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Archive for the ‘Wit’ Category

Link between changes in PR rules & ministerial salaries?

In Financial competency, Property, Wit on 06/04/2012 at 6:39 am

The move to scrap one avenue for rich foreigners to fast-track their permanent residency applications by parking large sums of money here will have little impact on the Republic’s economy, analysts noted.

In fact, an analyst went as far as to describe the Financial Investor Scheme (FIS) – started in 2004 – as having “outlived its usefulness. http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC120405-0000087/Scheme-for-rich-foreigners-outlived-usefulness

The devil whispered in my ear, “What this means is that there will be less people applying for leave to buy houses in District 10, and less demand for places in Sentosa Cove, and super high end luxury apartments. Remember there is a group of S’poreans who have had their salaries cut by about half. Less competition for them now when it comes to buying luxury-end properties?”

“Perish the tot,” the angel of the Lord said. “These are the people who introduced GRCs.”

“My point exactly,” said the MU supporter.

Angel of the Lord, “Since 2010, these businessmen, have not been allowed to include the cost of buying a private home as part of their required investment.”

MU supporter, “The pigs knew they were going to have to cut their salaries. Pre-emptive move to ensure they are not affected by the cut in salaries.”

Angel, “OMG! What can I say? You may have a point!”

Trying to be more Tin than Tin Pei Ling?

In Political governance, Wit on 19/03/2012 at 8:38 am

“Vikram Nair: I should not have been sarcastic towards Chen Show Mao”. Err based on Rachael Chang’s ST report (see my take here) which Vikram has not denied, nor threatened with defamation claims, he wasn’t being sarcastic to Show Mao. He was, at the very least, being sarcastic towards the poor, bit like VivianB with his hawker food and restaurant remarks. Shumething that Nair later denied. Funnily, he has never ever disputed Rachael Chang’s reporting. So I assume he is happy with it. Yet he is upset with TOC, “It is extremely deceptive of TOC to attribute lies to me”.  Want to clear your name, sue SPH and TOC.

And it gets better. In denying to the media that he is a PAP attack dog, he does not deny that he is a dog. Though my two mongrels tell me that they’d rather not be associated with him, thank you very much.

Maybe it’s time to stop using Tin Pei Ling as the exemplar of the PAP’s boast that only the best of the best get asked to be PAP MPs. There are other candidates, this Nair being one.

To recap about Ms Tin. She was the exemplar because of her woodenness in public speaking, shallowness (regrets: not taking mum to a theme park and no clue of what policy she wanted changed), hard-heartedness (poor should only be given enough to keep up with inflation), perceived “tai-tai”ness (Kate Spade bag, expensive Jap food), and her new media spasticity (never privatised her personal Facebook page and having fat-fingered Denise He as her Facebook administrator). Then to crown it all, LKY walked out of parliament when she rose to speak.

But there are now three new contenders for Tin’s title of PAP MP Imperial Stormtrooper Extraordinaire. One is the aforementioned Vikram Nair, the guy who drank water from a tank where the corpse of an FT was found. He loves FTs so much that he wants to imbibe their germs?

Another is BaeyYam Keng .

Baey Yam Keng shows us how much a PAP MP has to be a “FT tua kee” kind of person and FT-lover. He told us not to jump to the conclusion that all foreign students are like the Sun Xu (a PRC guy on a S’pore government scholarship) who insulted our senior citizens and insinuated that “there are more dogs than people in Singapore.”

He apologised saying in parliament, “It was never my intention to undermine Singaporeans. But to those whose feelings my words have hurt, I am sorry.But added, “If we care too much about what people call us, we will find it difficult to be more than the stereotype or inaccurate label. Let us be confident and quietly proud of ourselves, of what we are.”

All this from what as S’pore Notes says is the Managing Director (promoted effective 4th January, 2011) of Hill & Knowlton, a global public relations company with the corporate boast: “We create value by shaping conversations: we start them, we amplify them, we change them. We can connect seamlessly with all of your audiences.” His boss, Regional President & COO Vivian Lines, must be wringing his hands why he ever let him replace Jimmy Tay, who was named PR Agency Head of the Year at the Asia Pacific PR Awards 2009. Surely a humble copywriter would have done a better job than the doggone China lover.

Recently Baey dragged his daughter into the gutter to make a political point. How low can a PAP MP get?

Finally, there is Hri Kumar Nair. To quote Kate Spade, “What can I say?”

This Senior Counsel extraordinaire decided to take on a Clark Kent look-a-like NMP who had the audacity to challenge the PM’s claim that the PM alone had the unfettered authority to suka-suka call or not call a by-election to fill the empty seat in Hougang.

Hri Kumar not only did not discredit the critic but he made this wimpy NMP look like a super hero and sound like an ant-PAP standard-bearer, when this person, before he became an NMP, often came across as someone who was trying very, very hard to become a PAP candidate MP. He always seemed to have a nice thing to say about the government. Any criticism seemed to be wishy-washy, and milder than mild. But Hri changed this perceptions. Eugene Tan became Super Critic and a flag-waving dissident.

The exchange of letters can found here.

And Hri Kumar got some serious legal academics weighing in on the side of the view that the PM had to call a by-election.

Bottom-line, he made PM look silly and petty and according to S’pore Notes, “cowardly”: “But Hougang is a hot seat…The by-election will surely generate much heat and debate across the island.” He’s not just saying that the kitchen is too hot, and the PM should get out of it, he’s telling us that the PM is too cowardly to face the electorate.

Now the PM has conceded the pass. He will call a by-election sometime in the future.

Now not even Tin or Baey or the other Nair managed to do that: make PM appear cowardly, and concede the point. So let’s move on from Tin to Hri Nair?

But Hri should be looking over his shoulder if he inherits Tin’s title. Other than Baey, the other Nair and Kate Spade Tin, two more contenders have emerged: Low Yen Ling and Foo Mee Har. The latter is re-emerging. She was once seen as Tin’s slightly more intelligent (juz) elder “sister”.

BTW, waz the Nair clan up to? Trying to show the PAP that Devan Nair was a black sheep? That the Nairs deserve a cabinet post? All they show is that there are now three lawyer Nairs that say the dumbest things. There is another Nair that says the dumbest things. (Go google “Singapore Dissident”).

Shouldn’t Vikram Nair tell us if ST’s Rachael Chang misreported him?

In Political governance, Wit on 05/03/2012 at 5:13 am

So we now know that Vikram Nair denies that he “considered investing in the elderly, the disabled, the poor and other needy Singaporeans as being akin to a Nigerian scam.” http://www.sgpolitics.net/?p=7388

But what did he say in the first place that gave me, for one, the impression that he “considered investing in the elderly, the disabled, the poor and other needy Singaporeans as being akin to a Nigerian scam”?

Didn’t Rachael Chang of ST report as follows, Likening it to a Nigerian scam e-mail where receipients are urged to transfer funds in return for a pay-off later, he said Mr Chen had promised something “even better, because you don’t have to put in any money at all, and you get more than money in return.”? And didn’t Today had this to say?

What could a reasonable man think he meant when the person read the ST’s words? A reasonable man could reasonably conclude that he was implying that “spending money on the vulnerable was like a scam” because [the poor] “don’t have to put in any money at all, and you get more than money in return”.

I certainly tot he was implying it. I further tot what kind of PAP MP is he? It is official government policy to help poor, and the PAP is the governing party. I tot maybe he was the PAP’s equivalent of the WP’s PritamS or GG, an unguided missle.

Well I now know he says he does not mean what I tot he implied because he has said so. (If this sentence makes no sense,  please let me know.Getting brain-dead using words like “reasonable”.)

He should have chosen his words more carefully to prevent reasonable people (like me) thinking that the PAP (and in particular its MPs) does not ‘do” compassion. He should learn from another Cambridge-trained lawyer, one LKY, that words have natural meanings outside the intentions of the user, something that LKY tot Dr Chee and the late JBJ (a so-so lawyer, not trained in Cambridge).

Which reminds me of this

     “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master      that’s all.”
    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”

(Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There )

He should also leave jokes to comedians, or get a good script writer. BTW, I know Tin Pei Ling is not moonlighting as his script writer. And neither was she compiling the figures on the FTs that get government scholarships.

A wicked, mean tot. As there is another lawyer Nair (Hri) who has also gotten the PAP some bad publicity by insisting that PM has the unfettered discretion not to call a by-election irrespective of the wishes of the affected voters, maybe the PAP should send these Nairs for some elementary public communications training or make sure they clear their comments with MP Baey, the boss of an int’l PR firm’s local unit?. I mean the PAP doesn’t need another Devan Nair to spoil its “whiter than white”, “smarter than smart” image. One bad “Nair” is enough?

Keep workers’ slaving away keeps them from dying

In Wit on 19/02/2012 at 9:25 am

Reading in the ST the valiant and sterling  efforts that the government is putting in to help older workers (Employment Credit Scheme for employers to compensate employers for the increased CPF that they will have to pay older employees*, and cutting FT numbers), I could not help but think of a story I recently read.

People who carry on working in some capacity beyond their retirement could live longer, because they are not so lonely. Mr David Halpern, an academic who is a specialist on health and social activity, said a lack of social interaction was “much worse” for elderly people in terms of its effect on their mortality than smoking.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16980361

The findings come from a meta-analysis (analysing lots of different pieces of existing research) of 148 studies into the effects of social isolation on mortality conducted by academics at Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina in the US.

Well I’m sure this “finding” will find its way into our constructive, nation-building media and into the spin that the government puts out. And I’m sure the SDP and KennethJ will point out the advice, when made here, is part of a plot to get 70-something old S’poreans to slave away to keep GDP high (now that FTs are no longer available to force feed GDP growth) so that ministers can get their millions in bonuses.

If the SDP and KennethJ is right about the confiscation and misinvestment of our CPF monies, shouldn’t the government be forcing S’poreans retire young, the govmin can ensure that the premiums that are paid for old-age annuities are “wasted” by the insured since they will die before the annuities come into effect. This means the govmin can continue hiding the losses it made investing our CPF monies.

So why is the govmin trying to raise the retirement age and wanting people to work beyond retirement? Better for S’poreans to retire early and die before they reach their annuity age?

What say you, SDP?

