveness, UOB’s Mr Tan thinks otherwise: “There’s a reason why Singapore is expensive, and there’s a price to pay for everything. If (multinational corporations) want to be in a country where you push a button and things work, where there is near-zero political risk, where the business environment is vibrant – they’ve got to pay a premium for that.”   5March BT

Asean travellers, KS, security conscious? Use Changi Int’l

In Airlines, Humour, Infrastructure on 15/03/2014 at 6:59 am

Home Team’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority has been in the sights of DPM Teo and netizens (a rare distinction: err where’s the co-driver?) for a series of recent balls-up. So the tragic disappearance of a MAS plane gave its PR team an opportunity to blow its trumpet, (justifiably, no BS or hype)

Visitor passports presented to immigration officers at Singapore checkpoints are screened against Interpol’s database of lost or stolen travel documents, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Tuesday.

And if a passport is one of more than 40 million on Interpol’s list, the officer is automatically alerted and the traveller pulled aside for further checks.

This procedure has been in place since May 2008, an ICA spokesman told The Straits Times.

He did not elaborate on how the system works, but security experts said that this verification typically takes just a few seconds.

But despite the fact that checks are quick, Singapore remains one of only a few countries that use Interpol’s database to ensure border security, experts noted. (Wed ST)

EDB, and the tourism board should be following this up with a regional advertising campaign:

“Taking a flight of more than an hr? Transit via S’pore: all passports are checked against Interpol’s database of lost or stolen passports. Does yr airport do this? Or are they like KL?”

BTW, a gd riposte to the M’sian Home Affairs minister’s comments

“I am still perturbed. Can’t these immigration officials think? Italian and Austrian (passport holders) but with Asian faces,” he was quoted as saying late on Sunday.,

would be for immigration officers will say that they use to seeing Chinese and Indian faces on MALAYsian passports. So no issues about seeing Asian faces on European passports.

Seriously comment shows he has prejudices, hangups or is still living in the mid 20th century.

Expats & us kanna pay & pay these bills

In Economy, Footie, Humour on 14/03/2014 at 4:44 am

(Update on 19th March at 9.55am: We most ex in Asia for World Cup http://sg.sports.yahoo.com/news/singapore-costliest-place-watch-world-cup-000511872.html. Thank you SingTel and MDA and Yaacob. PM, tot cabinet ministers chosen and remain on merit? What about the minister responsible for Malay affairs and info, formerly of environment ? Meritocracy? What meritocracy?)

One’s a necessity, the other’s a human rights issue for most, even PAPpies, which that brave but blur barking dog, Maruah, fails to highlight, even though it affects FTs, Maruah’s favoured group. Think I’m mean? Think the alleged “rioters”, drug mules, but not true blue S’porean Dan Tan or the alleged Jihadists.

Seriously, the PAP and its allies in the media must be shell-shocked going by their reactions to the EIU’s survey that ranked S’pore as the most expensive place to be an expat. Tharman’s explanation implies (unless he is trying again to be a comedian) that cars are only for expats: true blue S’poreans and ministers can only use public tpt? And I can’t stop laughing at the misreps in this http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/11/cnas-editor-the-high-cost-of-singapore-living/

There is one item that affects both locals and expats that Tharman, and Nicolas Fang and other members of the constructive, nation-building media running dogs don’t tell us Utility bills are also listed as big-ticket items by the EIU, but there is not much anyone can do to save there. Unless, of course, one were to turn off the air-conditioning.

(http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/03/world-s-most-expensive-city)

So why don’t they tell us aircon only for FTs? Or when will they tell us this? Giving ang moh lover Bernice Wong another opportunity to diss local buyah males; not that they don’t deserve it. BTW, she might now prefer this woman basher. http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/11/ft-accused-of-punching-sg-singer-resigns-from-company/

The human rights issue?  The cost of watching footie: We now know the cost of watching the coming World Cup but remember that EPL  and Champions’ and Europa leagues watching ain’t cheap: M’sia and HK are a lot cheaper. For that we have to thank SingTel’s aggressive bidding, its corporate ambitions (err its run by true blue S’poreans not FTs) and Yaacob’s finest at MDA.

But let’s be fair, the strong S$ that makes it cheap for us to shop in JB and other Asean cities has played its part in making S$ S’pore that expensive: Singapore, which has seen its nominal exchange rate appreciate by 40 percent over the past decade, will obviously have higher U.S. dollar prices. But that only matters to the shrinking group of expatriates who are paid in greenbacks. Most consumers care about costs in the currency in which they earn their living.

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2014/03/05/singapore-is-not-the-worlds-most-expensive-city/

Here’s another good point: [These surveys] fail the simple test of people revealing their preferences by their decisions. Imagine a company that used the EIU study to ask its employees in Mumbai to tone down their wage expectations in 2014. They will make a beeline to recruiters’ offices – to search for jobs in Singapore.

Majulah Singapura. Despite what TOC and TRE readers claim, S’pore’s an attractive place: I’m still here for starters. So is Jack for all his grumbling. The PAP must have done shumething good? Right Jack? Think about that when S’pore Inc jacks up GST, utility bills, tpt fares, utility bills etc despite the budget surpluses or profits..

Let’s leave the last word to Banyan:

Much has changed in this part of the world since the original writers of the Lonely Planet series chose Singapore as the place to hole up and write their second volume: South-East Asia on a Shoestring. In sum, to survive on $10 a day (well, a bit more) in Singapore these days: don’t touch the cars, drink beer instead of wine, bake your own bread and eat your meals out at the hawker centres. And then it’s all a bit more reasonable. Which is more than can be said of foregoing the air-con.

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*World Cup costs from yesterday’s BT

All 64 of the matches will be free for people who either sign up for – or extend existing – mio TV Gold Pack contracts or standalone Barclays Premier League (BPL) contracts for 24 months.

The Gold Pack is a combination of entertainment and BPL content on the mio TV platform. The standalone BPL content package is available to both mio TV and StarHub subscribers.

Viewers who want a World Cup-only deal will pay a one-time price of $105, excluding GST. This is the most expensive World Cup fee to date – 19 per cent higher than the pre-GST price of $88 and 59 per cent higher than the early-bird price of $66 for the 2010 World Cup.

2014 World Cup pricing for business owners will be announced “shortly”, the operator said.

And http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Columnists/Insight-Down-South.aspx/?c={3054A244-0EAD-4847-A743-A2610B82E86B}

 

Why PAP should be afraid but not not too afraid

In China, Humour, Internet, Malaysia, Political governance, Vietnam on 10/03/2014 at 4:49 am

Paper warriors can cause serious problems for paper generals. Take heart Richard Wan, SgDaily, Terry Xu etc. And NSP should put more effort and time on online activities, rather than pounding the streets and climbing stairs, even though P Ravi of NSP gets great workouts: but Ravi, skip the teh tariks at the end. And the Chiams start an online presence.

Online activism can be an accurate indicator of where revolutions might take place next, according to University of Manchester research.

Argentina, Georgia, the Philippines and Brazil are claimed to be most at risk of upheaval, according to this measure.

The Revolution 2.0 Index* was developed last year and identified Ukraine as the most likely to see political upheaval.

This index sees revolution being forecast by computer experts rather than political analysts … It provides a different view of how regimes are put at risk by protest movements, looking at online factors rather than street demonstrations.

The index produces a risk factor based on the level of repression and the ability of people to organise protests online.

(http://www.bbc.com/news/education-26448710)

But Yaacob, MDA, and the ISD can still relax a little: The highest risk comes in countries where there are protests against perceived injustices – but where there is relative freedom online.

Err we knowthat S’poreans don’t like to sweat at Hong Lim: ask Gilbert Goh. (Alternative reason: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/gg-crashes-new-indian-chief-needed/)

So get the people out in their tens of thousands to Hong Lim Green and keep up the online volume, then sure can effect regime change. But fortunately for the PAP, only the LGBTs can get out the crowd. Aand then only once in a pink moon.

Still if PM and the ministers want to make sure they get to keep their mega-salaries then they should start sending study teams to  Ethiopia, Iran, Cuba and China: At the lowest end of this 39-country index are countries such as Iran, Cuba and China because there is a lower level of risk of revolution in repressive countries with tight controls over the internet.

Actually, it juz might be easier to ban Facebook and other forms of social media on the grounds that users waste time on them during office hours (all those cat photos that a certain social activist posts during office hours). Users are subversives, undermining the govt’s productivity drive, the aim of which is to make S’poreans richer slaves.

Talking about the Ukraine, professor Richard Heeks from Manchester University, the creator the index, says: “But social media has been the core tool used to organise protests and maintain them by letting protesters know where they can get nearby food, shelter, medical attention, and so on.

“It has spread word about violence and has garnered support and assistance from overseas.”

BTW, S’pore, Cambodia and Laos are not on the index but the rest of Asean is

The Philippines (4th)

M’sia (14th)

Indonesia (26th)

Vietnam (29th)

Thailand (33rd: err data was up to 2012)

Burma (35th)

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*The index combines Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net scores, the International Telecommunication Union’s information and communication technology development index, and the Economist’s Democracy Index (reversed into an “Outrage Index” so that higher scores mean more autocracy). The first measures the degree of Internet freedom in a country, the second shows how widely Internet technology is used, and the third provides the level of oppression.

 

 

Beer, real wages & next GE

In Economy, Humour on 02/03/2014 at 4:25 am

The news that beer costs $1.30 more at Kopitiam after the increase in excise duty reminds me of something I heard at CNY.

A senior marketing officer at APB told me that while Tiger still dominates the beer market here, sales of Anchor (APB’s value brand) have been up 60% (I think) since the noughties. He said S’poreans were economising. With the rise in duties, APB might be advertising,”Make mine an Anchor” or “It’s Anchor time”?

We’ll know when S’poreans really feel that they have more in their pocket when they switch back to Tiger from Anchor. That’ll be a gd time for PAP to call a GE. They can remind S’poreans that “Only the PAP fills yr belly with Tiger”.

BTW, Kopitam’s explanation that it conducted a survey before settling on a price that was within the survey range had me thinking that it must have got the constructive, nation-building Institute of Public Studies (independent think-tank that is part of the LKY School of Public Administration) or the ST to conduct the survey. My marketing friend tells me that generally coffee shops increased the price by about 50 cents (to cover the duty increase). Typical of ST or IPS to get the facts wrong. They must learn to get the facts right, not the right facts.

Anton Casey chooses wrong PAP minister to emulate?

In Humour on 03/02/2014 at 4:17 am

What is the link between Anton (masculine, not sheltered, babyed and childish like local men according to wifey Bernice “Beauty Queen” Wong), the Pope and two PAP ministers?

Pope Francis is a Jesuit, a Catholic order which has traditionally, among other things, served the rich and powerful as teachers and confessors. At its best, a Jesuit education inspires the mighty to serve the lowly. The Pope’s address to the business and political leaders assembled at the World Economic Forum at Davos fits right into that tradition.

He flatters the “innovative” for “improving the lives of many people by their ingenuity and professional expertise.” Then he hits. Davosians, he says, “can further contribute by putting their skills at the service of those who are still living in dire poverty.”

In other words, if you are clever enough, and determined enough, to rise to Davos-level, you should do more to help those who cannot help themselves. It’s hard to disagree. (Emphasis mine)

Almost all the delegates have a surplus of something valuable – money, knowledge or influence. Almost all of them waste that surplus, by the Pope’s standards. Francis thinks they should invest the surpluses in what the bishop of Rome calls “the life of humanity.” If they wanted to they could do much more to promote: “an inclusive approach which takes into consideration the dignity of every person and the common good.” (Economist)

The Pope’s views reflect the values of one K Shanmugam Sc:

I have been asked what I thought of Mr Anton Casey and his statements. Like many Singaporeans, I am terribly upset and offended by what he has posted. Deeply offensive, wrong, and unacceptable. Those who have done well in life should always be looking out for others – especially the less well-off or needy. It is basic human decency. Instead Mr Casey showed contempt. Having money and a Porsche, does not automatically mean that one is superior. Character is important. I am glad the community has come together to condemn what he has said. He has attempted to apologise to Singaporeans. But some feel that the manner of his apology showed a lack of sincerity. And I think there is some basis for thinking that …

They are role gd models for anyone, especially for Casey: They could have tot grammar schoolboy (English schools — mostly fee paying) where entry is by way of competitive exams like our PLSE) Anton Casey the meaning of not sneering at those less off or less fortunate or smart or pushy or any combination thereof.

But maybe his role model was another PAP minister born into privilege and wealth? What do you think of someone who makes the u/m remarks about the “Pioneer Generation” praised by PM who fell on bad times, then went on to overspend on the Kiddie Games, food poisoning included? Remember them?

Dr Lily Neo:

Sir, I want to check with the Minister again when he said on the strict criteria on the entitlement for PA recipients. May I ask him what is his definition of “subsistence living”? Am I correct to say that, out of $260 per month for PA recipients, $100 goes to rental, power supply and S&C and leaving them with only $5 a day to live on? Am I correct to say that any basic meal in any hawker centre is already $2.50 to $3.00 per meal? Therefore, is it too much to ask for just three meals a day as an entitlement for the PA recipients?

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan:

How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?

S’porean connection in Google’s £400m AI purchase

In Humour on 02/02/2014 at 6:40 am

A few days ago Google spent £400m buying a UK firm that specialised in artificial intelligence.

DeepMind is a privately-held company founded by Demis Hassabis, a 37-year-old neuroscientist and former teenage chess prodigy, along with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.

Demis Hassabis’s mum is a Singaporean (Chinese) and his dad a Greek-Cypriot.

If LKY were still the boss-man, as a believer in eugenics, he’d be bringing in Greek Cypriot men to mate with S’porean Chinese wimmin. BTW, wonder if Demis Hassabis’s mum is a grad? Remember LKY tried to discourage non-grad mums from havong kids?

He Haw in the Neigh Year.

More on the purchase: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25927797

Chinese zodiac’s animals: global distribution per capita

In Humour, Indonesia, Malaysia on 01/02/2014 at 4:33 am

To herald China’s most important holiday, we [Economist] have taken a light-hearted look at the global distribution of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The Middle Kingdom is home to some of the world’s largest herds, flocks, packs, and broods. It has the second-largest number of horses, 6.7m, after America’s 10m (although neither feature in our charts, which account for population). Instead, Mongolia, where horses are integral to its nomadic tradition, tops the ranking. Similarly, there are four times as many pigs in China as anywhere else, but Denmark’s huge pork industry means it has the highest pig-to-person ratio. Of the ten animals shown, China is among the top nations in total numbers for all but tigers, dragons (Komodo) and rats (guinea pigs in Peru and Bolivia, the only numbers available from the FAO). Snake (the departing year) and monkey are omitted for lack of data. Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Asean countries– Brunei (Rooster), M’sia and Thailand (Tiger), Indonesia (Dragon) and Laos (Tiger and Ox) — appear on several of these charts.

Click link to see all all the charts or in bigger format http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/01/daily-chart-19

Anton Casey frus that he poor expat FT?

In Humour on 29/01/2014 at 4:30 am

Here I gave several reasons that maybe he wasn’t that rich

– travelling econony-class despite being fearful of threats to himself and his family*;

– using small law firm; and

– not offering to donate serious money to show his repentance (in fact no money at all).

