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Archive for the ‘Political governance’ Category

2033: Real reason why PAP rule will really end

In Political governance, Property on 21/10/2017 at 7:07 am

When I wrote Today SMRT, TOM Resale Public Housing which tells readers living in HDB flats how much time they have to enjoy “asset enhancement” after paying off their “affordable” 25-year mortgage (before the value of their HDB flats collapses according to calculations made by the constructive, nation-building ST not anti-PAP cynernuts), a regular reader linked my tots to an earlier piece Why 2033 will be the yr PAP rule ends.

By then the problem of large swathes of HDB estates’ (not just blocks here & there) impending demise to zero value will be front & center.

this fat cat rentier pointed out referencing Why 2033 will be the yr PAP rule ends

So u really think Ah Loong wants his son to be the 5th generation PAP PM? Something his siblings and anti-PAP cybernuts allege?

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Old told homes are not ‘assets to pass on to offspring’

In Political governance, CPF, Public Administration on 14/10/2017 at 11:11 am

No not a PAP minister or MP telling S’poreans that yr HDB flat is not really yrs.

According to the UK’s media, the UK social care minister has suggested pensioners’ property is not “an asset to give to their off-spring” but could instead be sold to pay for their care needs.

Maybe she’s the kind of person, the PM should offer citizenship to and promise to fast track her into the cabinet? After all, the recent fiasco on what the AG advised the cabinet to do showed what a cock, Kee Chui Chan, one of candidates to be PM is.

Btw, we don’t have this problem In the Daily Mail newspaper, UK’s justice minister Phillip Lee warned that the UK is a “selfish” society where families shirk their duty by “outsourcing” the care of their elderly relatives.

Here we got laws to make sure that S’poreans, not the state, have to look after their elderly relatives, one reason why taxes here are “peanuts”.

Then there’s this:

But if you transfer your CPF to your parents’ or grandparents’ CPF, you could be solving a problem (their need for money) in a way that creates another problem (your retirement needs) worse. Ownself sabo ownself.

Worse the PAP administration will be laughing all the way to the bank if yr parents or grandparents die earlier than expected and they are on CPL Life, not the old CPF Retirement Sum Scheme. The bequest should be much lower compared to if they opted-in to CPF Life.

CPF changes: Rob Peter to Pay Paul and worse

PAP: Chinese defecate in public, Indians clean up

In Political governance on 13/10/2017 at 5:32 am

When I read the u/m TOC FB post, I couldn’t help but think of stereotypical Indian roadsweepers (the “hewers of wood and drawers of water” or “thambies” as they were once derogatorily called ) cleaning up after their stereotypical arrogant, entitled Chinese masters were caught defecating and urinating in public.

A video recap of what was said in Parliament by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Chan Chun Sing, Workers’ Party MP, Ms Sylvia Lim and Minister of Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam Sc on the issue and allegations of the counting of Mr Wee Kim Wee as the first president for the purpose of the Reserved Presidential Election.

Based on what the PM, DPM and Kee Chui Chan said (see below) it was reasonable and legtimate that there were reasonable S’poreans who tot that the AG had advised that “counting” must start from the time of Wee Kim Wee, and that the govt had no discretion on when to start “counting”. In other words, it was a legal issue, not a policy issue.

“We have taken the Attorney-General’s advice. We will start counting from the first President who exercised the powers of the Elected President, in other words, Dr Wee Kim Wee. That means we are now in the fifth term of the Elected Presidency.”

PM

“Are you saying that the Prime Minister has falsely told the House that this was the advice he received from the Attorney-General’s Chambers? And yes, we will be passing a law, the Presidential Elections Act to state so, that these are the designated races, and so forth.”

DPM Teo

“The Government is confident of the advice rendered by the Attorney-General. We proceeded on that basis during the debates on the constitutional changes in this House. Prime Minister Lee explained to all why we needed the hiatus-triggered mechanism, and we passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill. We are here today to put the nuts and bolts in place for a decision made clear by the Prime Minister during the debates in November. And we will not go through this again.”

Kee Chui

Kee Chui added for good measure something to the effect, “Not happy isit? Sue leh. Dare u”.

Note that nothing was said by these ministers to disabuse those S’poreans who tot that the AG had advised that “counting” must start from the time of Wee Kim Wee.

As usual the Wankers’ Party sat down and wanked at the challenge. It took Dr Tan Cheng Bock to pick up the gaunlet and take legal action.

The Deputy AG (an Indian) told the Court of Appeal: “PM never said that the AG advised PM to start the count from President Wee. What PM said is that the AG advised (that) what the Government was proposing to do was legitimate” and the AG never advised the Government that President Wee was the 1st Elected President. The start of the count was purely a policy decision, which the Court cannot review. AG’s advice to the PM was ultimately irrelevant.”

The courts held that the advice of AG was irrelevant saying that “counting” could begin from Wee if that was what the govt wanted to do.

But even the AG conceded that costs should not be awarded to the AG because the matter was one of “public interest”.

Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock said on Tuesday (26 September) that his constitutional challenge against the term count of the Elected Presidency (EP) has ended with no legal costs payable to the government.

The government had wanted the court to order $30,000 costs against him initially, Tan said in a post on his Facebook page.

Last month, Tan lost lost his appeal case against a High Court ruling on his constitutional challenge to the timing of the reserved PE.

“But my lawyers vigorously resisted and argued for a “public interest cost order” instead. After reading our submissions, the Government changed their mind and consented to “no order as to costs”, Tan added.

For such an order, the court can spare an unsuccessful plaintiff who has filed a legitimate complaint, from paying costs to a government defendant in a case of general importance and public interest, Tan highlighted.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/tan-cheng-bock-no-need-pay-30000-costs-government-elected-presidency-case-123542863.html

Now we are told by Shanmugam in parly:

“What Ms Lim is saying that we start, we are starting to count from here because of AGC’s advice. That was never suggested. We start counting, we are a careful government, we make a policy decision, but we take advice to see whether there are any impediments. And this government as a rule, generally, does not publish legal opinions that it gets.

If it can be done according to the law, we do it. If the law has to be changed to achieve policy objectives, we do it. And I said it upfront well before the Parliamentary proceedings.

So why only now say this in parly? After

— daring those who dared question its argument to sue without clarifying what it meant when it talked about acting on AG’s advice;

— the Government changed their mind and consented to “no order as to costs”; and

— trying very hard to ensure that Sylvia Lim could not raise the issue of what the AG had advised: or at least that was the perception.

Why so cock?

It was so easy to defuse the issue right at the beginning. All it needed was a minister to explain in parly what PM really meant to say but didn’t. I don’t blame PM for messing up the explanation because we now know he was in the midst of a very bitter family row that later went public. And to be fair to him, his phrasing was ambigious and could have meant what Shan said it really meant.

But DPM Teo’s and Kee Chui’s “explanations” seemed to say that PM meant to the govt had no discretion on when to start “counting”. They seemed to say,  it was a legal issue, not a policy issue.

But then maybe DPM Teo and Kee Chui didn’t understand AG’s advice and didn’t ask Shanmugam what it meant?

Why so cock? After all Kee Chui is one of the next gen leaders touted as a future PM.

 

The silence of the Malay Minister

In Political governance on 12/10/2017 at 7:21 am

Yaacob AWOL or MIA isit? Jus like Khaw on the flooding of the MRT tunnel isit?

Seriously I find it very disturbing that a non-Muslim minister makes the following important comments at a religious seminar, not the minister responsible for Muslim and Malay matters.

Noting the declining trend of younger Muslims going to the mosques for religious guidance, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said more can be done to engage millennials online in a bid to win over their hearts and minds.

Speaking on Saturday (Oct 7) at a seminar on strengthening religious resilience, Mr Shanmugam said that amid the racial and religious strifes in neighbouring countries such as Myanmar and the Philippines, Singapore cannot let its guard down.

And Islamic religious scholars and teachers, he noted, play a critical part to provide religious guidance and advice to the youth.

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/essential-engage-millennial-muslims-online-less-them-go-mosques

Shouldn’t this speech be made by Yaacob, the minister responsible for Malay and Muslim issues? As the minister responsible for Malay and Muslim issues he should be at the forefront of Muslim issues especially when the topics are relevant for all S’poreans.

Why liddat?

He’s uncomfortable talking about the declining trend of younger Muslims going to the mosques for religious guidance, and about Islamic religious scholars and teachers playing a critical part to provide religious guidance and advice to the young? And so a non-Muslim minister has to raise these issues.

If so, why is he uncomfortable talking about these issues?

Related posts:

NLB is very sensitive about Malays and Muslims

Religious harmony: PAP’s, Putin’s way

 

Why 2033 will be the yr PAP rule ends

In Political governance on 11/10/2017 at 8:00 am

Recently, I wrote

The USSR lasted for 74 years from 1917’s October Revolution. Counting from 1959, PAP has until 2033.

Here’s the real reason why PAP rule will end in 2033: 2033 will be the time when the 5th generation of PAP leaders take charge.

Here’s the detailed reasoning.

Tay Kheng Soon posted on FB on Sunday

Cherian George’s prediction or expectation that there will be 20 exceptional young people who will emerge to form singapore’s 5th generation leaders is too optimistic. Unlike the first generation leaders of the 60’s who had a socialistic world view the young today have been destroyed by post modern philosophy which combined with a good life has inbued in them a hyper subjectivist mentality. Its old radicals that need to step up to the challenge of a disrupted world. The 4th generaltion leadership are on cruise mode.

Cherian George had earlier been interviewed by Mothership (the PAP’s atas version of Petir) as saying:

“What the PAP and their supporters celebrate today is the creation of a small band of exceptional young Singaporeans. Lee Kuan Yew and less than 20 other people. So I asked myself, is it reasonable to hope that in Singapore today, among teens among 20-somethings and 30-somethings, that there are 20 Singaporeans with exceptional intelligence, ability, sense of public service, empathy, and conscience, to make Singapore what it can be? Yeah, of course I have hope! You can’t find 20? Please!”
Cherian George on why there’s hope for Singapore to become a better country.

After publicising the article: Cherian George (Malay Minister’s brudder-in- law, and his wife was ex tua kee in ST) commented  on FB

… be able/willing to rise
to the top. That’s why I don’t talk about 4G. More realistic to place hope in 5G (a long time off).

Coming back to the USSR, depending on how one decides to count the leadership changes in the USSR, it was the 5th generation of Soviet leaders that presided over the collapse of the USSR.

Already things like the continual breakdown of MRT services and the failure to find new engines of growth despite a restructuring plan every decade (Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different) shows that like the USSR after death of Stalin, S’pore is going to the dogs after Harry’s death.

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

In Political governance, Public Administration on 08/10/2017 at 1:46 pm

Here I made fun of Seelan Palay’s latest attempt to test the OB markers: he crossed a red line after the police tried very hard not to arrest him, but he persisted, “After several failed attempts by the Police to persuade Seelan to leave the area, he was arrested by the Police at 3.20pm.” (TOC report)

Two years ago I wrote about how one person can be arrested for an illegal assembly

Jogging alone can be illegal?

If wearing the wrong tee-shirt or singlet?

Try walkng or jogging alone* wearing a “Free our CPF” singlet: remember that any public assembly of more than one person** needs police permission.

And jogging in a group of two or more”Free our CPF” singlets will be like jogging in groups in Burundi: illegal.

Running is a national pastime in Burundi, with hundreds of people out jogging on weekend mornings. But in March [2014] the authorities banned jogging in groups – unless permission was sought from the authorities. It affects all group sports in the capital, which can now only be played in designated areas.

Jogging by Lake Tanganyika

The restrictions followed the arrest of some opposition members who were out jogging and chanting political slangs. Police officers tried to stop what they regarded as an illegal march and the situation deteriorated into clashes. More than 40 Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) party members received sentences ranging from five years to life.

Burundi: Where jogging is a crime

Wonder what about wearing a tee shirt with a Oppo party logo, drinking teh tarik as social media celebrities Ravi and Jeannette Chong used to do when they were NSP tua kees.

And what about the crowds assembling to pay their respects to LKY? What about the crowds at the National Museum LKY exhibition?

Seems anything the PAP administration or the SPF doesn’t like can be an illegal assembly.

Related post: PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?

———‘

*Auntie Sylvia was absolutely right in 2007 and 2009 when she spoke out publicly:

The change in definition of “assembly” and “procession” is more disturbing. As the Explanatory Statement to the Bill says, these words are no longer restricted to gatherings of 5 persons or more. This means even ONE person alone can constitute illegal assembly, thus giving the State complete control over an individual citizen’s freedoms.

‘First, to say that 1 person constitutes an assembly is certainly an abuse of the word. Secondly, is the government making the change because there had been incidents involving less than 5 persons which had disrupted public life? Unless there is compelling evidence to prove to us that expanding the definition of assembly and procession is needed, this expansion does not deserve our support,”  Sylvia Lim in parly in 2009.

Earlier, in 2007, she had said:

“This refers to clauses 29 and 30 of the Bill. By clause 29 of the Bill, we are removing the heading “Offences Against Public Tranquility” and replacing it with “Offences relating to Unlawful Assembly”. By Clause 30, we will be deleting “mischief or trespass or other offence” and replacing it with “to commit any offence”.

S 141 has been amended to bring it in line with a recent Court of Appeal case: PP v Tan Meng Khin [1995] 2 SLR 505. Now, an assembly will be unlawful if people intend to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment of 6 mths or more, even if it is peaceful and does not disturb public tranquillity. Under our law, a person who organizes a procession or assembly after the police rejection of a permit can be punished with max 6 months jail under the Miscellaneous Offences Act. Hence 5 or more people who gather to do so will become members of an unlawful assembly.

As our society continues to evolve, the time is surely ripe for us to allow peaceful outdoor protests as a form of expression. By all means, we can have rules about how, where and when such processions may be held, but wider law reform is needed. S 141 should be restricted to offences which threaten the public peace, and other laws such as the Miscellaneous Offences Act which require permits for peaceful assemblies should be modified.”

**Two men between the ages of 24 and 25 were arrested by police outside the Istana on Saturday afternoon (Apr 4).

Police said the duo had turned up in front of the Istana with placards at about 4pm. Channel NewsAsia understands that the men were holding signs that read “You can’t silence the people” and “Injustice” for about half an hour. They were clad in identical red hoodies and dark blue jeans.

Police also said both of them had refused to stop the activity despite requests from officers. As such, they were arrested for organising a public assembly without a permit, under Section 16(1)(a) of the Public Order Act, Chapter 257A.

 

 

PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 08/10/2017 at 4:47 am

Is Lawfare the PAP’s weopen of choice against the enemies of the people the PAP?

Yesterday, I came across a word that JBJ, Dr Chee, Roy, Amos, Francis Seow and many other opponents of the PAP would have agreed as being the victims of, if they knew of the term. The word is “lawfare”.

The term is used by the Brazilian lawyers of ex-president Lula da Silva who was recently found guilty of corruption in a letter to the editor in the latest issue of the Economist . They define “lawfare” as “the misuse of law for political ends” and they accuse the Brazilian authourities of using lawfare against their client. 

What do you think? The PAP is using lawfare against its opponents?

Very related article: In S’pore we have rule by law not the rule of law.   

(Last para added at 6.20am)

PAP rule will end in 16 yrs time

In Political governance on 06/10/2017 at 2:59 pm

There have been quite a few comments on FB recently comparing PAP ruled S’pore to the USSR.

The USSR lasted for 74 years from 1917’s October Revolution. Counting from 1959, PAP has until 2033.

 

Tharman talking cock? Or cracking a joke?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/10/2017 at 10:27 am

[R]ecently, a DPM said we are now more tolerant than in the 70s and 80s. I remember participating in a couple of demonstrations in the 70s organised by the student union without asking for permission – how do you square all this?

Tan Tee Seng, Operation Spectrum detainee, on FB

The preceding bit reads

From my perspective, the case is simple – an artist used a performance art to draw attention to a shameful chapter in our historical past, much like a one-man flash mob performance. There were 3 scenes – the first at Hong Lim Park was attended by about 30 – 40 people. Part 2 was in front of the National Gallery and Part 3 was outside the Parliament House (both are public spaces). About 15 odd people saw the performance with a few passers by. After the performance, the artist was arrested – handcuffed and bundled into a police car, some of the audience were told they were “witnesses” to a commission of an offence which the police could not ascertain. Artist was kept 24 hours for his part and may be charged. The “witnesses” may be rounded up later to assist in the “investigation” – all because there was no permission given and yet our constitutional rights provide us the freedom of expression, assembly and speech.

The whole post

 

Related post: Tharman the wannabe comedian

Tharman stopped running with the hares and hunting with the hounds

In Political governance on 29/09/2017 at 10:53 am

Most of the anti-PAP ang moh tua kees who comforted themselves after GE 2015 with the tot that Tharman was really one of them are in mourning.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has come out to clarify his views on the mainstream media and the Bukit Batok by-election, topics which he was asked about during a dialogue with students last week.

Mr Tharman said that contrary to what social media commentators have claimed, he did not agree during the dialogue that the People’s Action Party had engaged in “gutter politics” in the Bukit Batok by-election.

Mr Tharman also elaborated on his comments about the mainstream media, saying he regards the media as “serious-minded, responsible players in an evolving Singapore democracy – helping to take it forward, but airing views in a way that avoids fragmenting society”.

The Deputy Prime Minister was clarifying comments he made at a a dialogue last week, where he was asked by a student about media control and whether he agreed with the “gutter politics” of the ruling party during the 2016 Bukit Batok by-election.

Nothing could be clearer that he’s a Man In White: nothing grey about him.

————————————–

As to what he said, rather than what he thinks he said: https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/09/21/tharman-on-state-media-gutter-politics/

——————————–

But some fans are in denial:

Nothing is clarfied. It only blurifies what his standing is. Perhaps he would prefer to keep it that way.

Here’s another angle that his fans in denial can cling onto. Maybe Tharman now thinks after the uproar over a Malay (but i/c saying “Indian”) becoming the PAP’s president, that the PAP is now willing to accept a non-Chinese as PM and that he is positioning himself according. If u believe this, drop me a line. I got some blue cheese from the moon to sell to u.

I’ve commented in the past that the light the ang moh tua kees see coming from Tharman’s ass isn’t the sun; it’s the headlight of the PAP train. So trumpet’s pls for me.

 

Why PM wants a cashless payments system/ Ownself sabo ownself

In Banks, Economy, Political governance on 27/09/2017 at 6:42 am

Why does PM wants a cashless payments system?

Because no-one can hide from Big Brother when the banks are at the centre of the system.

When TRE republished my piece on a TRE appeal on behalf of its longest serving team member, there was this response

oxygen: MY INFORMATION SOURCES ARE RELIABLE – just bring whatever cash you want to donate, fill in a deposit slip of amount and account number of payee and hand it to the bank teller at the counter.

No banker is interested in who is the donor or deposit maker. A can pay C on behalf of B who is short of cash or unable to have funds to settle his/her debt to A. Or X can pay Z $XXX giving the latter a financial loan.

It is none of anybody’s business except as between the transacting parties. No bank ask you why you pay a check to supplier A – Z for what financial obligations. They are not interested to know your business transactions. People gives to charity – nothing wrong with that.

So those who can afford and want to give to charity, just walk into a bank and do it before 30 September.</blockquote

and someone tried it and it worked

Trying it out: This morning I deposited S$50 to the given POSB account over their counter. I handed cash and remain anonymous. I did not give any of my personal details. I got the receipt. But the recipient name is slightly different. I hope it is all in order. I was trying out donation on anonymity basis.

http://www.tremeritus.com/2017/09/20/follow-up-to-tr-emeritus%E2%80%99-in-house-techie-requires-assistance/

So go on – if you are able and incline to contribute to humanitarian cause. It is nobody business if you want to do charity or help someone (can be Ah Kow, Ah Ngeow or Ah Beng or Ah Lian) who haven’t got the time to Q in a banking hall to do charity.

Singapore POSB Account

Payee: Ten Leu-Jiun

A/C No: 193-69702-0

(The last day of payment to this account is 30 September 2017.)

Ownself sabo ownself

Incidentally, no picture, no sound from the PM or his minions on the e payments system proposed by Razer’s CEO https://sg.news.yahoo.com/razer-ceo-submits-two-pronged-e-payment-system-proposal-pm-lee-112133198.html.

PM was talking cock when he was moaning that S’pore was so far behind China in e-payments because it’s his and his administration’s fault.

They are not fighting vested interests i.e. the banks: think transction and merchant fees charged. And the PAP administration’s red line is that banks must be at the heart of the system. This among other things ensures that the authorities have access to information.

But let’s be thankful to the PAP for sticking to the Hard Truth of die die must protect our banks: Cash is king. And anyway I own Haw Par which is a cheap way of buying into UOB.

But don’t try depositing a $1000 bill into any bank account. A few yrs ago, someone gave me a $1000 bill. I gave it to my mum and she decided to put it into my POSB account. Bank wanted me to come down to deposit it. She said I was overseas and so bank reluctantly took the money.

 

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

In Political governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 26/09/2017 at 11:16 am

Meritocracy and accountability are two sides of the same coin as the US navy has recently shown (PM, this is accountability).(Btw, a long time ago, the British executed a white horse to encourage other senior naval officers to do their duty.)

Therev are many examples where despite all the talk of meritocray (Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness), by the PAP, failures are rewarded, showing there’s no accountabilty. Think NOL’s CEO who is now SPH’s CEO or Ong Yee Kung  or SMRT’s Desmond Kwek or paper General Ministers.