*The increase in CPF payments will cost companies an additional S$190 million a year, the finance minister said. But, the government will spend about S$470 million annually for the next five years to subsidise the hiring of about 80%  of workers aged above 50, he said.

State of the PAP: My light-hearted analysis based on gossip heard

In Holidays and Festivals, Political governance, Wit on 10/02/2012 at 4:41 am

I was “challenged” by a SDP groupie to write about what I heard about the PAP during my recent feasting and gambling, expecting me to wimp out. I have good reasons not to write about the PAP, other than that the cadres are a litigious bunch and have a code of silence as tough as that of the Mafiosi. One reason is that they are not into feasting and gambling. They lead very healthy life styles where abalone and lobster are out, and even roast duck and pork, and suckling pig are banned. They may have the money, which they apparently invested in products like DBS HN5 Notes and Mini-bonds, but where’s the fun? Another reason is that they are boring and humourless.

But there are people who I gamble or feast with who claim to know what is happening in the PAP. They tell me they get “intelligence” from senior officials of neighbouring countries who have active spy rings here.

There is gossip going around the highest circles in Jakarta, Bangkok and KL, that one LKY called the PM, “weak”, and who now thinks that Teo Chee Hean would have made a “stronger” PM. The rumour is that LKY is upset that the PM did not take his advice to sue Nicole Seah down to her panties (sans bra) for defaming the latter during the May 2011 general election (Yes, legally she did) and for reopening the ministerial salary issue. Seems the Lee family reunion dinner was a tense one. Apparently, the M’sian, Indonesian and Thai secret service each had a spy as a waiter or waitress.

All I will say is that if LKY called the PM “weak”, it is most unfair because the PM contradicted LKY over the latter’s remarks about the Malays (when the Malay Minister, “Speak to me in English” Yaacob muttered “worst case scenario” and other Malay PAP MPS went AWOL or MIA, even action-mouth Zaqy; and implicitly rebuked his father after LKY’s “repent” comments, after which LKY stopped (or was stopped from?) campaigning (a great and sad loss for the Opposition?). And the PM did apologise to S’poreans, accepted the resignations of ministerial deadwood (I exclude LKY from this group) and reduced the size of the cabinet. Not the actions of a Clark Kent is it? More like Superman it seems?

The hard-line wing of the PAP or the “Lee Kuan Yew is always right” faction (irrelevantly also known to the PAP moderates as the “LKY is greater than God” cult) is losing its influence. The suspension of the heads of the anti-drugs unit and the civil defence force is another blow to the reputation of Wong Kan Seng, the cult’s high priest. He was Home Affairs minister from 1994 to 2010, so these officers spent almost their entire careers as senior officers of his Home Team. He therefore cannot evade responsibility for nurturing or mentoring them, or both.

With his reputation in tatters, the “LKY is never wrong” faction has no-one that has the credibility to put forward credible and reasonable hard-line solutions to the PAP’s problems. The hard-liners can only repeat mindlessly the mantras from “Hard Truths”. Maybe, they should produce a pocket size edition of “Hard Truths”. At the very least, it will make it easier to memorise the wisdom of LKY. Remember Chairman Mao’s little “Red Book”? It was a commercial success when it was first published, and is a collectible today.

(For the record, Teo Chee Hean is too intelligent to belong to this faction. So, BTW, is LKY.)

But the “liberals” (or “talk cock, sing song brigade” as I call them) have had their ranks decimated what with the loss of George Yeo, Mah and Raymond Lim. (BTW, I don’t consider Tharman a member of this group. He doesn’t juz talk the talk. Workfare for all its imperfections is his baby. The deformities were caused by having to tailor it to prejudices among the then leaders.)

George Yeo, it seems, still has presidential ambitions. But his public criticism of the PAP has not gone down well with some cadres. They tot it was a bit rich for him to attack the PAP, to win votes. They liked this piece I wrote about deserters being shot in times of war.

Anyway, let’s not be too hard on these three ministers as they are living proof that the private sector is not exactly clamouring to pay ex-ministers millions of dollars for their skills or advice.

Finally, Kate Spade Tin has “fixed” her fellow PAP MPs. She boasted in ST, juz before the CNY hols, that she would be spending about $10,000 of her MP’s allowance of $15,000 a month on CNY dinners for her grass-root activists. That figure immediately became the base line for the other PAP MPs. Match or exceed it, or look cheap-skate by comparison. Err what abt telling their activists, that Tin’s activists have to be rewarded with sharks’ fin, abalone and lobster, and not juz suckling pig and roast duck, given that they have to put up with her silly antics and remarks, and her stomping?

And her sabotaging has continued what with her $150,000 fund (err who is funding the fund?) to help “squeezed” elderly constituents with their SingHealth medical bills. I personally applaud her move, but her fellow PAP MPs have to follow her lead, or look mean. I can imagine one VivianB grumbling that the poor always need help, and Grace Fu bitching on less money to spend on herself.

Tin, the Sabo Queen? It was a black day indeed for PAP MPs when Tin was nominated to be a candidate PAP MP. The PAP should have looked up her record at NUS and Ernst & Young.

Taz all folks. Happy SDP groupie?

Related posting:

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/state-of-the-opposition-update-my-light-hearted-analysis-based-on-gossip-heard/

State of the Opposition Update: My light-hearted analysis based on gossip heard

In Holidays and Festivals, Political governance, Wit on 30/01/2012 at 5:30 am

This is the “news” I picked up over the last week while feasting and dicing. I have tried to indicate which are the more reliable stories, and which are the more rubbishy ones. As usually I add my very personal takes i.e. analysis.

SPP

Juz before the hols, I was told by a reliable source that Mrs Chiam had said that the coming party conference would be a “non event”. Some non event:

– two men that were expected to lead the SPP post Chiam said they were no longer interested in being on the central executive committee (Mrs Chiam was blamed for their lost of interest); then

– six central executive members (including the above two) resigned from the party juz before the conference with one saying “that one or two key CEC members are not willing (to accommodate) a complete change over for collective leadership and accountability, and that being the case, my presence in the party will not add credible value.”

For jet-setters (like one DYadav) and planet hoppers who were away, read here and here.

Desmond Lim (remember him) was one happy man this hols, people who know him tell me. Remember he had a bad 2011 initially, being slimed by Mrs Chiam as lacking the “X” factor to succeed Chiam and hence the trouble he was giving the Chiams, then losing his deposit in the May GE. Well with the failure of the party to retain Potong Pasir and to renew itself, and the unhappiness of long serving stalwarts and newbie ex-scholars all becoming public before the hols, he feels vindicated in opposing the Chiams in 2010 and 2011. I hope he gambled big time before the Year of Rabbit ended as his luck certainly did improve.

WP

No need to say anything abt Yaw because he said “IF it is rumours …”, the other lady said, ““I hope you will not identify me or the other woman involved,”, his wife withdrew her Facebook comments about irresponsible journalism, WP’s Low Thia Kiang said: “You said yourself that these are rumours, why are you still asking me?”, and deputy treasurer of the WP, a Mr Png, said: “We have to think carefully about our response”.

They shld realise that their comments collectively give the game away. Why so stupid leh, WP Sec-Gen, members and Mrs Yaw?

All I will report is that WP high command and those who should be in the know are saying nothing in private to friendly, influential outsiders (including prominent bloggers: I’m neither a friend nor influential) or “lesser mortals” WP supporters. As they are also saying nothing in public, I conclude that the WP’s attitude is, “Your problem Yaw. You solve it”.

Problem for the WP is that the silence implies that there is a problem that Yaw has to resolve, whatever it is.

But if Yaw is the dad of a bastard (albeit a Dragon), the WP can’t escape collateral damage. He was possibly the most trusted lieutenant of Sec-Gen Low, and if he was as rampant a stag as alleged by TRE, it casts doubt on Low’s judgement. And if Low didn’t know that his Kim Jong-il look-a-like aide was as horny a stag as alleged, it shows the lack of his of intel on members.

NSP

The old guard can’t believe that the newbies are fighting among themselves and with the old guard.

Hazel Poa (Sec-Gen) and her hubbie Tony and other newbies are spitting mad at Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss (VP) who has the support of the people’s celebrity, Nicole Seah. Ms Chong is refusing (and has refused for over six months) to declare her personal wealth. (Reminder: she is hot-shot corporate and shipping lawyer, or so it is claimed. Detractors say it is a two partners and no slaves, legal assistants, firm).

All central executive members have to submit this declaration to the government in order to get the licence for NSP’s newsletter renewed.

Why she refuses to give this declaration or step down, and why Nicole Seah is supporting her is a matter of speculation. One mean spirited view is that she and Nicole realise that moving to NSP was a big mistake and they want to jump ship again. If they leave when Tan Jee Say sets up his party (the two gals got crush on him, it is alleged), there is a danger that they will be perceived as serial, air head rats: first KennethJ, then Goh Meng Seng. If NSP was in disarray, they could excuse their leaving by blaming the NSP mess.

The old guard kicked out one Goh Meng Seng for failing to deliver a breakthrough. He got his revenge. The newbies he brought in are fighting each other and the Malay Bureau (his creation) and the old guard. Want to destroy an organisation, give GMS an executive role: juz kidding.

TJS

Glad to read in ST confirmation of a story I heard: he is pursuing the shared resource centre for the Opposition that he was thinking about before the last general election.

As he is turning 58 soon, why is he working so hard? “Relax. Watching over yr daughters and making sure they hook rich China men and is hard work. Do it well, and can be richer than Peter Lim”.

But seeing that that Dynamic NSP Duo (Hazel and Tony) are helping him recruit people for the centre, does it mean that he is giving Jeannette Chong and Nicole Seah, the brush off? Scholars like the company of other scholars, not pretty air heads who are serial hoppers? Will hope to find out more in the next week of feasting, dicing and Black Jack. No, dicing is not Roulette, it’s Backgammon.

SDP

Michelle Lee is expected to leave SDP soon even if TJS doesn’t set up up a new party for her to join. She didn’t join other SDP members in CNY Chinatown walkabout. She joined the SPP, NSP, RP and TJS in their Ang Moh Kio walkabout which SDP officially declared it wouldn’t join (Danny, the teh tarik bear, doesn’t like competition from Nicole, the people’s princess? Hey Danny, you are cuddily and furry but not sexy enough for boys to fantasise having sex with), clashed with its long planned Chinatown walkabout.