Here are a few more reasons to doubt he has money, serious money

– How come he doesn’t have a driver and another car?  If he had, his driver could have driven his Porsche to the service centre; or picked him up after he drove his Porsche to the service centre? To be fair maybe Bernice was using said car and driver.

– How come he doesn’t have another car? Bernice could have picked him up to spare him the indignity of using the MRT before going shop as any Tai Tai would. Maybe she was busy?

– But then why didn’t he take a taxi after leaving his car at the service station?

– My friends in the PR industry tell me that the PR that sent out his first apology is a very small firm. So why did he use a small firm, and not one of the big name PR firms? Incidentally, the same friends have also slimed the first apology saying that he should have offered to do community service in it. It was also so badly drafted that even that our pet-loving minister said “He has attempted to apologise to Singaporeans. But some feel that the manner of his apology showed a lack of sincerity. And I think there is some basis for thinking that.”

But I’ll give the PR firm the benefit of the doubt because having worked in PR for a yr for my sins, I know that clients are often unwilling to listen to the advice they are given.

– Why Perth? Surely, there are more exotic locations than Perth he can go to or where he has property?

Curiouser and curiouser.

So maybe his outburst of sneering at “poor” SMRT-taking S’poreans was because he was frus that he wasn’t able to keep Bernice Wong in the style she was accustomed to and expected to live in, as a ex-beauty queen? Porsche and Sentosa Cove not posh enough for her**?

After all: £1m – £2m ($1.53 million – $3 million) The comfortable poor
£3m – £4m The comfortably off
£5m – £4m The comfortably wealthy
£16m – £39m The lesser rich
£40m – £74m The comfortably rich
£75m – £99m The rich
£100m – £199m The seriously rich
£200m – £399m The truly rich
£400m – £999m The filthy rich
Over £1bn The super rich

(From a TRS comment)

BTW, after the hols, I’ll write why PAPpies and kind-hearted S’poreans (not all ang moh or FTs tua kees) are wrong in saying that we should forgive and forget? Does one ask a hurricane to forgive and forget those who build houses in its path?

*Or maybe he lying about receiving threats and being afraid? We only have his word that he received threats.

**OK, OK, I’m so unfair to her. She stood by her man to the extent of travelling economy-class with him.

“Mummy, flying economy is worse than taking the MRT!”

In Humour on 26/01/2014 at 5:02 am

” Shouldn’t we be travelling apart from ordinary S’poreans?”

“Baby, I don’t know what to say. Anton, why liddat leh? Where’s the private jet?”

“Darlin’, pls don’t shout at me. I lost my job.”

“Daddy doesn’t have money, Mummy? I got to take the MRT, not sit in the Porsche?”

“Anton, you poor now?”

“Don’t be liddat, Ms Gold Digger 1959.”

“I should have married Ah Beng not ang moh.”

Forgive me but the above conversation (imaginary of course between Bernice Wong and her son and her hubbie) wickedly came to mind when I read in ST that he he and his family flew to Perth on an economy-class SIA flight.

I don’t know about you but I find travelling economy-class for any more than a two hour flight really uncomfortable.  Thankfully, I don’t care for jetting round the world. Otherwise I’d have to speculate or go back to work to make some serious money to afford airfares. Nowadays, even choping a seat in economy class beside the cabin doors costs extra.

Seriously, if he is as rich as he implied, what with his sneers at S’poreans travelling on the MRT, why isn’t he and his family travelling biz or first class? Especially as there are two very good reason to do so this time: security and the absence of publicity. Airlines guard jealously the privacy of premium class passengers. He can’t be genuine about being afraid of his security, can he? Travelling economy-class, where the MRT-travelling S’poreans also travel.

Another reason to doubt that that he is that wealthy is that he is only offering to do community service, not donating serious money and do community service. To donate  money only would be bad PR: “Trying to buy yr way out? Why liddat?”) (Related post: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/talk-is-cheap-anton-casey-show-us-youre-sorry/)

Finally, if he is that rich, why isn’t he using one of big law firms in the Raffles Place, Marina Bay area? His lawyers are based in heartlander Toa Payoh. The expat lady that had Tammy put down is using a big name legal firm to defend her.

BTW, notice how sympathetic the ST story is to him? Hey ST, he wronged us. Or ST agrees with this guy that S’poreans are wrong, not Anton Casey? Bit like William Wan, the general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement whose patrons according to TRE “is PM Lee Hsien Loong and its adviser is Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth”. He seems to be blaming S’poreans, not Anton Casey, for the row. Maybe someone should remind William Wan that Anton Casey has apologised, and telling us that he wronged S’poreans. Sometimes this PAPpish attitude of “S’poreans always daft, always wrong” goes too far?

What do you think?

To end here some great views from the Guardian’s blog reporting the “bullying of Anton Casey” as William Wan seems to put it:

– You have the freedom to poke at a wasp nest. Later, you end up at a hospital. Did you deserve it? No. But did you ask for it? YES!

– I will rather think whom ever poke at a wasp nest, did ask for it and deserve whatever the end result of their FUN is!!

http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2014/jan/23/daddy-poor-people-anton-casey-facebook-comments-singapore#comment-31119883. Read it to see another lighthearted take on the matter.

Bernice Wong: Anton’s masculine, not sheltered, babyed & childish

In Humour on 23/01/2014 at 1:44 pm

Not like locals. (But let’s be fair, she implied this in 2010).

But before going into the details, a few things to clear up.

First an apology from me. Scumbag Anton Casey is not working for HSBC but for Crossinvest. Sorry for my mistake: it was an honest mistake.

I’m very certain, he will be moving on from Crossinvest given that: The Company was created out of a Swiss single family office with almost three decades of leading experience and presence in Switzerland. We operate based on the finest Swiss Private banking traditions. 

Well among the finest Swiss Private banking traditions are

– discretion; and.

– operating in the shadows, leaving no fingerprints behind.

Don’t see Casey meeting these standards. Besides, In a statement, Managing director Christophe Audergon said: “Crossinvest does not condone the comments. We believe they were made in poor taste.” (Update on 25 January 2014 juzt before midnight: he got fired. TRE’s take)

Now that I’ve apologised, on to what he should do to prove to S’poreans that he is genuinely sorry for what he did, before talking about wifey’s comments on why she wanted an ang moh man.

Talk is cheap Anton Casey; Show us you’re sorry. Dob’t talk cock, sing song like the S’poreans you say you respect. ST editor turned Jedi (apparently: ever tot she Trojan horse?) has a list of things he could do to prove he is sorry.,

I got only one suggestion on the premise that money talks, BS walks.

In Christianity, Islam and Judaism, there is a tradition of donating 10% of one’s worldly goods* to charity (OK, to be precise “gd works”) to show that one is a gd Christian, Jew or Muslim*. So in that spirit, he should donate 10% of his worldly assets to charity or to TRE or any combination thereof. So if he is worth $10m dollars (after all being a millionaire is nothing here: think of all those S’poreans with landed property or even HDB flats that have paid off all or most of their mortgages), he should offer $1m to TRE.

Somehow, I think this FT where the T stands for Trash, isn’t really that sorry enough to spend any money doing gd to show he is sorry (though he sp4ends money on PR and lawyers).. I doubt Ms Bernice Wong would be impressed if he was sorry enough to lose 10% of his assets. As it is she has to live with the following comments (now deeply mortifying for her) on why for her ang moh is tua kee

‘I have never been able to click with local guys. Somehow, our personalities don’t match up.

‘I will say that the local guys I’ve met are pretty sheltered. I’d like them to be more masculine, not so ‘baby-ed’ and less childish.’ http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/01/20/briton-belittles-people-taking-public-transport/

I mean who’s sheltered, babyed and childish? And is it masculine to have no balls to stand up for what one says? A real man would say, “I stand by what I said, and I will accept the consequences. Wanna fight?” He wouldn’t make police reports or wimp out by metaphorically getting on his knees and asking for forgiveness.

Finally, wonder what his in-laws think about the video which seems to insult us slit-eyes. This is what someone posted on Facebook: For all those who are not aware, his son is making the ‘chinky Asian’ face where in the West, if they want to mock Asians, they make this face- it’s called the chinky face, where you narrow your eyes to a slit and make buck teeth. That’s what the kid was doing, throughout the entire time in the video.

Here’s a screenshot of the end of the video. Look at the face he (Anton) made- especially, if you run the video, you’d see he deliberately made the ‘buck teeth’ face. It’s obvious he instructed the kid to do that all the 14 secs of the video. So he has also encouraged his son to do it, because if you look at the other pics that are online of his son, his face isn’t like that. Look at both the kid’s eyes and mouth in the whole video, and you’d know what type of face he was making …

IE S’pore & Jos’ point about perfection

In Economy, Humour on 21/01/2014 at 5:24 am

Readers will know that I recently commented (here and here) on Jos Teo’s tots as articulated to ST: comments that have annoyed netizens no end. Juz read the comments posted by TRE readers grumbling that she gets so many things so wrong. “We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One. If we go in with that attitude, it can only mean that we have to build in a lot of redundancy, in particular came in for a lot of flak.

Well getting things wrong also seems to apply to her hubbie’s organisation (According to ST,”Her husband, Mr Teo Eng Cheong, is chief executive officer of IE Singapore …”)

IE S’pore has goofed big time. according to a BT report dated 18 January 2014:

ERRORS in trade data collection meant that International Enterprise (IE) Singapore wrongly reported two months of exports data, with possible implications for fourth-quarter GDP estimates.

October 2013′s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) was said to have grown 2.8 per cent, when in fact it had shrunk 2.7 per cent. Data for September was also overstated – NODX was initially said to have shrunk 1.2 per cent when the actual contraction was a larger 2 per cent – due to the “multiple counting of some trade permits”.

As trade data for both months have been corrected downwards, total trade and NODX for the full year 2013 will now come in lower than expected, IE said in an annex to its trade report for December, released yesterday.

IE will only announce Singapore’s full-year trade data next month, but UOB economist Francis Tan estimates that full-year NODX would have dropped 5.4 per cent, taking September and October’s erroneous figures, but could now fall a sharper 6 per cent. Both are worse than IE’s forecast of a NODX contraction of 4 to 5 per cent for 2013, last revised down in November.

It was an honest mistake. Maybe it was also example of what Jos Teo said, “We cannot have the attitude that everything will be perfect from Day One. If we go in with that attitude, it can only mean that we have to build in a lot of redundancy.

BT wrote: IE said yesterday that the errors were traced back to changes to a trade declaration system known as Access, which is used by four air express companies to declare their consolidated imports and exports. In August last year, changes were made to this system to allow the companies to make amendments to their trade permit records, such as flight details.

However, all amended permits were counted as new ones when transmitted from the Access system to the Singapore Customs’ Trade Statistics System, and then to IE Singapore. In nominal terms, the counting errors meant a difference between an originally tabulated NODX value of $15.599 billion for October, and a corrected value of $14.757 billion.

In response to BT’s queries, IE explained that the over-reporting was not immediately apparent as the values of the individual records still fell within the expected range. “When unusually large numbers were picked up, IE Singapore worked with Singapore Customs immediately to investigate and rectify the issue,” IE said.

For trade data, Singapore Customs conducts selective checks of trade permits against the commercial documents to verify the accuracy of data submitted by traders. “IE Singapore also conducts checks on a monthly basis to track trends based on the value of goods and large ticket items. Export and import categories with significant data swings will be picked up for further verification and analysis in consultation with Singapore Customs,”  …

One economist is annoyed:

DBS economist Irvin Seah thinks internal processes need to be tightened when it comes to collecting official data. “We have seen quite significant revisions, not just in NODX, but also in the advanced GDP estimates. Whether these are estimates or actual figures, there ought to be as little revision as possible. These numbers are important to everyone who wants a good gauge of where the economy is going, not just economists,” he said.

But another was relaxed,“no great damage was done”, said Barclays economist Joey Chew. “After all, the October red herring of a recovery was quickly refuted the very next month when November exports fell sharply, indicating that Singapore exports are clearly not yet out of the woods. The continued slump in electronics in December further confirmed that,” she said.

Whatever it is, S’pore’s reputation remains intact according to BT (But it would say that wouldn’t it?)

As for whether these errors undermine the reliability of Singapore’s statistics, Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan said that he sees them as inherent to the “messy affair” of collecting data. “I don’t think it raises questions about the integrity of Singapore’s statistical collection fundamentally. It’s always an ongoing affair to reduce the number of errors,” he said.

UOB’s Mr Tan said: “The good thing is that they are at least signalling that they are doing the right thing, by coming out and correcting the errors.”

A couple of errors ought not to affect credibility, said Barclays’ Ms Chew. “Especially if the errors are due to technological problems rather than data collection issues, or people gaming the system – for example Chinese exporters reporting fake trade.”

But IE S’pore should not be complacent: Barclay’s Ms Chew does have other issues to raise about Singapore’s data though. “First, the timeliness. We are one of the last to report CPI (consumer price index) in the region, and I don’t understand why. Also, IE Singapore does not release a lot of the export data they collect.”

Jos and hubby should be hoping that the recent bad publicity is part of the karma of the year of the Goat, not the karma for 2014. If the latter, expect more to hear more nad publicity from Jos and IE S’pore?

AWARE doesn’t care about some females/ Maruah’s original venue

In Humour on 02/01/2014 at 4:21 am

We all know that AWARE complained about Purple Light and got Mindef to change the  lyrics to a less offensive,  “right” one. The wimmin were right to take offence and be concerned about the brutish boyish mentality behind some of the words of a popular song; and Mindef did the right thing.  It most probably also decided to avoid upsetting potential voters, even though I’m sure none of the AWARE wimmin would ever vote PAP. Another cynical reason would be that the ang mohs might take offence if Mindef didn’t act. Maruah as an ang moh tua kee group has friends in the US  and there are women.US senior military officers.

But I’m disappointed that AWARE didn’t take on Santa Claus. for making only gal reindeer work at Christmas, pulling his sleigh. It’s a biological fact that male reindeer do not have antlers at Christmas. They shed them by them. Only the gals got them.

So why AWARE no complain to Santa? Scared he strike them off his presents’ list?

My serious point is that Maruah has to be more restraint when it wins. Google up their triumphalist response to the bloggers who were upset by the change. That triumphalist response, not the complaint and Mindef’s action annoyed me, hence this dig at AWARE.

Oh, and based on textual analysis, the Maruah letter alleging police “harassment” over the venue of the seminar on the “struggle for workers’ rights” was initially drafted by the same person who drafted the AWARE letter of triumphalism, or the same person had a hand in drafting both letters.

To end, Here’s an interesting piece from a TRE reader on the appropriateness of the original venue of its seminar on “the struggle for workers’rights. . I agree with the sentiments expressed within it, though to be fair to Maruah the date of said seminar was on 23 December. Somehow I don’t think that there would be many FTs in the area on a Monday. One of these days I’ll blog on why Maruah and the police deserve each other: both have lousy public communication skills, though the police’s skills iare a lot better than Yaacob’s finest, who only know how to slime.

Ho Ho Ho: Santa = S’pore govt = Scrooge?

In Economy, Humour, Political economy, Political governance on 26/12/2013 at 5:54 am

Santa’s critics note that higher profits and productivity have not resulted in higher pay for the elves. They were seeing their real incomes squeezed even before the Fairy Tale of Wall Street had an unhappy ending in 2008, and then took pay cuts rather than lose their jobs. With welfare being cut, most plumped for a job over the dole even if it meant a cut in living standards.