The reason is simple: they were doing what they were supposed to do. Juz like when algos fail, the algos are not faulted. They juz doing what they were designed to do: “only doing what it was told”.

This realisation came when I read this

If Facebook’s algorithms were executives, the public would be demanding their heads on a stick, such was the ugly incompetence on display this week.

First, the company admitted a “fail” when its advertising algorithm allowed for the targeting of anti-Semitic users.

Then on Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg said he was handing over details of more than 3,000 advertisements bought by groups with links to the Kremlin, a move made possible by the advertising algorithms that have made Mr Zuckerberg a multi-billionaire.

Gross misconduct, you might say – but of course you can’t sack the algorithm. And besides, it was only doing what it was told.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41358078

Blame the PAP (or rather the leaders of the PAP). And blame the pioneer generation for allowing S’pore to become a de facto one-party state?

Looking at things this way, and maybe the poor among the pioneer generation deserve the “peanuts” the PAP are shelling out.

What do u think?

Pot calling kettle black

In Political governance on 24/09/2017 at 5:14 am

I couldn’t help think the above when I read

Several Members of Parliament yesterday called for greater compassion from a public service that has, in Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng’s words, “lost its heart”, citing examples of how people have been turned away because public servants were doing things strictly by the book.

(Today)

The constructive, nation-building free sheet then went on to quote several PAP MPs.

Come on, the same can be said about today’s PAP MPs with the honourable exceptions of Lily Neo, Kate Spade Tin and a few others.

 

Tharman: PR King

In Political governance on 22/09/2017 at 1:48 pm

Following Tharman’s laterst comments

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said that he, like most Singaporeans, would have liked to see a contest in the recent Presidential Election.

However, the debate over the presidency proved that Singaporeans have an aspiration for race to matter less in politics and society, he said

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singaporeans-have-an-aspiration-for-race-to-matter-less-dpm-9234412

his fan club are out in force calling for him to be the next PM.

If they have their wish of having him as PM, the PM, CJ and the president will all have i/cs saying “Indian”

We Second India isit? Xi, Uncle RedBean and other S;porean PRC supremacists will surely have something to say about this takeover of S’pore (75% Chinese) by the mortal enemy of PRC, India.

Seriously, i have to share this song of praise that appeared on FB:

Off the top of my head, Tharman’s six principles of political communication:

1. Timing: Wait till the worst of the storm of public dissatisfaction blows over. Don’t go into the thick of it. Wait for heads to cool.

2. Deflate the elephant: Point to the elephant in the room, acknowledge it, and everyone goes “finally!”. Tension is released. Elephant gets smaller, people can breathe easier.

3. I am one of you: Acknowledge and even agree with the sentiments on the ground, then reframe to “in spite of this… must recognise reality… and so must do that”. Classic rhetorical technique. Throw in own background of activist etc. for added legitimacy.

4. Be general: He said he doesn’t agree with every tactic of everyone of his colleague. Broad obvious statement. In a large org like PAP that’s bound to happen.

But this allows people to fill in what they *think* he means. Or what they *want to believe* cos he’s likeable. Still, people may not be wrong, but it gives wiggle room should the need ever arise in another context.

5. Provide hope: Things are better now than before. We will continue to be better. Let’s work towards that.

6. Be likeable: People listen to you cos they like you. This factor anchors all the above.

Also, he didn’t comment on the process, and the legitimacy of a president who came into office with so much controversy on the ground. Does the President really have a mandate then? Maybe no one asked. And why should he bring it up of his own accord?

Skilfully done. All the more’s the reason I think he should be the next PM. (#TharmanForPM!) But oh well’s, we’re not ready for a non-Chinese PM and he has ruled himself out. Sigh pie.

Hali: MSM keeps fueling the rage

In Media, Political governance on 21/09/2017 at 7:25 am

Juz when S’poreans unhappy about Hali’s appointment as president were getting tired of KPKBing about it, with one unhappy oldie (Maybe Kopi Lim lim kopi with him?) saying on FB,

There is a wise saying: When you taunt or ridicule a person once you can claim that’s lampooning, Repeat it and it becomes a joke in bad taste. Repeat it the second time: that’s persecution ! So, let’s be upright and charitable and not conflate the person and the issues.

the constructive, nation building media decided to stroke our anger

The rise of an ethnic minority to the country’s highest office in the country has enhanced Singapore’s reputation as a meritocratic state, said observers from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Today

The best responses to this “provocation” is too funny not to report

Yeah. Reserving the (s)elections for a certain race is most definitely meritocracy in action. Just like gang rape is democracy in action

And

sure, running a race with no opponents and winning is extremely meritocratic

And

Did they mention anything about the other two candidates being disqualified… even though, they’re more capable than her?

And did they mention about the PM post not ready for non-chinese?

And

My dictionary reads meritocracy is define as government (in this case president) selected according to merit. What merits does she has? Moreover, it’s a “Reserved” appointment.

Dictionary published fake definition?

First Hali, then GCT, and now the the constructive, nation building media are determined to keep us angry until the next GE? Bet u PM will be next to stroke the anger.

Related article: Doesn’t Hali realise that “Speaker” is BS post?

Know this about 1993 PE?

In Political governance on 20/09/2017 at 4:01 pm

In fact, I recall that in 1993, the Government’s preferred candidate was Ong Teng Cheong. Everyone knew he would win. But Dr Goh Keng Swee still went out of his way to persuade Mr Chua Kim Yeow to stand for elections. Why? To prevent a walkover and give citizens the dignity of expressing their choice”

Tan Chin Bok on Facebook

I must say I didn’t know Dr Goh did this.

PAP beware: PAP and LKY loyalists not the same

In Political governance on 20/09/2017 at 7:16 am

When GCT was talking cock about the moral authority of the PAP administration (OK, OK he used the word “govt”) I couldn’t help but remember a remark that would pls the Oxley Rd hermitess and her younger brudder, and worry PM and the other PAppies, if they had been told about it.

In a closed FB group that my avatar belongs to, someone who could be reliably relied on to parrot the PAP line, was KPKBing about the reserve presidency (even though Hali’s i/c like his said “Indian”). When other members of the group gently pointed out his deviation from the PAP line, he said something to the effect that “I’m the third generation of LKY loyalists, I’m not a PAPpy”.

He got a good number of “Likes”.

Based on PE 2011 and GE 2011 and GE2015, the core PAP vote is around 35%, with the soft PAP vote about 35%.

No wonder PM was so keen to get Hali as president because even a ceremonial president can cause problems. But in so doing, he may have reduced further the die-die must vote PAP voters. Now that is a real problem. When LKY loyalists disagree with the PAPpists, the PAP’s core vote may now be smaller than 35%.

Never mind, expect more goodies using our own money. My hope is the extension of Pioneer Gen healthcare benefits to those in their early sixties.

 

 

“I’m invested in S’pore”

In Economy, Political governance on 19/09/2017 at 5:21 pm

Hence I talk so much about the way the PAP is mismanaging the place. I wrote this in 2013:

Shumeone (Bad grammar indicates that it is a member of YPAP Internet Brigade? Juz joking LOL) wrote,”why (sic) is this blog becoming like the local sites to air political grievances ?”

Because like PAPy Puthu, “I’m invested in S’pore”. So long as I remain a quitter in residence, and have investments here (property, shares, S$ cash), I must protect these investments. Increasingly the issues affecting my investment centre around the goofs of the PAP govt. These goofs have resulted in over 5% inflation, overcrowding, failing (by S’pore’s very high standards) infrastructure (telco and train cock-ups, congested roads, and the very high cost of public housing), productivity, stratification of society, among others.

“I’m invested in S’pore” & S’pore in 50s/ 60s

I’m not like chief TRE cybernut Oxygen who moved on out of S’pore years ago, but cannot get S’pore out of his mind. He still KPKBing about his CPF when all he needs to take it out is to become an Oz citizen. But maybe Oz will not him become a citizen because he’s a nut?

Symbolism of Hali’s pix with PM, CJ

In Political governance on 18/09/2017 at 12:56 pm

Shamugam was talking cock on FB.

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling

Look at the two uniformed Chinese men behind the Chinese PM, Malay (even if her i/c says “Indian”) president and Indian CJ.

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun

Mao

Without the elected president and if there is a freak result, within two or three years, the army would have to come in and stop it.

Lee Kuan Yew (2006)

Coming back to the minister, I couldn’t help but be reminded of what LKY once said

I have said this on many a previous occasion: that had the mix in Singapore been different, had it been 75% Indians, 15% Malays and the rest Chinese, it would not have worked. Because they believe in the politics of contention, of opposition. But because the culture was such that the populace sought a practical way out of their difficulties, therefore it has worked.

Lee Kuan Yew (1985)

Hali humble? What a load of bull

In Political governance on 18/09/2017 at 4:54 am

Justin Wee posted this on FB

PAP and the MSM keeps telling us the sham President Halimah Yacob is humble, no doubt to fudge the controversy surrounding the way she was selected in a blatant disregard for the fundamental tenet of the Elected Presidency.

Now, if she’s humble, can we suggest Halimah to dispense with the motorcade and entourage that accompany her wherever she goes?

She’s certainly not deserving of it given that none of us voted for her.

What’s she afraid of if she claims to be a “President” for all?

Is she afraid of S’poreans?

PAP doesn’t think. They juz use standard procedures from the operating manual. They missed a trick to salvage her and their reputations from the mauling they getting from the public. But maybe they juz don’t give a damn. They look at their monthly CPF statements and smile.

#hardlymahpresident

In Political governance on 17/09/2017 at 11:07 am

WTF? President is paid millions but we got to do her work for her isit?

This is the implication of what Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said. He wants

 Singaporeans to “help the President succeed” in a Facebook post.

“The process of how Halimah Yacob became President may be highly controversial but she is not a controversial figure,” he wrote on Thursday (Sep 14) afternoon.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/do-our-part-to-help-the-president-succeed-goh-chok-tong-9216068l

Jokes aside, while she was not a controversial figure (In fact I tot she could thrash TCB, and I said that I’d have voted for her despite having voted for TCB), she is now a controversial figure because of her complicity in the wayang of selecting a Malay president whose i/c says “Indian”.

She signed up to the wayang, which

— decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which the presidency is held; and

— induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against the presidency and the president.

And taz why she’s now a controversial figure, even taking into account her past good deeds and character. But she’s crying or laughing all the way to the bank, so u think she really cares what anyone thinks about her? I doubt it. Money talks, BS walks.

One thing I must say about the PAP. If they had been in charge of the Jewish council that paid Judas 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus, they’d have paid him a lot more. But then having worked for the premier Jewish house in the City, Jews pride themselves on being mean. The joke was that to work in Rothschilds, u needed to have a private income. It was like being an officer in the Queen’s Household Brigade.

Btw, I like the Singlish version of #notmypresident. For one, it sums up my feelings better: #hardlymahpresident.

When the Presidential Commission recommended scrapping presidential elections and reverting to an appointed presidency, a government white paper rejected the idea. The reason for the rejection was that it was important to give the presidency a “popular” and “direct” mandate. 

Going by the Wayang

“popular” and “direct” mandate

must now seem to be Orwellian.

(Last two paras added at 11.40am)

Hali cracks a great joke

In Political governance on 17/09/2017 at 4:40 am

“Although this is a reserved election, I am not a reserved President. I’m a President for everyone”

There was no election. It was a walkover. How can a “reserved” president that was “not elected” be “everyone”‘s president.

Especially when she implies S’poreans are racists to justify the way she became president, parroting the PAP’s explanation of why there had to be a Malay president even if said Malay has i/c saying “Indian”.

Seriously as someone posted on FB

You know you’re off to a bad start when even your humility inconveniences your neighbourhood.

 

Two cheers for Hali

In Political governance on 16/09/2017 at 10:53 am

(For TRE cybernuts like Ng Cock Lim aka Rabble-rouser, pls look up the meaning of “two cheers”)

Because of Hali, “chop” cannot be banned

I am both gladdened and saddened by the National Environment Agency’s reply (Two hawker centres set ‘house rules’ against choping; Sept 2).

It is good that the NEA has acknowledged that “choping” is indeed a problem. But its approach to solving this is not in touch with reality.

The softly-softly approach has not worked ….

ST forum complainer

He’s a real cock (Ng Cock Lim’s twin isit?). Chopping cannot be banned because we juz saw PAP chopping the presidency. If PAP can chop presidency, S’poreans cannot chop seats isit?

#notmypresident protest and me

In Political governance on 16/09/2017 at 6:16 am

Gilbert Goh has called for a silent sit-in protest (text below) against the reserved presidential election today from 4.30PM to 6.30PM at Hong Lim Park.

I usually don’t do protests or solidarity.

But in solidarity, I posted yesterday a post on Hali’s inauguration speech that implies we are racists. And later today and tom in further shows of solidarity (I still don’t do protests), I’ll post more takes showing how the changes to the way the president is chosen

— decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which the office is held; or and

— induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against the presidency and the president.

Sad.

Lamentation of the Malay minister’s brudder-in-law https://mothership.sg/2017/09/a-monumental-miscalculation/

Worth a read even if his comments appear in a PAPpy funded publication. Which begs the question, “Why does it appear there?”

What do u think?

——————————-

Dear Fellow Singaporeans,

We have just received the NParks permit to stage a first-ever Silent Sit-in Protest against the Reserved Presidential Election this coming Saturday 16th Sep from 4.30 to 6.30pm.

Its a sit-in protest meaning that we won’t have any speakers for the event with no stage and no microphone speaker system. You can however bring along your placards to show your displeasure with the incoming government-appointed Presidency.

If you feel dissatisfied with the recent events surrounding the controversial PE, this is the time to show up and be counted. You can continue to be a keyboard warrior quietly firing away online but the time to step up is NOW!

Fear has crippled you all this while you are burnt up inside and its time to unleash that frustration by showing up with like-minded Singaporeans together as ONE voice.

People dropping by are encouraged to bring a mat and sit down silently on the park as a sign of protest against the PE. You can drop by anytime between 4.30 to 6.30pm or leave anytime of course. If you can join us for the sit-in silent protest for the whole 2 hours it will be great!

If you bring food and water along do be mindful not to litter the place.

Do wear black so we are united as ONE heart and people regardless of race and religion.

See you soon Singaporeans – Malays, Indians, Chinese and Eurasians are all welcomed!”

Gilbert Goh
Organiser
#notmypresident

Hali wants to unite S’poreans?

In Political governance on 15/09/2017 at 1:24 pm

Against her isit by branding voters as “racists”. Why liddat?

“I look forward to the day when we will no longer need to rely on the provision to have reserved elections, and Singaporeans naturally and regularly elect citizens of all races as Presidents”

The above implies that we voters are racists despite events like the Bukit Batok by-election where an Indian (with the help of true blue Chinese like Grace Fu) whipped the ass of talk cock sing song Hokkien-speaker and GE2015 where yje same Indian beat Chen Show Mao in the latter’s ward. Only the GRC system saved Mao. Ironic because the PAP said GRC was to protect minorities against orang Cina, not orang Cina from Chinese.

Many S’poreans believe the only reason why we had a reserved election was to ensure the PAP’s wish of having someone whose i/c said “Indian” as the second “Malay” president and first woman. If this is true, then the PAP are the racists, not us. And sexists too.

How to respect someone who uses the presidential pulpit to brand me and other S’poreans as racists?  And in her first speech too as president?

Was I wrong about her. I wrote in early 2016: Malay PAPpy that can thrash Chin Bock. I even said I’d vote for her in a one to one fight with Dr Tan despite voting fot Dr Tan the last time round.

Whatever, with comments like this from her, its going to be easy to keep S’poreans angry with the PAP about the way she became president. I had tot that come the next GE S’poreans, bribed with their own money, would forget their anger.


The only way to make PAP listen to you is through your vote. The way to stop PAP from manipulating the elected presidency is to stop them from having a 2/3 majority. They can still be the government with over 50% of the total seats in parliament but once they obtain above 66%, it means they can change the constitution at their whims and fancy and there absolutely NOTHING you can do about it. GE 2011 has shown that if you want PAP to listen to you, the only way is to stop voting for them, nothing is more straightforward and clear cut than that! Losing 1 GRC already made them panic, imagine what losing another 5 GRCs and a couple more single seats will do to them?! You have the power to bring them to their knees, just be smart with your vote.

FB post by upset S’porean

———————————————–

If Hali keeps on sounding like the PAP (Remember PM and ministers on need for reserved presidency? They all said we are racists.) maybe we’ll thank her one day. Meanwhile she can look at her bank statement and laugh at Judas. He only got thirty pieces of silver. And Jews are supposed to be really smart.

 

 

Hali is also into “Post-truth”

In Political governance on 14/09/2017 at 4:19 am

When I read her FB statement* saying

Thank you very much for your strong show of support.

I am deeply touched by many of you who have signed up as supporters and many others who have given me words of encouragement of well-wishes on my facebook & website.

I coouldn’t but think so “post-truth”.

“Post-truth” is a word that has come to prominence as the Western liberal elites are angsting and spinning about their defeats in Brexit and the US presidential election.

The Oxford Dictionary declared ‘post-truth’ its word of the year 2016. FT added “A less verbose way to describe the same phenomenon would be to say it was the year in which emotion trumped fact. Or cruder still, it was the year of the lie.”

Why Race is BS or “post-truth” at work?

Support? What support? https://sg.news.yahoo.com/overwhelmingly-negative-sentiment-decision-halimah-yacobs-presidential-eligibility-report-070536453.html


*Mdm Halimah Yacob posted on her Facebook page on the eve of Nomination day, saying that she will be making a pledge to Singaporeans and attached a hand-written letter that is addressed to everyone.

The letter wrote,

Dear Singaporeans,

Thank you very much for your strong show of support.

I am deeply touched by many of you who have signed up as supporters and many others who have given me words of encouragement of well-wishes on my facebook & website.

I will be submitting my nomination form tomorrow at the nomination centre and many of you have indicated your intention to be present.

From the bottom of my heart, a very big thank you!!

I will serve Singapore & Singaporeans with great passion & commitment. I want you to join me in making Singapore a great place by Doing Good, Doing Together.

Halimah Yacob

What walkover means for Hali’s presidency

In Political governance, Public Administration on 13/09/2017 at 4:44 am

Kevin Tan,  law professor and constitutional law expert, likes to tell this story

Every time the late President S R Nathan met me, he would always tell people, “Ah this man said I wasn’t properly elected”.

Then one day, I got “a bit fed-up” and told Nathan, “Sir, Sir, I never said you were not properly elected, I only said you were not elected.”

He again told this story more to  the 300 0odd participants attending the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Forum on The Reserved Presidential Election on Sept. 8.

Like Nathan (i/c said “Indian”), Hali (i/c said “Indian”) was not elected.

Mandate from the people? What mandate?

Two PAPpies (Indians if u must know, one a senior minister, the other a M’sian born junior minister) said that “walkover” also confers mandate because no challenger came forward. One senior lawyer posted on Facebook, that while that applies in an election for MP, it doesn’t apply for in a presidential election. The bar to contest as MP is pretty low, while the bar to being eligible to be president is very, very high.

Btw, this is what happens in an alternative universe where Hali is “not elected” president, and Dr Chee is PM after a freak election result, and wants to return our CPF.

 

 

 

 

Why PAP thinks we need a Malay president?

In Political governance, Property on 12/09/2017 at 6:25 am

Even if her i/c says “Indian”.

Because it wants to avoid property prices from collapsing?

A Muslim president will keep some Muslims from becoming radicalised and then becoming terrorists because there hasn’t been a Muslim president since Yusof Ishak? (Btw, even at the time, there were questions whether he was Malay. He comes from Minangkabau stock.)  (Btw, Read what a law professor has to say about the definition of “Malay” in our con.

Here’s what an Indonesian Muslim scholar says about Islam and terrorism

… should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to “Islamophobia.” Or do people want to accuse me — an Islamic scholar — of being an Islamophobe too?

What basic assumptions within traditional Islam are problematic?

The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the relationship of Muslims with the state, and Muslims’ relationship to the prevailing legal system wherever they live … Within the classical tradition, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is assumed to be one of segregation and enmity.

Perhaps there were reasons for this during the Middle Ages, when the tenets of Islamic orthodoxy were established, but in today’s world such a doctrine is unreasonable. To the extent that Muslims adhere to this view of Islam, it renders them incapable of living harmoniously and peacefully within the multi-cultural, multi-religious societies of the 21st century.

https://pamelageller.com/2017/09/muslim-scholar-truth-about-islam.html/

Bottom line, PAP wants to keep S’pore safe? Otherwise property prices will plunge if there’s no Muslim president?

=====

According to law professor Kevin Tan in a talk at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Forum on The Reserved Presidential Election on Sept. 8, the definition of “Malay” in the Constitution is anomalous because he says“who is a Malay?” is a highly problematic legal question.

Source: Singapore Statutes Online

“With Malay candidates, it gets even more interesting, because I think back in 1988, this formula when it was first brought up, they already recognised that it was almost next to impossible to define who is or is not a Malay…Because it is a social construct, we make it up, about race, about who is and is not a Malay, or Chinese or so on. It is actually socially constructed. In the case of the Malay, it actually says, a person belonging to the Malay Community means any person and here nobody else has this phrase ‘of the Malay race or otherwise’. So this means that I, meaning Kevin Tan can say I am Malay, even though I am not of Malay stock, theoretically. “

My take on the “Malay” race: no such race.