Others

KennethJ is rumoured to be looking for a job in financial services. No surprises there as he was a hedgie and hasn’t been working for a few years, dedicating his time and efforts to politics and keeping dad’s memory alive. What is surprising is that he is rumoured to be looking for a London-based job. Trying to make a graceful exit? Whither RP, which dad founded? RIP both RP and KennetJ’s political ambitions?

And finally, how can I forget Goh Meng Seng? He after all has many, many enemies saying nasty things about him. The least nasty is that he is desperately waiting for a phone call from Lina Chiam who has said SPP “will continue to seek new passionate and talented individuals with the right aptitude and who will pursue the opposition cause cohesively.” His enemies say he has told Lina that he is willing to be co-opted into SPP mgt committee. Err wonder if Lina thinks he has the X factors she is seeking? Somehow looking at his CV, I doubt she would. Anyway, SPP’s loss is TOC’s gain, or is it bane? If he joins SPP, he would have to resign from Team TOC. The Chinese section of TOC that he founded to large self-publicity seems kinda quiet.

Taz all folks. An update next week. One more week of feasting and gambling. Take care, drink or drive, not both.

From Zeroes to Dragons: What KJ, GMS, PS, Tin & Han should do

In Political governance, Wit on 20/01/2012 at 4:24 am

Here’s my equivalent of a Chinese New Year hamper for KennthJ, Goh Meng Seng, Pritam Singh, Kate Spade Tin and Han the “foot-in-mouther”: advice on how to become heroes or Dragons again in the case of the first three and how to become Dragons in the case of Tin and Han

KennethJ wants to relaunch RP after its crew deserted leaving him (just before the general elections) a captain without a crew. Seeing this, the voters never came onboard.

Why not use his undoubted skills as an economist (Double First in Economics from Cambridge) to draw up an index to show S’poreans to see how well-off or worse-off S’poreans have done under PAP rule over the years? The key components would be inflation (including HDB and other property price rises), transport costs and employment (including salary rises or falls).

He can call it the “JBJ-RP Happiness Index”, linking it to both dad and the RP.

I am suggesting the creation of this index because

– I know of younger S’poreans who support the Opposition have found that asking their parents if their standard of living had improved since the last GE (in 2006), was a good way of getting them to vote Opposition for the first time in their lives in May last year.

– And Ronald Reagan won a presidential election by asking Americans if they were better-off than when Jimmy Carter became president.

Of course, KennethJ would be taking a risk. The PAP might get its act together and improve our lives dramatically. But as a hedgie, he would know it’s all about the risk/ reward ratio. On the reward side, if in the next GE the index proves to be a big booster for the Opposition, his reputation would be made. On the negative side, he can’t go lower than showing us publicly that he hadn’t read in detail a report that he attacked.

As to GMS, what about doing shumething, anything with the Chinese section that he founded (to loud self publicity in early December last year)? I mean TOC had a great December (PAP MP’s scalp and detractors grinding their teeth in disbelief at its “lucky” escape) but the Chinese section and GMS were AWOL or MIA, or both.

To be fair, signs are looking gd that the Chinese section will be active in the new yr. It published a translated a Cat Lim article, juz as 2011 was ending and had a piece on ministerial salaries by Goh.

Gd luck GMS, you got three big handicaps to overcome. You were adviser to TKL who lost his deposit in a badly run, ill-funded, eccentric campaign. As adviser you got to take some of the blame. NSP also didn’t make the break through in 2011 and you personally had a weak team and ran a lousy campaign in Tampines. My WP friends think they could have done a better job there.

Juz translate the gd stuff that TOC is already producing. Or joining TOC is juz another Wayang?

Readers might think it strange that I classify PritamS as hero turned zero. In 2011, he got his law degree and made it as a WP MP in Aljunied GRC. Trouble is that he got an undisciplined mouth in a party famous for “Silence is the better part of valour”, and then turning this into an advantage. Twice in eight months, he made comments that the constructive, nation building SPH papers “twisted’ against him. As Kum Hong said of the second time, he should try to avoid getting misinterpreted. I mean even Tin took a pot shot at him and got away with it. How bad can one get? The other time was when he spoke of “coalition” and was rebuked by WP’s Sec-Gen. 

PritamS, is the Weak Link in the WP: “Sit down and shut up” or “Learn from Show Mao” or “Silence is golden”. And if he can’t, Sylvia and Low, tape his mouth.  It is encouraging that he didn’t say anything in the parly debate on ministerial salaries that could be “misunderstood”.

If Tin Pei Ling wants to be a PAP superstar and celebrity that she was earmarked to be,  she should get pregnant this year, and talk about having four kids before the next GE. She never made it as Young PAPpy superstar and celebrity, what with her brain being dead when it comes to social media skills and ideas on helping poor (do the bare minimum to keep them alive is the implication of her speech at some conference). Funnily, I’ve been told that she is conscientious in her ward work, and when she was a grassroot volunteer. And quite a fun person when she isn’t on PAP duty mode.

Still it seems that LKY can’t stand the sight or sound of her. But as he believes in S’poreans breeding more and eugenics (her hubbie is one smart fellow and can compensate for Tin’s defects in the brain department), she could win him over by breeding for S’pore.

Imagine turning up at a MPS, a day before her baby is due with ST and MediaCorp journalists trailing her. She will show S’poreans how devoted a PAPpie can be in serving in the people. Better still if baby wants out and she is rushed to hospital. Betterest, if she miscarriages. Every mum in S’pore will feel for her. And bloggers like me will have to stop taking pot shots at her.

And given S’pore’s fertility replacement rate of 1.16, talking of four babies by the next GE, might inspire other gals to want to have babies. At the very least, Nicole Seah has to keep pace, if her partner has a clue on what to do.

The cultural elite who promote Melvyn the Dodger as heloo also bitch that the govmin should promote Singlish. Now Seng Han Thong shows us the perils of speaking Singlish. Hard to understand,  open to different interpretations. So Han should offer to front a “Speak proper English” campaign.  

So come on Zeroes, time to be soaring Dragons.

Why PM had three accountants on his pay review committee?

In Accounting, Financial competency, Wit on 19/01/2012 at 5:39 am

There were three trained and highly experienced accountants (the chairman included) on the eight person ministerial salary review committee, the most from any single profession.

Maybe the reason is that accountants can do magic with numbers? At least that is how it appears to us “lesser mortals”?

Example: The accounting profession can make a sum of money appear as US$4bn for the co that is paying out the sum and as US$6bn for the company receiving it.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/12/20/att-and-t-mobile-whats-2-billion-among-friends/?nl=business&emc=dlbkpma22

And there is the old joke that the best accountant is one that will ask you, “What answer do you want?” when you ask him, “What is 2+2″?

Uniting the Opposition: Framework for Consensus

In Political governance, Wit on 18/01/2012 at 6:17 am

It’s a good time to talk about uniting the Opposition what with the Opposition more-or-less united in attacking the PAP and government over ministerial salaries and train breakdowns.

So is Tan Jee Say doing anything to unite the Opposition?

A usually unreliable source tells that Tan Jee Say has not been doing anything on his pledge to unify the Opposition. Hell’s bells, he can’t be blamed. He fought two elections during period of April – August 2011, and has juz edited, contributed three articles, and published a book. If anything, he needs a break. He is after all turning 58 juz after the Chinese New Year festival’s end. And I would have tot, it would be a full time job keeping away boyars from his daughters.

But after the Chinese New Year hols, to show he is sincere about his promise, he’d better get to work. 

So to help him along, here’s my equivalent of a CNY hamper (snide remarks included as the sour stuff to balance off the sweet stuff).

After PM’s apology in May, juz before the May election, Yawning Bread wrote two manifestos saying, “To mean anything, these words have to be backed by action. I think the following ten-point plan should be the minimum proof of sincerity”.

To help TJS prepare the framework to unite the opposition parties, I’ve amended the manifestos slightly as the basis for a  questionnaire that TJS should use to send to the various oppositon parties.

(Hope TJS doesn’t mind the send-ups in the draft covering letter. Juz having a bit of fun at the expense of a fellow Rafflesian.) 

———

To the Secretary-Generals of the WP, SPP, SDP, RP, SDA and the President of the NSP

Dear Sir

As you are aware, I have made it my mission to unite the various opposition parties, so that come the next general election, they are in a position to form a coalition government that can take the place of the PAP.

Some of you have welcomed my mission with various degrees of warmness, while some have studiously ignored me. Never mind, as an RI boy, I’m used to people ignoring my brilliance.

As I was

– an RI boy;

a scholar with a PPE degree from Oxford (NOT NUS);

– a high-flying civil servant over 20 years ago;

– a top financial wizard (I also got big house despite not getting ministerial salary);

– a smooth operator (“political opportunist” to my detractors) who can talk of providing shared expertise to all the Opposition parties, then lobby to join one, and when that failed, join another and later leave it without upsetting too many people in the process;

– awarded a COE to contest the last presidential election; and

– someone with 25% of voters behind me (5% more people voted for me than for the WP, and NSP combined and that the combined votes of all the opposition parties was only 40% more than the people who voted for me), 

I have a mandate from the majority of those that voted for the opposition parties (40% of the electorate) and I know what needs to be done to unify the opposition parties: make ME your LEADER.

No, juz joking.

Seriously, I know it is it important to establish where the various parties stand on the various issues that affect S’poreans. To that end, I have prepared a draft “manifesto” in two parts in an attempt to tease out where the parties stand on various issues

  • Part 1 contains issues where I think the parties can agree on; and
  • Part 2 is on the issues where the parties may have differences.

I would like you to answer with a “Agree/ Disagree/ No Views” on each maifesto point. If you Disagree or have no views, please give yr reasons. The idea is to try to find some common ground on issues, as well to as to see what separates the parties.

I’ll collate the results, analyse them and publish yr responses and my analysis on a Facebook page

Manifesto

Part 1

Issues the parties can easily agree on

Please state “Agree/ Disagree/ No Views.” beside each point If you Disagree or have no views, please give your reasons separately

1. Halve ministerial salaries from the proposals that the PM has just accepted.

2. Publish the full accounts for the Youth Olympic Games.

3. Publish the transactional prices at which the Housing and Development Board pays the Singapore Land Authority for land.