Santa accepts that the workforce has made sacrifices. But he insists these are vital to keep the company going at a time of cut-throat global competition. The elves have to understand, he adds, that the alternative to zero-hour contracts and pay cuts would be that the jobs would be outsourced from Lapland to a lower-cost grotto in the far east.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2013/dec/22/santa-elves-living-standards-surveillance

Doesn’t Santa sound like PM or his dad or VivianB or “cheaper, faster” Zorro  etc? I’m so confident that readers will agree that I wouldn’t give examples. This isn’t ST.

As to Scrooge, this is how Dickens described Scrooge before Scrooge repented and became a Dr Chee type of person (actually better than Mad Dog  as Scrooge had his personal wealth to spend on the poor, Dr Chee is depending on our reserves and higher taxes)

“Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.”

“Even the blindmen’s dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as though they said, ‘No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!”

Mean of Dickens? Scrooge when asked for donations for the poor, “There are many things which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited” and  “Are there no prisons?”. Sounds very much like our very own VivianB when he was welfare minister?

Merry Christmas.

FTs: Humour free zone? Jokes prohibited?

In Humour, Internet on 23/12/2013 at 4:48 am

This blogger is ambivalent about Bertha Henson. The conventional wisdom is that this once Sith Lord in the making changed her spots after retiring from SPH* where she was a cyber warrior (general rank) at ST, no less, into a Jedi warrior. One of these days, I’ll go into the conspiracy theory as to why she could be a Trojan horse (and explain the inconvenient fact to said theory that MDA fixed her). But as this is Christmas, I’ll not be that Gringie.

Whether on not she is part of a black ops against us cowboys of S’pore’s cyberspace, she writes well, very well. She’s pretty witty too, and has mastered the dark art of black humour, if not satire. Example: http://berthahenson.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/personally-speaking-no-fund-intended/. And she loves journalism; she did a lovely piece on her accreditation  to an activist event: sorry lazy to find the article to link to it.

But despite being treated as Jedi both by the cowboys and the MDA and ST, she recently was attacked by two tua kee cyber activists (both ladies) on Facebook for writing  http://berthahenson.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/a-sunday-problem/. Read it for yrself  before going on to read their comments, and my take on the piece and them.

I’ll not name them, ’cause its Christmas and I’m no Grinch or Krampus. A man dressed as Krampus in Austria … pretty scary, huh?

One said: What a lovely way to dehumanise a group of people: make assumptions and fall back on stereotypes, while coming across as reasoned and reasonable. Dear Bertha, the problems facing migrant workers go beyond what happens to them on a Sunday. Of course, we only notice them on Sundays because they’re busy working themselves to the bone, building our city, cleaning our loos, clearing our trash and staying out of YOUR way the rest of the week. Where they go on their rest day really isn’t anyone’s problem but their own. Would YOU like your boss to tell you what to do when you’re not working?

Another wrote:

It is a very condescending article. From the very first paragraph you can see the belittling and patronising: “We have a problem. We have hundreds of thousands of foreign workers – and we don’t know what to do with them on Sundays. And they probably don’t know what to do with themselves on Sundays either.”

Why do we need to do anything with them on their off day – it is THEIR off day. And who are we to say that they don’t know what to do with themselves, simply because from our standpoint that don’t seem to be doing what we would prefer them to do (which is what, attend Alcoholics Anonymous and play friendly games of basketball in their dorms?)

The second paragraph is just as facepalm-worthy: “The foreign maid can stay “home” and be paid for not taking the day off. And even if they are out, they’re not likely to get into a drunken stupor and throw pieces of concrete around. They’ll just crowd somewhere until someone shoos them somewhere else.”

The fact that foreign domestic workers stay “home” on their day off potentially means that they will also be made to work on their day off. This is not a situation we should be okay with, much less use as a sort of “ah this is okay for FDWs, but what about the other migrant workers” example.

Also, migrant workers in Little India are also “not likely to get into a drunken stupor and throw pieces of concrete around”; just because a group of men did it once on one Sunday night – out of all the many Sunday nights over the many years that they DIDN’T do it – doesn’t make that entire group of people suddenly prone to doing it.

And the last sentence of that paragraph: “They’ll just crowd somewhere until someone shoos them somewhere else.” Like that’s an okay state of affairs too! Oh, these FDWs don’t bother us, they just hang about with their friends and if we Singaporeans don’t like it just shoo them away lah! <- How condescending and dehumanising is that?!

So just in the first two paragraphs already almost every single sentence is offensive. Wah lau.

Foreign workers should be able to do whatever they want on their days off. It is the Singaporean mindset – the one that tells us that we enlightened beings must take care of “those from the Indian subcontinent” because they don’t know what to do with themselves – that should change.

I think Ms Henson is having a dig at the govt’s uncaring attitude to solving a problem, any problem: everything has to be neat and tidy, and damn the human cost.

My take on her critics is that these two gals don’t do humour, at least when it comes to FTs. Or they may think that the issue should not be the subject of any humour: too serious to joke about. Bit like the attitude of the authorities in the aftermath of the riot: no alcohol, and apparently no Maruah meeting in restaurant private room which employs FTs. On the latter, scared that FTs will riot? Come on Maruah are wimps in action: talk cock, sing song. Sorry KH, can’t resist that.

But to be fair to the gals , one of Henson’s BN team “Liked” the second entry.  So maybe I’m wrong about said lady activists. Either that or her disciple is a Judas, or a sotong boy. I suspect the last is most likely.

Merry Christmas. Keep on feasting.

*A more classy, intelligent version of what Tan Kin Lian did after he retired from NTUC Income: resigning from the PAP and standing as the People’s Voice in the presidential election, where he lost his deposit and deprived us of cocking a snook at the PAP. The PAP’s preferred candidate won by around three hundred votes. But to be fair, TKL fought the gd fight for those who invested in securities that invested in credit-default notes. (Declaration of interest: I helped out there) Investors got a raw deal, but it could have been worse if not for TKL.( http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/helping-retail-investors-the-hk-way-and-the-spore-way/#more-7316 and http://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/what-abt-high-notes-sm-goh/)

What mrbrown can teach PAP MP Baey

In Humour on 20/12/2013 at 4:56 am

Some time back, I read on Facebook a comment by mrbrown to the effect that in his line of work getting his facts “right” (Yaacob would be proud) is very important. Otherwise, no one would believe him in the future. And this from a joker.

Going by the grave that tampon-detective Baey is digging for himself, the PAP should be arranging for mrbrown to coach Baey and other PAP MPs* on the importance of getting their facts “right”. I mean Yaacob’s too busy on the nightmare that is Bertha Henson: like “Freddy” Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street film series, she keeps on haunting the MDA, and can’t be killed off. But the staff of MDA, and Yaacob should be glad that she is only haunting their dreams, she hasn’t killed any of them, yet.

I’m sure you all know about Baey’s $2.50 nasi padang. If not read, this account by TRE (only available for three months unless you are VIP member: even TRE agrees with the PAP govt  that those who pay, get better treatment. Taz the S’porean way given the many cheapos around.).

He wouldn’t have got himself into said hole if he had checked the cost of the dish before blogging on it. Instead he guessed and got netizens’ tits in a twist at the price.And on whether he lived in a bubble: “the elite’s bubble”.

He then compounded his initial mistake by explaining that he tot it cost $2.50 because, he gave $10, and got back $7, and as the bandung drink must have cost 0.50, the rice was $2.50.

So since when did bandung cost $0.50? More nasty comments followed.

But now it’s more than an issue of credibility and being out-of-touch with us common folks. He said, [The stallkeeper] acknowledged that his staff had recognised me that day and out of respect for my work and service in the community, charged me only $3 when it was more than $4.

Well as a TRE reader put it: If only ex chief of SCDF knew how to word his defence in getting bj from the woman out of respect and goodwill, he would not have been convicted of corruption.

Or as another reader put it: … Cecilia Sue also respect Ng Boon Gay’s work and gave him goodwill blowjobs. Why Ng Boon Gay got to resign? …

The issue is as SgCynic put it: Based on Baey Yam Keng’s reasoning, a lot of people are waiting to give presents to ministers and MPs out of respect and public service officers out of goodwill for the work they do.
We also respect our police officers for their beat and shall we give them gifts “out of goodwill”.
The glacerial slide to corruption begins…

To move on, Baey should do what this TRE reader suggested:

I remember a Minister once visited a Singapore departmental store on an official visit and was given a gift as a souvenir. I remember it to be a wallet or a belt or something like that. After some hoo-ha, the Minister admitted he was not aware of the price of the souvenir, and offered pay for the souvenir.

I suggest in this case, Baey should admit he was wrong not to be more careful about hawkers offering discounts to MPs , and that since it happened, and he is now aware such a favour was given, just pay for the balance and apologise for the ignorance of the market prices of food.

To mention anything else is pathethic [sic] and to link this to some charity now to score point is to add insult to injury.

But then Baey is a PAPpy and PAPpies don’t do apologies. And if Baey is any guide, they can’t even compare like to like. They prefer apples to oranges. I let TRE explain:

To find out the actual price of a typical nasi padang meal, Mr Baey ordered mutton, egg and a veggie from the nasi padang stall on Sunday (15 Dec). This time, the owner charged him the “full price” of $3.70.

“However, some netizens still refused to accept that it was the reality and insisted that I had been ‘corrupt’ again. I decided that any explanation was futile and I would just let actions speak for themselves,” Mr Baey concluded.

Actually, if Mr Baey had wanted to compare apple with apple, he should have ordered a piece of chicken and two veggies, plus a bandung drink – the exact same food he ordered on 11 December. Then Singaporeans would know how much actual “goodwill” he received from the stall owner that day.

BTW, Siew Kum Hong said on FB that he doesn’t  “see the point in making so much of” Baey’s mistakes.

My FB avater posted in response: PAppies are nowadays always fair game juz as JBJ and Dr Chee were fair game for the PAP and our constructive, nation-building media when LKY was in charge. Change under son is commendable but the past is still catching up with the PAP. Karma.

On this cheerful note, have a gd time but don’t drive and drink.

*Esp ministers

– Tharman

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/tharman-trying-to-tell-jokes-again/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/will-hougang-make-the-pap-moan-the-inflation-blues-not-joke-abt-it/

– Hng Kiang

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/will-hougang-make-the-pap-moan-the-inflation-blues-not-joke-abt-it/

– Lee Jnr on world food prices

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/err-lee-what-did-you-say-abt-food-inflation/

True blue S’porean FT applies for citizenship

In Humour on 17/11/2013 at 4:34 am

Yesterday’s ST carried a story about a young S’porean athlete, 14-yr old Olivia Marsden, who is applying to be a citizen. Father’s British, mum’s from Oz, and they’ve been living here since since the early 1990s.

Hope she gets citizenship. Home Team should grant it in repentance for the following sins:

new citizen Raj who boasted his son will get PR despite not doing NS*; and

FT** Alison McElwee who killed Tammy. Tammy was a true blue S’porean: mongrel, ill-treated and traumatised. McElwee has defended killing Tammy and insisted that the rehomer refused to take back Tammy, despite text messages indicating the contrary

BTW,here’s someone who S’pore must attract: Aged 11, most boys can do little other than watch television, play football and fight with their sisters; this child blagged his way past at least three security checks onto an international flight.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2012/07/ticketless-travel

*Interestingly, co-driver has never raised the issue in parly.

**Earlier this week, ST reported that she’s British and working in a healthcare centre. This was the first time, since the killing of Tammy was reported by our constructive, nation-building media that her nationality was given. Wonder why it took ST so long to report her nationality. Wonder if  is related to two accidents where PRC drivers were involved, but where the nationality of the drivers never disclosed? Note it was SOP for ST to give the nationality of a person it is reporting on.

S’pore at tech cutting edge

In Economy, Humour on 12/11/2013 at 6:08 am

If you recently read Kirsten Han’s stuff (juz google her leh) in ang moh publications, you would get the impression that S’pore thrives because locals are repressed and FTs exploited, with xenophobia thrown into that mix. Recently too, TOC and TRE carried quite a number of recent BBC articles, clips that didn’t put S’pore in a gd light.

But going by other stuff the BBC has been broadcasting recently (and not highlighted by TRE or TOC), S’pore is doing real cutting edge techie stuff to make life better for S’poreans and the the rest of the world:

Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have been working on ways to improve rush hour traffic flows in Singapore.

They are trying a system of tracking vehicle movements through GPS and combining the data with fluid dynamics to predict congestion ahead.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24673439

The ‘supertrees’ of Singapore are the central attraction of the Gardens by the Bay, an energy-efficient district of the bustling city state.

During the day, the man-made structures, which mimic real trees, gather energy through solar panels. At night, they come to life and form a spectacular lightshow.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24678421

Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay were created six years ago from reclaimed land and are now part of trial for the country’s “super wi-fi” white space programme.

White space is the name for a wireless network made available when old frequencies for analogue television signals are repurposed to carry data.

It is hoped free public wi-fi will be rolled out across the island within the next two years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24822458

Near Field Communications (NFC) technology allows small amounts data to be exchanged when enabled devices are tapped or held closely together or one device is touched against an NFC tag.

Although the technology can be found in many smartphones, credit cards and passports it has yet to become mainstream.

But Singapore’s size and willingness to embrace new technology might make it the perfect place to roll out a nationwide NFC network.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24756033

And here are two plugs for the PAP govt, courtesy of the BBC:

To stay competitive, a country needs to constantly innovate.

Where the US has Silicon Valley, Singapore has Biopolis – a major biomedical research and development hub.

From almost nothing more than a decade ago, the sector has grown to account for a quarter of the country’s manufacturing output.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24799516

Singapore’s economy has often been the envy of many of its neighbours.

Many people have marvelled at how this small island, smaller than New York City, has come to be worth more than $270bn (£167bn).

One key to that success has been the vibrant shipping port.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24605503

As far as the issue of state repression, the closest the BBC has come to reporting repression here are these:

Singapore’s Marine Life Park is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the world’s largest aquarium, but it has already come under the scrutiny of environmentalist and critics.

They say that dolphins should not have been caught from the wild to be exhibited in its newly-opened enclosure.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24738828

– Dan Tan’s case

In the next few weeks all the evidence that has been gathered against the syndicate will be presented behind closed doors to the Ministry of Home Affairs and then an advisory council, before a final decision is made by the president.

If all agree that the suspects should remain under “preventive detention”, then Dan Tan and his associates could be held for years without ever having the evidence tested in a court of law.

Under huge pressure to act, the Singaporeans say they’ve now “cut the head off the snake”.

In doing so, the world’s biggest match-fixing syndicate may have been disabled but if the process remains behind closed doors it hardly feels like justice being served.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24238681 (BTW, Ms Han and her friends ignore Dan Tan’s case. He got more money than them? They jealous?)

This blog while often critical of the PAP govt, is very happy to live here as quitter in residence.So that tells you that on balance, this blogger is one of the ungrateful S’poreans (at least as the PAPpies are concerned). He’s juz glad that he’s not a young, working S’porean working here. But if he was a young S’porean, he would be working overseas. When he qualified, it was difficult to work overseas because of immigration rules. Eventually he did do stints abroad, but today he could have found a job overseas easily after he qualified.

PAP’s view of us 40%ers?