Tan CJ: Jesus Christ Superstar?

In Political governance on 10/09/2017 at 2:43 pm

People are worked up about chuan jin’s “demotion.”
Does it send a signal that people oriented leaders are a danger?

Tay Kheng Soon

The above post on FB led to a lot of comments from usually non-nutty anti-PAP paper warriors that he’s a really people-oriented leader and that he really cares for less well-off S’poreans. Some comments made him sound like Jesus Christ Superstar. (Btw he’s really a staunch Christian.)

Really?

Kee chui all those who knew that he was a really, great compassionate guy before his “demotion”?

Well I for one didn’t know these things about him. And neither did social media or the internet prior to his demotion.

He was tot of as another one of the ex-paper generals parachuted into the cabinet. And while he was touted as a contender for PM, cyberspace really didn’t think that he was that good. But then neither did cyberspace much of the other “horses”.

Suddenly, he’s Jesus Christ Superstar.

Did people only learn of his compassion and people skills after PM said,

I have asked him to maintain his interest in environmental and social issues, and his concern for the needy and disadvantaged.”

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-will-nominate-tan-chuan-jin-as-speaker-desmond-lee-to-be-9187242

And because the constructive, nation-building said so

A soldier, a sportsman and an advocate for social causes ranging from children to the elderly and the workers in Singapore – Mr Tan Chuan-Jin has at some point in his life straddled one or more of these vocations.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/soldier-sportsman-and-social-advocate-tan-chuan-jin-s-9187850

Come on anti-PAP FB commenters, don’t be cybernuts. Where’s the evidence that he’s Jesus Christ Superstar? Why didn’t the anti-PAP cyberwarriors praise him before his “demotion”?

The praises only began after he was “demoted” and PM’s and the constructive, nation-building media’s take on him.

Don’t be sheep.

(The following added on 11September at 5.00am)

Don’t forget his much ridiculed comment about old women telling him they were were collecting cardboard “for exercise”.

Or have his new fans come to the view that he was fixed? After all I wrote recently

It was so easy for the anti-PAP websites to verify if this was not true, and that they needed the money. But none did. All they had to do was to ask the old women as he had identified where they were operating from.

It’s difficult to do investigative journalism here (juz ask Terry’s Online Channel). But in this case, it was so easy.

But maybe someone did ask the women, and found that they were really exercising. So better to keep quiet about the truth?

“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Race is BS or “post-truth” at work?

In Political governance on 09/09/2017 at 3:41 pm

The upcoming reserved Presidential Election is part of Singapore’s overall framework to create a strong national identity, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/reserved-presidential-election-part-of-framework-to-build-9199346

Does he mean that a “Malays only” presidency where the only “Malay” candidates have i/cs saying “Indian” or “Pakistani” means that the idea of different races or that the term “Malay race” are really BS?

More like “post-truth” at work methinks.

“Post-truth” is a word that has come to prominence as the Western liberal elites are angsting and spinning about their defeats in Brexit and the US presidential election.

The Oxford Dictionary declared ‘post-truth’ its word of the year 2016. FT added “A less verbose way to describe the same phenomenon would be to say it was the year in which emotion trumped fact. Or cruder still, it was the year of the lie.”

The Economist (the PAP’s bible) got emotional about “post-truth”:

Mr Trump is the leading exponent of “post-truth” politics—a reliance on assertions that “feel true” but have no basis in fact. His brazenness is not punished, but taken as evidence of his willingness to stand up to elite power.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21706525-politicians-have-always-lied-does-it-matter-if-they-leave-truth-behind-entirely-art

And

tempting to dismiss the idea of “post-truth” political discourse—the term was first used by David Roberts, then a blogger on an environmentalist website, Grist—as a modish myth invented by de-haut-en-bas liberals and sore losers ignorant of how dirty a business politics has always been. But that would be complacent. There is a strong case that, in America and elsewhere, there is a shift towards a politics in which feelings trump facts more freely and with less resistance than used to be the case. Helped by new technology, a deluge of facts and a public much less given to trust than once it was, some politicians are getting away with a new depth and pervasiveness of falsehood. If this continues, the power of truth as a tool for solving society’s problems could be lastingly reduced.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21706498-dishonesty-politics-nothing-new-manner-which-some-politicians-now-lie-and

Even Goldman Sachs talked about “misinformation, half-truths, and political spin”, despite having its alumni in the White House.

Well the ideas and concepts behind “post-truth” have been around at least 1900

“They wanted facts. Facts! They demanded facts from him, as if facts could explain anything.”
―from LORD JIM (1900) by Joseph Conrad

A ship’s crew abandons their human cargo of pilgrims, breaking all naval traditions. A young junior British officer Jim is one of them. At a court of inquiry he is questioned in great detail over what happened and in partucular his own actions; the other members of the crew having run way again. He is publicly censured for his actions, and stripped of his qualifications.

The above quotes reflect the narratot’s view of his state of mind at the inquiry.

*LORD JIM is a classic story of one man’s tragic failure and eventual redemption, told under the circumstances of high adventure at the margins of the known world which made Conrad’s work so immediately popular. But it is also the book in which its author, through a brilliant adaptation of his stylistic apparatus to his obsessive moral, psychological and political concerns, laid the groundwork for the modern novel as we know it. With An Introduction By Norman Sherry. READ an excerpt here:http://knopfdoubleday.com/book/30813/lord-jim/

 

Why S’pore will never be Smart city

In Corporate governance, Political economy, Political governance on 08/09/2017 at 7:35 am

PAP will never let this happen because, if we become a Smart city, no more cushie jobs for PAPpies.

As a TRE reader put it when TRE republished my piece that the post of Speaker is a BS post*:

Trim the fat:
September 7, 2017 at 5:10 pm (Quote)

We should just install a couple of Smart robots , programmed to do the jobs of Sg President and Speaker of parliament.

Both are robotic roles in our sunny sg.

Trim the fat wherever possible n see how much money can be saved!

Well we could extend the programme to the entire cabinet including the post of PM. And to all senior civil service posts, govt agencies, and TLC and other GLC posts.

Juz programme them to apply Hard Truths and the Economist.


*Incidentally because it’s a BS posts, PAPpies are right that Tan CJ has what it takes to be Speaker. I perceive him as a Talk Cock Sing Song artiste. Btw, going by Hali’s “presidential” statements, she’s now one of these artistes.

Sad.

What the lure of being able to cry all the way to the bank can do.

Demotion? What demotion?

In Political governance on 06/09/2017 at 6:01 am

The constructive, nation-building media are reporting what the PM and other ministers are saying about Tan Chuan-Jin moving from the post of cabinet minister to the post of Speaker (which I call a BS post).

The anti-PAP cyber warriorsane and nutty, are calling it a demotion.

If I were the latter, I’d sit down and shut up and wait to see what happens.

Going by what PM said about Speaker being part of his team, I suspect that the Speaker will be given outside parly responsibilities. It’ll be a “special duties” post. Breaking with Westminster tradition and convention, but then we really left that years ago.

Fyi, the salary of the Speaker is S$550k. It is pegged to the MR4 benchmark for a Minister but there’s a cut by 50%  if the Speaker is not full time.  But if an Speaker is full time, MR4 applies.

 

Doesn’t Hali realise that “Speaker” is BS post?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 05/09/2017 at 1:05 pm

Halimah Yacob says that the reserved election (where all the candidates’ i/cs indicate they are of Indian subcontinent origin, not of Malayan archipelago origin)  is still meritocratic because all the candidates have to meet the same qualification criteria. Err she didn’t tell us that she qualifies only because the post of Speaker is the Escape Card or Joker card from the other cards in the pack or require very, very high standards to qualify to be eligible for president*. It looks like a form of affirmative action for “lesser” minorities that don’t have people who cannot otherwise qualify.

Let me explain.

The post of Speaker in the Westminster system is one of the great offices of state under the Westminster system of government practiced in the UK, Canada, Oz and NZ.

The Speaker of the House of Commons chairs debates in the Commons chamber. The holder of this office is an MP who has been elected to be Speaker by other Members of Parliament. During debates they keep order and call MPs to speak.

The Speaker is the chief officer and highest authority of the House of Commons and must remain politically impartial at all times.

The Speaker also represents the Commons to the monarch, the Lords and other authorities and chairs the House of Commons Commission.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/commons/the-speaker/the-role-of-the-speaker/role-of-the-speaker/

But in the context of a de-facto one party state where the ruling party has a more than two-thirds majority, the post is a non-job. It’s such a non-job that the PAP admin has “cut” the pay of the Speaker substantially. And given her campaigning for PAP candidates, she isn’t impartial is she?

Furthermore while the Speaker is the head of the administrative staff of the parliament, the budget is peanuts compared to any ministry or govt department.

Here’s a post from FB from a senior lawyer who is often pro-PAP who raises another point (bolded by me):

I find Madam Halimah to be an excellent servant of the people with a long record of service I greatly respect, but speaking personally I am un-impressed with the idea that the office of Speaker should have led to automatic qualification.

For one thing, the role of Speaker does not involve, if one may put it quite bluntly, managing any organisation of any financial size or complexity.

Secondly, in terms of the Speaker’s involvement in appointing senior officials within the G, the Speaker is not involved in that either. Nor is the Speaker involved in the making of any decisions on Government policy. Indeed, to the contrary, the Speaker is expected to exercise a degree of distance from policies, or at least politics.

So I struggle to see what particular experience the Speaker would have had in terms of discharging the principal ‘custodial’ roles of the President.

To say that the Speaker represents all of Parliament is quite true, and I do accept that the Speaker’s office is one of high dignity, and I further accept that the Speaker discharges a vital constitutional function in managing and overseeing the hearings, procedures and administration of Parliament, but query if these activities make the Speaker particularly well qualified for the specific custodial duties that a President has to discharge. I have my doubts on that aspect of Singapore’s constitution.

This lawyer’s comments remind me of Grima Wormtongue who in the book “Lord of the Rings” finally turns on his abusive master, Saruman, killing him. Even the worm turns.

As I said, the post of Speaker is the Escape Card from the otherwise very, very high standards required to be president. It looks like a form of affirmative action for “lesser” minority groups that don’t have people who cannot otherwise qualify.

Hali should realise this and just look at her monthly bank statement, smile and think of Marlowe’s Dr Faustus.

The PAP decided that a “desk jockey” in NTUC was the “right” person to be MP. junior minister, Speaker and now president.


*We may joke about “prata” man’s credentials. But he held senior civil service posts and was chairman of the organisation responsible for print propoganda .

Why there’ll be no presidential election

In Political governance, Public Administration on 04/09/2017 at 9:02 am

The short answer is that ST Editor said so leh.

Warren Fernandez said (among many other things about why the presidency sucks: really he did) yesterday that Eddie Teo and his committee should accept that there is only one candidate who qualifies under the present rules spelt out by Parliament. I’m sure he is channeling the views of the ruling party on this matter.

Image result

What a polite way of saying the next elected president will be chosen by a “walk-over”.

Seriously, why would the PAP go thru the wayang of wanting an unelected elected president?

A fanboy of Hali

Many good friends and those who have worked with her testify for her character. Thus, it is not difficult to place increased weightage for her to lead as President”

unwittingly gave the answer away when he asked people to vote for her.

He posted on FB

The true test, against all comments posted on and offline regarding how the system discriminates positively in a meritocratic society with a pledge that has the phrase ” regardless of race, language or religion”, will be when she becomes President and has to exercise her independent judgment and call for action against the ruling G of the day for matters concerning Singaporeans and their reserves and related matters.
The support for her will not just be for the “now” but when she calls differently from the ruling party. How many will stand stand up independently and vote with her in agreement.

This reasoning is precisely why there’ll be a walkover. An unelected elected president has no mandate from the voters.

The PM of the day can sneer at her and ask, “Mandate? What mandate?” if she disagrees with something that the govt of the day wants done and in an area where she has “custodial” powers. In an alternative universe, PM Mad Dog will threaten to pee on her if she refuses to sign a law returning our CPF.


Ownself check ownself check ownself: Paradox of the PAP presidency.

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Think Ong Teng Cheong. In any row with LKY’s govt, he could (and may have) said, “I won a presidential election. I got mandate”. It seems this attitude really got LKY really upset resulting in “you know what happened” after Ong died. Since then, the PAP administration has only once allowed a presidential election.

It would be even more wary after its preferred candidate won by only 3,000 votes thanks to two opportunistic clowns from RI. They didn’t even get 30 pieces of silver each, though TKL’s campaign manager, Goh Meng Seng, is alleged, to have asked TKL for 15 pieces of silver. TKL is alleged to have responded, “WTF. I lost my deposit because of u.”

Another reason that there’ll be a walkover is so that those who voted for Tan Cheng Bock and the clowns can’t give the finger to the PAP. Remember they constituted 65% of the vote in the last PE and many of those who voted for the opportunistic RI clowns have repented. Many even deny they voted for Jee Say or TKL. They get upset when I produce evidence of what they told me before the vote.

Here’s the reason why the PAP wants the president to be compliant kaki lang: When a ceremonial president goes “rogue”

After OTC’s term of office, the PAP realised that they had a problem. In the old days LKY would have found an excuse to revert to old system, while he retot the issue of how to protect the reserves. Instead he and PAP resorted to short-term fixes and things nearly went wrong for the PAP in 2011 (See above). Reserved presidency is another first-aid job. 

One day, hopefully soon, the edifice of the “elected” presidency will be like the MRT system: systematic long overdue long-term repairs must be made because things are going badly wrong

Btw, I wrote this in March 2016 about Hali: Malay PAPpy that can thrash Chin Bock and later (May 2016) Halimah deserves better. But she’d rather look at her monthly bank statement and be happy. Maybe she’s thinking of buying an entire HDB floor on her retirement, given that she has a supersized unit now?

“Malay presidency” is “Calling a deer a horse”?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 29/08/2017 at 6:01 am

The coming presidential president must be a Malay declares the Constitution and the PAP administration.

But none of the three declared candidates has an i/c saying “Malay”. The PAP’s candidate and a candidate who speaks Malay badly both have i/cs saying “Indian” while the third person has one saying “Pakistani”. Even for me who knows about the thin culture line between Malays and some Indian Muslims* am shocked that there isn’t someone with an i/c saying “Malay” willing to stand. Don’t want to be regarded as selling out to the PAP isit? Or unlike “Indians” and “Pakistanis” feeling piseh to stand in a presidency reserved only for “Malays”.

A retired journalist (and one time strike leader), Yeo Toon Joo**, who knows his Chinese “history”, has on FB called what is happening as regards the presidency the S’pore version of “Calling a deer a horse” 指鹿為馬***.

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Explanation from Wikipedia on the allusion

Zhao Gao was contemplating treason but was afraid the other officials would not heed his commands, so he decided to test them first. He brought a deer and presented it to the Second Emperor but called it a horse. The Second Emperor laughed and said, “Is the chancellor perhaps mistaken, calling a deer a horse?” Then the emperor questioned those around him. Some remained silent, while some, hoping to ingratiate themselves with Zhao Gao, said it was a horse, and others said it was a deer. Zhao Gao secretly arranged for all those who said it was a deer to be brought before the law and had them executed instantly. Thereafter the officials were all terrified of Zhao Gao. Zhao Gao gained military power as a result of that. (tr. Watson 1993:70)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhao_Gao

An alternative explaination is that Zhao Gao wanted to show the officials that the emperor was under his control. In this version, he had ensured that the emperor was well provided with drugs, women and alcohol so that the emperor was pliant to his wishes.

No good will come of “fixing” the presidency for Malays when only “Indians” and “Pakistanis” want to be the “Malay” president while all the time Mendaki says that if “Malays” want help, their i/cs must say “Malay”.

PAP has opened a can of worms. One of the worms will bite it.


*Once upon a time I wrote

[T]his is what a very senior MFA official (Indian Muslim) said to me (and others) in the early 80s: “How do I answer my young daughter when she asks me why she’s Indian but her cousin’s Malay?”. He was always grousing that being classified as Indian hurt his career (he could have been a minister) because of the “quota” system for Indians and Malays. He had to compete with clever Hindus and not Malays.

**He’s also published “Confessions of Lee Kuan Yew’s Simplistic Pressman” More at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/book-publisher-touch-toon-joo-peter-yeo. Btw, he’s based in Canada now though he comes back regularly. For one thing, he prefers our hospitals.

***Chris K points out “In Japanese, ba ka, translated as horse deer, is colloquial for stupid.” Sums up the PM’s machinations aptly. (This update at 8.10am)

MRT: insufficient attention to maintenance

In Infrastructure, Political governance on 24/08/2017 at 5:18 am

Yesterday, I posted a short piece on accountability in a meritocracy  PM, this is accountabilityand alluded to SMRT as its anthesis.

Here’s more on SMRT (and MRT) from an expert. Forget all the smoke about the need for new sleepers, initially, and now, new signaling eqpt as the cause of disruptions.

The efficiency of the system led to overconfidence, said Lock Kai Sang, engineering professor at the Singapore Institute of Technology and a former member of an Independent Advisory Panel appointed by the Land Transport Authority to assess the rail system’s power supply.

“At a certain point, there wasn’t sufficient attention being paid to the maintenance,” he said. “They were too confident at one point.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-18/singapore-workers-get-a-taste-of-commuting-chaos-as-trains-fail

Let’s also not forget the population increase which should have raised the priority of the the issue of maintenance because of the pressure of an increase in commuters.
And as I’ve pointed, Hali was a non-executive director of SMRT from 2007 to 2011. The maintenance issue and labour problems originated or festered during that period.
The good news according Mr Lock is that “the government and rail operators are putting in a lot of effort to install systems that allow predictive maintenance, designed to stop problems before they occur.”
Granted but if we were a truly meritocratic and accountable society, the systems should have been in place to help prevent problems before they occur i.e. predictive maintenance should have been in-built into the system. SIA doesn’t fly its planes until they crash.

PM, this is accountability

In Political governance on 23/08/2017 at 3:00 pm

Two naval accidents within four months  and the most senior person in the chain of command is out.

The US Navy is to dismiss Vice Adm Joseph Aucoin as commander of the Seventh Fleet following a string of collisions involving warships in Asia, US officials have said.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41020729

Doesn’t work like that in S’pore. Think SMRT.

 

Why S’poreans eat white bread

In Political governance on 21/08/2017 at 5:06 pm

Going by his comments on eating wholemeal bread rather than white bread PM doesn’t know

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At some point around 1789, when being told that her French subjects had no bread, Marie-Antoinette (bride of France’s King Louis XVI) supposedly sniffed, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake.”

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that wholemeal bread is more expensive than white bread. A lot more expensive

The price of a slice of a loaf of white bread (economy) from Giant is 7 cents. The slice of Giant’s wholemeal bread (economy) is 10 cents. When I last bought FairPrice’s bread, the price difference was also about 43%.

Taz a big difference.

Well if I earned millions like PM, I too would only eat wholemeal bread, not white bread. Or rather if I earned millions, like PM, I’d be always eating multi-grain bread or rye bread as a matter of course. Wholemeal bread is the cheapest of “good” bread. And really the really rich shouldn’t be crowding out the poor by buying cheap good bread,

But as a retiree I have to watch my pennies. As a slice of wholemeal bread is 43% more expensive than a slice of white bread for every two slices of white bread, I take one slice of wholemeal bread. Mix and match.

Seriously, PM is seriously out-of-touch about why S’poreans eat what they eat. It often depends on what’s affordable, not what is good for health.

Where else is he he out of touch? What do u think?

 

 

When a ceremonial president goes “rogue”

In Political governance, Public Administration on 15/08/2017 at 7:18 am

Nothing much any government can do if it wants to avoid a public row.

This piece tries to explain why die die PAP must get the president PAP wants. And why even then there can be problems. Remember our first elected president?

A look at the relations between India’s ceremonial president (He is the head of the state, and is required by the constitution to act on the advice of ministers) and the governments of the day show how difficult it is to control a president who goes “rogue” ie refuses to act on the advice of ministers even when the constitution says he must.

Our president is more than a ceremonial figure. He is supposed to be a figurehead with some chief jaga duties primarily centred around protecting our reserves. It’s a mixture of ceremonial and custodial functions, thanks to one Harry Lee.

The ceremonial role aspect of our president, a figurehead, is based on the Indian model: he is the head of the state, and is required by the constitution to act on the advice of ministers.

An Indian president is supposedly

a mere figurehead who, in the words of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, is a “head that neither reigns nor governs”, and holds a position of “authority or dignity” more than anything else?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-40772945

But as a BBC article tells us http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-40772945, the so- called “figurehead” can cause the govt of the day a lot of problems.

The seventh president, Giani Zail Singh … had a stormy relationship with the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

In 1987, he withheld assent from a controversial bill passed by the parliament. (The bill was later withdrawn.) There were reports that Mr Singh, who died in 1994 , had even considered sacking Mr Gandhi’s government over an arms purchasing scandal.

The ninth incumbent Shankar Dayal Sharma returned two executive orders to the cabinet in 1996 because they had been “inappropriately” issued before a general election.

And his successor, KR Narayanan, a London School of Economics-educated former diplomat and Dalit (formerly known as “untouchable”), was arguably one of India’s most assertive presidents. He delivered speeches which many believed were not vetted by the government and, in a surprising break from protocol, even gave an interview to a senior journalist.

Mr Narayanan also sent back a proposal to impose direct rule in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh to the cabinet, asking the ministers to reconsider it. He bluntly said: “I am not a rubber stamp.”