4. Peg selling prices of new public housing as follows:

(a) smaller flats pegged to the mean of the 3rd decile of household income;

(b) mid-sized flats pegged to the mean of the 4th and 5th decile of household income;

(c) larger flats pegged to the mean of the 6th decile of household income.

5. Complete all urban rail projects on time and initiate construction of two more metro rail lines by the end of the next parliamentary term.

6. Promise to achieve a reduction of the Gini coefficient of household income of Singapore citizen households to 40 by the end of the next parliamentary term, with a longer-term Gini target of something in the mid-30′s.

Remember that the Gini coefficient of household income is a measure of the income gap between the rich and the poor. Reducing the Gini coefficient means the shrinking of this income gap. This means lifting people out of poverty and addressing the problems of an escalating cost of living. There are multiple ways of doing this; the exact tools can be left to the government of the day to decide so long as the target is achieved.

7. No increase in the total population (citizens + permanent residents + foreigners) by more than 0.5 percent per annum.

8. Abolish group representation constituencies.

9. Create a new, independent Elections Commission with rules as to how to draw up electoral boundaries that are compact and topographically sensible and with voter population in any constituency not to vary by more than 10 percent from the mean of all constituencies.

10. Set up a comprehensive healthcare safety net.

11. Repeal the Internal Security Act.

Part 2

Issues the parties may have differences on

12. Introduce proportional representation for at least one-third of the seats in Parliament.

13. Require all members of parliament to work as such (and as heads of respective town councils) fulltime, except if they take up political appointments in government.

14. Lower the candidature qualification requirements for the presidency.

15. Publish accounts of our sovereign wealth funds.

16. Detach all magistrates, judges and judicial officers from the executive branch; locate them in a separate judicial branch overseen by an independent commission responsible to its charter and the President. The commission will have the power to appoint judges and magistrates. All Supreme Court judges should have fixed tenure until they decide to retire or die. No judge will have renewable terms or term extensions as is presently the case.

16. Abolish the death penalty.

17. Abolish the Societies Act.

18. Abolish all censorship, leaving only a rating system in place; abolish collateral controls (e.g. venue licensing, good-behaviour bonds) that make certain rating classifications censorship in all but name.

19. Repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, and have constitutional guarantees for non-discrimination on grounds of gender and sexual orientation, in accordance with United Nations human rights standards.

20. Nationalise the train and bus public transport system.

Think you had a bad 2011?

In Wit on 07/01/2012 at 6:12 am

Or think that the PM, PAP, SMRT, Ms Saw and other SMRT managers, Seng Han Thong, KennethJ, Kate Spate Tin (and her side-kick Fat Fingered Denise), the Lions and Young Lions, Tan Kin Lian, Goh Meng Seng, Wong Kan Seng, Mah Bow Tan, Raymond Lim, George Yeo, Lim Hwee Hwa, Zainul Abidin and Cynthia Phua  had a bad year?

The Russian space agency had these problems:

The loss of the Meridian satellite ends a disastrous 12 months for Russian space activity with the loss of three navigation satellites, an advanced military satellite, a telecommunications satellite, a probe for Mars and as an unmanned Progress supply ship.

Earlier this month, Russia also failed to launch a Soyuz rocket.

24 December 2011 BBC report

Sadly Uniquely S’porean

In Uncategorized, Wit on 03/01/2012 at 5:42 am

You may have missed these Uniquely S’porean happenings because they happened during the hols between 23 december 2011 and 2 January 2012:

PUB bans, then unbans the “F” word

Initially PUB called time on the “F” word. It was now called “ponding” . Then PUB dropped the “P” word: “ponding”. It has resumed the use of the word “flooding” and “flash floods” and  as this report shows, at least for what happened at Liat Towers.

So despite a new CEO, PUB is even more dysfunctional than ever. Perhaps more so. As the CEO was previously in charge of coastal defence, Indonesian pirates must be annoyed they didn’t raid Sentosa Cove during his term of office. They would have got away with booty galore. And he would have blamed S’poreans that they were complacent, hence the attack. He blamed our complacency for the two 50-year floods in less than two months in 2010. Funny, he kinda quiet since the “ponding” at Orchard. PUB’s silly, belated reply: denies its own media release.

Elitist attitude condoned?

This JC student is upset because Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students have better facilities than “our brightest students, who will become Singapore’s future leaders” (I assume he includes himself) . Not surprise here given the sense of entitlement that JC students have and the high opinion they hold of themselves even at crappy JCs like Catholic, Temasek, Anderson, Tampines, Hwa Chong, National and Victoria. But no JC principal or MoE minister or official rebuked the boy. This I find astonishing given the results of the two elections in 2011. Government cannot multi-task? Focuing on SMRTgate and HanGate? Even WP NCMP ticked boy off lightly. Worse, TRE was nowhere in sight. Sigh. TRE should have named and shamed his parents and his JC. Boy has a bright future as Young PAPpie. He later said he didn’t mean to “attack” ITE students. Sounds like MP Han.

TV Star from Hell only gets 15 months probation

Many S’poreans were upset that FT “MediaCorp artiste” Quan Yifeng only got 15 months probation after she pleaded guilty to a charge of “mischief after she pulled out the taxi fare meter and spilling water onto the receipt printer of a taxi on June 26 after a dispute between her and a taxi driver. The damage amounted to S$70 … Two other charges – of kicking the right passenger door of the taxi and pushing and attempting to kick the 53-year-old driver – were also taken into consideration.”

This probation was despite her having form in being a dangerous and violent wacko. She was once fined for criminal violence:  getting into a fight with a bowling alley attendant.  And was fined for mischief : driving without a licence and causing an accident.

What was astounding was that despite this history of hurting others, the judge was influenced by a claim of depression more than 10 yrs ago, and that she was on anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and sleep medication when she turned violent. Medicine no work, so not her fault? So considerate leh to a wacko with a sense of entitlement? Look at her record of not caring if she hurt other people? No wonder she is a single parent. No, her hubby didn’t disppear, and his body never found. They are separated.

After her escape, she held a triumphalist media conference and blamed her troubles on everyone (including her beloved child, she claimed she was defending from cabbie. The child’s birth, more than 10 years ago, was the cause of her post natal depression) except  herself.

Her daughter didn’t do well in her Primary 6 exams. The principal and teachers must be worried that this mum from Hell will pay the school a visit?

Even if she doesn’t visit the school, she is likely to get her comeuppance soon. Given her record of being ready and willing to harm others and their property, she is likely to break the terms of her probation within the next 15 months. Then the judge will have no choice but to jail her and throw away the key.

Isn’t MediaCorp indulgent to keep her as an “artiste”. She is not exactly a role model for young S’poreans what with her record of hurting the “little people”. Or is MediaCorp indulgent because its CEO’s wife was once jailed (many yrs ago, when he was only a senior executive) for hurting her maid? Goh Chok Tong “the forgiver of mistakes” (remember ex- PAP MP and convicted criminal now facing three charges of cheating and Criminal Breach of Trust, Choo Wee Khiang, who GCT said we should forgive for his racist remarks) wrote a letter commending her to the sentencing judge. BTW, to be fair to MediaCorp, it fired this convicted maid abuser.

Sack Quan Yifeng. She can go back to Taiwan and hurt people there, if she got the guts. Taiwanese are no sheep. Let’s hope no-one dies because of the judge’s compassion towards her.

Making a mockery of NS

Can you blame 1 in 3 PRs for refusing to do NS? The performing arts elite have invited NS dodger Melvyn Tan for a concert performance. Shows that one can dodge NS , and still be in the in-crowd if one has the talent and the money. Even the constructive, nation building ST is on his side. Telling us to move on?  http://kementah.blogspot.com/2011/12/45-years-of-national-service-ns.html

Sigh. This reminds me why I’m a quitter in residence. At least I did my NS 1973 — 1976. Melvyn, around my age, gave two fingers to S’pore, and now to the performing arts elite, he is a heloo. What is beyond me is why the performing arts elite want him back? To put the noses of ordinary S’poreans out of joint? Or because he charges nominal fees because the elite treats him as a heloo, not as the pariah he deserves to be treated as? And why does the government allow this elite to get away with this? Hey PM, the voters have spoken. One FT MP sneering NSers is enough.  Voters also don’t care for self-appointed elites too much.

He was back last year for a concert, but ST didn’t cover his return, so only the artistic elite knew he was back. This year, the elite is determined to make us S’poreans eat crow over him?

PM’s “give and take”

Err hope his NY message of “give and take” isn’t code for ministries and agencies to start upping their charges to take from us. Juz kinding.

Wishing the PM a gd year. May he will connect with us S’poreans in 2012 now that dad and Goh Chok Tong are no longer in the cabinet to remind him that they know better.

TOC: More than meets the eye?

In Wit on 29/12/2011 at 9:24 am

Detractors of TOC’s coverage of HanGate (whose numbers include the local MSM, Cherian George (great ST connections) Shanmugam and New Nation’s Belmont Lay) must be doubly annoyed that the facts came out the way TOC’s initial headline said the facts would). They must think, “Lucky sods. Luck of the devil.” As a “futherest from the core team” member, I inclined to this view, remarking that in Milton’s Paradise Lost the devil stood for the freedom to choose.

Cherian, Shanmugam, Belmont and MSM, ever tot that team TOC has good intelligence sources? Not only was TOC given the tape, but shumeone told it that SMRT’s spokesperson never uttered the words (with racist undertones) that PAP MP Han attributed to SMRT. So, TOC did what TOC did, knowing that the headline was not wrong.

And to hide the fact that TOC has good intell sources and to protect its source, TOC played blur, allowing the facts to come out by themselves.

So Cherian, Shanmugam, Belmont, local MSM etc, don’t see TOC as “no ark”. TOC might have sources as gd as the Special Branch ever had in the days of fighting the Comminists. Remember that the treasurer of the Malayan Communist Party was a SB informant.

TOC could have such a mole in the establishment.  Hehehe

What Santa gave Han for Christmas

In Political governance, Wit on 29/12/2011 at 5:17 am

(Or “Why it’s all the fault of Goh Chok Tong” or “Unfair to call PAP racist, PAP loves Minorities”)

When Santa read in ST that Seng Han Thong had admitted he had misheard SVP “Do not ever damage SMRT property even if people are dying”* Goh’s radio comments, he dropped in on Christmas Eve at Han’s palatial mansion to deliver a made-in-China hearing aid and a gift voucher to see a Chinese Ear Nose and Throat specialist.