In Humour, Political governance on 04/11/2013 at 5:40 am

“Their bowls are filled with rice, their mouths are filled with pork, but after they finish their meals, they criticise the government,” he* laughed.

“The Chinese masses are shameless and you don’t need to respect them.”

Substitute the word “Chinese masses” with “40% of deft S’porean voters”, and I suspect the PAP would “Like” the sentiments expressed.

Given that the PAP has ruled S’pore since 1959, and our standard of living is now first world, surely the PAP had shumething to do with it*? And surely. the PAP is entitled to get upset that 40% of the voters (self included) prefer to vote for the opposition?

Actually, the PAP should adopt a slightly different perspective. True, WP*** won a GRC and got 12.8% of the popular vote. But it is widely perceived by S’poreans as “PAP Lite”: in some lighting conditions their light blue shirts appear white.

This means that 72.8% of the electorate are very comfortable with the PAP, and S’pore being a defacto one party state: all the elected MPs are from the PAP (most) or the WP (7).

The presidential election double confirmed this as the preferred candidate won by a very, very short nose in a photo finish. The runner-up was a former PAP MP who unlike Tan Kin Lian, who lost his deposit, did not repent of his time in the PAP. Between Tony Tan and Tan Cheng Bock, MD, they got 70% of the votes. Tan Jee Say, came third, with 25%. Taz the gap between the support for the PAP, and the real opposition.

Maybe, this is what the PAP is worried about (see my extracts from govt think-tank October 2014 Asean Monitor)?

Most probably, though, the PAP juz wants 150% control. It’s in the DNA, like Hard Truths.

—-

*A BBC report said that this was said by one Liang Wenyong, the Communist Party boss of Gushanzi, a farming town in Hebei province, At a lavish banquet as he picked a variety of delicacies in front of him, including a whole lobster, Mr Liang gave his unvarnished views on the Chinese masses. Unfortunately for him, he was caught on tape.

The leaked video quickly prompted more than 9,000 angry comments on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter …Unsurprisingly, Liang Wenyong was fired. But in a twist typical of the new clean-up campaign, officials in Gushanzi were also ordered to study Xi Jinping’s teachings.

**Yes, Yes, I know that one Jack Lam and friend keep saying on Facebook that S’pore was in the 50s, the second biggest  port in the Asia, as though that alone would explain S’pore’s subsequent success. My retort: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/why-young-sporeans-should-be-sent-to-yangon/.

***S/o of JBJ takes exception to the claims (he says) that the local media make that Low founded the WP. Low may not have founded the WP but after the party’s leadership dethroned JBJ, and appointed him as leader, he changed the party, bringing organisation,, respectability and moderation to it. Remember JBJ’s WP allowed loonies and a bicyle thief tpo stand as MPs. And no-one could call WP “PAP Lite”: it waz too dysfunctional for that, and, anyway, was nothing more than JBJ’s chariot. BTW there is a gd site on FB to JBJ. Worth a visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jbj.memory/

Proof that FTs displace S’poreans?

In Economy, Humour, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 28/10/2013 at 4:52 am

And ST reported the proof.

Can someone from govt, or its running dogs* in the think-tanks or the constructive, nation-building media explain this ST headline (and accompanying story) on 24th October?

ITE graduates in demand as SMEs face manpower crunch

 Job-matching scheme places ITE and poly students in local firms

ST went on

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are stepping up efforts to recruit Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates in a bid to combat the manpower squeeze.

The aim is to place some 300 with local companies every year over the next five years, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck yesterday.

The job-matching, which is part of Spring Singapore’s SME Talent Programme, has sent 32 polytechnic and ITE students to 15 firms since it was launched in June.

Seven trade associations and chambers have also reached out to more than 1,600 students to apply for jobs such as retail associates, clerks and technicians. Employers are eager for more.

(Backgrounder: http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/10/24/demand-for-ite-grads-picks-up-when-foreign-quota-reduced/)

It’s reasonable to conclude from the ST story that this demand for ITE and poly grads is the result of the govt’s very slight retreat from its “We love FTs, first, last and always” policies**. So whatever happened to the Hard Truth that the the more FTs, the more and better jibs for locals? Seems more like BS doesn’t it? But then the line between a Hard Truth and BS can be pretty thin.

(Gd related article: http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2013/10/where-are-the-good-jobs-prime-minister)

for the record, Yeoh Lam Keong, former chief economist at GIC, has called for the immigration policy to be reversed. “What we need to do is to be much more stringent on admitting such unskilled labour. We’ve really got no excuse to be so relaxed about this kind of immigration.” (BTW, he has also called for the government to return to its roots to meet and serve the needs of ordinary citizens over public housing, education, healthcare, welfare and other services.)

If readers want to read, good, evidence-based critiques of govt policies, not the usual rhetorical rubbish that appears from most of the usual suspects most of the time, Uncle Leong excepted, follow “Lam Keong Yeoh” on Facebook.

Related posts:

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/rewriting-lkys-views-on-fts-and-if-so-why/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/sccci-sme-survey-proves-lkys-point/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/when-55-of-voters-were-fts/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/alternative-to-fts/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/alternative-to-fts-ii/

——
*No disrespect to Tammy and other dogs.
**OK, OK, I exaggerate. But if the govt and its allies can exaggerate, why can’t I?

BBC says cleaners can afford maids

In Economy, Humour on 22/10/2013 at 1:57 pm

Even our nation-building, cfonstructive media’s journalists or editors don’t talk such rubbish.

“But the forced saving scheme and social housing mean that even cleaners live in reasonable housing and employ their own foreign live-in maid,” writes a BBC economics journalist, admittedly relatively newish and whose blog postings have been criticised. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24606989).

She based this comment on Office cleaner Liew Siew Giok [who] works all day on her feet but goes home to a meal cooked by her Burmese maid. She lives with her extended family, who pay for the domestic help and her flat.

Her secret? She lives with her extended family, who pay for the domestic help and her flat. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24339815)

So S’poreans, this BBC reporter is saying life is gd. Stop bitching. Come next Ge, vote PAP!

Easy to avoid “xenophobe” label

In Humour, Uncategorized on 21/10/2013 at 4:47 am

I waz planning to grumble about (I assume unintentional) implications of: There are plenty of xenophobic people these days who rail unjustly against foreigners and cite them for alleged misconduct which they themselves might be guilty of at some other place and time. Whilst these people should be taken to task, it is equally unfair to use the “xenophobic” label to tar others who are merely speaking up against government policies and genuine grievances, but who may not phrase themselves with exactly the right amount of nuance and sensitivity.

It is very easy to be labelled as a xenophobe. All you have to do is to say “Singaporeans should come first”.(http://www.sgpolitics.net/?p=8546)

But, in I’m sure, a different context context, Vincent Wijeysingha expressed my sentiments better than I ever could (I never faced racism when in the UK or Oz, maybe ’cause I waz in the “right” environment), and a lot faster too. See below for a longish quote from Vincent Wijeysingha and the link to his piece*.

So, I’ll confine myself to suggestions on how avoiding getting labelled a xenophobe when criticising the govt’s pro-FT stance. In this age of cut & paste, it’s easy for those who may not phrase themselves with exactly the right amount of nuance and sensitivity can use the words of Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Dr Chee to avoid the use the “xenophobic” label.

Remember Dr Tan’s slogan for the 2011 presidential election that he lost by a very short nose? “Think Singaporean first”. People could say, “The govt/ we should Think Singaporean first’…” or “Rather than its pro-FT policy, the govt should adopt Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s Think Singaporean first’ …”

Dr Chee’s, “A word of caution, I ask all of us here in Singapore to be the people that we truly are, the tolerant people that we are and if we attack, we attack the policy, we point out the flaws in the policy, not against the people who are here for work.”, can be simplified to “We disagree with the govt’s pro-FT policy, not the foreigners working here. We are unhappy with the “FTs first, citizens last” attitude of the govt because …”

I’m assuming that after using these phrases, users don’t talk of “molest” cases increasing because of the presence of FTs (Gilbert Goh), or linking violence and crime to the increasing number of FTs. These are no-go areas if one one’s to avoid the  “xenophobe” label. Talk about the suppression of the wages of local PMETs, stagnating real wage levels, overcrowded public transport and the increase in apartment rents and CoEs.

It’s easy to avoid the “xenophobe”, unless people really want to be called “xenophobes”, or are really xenophobes who pretend that their English lets them down. BTW, let’s bear in mind, that some PAPpies, on their own initiative, may be using “xenophobic” language deliberately to fix, tar S’poreans who criticise the govt’s pro-FT policy.

—–

*”To those following events in the foreigner debate, you may have noticed that the temper is gradually deteriorating. People are beginning to take views that have no relationship to the real situation. The most preposterous racism is being aired. When I lived in the UK for many years, I noticed a similar trend. It resulted, in later years, in racist assaults and eventually killings. The feeling of being frightened for your safety because of escalating racism, frightened for your security and that of your family, is unpleasant, to say the least.

Those who are serious about contributing to the population debate must begin to take responsibility for what they say and do. The action against Ranstad was misguided and wrong because it made an accusation which was not justified and it stoked further the resentment of Singaporeans already so unhappy with how things are developing. More actions of this kind will, I have no doubt, result in far worse outcomes both for foreigners in Singapore as well as for Singaporeans themselves.”

(https://www.facebook.com/notes/vincent-wijeysingha/fuck-off-back-home-foreigner/678499962167930)

Hear, Heat I say.

Why anti-PAP paper activists needn’t get shriller

In Humour, Political governance on 09/10/2013 at 4:44 am

A rabid anti-PAP paper activist posted this on Facebook:

LHL is out of touch with reality on the ground. It is very clear that he has refused to learn.

Now no matter whether he cry, say sorry, beg for forgiveness – Aljunied & Punggol East will be repeated all over Singapore in 2016.

He was referring to PM’s tv appearance on 24 September. There were lots of similar comments on Facebook and on TRE and TOC (Surprising very few people post on TRS, making its claim that it represents the real S’porean sound true, apathetically and KS). Increasingly, the tone of many of the “usual suspects” including many of the the Magnificent 7, are getting shriller and shriller, and angrier and angrier. Are they trying to drown out their doubts that maybe the govt is winning the battle of ideas and votes?

Maybe the anti-PAP paper activists are realising that the govt has realised that for many S’poreans especially the PMETs the link between economic growth and living standards is broken, and is trying hard to addressing the issue (Related http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/trust-has-to-regained-pm/). (Worse, perhaps, the govt has read that a Nobel prize winner in  economics, Stiglitz, makes a very bold assertion that inequality is economically inefficient and that it’s bad for society? And now believes in pursuing a more equal society, rather than juz chasing for votes.)

In the words of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), a govt-funded think tank, in its Oct Asean Monitor

The National Day Rally Speech in August offered the clearest indication to date of how the People’s Action Party will try to win back the ground that it lost in the 2011 general elections. With tweaks to the national health insurance scheme, to housing subsidies for the middle class and to primary school admissions and national examinations, the ruling party has opted to recalibrate social and welfare policies to address middle-class concerns instead of relaxing its stance on civil liberties or freedom of expression. Having chosen this path, it may not be inappropriate to expect more populist policy shifts, designed to appeal to the middle ground, in the run-up to the 2016 elections.

Interestingly, it goes on to say

These policy tweaks were, in part, the result of public feedback gleaned from the year-long nationwide public clinics collectively known as Our Singapore Conversation. While understandably touted by government leaders and the local media as a sign of more consultative politics, the litmus test will be whether such conversations are a one-off event and whether divergent public desires and government interests can ever be reconciled.

So our paper activists still can dream on that the PAP will lose support. So chill out a little, to avoid health problems. After all, assuming they are mostly ordinary S’poreans, if they get strokes or cardiac attacks, they will have to use the “subsidised” healthcare system. I’m sure that that tot when suffering a stroke or heart attack, will make them even angrier, and sicker, making the attack worse. They are using the very system that they “condemn”. Of course, they may all have expensive private healthcare insurance like the elite, though I doubt it.

The report then highlights a fault line that the anti-PAP activists ignore because they are in the main on the side of the social activists (a notable exception is Berrie, the Muslim bear from S’pore and Canada).

With a promising GDP forecast for this year, the economy will take a back seat to emerging socio political issues. One such issue is the struggle between gay rights activists and moral conservatives.

This tension has existed for some time, but a recent request from pastors for an audience with the law minister after the latter met with a gay rights group suggests that the push-back from moral conservatives will grow stronger. Another emerging issue is the increasingly political nature of heritage conservation in the city-state. With heritage issues now fronted more and more by the young and well educated, the key question is whether heritage will become a vote winner for the youth demographic.

It then talks of an issue close to the hearts of social activists, and Gilbert Goh and friends, for different reasons: Finally, civil society’s response in the aftermath of the November 2012 bus strike by several Chinese drivers suggests that the championing of social justice for vulnerable migrant workers — the likes of which Singapore has not seen since the 1980s — is now re-emerging as a pertinent issue.

It ends with hope for the paper activists who “die,die” want the PAP out:  Key points: The demand for greater political pluralism will continue to grow. The question is how different interests can be managed or, indeed, if they require state intervention at all.

So anti-PAP paper activists, time to sound less shrill, and less full of hate. A govt statutory board is telling you history is on yr side. Change is a’coming. If you want the new S’pore to reflect yr values, be rational, not emotional. Could even help you avoid having to use the healthcare system you hate.

MoM did the right thing BUT wrong

In Humour, Public Administration on 07/10/2013 at 4:44 am

to caution Khong’s church that the church was embarking on a confrontational approach” when Khong & his gang want a judicial review, even though they are judgemental clowns who discredit other Christians

I don’t take issue with netizens’ views on the clownish, bigoted, unforgiving and boorish behaviour of pastor Khong and his gang.

I can’t stop laughing at a polo-playing pastor getting worked up over a church employee giving birth when married to the baby’s hubbie when his own daughter had a baby outside marriage. I mean the parents were in holy matrimony even though the baby was conceived before the marriage. And his daughter’s life-style fits the image of polo as a sport of the decadent, spoiled and sexually active rich: ask the Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, his ex-mistress. Par for the course, you would have tot for a polo-playing pastor: a daughter enjoying sex outside holy matrimony and having a baby outside holy matrimony. And he not preventing it, as any Asian parent would do.

Most appropriate, if true, that a civil servant at MoM told him off by referring to his daughter’s life-style. If he can’t get his daughter not to do premarital sex or have a kid outside marriage, why should he insist on punishing someone else for having consensual sex outside marriage (I mean this is not Saudi Arabia or bible-belt America, but a wannabe global city), and who has a baby inside marriage. Better behaved than polo-playing Khong’s daughter. Doesn’t his bible say:

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

– And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

– For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

Maybe, his bible got these passages removed as haram?

I support MoM’s stand on the case*. But disagree when Manpower Ministry “caution the church that it [the church] was embarking on a confrontational approach” over the matter. (ST report)

As lawyers quoted by Today said:

Mr Abraham Vergis said: “What is ordinarily an employment law matter is now being recast in terms of the constitutional right of a church to manage its religious affairs. This challenge has the potential to become a landmark case depending on how the courts address the questions raised.”

Another lawyer, Mr Chia Boon Teck, felt that should the court’s ruling allow for an exception for religious organisations with regard to the employment laws, “the wider implication may be that other religious bodies would also argue that the authorities not interfere with how they deal with their staff”, a point Mr Khong also acknowledged in his media statement.