And he angered many in the government and the media for chiding visiting US president Bill Clinton at a state banquet, provoking the New York Times to comment that “the tensions inherent in forging an Indian-American friendship surfaced with Mr Narayanan’s speech”.

Then there was the previous president

Prof Manor believes Mr Kovind’s predecessor, Pranab Mukherjee, a veteran Congress party leader and a former senior minister, was “more assertive than nearly all previous presidents”.

Although he rejected a record 28 mercy pleas of death row convicts during his tenure, Mr Mukherjee defied the advice of the government and commuted the death sentences of four convicts in January.

“Mr Mukherjee had the right to refer those cases back to ministers for reconsideration once, but when they reiterated the advice, he is required to accept it. He refused to do so,” explains Prof Manor.

“That was potentially explosive politically, and might have led to a constitutional crisis. But the prime minister and cabinet apparently decided not to make an issue of it – because Mr Mukherjee’s term was soon to end, and because a confrontation would have prevented them from doing other important things.”

So one can understand why the ruling party in a de facto one-party state wants to ensure that the presidency is held by someone who will not go “rogue”, especially given that the job has chief jaga duties.  Remember Ong Teng Cheong?

And just to make sure after the rows with Ong, the chief  jaga can be over-ridden: If the President goes against the advice of the majority of the Council of Presidential Advisers and exercises his veto power, Parliament can override such a veto with a two-thirds majority.

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Ownself check ownself check ownself: Paradox of the PAP presidency.

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Whatever, there’s something the PAP cannot avoid: a “rogue” president has the power to publicise via the alternative, new or social media his views when he rows with the PAP administration. So all the more important to make sure kaki lung gets in.

Coming back to Harry Lee who devised the system. He wanted to fix a non-PAP government but ended up tying the PAP administration in knots. The latest twist is a Malay president whose i/c says “Indian”.

Even if she’s really a Malay. 

Oh what a tanled web we weave …

From Aug 9 1965/ “HOW NOW SINGAPORE? Revisiting Lee Kuan Yew’s Hard Truths”

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration, Uncategorized on 10/08/2017 at 7:12 am

Dr Paul of the SDP has been sharing this quote on FB.

“…Singapore shall forever be a sovereign democratic and independent nation, founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of her people in a more just and equal society,” Harry Lee.

Regular readers will know by now that I’m not to fussed about abstract notions (unlike people like Teo Soh Lung and the other ang moh tua kees who join über white horses to pak PAP) about democracy, liberty and justice in S’pore: these are after all juz abstract nouns.

But I care about “welfare and happiness” of S’poreans because S’pore is a wealthy city state that can afford to spend more on S’poreans. It’s the PAP’s failure to spend more of S’poreans’ money on S’poreans that makes me criticise the actions and machinations of the PAP administration, not abstract notions about democracy, liberty and justice. Money talks, BS walks.

Pls read this

HOW NOW SINGAPORE? Revisiting Lee Kuan Yew’s Hard Truths

 August 9, 2017

Tay Kheng Soon

https://www.futureofsingapore.org/single-post/2017/08/09/HOW-NOW-SINGAPORE-Revisiting-Lee-Kuan-Yews-Hard-Truths

So waz new? PAP instinctively prefers FTs

In Political governance on 04/08/2017 at 7:13 am

The MacPherson Zone B Residents’ Committee (RC) will offer a refund to everyone who took part in its open house, after charging new citizens less for tickets to the event.

The RC apologised on Thursday (Aug 3) after some pointed out that tickets for the Jul 30 event cost S$1 for new citizens, but S$3 for everyone else.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/macpherson-rc-offers-refund-on-open-house-tickets-after-charging-9089574

OK, OK, the PAP’s running dogs repented. Thet nade the event free.

But really it shows that the running dogs’ Pavlovian response is to screw S’poreans, while making life great for FTs.

And where did they learn that response from? The PAP.

Remember CurryGate? A govt agency told locals to stop cooking curry because it offended FTs. And worse was proud of its action.

But to be fair to the PAP, here’s an example (the only one I can find of the PAP administration discriminating against FTs)

Also seen just outside the event area was Russian student Elijah Zamyatin, who was playing Monopoly with three Singaporean friends when the group was approached by Yahoo Singapore. The 18-year-old, who has lived in Singapore for seven years, said he had been unaware of the new regulations until he read the signs placed around the area.

“I don’t understand why (it is like this). It seems like love is for everyone except foreigners. This event is to spread love, but you ban foreigners,” he said.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/pink-dot-2017-draws-thousands-despite-new-restrictions-152411039.html

Like him, I can’t understand this discrimination. If he has the right the right to live here for seven, he has the right to attend an event like this,

Continue to Pak PAP, but not Pak Halimah

In Political governance on 02/08/2017 at 6:56 am

Yesterday, I promised to explain why this is unfair to Hali and her mum and the Malay community.

(Terry Lim’s photos)

The cybernut who did the above, conveniently left out the inconvenient fact that none of the three “Indian” PAPpies had the misfortune of their “Indian” father dying when they were young children.

Halimah had the misfortune (OK, OK, it later turned out to be a winning lottery ticket) of her Indian-Muslim dad dying when she was eight. It was her widowed Malay mum that then brought Halimah (and her siblings) up with the support of her Malay relatives and the wider Malay community.

Halimah was not brought up in the Indian-Muslim community as an Indian-Muslim; but among the Malays as a Malay. No racists, the Malays: if a widowed Malay mother in a mixed race marriage wants to bring up her children as Malays, they support her. Truly tolerant, truly S’poreans. Really Mendaki should reflect this tolerant attitude: not that only i/c matters (See above link) as to who is a Malay.

And as I’ve written before, when she was NUS Law school, she was tot of as a Malay. Even then she wore a tudung, which then wasn’t hip. Btw, an Indian who knows the other female PAPpy Indian says she only started wearing saris when she became a junior minister.

A senior lawyer posted on FB that “the test in the Presidential Elections Act is not a race test, it’s a community acceptance test”. He’s right but the PM framed the need and importance of a Malay president in racial terms: “multi-racialism” to be precise.

So

S’poreans are right to ask to be talking about the issue because the next presidency is reserved for a Malay.  And one of the candidates is “Pakistani” (i/c says so leh) and the other while his i/c says “Malay” has Malays complaining that he’s really Indian because he can’t speak proper Malay.

The view among S’poreans of all races that what is on one’s i/c is a lot of bull* when it comes to whether someone is a Malay is becoming a major problem for the PAP.

By playing the “race” card albeit in the name of “multi-racialism”, the PM created a rod for his back and that of the PAP.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text

So let us continue to “Pak PM, Pak PAP” on the unreality of Muslim-Indians becoming Malays when the presidency is reserved for a Malay. Good clean fun. And best of all, the PAPpies started the conversation, not us.

But let’s remember Hali’s a decent person that could (and should) have become president on her own merits. She doesn’t really deserve this rubbish both from the PAP and the cybernuts, even though as a PAP Speaker she’s crying all the way to the bank. Wonder if she too has a monthly CPF statement, like Zorro Lim?

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*Even PAP MP Zainal Sapari says i/c is irrelevant in deciding whether one is a Malay. He’s not expected to stand at next GE.

 

Man PAP trying to persuade to be president?

In Political governance on 01/08/2017 at 4:47 am

But first, I saw this on FB

(Terry Lim’s photos)

(Btw, I’ll explain why it’s unfair to Hali and more importantly her Malay mum.)

Back to the 73-year-old man who the PAP wants to do NS.

Usually reliable sources say that the PAP is trying very hard to persuade Abdullah bin Tarmugi to stand as president. He’s reluctant because despite being only in his early 70s, he has heart problems. This is PAP’s Plan B.

Halimah (Plan A but in abeyance) will now only stand if Tamugi can’t be persuaded to do NS. So she’s not really BSing that she hasn’t made up her mind. The PAP hasn’t decided to go ahead with her coronation because the issue of who is a Malay is a major topic of discussion among the 60- 70% that regularly vote for the PAP. That the 30% are talking about it too is irrelevant.

S’poreans are right to ask to be talking about the issue because the next presidency is reserved for a Malay.  And one of the candidates is “Pakistani” (i/c says so) and the other while his i/c says “Malay” has Malays complaining that he’s really Indian because he can’t speak proper Malay.

The view among S’poreans of all races that what is on one’s i/c is a lot of bull* when it comes to whether someone is a Malay is becoming a major problem for the PAP.

This is especially because Mendaki’s position is that if i/c doesn’t say “Malay” there’ll be no help for the Muslim supplicant, even if the entire kampung swears that said supplicant is really a Malay.

Malay-Muslim self-help group Yayasan Mendaki has a set of criteria for its financial assistance schemes for students administered on behalf of the Government. Among other things, the recipients “must be of Malay descent” as stated in their identity cards. It spells out a list of what it considers to be “Malay descent”, and this includes 22 ethnicities including Acehnese, Javanese, Boyanese, Sumatran, Sundanese and Bugis. Students with “double-barrelled” race are eligible if the first race is listed on the identity cards as Malay, said a Mendaki spokesman. For example, a student who is Malay-Arab would qualify for the schemes but an Arab-Malay student would not, he added.

(CNA)

Tamugi’s i/c says “Malay” and so that fact alone will kick into the long grass for the next 30 years the lethal bomb that what the i/c says is irrelevant in deciding who is a Malay.

Better still he’s from RI and played rugby for RI at scrum half.

Even better still, his mum was Chinese and his wife is Chinese. So while he may be the token Malay president that the PAP wants to hoist on us, he can be the second multi-racial president, after Sheares.


*Even PAP MP Zainal Sapari says i/c is irrelevant in deciding whether one is a Malay. He’s not expected to stand at next GE.

Regime change: Yesterday Korea, TOM S’pore?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 27/07/2017 at 4:33 am

The young in Korea, like many other Koreans, came onto to the streets to protest at their unhappiness with the existing system as personified by the previous president. She was impeached and a new president elected.

Will young S’poreans starting thinking and behaving like S Korean youth?

After all this sounds like S’pore

University was once seen as a source of social mobility in South Korea. But so important is the right degree to a student’s prospects in life that rich families began spending heavily on coaching to improve their children’s chances, leaving poorer families behind. By 2007 over three-quarters of students were receiving some form of private tuition, spawning a maxim about the three necessities to win a place at a good university: “father’s wealth, mother’s information, child’s stamina”. A report by the ministry of education found that in 2016 households with monthly incomes of 7m won ($6230) or more were spending 443,000 won a month on private education, nine times as much as families bringing in 1m won or less.

https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21725267-courts-and-president-sympathise-south-koreans-are-losing-faith-elitist-education

So will ordinary young S’poreans (not juz the cybernuts and really sane but rabid anti-PAP activists) start thinking that the system is rigged against them?

Many South Koreans believe that the rich and influential do not just spend more on education, they also manipulate the system, as Ms Jung’s mother, a close friend of the previous president, did so spectacularly. According to the Pew Research Centre, a think-tank, only a fifth of those aged 18-33 believe working hard brings success. An ever-growing dictionary of slang attests to the perception: people speak of using “back” (backing, or connections) to get jobs; when Ms Jung refused to return to South Korea to face charges related to her university admission, the local press dubbed it a “gold-spoon escape”. And 34% of young people say they feel “isolation due to academic cliques” at work.

The unfairness is all the more galling because of the fierce competition for jobs. This year there were 36 applicants for every job, up from 32 two years ago. Youth unemployment reached a record 12% earlier this year.

(Err remember that we have a problem that the Koreans don’t have: competition from FTs with sub standard or fake degrees: think MDA’s Nisha)

Will we then have this kind of leader?

Moon Jae-in, the president since May, has pledged that under his administration “the thickness of a parent’s purse” will not determine their children’s prospects. This week an MP from his party introduced legislation to extend the “blind hiring” process used in the civil service, whereby applicants are judged only on standardised exams, not on their academic record, to state-owned firms as well.

What do u think?

 

“Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation” 

In Political governance on 24/07/2017 at 5:01 am

“Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation” was said by George Carlin. He was an American stand-up black comedy comedian, actor, author, and social critic.

When Sonny Liew became the first S’porean to win an Eisner Award (In fact he won three*: the Eisner Awards are the comic industry’s Oscars.), I realised that “Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation” applies here too because of the hostility to alternative narratives to the “The S’pore Story: The PAP Version”.

“The S’pore Story: The PAP Version”

goes something like this: Newly independent from its bigger neighbor Malaysia, small and vulnerable in the middle of the Cold War, beset by Communist infiltrators and surrounded by domino nations, Singapore finally found stability and a road to prosperity when its founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, defeated dangerous left-wing opponents, regrettably by having many tossed in jail.

“The S’pore Story: The PAP Version”

has been hammered home in textbooks, the mass media and television shows. To oppose it meant risking detention without trial, costly libel suits or extreme marginalization in a country where the state controls most purse strings and levers of power.

The above extracts are from

After the above book was published, Singapore’s National Arts Council (NAC) withdrew a publishing grant, and an official wrote in a letter to the constructive, nation-building ST that the book “potentially undermines the authority and legitimacy of the Government and its public institutions.”

(The author talks about his present relationship with the NAC: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-40606324/singapore-artist-tops-comic-book-oscars-nominations)

Then there’s “State of Emergency”, another novel. The author sent the first draft of book to NAC and his subsidy was stopped.

Synopsis:
Siew Li leaves her husband and children in Tiong Bahru to fight for freedom in the jungles of Malaya. Decades later, a Malaysian journalist returns to her homeland to uncover the truth of a massacre committed during the Emergency. And in Singapore, Siew Li’s niece Stella finds herself accused of being a Marxist conspirator.

Jeremy Tiang’s debut novel dives into the tumultuous days of leftist movements and political detentions in Singapore and Malaysia. It follows an extended family from the 1940s to the present day as they navigate the choppy political currents of the region. What happens when the things that divide us also bind us together?

Praise:
“A well-written novel, and it has a wide historical perspective.”—Philip Holden, author of Heaven Has Eyes and NUS Professor of English

“A superbly structured piece of work. The sweep of the dramatic narrative is impressive, with just the right dose of intrigue and mystery.”—Haresh Sharma, Resident Playwright, The Necessary Stage

https://shop.epigrambooks.sg/products/state-of-emergency

(Btw, both books are published by Epigram Books, owned by Edmund Wee. He wants to make S’pore Literature Great.)

Then there’s Mr. Thum Ping Tjin, better known as PJ Thum, a Research Associate at the Centre for Global History and co-ordinator of Project Southeast Asia, University of Oxford. He’s got local academics foaming with rage over his analysis of Operation Coldstore. He used declassified British archives to challenge the PAP narrative that S’pore faced a credible Communist threat. Really there’s nothing really very new about his analysis. Some Western historians had been disagreeing with the PAP’s narrative even before the British declassified their records, basing their analysis on information available from US and Australian archives.

(Here’s his analysis of the 1964 “racial riots”: https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/07/26/why-history-matters-to-singapore/. It’s not the official narrative.)

Btw, he has his own alternative history podcast on S’pore. Again this often goes against the PAP narrative but in the main it follows what Western historians have talked about. S’poreans are generally not aware of what Western historians write about S’pore because their books and articles are about the region, and the S’pore material is just a “little red dot”.

I’m no fan of his because I think in his analysis of S’pore in the 50s and 60s, he leaves out the bigger picture of Western fears and concerns, not unreasonable, about the danger of Communism to their regional and global interests. For example, in any analysis of S’pore in the late 50s and early 60s, account must be taken of  the PKI,  the Indonesian Communist Party. By 1965, the PKI was the strongest communist party outside the USSR and China. It had influence over Sukarno.

———————————–

*Nominated in six categories for graphic novel “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye”, Liew won three:

Best Writer/Artist,

Best US Edition of International Material – Asia, and

Best Publication Design and categories

 

 

 

Halimah not BSing that she got to consult further

In Political governance on 21/07/2017 at 5:17 am

But first

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text

(Happy to attribute if I know whom to attribute this to)

Back to Halimah

Speaking to reporters after a community event at her Marsiling ward, Mdm Yacob said she has been asked this question many times and felt honored and humbled by the support, but she needed more time to consult with her family and colleagues further.

Heard an interesting story from the usually unreliable sources. Though I hear while he’s happy for wife to be president (Who wouldn’t like to will the Toto top prize?), he’s not happy about  becoming the first First Man doing the traditional First Lady duties like being patron of women’s charities and hosting tea parties for women social workers. He’s no male chauvinist but I’m told he doesn’t fancy doing the things Mrs Tan does and Mrs Nathan did.

Hence the delay in his wife declaring that she wants to be president. His role has yet to be defined to his satisfaction.

Doubtless a fair and reasonable solution will be worked out for him a real gentleman, as his friends and ex-collegues describe him. I’m told he’s retired.

Btw, he’s Malay-Arab.

Can a true blue Malay (no cross breeds pls) from the Malaya Archiplego pls stand up.

The term Malaya Archiplego

was derived from the European concept of a Malay race,[4]which referred to the people who inhabited what is now Brunei,Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia (excluding Western New Guinea), the Philippinesand East Timor. The racial concept was proposed by European explorers based on their observations of the influence of the ethnic Malay empire, Srivijaya, which was based on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.[7]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_Archipelago

Are our “Khans” “Pakistanis” or “Indians”?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 19/07/2017 at 10:20 am

Here I said that the Pakistani wannabe president’s i/c states he is “Indian”. I was wrong. It does say “Pakistani”. But I do know other “Khans”, some really hard-drinking ones, whose i/cs say “Indian” much to their unhappiness. Worse these “Indians” belong to Sinda automatically: cannot opt out. They are not impressed having to belong to what they consider a Hindoo controlled body.

Why liddat?

Well it all seems to depend on whether the Khan in question or his ancestor came here before British India split into Pakistan and India in 1947. If said Khan came before the split, say in the 19th century or the early 2oth century or in 1946, when the Khan or his descendent became a S’pore citizen, he’d he classified as Indian as would his children.

If the Khan came here from Pakistan he’d be “Pakistani”.

Sounds logical.

Btw it’s no fun being classified as Pakistani if you need help: Neither Sinda or Mendaki would help you. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/comment-malay-enough-next-president-093246327.html

Call Pakistan embassy leh? Btw, reading the Yahoo article one gets the impression that there are those who think that Muslim= Malay, something that the PAP administration rejects because it has refused to change the constitution despite requests that S’pore follows the M’sian definition of “Malay”. This requires, among other things, being Muslim.

 

 

 

 

Oxleygate: “the curious incident”/ What S’poreans are not focusing on

In Political governance, Public Administration on 14/07/2017 at 10:36 am

“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

“That was the curious incident.”

The real “scandal” is that DPM Teo and Lawrence Wong did not protect their reputations the PAP way, when the younger Lees defamed them by accusing them of doing their brother’s bidding, not PM not threatening to take legal action against his siblings, but doing a wayang in parly.

ESM Goh said in parly:

[I]t is clear that their goal is to bring Lee Hsien Loong down as PM, regardless of the huge collateral damage suffered by the Government and Singaporeans. It is now no more a cynical parlour game. If the Lee siblings choose to squander the good name and legacy of Lee Kuan Yew, and tear their relationship apart, it is tragic but a family affair. But if in the process of their self destruction, they destroy Singapore too, that is a public affair.

Now isn’t the attempt to destroy S’pore by making allegations against other ministers, not just their brother the PM, a good enough reason for said ministers to have demanded an apology and sued the younger Lees for defamation, if no grovelling apology was made? And what about their personal reputations? Why liddat?

After ESM’s Goh’s speech, Lee Hsien Yang posted

“We are not making a criticism of the Government of Singapore, as we made clear from the beginning. What we have said is that we are disturbed by the character, conduct, motives and leadership of our brother, Lee Hsien Loong.”
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/we-are-not-making-a-criticism-of-the-government-lee-hsien-yang-9006620

————————————————

Talk Cock Sing Song King Lee Hsien Yang talking cock again above. Other examples

Reading Lee Hsien Yang’s repeated “clarifications” on FB to his earlier FB “clarifications” (example on whether his wife’s law firm was used in the final will: he said “No” emphatically, but then went to explain what they did*), I can understand why the committee wants a statutory declaration and I can understand why he hasn’t given one.

Talking cock about the will

Didn’t do his job as executor

—————————————

Huh? I tot the younger Lees were making allegations that the ministerial committee set up to consider the fate of LKY’s house was doing their brother’s bidding, not making independent judgements and findings? That not attacking govt meh?

DPM Teo rightly responded:

“With regard to Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s allegations against the Ministerial Committee, public agencies and public officers, the Government has already responded comprehensively to all of them in Parliament,”
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/38-oxley-road-govt-still-has-to-carry-out-responsibilities-for-9009684

This shows that, while the PM may have felt that he could not sue his siblings, DPM Teo or Lawrence Wong should have had no such qualms about suing PM’s siblings for the good of S’pore and their good name. They should have asked the younger Lees to withdraw their allegations against them, and apologise. Failing which, they’d sue the Lees.

While I’ve argued that that the cabinet full of Oxbridge men royally screwed up

Yesterday’s wayang and the preceding Lee family row could have been avoided if PM (from Cambridge) had not have gone to the cabinet about his doubts about the circumstances around the execution of the will and the cabinet committee headed by another Cambridge man had not decided to act on PM’s doubts.