In politically correct socities like Britain and the US, where Han would be branded by the “great and the good” as a casual racist, his brain only hearing what he wants to hear, Santa would have given him a gift voucher to see a psychiatrist.  But this is S’pore, where things are different. Minorities are expected to be sensitised, not sensitive.

 Seriously, he must have a serious hearing problem if he could have missed out the “C” word in”Malay, Chinese, or Indians”. I mean the “C” word appeared in between the “M” and “I” words. If it had come first or last, a mishearing was possible. Anyway, I hope he visits an ENT specialist and a psychiatrist. We don’t want him inflaming racial tensions, do we? Or him discrediting the PAP and NTUC, where he holds senior positions.

The PM should blame one Goh Chok Tong for making PAPpies such easy targets when it comes to accusations of racism. How can PAP leaders ever be accused of racism when two out of four of the PM’s most trusted ministers are Indians (only 9% of the population), and until August we had an Indian as president for 12 years. And the Attorney General and the MD of the central bank are Indians. So how can the PAP be racist, if it has placed five Indians in prominent, important roles? If anything, the 75% of S’poreans that are Chinese, should be upset, which they are not.

Sorry, coming back to “Peanuts” Goh. In 1992, PAP MP Choo Wee Khiang complained in parly that he once visited Little India and found it in complete darkness “not because there was no light, but because there were too many Indians around there”. It was Opposition MP Chiam See Tong that objected to Choo’s comments, not a PAP MP or minister. Choo remained unrepentant saying he was talking about foreign Indians, not local Indians. Later, he apologised.

There were public calls for him to resign or be sacked from parly. But PM Goh Chok Tong defended him saying that Choo had apologised, that he didn’t mean any harm, and that we should “move on” because people make mistakes “from time to time”. 

Well his trust in Choo was misplaced. In 1999, Choo was jailed and fined for cheating offences. Taz not all. Today, he is facing three charges of accepting bribes totalling some S$2,300 from former coaches and a national player when he was STTA president from 1991 to 2008. He also faces one count of criminal breach of trust alleging he and then-STTA manager Koh Li Ping misappropriated S$8,400 from the association. If convicted, Choo faces a fine of up to S$100,000 and/or imprisonment not exceeding five years for each of the corruption charges. Criminal breach of trust carries a penalty of up to 15 years’ jail and a fine.

Some more “no harm” mistakes “from time to time”, Mr Goh? Gd judge of character, that Mr Goh.

Coming back to Han. At the time of his balls-up, he was saying SMRT needs to improve its public communications, “from this incident, we also noted that the public communication system is not adequate to address issues like this”. He is the one who has problems communicating, methinks

But no need to pity him. The latest is that he is trying to weasel his way out of the hole he dug himself in by now saying he was trying to defend workers who spoke bad English** and “My wish to defend you was further taken out of context and misconstrued by The Online Citizen”***.

He is trying hard, very hard.

——

*OK, OK. I exaggerate a little, but not that much

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

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/smrt-another-commuters-can-choose-comment/

**He is now denying he misheard it seems. “Unfortunately, in trying to defend you, I made the mistake of only mentioning our “Malay” and “Indian” workers where the original quote in the radio interview I was commenting on had cited MRT staff of different races, “Malay, Chinese, or Indians or any other race”.

http://www.publichouse.sg/categories/topstory/item/339-mp-seng-han-thong-apologises-to-ntwu

***On this point, I have defended TOC elsewhere saying that

– SHT owns those comments because he misquoted the original remarks, giving them a racist twist (even if unintended); and

 — given his status as a PAP MP and unionist, and the sensitivity of race here, he didn’t refute what he tot he had heard  as he should have done. Instead he poured kerosene liberally.

Immigration Dept: Come on, pull the other leg

In Political governance, Wit on 28/12/2011 at 3:43 am

Come on Koh Wee Sing Head, Public & Internal Communications, Corporate Communications Division, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, in the light of it being made a matter of public record that:

–  a 30-something sexy looking Chinese citizen working as a shop assistant being made a PR (She had come to prominence when she violently assaulted an SMRT officer for daring to ask her to pay her child’s fare);

– two PRC PRs who were hawkers;

– a Chinese dolly bird that was given PR status but then returned to China, and making fun of how easily she got her PR status; and

– one in three second-generation PRs do not serve NS, a reflection on their parents’ (first generation) attitudes towards S’pore,

how can you write with a straight face the following:

In assessing applications for citizenship, permanent residence (PR) or immigration facilities, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority adopts a holistic, calibrated approach, which includes interviewing the applicant and sponsor, where necessary.

Each PR application is evaluated on its own merits based on a set of criteria, including the individual’s economic contribution, qualifications, age, family profile and ability to integrate well into Singapore society.

http://www.todayonline.com/Voices/EDC111222-0000015/Each-PR-application-carefully-assessed-based-on-its-own-merits,-says-ICA

Yr idea of a holiday season joke?

“F” word banned by PUB?

In Economy, Infrastructure, Media, Political governance, Tourism, Wit on 27/12/2011 at 6:03 am

Trust a former President’s Scholar to come up with the solution to prevent floods in Singapore. VivianB got PUB to rename “flooding” as “ponding”. Why didn’t Yaacob do this instead of calling a flood a 50-yr event. Well there were two 50-year events in less than two months last year.

Seriously, I don’t think it was VivianB’s idea. Likely to be the new CEO of PUB that is behind the renaming. He after all blames us for the floods, saying S’poreans took things for granted*. I say to him, “Don’t try to deflect blame like SMRT’s CEO who told us to guard the trains when there was a security break-in. PUB did not do it’s job.

Ain’t this renaming juz daft and misleading? PUB said of the heavy rain last Friday “there was no flooding at Orchard Road … However, water ponded at the open area of Liat Towers, the underpass between Lucky Plaza and Ngee Ann City, and the basement of Lucky Plaza due to the sustained heavy downpour”.

Sorry PUB, these places were flooded. The ponds were at least ankle deep, at Starbucks, customers walked on chairs to get out, and shops had to close**.

I’m glad that MediaCorp didn’t buy into this euphemism. They called these “flash floods”, as they used to. As to ST, they tried to be truthful, while keeping VivianB and PUB onside. No wonder SPH is such a good dividend payer, while unlisted MediaCorp continues to struggle financially.

If VivianB and PUB were doing their very best to ensure that tourists are not scared off (Remember that the retail trade is tourist dependent to keep profitable and that the overall economy is heading for a slowdown, if not a recession), they failed as far as Malaysia is concerned.  Bernama reported:

Flash Floods In Several Parts Of Singapore Including Orchard Road

Flash floods hits several areas of Singapore including the republic’s most famous shopping alley, Orchard Road, following prolonged heavy rain in the southern and central parts of the city state Friday …

Nice try guys. But better for the economy, retailers and S’pore’s image if the PUB improved its “ponding” prevention measures, not try to play word games.

—-

*”But maybe we have also become victims of own success. Because we have been so successful, alleviating floods, that we have not seen a flood situation for a long time. So when it came, it did catch Singaporeans by surprise.”  Channel News Asia

**How Today reported the situation

The underpass between Lucky Plaza and Ngee Ann City remained closed yesterday evening. Some shop owners at the ground floor of Lucky Plaza said that water levels were ankle-high, but the situation this time was better than during previous floods.

At retail store Giordano, store in-charge Lyn Molino estimated losses of up to S$7,000 and said that customers were not only deterred by the wet floors but also by the stench from yesterday’s floodwaters. “This is supposed to be a good opportunity for us to have extra earnings but it has all been affected,” she said.

The floodwaters also washed out business at Starbucks and fast-food restaurant Wendy’s, among other establishments, at Liat Towers. Wendy’s manager (marketing and branding) Seng Woon Fa estimated losses of about 60 per cent of the day’s earnings. “We are now just busy cleaning up and hope to resume business as soon as possible … we are still checking if any equipment is spoiled,” he said.

Dedication to all serious minded activists

In Wit on 10/12/2011 at 5:43 pm

As 10th December is Human Rights Day, I dedicate this DH Lawrence poem to all the serious-minded activists in the SDP (except Danny), human rights movement (GLBT, no-hanging, abolish ISD, no tortue, etc etc), wimmin causes, animal rights movement, TOC, the boys at New Nation (the funny thing is that they think they are entertaining: they try too hard to be entertaining), Donaldson Tan and his friends at New Asia Republic, WP, NSP, SPP, RP, SDA and the PAP. And don’t ever do what the S’pore SlutWalkers did. They tried to be provocative but howled like wild animals when they were mirepresented or mocked. And the SlutWalkers (S’pore Chapter) event turned out to be beyond parody. See this and this. The US and other SliutWalkers should disown the S’porean SlutWalkers, juz like the international socialists once disowned the PAP.

Chill out and make yr messages entertaining. An American civil rights activist who went on to make a fortune in the media said something to the effect, “Entertain the people first, then make them think”. (I can’t remember the chap’s name).

A Sane Revolution

If you make a revolution, make it for fun,

don’t make it in ghastly seriousness,

don’t do it in deadly earnest,

do it for fun.

Don’t do it because you hate people,

do it just to spit in their eye.

Don’t do it for the money,

do it and be damned to the money.

Don’t do it for equality,

do it because we’ve got too much equality

and it would be fun to upset the apple-cart

and see which way the apples would go a-rolling.

Don’t do it for the working classes.

Do it so that we can all of us be little aristocracies on our own

and kick our heels like jolly escaped asses.

Don’t do it, anyhow, for international Labour.

Labour is the one thing a man has had too much of.

Let’s abolish labour, let’s have done with labouring!

Work can be fun, and men can enjoy it; then it’s not labour.

Let’s have it so! Let’s make a revolution for fun!

(Tip of the hat to Jim Henley.)

Comfort Delgro: Give CEO and PR people credit

In Infrastructure, Wit on 08/12/2011 at 8:37 am

Amid all the rubbish and abuse thrown at them, let’s remember that the CEO and his PR team are not like those of SMRT. I hear the lady in charge of public communications, an ex-ST biz editor (must be a rare breed) is one smart lady who likes Victoria’s Secrets underwear.