And there are allegations that MoM did not follow the rules of natural justice.

So, as he and the church are filthy rich, why shouldn’t the church go to court? Khong and friends may be clownish bigots but they too got rights, juz like Dan Tan, and those whom the ang moh tua kee local human rights activists love. http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/where-use-of-isa-will-be-met-by-silence-from-the-usual-human-rights-kay-pohs/

Seriously, as we strive to become a more open society, one of the consequences that we must accept is the willingness of citizens and organisations to litigate unpopular causes. We should not “flame” those who exercise this right in circumstances, in situations, circumstances we dislike, think they are wrong, or in this case know that they are wrong.

A more open society is a place where people have the right to offend or annoy, or do things differently, or juz disagree. If you don’t like this right, don’t ask for a more open society. And go live in North Korea, or Vietnam or Saudi Arabia.

My other serious point is that S’pore is starting to forget the British strand of secularism that we inherited from our colonial masters. A vocal minority (in our constructive, nation-building media, as well as in injun territory and cowboy towns) are following the French and Turkish model of secularism (look up “anti-clericalism”) which has a very anti-religious streak. The British version ignores, disdains or overrules religious behaviour or practices, where such behaviour or practice conflict with the law, while not interfering in a person’s religious beliefs so long as they remain a matter between that person and his god. In the other version, the state and the secularists actively and aggressively promote secularism even if it interferes with personal beliefs.

In a place where issues of faith are still taken very seriously, this is a dangerous trend. Thankfully, the govt is still secular, not anti-clerical, unlike many netizens and local media journalists. And yes, even the British version as practiced here does sometimes interfere with personal beliefs like only Sikhs can wear headgear in schools. But these inconsistencies only prove the point of non-interference.

More on these clowns who give Christians a bad name:

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/oppressed-to-oppressor-pastor-khong-describes-christianitys-evolution-not-the-gays-agenda/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/faith-community-baptist-church-alleges-ag-gagging-order/

*From a Today report: Nevertheless, it felt compelled to respond, and reiterated that “many different religions co-exist and thrive” here and individuals and religious organisations are “free to practise their respective faiths”.

“However, our system of governance is a secular one and everyone has to abide by the laws of the land regardless of race, language or religion,” the MOM said. “The laws regarding employment constitute one such area. Employment laws have to be applied equally to all regardless of their religion.”

It noted that the case “was strictly a dispute between an employer and an employee, and MOM treated it as such”. “All organisations, whether they are religious or not, must abide by the same laws,” it added.

While the Constitution states that religious groups have the right to manage their own religious affairs, it excludes acts that are “contrary to any general law relating to public order, public health or morality”. In an Aug 28 statement explaining why it sanctioned the FCBC, the MOM said there was insufficient cause to support the dismissal, while noting that “we have to preserve a common secular space for people with other beliefs, and employment is one of these secular spaces”.

Hear, hear, I say.

Freight Links loaned $45m to CHC months after issuing bonds

In Corporate governance, Humour on 29/09/2013 at 10:28 am

A sharp-eyed TRE reader wrote to TRE as follows

Straits Times article dated 27 Sep reported on a $45 million new loan taken out by City Harvest Church (CHC).  The loan was not taken from any financial institution but a logistics company listed on the Singapore Exchange called Freight Links Express Holdings (FLEH).

FLEH’s core business is in freight forwarding.  To offer a loan of this size suggests its core business may have changed.  Have shareholders been notified?  At 8 per cent per annum, the interest charged by FLEH is also quite high.  But I guess CHC is desperate and will grab anything that comes along because no financial institution will offer a religious organisation a $45 million loan to purchase properties based on expected future ‘earnings’ from worshippers.
What is interesting is that FLEH had managed to raise $100 million in a Fixed Rate Note issue bearing an interest rate of 4. 6 per cent  just 4 months ago. http://www.freightlinks.net/MediaRelease/Press54.pdf  These IOUs are normally used for general corporate purposes and financing investments related to its core business, certainly not for loans. 
Business wise, it certainly does make sense to be earning 8 per cent while paying only 4.6 per cent without taking any risk.
However, this will set a precedent for every other listed companies on the exchange to stray from their core business.  Should this be allowed by the Singapore Exchange?
 
Phillip Ang
Surprising that our journalists from our “constructive”, nation-building media did not raise this corporate governance issue. Waiting for govt media briefing or telephone call to tell them what to say?
While I’m sure the transaction is perfectly legal, there is the governance issue of whether a logistics provider should become a lender to a church, albeit for a sum which is “peanuts” in the context of its financials. And there is the issue of the bond issue: normally used for general corporate purposes and financing investments related to its core business, certainly not for loans.
Restores my faith in the quality of people who read and post on TRE. Glad to see that not all readers and posters are “PAP are bastards” ranters. Maybe, they moved on to TOC or TRS?

No worries abt one-yr wait to see renal specialist

In Financial competency, Humour on 27/09/2013 at 5:00 am

I refer to http://mysingaporenews.blogspot.sg/2013/09/medical-appointments-in-world-class.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+MySingaporeNews+%28My+Singapore+News%29 and to http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/09/23/one-year-wait-to-see-specialist-at-sgh/

They are all very angry people because Ms Tay’s hubby has to wait for a year before he can see a kidney specialist.

I know someone who recently was told that he had to go to see a kidney specialist. He was then told by the girl responsible for making an appt that the waiting period was one yr if not longer. He juz shrugged his shoulders.

He was pretty relaxed abt waiting because

– He knew that there is a priority procedure for “siong’ cases. He had benefited from the priority list several yrs ago when a routine check had the doctor concerned about his eyes. He got an appt to see a specialist within weeks. I have had a similar experience.

– He also knew that the polyclinic doctors were monitoring the situation, via tests every time he renewed his medication. The doctor had told him that the dosage of one pill could be increased if necessary.

– The doctor had given him a copy of the results of his test. He was thinking of consulting a private-sector GP that he trusted to ask him what the results meant: is he in clear and imminent danger of dying, as Ms Tay seems to fear for her hubby? He could have also asked one of our mutual doctor friends, but felt piah seh.

– According to my friend, a doctor once told told him that polyclinic doctors knowing the length of the queue do put marginal cases on the waiting list juz to be kia-su: anticipative medicine that should be commended.

– If nec, he would consult a private sector specialist and then return to polyclinic with the results. The worse case would be if he got warded immediately as a private patient because things were that bad.

Be very clear, neither of us are defending the staus quo: one yr’s wait is not right, if one cannot afford to go “private’*. Especially, as there is the Toto element in the system. It is sometimes (very rarely to be fair) possible that if the polyclinic calls to make an appointment, it will be told that someone has juz cancelled and that there is a slot available say in two months. The polyclinic may grab the spot for the patient, and tell the patient that “die, die” got to go.  Conscientious staff do this even though there are consequences for the staff if the patient is daft not to take the lucky opportunity. I have heard that it does happen: daft patients who refuse to take the slot because got “other appointment” like going to beautician, or got golf game.

The system should be changed so that all such cancellations are offered to the next person in the queue. Only fair. Of course, this assumes that the IT system can cope with such changes. It may not be possible with legacy systems.

But, we are saying that she (and presumably hubby) are being too KS, and emotional. They also do not seem to trust the doctors, or the system. We don’t assume that the doctors or the system are out to fix us.

As to the comments of Redbean that a first world system shouldn’t have anyone waiting for one yr, juz google up the topic of waiting lists in the UK’s NHS system, one of the world’s finest. The issue is simple. In healthcare ,the demand is endless, resources are finite. There are two ways to handle the problem, rationing by

– wealth, the American way.

– queuing, the NHS way.

I wish Redbean, and all those TRE readers commenting on Ms Tay’s letter read what Jeremy Lim has to say http://theindependent.sg/what-singapore-did-right-and-wrong-in-health-care/, before they comment adversely on the healthcare system here. He also wrote shumething similar in ST https://www.evernote.com/shard/s1/sh/bfb5535d-4859-47f1-beb9-99270276e45f/4133391be0a8092e6d1ac8cdc39ef20b.

Read both articles. Jeremy Lim has his heart in the right place (unlike a certain sneering minister who was a doctor), but knows the practical problems of providing “affordable” healthcare.

Let’s be informed on the topic before opening our mouths. Don’t talk cock on this v. v. impt issue. Don’t use it to express cliched anti-govt or PAP cliches. Even the WP doesn’t.

*We are assuming Ms Tay’s hubbie has financial concerns but can afford to visit a private GP to ask what the test results mean. We are also assuming that they can know a gd GP, by reputation, at least. I hope they are not like a very rich neighbour who uses the public healthcare system but who is always complaining that she never sees the same specialist or GP again: always new one she complains.

It is acceptable if one is cheap-skate, or searching for “value’ person. My friend was an arbitrageur when he worked in the stockbroking industry. He believes that there are always free lunches but one mustn’t be choosy or picky. But he warns to be careful to avoid getting food poisoning. One bad case of food poisoning can wipe out the savings made, unless one goes to a polyclinic for treatment.

TRE to blame?

In Humour on 25/09/2013 at 5:21 am

The appointment of SMRT’s security chief as its new PR chief* reminded me that In a letter dated 3 September 2013, a TRE reader sent in a complaint about some PRC FTs at a MRT station

They were eating foods such as Biscuits, Cakes, Lychees, Bananas and Apples, taken out from several boxes and plastic bags. The lychees peeled skins were littered on the concrete bench/seat. They were also shouting loudly in a distinct China’s Chinese accent. I also observed that they were loitering; not boarding any trains travelling towards Joo Koon or Woodlands MRT. They were literally having a picnic.

I did not stop them to minimise the possibility of myself getting hurt, as I have read several reports of China nationals attacking Singaporean Police officers. e.g. (source: TR Emeritus)

He complained to the SMRT staff but didn’t know the outcome as he had to catch his train and TRE wrote: Editor’s note: A letter has been sent to SMRT for comments on why the foreigners were not fined on the spot.

Maybe the SMRT person too read TRE’s reports of aggressive PRC behaviour and decided he too didn’t want to get beaten up, juz like the letter writer? There was an incident also reported by TRE about a PRC PR shop assistant who beat up a SMRT officer because the officer had stopped her son for trying to avoid paying.

So maybe TRE should be more careful in highlighting PRCs aggressive behaviour towards S’poreans to avoid unnecessarily frightening S’poreans.

Wonder if SMRT ever replied to TRE?

*Let’s hope this ex-cop improves on this

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/smrt-another-breakdown/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/smrt-is-in-the-biz-of-transporting-people/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/smrt-svp-is-great-believer-in-shareholder-value/

Why rising inequality shows that things are working

In Economy, Humour, Political economy, Political governance on 24/09/2013 at 4:52 am

No, not the PAP or one of its running dogs talking; but the Economist (Err OK it is part PAPpy friendly ecosystem http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/sporeans-avoiding-low-paid-jobs-are-not-lazy-or-daft-juz-rational/, on economic and financial matters, though not when it comes to things like human rights, hanging, democracy, drugs, gays and media freedom.)

The regeneration of Manchester regeneration hasn’t benefited the whole population of the city equally. This is certainly true. The authors of the Manchester Independent Economic Review, published in 2009, found that in the first decade of the new millennium, while in absolute terms, every part of the city improved, inequality in the city had actually sharply increased. The richest bits of the city got richer at a much faster pace than the poorest bits.

I’m not sure that is a bad thing however. Even if we accept that growing inequality across the country is a bad thing, in this case, it strikes me as evidence of success. After all, as this Work Foundation report found, the most equal parts of Britain are towns such as Burnley and Sunderland. Those places are not more equal because the money is spread out more fairly. They’re more equal simply because everyone is poor. Manchester’s growing inequality, like London’s, is proof that it has managed to create well-paying jobs for at least a minority of its population.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/blighty/2013/09/manchester

Surprised our constructive, nation-building media, and the Breakfast Network and Independent are not telling us that rising inequality shows things are working. Maybe the media are waiting for media guidance.

But unlike Manchester, S’pore doesn’t have Manchester’s culture life that students find attractive: Cultural life feeds off economic success. After all, Burnley and Sunderland are not known for their great independent record shops and nightclubs. And it doesn’t have too EPL teams. BTW, for MU fans, the explanation for the defeat is simple: Allah and the Pope had the better of Yahweh on Sunday.

On the clubbing scene attracting students, I knew a German gal who chose to study in Manchester because of the nightclubs. She hated the weather though when she got there. BTW, while she was a party animal, she did very well in the IB exams, a perfect score.

Related posts:

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/the-pap-govt-has-lost-output-legitimacy-discuss/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/ingratitude-uniquely-sporean-blame-the-internet-not-really/

Oppressed to Oppressor: Pastor Khong describes Christianity’s evolution, not the gays’ agenda

In Humour on 18/09/2013 at 5:17 am

I was chuckling over an old favourite, “Terry Jones’ Barbarians: An Alternative Roman History”came across on FB a few weeks ago.  After some searching, I found the piece.

TOC reported on FB: Pastor Lawrence Khong, on why he disagrees with repealing s377A:

“They first ask for tolerance. Tolerance means: Don’t bully me, don’t make me a criminal. The minute you take that away, they will ask for acceptance, in the form of gay marriage. And then, before long, they will go for celebration of the lifestyle. I’m talking about the gay pride days all around the world. Then the next thing you know, they will persecute those who disagree with them, by labeling those disagreements as hate speech. We have seen that path. Singapore does not need to go that way. I do not believe this is good for any society. And I will stand firm because I love my nation very much.”

Edward Gibbon and many other reputable historians (Christians among them), and Terry Jones (film director, comic and writer with a deep knowledge of medieval European history) would agree that this as a pretty accurate description of how a form of Christianity became the dominant, intolerant religion of a declining Roman empire.

Christianity was one of the many religions in the early days of the Roman empire. However, aggressive, loud-mouth, intolerant leaders gave the religion a bad name because of the perceived intolerance of Christians towards other religions and a hedonistic life-style (that included acceptance of gays group sex, chariot racing and other equestrian sports, single mums, and heavy drinking). Roman emperors (good and bad) fed them to the lions, crucified them, or, more usually, threw them into prison for breaking the law. Christians had a reputation of rioting and smashing the idols of other religions. Juz read the Roman historians of the time: gd conservative, sober men, not into anal sex or homosexuality or other aspects of a hedonistic life-style. Some of these historians were the presiding magistrates who threw Christians into jail for intolerant and aggressive behaviour.

The moderate Christians (not wanting to die for the actions of these zealots) asked for tolerance. Tolerance means: Don’t bully me, don’t make me a criminal.

It worked as Christians were increasingly seen as respectable, if looney, folks. It appealed to the wives of the Roman elite because Christianity discouraged anal sex (in fact all sex except to produce new souls), marital infidelity, heavy partying and throwing money on pursuits like equestrian sports. It believed in the frugal life, a throw-back to the empire-builders. Keeping the zealots under control also helped because the complaints from devotees of other religions ceased: their temples were no longer being attacked by the zealots.

Then, Christianity was credited for Constantine becoming emperor: God apparently told him that if his soldiers carried Christian signs on their shields and standards, they would defeat his enemies. He made Christianity the official religion of the empire, but practiced the usual Roman tolerance towards all religions that didn’t try to subvert the empire.