DPM Teo, Lawrence Wong, and, possibly, other ministers should have been prepared to take legal action to protect the reputation of the cabinet and themselves. They didn’t and that me is the real scandal. It now seems that this White Horse and White Mare have privileges not extended to people like Roy Ngerng. Who else does do these privileges extend to?

Even now, the Princess of Oxley Road is attacking Shanmugam, raking over the ashes of her allegation of his conflicts of interest. Shouldn’t he be telling her to “apologise or else”, instead of sitting down and keeping quiet? She that special isit?

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

Silver Blaze by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

Indian blood required to be Prez isit?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 13/07/2017 at 10:21 am

I didn’t know that it’s a constitutional requirement that being Indian or having Indian blood is a must to be the president. Did you? When was this change made? Wah really trying to make sure that Dr Tan Cheng Bock can’t be president.

Seriously, so another Indian (He says he’s “Pakistani but his i/c says “Mama” “Indian”, my sources tell me ) wants to be president:

Mr Farid Khan bin Kaim Khan, 62, has officially announced his intention to stand as a candidate in the upcoming Presidential election reserved for Malay candidates.

… who describes himself as a caring person is of Pakistani descent and his wife is of Arabic descent. He regards his family as part of a larger Malay community as his family speak Malay and practice the Malay culture. He has two children, a 24-year-old daughter, and an 18-year-old son.

TOC

Then there’s guy from Second Chance. Yes, I know his i/c says “Malay” but I know many Malays consider him to be “Indian”. These same Malays say “Yaacob’s ‘Arab'”.


Lines very blurred

Actually lines between the Malay community and some Muslim Indian communities are very blurred. As I explained once, in the 80s there was a really good senior MFA official who was always complaining that he was wrongly classified as Indian, not Malay.  This is what a very senior MFA official (Indian Muslim) said to me (and others) in the early 80s: “How do I answer my young daughter when she asks me why she’s Indian but her cousin’s Malay?”. He was always grousing that being classified as Indian hurt his career (he could have been a minister) because of the “quota” system for Indians and Malays. He had to compete with clever Hindus and not Malays.

——————————–

And juz wondering? What does Halimah Yacob’s i/c say given that dad was Indian Muslim? To be fair to her and the PAP, the Malays community does consider her “Malay”, no matter what her i/c may say. When she was in NJUS Law School (mid 70s), her cohort knew her as a “tudung” wearing Malay.

Whatever, Indians rule OK. There’s Devan Nair, Nathan (two terms) and then the next one too (even if it’s a “reserved” one for Malays). No wonder the Indians are uppity about their place in S’pore’s caste system.

Whatever, again, Khan’s case seems to show that Muslims are beginning to think that being Muslim makes them Malay.

What next? A Muslim Chinese can be a Malay? When the day comes when a Chinese Muslim is considered by the Malay community to be a Malay, then the PAP will have to rethink its Hard Truth that all politics are race-based, with a tinge of sectarianism.

Oxley, AG & DAG-gates: Anti-PAP 30% got a lot to answer for

In Political governance on 10/07/2017 at 12:12 pm

They shouldn’t blame the PAP or the 70% who voted for the PAP. It’s all their fault that the PAP can suka suka do what it likes.

Recent developments have shown that a president Tan Cheng Bock could have made sure things were done differently, things that the usual suspects like Mad Dog Chee, Jeannette Chong (In two GEs, she was a candidate for two different parties. juz like Tan Jee Say) and Goh Meng Seng (three different parties in three GEs: Parachutist Extraordinaire), and cybernut friends and allies are upset about, and KPKBing about.

Jedi, Terry Xu, updated this https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/10/10/amendments-to-the-elected-presidency-how-pap-stop-at-nothing-to-avoid-checks-and-balance-on-itself/  he wrote last yr to reflect recent developments.

He wrote

A president with Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s character would mean that many questionable requests — not to give clemency to death row inmates, withdrawal of reserves for “welfare policies” and etc — will be made public and having the president to be vocal about controversial policies and appointment of positions by the PAP administration.

One such example of controversial appointments that a person like Dr Tan will find issues with, would be the appointment of Mr Lucien Wong as Attorney-General in November 2016 to succeed Mr V K Rajah S.C for a 3-year term with effect from 14 January 2017. Mr Wong at the age of 63, was succeeding Mr Rajah who is retiring at the age of 60.

On 14 June 2017 in the joint statement of Dr Lee Weiling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang, it is made known that Mr Wong has acted as PM Lee’s personal lawyer on matters concerning 38 Oxley Road from 2015, and unknown when his commercial interest with PM Lee ended, or ended at all. No one knew Mr Wong was PM Lee’s personal lawyer when he was appointed, even when the Minister of Law and Home Affairs addressed concerns over Mr Wong’s appointment in Parliament, he made no mention of the matter to the Members of Parliament.

While PM Lee has stated that he had cleared Mr Wong’s appointment with the cabinet, CPA and the President during his closing statement on 4 July 2017, but this does not make the appointment of Mr Wong anymore justified. Any layman would ask if there is no better lawyer in Singapore who is younger and free of conflict of interest in order to carry out his or her duties as an independent individual to advise the government on legal matters. Despite PM Lee and Ms Indranee Rajah’s praise for Mr Wong’s exemplary performance as a lawyer, many would believe there are quite a number of lawyers who can also be up to the task.

The appointment of PAP’s former MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Mr Hri Kumar Nair as Deputy Attorney General, is also no more different when it comes to conflict of interest or the lack of public appearance of impartiality.

Plenty of anti-PAP cybernuts KPKB on TOC FB’s wall after “reading” the piece.

My FB avatar commented

How many of those commenting voted for Tan Jee Say or Tan Kin Lian? The 30% who voted for these two should juz sit down and shut up. They had the chance to give the PAP a bloody nose. What did they do? Voted to ensure PAP controlled the presidency.

There was silence.

Seriously, there should be a new exhibit at Haw Par Villa:

 

Image result for ten courts hell haw par villa

A 11th court in Hell for Tan Jee Say, Tan Kin Lian, Goh Meng Seng (he prodded TKL into running and was his election adviser); people like Mad Dog, Jeannette Chong and Nicole Seah (remember her?) who openly* supported TJS; and the cybernuts. What were all these people thinking when they were effectively voting for the PAP’s preferred candidate.

With enemies like these, the PAP doesn’t need friends. Roll on, PAP hegemony. The PAP doesn’t need that house.


*Mad Dog did not publicly endorse him (unlike the other two) but he had plenty of help from SDP activists, help that could come if Mad Dog had approved of TJS.

Chinese emperor that cared more for country than siblings

In Political governance, Public Administration on 08/07/2017 at 1:11 pm

Anyone really familiar with Chinese history or legend? I need a story about a Chinese emperor or tua kee ruler, official or general punishing his siblings or other relatives for hurting the state or breaking the law? A person that put the country or rule of law above family ties. I can’t think of anything from the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” or “All Men are Brothers”, my reference books on Chinese history and legend.

Will be interesting if in Chinese history or legend no-one powerful put the rule of law or country before family.

Otherwise I will have to relate story from Roman “history” to make the point about putting rule of law or country before family. But I’m no ang moh tua kee.

If anyone got a Indian or Malay story on the issue, I’m also interested. Can make multi-racial and cultural the point about putting country or rule of law before family.

 

 

Sounds like Aljunied town council at work

In Political governance on 06/07/2017 at 2:19 pm

In Mosul, the initial relief at liberation from IS’s reign of terror is already turning to grumbling. IS ran services and rubbish collection better, they say. They repaired the potholes in the road faster and kept electricity going.

Seriously if the wankers in the Worthless Party don’t step up their game in providing the basic servives, Aljunied GRC will be PAP once again. And 2011, will prove another false dawn, like 1991. And this time can’t put the blame on Mad Dog Chee.

“Strong push back”? What “strong push back”?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 05/07/2017 at 1:46 pm

PM said on Monday there was “strong push back from the public” on the demolition of the house.

Huh? A poll then showed over 70% of Singaporeans supported demolition of the house. Even a very recent poll showed a lot of support for demolition https://sg.news.yahoo.com/live-blog-pm-lee-deliver-ministerial-statement-38-oxley-road-011158139.html

And there’s this I highlighted on Monday.

So where did LHL get his statistics from? Can we assume a secret poll that ignores us plebs i?

But then that would be par for the course for him and his cabinet, 36% of which are from Oxbridge, and 32% from Cambridge. 

Seriously it is the atas anti-PAP people like Tay Kheng Soon and friends (unlike their cybernut pleb allies like Teo Soh Lung) who want the house preserved presumably to give the finger to our dearly beloved Harry: “Ha, ha ha, yr house is being preserved against the wishes of u and Mrs Lee,” they can say quietly. But to be fair to them, they talk about preserving history and heritage, not about giving the finger to LKY. But that’s their intention.

Looks like PM and his cabinet prefer to listen to their subversive views on the house rather than the opinion of the masses who vote for the PAP. They, like me, want the cabinet of the day to accede to his (and his wife’s) wishes on the house when their daughter no longer defiles the sacred ground.

It’s not that surprising that the views of subversives and “enemies of the people” are seemingly preferred to those of the PAP masses because as Chris K points out Cambridge in the 1930s was notorious for upper class traitors who wanted to subvert the British way of life. I mean even one Harry Lee wanted an end to rule to British rule of S’pore: a radical tot then. But it’s very strange that our LGBTs have been bullied and harassed recently, unsuccessfully as it turns out, because as Chris also points out Cambridge was notorious for its gays.

Riposte to “Blood is thicker than water” and other BS reasons not to sue

In Political governance, Public Administration on 05/07/2017 at 5:21 am

A pleb posted this:

This is seriously a joke when a young guy makes a mistake we don’t say he is a little boy let’s forgive him we punish him and put him to shame! Now it’s because the PM ‘a issue they can talk about sensitivity and how we should think about their parents thoughts and principals!!! What in the Hell is happening? Is this a government that we could trust? Parliament has become their family playground and people and countries issues can take rest for now! So this is what LKY has given us! A problem not just for the family but to the entire Nation. Thank you!

“principals”: must have meant “principles”

Oxleygate: S’porean BBC reporter gets it right

In Political governance, Public Administration on 04/07/2017 at 3:03 pm

Sorry to have to return to abalone and suckling pig, but Tessa Wong our very own BBC reporter got it right

At first Singaporeans were mesmerised but now the saga is tiring them out. Many are confused about the case, and wondering why Mr Lee and his siblings have not resolved the matter through legal action or otherwise.

Singapore is used to swift resolution of public conflicts, and if this does not end soon, questions may be raised about Mr Lee’s handling of the feud.” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40477724

I was at a dinner on Sunday and while the diners (people who would vote for Dr Tan Cheng Bock in a PE and PAP in a GE) were looking forward to Monday’s wayang, they also wanted the show to end soon.

 

8 ministers from Oxbridge but still can cock-up?/ One-term Malay MP?

In Investment banking, Political governance, Public Administration on 04/07/2017 at 5:06 am

I tot the above when I read

At the peak of Japan’s 1980s bubble [Nomura] … recruited more Oxford and Cambridge graduates than any institution outside the British government.

FT

Nomura has since been struggling to be great again. It’s now ranked 17th among investment banks. In the 80s, it was ranked alongside Goldie, Morgan Stanley, First Boston (disappeared into Credit Suisse) and Merrills (part of BoA today)

Given that there are seven Cambridge graduates and one Oxford graduate (Desmond Lee) in our cabinet of 22 ministers, no wonder we are no longer great. Sad.

(The seven from Cambridge are PM, DPM Teo, Hng Kiang, Zorro, Gan, Heng and Kee Chui.)

Yesterday’s wayang and the preceding Lee family row could have been avoided if PM (from Cambridge) had not have gone to the cabinet about his doubts about the circumstances around the execution of the will and the cabinet committee headed by another Cambridge man had not decided to act on PM’s doubts.

As a PAP Malay MP (Likely the central committee is already looking for her replacement for the next GE) pointed out

PM Lee’s comments in statutory declaration may appear to be a “backdoor approach” in challenging validity of his father’s will.

MP Rahayu Mahzam

Err maybe she reads me or the FB postings of a really, really smart lawyer? No not M Ravi or Jeannette Chong. The guy votes PAP but his legal brain is as sharp as a razor.

Whatever, she has balls of steel or is a real sotong to believe “vigorous debate” means “vigorous debate”. Her Chinese and Indian colleagues know better.

Survey shows S’poreans don’t believe PM’s siblings

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/07/2017 at 10:55 am

But want house demolished.

Really sitting on the fence. But when White Horses fight, that’s the best place from which to view the spectacle.

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/lladro-horses-group-horses-fighting-515424428

No automatic alt text available.

Harry’s Hard Choice for “filial” daughter that she’s avoiding

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/07/2017 at 6:17 am

But first, double confirm, Lee family feud is all about younger siblings’ unhappiness with tai kor.

Don’t believe me? Just read the last para of one of Lee Hsien Yang’s latest FB posts:

We are simply very sad that it is in fact Hsien Loong using powers and instruments … for his personal agenda, whilst pretending to be an honourable son.

Forget all the BS about the abuse of power, the absence of “checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government”: his siblings are upset that he’s a hypocrite and want to expose him as such.

Now I sympathise with their anger: PM should not have gone to the cabinet about his doubts about the circumstances around the execution of the will and PM did attack his brother and wife’s integrity.

Whatever, the govt has no problem with Lee Wei Ling living in the house (as per LKY’s and wife’s wishes) because it pushes the problem of what to do with the house into the future (30 yrs at least; when S’poreans may want it preserved as a shrine to the genius of the PAP, unlike now.

It’s the PM’s siblings who want a decision now.

A decision by the govt today (say tear that house down), cannot bind the govt of the day when she moves out to say turn house into shrine for Harry. So are the siblings really calling for a constitutional change to enshrine Pa’s wishes in the house? If so they should say so.

If Lee Wei Ling wants her cake (stay in the house), she cannot eat it (get it torn down when she leaves) short of a change in the constitution. She should also remember that in S’pore, changing the constitution is as easy as changing one’s underwear.

If she wants to force a decision on the house now, when a majority of S’poreans want Harry’s wish to be honoured, she has to leave it now. 

And trust S’poreans to get the PAP administration to acede to Pa’s wish to demolish the house after she leaves. As things stand, the PAP administration is aceding to his wish that she lives in the house.

Anything less than moving her ass out (or saying she’ll move said ass out) will double confirm she’s a spoiled brat. Pa in his wisdom left her with a Hard Choice, a choice that she refuses to acknowledge.

Btw, LKY must be  laughing at his eldest son and daughter. He willed the house to him but gave her the right to live in it, when I’m sure he knew they were not on the best of terms. Pay back time for both of them? Remember when she rowed with Pa, she lived with PM and Ho Ching and their family. This shows that she’s an ingrate like TRE cybernuts. No wonder she’s their new heroine.

Image may contain: text

Pink Dot photo describes to a T the S’pore Harry designed and constructed

In Political governance on 02/07/2017 at 6:04 am

This was posted on FB by Jolovan Wham, a Jedi who fights for the rights and dignity of migrant workers.

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing, tree and outdoor

I mock Harry’s younger children’s rants about the abuse of power, the absence of “checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government”, and the lack of media freedom as BS because what they are ranting about is the natural consequence of the defacto one-party state that their Pa built with the overwhelming support of S’poreans. Remember that once upon a time, the PAP won 86.7% of the popular vote in the 1968 general election, and they have never had less than 60% of the popular vote in a general election. They often had 70% and more.

The only time the PAP could have “lost” was in presidential election 2011 (their preferred candidate won by about 3000 votes), but dadly the anti-PAP voters voted for two RI opportunists and deprived an honourable, decent RI boy of a famous victory. The 30% and the two RI opportunists betrayed S’poreans, and the PAP dudn’t even have to pay them. They betrayed S’pore for free.

As for the two spoiled kids, they only screamed when they were ignored by the governing system their Pa installed.

Give Harry the finger! Preseve that house!/ PAP see parly no ak isit?

In Political governance on 01/07/2017 at 6:57 am

I’ve always tot it strange that the anti-PAP mob, sane and nutty (Think Goh Meng Seng and Mad Dog Chee), want that house to be demolished as per LKY’s wish. I mean what would be a better way to insult his memory and show that HE cannot get his way (“The Lee way or the highway”) than by preseving his house against his (and his wife’s) wishes*.

S’poreans would be showing that for all their fine words for Harry, and support for the PAP, they don’t respect him enough to grant his final wish*.

As to the real elephant in the room, on the surface it looks equally strange that the PAP wants to go against his wish while pretending to honour him*. But that the subject of another post.


*Incidentally this is why the PAP tried to pull a fast one, and argue, unsuccessfully, that it was also his wish in his will to preserve the house. Thankfully S’poreans know this is BS and quoted what the PM, LKY’s eldest son, told parliament in 2015.

The PAP sat down and shut up.

Seriously it was so amateurish of the PAP not to check what it’s sec-gen said in parly. See parly no ak isit? So why is the High Lord of Everything Else (PM, PAP sec-gen and eldest son of Harry) making a statement in parly about his siblings allegations, since the PAP does not respect parliament enough to check what its leader said in it?

 

 

 

Oxleygate and BBC Reith Lectures

In Political governance, Public Administration on 30/06/2017 at 9:24 am

Hilary Mantel is this year’s BBC Reith Lecturer. On 13 June this year, the award-winning (two Man Booker prizes in four years) and best-selling novelist gave the first of her five BBC Reith Lectures for 2017.

The title of this series is “Resurrection: the Art and Craft”. The first lecture is called ‘The Day Is For The Living’.

The following extract is relevant as to why there is a cabinet committee looking into the circumstances surrounding LKY’s will despite the PM and his PAP administration accepting that it is valid. They did not (and do not, so far) challenge its validity but the commitee  is saying it is trying to establish if he really wanted his house to be demolished after his daughter moved out as per will.

If this sounds illogical, it is. Accepting the validity of the will i.e. not challenging it is to accept that the will represents “the last will and testament” of the testator. (Aside: in a one-party state, de jure or defacto, the party decides what is “illogical”. “Illogical” can be “logical”. (Related post on a one-party state)

This inquiry has led to a row among the Lee children, and between the PAP administration and the PM’s siblings. They don’t want the PAP administration to do to them what their pa did to S’poreans. (So spoiled, they are?)

To the PAP, it’s all about the importance of trying to control the narrative of LKY’s life. And in athedefacto one-party state he founded, the ruling party has no choice but to control the narrative of LKY’s life by fair means or foul.

Commemoration is an active process, and often a contentious one. When we
memorialize the dead, we are sometimes desperate for the truth, and sometimes for a comforting illusion. We remember individually, out of grief and need. We remember as a society, with a political agenda – we reach into the past for foundation myths of our tribe, our nation, and found them on glory, or found them on grievance, but we seldom found them on cold facts.

Nations are built on wishful versions of their origins: stories in which our
forefathers were giants, of one kind or another. This is how we live in the world:
romancing …

As soon as we die, we enter into fiction. Just ask two different family members to
tell you about someone recently gone, and you will see what I mean. Once we can no longer speak for ourselves, we are interpreted. When we remember – as psychologists so often tell us – we don’t reproduce the past, we create it. Surely, you may say – some truths are non-negotiable, the facts of history guide us. And the records do indeed throw up some facts and figures that admit no dispute. But the historian Patrick Collinson wrote: ‘It is possible for competent historians to come to radically different conclusions on the basis of the same evidence. Because, of course, 99% of the evidence, above all,unrecorded speech, is not available to us.’

Evidence is always partial. Facts are not truth, though they are part of it –
information is not knowledge. And history is not the past – it is the method we have
evolved of organizing our ignorance of the past. It’s the record of what’s left on the
record. It’s the plan of the positions taken, when we to stop the dance to note them
down. It’s what’s left in the sieve when the centuries have run through it – a few stones, scraps of writing, scraps of cloth. It is no more ‘the past’ than a birth certificate is a birth, or a script is a performance, or a map is a journey. It is the multiplication of the evidence of fallible and biased witnesses, combined with incomplete accounts of actions not fully understood by the people who performed them. It’s no more than the best we can do, and often it falls short of that.

Historians are sometimes scrupulous and self-aware, sometimes careless or
biased. Yet in either case, and hardly knowing which is which, we cede them moral
authority. They do not consciously fictionalize, and we believe they are trying to tell the truth. But historical novelists face – as they should – questions about whether their work is legitimate. No other sort of writer has to explain their trade so often.

The reader asks,is this story true? That sounds like a simple question, but we have to unwrap it. Often the reader is asking, can I check this out in a history book? Does it agree with other accounts?  Would my old history teacher recognize it?

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2017/reith_2017_hilary_mantel_lecture%201.pdf

Double confirm: All Harry’s fault and PM’s siblings are spoiled brats

In Political governance, Public Administration on 29/06/2017 at 1:49 pm

Dr Thum Ping Tjin, a S’porean anti-PAP historian based at Oxford University’s Centre for Global History, talked about the row between PM and his administration on one side and his siblings on the other,  in an interview with Reuters, last week.

Dr Thum said that LKY learnt from the British how to rule (I once heard LKY tell a BBC reporter in the late 80s when questioned about how he reconciled his speeches about repression etc when he was in opposition to what he did later: he laughed and said he learnt from the British administrators who tot him the difference between ruling and talking).