Taxi users have not been told, “You have a choice. Don’t like our fare hikes, talk a walk, train or bus, or buy a car.”

Instead of complaining so much, if you use taxis and buses a lot,  think of buying Delgro shares to hedge against taxi and bus fare rises. Management in Delgro are smarter than the average SMRT managers.

Update at 10am 8th December 2011

Profit boost for ComfortDelGro unlikely: analysts. Fare hikes not likely to see immediate cab rental revision, they say.

CPF system like this meh?

In CPF, Wit on 04/12/2011 at 6:09 am

If SDP members had a sense of humour (which they don’t, Danny the teh tarik Bear excepted)*, the SDP could use this joke to illustrate its view of how the CPF system works.    

A Scotsman goes into a brothel in Amsterdam one night and finds himself a nice-looking prostitute.

He asks her, ‘How much dae ye charrrge forrrr an hourrr?’

‘£100,’ she replies.

So he asks, ‘Okay, dae yee dae it Scottish style?’

She says ‘No!’

He then asks her, ‘I’ll gie you £200 to dae it Scottish style – please?’

She then says, ‘No’, not even knowing what ‘Scottish style’ was!

So he then offers her £300. Again she declines his offer.

So, finally he says, ‘I’ll gie ye £500 to gaun Scottish style wi’ me!’

Finally she agrees, thinking, ‘Well, I’ve been in the game for over 10 years now. I’ve been there and done that, had every kind of request from weirdos from every corner of the world. How bad could Scottish style be?’

So she goes ahead and has sex with him, doing it in every kind of way and in every possible position. Finally, after several intense hours they finish.

Exhausted, the hooker turns to him and says, ‘That was really fantastic. I’ve never enjoyed it so much. But I was expecting something perverted and disgusting. Where does the ‘Scottish style’ come in?’

The Scotsman replies, ‘I’ll pay ye next week…’

————————-

*To be fair, none of the political parties have a sense of humour. They are all too earnest and straight laced for my taste. Oh for Wayang Party.

CPF and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

In CPF, Wit on 02/12/2011 at 5:48 am

I’ve been reading shumething by Lewis Carroll and came across Sylvie and Bruno. Am surprised that the Young PAP and that unemployed chap running the Facebook page on “Fabrications about the PAP” are not defending the CPF system in the terms below what with the compulsory minimum sum scheme and the CPF Life Plans were introduced, and promises of better rates of interest in exchange for monies being locked up beyond 55.

But then maybe they don’t read and appreciate the works of Lewis Carroll of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland fame? They can only read and understand our nation-building, constructive local media and Petir?

From his Sylvie and Bruno:

How much is it, this year, my man?”… “Well, it’s been a doubling so many years, you see,” the tailor replied, a little gruffly, “and I think I’d like the money now. It’s two thousand pound, it is!”

“Oh, that’s nothing!” the Professor carelessly remarked … “But wouldn’t you like to wait just another year, and make it four thousand? Just think how rich you’d be!”  …  “But it; dew sound a powerful sight o’ money! Well, I think I’ll wait–“

“Of course you will!” said the Professor. “There’s good sense in you” …“Will you ever have to pay him that four thousand pounds?” Sylvie asked as the door closed on the departing creditor.

“Never, my child!” the Professor replied emphatically. “He’ll go on doubling it, till he dies. You see it’s always worth while waiting another year, to get twice as much money!

The novel was published in 1889 and in 1987 or 1988, Ralph Wanger (a then leading investment fund manager, now retired) told author John Train that the sum would have grown to £1 followed by 33 zeros. The magic of compounding on funds not drawn on. No wonder Lim Swee Say has a special monthly CPF statement so that he can see every month how much his millions are compounding. 

Coming soon http://feed.theweek.com/article/index/221651/retirement-is-80-the-new-65?

The intolerance of those calling for tolerance

In Wit on 29/11/2011 at 8:33 am

Femininists mockingly call themselves “sluts” as a means of fighting “for the right to express our sexuality free from shame, hate and abuse” (a most worthy cause that even I cannot find fault with), but when TNP mocks them, they rant and rave.

If you mock yrselves, you are fair game for others..

What next gals? Only wimmin can comment critically on feminist issues? For others to criticise or mock, will be “insensitive” and “hurful to wimmin”? Ask for the sedition law to be amended so that articles like what TNP wrote can land the editors and journalists in jail?

You are right to demand for tolerance (” the right to express our sexuality free from shame, hate and abuse”), but why are you intolerant of the right of others to make fun of you?

Remember you voted twice this year

In Political governance, Wit on 26/11/2011 at 6:29 am

And that

– the next opportunity is a few years away; and

– an economic slowdown is coming. 

So something like this can happen to voters here.

———

A PAP MP is murdered by his FT mistress and her PRC lover in his China mansion so that she can claim on a 20-million life insurance policy. The MP’s soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

“Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter . “Before you settle in, you have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.”

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf, then dine on lobster, sharks’ fin and champagne, and play high stakes poker.

Also present is the Devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realises it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises…

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

“Now it’s time to visit heaven,” St Peter says.

So, 24 hours pass with the MP joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and the 24 hours in heaven passes by and St Peter returns.

“Well, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now which will you choose for your eternity?” St Peter asks.

The MP reflects for a minute, then he answers, “Well, I never would have thought it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be happier and better off .. in hell.”

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The Devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.

“I don’t understand,” stammers the MP. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and sharks’ fin, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?”

The Devil looks at him, smiles and says, “Yesterday we were campaigning … Today you voted.”

___

Wonder if PM will be telling this joke at the next National Day rally?

Update on 27 November at 8.45 am

Err I could be wrong

Looks like the PAP is still campaigning for the  middle class and working class votes.  

Where are friends when you need them?

In Wit on 18/11/2011 at 6:10 am

The private equity investor J. Christopher Flowers used to be friends with Jon S. Corzine, whom he picked to run MF Global. They were both partners in Goldman Sachs, where the latter was also co-CEO. But the $47.8 million loss that Mr. Flowers’s company could suffer on the brokerage’s bankruptcy has strained relations between the two, the Wall Street Journal reported late last week.

Isn’t there a saying. “A friend in need, is a friend indeed”?

Even the birds and suicides flock to WP constituencies

In Media, Wit on 06/11/2011 at 3:36 pm

Yes I’m being insensitive but couldn’t help thinking the above when I read in today’s SunTimes that birds are flocking to Hougang creating problems for the residents, while another body was found in Bedok Reservoir, the sixth since the May GE, when the area voted for WP.

Wah, WP that popular leh? Even the birds and suicides support them?

Think again. The PAP  via the local MSM may want you to think that

– Hougang is fast becoming a slum (waste food and other rubbish are not being collected, attracting the birds) since Yaw became MP  because there are only a few competent people in the WP to manage a constituency and Yaw’s not one of them; and

– voters in Kaki Bukit are repenting of voting WP (as per LKY’s prediction earlier this year) by killing themselves.

Three cheers for TR

In Media, Wit on 04/11/2011 at 6:44 am

Discriminatory practices have no place in S’pore: Tan Chuan-Jin.

When I first read this local MSM headline, I raised my tea-cup to toast Dr Joseph Ong and the other unnamed and unsung boys and gals of the Wayang Party, Temasek Review or Temasek Review Emeritus or whatever they decide to call themselves, next. 

Whatever their faults (and they are many), they were very aggressive in publicising the names and contact numbers of companies (local and MNCs), managers and employment agents discriminating against true blue S’poreans. I’m sure that the postings (and readers’ comments) helped “rational discourse”, and “reasoned and constructive debate” on this topic, forcing the government to admit that the problem exists, and is extensive. Mr. Tan said that employers’ mindsets must be changed to tackle the problem, implying that the problem exists, and is extensive. And, in the words of MediaCorp, that  Singaporeans remain at the core of the workforce is the objective of a revised set of guidelines by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices.

TRE is said to be planning a comeback by mid-November at the latest) and that the core team will identify themselves publicly (trying to copy TOC is it?).

Looking forward to the return of TRE: lies, misrepresentations, rants, astroturfing, and the occasional good analysis (think Grey Hippo) and accurate sliming.

Jay Leno’s Stock Market Humour

In Wit on 29/10/2011 at 6:42 am

The US has made a new weapon that destroys people but keeps the building standing,. It’s called the stock market.

Do you have any idea how cheap stocks are? Wall Street is now being called Wal Mart Street.

I want to warn people from Nigeria who might be watching our show, if you get any emails from Washington asking for money, it’s a scam. Don’t fall for it.

President Bush’s response was to meet some small business owners in San Antonio last week. The small business owners are General Motors, General Electric and Century 21.

“Insufficient funds”

In Banks, Wit on 26/10/2011 at 6:49 am

What worries me most about the credit crunch, is that if one of my cheques is returned stamped ‘insufficient funds’. I won’t know whether that refers to mine or the bank’s.

Not true of our three local banks, they got lots of capital. They are using it to attract private banking clients. Even DBS, who blew up S’pore clients but compensated HK clients.

Deaf frog recovers hearing and other ministerial tales

In Wit on 25/10/2011 at 5:55 pm

Wonder when “Deaf frog” Lim Swee Say ( “We are deaf to criticisms”) got back his hearing? After the 2011 GE, when a swing of a few more percentage points could have meant the loss of millions of dollars?

Seriously, it’s strange that so long after croaking “cheaper, better, faster”, he has only last Friday explained that he was referring to “products and services”, not to the people who make them. Given the context when the remark was made (FTs allowed in by the cattle-truck load), many (self included) thought he was referring to S’porean workers and PMETs: Telling them (I’m a capitalist) to be “cheaper, better, faster” than the FTs beloved of MM. 

Can believe him or not?

Will one VivianB now tell us that we all misunderstood him when in response to Lily Neo’s plea for more help for the elderly poor, he made the infamous rhetoric query about the elderly poor wanting “hawker or restaurant food”? Will he now tell us that he was asking a genuine question and that if Lily Neo had said, “Yes”, he would have ensured that the elderly poor got such food, even if the food was unhealthy for them.  Blame Lily Neo for them not getting help, not him.

And how will  Ng Eng Hen respond to the implicit rebuke by PM?

Just seven months ago, during the Budget debate, then Education Minister Ng Eng Hen – in the same Chamber – strenuously debunked notions that social mobility is stagnating.