Then the intolerant, aggressive Christian leaders appeared again out of the woodwork, and Then the next thing you know, they … persecute those who disagree with them, by labeling those disagreements as hate speech. The laws against blasphemy were the Roman equivalent of the laws against hate speech.

This happened when a form of Christianity, Catholicism, became the official religion of the by then declining Roman empire. Other Christian groups like the Arians, and all other religions were persecuted by the Catholic Church.

So Khong is right when he said We have seen that path.

Christianity did it first. So if the gays do it to the likes of Khong, it’s divine retribution neh?

For the record, while Khong has the courage to rant about 377A* (where he is on the same side as the govt), he is as silent as a church mouse on abortion and Islam. In the US, people like him oppose gay tolerance, abortion, and Islam publicly and loudly. He only opposes the one issue that will not him get into trouble with the govt. Wonder why? Maybe he supports abortion and believes in being nice to Muslims, unlike his brethren in the US?

Or is he juz cowardly and hypocritical, only opposing something he knows the govt opposes?

Interestingly, after a lot of wayang, his church wimped out in a row with the govt. http://sg.news.yahoo.com/church-pays–7-000-compensation-for-dismissed-pregnant-staff-who-had-affair-162329331.html

The church is also no stronger to exaggeration or sliming http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/faith-community-baptist-church-alleges-ag-gagging-order/

Related: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/pastor-lawrence-khong-sues-polo-club-after-suspension?page=0%2C0

—–

*For the record, I support the govt’s stance on 377A, as a decent attempt to do the right thing by two opposing views.

“Cheaper” to build F1 track

In Humour, Infrastructure on 08/09/2013 at 6:21 am

Netizens in July were making comments about a SMRT river training for F1 following a tragic accident when a bus alleged to be speeding overturned. The driver (apparently an FT PRC) claims the brakes didn’t work. http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/07/24/smrt-bus-crash-at-dairy-farm-road-actual-video-of-crash/. Nothing further has emerged.

For us lesser mortals, when F1 comes to town, those of us who have to work, have the inconvenience of blocked roads and altered bus routes. And the shops at Suntec have to deal with falling biz. All this so that S’pore doesn’t have to build a proper F1 track. Guess we now know why only Monaco, Montreal and S’pore have street races: peanuts compared to the number on permanent circuits. The public are inconvenienced, and the public cannot be upset even in countries where the people can’t vote for the govt ruling them. BTW, in Montreal, the street race ain’t in the heart of the city, and in Monaco, people commute by helicopters and boats too (at least the rich do).

It’s not as though there is a huge savings gap. In fact it’s more expensive to stage a street race, even without taking account of the economic losses.

However, the annual running costs of a street race are greater than those of one on a permanent circuit: temporary grandstands need to be built and the roads need to be upgraded to F1′s high safety standards. The biggest single expense for the operators is staffing (c£10m), followed by rental of grandstands (c£8m) and construction of safety barriers and fencing (c£5m). 

In total, the annual operating cost of an F1 street race is in the region of £36m. Then comes the hosting fee, which is paid to the F1 rights holder. The average hosting fee came to £17m in 2011 but the sting in the tail of the contracts is that the price accelerates by as much as 10 per cent every year. Most new F1 race contracts are for ten years, so by the end of the agreement the annual fee comes to around £40m thanks to the escalator clause in the contract. That means that over the ten-year duration the bill for hosting fees totals an estimated £272m (see below) with the cost of running the races coming to £360m. That makes a total over ten years of more than £600m.

With annual running costs that are far lower than those for a street race, the total cost of building a Grand Prix circuit and hosting an F1 race over a ten-year period comes in at around £560m. But promoters need to dig deep to fund that initial track construction… http://www.babusinesslife.com/Ideas/Features/The-cost-of-hosting-a-Formula-1-Grand-Prix.html … how much the key elements of a brand new Grand Prix circuit are likely to cost… [£164m]

So the difference is spending S$80m more over 10 yrs to “save” on the cost of building a permanent track. Of course, I ‘m assuming the cost of the circuit land is zero or nominal. But this being S’pore where giving away the land for public housing would be “raiding the reserves” (Mah Bow Tan), this is a non-starter. Anyway the usual suspects would shout “corruption” even if the govt was willing to lease land at a nominal price.

So, the end result is that the “little people” who have to commute by way of public transport, get screwed, So waz new?

(Related post: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/f1-sharing-the-1bn-in-value-add-with-the-losers/)

But let’s look on the bright side like Brian Cohen in the Life of Brian. Suffering a lingering, painful death by cruxification, Brian’s spirits were lifted by others crucified along with him, who sang “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”.

Hopefully SMRT and SBS are tapping F1 to make our tpt system more reliable and efficient. In the UK, train and bus companies have started working with the Williams Formula One team to help improve their service.

The companies are buying advice and equipment to make their vehicles more reliable, something every passenger in the land will be grateful for.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23132335

At the moment, SMRT’s only links with F1 is that the previous CEO drove a Ferrari, and is alleged to have had a Mercedes super car. Maybe when Desond Kwek and his ex-SAF mgrs want to buy super cars with their mega-bonuses, Williams could call them to see if something win-win can be arranged for them, Williams and SMRT? Free sex is no longer an option after recent corruption court cases.

SMRT might be interested in this: talking train window ads

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23167112

I mean its CEO is claiming that its business model is not sustainable i.e. he can’t raise fares to cover the costs of salaries and maintenance. Cut dividends leh? As at end February 2012, SMRT has paid SMRT paid S$562.79m in dividends to Temasek since its listing.

(Another way of raising $http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/how-smrt-can-spend-more-on-maintenance-while-contd-paying-gd-dividends/)

Finally, great video that shows guy driving round Manhattan at speeds that breaks the law. http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2013/sep/06/manhattan-island-24-minutes-video. Driver records 24-minute fastest lap around Manhattan

Great party, gd for the Party?

In Humour, Political governance on 28/08/2013 at 5:00 am

“We should mark the occasion properly, 50 years is a significant milestone … I don’t think we should just have a fireworks display and a party, I think that would not be at the right level,” said PM recently.

A friend (not a PAPpy, though a fat cat in more ways than one (a car-owning, pauncy lawyer working in an investment bank and a landlord to boot) wrote on FB: “I am ENORMOUSLY EXCITED about #sg50 and if you like me are a child of #Singapore, I hope you are too!”

My reply: Don’t you think that a dominant underlying (but subtle) theme would be that “He who cannot be named” isn’t so bad after all? You can’t do indi celebrations about S’pore without [mentioning] HIM  can you? It will be interesting to see if the Barisan Socialists get credit for arguing before the referendum that S’pore could be independent on its own. I doubt it, a certain fat cat is more likely to lose weight first. ))) BTW, party followed by GE?

Of course the PM doesn’t juz want have “a fireworks display and a party”. He will want to use the occasion to rebrand and detoxify the PAP so that S’pore can remain a de-facto one party state. As he is a smart man, though not a creatively smart man, he will

– continue giving out more goodies using our money (watch out for that special bonus of peanuts); and

– remind the people of the role that his dad and the PAP played in getting us to the 50-year mark in pretty gd shape. Let’s face it, there are serious problems here, but as the FT recently wrote, they are the problems associated with success*.

And as a filial son** and leader of the PAP , he would want to rehabilitate the battering that his dad’s image has been getting. Nothing better than to remind S’poreans of the role LKY played in helping get us to first world status.

(Aside, The funny but sad thing is that the books that dad has been writing with the help of a team from the nation-building ST, have contributed a lot to the negative image that his dad seems to have among younger S’poreans. Maybe the ST journalists are covert subversives, guiding him to self-harm his image? Remember that LKY’s acolyte, Wong Kan Seng, once decried, and I agreed with him, some ST journalists as anti-Christians? Maybe, they anti LKY and anti-PAP?)

For my part, I look forward to the goodies (nice to know I’m get back something for the taxes I used to pay, and the GST I kanna still pay) but I will occasionally remind myself and readers that:

– it’s our money the govt is spending to make us happier and more comfortable;

– the end-game of the party, commemoration is continued dominance of the People’s Action Party (not too bad if it keeps PritamS from a cabinet post);

– the PAP’s narrative that the mainstream media will be bleating on loudly about, is not the only narrative: there are others equally worthy to celebrate or least listen listen to;

– LKY was the leader of a gd team, not the action man (stronger than Putin), superhero (a combi of Superman and Captain America), sage (great than Confucious) that he is likely to be made out to be by the local media.

And oh yes, I will remind self and readers, to now and then, ask the PM, “Will GST be raised after the next GE?” And listen carefully to the reply. I’m sure, he won’t say, “No rise” or “Yes, sure to go up” but the ambiguity of the answer is impt in deciding whether to drink his Kool-Aid.

Enjoy the party, congratulate ourselves and the PAP; but remember to throw some sand into the machinery PAP’s propaganda machine. Treat the sand throwing as part of the party’s fun and games.

*And those who keep on ranting that S’pore was the second biggest port in Asia, implying by that comment, that life was gd at the time, should read the book, I reviewed here, containing reports written for a London magazine between 1958 and 1962, or at least click my review. S’pore had a large budget deficit, there was high unemployment, no-one wanted to buy S’pore govt bonds despite the gd yield, workers were striking because the just elected PAP govt was pro-union, and one Toh Chin Chye said, “[W]e disagree that that the survival of Singapore depend on foreign capital, and capitalists …”

Related: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/when-55-of-voters-were-fts/

**I’m sure the rumours that he told his dad to sit down and shut up after his dad’s “repent” comments during the 2011 GE campaign, must upset the PM: Asians don’t do such things. And correcting dad about his Hard Truth on Malay Muslims, when the Malay minister, and the minister’s sister (present when LKY made the remarks) kept quiet, must have hurt PM. They should have have done the right thing and corrected LKY. So rehabilitating dad’s image is gd politically and for PM personally.

What Palmer, Peter Lim, Boon Gay & Tey shld read

In Humour on 18/08/2013 at 1:36 pm

And so should Yaw; and Howard Shaw, Spencer Gwee and all those adults found guilty of having sex with a minor. In fact for all horny men.

10 rules for keeping your penis out of trouble

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/07/10-rules-managing-penis-sexting-wine-toaster

New citizens: Is the govt naive or cynical?

In Humour, Political governance on 09/08/2013 at 4:38 am

New citizen Raj may be attending something like this party (at tax-payers’ expense, but then he too pays tax) http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-31/other-news/40913953_1_singapore-island-indian-community-gala.

But I suspect, he and his family, are celebrating by desecrating our flag (the PRC flag “r” ours) in the most disgusting manner possible, while laughing at the PAP govt that gave him citizenship, and cooking a nasty smelling curry to upset their S.porean HDB neighbours. Lest readers forget, new citizen Raj boasted to TOC that his son was set to avoid NS while still being to then become a FT PR. I wish the defence minister would close this loop-hole. Instead he seems to prefer to play the DRUMS (Distortions, Rumours, Untruths, Misinformation and Smears) to the beat of RAVI (Recriminations, Accusations, Vilifications & Insinuations (or is it Insults?).

Come to think of it, if Raj is such a devious man, he could be avoiding or evading paying his taxes. Taz talent for you.

Seriously, a friend who has spent many, many yrs working overseas, returning home ten yrs ago with a family, is not surprised that new citizens will be loyal to their new country.

He said although he had worked for many yrs in a foreign country, he wouldn’t have had the slightest hesitation to leave that country if there were problems there. Why should the govt here expect FTs to behave any differently, juz because they get S’pore citizenship, he asks? He said even if he had been given foreign citizenship, he would have cut and run if there was trouble. He doesn’t expect our new FT citizens to behave any differently. More fool the govt if it believes that they will defend S’pore, he says.

He made these points loud and clear when attending a session organised by a govt related think-tank. He actually wasn’t invited because it was organised for FTs. But his wife, a FT, received an invitation, and suggested to him that the event was his kind of do, especially as he would know many of the S’poreans from the think-tank. He did, including the boss.

So is the govt naive when it believes and assures us that new citizens will do the right thing by S’pore? Or is it cynical, wanting them only because it hopes they will drive economic growth by providing competition to local PMETs thereby keeping a cap on wage costs? Even some PAP MPs seem to think that FT provide unfair competition http://news.xin.msn.com/en/singapore/local-pmets-continued-to-face-unfair-foreign-competition-say-mps

BTW, my friend tells me that his son will do NS, after he finishes poly. I had told him I was disappointed to hear Yaacob, the Spin and Malay minister, say several yrs ago that he would encourage his son to do NS. His son, like my friend’s son, can opt out of being a citizen, thereby avoiding NS.

Have a gd day. And don’t curse the PAP and LKY  today. They too are S’poreans. And Cursing or being angry at the PAP and LKY, is like cursing or being angry at a Sith Lord. It only makes them stronger. They thrive on hatred.

Don’t feel guilty if you enjoy the spectacle. You paid for it. Don’t feel guilty too if you don’t go to Hong Lim to protest celebrate the people’s way. S’pore’s a broad church and the PAP govt ain’t that intolerant.

Majullah Singapura to you.

The blogging 7 & Magnificent 7, the movie

In Humour, Internet on 02/08/2013 at 4:53 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMxT5YFMigo&feature=youtu.be is making the rounds on Facebook. It’s about the seven tua kee bloggers chosen by the constructive, nation-building ST as representative of all that is bad about the new media and the internet, thereby justifying Yaacob’s laws.

I’m a fan of the movie, and the film it was based on “The Seven Samurai”. Usually remakes are not as gd as the original, but the Magnificent 7 is an exception.

Well what can our 7 bloggers* learn from watching the movie?

For starters, this line “It seemed to be a good idea at the time”. This was said when the seven were discussing what to do next after being betrayed by the farmers they were defending. They had agreed to defend the farmers against bandits in return for food and housing, and the quote refers to that decision.

When Alex Au, P Ravi or any of the others next have a row with the authorities, they should remember this line and analyse what led to the row. Sometimes, based on their reactions to govt criticism or worse, I don’t think that they do reflection.

Something for bachelors Alex Tan (“like a son to Mrs Chiam”), Andrew Loh, Alex Au and Remy Choo  to think about, substituting “blog” for “gun”: Don’t you ever say that again about your fathers, because they are not cowards. You think I am brave because I carry a gun; well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility, for you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there’s nobody says they have to do this. They do it because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery. That’s why I never even started anything like that… that’s why I never will.

Likewise, P Ravi whose motto is “Live like a Legend”, and Richard Wan might want to think of putting the material well-being and peace of mind of their families first, rather than making fighting for “truth and justice” a priority. They (truth and justice) may be the American way (Ravi’s a fan of Superman) or the way of Confucius (Richard’s a scholar and from a prominent Chinese school when it still had not been bastardised), but never have been part of the system here from the time Raffles founded S’pore.

Next, our bloggers should always be thinking of the odds they are facing:

Chris: There’s a job for six men, watching over a village, south of the border.

O’Reilly: How big’s the opposition?

Chris: Thirty guns.

O’Reilly: I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.

And how to make the odds less uneven:

Harry Luck: The odds are too high.

Chris: Much too high.

Harry Luck: Then we go?

Chris: No; we lower the odds.

Then there is the likelihood of betrayal by fellow S’poreans. After chasing away the bandits, the heroes were betrayed to the bandits by the farmers, though in the end the farmers joined in the fight against the bandits when the seven returned to the village determined to rid the village of the bandits despite the farmers choosing to let the bandits in. Got to to be some lesson there: Saving S’poreans from themselves against their will?