What LKY used in Operations Coldstore and Spectrum is a climate of fear that is in turn used to justify authoritarian measures. His genius (my word) is passing “anti-democratic legislation through the form of democracy but not the substance of it.”:

The power LKY acquired and wielded through this system was led to the “steady erosion of our democratic freedoms and liberty, (and) more importantly the erosion of the independence of state institutions.”

This, Dr Thum argues, was what his son inherited: a system where, like dad, he makes a “decision” which passes through the democratic consultation and legislative process where it is legitimised. Despite the facade of democratic deliberation, such decisions are really foregone.

And this is what got his siblings upset:

“That’s what Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang are really upset about. For many years they, of course, benefited from this system, but now the system is being used against them. A decision that Lee Hsien Loong made about the house in Oxley Road has probably been taken in advance. What has happened is that he then convened the committee to legitimise this decision to give it a veneer of parliamentary democracy in order to wash his hands clean, to keep his hands clean, to say it was done in the proper way. But its a foregone conclusion.”

He goes on

“The problem with a system where too much power is concentrated in the hands of one man, is that the interests of that one man from his own perspective becomes indistinguishable from the state’s. As long as that one man was Lee Kuan Yew, there was a very clear harmony between the man and the state but now the Lee family is 3 people and they have very different interests, very different perspectives, and so they are fighting each other.”

And

“Lee Hsien Loong, of course, is now fighting back using the machinery of the state against them which shows just how much his personal and the national interests have blurred together. Again, this is part of Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy. 
“His siblings are fighting against him with the only real weapon they have, which is to try and deprive him of the authority of Lee Kuan Yew.
“So what we have today is a very brittle system which is still reliant on the personal authority of a dead man.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-mpreKaFg4

Oxleygate: Yikes PAPpy has gd points

In Political governance, Public Administration on 27/06/2017 at 7:28 am

A PAP junior minister sums up my problems with the PM’s siblings position on the house to a T.

Indranee Rajah in a long “4 Financial Things You Should Know About the Oxley Dispute” on Facebook had this to say

4. Why is the government being asked to demolish the house now?

That is a good question.

The government has the same question.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew wanted Dr Lee Wei Ling to stay in the house as long as she wanted. The government has publicly stated that it will respect those wishes and does not intend to do anything until Dr Lee leaves. Letting the house stand for now does not go against those wishes. Mr Lee Hsien Yang has said Dr Lee does not want to move out and she has every intention of living a long life. That being the case, the matter may well not need to be decided for another 20 – 30 years. It can be decided by a future government.

So there is nothing for the government to decide now.

The real question therefore is why Mr Lee Hsien Yang is asking for an immediate commitment on demolition now?

What is the urgency?

Until and unless Dr Lee moves out, there is nothing for the government to decide. It is also a principle that the current government will not be able to bind a future government.

The options open to any government, current or future are also not binary. There are a range of things it can consider.

For example, DPM Teo Chee Hean has said he personally would not support options at the extreme ends of the range: At one end, preserving the house as it is for visitors to enter and see as that would be totally against the wishes of Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew. And at the other end, demolishing the house and putting it on the market for new private residences.

One can understand DPM Teo’s feelings. A luxury condo with that address would confer bragging rights on a select few to say: “I’m living where Lee Kuan Yew lived”. The history and heritage of the site would be forever lost to ordinary Singaporeans, including future generations. That is probably not the way Singaporeans will want to remember 38 Oxley Road.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang has said that “[he has] not thought about what lies beyond demolition”. It would appear he has not ruled out redevelopment.

But,

The options open to any government, current or future are also not binary. There are a range of things it can consider.

doesn’t mean that the cabinet committee was right to go into circumstances of the making of LKY’s will:

Seriously I don’t think it was wise of the Lee Hsien Loong or the cabinet committee (and by extension the cabinet) to try to go into the execution of LKY’s will, and that it was a serious and bad mistake to try to do so.

The piece also has a good summary of the law on conservation, preservation, demolition and compulsory acquisition.

Related article: Lee Wei Ling wants to eat her cake

Anti-PAP activists, cybernuts support Hsien Yang but trust PM: WTF?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 26/06/2017 at 2:25 pm

I’m seeing on Facebook two usually sane anti-PAP activists agreeing with the cybernuts that Lee Hsien Yang is right to ask PM to challenge the will in court.

———————————————-

My takes on the will:

Why PM could not go to court.

But he should have just sat down and shut up not tell his subordinates his concerns.

———————————————————

Seems the nuts and the sane anti-PAP activists don’t realise that:

The Chief Justice, Judges of Appeal and Judges of the High Court are appointed by the President if he, acting in his discretion, concurs with the advice of the Prime Minister. Before tendering his advice as to the appointment of a judge, the Prime Minister is required to consult the Chief Justice.

Since they trust the judges that PM has a hand in selecting, why not believe and support him directly?

They too nutty isit?

Seriously, in a de-facto one-party state, like in a real one-party state, actively opposing the ruling party can be bad for one’s mental health. Just ask M Ravi, Mad Dog Chee and Lee Wei Ling. Why do you think Lee Hsien Yang and his wife decided to “visit friends” in HK? They need a break. Opposing the PAP is mentally taxing.

The significance of PM’s coming statement in parliament

In Political governance on 26/06/2017 at 4:56 am

Anti-PAP cyberwarriors, sane and nutty, and neutral commenters have been complaining that PM’s coming parliament statement is all wayang because

— he enjoys parliamentary immunity, a feature of the Westminster and other Western systems

———————————————————–

(1) No Member shall be liable to any civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages by reason of any matter or thing which he may have brought before Parliament or a committee by petition, bill, resolution, motion, or otherwise or may have said in Parliament or in committee.

(2) No person shall be liable to any civil or criminal
proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages by reason of any act done under the authority of Parliament or the Speaker and within its or his legal powers or under any warrant issued by virtue of those powers.

——————————————————-

He can defame his siblings publicly and they can’t sue him unless he repeats his comments outside parliament.

— His siblings don’t have such immunity to counter him.

— The PAP controls parliament, so difficult questions can be ignored and a vote of confidence can be engineered easily.

The critics are correct.

But they have forgotten, or are ignorant, or are concealing another aspect of the Westminster way of doing things which could explain why he’s making the statemewnt.

By Westminster convention, a minister found to have misled parliament is expected to resign or face being sacked. This is because the knowing presentation of false information to parliament, is a very serious offence under the Westminster system.

Effectively then, PM is making a statutory declaration in public and challenging his siblings to show that he misled parliament.

Of course, in the de-facto one party state we live in, the PAP can ignore the convention. But still there is the international reputation of S’pore to consider, something both the PAP and S’poreans really, really care about.

We love the praise of ang mohs, and get defensive and angry when they criticise us. Ang moh still tua kee, despite S’pore becoming self-governing in 1959, and independent in 1965.

Oxleygate: No leh, not monkeys, juz henpecked?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 24/06/2017 at 1:21 pm

Here I suggested that reasonable people could reasonably conclude that the ministers who decided to investigate PM’s suspicions were a bunch of monkeys. They should have told him that it was not appropriate to look into the circumstaces of the execution of will since he didn’t challenge probate.

Well here’s an alternative view from some netizens. They quoted one Ngiam Tong Dow:

When you raise ministers’ salaries to the point that they’re earning millions of dollar, every minister – no matter how much he wants to turn up and tell Hsien Loong off or whatever – will hesitate when he thinks of his million-dollar salary. Even if he wants to do it, his wife will stop him.

Remember Ngiam? And to be fair he repented of the above and went quiet.

Oxleygate: We got monkeys as ministers isit?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 23/06/2017 at 10:54 am

But to be fair to our monkeys ministers, I still can’t stop laughing about a White Horse and a White Mare (lineage of Lee and Kwa) KPKBing screaming about the abuse of power, the absence of “checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government”, and how the constructive, nation-building media ignores or disses those that don’t fit into the “right” narratives.

They seriously expect us to think that these are new developments and that they are the first to notice? (More on these matters one of these days.)

Back as to why reasonable people can reasonably conclude that Lee Hsien Loong and the Oxley house cabinet committee members are a bunch of overpaid monkeys, and cocks to boot.

LHL really fixed himself. Here I explained why it was impossible for him to challenge the will in court: it would let world know the family was rowing; and because if he had challenged it and succeeded, the estate would be divided by the law governing situations where’s there no will*, not by an earlier version of dad’s will. Not something a filial, honourable son would do.

So as he couldn’t challenge the will, he should have just sat down and shut up and not KPKB tell his subordinates his suspicions that the will may have been improperly executed. He could comfort himself with the thought that dad’s wish in the will to demolish the house, was just a wish because LKY accepted that the govt could decide not to demolish the house. He personally could sidestep the issue by really recusing himself on the issue of what to do with the house.

As to the cabinet committee members, when they heard his KPKBing suspicions about the execution of the will, they should have told him, “Sorry boss, no can do anything. Not appropriate to do anything since you, rightly as honourable and filial son, didn’t challenge the will in court.

‘So we can’t go into the issue of whether the 9th Immortal was railroaded into signing the will.

‘We have to accept, because it says so in the will, that HE wanted the house demolished .

‘Even if you can get Ho Ching to summon him from Hell Hades his place of honour beside the Jade Emperor, to say that he didn’t want the house demolished, and that he was “fixed”, we have to accept what the will said he wanted.

‘Anyway, what’s the big deal? He accepted that the govt has the final say.”

Seriously I don’t think it was wise of the Lee Hsien Loong or the cabinet committee (and by extension the cabinet) to try to go into the execution of LKY’s will, and that it was a serious and bad mistake to try to do so.

Btw, still think that serious money gets us ministers who are not monkeys?

————————————

*https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-articles/in-the-absence-of-a-will-how-is-the-deceased-estate-distributed/

Paradox of the PAP presidency

In Political governance on 13/06/2017 at 7:20 am

I pointed out  here that our CPF could be returned tomorrow (if the govt of the day was willing to do so).

I also said that in an alternative universe when Dr Chee became PM, with a two-thirds majority in parly, he could tell president Yaacob to allow him to draw on the reserves and return our CPF. He would tell President Halimah

I have the mandate of the people. What do u have? How many S’poreans voted for u? None because u won by default.”

Sign or I’ll pee on u and let the mob into the Istana.

Seriously, this is the paradox. How can a president that entered office via a walk-over have the moral authority to resist a newly elected govt that is different from the one that “chose” the “right’ president?

Where does the will of people reside?

Ownself fix ownself

I commend this post where a law professor points out that Nathan was never elected”: he was an unelected president, same like Devan Nair etc. Only Ong Teng Cheong (another cybernut hero) was the real deal.  Within is a video where he points out that the presidency is problematic for the PAP when the PAP is the govt in power. Watch the video to understand how “Ownself sabo ownself”.

This post on the presidential council describes how the PAP tries to solve the problem posed by the professor.

“Oh! What A Tangled Web We Weave” which continues “When First We Practice To Deceive”.

Truths about voter choices: Why people vote PAP despite everything

In Political governance on 07/06/2017 at 2:33 pm

70% of S’poreans regularly get criticised from the unhappy 30% (whether sane like Chris K or Cherian George or insane like TRE donor, Oxygen, Philip Ang or Dr Chee).

Two persons, talking about the UK, shed light why the 7o% did what they did, and why at least 60% of the voters will keep on voting PAP so long as the PAP delivers authoritarian rule that works: http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21722865-city-states-success-offers-much-admire-little-emulate-how-foreigners-misunderstand

Nigel Farage, Mr Brexit, without meaning to got to the nub of why S’poreans continue supporting the PAP. Noting that UK’s big businesses were quite happy about UK being in the EU, he said

Well, yes, of course, if you’re doing well in life you don’t want any change at all.

Or, as I’d put it, “If u think u are if you’re doing well in life you don’t want any change at all.”

Now the next truth is as a FT writer puts it: Voters in general elections make a broader judgment, at once about the character of the leader and the credibility of her or his policies.

This means because they got a low regard for the Labour leader and his policies, even though
Many voters may agree with Mr Corbyn about the NHS, the railways and, even perhaps on soaking the rich — and then they will proceed to cast their ballot for Mrs May’s Conservatives.

Translated into local politics even though many of the 70% may agree that the PAP’s policies on FTs, public transport, welfare, ex-generals badly running ministries, statutory boards or GLCs, and that NS and military spending suck, they still will not vote for the Oppo because of the state of the Oppo.

Talking of the minor parties

— NSP is led by someone who pled guilty to a CBT charge,

— Chiams are egotistic and nepotistic,

— s/o JBJ is autistic,

— People’s Parachutist Party is led by a S’porean based in HK who is pro China, and

— TJS and Pwee are opportunists.

As for the Worthless (or Wankers’) Party, what can I say?

With a few exceptions, they’ve not bothered to raise issues in that concern S’poreans in parly.

Worse, the PAP administration will get the opportunity to pick up Auntie’s taunt and dare. Remember Auntie said, “Sue us if we did anything wrong”. There are two reports by two int’l accounting firms that say AHTC (or rather AHPETC) has a lot to account for, and the WP has allowed a third-party to decide on the recovery of monies. 

And no, I haven’t forgotten the SDP and Mad Dog Chee.

Mad Dog does not believe in leadership renewal, he’s the only party leader still in charge since 1993 when he swapped serious politics for the self-indulgence of street politics, after stabbing Chiam in the front (Chee’s version of events, my interpretation).

Remember in 1993, the SDP had two MPs in parly (excluding Chiam). They were no JBJs but they never stood a chance in 1996 when they stood for re-election what with Mad Dog peeing and crapping all over the streets to the disgust of most S’poreans (self included).

Since 1993, the SDP has been in the Wilderness. Maybe God’s will? Remember the Israelites had to spend 40 years in the Wilderness because they offended God. But at least they reached the Promised Land and committed genocide.

Somehow, I don’t think God is Dr Chee’s side.

And with an activist like Brendan Chong determined to fix the Pink Dot organisers, need I say anything more about the SDP?

“Money talks, BS walks” or “There’s no competition”

In Airlines, Political governance on 05/06/2017 at 4:55 pm

Just ask UA, and the PAP and they’ll say “Cost and cenvenience matters more than quality of service”.

[UA] has just had a great month. Of course, there was the odd hiccup. First, the video of a bloodied United passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight for the crime of wanting to stay in the seat he had paid for. Then there was the giant rabbit, en route from London to Chicago to compete for the title of world’s largest bunny, who died in United custody with lawyers alleging the airline put the live beast in a freezer for 16 hours. Then there was the airline’s apology to the Paris-bound passenger who ended up in San Francisco instead. And the flyer whose trip was cancelled after he taped an argument with a United employee.

Yet despite this month of PR disasters, United is doing fine. Better than fine, in fact. The airline announced this week that it had its best month of the year in April, beating all of its main rivals in key metrics.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2017/05/not-cruellest-month

70% of voters are like UA customers? Never mind the danger of getting beaten up (Think Donald Low, Amos Yee and AHJC), detained without trial ( “Marxist conspirators”),  hung (all those drug smugglers), sued (Roy Ngerng, JBJ, Dr Chee etc) and kanna whacked by price rises (S’poreans), the PAP is convenient and “cheap” for the quality provided.

But here’s an alternative view:

Roger Wicker, a Republican senator from Mississippi, had a different explanation: “There’s not enough competition in the industry.”

George Cherian would agree, He has commented on FB that

The PAP’s marketing of democracy and human rights as “bad products” as you put it is only half the story. The other half: the PAP ensures that it operates in a protected market where those selling the competing product are “taxed” practically out of existence, by placing obstacles in their ability to organise, and destroying careers of activists. It’s not because there aren’t “good marketeers” among Singaporeans who care about these issues. It’s because they are in a market completely different from the example you cite.

What do u think?

(Related article explaining what Cherian was referring to)

Operation Spectrum: Ownself contradict ownself

In Political governance on 04/06/2017 at 2:10 pm

There’s been a lot on FB about about the “Marxist” conspiracy by anti-PAP gang, rational and nuts, in rebuttal LKY was quoted a lot by the pro-PAP cybernuts.

But going by their quotes, it seems even LKY didn’t think there was a “Marxist” conspiracy.

Let’s set the scene. 21 May 1987 was the day when 16 people, mostly Catholic social workers, were arrested and accused by the PAP administration of waging a “conspiracy” to topple the government. Later, six more were arrested for the same reason.

They were never charged in open court where the administration would would have to produce the evidence for detaining them, and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were subversives out to undermine the state. Instead the Internal Security Act was used: the state was prosecutor and judge.

Now, 30 years on, the ex-detainees continue to maintain their innocence, and accuse the PAP administration of faking the “conspiracy” for political reasons: conveniently forgetting that they had confessed and then recanted and then some recanted their recantation.

The PAP administration maintains that the ex-detainees were subversives, driven by Marxist ideology.

But if so why then did LKY tell the Catholic Archbishop of Singapore, the late Gregory Yong, that detainees themselves were of minimal concern to him. He dismissed them as “do-gooders who wanted to help the poor and the dispossessed” and “simpletons”.

Err so where’s the Marxist subversion?

But then helping “the poor and the dispossessed” is Marxist subversion because it showed up the PAP’s BS on welfare?

Here’s another point I want to make. Many of those who want pluraity of views here join the ex-detainees, and the anti-PAP activists and the cybernuts nuts in asking for a commission to establish the truth.

Actually, it’s good for those of us who want greater plurality that the administration refuses to listen.

The more the PAP administration ignores the calls, the more it shows to the voting public the hollowness of “Ownself check ownself” and the flaws in a one-party state . If it does the right thing, it can spin this as “Ownself can check ownself”.

 

 

 

 

PM that stupid meh?

In Economy, Political governance on 28/05/2017 at 1:27 pm

In cyberspace, from the early noughties onwards, S’poreans were telling him and his millionaire ministers that we needed better quality FTs, not Trash by the cattle truck load. Err we were “unhappy” people according to him.

Only yesterday did he agree with us saying

“We have to manage the inflow carefully, and make sure that the people who come can integrate into our society, make sure they have the abilities and skills to contribute to our economy, and make sure their hearts are in the right place and they will become good Singaporeans. We are a country, not simply a city or an economy.”
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-has-to-manage-population-growth-carefully-pm-lee-8888750

What took him so long?

Worse, despite his double first in Maths, he got problem in counting, a bit like Uncle Leong:

About 30,000 babies are born as citizens every year and, to top up, about 20,000 foreigners become new citizens annually.

With about 50,000 new citizens every year, Singapore can “almost sustain a stable population”, he added.

Err what about the PRs and those on employment passes? Why they not included in the 50,000 bodies needed to “sustain a stable population”. After all, PRs are part of the resident population.

 

 

 

Harry wrong, Putin right?

In Political governance on 20/05/2017 at 5:14 am

OK, Putin in 1991 when he was working for the mayor of St Petersburg.

Harry believed in the iron fist but in 1991 Putin said it would lead to  “totalitarianism”.

“But the danger lies not in the law enforcement organs, nor in the state security services nor in the police – and not even in the army. The danger lies in our own mentality. We all think – and even I think it sometimes – that if we bring order with an iron fist, life will be easier, more comfortable and safer. But in reality, we won’t be comfortable for long: the iron fist will soon strangle us all.”

But when Putin became top dog, he too believed in the “iron fist”.

Why liddat?

Many yrs ago the BBC asked LKY (when he was about to step down as MM) why he changed his views on issues like freedom of speech. He replied, laughingly, that there was a difference in running a country and juz talking about running a country. And that he learnt this the hard way courtesy of the British.

Civil society, not juz LGBTs, are being victimised

In Political governance on 19/05/2017 at 4:35 am

The PAP administration is not singling out for bullying those with different sexual tastes. They are targeting all S’poreans who do not hold the “right” views.

So the LGBTs should stop KPKBing that they are being victimised, and trying to appease the PAP by saying some gays are “politicising” the movement, not them.

Hey guys by taking ang moh money and then successfullyraising funds locally when the ang moh avenue was closed, u guys were taking on the PAP authorities:

A successful NGO is a threat to the PAP

(Related post: Would this happen in a one-party state?)

A wannabe Jedi (from NTU’s School of Journalism who trained under a wannabe Seth Lordess turned traitor) posted this recently. Give him a fistbum.

Ng Yi-Sheng

A friend wrote this:

“Having read others’ criticisms of the prohibition of non-citizens from participating in this year’s Pink Dot, I am worried as much by the legislative amendment as the responses to this news, which seem to have comfortably but troublingly framed this as yet another example of how the LGBT community is targeted/ discriminated.

It isn’t. The amendment will affect every single assembly at Hong Lim Park. What this means is, when a rally is organised in solidarity with the Bersih, umbrella or saffron movement, the Malaysians, Hong Kongers and Burmese living in Singapore will not be able to participate. What this is is not so much an example of discrimination against the LGBT community but an example of the state flexing its muscles against civil society, narrowing the already-narrow space we have to contribute to a participative democracy.

The more fundamental question here is whether non-citizens deserve the right to freedom of assembly, to participate in political free speech and expression. This goes back not only to the November 2016 amendment of the Public Order (Unrestricted Areas) Order, but the framing of our Constitution: Article 14 is the only fundamental liberty that is reserved to citizens. In comparison, such constitutional rights, like the freedom of religion, are conferred to every person.

While emotive and appealing to get people up arms, I think it is troublingly distracting and unhelpful to characterise the current circumstances as discriminatory against the LGBT community.