As evidence, he cited how among PSLE pupils from the bottom one-third of socio-economic backgrounds, one in six makes it to the top one-third of PSLE scorers.

‘The Singapore Story continues for this generation,’ he then declared.

Yesterday, Mr Lee made it clear that inequality and social mobility are not so easily delinked. Those from poor families are disadvantaged from the start. ST 21 October 2011, Hitting the reset button, by Li Xueying.

“My data was wrong. I took it from my ministry’s website,” perhaps?

Coming back to the Deaf Frog. Now that he has regained his hearing, he should explain to us how come he is so privileged to get a CPF statement every month? “Every month when I see my CPF Statement I feel so happy because I know…” Or was it “an honest mistake”?

New Stock Market Terms

In Wit on 25/10/2011 at 8:46 am

CEO –Chief Embezzlement Officer.

CFO– Corporate Fraud Officer.

BULL MARKET — A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

BEAR MARKET — A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry.

VALUE INVESTING — The art of buying low and selling lower.

P/E RATIO — The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.

BROKER — What my broker has made me.

STANDARD & POOR — Your life in a nutshell.

STOCK ANALYST — Idiot who just downgraded your stock.

FINANCIAL PLANNER — A guy whose phone has been disconnected.

MARKET CORRECTION — The day after you buy stocks.

CASH FLOW– The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.

YAHOO — What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.

WINDOWS — What you jump out of when you’re the sucker who bought Yahoo @ $240 per share.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR — Past year investor who’s now locked up in a nuthouse.

PROFIT — An archaic word no longer in use

Explains S’pore society?

In Media, Wit on 15/10/2011 at 8:40 am

I came across this quote after flipping thru today’s ST and MediaCorp’s freesheet. Could explain many things abt our society?

“The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. For to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves, and the better the teacher, the better the student body.”

- Warren E. Buffett

 

Ironies of the reopening of revolutionary’s villa

In Wit on 09/10/2011 at 9:45 pm

Last Saturday, the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, reopened after a year of redevelopment, to widespread local media coverage. “The refurbished villa aims to re-create the ambience from a century ago, when the 20th century villa served as the home and headquarters of Dr Sun’s revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia,” according to a CNA report.

The reopening was a  major event. DPM Teo (who is also the Minister for Home Affairs) was there. Not surprising, as the villa belonged to his great-grandfather who allowed Dr Sun to use it. Ex-minister George Yeo was also presnt.

It is a Hard Truth that Dr Sun was no pacificist  revolutionary. Unlike Gandhi. he was prepared to use (and used) violence to overthrow the Manchus.

Now the government here takes a very hard-line against those that want to overthrow the existing order of things by way of violence or subversion. Why just a few days ago, on 29th September 2011, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) took a strong stance against the calls of detainees, detained under the Internal Security Act, for their cases to be reviewed by an independent  commission.

So for a minister responsible for security, and an ex-minister to grace an occasion honouring a dead revolutionary who advocated and used violence, looks like something from the satires of Jonathan Swift or Evelyn Waugh.

More ironical (and sad to boot), on the same day, there was an Internal Security Act forum that organised a video-link conference with two ex-ISD detainees who had fled S’pore and remained abroad.

Even more ironical (and sadder), the police on Sunday said it was investigating “the organisers of the forum on the Internal Security Act for arranging  for a fugitive from justice, Mr Francis Seow, and a foreign national, Ms Tang Fong Har, to participate in a discussion on domestic politics.” Dr Sun Yat Sen must be rolling in his grave. He too was a fugitive from justice.

The government and the PAP PR machines must be wishing that they won’t be so unlucky next time there is a showcase event to promote the government or the PAP.

A Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and Jew have dinner

In Wit on 23/09/2011 at 8:17 am

A Catholic, a Protestant, a Muslim and a Jew were in a discussion during a dinner.

Catholic: “I have a large fortune….I am going to buy Citibank!”

Protestant: “I am very wealthy and will buy ExxonMobil”

Muslim: “I am a fabulously rich prince…. I intend to purchase Microsoft!”

They then all wait for the Jew to speak….

The Jew stirs his coffee, places the spoon neatly on the table, takes a sip of his coffee, looks at them and casually says:

“I’m not selling!!!…”

Mandate for PM to carry on fixing?

In Political governance, Wit on 28/08/2011 at 8:33 am

If I were a PAP spin doctor (which regrettably I’m not, they pay very well while I only have my CPF and dividend income to live on), this is how I’d spin Tony Tan’s very narrow win over Cheng Bock (7,000 votes*) with only 35% of all the votes cast and Jee Say’s good showing (30%?)**.

During the 2011 General Election, the PAP only got 60% of the popular vote. The Opposition got between them 40%. During the presidential election, the two candidates that had only just resigned from the PAP, got between them 70% of the votes. This is 10 percentage points more than the PAP got during the GE.

Not only that, but Kin Lian, the PAP member who resigned several yrs ago when his job specification no longer needed him to be a PAP member, and who has since been attacking the party, did badly. He may even lose his deposit***. It could be spun that S’poreans don’t like PAP traitors espec9ally those that did well from being PAP members. He was CEO of NTUC Income for 30 yrs.

So the PM can reasonably argue that he has a mandate from 70% of the voters to use government agencies to fix the Opposition something the PA (where he is chairman) and the HDB did in Aljunied. And he can allow:

– every TLC, or, or government department or agency to raise their charges until the pips squeak;

– LTA and SMRT to get away with repeated failures to secure MRT carriages and depots; and

– Central Mediation Centre and MinLaw to continue telling FTs that FTs can be intolerant of our culture and eating habits.

Carry on as usual PM, 70% of S’poreans are on yr side. Sigh.

Update on 28August 2011 at 9.25am

*7,269 to be precise

**25%

***lost his deposit with only 4.9% of the vote.

President Nathan: An Ordinary S’porean

In Political governance, Wit on 09/08/2011 at 10:06 am

Today, president Nathan will be presiding over the National Day Parade.

If the comments on the internet are to be believed, many netizens think that he should be flipping pratas instead and serving them to LKY, Ho Ching, the PM and other ministers. Now that is unfair, if not downright mean

Firstly, he represents one of the quiet S’poreans who support the PAP. There are 60% of them.

He is also a good model for the very many S’poreans (quiet or not) who buy Toto, Big Sweep and 4-D tickets. At the age of 74, he won big time. From a retired civil servant living in a modest semi-detached house along in an unfashionable district, he has become at almost 86 a multi-millionaire. His near contemporaries who had bigger houses in more fashionable districts have been left far behind.

He is your typical quiet ordinary S’porean who happened to luck out. A great role model.

So let’s give him two cheers and oh make mine a pratha with an extra egg.

Related post

http://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/the-greed-of-president-nathan/

“Deeply disappointed”: Tony Tan

In Political governance, Wit on 31/07/2011 at 7:15 am

 Well I am too Doc.

Waz this using the services of that clueless, pea-brained dynamic duo of Kate Spade Tin and Fat Fingers Denise (PAP poster gal Tin’s spastic FaceBook administrator,) to help you with yr Facebook page?

What medication were you on when you approved their appointments?

Seriously, jokes aside, I am very deeply disappointed with the carelessness that you and your team communicate with us ordinary S’poreans. The reply to Jessica was not the first piece of carelessness (or is it elitist meritocratic snobbery at work?). This was. FaceBook does not automatically put comments in the spam folder.

(BTW I don’t think you or your team engineered this. Only the SPH news team could be so dumb.)

Sorry for the distractions. Coming back to the reply to Jessica. Why did you and your team assume that S’poreans know that yr son is a President’s Scholar, or that in the US a college degree is needed before one can go to medical school or that it takes so long to qualify as a MD in the US.

In the reply to “Jessica”, if these facts had been made public, I for one would have not thought further of the matter. But it is a hard truth that these facts were not made public until sometime on Friday. In their absence, people who don’t want you as president seized their chance to to make adverse comments. But you and your team gave them the opportunity.

As to why you gave those “subversives” the opportunity, maybe you and your team agree with one LKY that we are “daft”, hence easily satisfied with any explanation. Anyway, we should have known that your son is a scholar and how MDs are trained in the USA. And maybe we should have known. But many of us are distracted by stagnating wages, rising property prices, high inflation, and increasing electricity and transport bills.

You and your team should remember that you are standing for an elected office, not us “lesser mortals”. You need our votes to avoid the ignominy of joining George Yeo and friends. Adjust the way you communicate to “reach” us. Do not expect us to adjust our thinking to understand you, if you want our votes.

Oh and what apologising for not giving the facts in the first place? Facts that would prevented us from being distracted? And from wasting our time.

One final thought. Nicole Seah works in a smallish PR firm. As she is one S’porean who knows how to communicate with us ordinary S’poreans, maybe you should have a chat with her with a view of using her as a communications adviser?

I know GIC’s Head of Communications has taken leave and  is assisting you in her personal capacity. But I think Rin Tin Tin and Denise the Spastic would have done a better job, in communicating with us S’poreans. BTW is that lady from GIC a S’porean? She has an “ang moh ” name.

It was an honest mistake, really

In Wit on 06/07/2011 at 7:17 am

I never tot anything could top the recent misadventures of Rin Tin Rin (or Kate Spade Tin) or MG Chan or Nathan (asking us to pay him to tell us what he did when he was in office). With soldiers like these, the PM does not need enemies.

But the unauthorised Lady Gaga rip-off by the National Day Parade (NDP) organisers is simply awesome.

For starters, it was bad. Judge for yrself. I wonder abt the rest of the show, if the intro is so bad.

Next, the organisers didn’t get authorisation to modify the lyrics. According to them, they didn’t realise they had to. What an indictment of S’poreans’ attitude towards intellectual property that the organisers of the national event of the year and their juniors didn’t know the law on intellectual property.

So unless they get approval, the song can’t be used, which is no bad thing.

Anyway, with clowns like these organising the national day parade, what hope is there that the housing, flooding and other problems that matter to S’poreans can be solved?

Some nasty but funny comments on Tony Tan’s independence

In Political governance, Uncategorized, Wit on 27/06/2011 at 9:51 am
Who would you believe? A mama-san at Kabuki KTV claiming to be a virgin or Tony Tan claiming to be independent? — karmabear
 
What’s the use of another PAP man as president?  It is like putting Dr Mahathir as referee for a match between Singapore and Malaysia. —  ?