Finally three more quotes:

– Here’s something that the bandit chief said that PM should think about–

Generosity… that was my first mistake. I leave these people a little bit extra, and then they hire these men to make trouble. It shows you, sooner or later, you must answer for every good deed.

I’m sure many netizens would say that PM’s dad never made that mistake.

You must excuse them. They are farmers here. They are afraid of everyone and everything. They are afraid of rain and no rain. The summer may be too hot, the winter too cold.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Even if there are no farmers in S’pore.

If God did not want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.

Could be the PAP about S’poreans. In the movie, it was the bandit chief talking about the farmers.

—-

*I would omit Alex Tan and that New Nation chap from my list of S’pore’s seven top bloggers. Alex Tan claims he doesn’t blog much nowadays and I doubt he had much influence when he was mouthing expletives and doing stunts. The New Nation is not even funny. Uncle Leong and E-Jay are part of the Magnificent Seven: that fight like 700.

But then I suspect that one criteria of getting on ST’s list is that the bloggers (or their publications) that ST featured must have had some notoriety or run in with the authorities. Uncle Leong and E-Jay, for all their influence, have kept their noses clean. Nothing to slime them with, unlike the seven featured. In fact, I suspect that’s why Alex featured. He, and his publications, give bloggers a bad name. And the NN guy was featured to show how pretentious bloggers can be.

Why Yaacob should imitate Tom Cruise

In Humour, Internet, Political governance on 21/07/2013 at 6:53 am

And join the Church of Scientology. Or since apostasy* is punishable by death in Islam, he should sub-contract to the Church of Scientology. the govt’s attempts to make sure we get the “right” news from the web, so that we support the “right” party with the “right” politics; never mind if it has the “unright” policies, like preferring FTs to locals.

Here’s why he shold sub-contract to the Church : They’re kind of innovators in finding ways to censor the internet,” Dr Martin Poulter University of Bristol

Last month digital rights activists at the influential Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) placed the Church of Scientology into their hall of shame over what it says were repeated acts against internet freedoms.

It was just the latest twist in the Church’s long-running feud with “negative” Scientology content online, one that has lasted almost two decades.

Back in May 1994, at a time when most major organisations were yet to figure out how exactly to deal with the relatively unknown power of the internet, the Church’s Elaine Siegel had a few ideas, outlined in a leaked email to “all Scientologists on the internet”.

“I would like to ask your assistance in getting each one of you to post positive messages on the internet (at least once a week, more if you like), about Scientology,” she wrote.

“If you imagine 40-50 Scientologists posting on the internet every few days, we’ll just run the SP’s [ex-members] right off the system.

“It will be quite simple, actually.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23273109

But, perhaps not, because despite its attempts to control the flow of info on the net about the Church:

According to some measures, the Church is suffering from declining membership. Many who leave the Church are now more able to speak out – particularly with the help of blogs and social media, a threat that even the most intensive use of copyright laws struggles to touch.

“Founder L Ron Hubbard told them how to do everything in life,” reflects Dr Poulter from Wikipedia.

“But he didn’t leave any instructions on how to handle the internet.” The Hard Truths don’t. likewise, tell the PAPpies how to handle the internet.

Since there’s no manual on how to successfully control the flow of info on the web, maybe the govt should juz be pragmatic, and accept that it doesn’t have the power to restrict the flow of info on the net. Information on the net is like water.

And since I’m on Yaacob and the govt’s attempt to control the flow on the internet, here’s something on Yaacob’s law.

In his recent parliamentary comments,Yaacob Ibrahim, minister for Communications and Information, said he was “puzzled” by the Asia Internet Coalition’s statements*. The new licensing regime “has nothing to do with doing business in Singapore. It is about holding certain websites to a higher level of responsibility,” he said.

For someone who went to RI and Stamford, I can only hope that he is pretending to be “puzzled’. Because if he is really, really puzzled, it reflects badly on the calibre of RI boys who are cabinet ministers (I mean Hng Kiang is not exactly a shining example of the species).

It’s obvious why an industry body representing eBay Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Salesforce and Yahoo Inc is concerned**. Its members make money using information (i.e. news) in one form or other. For Google, Yahoo and Facebook, they make money   via ads. For eBay it is via fees. Any possibility of information being restricted is worrying for these big companies, and for their govt, the US govt***, even if for the moment the penalties for breaking S’pore’s regulations are “peanuts”.

The other reason why these companies (and the US govt) are concerned is that S’pore is a “thought leader”, in mgt consultants’ speak, when it comes to making sure the media reports the “right” news (Witness its ranking in the press freedom index). It’s attempts to make sure the right news is told is worrying for global information companies because other countries might try to follow suit. Then problems may result. Say Indonesia has a similar regulation. Come another haze problem, Yahoo may have to obey S’pore and Indonesia in reporting the “right” information. And the countries may disagree on what is “right”. Whatever it does, Yahoo will upset someone.

——

*Apparently following the Way of Hard Truths doesn’t amount to conversion out of Islam, even though it involves deification of the Hard Truths.

**In an open letter published last month, the Asia Internet Coalition—an industry body representing eBay Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., Salesforce and Yahoo Inc.—criticized the new rules as “onerous, regressive and untenable in practice,” arguing that they have “negatively impacted Singapore’s global image as an open and business-friendly country.”

“The current vague and broad terms in the regulation and implementation will hamper innovation and deter industry growth,” such as by placing a “financial risk” upon potential Internet start-ups, said the coalition, which lobbies for free and open Internet access. The new rules “could presage a more restrictive attitude to the Internet [and] set a precedent for more restrictive regimes around the region,” it added. http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/07/08/singapore-defends-new-internet-rules/?mod=WSJBlog

Reminder:- A “Singapore news programme” is any programme (i.e, a programme is a production) containing any news, intelligence, report of occurrence, or any matter of public interest, about any social, economic, political, cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific or any other aspect of Singapore in any language, but does not include any programme produced by or on behalf of the Government.

***The US State Department issued a statement expressing its “deep concerns” about what it called a “new restrictive law” in Singapore for licensing news websites. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “We urge Singapore to ensure that freedom of expression is protected in accordance with its international obligations and commitments.”

“We are concerned… to see Singapore applying press restrictions to the online world.”

PAP’s “right” politics defined

In Economy, Humour, Political governance on 09/07/2013 at 5:48 am

When TRE republished this (where I pointed out PM did not define what he meant by the “right” politics, Orang Miskin posted:

 The PAP’s definition of “right” politics:

 • Always be ready to fix the opposition

• Avoid meaningful debates, stage wayangs to fool voters

• Appoint yes-men into Parliament

• Surround yourself with sycophants, cronies and overpaid army “generals” and “admirals”

• Occasionally whack some young people to teach others a lesson, to silence or intimidate them

• Hide statistics/information from the people

• Surreptitiously flood the country with foreigners without authorisation from voters

• Abdicate state responsibility for taking care of the poor and elderly

• Let males become MPs who have not served NS

BTW, based on his other postings, I think OM is a retired SPH journalist from the old days. Glad to see another imperial storm trooper (keyboard regiment) from the Dark Side becoming Jedi, even if he is anon Jedi.

Another post read

PAP is very bad politics:

July 6, 2013 at 6:45 pm (Quote)

Under LHL PAP is (very) bad politics. Want proof? See below.

(1) low productivity of Singapore economy

(2) low birth rate which started from LKY’s “Stop at 2” policy

(3) depressed local wages

(4) failing to plan for the many foreigners it allowed into Singapore

(5) shortage, “shrinking” and high cost of public housing

(6) shortage of public buses and MRT trains

(7) shortage of hospitals, doctors and nursing homes

(8) shortage of teachers and places in schools for Singaporeans

(9) gave foreigners a big advantage over Singaporeans in job market

(10) shortage of jobs for Singaporeans

(11) foreigners taking jobs away from Singaporeans

(12) frequent breakdowns of MRT trains

(13) overcrowded public transport (buses and MRT trains)

(14) bailout of public transport (failed privatisation)

(15) frequent 50-year “ponding”

(16) high cost of public housing (price doubled over the last 5 years)

(17) high inflation (Singapore now most expensive Asian city)

(18) high cost of education and healthcare

(19) high cost of electricity (failed privatisation)

(20) poor air quality as per WHO Air Quality Guidelines

(21) depleted CPF accounts after buying “affordable” HDB flats

(22) many CPF accounts below CPF Minimum Sum

(23) massive (billions) losses of taxpayers’ money by Temasek / GIC

(24) wasteful purchases by Government agencies like NParks

(25) made Singapore a “tuition nation”

(26) wages lagging behind increase in the cost of housing, education, healthcare and transport

(27) failing to provide Singaporeans with Swiss Standard of Living as promised by PAP

(28) NSF still dying during training

(29) AIM scandal showed PAP corruption

(30) PAP censoring social media and Internet

(31) PAP manipulating PSI reading to report lower readings

Actually, this poster should have said these were “wrong” policies.

And finally, this chap should start a petition to get TRE to stop republishing me:

Cynical investor = PAP:

July 6, 2013 at 11:30 pm (Quote)

Cynical investor is likely a PAP running dog. But a careful one as he/she plays both sides but leaning towards pro-PAP. That way, he will not be dismissed as a member of PAP internet brigade. We should be cynical with him/her.

Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)

He and the likers must be among those who think that voting for Dr Tan was voting for the PAP. They may even think a vote for TKL was voting for the PAP. Only voting for TJS (and Dr Chee) would satisfy them. They are members of the “PAP are always wrong, even if they are right” platoon.

BTW, the first one got a rating of 10 out of 10, and the second 12 out of 12.

Temask is halal, sort of

In Humour, Temasek on 04/07/2013 at 4:43 am
Jeffrey Fang, associate director of corporate affairs for Temasek, in response to a query from BT in early June*, said: “As a matter of policy, we do not invest directly in casinos or tobacco companies at the Temasek level – this is a deemed interest due to the aggregation of the direct or indirect investment stakes held by the Temasek subsidiaries.”
But a few days later, it was reported in FT that Temasek has a almost 3% stake in Shuanghui International, the Chinese owned entity that is bidding for Smithfields, the world’s biggest pork producer, based in the US.
So two-thirds halal?
—-

* Context Fullerton Fund Management Company (FFMC), a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, has bought a 5.02 per cent stake in Melco Crown Philippines Resorts Corp.

FFMC has acquired 222.2 million Melco shares, according to the company, which is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Melco is the Philippine unit of Nasdaq-listed Melco Crown Entertainment, which is backed by Lawrence Ho, a relative of Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho.

Why the silence on PM’s latest goof?

In Humour on 01/07/2013 at 5:26 am

(Or “Cyber activists are suicidal? Frus over what?”)

About this time last week, our PM warned that the haze would return “for weeks”. Well since then, conditions are pretty normal for this time of the year. And on Saturday, ST reported NEA as saying the reduction from very high levels of pollution could be due to less fires.

So if one wanted to be mean but factually correct, one could rightly say PM was wrong. And if one wanted to be “P” (political), one could say, “So waz new? He always talking cock”.

(BTW, I owe an apology to the WP town council and the NEA: I had suggested that it didn’t make sense to clean the ceilings at the two hawker cenres because PM said the haze respite was temporary. Guess they knew that PM would be wrong, as usual.)

Seriously, jokes’ aside, why isn’t the “PAP govt is always in the wrong” brigade complaining, especially the “P” ones.

Three reasons: one is that like other S’poreans, they too are relieved, and happy that conditions are back to the usual “moderate” haze for this time of the year.

And maybe, they too are proud that the leaders of this little red dot got the Indons to apologise, and do shumething without returning the so-called ill-gotten gains from Indonesia. Actually this money isn’t ours, Indons still own the money. Convict them in Indon courts, and then can talk about the morality of returning the money.

The third reason is that the more chim and vocal members of “PAP govt is always in the wrong” may be be in shock over two foot shooting (or is it “feet in mouth) accidents, involving three prominent bloggers, in less than five days.

The first was Andrew Loh’s unprovoked rant, full of “dirty” words,against the president of S’pore*. He quickly apologised but one was left wondering why did he get so upset over such a bland, meaningless statement? Because it was bland, meaningless, and late?

The other incident involved minister Shan (the dog and cat lover, weird combi this), Ms Kisten Han and Remy Choo. See here for a good summary (and funny take)  of what happened. To summarise

– Ms Han said in her blog that the minister wanted Mr Choo to convey that Mr Shanmugam would not hesitate to sue those republishing the article; but

– Mr Shanmugam later clarified that this description was inaccurate; then

- in a statement carried on Ms Han’s blog later, Mr Choo said that he was responsible for giving that impression to Miss Han, and that it was incorrect and unfair of him to have done so.

Having read both Remy Choo’s FB comments**, if anyone had to apologise it should not be him. It shld be Ms Kisten Han for rushing into print with her “chim” tots on the dangers of sharing, when the law is pretty clear on the matter: share libelous stuff at yr peril http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-22652083.

Surely she must have known that said minister would react aggressively, not that I blame him***. She, at least explained, her motivations on her public FB Wall; motivations which I find very emotional. If I were in close regular contact with her, I’d be afraid, very afraid, lest confidences be spilled.Anyway, if Remy is not upset with her, then taz the end of the matter. He is the “damaged” party.If he has political ambitions to become a MP, he can forget it. His apology would be used against him if he stood, and we all know that our political parties are all Kiasus.

(FTR, I had dealings with Kirsten and Remy a few yrs back. They are “Smarter than the average bear”. BTW, wonder what Yogi would think of Barrie the Bear.  A bear that is S’porean, Canadian, Muslim, and Indon-loving?)

As evidence of this reason, that some bloggers are in shock, juz before the Andrew incident, one or two “P” bloggers were hinting that the masks were issued after the need for them had passed.

Whatever, why the sudden bout of foot shooting or mouths in foots is what I want to know? Both incidents were so unnecessary. There needn’t have to be apologies if these three prominent and leading bloggers had tot before they acted. Are the three bloggers are frus about way things are developing here that they make irrational decisions?

Anyway, let’s not get worked up. “Move on”, as the PAPpies like to say.Not much damage except to the gentlemanly Remy Choo.

But let’s try to learn lessons so as not to repeat these “mistakes”. One lesson is that be aware of one’s emotions: remember Yoda tot the Jedi to be unattached to their emotions, while being aware of them. Wonder if Yoda learnt this from the Buddha?

*When I was first shown the post, I tot Andrew Loh was the victim of a hack, or “an honest” tech mistake where a poster’s comment got merged into his post, or “an honest” editorial cock-up (pressed “publish”, instead of “save”. Believe you mean this can happen. I’ve published when I wanted to save, and save when I wanted to publish.)

**On his public FB wall.

*** I’d be even more aggressive. There are “conventions” on such private conversations and the reporting thereof. The most impt of which is “Everything is not attributable” without the permission of the speaker.

“Stop-work” call wasn’t to be taken literally: Activist

In Humour on 28/06/2013 at 5:03 am

I don’t understand why the prevailing discourse surrounding the stop-work order is an immediate cessation of everything in Singapore, where all businesses have to close down. None of the activists I know are saying that. We are simply saying that in hazardous conditions, where PSI is well, hazardous, it would be humane, as well as being in line with the idea of workplace safety, for people who do strenuous work outdoors to take a break and seek shelter, so that they can avoid taking in higher amounts of pollutants, and also metabolise the pollutants currently in their body. Such industries include both the shipyard and construction industry. Seriously, stop making people who are concerned about migrant worker welfare to be idiots who want to “close hawker centres”: On Facebook on Monday.