Firstly, Pink Dot itself was an enactment of homonationalism itself and it just seems confusing to me that one can be outraged that foreigners are prohibited from participating when the meaning of that thing they are now prohibited from was never meant to include them. The colour pink was selected because as explained in Pink Dot’s About page, it is “the colour of our ICs and the colour when you mix red and white – the colours of our national flag”. (This issue definitely merits much deeper analysis, but I’ll just leave it for now.)

Secondly, if the attendance at Pink Dot was meant to convince the state of the increasing support for the LGBT community so that it would more likely repeal s 377A, this upcoming Pink Dot will provide, if well-attended, the strongest evidence yet. In my view, previous years’ participation by non-citizens and giant MNCs served a different purpose: to signal to the population, not the state, of the changing global attitudes. Seen in this way, isn’t the new amendment more helpful to the movement strategically? Of course, the only caveat is that citizens and PRs must now do their “civic duty” to participate in Pink Dot.

Lastly, the state has repeatedly emphasised its reasons for maintaining this less-than-balanced balance between the LGBT and conservative religious communities through pronouncements by Ministers and MPs alike in Parliament, at public talks and international interviews. The maintenance of religious harmony is of utmost and critical importance to the state, and it is not as much bigoted or malicious towards the LGBT community as it is striking a balance or compromise it deems fair to sustain the precarious “social stability” it has achieved thus far.

It seems therefore counterproductive for us to play into the imagined dichotomy of the state – that we are against “we are against pinkdot”/ FCBC/ Wear White as if we are two monolithic categories that are irreconcilably at odds with each other. It does not have to be this way; I believe this binary can be dismantled through a more mindful engagement with both the state and other parts of society. The goal cannot be to silence, convert or ‘win over’ these more oppositional groups in society (as we would do with the more ambivalent/ apathetic 80%) that they have to or should accept that homosexuality is not a sin but to live in a plural society where we can live with differences and disagreement.

Ultimately, this incident was yet another example of the reactionary character of our movement and as much as such tactics have served us well over the past many years to gain attention and raise awareness, it might be time to move towards a more calculated mode of advocacy. The “other side” might think that we are engaged in the culture war of this decade, and that is precisely how it succeeds in preserving the status quo. I believe we would be mistaken to do the same; rather, the only way we will win this “war” is when we can show that this is in fact not a war.

(I may have missed out other important aspects in my analysis and would love to hear what others think about this, as I have been mulling over it since the news broke to much agony!)”

 (Err didn’t ask permission to use this.)

Empire strikes back delivering mortal blow to Pink Dot?

In Political governance on 16/05/2017 at 4:37 am

Putting Organising Committe’s asses on the line. As my FB avatar put it “Forcing organisers to check ics isit? Then if one FT there, arrest organisers isit?”. (Explanation below for the blur.)

Siew Kum Hong (Remember him?) replied “those are the implied threats”.

But let’s begin at the beginning,

Here I wrote after congragulating the Pink Dot othanisers of getting rid of their ang moh tua kee mentality and trying to raise money from locals only

But the LGBT community should not be taking their pants off and treating themselves to a sexual orgy as a pat on the back. There’s trouble ahead. I’ll talk cock about this some other day.

I never got round to talking cock on the issue, but we now know how the Empire Struck Back

Pink Dot 2017: Foreigners not allowed to attend annual LGBT pride event due to new changes to regulation

My foreboding was because in words of FB comment by someone

“Pink Dot’s success* is an indication that we need to reconsider the traditional approach towards the relationship between the government and civil society, and recognize the importance of civil society in bringing forward meaningful change in a pluralistic world.”

Or as my FB avatar responding to the news that Pink Dot met its funding target*

Well done Pink Dot organisers for getting rid of idea that only ang mohs tua kee. And well done local donors for showing that not all S’poreans are cheap skates. And the LGBT community should get on their knees and thank the PAP. Without the actions of the PAP administration, there would be many S’poreans (self included) who doubted that Pink Dot had local roots. But beware everyone, in a de facto one party state, the ruling party hates other groups that can organise without its co-operation.

As I wrote in Keeping power in a one-party state

Again, while not exactly true here “Fear of competing narratives makes it drive some of China’s brightest and best into exile or jail” the PAP’s fear of competing narratives has stifled society here largely thru self censorship and self blinkered minds.

A successful NGO is a threat to the PAP or the CCP.

( Related post: Would this happen in a one-party state?)

BBC report on the exclusion of FTs: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39916201 and this from 2013 on growing official and community acceptance of LGBTs http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-22088852

————————————–

*In just six weeks, Pink Dot has surpassed its own targets, raising over $201,000 and attracting 103 local sponsors. It was forced to turn to local funding after the government introduced a controversial ban on foreign sponsorship, which threatened the event’s success.

Coming here, China’s new tool for social control?

In China, Political governance on 14/05/2017 at 1:54 pm

While our ang moh tua kees are KPKBing about hanging drug mules, detention without trial , LGBT rights and other ang moh preoccupations, they are missing something that will soon come here.

Beijing wants to give every citizen a credit rating for everything.  Citizens’ ratings are to be linked with their identity-card numbers. The rating will be based on behaviour such as spending habits, turnstile violations, filial piety and “assembling to disrupt social order”. These scores can be used to blacklist citizens from loans, jobs and air travel.

It’s experimenting with

a “social-credit system” (see article). It says the idea is to harness digitally stored information to chivvy everyone into behaving more honestly, whether fly-by-night companies or tax- and fine-dodging individuals. … But the government also talks about this as a tool of “social management”: ie, controlling individuals’ behaviour. This is a regime that already tries to police how often people visit their parents. How much further could it go? Citizens’ ratings are to be linked with their identity-card numbers. Many fear that bad scores might result in sanctions, such as being denied a bank loan or permission to buy a railway ticket, even for political reasons. They have reason to worry. The government decreed this year that the system should record such vaguely defined sins as “assembling to disrupt social order”.

Economist

Already about 30 cities are experimenting with this system (Let a hundred flowers bloom?) and providing feed back to Beijing.

I sure that the PAP administration is monitoring developments closely with a view to making this “social-credit system” part of the smart city. programme.

After all the PAP administration has traditions of coercion and paternalism. It feels that it has a right to intrude on citizens’ lives. Even TLCs think they have the right. In the early days of the internet here (circa 2000) SingTel was “testing” customers’ security.

Public resentment has made no difference to Chinese and S’porean attempts to control dissent, Hard Truths say must crack down. 

In China The routine succession of threats any government faces is more likely to lead to oppression than to a free, informed debate or a decision that the state should forsake the digital tools available.

Likewise here.

When “social credit” comes here, it will be a shock to the S’porean apers of the West.

Learning from Israel

In Political governance on 11/05/2017 at 10:20 am

Ditching the ex generals (combat not paper) who turned politicians and political leaders and turning to successful tech entrepreneurs to run the country (see extract from Economist below).

Err there’s a problem. The last (and only) successful tech entrepreneur was one Sim Mong Hoo (Remember him?).

Err what about turning to successful CEOs or other senior managers (not failed ones like Tan Jee Say) from the real private sector, not from the pseudo ones? Err any around living here?

From Economist

For over half a century, the Israel Defence Forces’ high command was a breeding-ground for Israel’s political leaders. The first of dozens of retired generals to enter politics was Moshe Dayan, less than two years out of uniform, in 1959: he went on to serve as defence minister and as foreign minister. Since then 11 of the 20 former chiefs of staff of the Israeli army have gone on to serve in the Knesset. Most reached senior ministerial positions; two, Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, became prime minister.

But Israeli politics has changed dramatically in recent years. The main parties’ leaders and candidate lists are no longer decided in smoke-filled rooms, but in party-wide primaries. Senior officers, used to having thousands of soldiers carry out their orders unquestioningly, are ill-equipped for the media circus and patient lobbying that accompanies political advancement …

the high-tech entrepreneurs are now the shining Israeli success story and it could be their moment.” They also have independent sources of income to finance glitzy primary campaigns. But they also have a lot to lose. “We succeeded in business by detaching ourselves from the old establishment and learning a new way of doing things. Going into politics means taking on that establishment again,” says Mr Margalit. Only a few have braved the waters so far; more might make for new ways of thinking about economic problems like poor labour participation rates and political ones such as the deadlock in the occupied territories.

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21721866-top-brass-are-retreat-businessmen-start-replace-soldiers-israels

PAP govt speaking? No ler North Korean minister

In Political governance, Public Administration on 06/05/2017 at 9:23 am

“We do not tolerate any others criticising our style of socialism and we believe in the choice we have made,” Mr Han replies.Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryo.

“The masses are the centre of our state and their security and human rights are guaranteed.”

(BBC report earlier this year)

Err don’t the u/m from PAP administration on Amos the Fantastic really show that the views of the PAP administration and that of the N Korean administration are as teeth are to lips?

Seriously they show that often Silence is Golden and that it’as better to sit down and shut-up than appear to be like a product of Kim Jong Un.

Letter to the Economist

The law in Singapore

You imply that Amos Yee was prosecuted in Singapore for political dissent, and not for making vicious statements about Christians and Muslims (“No place for the crass”, April 1st). That is not true. In 2015 Mr Yee insulted Christians, saying Jesus Christ was “power hungry and malicious” and “full of bull”. In 2016 he said: “The Islamics seem to have lots of sand in their vaginas…But don’t mind them, they do after all follow a sky wizard and a paedophile prophet. What in the world is a ‘moderate Muslim’? A fucking hypocrite, that’s what!”

The Economist may agree with the American judge that such bigotry is free speech. But Singapore does not countenance hate speech, because we have learnt from bitter experience how fragile our racial and religious harmony is. Several people have been prosecuted for engaging in such hate speech.

Contrary to the suggestion in your article, Singapore’s laws on contempt do not prevent fair criticisms of court judgments, as the article itself demonstrates. Singapore’s court judgments, including on Mr Yee’s case, are reasoned and published, and can stand scrutiny by anyone, including The Economist.

FOO CHI HSIA
High Commissioner for Singapore
London

(Her 2015 letter)

And

MHA’s Comments on Amos Yee’s US Asylum Application
 1.     In 2015, Amos Yee was charged for engaging in hate speech against Christians.

 2.     He had said “Christians … are … power hungry and malicious but deceive others into thinking that they are compassionate and kind. Their impact and legacy will ultimately not last as more and more people find out that they are full of bull….. Similar to the Christian knowledge of the bible, and the work of a multitude of a priests.”

 3.     He was convicted on the charge. He was also convicted on another charge for publishing an obscene image. He was sentenced to a total of four weeks imprisonment for these charges.

 4.     In 2016, Yee was charged again for hate speech, this time against Muslims and Christians.

 5.     He had said “the Islamics seem to have lots of sand in their vaginas too…. But don’t mind them, they do after all follow a sky wizard and a pedophile prophet. What in the world is a ‘moderate muslim’? A f*****g hypocrite that’s what!……. With all due respect, Christians, you can shove that faith up your ass. Faith! Faith! I’d be damned at this retardation of humanity. F**k you, Christian shits”

 6.     He pleaded guilty to the charges, and was sentenced to six weeks imprisonment and a fine of $2000.

 7.     He was represented by counsel in both the 2015 and 2016 proceedings.

 8.     Yee had engaged in hate speech against Christians and Muslims.

 9.     The US adopts a different standard, and allows some such hate speech under the rubric of freedom of speech.

 10.    The US for example, in the name of freedom of speech, allows the burning of the Quran .

 11.    Singapore takes a very different approach. Anyone who engages in hate speech or attempts to burn the Quran, Bible, or any religious text in Singapore, will be arrested and charged.

 12.    The US Department of Homeland Security had opposed Yee’s asylum application, on the basis that Yee had been legitimately prosecuted.

 13.    It is the prerogative of the US to take in such people who engage in hate speech. There are many more such people, around the world, who deliberately engage in hate speech, and who may be prosecuted. Some of them, will no doubt take note of the US approach, and consider applying for asylum in the US.

 

What makes America Great, and LKY unnecessary

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 05/05/2017 at 5:25 am

Whether the president is a wimp or Bozo doesn’t really matter

The greatly respected political scientist and TV election analyst Anthony King, who died in January, observed last year that the best-governed countries “owe their good government in large part to the fact that their political institutions and political culture obviate the need for strong leaders”.

He concluded: “A successful liberal democracy is liable to be one that is effectively “leader-proofed”, one in which… it is made difficult for a strong leader to acquire and wield power and in which the government does not rely on strong leaders for its long-term success”.

He was surely right.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-39748185

So there’s no way that the PAP will ever allow S’pore to become a democracy, let alone a liberal democracy, lest it becomes a successful one, making the PAP surplus to needs i.e. redundant.

But LKY is dead, so stop this whining BS

In Political governance on 04/05/2017 at 10:24 am

I tot the above when I came across this extract on FB from what must be a post from either a ng kum guan or an ang moh tua kee type (I’ll attribute if I know where it came from)

“As the 30th anniversary of this event approaches, there is concern that the impact of Operation Spectrum can still be felt. Without an open and honest accounting of what took place, the uncertainty continues to perpetuate a climate of fear and nervousness. It creates barriers to Singaporeans engaging fully in civil society and civic life, and becoming the active, engaged citizenry that benefits every democratic country.”

There are lots of things wrong with the way S’pore is governed because it’s a de facto one-party state

Keeping power in a one-party state

Would this happen in a one-party state?

And “Yes” there’s a lot of righteous anger among the detainees, and their friends and allies.

But let’s fight today’s and tomorrow’s battles, not yesterday’s battles.

I mean can anyone seriously imagine PM (LKY’s son) or any leader (present or next generation) using the ISA to detain political dissidents? They have better means of fixing “the “enemies of the people”. Err OK the enemies of the 70%ers. Juz looking at the AHTC. Or Terry’s Online Channel.

Btw, the TRE cybernuts are calling PM and his ministers weak people when comparing him to LKY: They want LKY to be in charge again isit?

 

 

 

The only marginal seats in S’pore

In Political governance on 02/05/2017 at 5:53 am

There’s no official definition of a marginal seat but people often look at constituencies where the majority – the gap between the first and second placed parties – is under 10%.
BBC

In S’pore only Ajunied GRC fits that description. LOL.

In S’pore “marginal” is a gap of about 15 points it seems. What do u think?

Update at 10.39am: An honest mistake. A 14 -year kid pointed out that Punngol East is also a marginal seat. Must be from RI. But then what’s an RI boy doing reading and posting at this time?

Update at 10.55am: Somehow I don’t think Punggol East is going to be WP’s in next GE. The PAP had to kick up a fuss to get back PE money from WP town council.

Othman Wok: an alternative view

In Political governance on 30/04/2017 at 1:32 pm

We know what the constructive, nation-building media said about him: he was a pillar of the multi-racial S’pore that the PAP built. Here’s another view: he put Harry and the PAP before the Malay community.

In the u/m and the thread on FB that followed there was nothing about S’pore. It was all about his “failure” to look after the interests of the Malay community.

Maybe the PAP and Harry have a point about the shallow roots of our multi-racial, cultural society: Scratch a S’porean and there’s a sectarian underneath. Hence the need for illiberal laws?

What do you think of the post below?

Khan Osman Sulaiman

Othman Wok has passed away. In my community, many believe that we cannot talk about the dead. I disagree. Strongly.

The belief that we cannot talk about a dead man past has its roots from Islamic teachings that forbid anyone to air out a dead man’s shameful/disgraceful past. This, I agree.

But what many would do the moment we tried to discuss about a man’s past, his beliefs, his stand, his deeds, his contributions, his ideology and his political leaning, we are swiftly reminded not to talk about it even if it has nothing to do with exposing of the dead man past.

As with Othman Wok, many would know about the infamous words he uttered on the burning of the corpses. Many also would know of his loyalty to LKY.

When speaking about this, I dont think this is shaming the man for bringing back what he said before because Othman Wok still stands by it and has never apologized nor is he ever contrite for his words.

Othman Wok was the de facto leader of the Malay community by virtue of being appointed a minister in the 60s and 70s. As a leader back then, we should be allowed to study and discuss his actions and contributions as it has bearings on how our community socio-cultural environment developed.

We can see the mainstream media pouring praises on Othman Wok. Are we then not allowed to counter with facts on his actions? If we take on the line not to discuss a dead man past, we would never have known how evil Hitler and Saddam was.

No, we are not shaming or airing out his personal details and discretion, but rather to visit history and discuss the impact he, Othman Wok has contributed based on his actions and words.

Othman Wok was never a leader to me. In fact, it was during his time as a minister, policies that were detrimental to my community went unchallenged, passed without much fun fare that ultimately, led to a whole generation of my community to be weakened economically.

It shaped the political environment my community faced today. Because whatever we fight today, we fight for our future generation. He, Othman Wok never fought for us. He acquiesced and was complicit with the gov questionable act.

As a Muslim, I pray for his well-being in the afterlife. May god bless his soul.

But In this life, I cannot put him on a pedestal.

Elected President: Oh, what a tangled web we weave cont’d

In Political governance on 28/04/2017 at 7:12 am

Further to this on “Ownself veto ownself” procedures on vetoing the president’s decision, if he refuses to make the “right” decision, I reflected further on

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

when via the u/m I double confirmed that the presumptive Malay president’s father was an Indian Muslim.

(Btw, pls read my analysis of this FB post which follows the post)

Facebook post by We want Minister Grace Fu to resign.

In 2013, when Halimah Yacob was selected to be the new Speaker of Parliament after the former one, Michael Palmer, resigned from politics due to his marital affair with a PA woman, ST wrote an article to feature Halimah (‘A strong advocate for workers, women and minorities‘, Jan 2013):

Mdm Halimah Yacob

In the article, it was revealed that her father is an Indian of Muslim faith. He passed away when Halimah was 8 years old. She studied hard and later graduated with a law degree from NUS. Her first job was as a legal officer with NTUC.

PAP invited her to join politics in 2001. Ten years later, she was promoted to become a Minister of State.

When Palmer’s affair surfaced and he was forced to resign, PM Lee nominated Halimah to become the new Speaker on 8 Jan 2013. Six days later, she became the first woman Speaker of Parliament of Singapore.

In fact, news of Halimah becoming Singapore’s first woman speaker also made its way to India. The Hindu described her as an “Indian-origin politician” (‘Indian-origin politician to be Singapore’s first woman speaker‘):

Next President to be a Malay

Last Nov, PM Lee announced to Singaporeans that the next Presidential Election will bereserved for Malay candidates:

This is based on the “hiatus-triggered model”, the PM said.

He also said that the first President who exercised the powers of the Elected Presidency was Wee Kim Wee when everyone thinks it should be Ong Teng Cheong.

“This would be our first after more than 46 years, since our first (Malay) President Encik Yusof Ishak,” PM Lee said. “I look forward to this.”

In any case, since Halimah’s father is an Indian Muslim, it follows that she would also be an Indian Muslim too. That means she would not be able to participate in this year’s Presidential Election, assuming if she wants to or was asked to.

Actually the last para while logically correct is wrong because article 19B (5) of the Con says:

“person belonging to the Malay community” means any person, whether of the Malay race or otherwise, who considers himself to be a member of the Malay community and who is generally accepted as a member of the Malay community by that community;

And to be fair to the Indian Muslim and Malay communities, the lines between the two communities are legal lines, not community lines. I’ll go into this one of these days.

But as a taster, this is what a very senior MFA official (Indian Muslim) said to me (and others) in the early 80s: “How do I answer my young daughter when she asks me why she’s Indian but her cousin’s Malay?”. He was always grousing that being classified as Indian hurt his career (he could have been a minister) because of the “quota” system for Indians and Malays. He had to compete with clever Hindus and not Malays.

Trumpets pls: I said in early 2016 Halimah would be president.

Elected President: Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

In Political governance on 27/04/2017 at 10:30 am

I tot of the above when I read about changes in parliamentary procedures which will take effect if the President goes against the advice of the majority of the Council of Presidential Advisers and exercises his veto power.

Parliament can override such a veto with a two-thirds majority.

So now as a FB pal says:

Elected President – Yes Man
Council of Elderly Men in Suits – Yes Men
2/3 of Parliament – Yes Men

So much checks and balances against anyone who may suddenly stop being a Yes Man.

Election for what, waste time and money, may as well revert previous system.

And

Who watches the watchmen who watches the watchmen who watches the watchmen ad nauseum.

to which the reply was

THE MOB SHALL WATCH EVERYONE

http://i1.kym-cdn.com/…/048/burn_house._beat_mother..png

Btw, the above line from Marmiom continues:
When first we practise to deceive!

Smart Nation: It’s all about Big Brudder watching us

In Economy, Infrastructure, Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 24/04/2017 at 2:45 pm

True the BBC in  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39641262 can come across as constructive and nation-building as ST but three cheers to the BBC for pointing that the way the PAP administration does things is a major problem for the Smart Nation initiative:

Harminder Singh, a senior lecturer in business information systems at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, says the main issue with Smart Nation is that there may be too much government control over it right now for real innovation to take place.

“Singapore’s way of doing things is that the government leads, then others follow,” he told me. “This might be a problem – it is too centralised and so it may take too long for plans to trickle down.

“And ideas from the ground may be neither visible to those on top nor acceptable to them, especially if they are related to the delivery of services that are traditionally handled by the government.”

But he’s very cock in saying

it is not clear why Singapore’s leaders are so keen to move full steam ahead with this plan.