Dr. Tony Tan’s election as President sounded like a CFO / CEO of a company is seeking re-appointment as its External Auditor after having resigned from the company. — MayRulersBeRighteous

PRATA going — Chou Doufu coming — xCode

If Tony Tan s independent, then pigs would fly and the sun would set in the east!! — Chanel

chouDoufu tcock liao — Transformers

For the record, I’m on the lookout for nasty and funny comments on the other two Tans. Very little luck.

Trivia Pursuit: the presidential elections

In Political governance, Wit on 24/06/2011 at 8:57 am

All three leading candidates are Tans.

They all have gd paper qualifications. Dr Tan Cheng Bock is a medical doctor. Dr Tony Tan has a PhD in Applied Mathematics (he also has a masters from MIT). When Tan Kin Lian qualified as an actuary, I’ve been told, there was only one other actuary here.

All three have dedicated their lives to public service. What the two doctors have done is a matter of public record. As one of the few actuaries in S’pore,  TKL could have made a fortune in the private sector. He chose to be the CEO of NTUC Income. Those were the days when there were huge discrepancies in pay vis-a-vis the private sector and government and trade union sectors.

Of the three, only Tony Tan came from an upper middle class family. The other two had much humbler backgrounds.

Tony Tan was the only one who studied at SJI. The other two were RI boys.

Only Tony Tan has the dubious distinction of coming from St Pats.

But Tony Tan was the only scholar among the three.

Only Tan Cheng Bock worked among the poor peasants in the countryside. He would be someone Mao would have been proud of.

The other two would have been in Mao’s words,”Running dogs of the capitalists”. One was a banker, following in his uncle’s footsteps. The other was an insurance man.

TKL was the only one of the three not to pick up the COE form himself. He was “not free” and sent his friend to pick up the forms.

TKL is the only one of the three who says (on his presidential campaign website), “If and when it [COE] is approved, I will decide if I wish to take part in the contest.” The other two have not given themselves such an “escape clause”.

Two seem to have well oiled teams in place. Only one is a one-man band.

So free leh?

In Political governance, Wit on 13/06/2011 at 6:45 am

Within a few weeks after retiring from the cabinet, Jayakumar was seen hawking his book, “Diplomacy”. Presumably he wrote it during his time in office.

The president has written one book while in office (proceeds to charity) and has publicised that another will be out in September (he leaves office on 31 August, unless he stands again).

One wonders if their official duties leave them so much free time that they can write books while in office? I tot, based on the experiences of a friend, mega-salaries come with little personal free time time. Or maybe $2-4m a yr is “peanuts”, so very little to do on the job?

MacPherson is a must

In Political governance, Wit on 05/06/2011 at 5:40 pm

A truck hawking designer gds from such designers like Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Kate Spade will make stops in the Central Business District and HarbourFront, among other locations.

While MacPherson isn’t exactly a place associated with those who buy luxury gds, its MP is one Tin Pei Ling otherwise known as Kate Spade Tin. As she is no longer working in the CBD, methinks she will appreciate the truck making regular stops at MacPherson so that her constituents can see her in another light: little Ms Tai-Tai.

There is an educational aspect too. In a video, she implied that the poor need to be motivated to work harder. What better way to motivate the poor in MacPherson than seeing their MP buying a S$1000 bag while they are waiting for their hawker or restaurant food from VB’s successor?

With MPs like these, PAP does not need enemies

In Political governance, Wit on 26/05/2011 at 9:43 am

“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 Wee Kiat, PAP MP for Nee Soon GRC, 24 May 2011 in Lianhe Wanbao.

As he is one of the handpicked elect elite of the PAP, these remarks have to be taken as official PAP policy. “We only talk to people who earn more than us because they are the only people worthy of our respect.”

So where does the “listening” of the PM come into this framework of “Money talks”? Are PM’s cabinet changes and ministerial salary review nothing but Wayang.

Can the PAP pls clarify wheher Dr Lim’s views are only his personal views.

If it turns out that this gd Dr is only giving his personal views, then he joins “Peanuts” Goh, Kate Spade Tin, “NS=Saving babies”Puthu and “M’sia gd for food only” Foo as people who the PAP should fear more than the PAP clones in blue and Dr Chee’s redshirts.

Quotes to console MM

In Uncategorized, Wit on 09/05/2011 at 5:45 am

The old order changeth, yielding place to new,

And God fulfils himself in many ways,

Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

The PAP that he founded and led to victory after, is not today’s PAP. Would Kate Spade Tin and Puthu have been MPs in his time? Would he have allowed George Yeo to “attack” the party in a desperate (and ultimately) futile attempt to win a GRC? Would Mah Bow Tan, Raymind Lim and Cry Baby Lim have kept their jobs in his cabinets. In the last case Cry Baby had over 10 years as NTUC chief and cabinet minister to solve productivity and pay issues. He failed. As to the other two, they failed to ensure sufficient public housing and tpt to take into account the influx of FTs.

And if the allegations that he was asked to “shut up” after his “repent” comments are true, he might want to remember:

Authority forgets a dying king,

Laid widowed of the power in his eye

That bowed the will.

Both are quotes from Tennyson’s Idylls of the King.

Listen to Yoda, bloggers

In Wit on 25/04/2011 at 9:41 am

My favourite bloggers are starting to get angry. Calm down please. As Yoda says,”Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

There may be a lot to get angry about, but getting emotional is not the way to go. Remember the Emperor and Sith Lords derive much of their strength from the hatred of their enemies. Hence the importance to the Jedi of being unemotional.

WP: The problem with light blue

In Wit on 22/04/2011 at 7:19 am

If you look at the photos (see last para for link), you could be forgiven for thinking that the WP candidates are wearing white shirts, and not light blue shirts. I commented on this to a friend who is not allied with any Opposition party, even though he has a social and civic conscience.

He explained to me that the lighting made the shirts appear white. It wasn’t, as I had joked, that the people in blue wanted to send a subtle signal that they were really men in white. It’s juz that light blue is a very subtle colour.

I hadn’t planned to blog on this but the pix accompanying this article gives the impression that only one person is wearing blue. Please WP do something about your backdrop, or wear shirts a darker shade of blue, like the lady at the corner is doing.

Don’t give people who wish you ill or the local MSM any opportunity to make fun of the WP.

(The article  mentioned in the first para where the accompanying photos “show” the people in blue wearing white. They are not. It’s the lighting.  For what is white, look at the CNA microphones. That is white.)

TOC: Pls don’t try to do humour

In Wit on 01/04/2011 at 5:52 pm

You don’t know how to do April Fool’humour. You gave the game away in the headline and as if  to make sure that the joke would not be missed,  you used the word “defunct” in the first paragraph. http://theonlinecitizen.com/2011/04/breaking-news-toc-to-contest-cheng-san-grc/

You should have used a real GRC say Moulmein- Kallang or Choa Chu Kang., though that might have got Goh Meng Seng or KJ sending TOC nasty emails. I think they don’t know the meaning of humour. As to Low, he will juz wait to see events unfolld.

This is how to do it

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ed-miliband/8419140/Labour-memo-celebrate-Ed-Milibands-wedding-with-street-party.html

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/238007/A-Zimmer-skateboard-now-that-s-silver-surfing

Waz so special abt July?

In Wit on 29/03/2011 at 10:27 am

This year July has 5 Fridays 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.  This happens once every 823 years.  Based on Chinese feng shui, this is called money bags.

And is a very auspicious period.

Better and funnier than Hard Truths

In Political economy, Wit on 15/02/2011 at 3:15 pm

Get hold of this: “Confucius Confounded: Analects of Lee Kuan Yew” by Francis Seow, Forward by Dr M.

http://www.mphonline.com/books/nsearch.aspx?do=detail&pcode=9789679695663

Like Hard Truths, it quotes MM. But unlike HT, it keeps its quotes pithy and concise. MM should have consulted Francis Seow, and not ST, on how to produce a book that the young will want to read.

Sumehow I doubt any bookseller will bring this in.

M&A: The wisdom of kids

In Wit on 15/02/2011 at 7:29 am

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO MARRY? (written by kids)

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.

– Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.

– Kristen, age 10

2. WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.

– Camille, age 10

3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.

– Derrick, age 8

4. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?

Both don’t want any more kids.

– Lori, age 8

5. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.

– Lynnette, age 8 (isn’t she a treasure)

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.

– Martin, age 10

6. WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?

When they’re rich.

– Pam, age 7 ( Love her )

-The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.

- – Curt, age 7

-The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.

- – Howard, age 8

7. IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?

It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.

– Anita, age 9 (bless you child )

8. HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN’T GET MARRIED?

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?

– Kelvin, age 8

And the Favorite is …….

9. HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?

Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.

– Ricky age 10

Chinese and Indian ways of getting marriage partners for kids

In Wit on 01/02/2011 at 8:37 am

Chinese parents meet in informal markets in city parks to exchange details.

In India, parents treat this like an MNC recruiting employees. They go to uni campuses and interview.

What do Pakis do? Visit terrorist trading camps?

Worse than insurance or used car salesmen

In Investment banking, Wit on 30/01/2011 at 6:21 am

This is how this blogger describes investment bankers.

If you want a piece of the deal, and the mouthwatering fees and bragging rights that come with it, you will suck up as shamelessly as possible to the beautiful lady and tell her anything she wants to hear.

The client holds all the cards in these situations, and the most an investment banker can hope to do is hop a ride on the gravy train and ladle off as much as he can. It is not a scenario which encourages or supports professionalism, integrity, or carefully weighed judgment. It encourages blatant prostitution.

investment bankers are pretty good salespeople, and we will use our sales wiles on our own clients when we think it’s necessary. Accordingly, we will try to overcome any objections (like price, terms, etc.) a client may come up with that may stand in the way of closing a deal. For another, investment bankers are highly motivated to close deals, because in almost every instance that’s the only way we get paid. A client should never hire an investment banker for pure, unbiased advice as to whether it should do a deal, because often the right answer to that question is no, and that’s just not what we’re selling.

Sounds like PAP govmin

In Wit on 23/01/2011 at 7:22 am

The Sunday Telegraph has a story about the owner of a Bournemouth gift shop who says business is booming after he put up a sign saying customers can buy two but pay for three. BBC Online

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