My response (now hidden) was ” Taz NOT the impression, perception you “idiots” gave me. AND I waz reading yr words, not filtered thru ST etc etc … organise a course to teach yr friends how to communicate effectively. The CAUSE doesn’t need self-inflicted injuries.”

Seriously, the above justification sounds like shumething a PAPpy would make when cornered. Remember “Selling land cheap for HDB flats, steals from reserves”? Or http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/why-han-sat-down-and-kept-quiet/? Or http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/the-curry-thickens/?

I tot I’d post the activist’s comments as my good deed for the month. The aim is to remind all activists and other kay pohs, that they have to ensure that they take care to communicate their messages in language that is clear, simple, concise and difficult to misunderstand.This is true especially when using Facebook: I got the impression that they wanted hawker centres to close based on comments made on FB.

They should not use the PAP govt as the gold standard when they communicate with the public, even though the PAP has been able since 1959 to communicate to S’poreans so effectively that the PAP has had overwhelming majorities since then (In the bad result GE2011, the PAP still ended up with 60% of the popular vote and more than two-thirds of the parly seats).

They should remember that the PAP’s track record since 1991 hasn’t been that great. The percentages of the popular vote climbed from 61% in 1991 only to drop to 60% in 2011. And look at the result of the 2011 PE. It’s preferred candidate only got 35%, and won by a short nose.

So maybe activists should take up the offer of Wonder Woman Wonder Gal’s or Supergirl’s Creatives For Causes? Hopefully, she can teach them to say what they mean, so that the “daft” public can understand their ‘chim” tots. They should not expect the public to be mind readers. Nor should they expect the constructive, nation-building local media to put the “right” spin on what they say. In fact, they should be prepared for the “wrong” spin.

Oh, and why is it the most ardent callers of the govt to allow freedom of expression such great censors? As I said, my comment was hidden. And another “Crier” of “Free speech”, unfriended me after I asked him how come his website was one of “S’pores major websites” that signed the internet petition? It was then carrying plenty of 2012 stuff on its front page, and still was as of yesterday.

I asked him if the definition of “S’pores major websites” included zombie or living dead.sites like his?

Have a gd weekend. School starts soon.

Why Plan “Suffocate S’poreans” failed?

In Humour, Indonesia, Malaysia on 26/06/2013 at 4:55 am

(Or “Why Indonesia apologised?”)

So the Indonesian presisent has apologised to M’sia and S’pore for the haze, despite an official earlier saying that Indonesia would not apologise to S’pore. And the president also admitted that his ministers were talking cock, while doing bugger-all.

So this has worked: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/haze-what-raffles-would-have-done/?

Seriously, why has Indonesia apologised to this  “little red dot” inhabited by “children”?

My friend in M’sia’s Special Branch told me the following story based on bugs placed in the cabinet room: nothing to do with us “children” it seems.

On Monday, the Indonesia cabinet was briefed on “Operation Smoke Out the Money”. The president and his ministers were told that S’pore was choking in the smoke from Riau and would be soon be very receptive to this call by a fair-minded S’porean-Canadian* to surrender all of its ill-gotten gains from Indonesia, especially as the article was republished in the widely read, influential patriotic and nationalistic TRE, and the very respected, influential SGDaily carried a link to the original article**. My source said that many ministers were heard groaning presumably because they had illicit money in S’pore.

Then an aide came in and said, “Mr President, the dad of S’pore’s PM wants to speak to you.” The ministers clapped.

Then another aide called, “Sir, Najib, Anwar and Tun M are calling, together”. The president said, “How do they know so fast Suharto’s buddy is repenting? And why a joint call?”.One minister said,”Sir, they came together to honour you, the MAN who brought S’pore to its knees!”

The aide said, “Sir, I doubt it. M’sia has declared an emergency in South Johor and schools in KL are closing; all because of the haze. Apparently, Superman*** is blowing the smoke away from S’pore, diverting the smoke into Malaya. S’pore is smoke free! The Malay media is asking, “Why are our Muslim brudders behaving like this? Screwing, smoking us and not the infidels in S’pore? S’pore took their money, not us!”

A third aide came in saying, “Sir, the plantation companies and APRIL are calling. They want to know how much more money yr ministers want them to deposit in the ministers’ S’pore bank accounts?”

The president went, “Oh Riau!”. My SB source says presumably because Riau is now hotter than hell.

And one Christian minister was heard sniggering, “Where are the Islamic superheroes when Muslims need them?”. Ash trays and wine glasses were thrown at him.

*Contrary to TRE posters, Special Branch does not believe he is an Indonesian Quisling, doing it for the money. He is an honest S’porean- Canadian. He sincerely believes that S’pore is screwing Indonesia.

**Only TOC didn’t carry the article.

***I reminded my SB contact of Superman’s Jewish origins: Kal-El (his Krypton name) sounds like the Jewish term for “Voice of God”. My contact laughingly said that LKY chose his friends better than M’sia’s rulers did. He chose Israel and the US to suck up to, M’sia chose Muslim countries and the US as friends.

WP & NEA deserve one another?

In Humour, Public Administration on 24/06/2013 at 6:03 pm

Given PM’s warning that the haze will last for weeks, and that this respite is temporary, I was surprised to read in yesterday’s ST that the WP town council was beginning  the cleaning yesterday of the two hawker centres (when PritamS had said needed only to be cleaned once a yr: despite them not being cleaned since 2011 according to a TOC report, I think). His remarks provoked a typhoon in an  expresso cup.

I mean with all the haze around, cleaning the ceilings now would be a waste of effort and money.

Wonder if the WP town council had consulted the hawkers and the NEA on whether it made sense in view of the haze to clean the ceilings now.

NEA should have stepped in to advise, “Wait awhile”. After all WP are novices when it comes to managing a GRC. Only had tiny Hougang before 2011.

The hawkers should have the final sale as their sales are affected when there is cleaning.

As it is, the hardworking hawkers will have to forgo sales yet again, and to what purpose? If the PM is right and the haze returns, and it seems to doing so, as I write, the ceilings will get dirty pretty fast.

NTUC’s silent walk: How apt

In Humour on 16/06/2013 at 5:01 am

Couldn’t stop laughing when I read: “Some 50 people took part in the labour movement’s Our Singapore Conversation session on Friday evening … it started with a silent walk along parts of Marina Bay.” http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/labour-movement-holds/710474.html

This silent walk is a metaphor of the many times since it’s founding where NTUC’s silence was deafening, like

– the strike by non-unionised PRC FT SMRT (where a union and NTUC leader was a director) bus drivers; or

– NTUC Income’s row with some union members,

to quote two recent examples.

Last December, I attended the launching of “The Last Great Striike” where I heard the sorry tale that in the 1980s, NTUC and union leaders did not know how to conduct a “work ro rule” protest against Qantas at Changi airport. It was meant to help SIA in one of its periodic rows with Qantas. Qantas didn’t even know that there was a “work ro rule” protest. Google the term to understand how effective a weapon it is

Related post: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/when-devan-nair-was-jedi/

Hongkie FTs more classy cont’d

In Humour on 13/06/2013 at 6:48 am

Hong Kong has been engulfed in a doping scandal of its own after 15 horses tested positive for a prohibited substance resulting in mass scratchings from Sha Tin’s holiday meeting on Wednesday.

This could explain why HK FTs thrashed our FTs! http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/hongkie-fts-more-classy/
But then it raises the question why our doping procedures didn’t catch any sign of doping?.

Quadruple confirm: Public servants don’t do cost-benefit analysis

In Financial competency, Humour, Public Administration on 04/06/2013 at 5:12 am

Former NUS law professor, Tey Tsun Hang, was sentenced to a 5 months’ jail term and ordered to pay a penalty of $514.80 by the court yesterday. He was convicted of corruptly obtaining gifts and sex from former student Darinne Ko.

Last week, the former chief of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Peter Lim Sin Pang, was convicted by a District Court for corruption. He was on trial for abusing his position to obtain sexual favours from Ms Pang Chor Mui in return for favorable consideration of her company’s tender bid for business.

Also last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs said disciplinary proceedings against the former chief of the Central Narcotics Bureau Ng Boon Gay would remain suspended until a final outcome in the criminal proceedings. Mr Ng was acquitted of corruption charges in February. Mr Ng was accused of obtaining sexual favours from IT sales manager Ms Cecilia Sue in return for furthering the business interests of her two employers. The MHA spokesperson also said that the prosecution was studying  the written grounds of decision and assessing whether to file a Petition of Appeal.

Even though Gay was acquired, all three public servants paid a high price for being a bit (very cheap actually) cheap when it came to sex. In return for a few freebie trysts, they ended up spending very serious money on lawyers , and damaging their reputations and earning capabilities. I mean who will want to employ two soiled police scholars and an academic who proclaimed his academic integrity* when he was charged?

Then there was ex-Speaker of Parliament, “Mangoes for Laura” Palmer. True he wasn’t charged and never paid lawyers’ fees, but the guy was castrated in public: within a few hours he fell from “tua kee” to zero you-know-what.

Obviously, they didn’t do cost-benefit analysis. If they had been, they could have realised that the costs of being cheap on sex was higher than if they had paid for it. They would have realised that paying for sex was less risky for their careers and reputations. Based on legal fees of $500,000 a case (and I’m being conservative given the size of the legal teams), even if each man charged had sex 100 times (and the reports indicate that the frequency wasn’t that high), the cost would be $5,000 a session. And these were with aunties! Not slim, tall Vogue model-types.

If these senior public servants, didn’t use cost-benefit analysis on such an impt, personal matter, what are the chances that public servants use cost-benefit analysis when analysising or making decisions for us the masses? Yup, highly unlikely.

Anyway, these four cases illustrate the ancient Chinese saying of, “Kill a cock to frighten the monkeys”. Here four cocks were “killed’ to remind public servants that free sex is not a benefit of service. Never mind, public servants can afford to pay for sex, juz like they can afford to buy $5m to S10m apartments from a TLC, even when the TLC expresses concerns that it can sell some of these apartments. And if the MDA chairman and CEO may have problems with their personal cost-benefit analysis (what with QE possibly being reversed, with knock-on effects for S’pore property, and KepLand’s remarks on selling its apts), can ministers and the public trust that the MDA has done its cost-benefit analysis on its new media regulations? It could be telling that the Manpower minister replaced MDA’s CEO at a Talking Points programme on the issue of new media regulation? BTW, where was the water engineer**, Yaacob?

Note (Last three lines added two hrs after first publication, after reading FT etc)

——

*I tot he was going to deny that he ever had sex with his student. It has been part of Western academic tradition since the times of the Greeks that sex with students was taboo. There was a lewd Roman joke that Socrates never had sex with Plato despite both being gay because Plato was Socrates’ pupil. The Romans didn’t do gay sex.

**See the * at end in link on what I mean by “water engineer”.

While narcissistic netizens navel gaze, TLC pays $8m for FT’s housing

In Humour, Political governance on 02/06/2013 at 6:25 pm

On Thursday, ST published a front page headline that would have had “the usual suspects” bitching loudly at a TLC for wasting $ on an ang moh FT. The usual suspects ignored the issue because they were (and, sadly, still are) narcissistically looking at their reflections on their flat panel tv screens, while bawling, raving and ranting that Yaacob was (and still is) “snatching* their toys, when he did (does) no such thing*.

Back to the FT story: ST reported that a TLC had spent $8m on accommodation for an ang moh FT. Sometime back when the same TLC spent $1m on accommodating two PRC FT PRs, TRE readers and some prominent bloggers were screaming their heads off: these two PRC FT PRs getting the VIP treatment while S’poreans had to pay a few hundred thousand dollars for a three-room HDB flat.

When two pandas came here, the verbal knives of many netizens were out for the zoo for spending $1 million for their accommodation. But when ST announced that an ang moh polar bear, Inuka, had got a $8m play pen, no-one said anything.

Ang moh tua kee? Maybe, because the usual suspects buy into fashionable ang mog ideas, like freedom of the media, free speech, LGBT rights, anal sex, minimum wages, welfare, decent working conditions, free and fair and unrigged elections, accountability etc etc.

Or, as is more likely, they, like PM, but apparently unlike Auntie Sylvia, cannot multi-task?

The one that must be really feeling low and depressed must be Danny the teh-tarik loving SDP bear. He did his NS but unlike these FT bears, he has to borrow money to pay for his 99-yr “bare necessities, no-frills”cave in the sky, while they get VIP caves free.

I wish those calling for the blackout and protest the best of luck. Even though I disagree with them no the need of such actions for now, or even the need to kick up a fuss for now, if less than 5000 turn up at the protest, and only a few sites observe the blackout, the govt will think it has got the measure of the new media here: all noise and dogmatic, cannot organise an orgy in a brothel and popular support. This attitude will not be gd for S’pore. The new media, like water, should not be underestimated: it can be a raging torrent.

“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” (Las Tzu)

Related Panda posts:

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/better-visit-the-pandas-quickly/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/fts-i-want-here/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/another-cute-pandas-pix/

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/great-panda-pixs/

—–

*He hasn’t, though he has created a framework that the govt thinks will enable the govt to control or channel new media. He is only warning them that he has the legal means of snatching their toys, so don’t be qua lan or garang like the M’sian FT protestors or PRC strikers.

One of these days, maybe, on the day of proposed blackout, I’ll blog on why Yaacob is an underrated water engineer, 50-year floods twice in two months, notwithstanding. Go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6964281.stm and click on the exhibit at the bottom of the page. It illustrates what the British will do when the Thames’ waters rise dangerously high: barriers rise from beneath the river’s surface. Likewise, Yaacob’s rules will do the same when the “noise” levels gets dangerously high. In the meantime, our internet flows on, like the Thames. The measures’ effectiveness are debatable given that the new media has been likened to water.

And maybe, I’ll blog on why the blackout and protests are rotten ideas: so PAPpish and old-fashioned. And I tot the usual suspects are anti-PAP and in the vanguard of doing things differently.

“PAP-stream media” NOT MSM

In Humour, Media on 31/05/2013 at 7:28 am

“Why do we even call it “mainstream” media? It seems to be more a PAP-stream media,” Tong Beng on Facebook. He has a great point!

What happens in ST newsroom

In Humour, Media on 30/05/2013 at 6:29 am
It’s not nice to have to wonder about phone calls in the night or an email to demand that a post be deleted. And it’s not nice to have to second guess what the G (or which god in which department) thinks about this post or that and that particular god-person’s threshold of “sensitivity’’.

Sharp-eyed Siow Kum Hong spotted this from Bertha Henson’s piece http://www.breakfastnetwork.sg/?p=4858. Read it as it contains lots of rational criticisms of the new MDA regulations, unlike most of the noise and rubbish coming from netizens’ behinds.

In case, you didn’t know, she was a high ranking, keyboard-wielding Imperial storm trooper dedicated to keeping S’poreans in the dark, before she retired after having repented. She was Dark enough to have been considered to be one of the front runners to be  ST’s editor.

But let’s not hold it against her. There are not enough Jedi for us to be choosy.

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