Ah ya no need to explain. It’s all about making sure Big Brother can keep on watching S’poreans. But he’s right to say that we don’t know “how the Smart Nation project will improve salaries and jobs”

“Smart Nation is about building national technology infrastructure so that the government can offer new services, or do what they do now differently. The government may need to explain more clearly how the Smart Nation project will improve salaries and jobs in Singapore to get the project moving faster.”

 

Surrealism and religious harmony: The PAP way

In Political governance on 07/04/2017 at 6:32 am

PAP Minister Masagos Zulkifli’s criticism of WP MP Faisal Manap for repeatedly raising the tudung issue in Parliament and causing division in S’pore, had me in stitches about the surrealism of the scene in Parly when he said it. I mean criticising  Faisal Manap for repeatedly raising the tudung issue in Parliament and causing division in S’pore in front of a tudung wearing Speaker (and assumptive president come September)

sounds so Alice-in-Wonderland

It also reminded me that I had written this sometime back

Religious harmony: PAP’s, Putin’s way

Mr Putin said Russia had been far ahead of its European rivals in establishing a model for co-existence between faiths. In a way, that is true. But co-existence under a common, imperial regime – one that punishes “blasphemers” of all kinds, including those who challenge the regime itself, and colludes with religious authorities to maintain social control – is different from the liberal model of co-existence, where no religion is protected and each must argue its case in an open market-place of ideas.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2015/01/empire-islam-and-russia

Now doesn’t the Russian way sound very much like the S’porean way? Interestingly both are the products of 19th century European imperialism. In the case of Russia, the imperialism of the tsars. In the case of S’pore, British colonalism.

The British and the Russian tsars ruled multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural empires and needed to keep the natives from killing one another or their masters.

So when Harry the axe man became PM, the laws he (and we) inherited from the British suited him to the T: in response to this on the murder of cartoonists in Paris, a reader pointed out rightly in my view,

During LKY’s time he will come out on TV to gloat that this is why we have sedition act and ISD and why he will string you up by the balls anyone who breaks his hard truths and make you wish you had been just simply killed by terrorists.

I’ll end with Chen Jiaxi Bernard‘s FB tots. (He’s a WP member will balls and brains. The “Worthless” or “Wanker” cape doesn’t fit him.)

Quite clear (if it was not already clear enough) who will be our next President. A woman Malay-Muslim president who dons a tudang will indeed show how progressive we are as an inclusive nation. The progress we have made to support the aspirations of women in this country, symbolises by the highest office in the land.

And so we have her, the appointment (the electoral walkover) of Mdm Halimah Yaccob. In an open election, Mdm Halimah will be able to hold her own against any potential candidate*. Wait, it’s reserved for members of her community. Come on, she can stand on her own and win comfortably. I am confident that she will receive more votes (across all ethnic groups) than President Tan in 2011.

Either the PAP has no confidence in their own Speaker or they really have zilch trust that Singaporeans value merit over a person’s race.

The election of Mdm Halimah come September 2017 will be a sad day for Singapore. 50 years of nation building and the ideals taught to students in school surrendered to the narrow and tribal politics of the ruling party. Hypocrisy at the highest level. Sad.

On the day when the ruling party will hail progress, they have blatantly plunged a mortal stab into the social contract that defined Singapore as a nation, regardless of race, language and religion

The biggest loser even in the context of a walkover: Singapore.

One day when our children stopped believing in the “Majulah” in Majulah Singapore and our national pledge, point them to this government and this Prime Minister, the son of our founding Prime Minister. The irony, the utter hypocrisy.


*Trumpets pls. I said this early last yr.  A later post.

 

Rubbish: PAP claim that draconian laws and authoritarian govt provide security

In Political governance on 06/04/2017 at 5:49 am

Just ask the residents of Moscow.

Russia shows the lie that draconian laws and authoritarian govt provides security. It suppresses dissidents, has draconian laws and has an authoritarian govt. Yet

Russians are no strangers to terrorism. During Mr Putin’s rule, Moscow’s metro system has been hit three times by Islamist groups from the North Caucasus. Two explosions six months apart in 2004 killed a combined 51 people and a pair of suicide-bombers killed another 40 in 2010. A suicide-bomber also attacked Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in 2011, though there have been few attacks outside the North Caucasus since then.

Economist

Four attacks on Moscow alone since 2004, killing 90 over people. Contrast that with liberal London, two “major” attacks in the same period, and a lot less deaths. Likewise Paris.

And since 9/11, New York City hasn’t had a terrorist attack.

All three cities are in countries that are liberal democracies, where the “rule of law” (not the “rule by law“: term coined by the ex-wife of the Minister of Pets) prevails.

Revisited: Why we don’t buy the “explanations” of S’pore Inc

In Political governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 27/03/2017 at 7:40 am

In 2010 (before the double blow to the PAP of GE and PE of 2011), I posted a piece that I reproduce below.

I repost Why we don’t buy the “explanations” of S’pore Inc below because recently

— The police and prison service confirmed (double confirmed?) that a 74-yr old woman was handcuffed and restrained when she was moved from the police post to the police division and to the courts. They said it was “part of standard procedure lar”.

— AVA’s culling of fowl asserting are not junglefowl, refusing to do genetic testing. We have to accept its word despite discrepancies in its explanations that the public pointed out.

And last year we had the Benjamin’s death and in Dec 2o13 the Little India riot. Again everything was done by the book: hence no need to explain further. No need even to rethink or learn lessons. (I don’t think the changes introduced after Benjamin’s death and the riots amount to anything other than cosmetic changes to appease its supporters who were troubled by what happened.

In short, the PAP administration has not changed its spots when it comes to accepting responsibility or explaining when mistakes or cock-ups happen.


Why we don’t buy the “explanations” of S’pore Inc (first posted in 2010)

The ex-head of the civil service and now chairman of the Public Service Commission showed he “got it” when he said at a recent speech in the US to S’pore  scholars: If we strive to be world-class, we will be judged by world-class standards. If we say that we have one of the best governments in the world, the public will expect it to solve virtually any problem Singapore faces.

Taz correct.

But he showed he didn’t “get it” when he went on: Some of our citizens are now beginning to expect the government to do the impossible. Many citizens are now less prepared to give the government room to make mistakes and are less forgiving and more demanding. They tend to regard explanations as excuses. Take the recent floods. To some Singaporeans, saying that floods are natural disasters and Singapore cannot be flood-free, sounds like a cop out. Every time something goes wrong in Singapore, citizens ask: “If our public servants and Ministers are so smart and paid so well, why can’t they prevent the problem from occurring, or solve it for good after it occurs?”

He is assuming that the “explanations” given explained what had happened. He should relook this assumption.

Juz look at some of the recent “explanations” that have been given for goof-ups or incidents that caused public inconvenience. Are we wrong in thinking sume people were trying to avoid responsibility?

When MPs asked why the flat of Mas Selamat’s brother was not watched, they were told by the Home Affairs minister that that Mas Selamat could go undetected in the flat “was not a security lapse’ and that hundreds were probed . Err how abt answering the question, “Why wasn’t the flat watched?”

As to the floods, I could not understand the minister’s and senior officials’ explanations. I only “got it” when, on an inside page of ST, it was reported that more rain had fallen in a few hours than it had for days on end i.e. it was very, very heavy rainfall in a very short space of time. Point taken. But this explanation by a junior official was buried deep inside ST, and I’m sure many would have missed reading it. The front page “explanations” failed to give this fact, or where they did, this fact was lost in the smoke of hot air.

The problem is that the “explanations” given often ignore the question, assume that S’poreans are morons or that we are educated, and refuse to admit that mistakes were made. Perhaps PSC should run courses to train scholars to be less arrogant; to admit to making mistakes; and to write in simple, believable prose? One gets the impression that ministers and civil servants attend courses where they are taught not to ever admit making a mistake; and to avoid answering questions.

It wasn’t always like this. When one LKY was PM, mistakes were admitted; and explanations were given in simple and understandable English. I wonder how GCT or LHL would have explained why and how we were kicked out of M’sia, and what was the future of S’pore post-demerger?

And on economical and financial matters, no minister post-1991 has matched the simplicity of Dr Goh’s radio talks and articles.

And asses were kicked and faces shamed. (Admittedly, sometimes the wrong people were punished.)

But let’s be fair: MoE did admit that a scholarship was given to a peeping-tom because the boy’s teachers got some things wrong. He was recently convicted in England for possession of child pornography. But what if the balls-up had been made by officers higher up the food chain? I mean teachers are the lowest of the low in the education food chain, or so I’ve been assured by teachers.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/why-we-dont-buy-the-explanations-of-spore-inc/

S’pore: Not “Animal Farm” but “Brave New World”

In Political governance on 23/03/2017 at 5:14 am

The cybernuts from Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian (I’m ashamed that they are RI boys) downwards make allusions or analogies to Animal Farm to tell us how bad life is here under the pigs PAP. But these references show how stupid and ignorant they are, because in Animal Farm, the animals (sans pigs) live miserable, oppressed lives.

But S’poreans live pretty decent lives even if housing is expensive, cars unaffordable for most S’poreans, and the price of water is going up by 30% . Look at all those travelling overseas for hols during the recent school holidays. And all the tech gadgets S’poreans buy: I mean even the TRE cybernuts are not criticising the end of 2G next month (Buffett uses a 2G handset and so did I until Monday). No wonder the Pay and Party administration keeps raising prices. The money is there and the people are not unhappy to be fleeced.

We are more like this

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Set in 2540, Brave New World depicts a world where the people are willing slaves to a totalitarian government, kept docile and compliant by drugs, constant entertainment, technology and a surfeit of material goods.

This dystopian novel written in 1931 was in January in Amazon’s top 10 list, where it was below 1984 – George Orwell ( number one) and It Can’t Happen Here – Sinclair Lewis (number eight).

The white Hilary-loving liberals working in the publishers should be thanking Trump, but don’t hold your breath. They’ve always been biting the hand that feeds them: the US corporate state.

 

Watergate: All about fleecing the sheep

In Political governance, Public Administration on 04/03/2017 at 4:48 am

Because even efficient users of water face 30% increase.


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

PAP Bandit leader talking about why his gang takes advantage of peasants  (From The Magnificent 7). A bit like natural aristocrats having serfs to serve them.

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“The consumer must feel the price of water, realise how valuable water is in Singapore, every time he or she turns on the tap, right from the first drop,” says water minister Masagos Zulkifli.

So taz why even thrifty users of water kanna whacked. They too are sheep to be sheared in the eyes of Masagos Zulkifli.

Let me explain.

Someone showed me his water bill. His household’s water consumption is only 44% of the national average (water bill says so). But the household too will be hit by the 30% increase, and will get no rebate cause they live in a terrace house. Admittedly it’s “peanuts” ($9 a month), and their life-styles will not be crimped. Juz means no subscription i.e. donation ($36 a year) to Terry’s Online Channel and donation to SPCA ($120 a year), he laughed.

But still getting a household that uses water so efficiently (44% of national average) to pay so much more in absolute terms is ridiculous because the householders don’t waste water and one major justification of the 30% hike is to make users of water realise how much they are wasting.

Why whack efficient users of water in that case also?

Why must they “feel the price of water, realise how valuable water is in Singapore, every time he or she turns on the tap, right from the first drop.”

So that ministeras can be paid a million dollars each isit?

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

is what Masagos Zulkifli should have said.

 

 

Otters, Watergate: What’s worth of ministers’ parly statements?

In Environment, Political governance, Public Administration on 03/03/2017 at 5:12 am

I recently wrote that I was afraid for our Bishan otters because

a population of five in mid 2015, has expanded to 14 in about two years. By the end of 2018, there’ll be 10 sexually mature otters. They won’t be stopping at two for sure.

And

what happened at Sing Ming can happen to the Bishan otters because based on what happened to wild pigs and the fowl, the default mode at AVA to any animal problem is “Cull first, ask questions and BS later”.

So it was really nice that on Tuesday, a junior minister made it clear that

The culling of animals is only a “very small part” of the overall work of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), and it does not track the expenditure it incurs on doing so, said Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee.

Answering a question in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 28), Mr Lee said AVA takes a multi-pronged approach to manage the animal population and mitigate health and safety concerns. It first undertakes a professional assessment of potential threats that animals might pose to public health and safety, he explained, and AVA will have to act if there “significant health and safety concerns”.

“Where feasible, it will work with stakeholders, including the animal welfare groups and organisations like Wildlife Reserves Singapore, to relocate and rehome these animals,” said Mr Lee. “Culling is used only as a last resort.”

In response to a clarification from Member of Parliament Louis Ng, Mr Lee added that AVA’s total budget for animal management operations for 2016 was S$800,000.

CNA

But then I learnt that VivianB had said in parly in 2015 (juz before GE) that there was no need to change the price of water because of PUB’s improvements in membrane tech and productivity and that the water tariff and WCT reflected the scarcity of water.

But we now know 18 months later than that isn’t true any more (Wah facts change so fast? Can tell us what changed? Or cock-up somewhere? Or 2015 statement was “political”?) and that the price of water will be 30% more because of the cost of producing water and to reflect the scarcity of water.

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“The consumer must feel the price of water, realise how valuable water is in Singapore, every time he or she turns on the tap, right from the first drop,” says Water minister Masagos Zulkifli.

————————————————-

So we can’t trust the word of a PAP minister even when he makes a statement in parly.

Sad.

Not uniquely PAP

In Political governance on 26/02/2017 at 4:33 pm

The following could be said of Harry Lee and others of the PAP Old Guard

When Britain dismantled its empire it left behind crude carbon copies of its own form of government …

Yet in the early days of independence most African leaders swiftly imposed their own stamp on the fragile states they had inherited, reshaping institutions they often condemned as colonial impositions. New ideas such as “African socialism” swept the region, along with the notion of a specifically African form of democracy. Leaders such as Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana led the way in arguing that new states needed to put national unity ahead of multi-party democracy, often imposing one-party systems of government that swiftly turned into bullying autocracies. In many cases—witness Ghana and Nigeria—unity was supposedly saved by military coups that were easily mounted.

And even where states embrace the outward forms of democracy, holding regular elections, few enjoy the checks and balances provided by strong institutions and independent courts and civil services.

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21705355-threats-democratic-rule-africa-are-growing-time-and-demography-are

 

Our Dissident voices are learning from the Russian dissidents?

In Political governance on 05/02/2017 at 4:51 am

Yesterday The Agora hosted  FOSG (Future Of Singapore).

SOSG had a second conversation on Singapore economy past, present and future led by Yeoh Lam Kwong, former chief economist of GIC held at the Agora. A 3-hour long discussion with a full house audience. More young people than the previous one!

Lam Keong summarised the early period under the rubric of a “socialism that works” this was followed by a “capitalism the didn’t quite work” the future from 2011 is towards a social democracy that hopefully works. This is the challenge given the resources of the “estate of the state”. That in comparison to OECD standards Singapore has a lot of scope to improve. A lively discussion ended with a video presentation on the highlights of “Singapore 2.0 – Aging in Place” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjlGE2VfA_I&t=81s). There was a sense of energy throughout the discussion. Please look out for announcements on future sessions on FOSG.

Three cheers for The Agora, SOSG and Lam Keong.

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“Educate, agitate, organise.”This was George Bernard Shaw’s famous call to action for the British left-wing. He’s best remembered today for the musical “My fair Lady” which is based on a play of his . He hated the musical. I like the ending of the musical better.

In his heyday he was both a leading intellectual (he was one of the founders of the Fabian Society, still influential in moderate left-wing circles in the UK), and a commercially succesful playwright.

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The Agora, SOSG and Lam Keong are educating S’poreans and perhaps this is better than the posturings of Mad Dogs like Amos, Dr Chee and M Ravi, and the BS of cybernuts like Philip Ang, Tan Jee Say, Roy Ngerng etc.

What follows is a long extract from the Economist on how the Russian intellectuals are using public lectures, intellectual discussions and cultural events to push back against an authoritarian, repressive state that brooks no dissent (Sounds familiar?).

Although the state today suppresses independent civil and political activity, it allows a lot more personal freedom than it did in 1979 … Since the mainstream media are mostly pumping out government propaganda, Russia’s modern intellectuals have got involved in cultural projects. Public lectures by notable scholars, both Russian and foreign, on subjects from urbanism to artificial intelligence gather mass audiences. Tickets to such talks sell out within hours. Every night dozens of events take place in Moscow and other cities. Book fairs attract queues to rival those for pop concerts. A new shopping centre in Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, has organised a book round-table as one of its opening events.

Public lectures, intellectual discussions and excursions have evolved into a business. “Ten years ago, to raise money from investors, you needed to say only one word: ‘media’. Today all you have to say is ‘education’,” says Yuri Saprykin, a former editor of Afisha, a listings magazine that helped shape the tastes of the urban middle class. The trend started a few years ago when a site called “Theory and practice” began to provide a wide variety of courses and lectures. The young are wild about classical music and art museums. “If you are not learning something outside your work, you are a loser,” says Ms Kosinskaya.

Mr Dziadko, the grandson of Soviet dissidents and human-rights activists, and a group of friends have launched a popular multimedia education and entertainment project called Arzamas, a name borrowed from a 19th-century literary society of which Pushkin was a member. The subjects range from Elizabethan theatre and medieval French history to the anthropology of communism and the mythology of South Africa. A few months ago Arzamas organised an evening lecture about Joan of Arc, including a recital of medieval music, at Moscow’s main library. “We thought it would be attended by a few intellectuals. But when we turned up 15 minutes before the lecture, we saw a long queue of young people and hipsters trying to get in,” says Mr Dziadko.

The boom in “enlightenment” projects is not so much a reversal of the rise of consumerism in the previous decade but a complement to it. Just as Russian people were suddenly presented with a vast choice of consumer goods, they now have a large array of intellectual pursuits to choose from. And whereas Russia’s government can impose a ban on imports of Western food, barring the spread of knowledge is much harder.

The main producers and consumers of these enlightenment projects are young Westernised Russians who are part of a global culture. Their pursuit of a wide range of knowledge is a way of fighting the isolationism and aggressive obscurantism imposed by both state and church. This takes many forms, from banning modern-art shows to organising anti-gay campaigns, promoting anti-Darwinism and attempting to stop abortions.

Popular books about biology and physics currently sell better than detective stories. Yulia Shakhnovskaya, the director of the Moscow Polytechnic Museum, where Evgeny Yevtushenko read his poetry in the 1960s, says that education and science have become a form of resistance to politics. “We can’t win but that does not mean we should stop resisting, so we try to grow a garden in the middle of hell.” She says her main target audience is teenage schoolchildren, who are desperate for knowledge: “Good marks are no longer the main prerequisite for getting a good job in Russia…but the demand for knowledge is still there, so we try to satisfy it by other means.”

Ms Shakhnovskaya’s patrons include Igor Shuvalov, the first deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, and Anatoly Chubais, the father of Russia’s privatisation programme. They are helping to promote an educated and emancipated elite that could gradually begin to change the system, which is what happened in the 1980s.

For now at least, the educated urban class does not pose a serious political threat to Mr Putin. But it represents a different and more fundamental challenge that has to do with values and ideas. Some of the most striking independent public-lecture projects recently launched had titles such as “The return of ethics” and “Public lies”, involving both Western and Russian philosophers, economists, sociologists and writers.

This new generation of educated young urbanites has criticised Russian politicians and opinion-formers of the 1990s and 2000s for viewing human-rights abuses and the lack of independent courts as unfortunate impediments to business and foreign investment, rather than bad things in themselves. Yet “despite the total amorality of politicians and bureaucrats, or maybe because of it, the demand for ethics in the public sphere is growing, not falling,” says Andrei Babitsky, a former editor of the Inliberty website that organised the lectures on ethics and lies. The power of ideas should never be underestimated, especially in Russia.

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21708882-young-people-are-finding-new-ways-signalling-dissent-tell-me-about-joan-arc

TerrexGate: Lest we forget

In China, Political governance on 25/01/2017 at 6:51 am

So our APCs have been released just ahead of Chinese New Year.

But let’s not let our PM and his cabinet of illionaires (Bet u they looking with envy at Trump’s cabinet of billionaires with envy: and wondering how to become that rich?. Remember it was a PAPpy MP who said he couldn’t respect people not well paid?) off the hook.

They were on auto pilot when it came to using Taiwan as a training area. I wrote this in December:

If this true, why are we still training in Taiwan?

In China on 01/12/2016 at 4:31 am

Singapore … has gradually reduced the number of Starlight personnel sent to Taiwan for training in recent years to as few as 3,000, but there are still at least three military bases in Taiwan for use by the project.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2050097/singapores-refusal-halt-military-ties-taiwan-prompted

At one time, in any given year 20,000 S’poreans were training in Taiwan.

——————————————

Starlight Project dates back to early 1974, when LKY signed a secret deal with his Taiwanese counterpart Chiang Ching-kuo during a visit to Taiwan.

Based on that confidential agreement, Singapore has sent nearly 20,000 troops to Taiwan for training on a yearly basis. Joint military exercises went on even after Singapore shifted its formal diplomatic relations from Taiwan to mainland China in 1990.

SCMP

———————————————

The SCMP also says that according to Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong,
Beijing had years ago tried to convince Singapore to replace its military training bases in Taiwan with alternatives on Hainan.

“The mainland side promised to provide the Singaporean military with a closer and larger place in Hainan [than that used in Taiwan] for military exercises, but Singapore rejected the offer,” Wong said.

Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong says S’pore rejected the offer because of strong opposition from the US. The US was (and is) concerned because US military secrets could be leaked because S’pore uses American weapon systems.

If only 3,000 are sent to Taiwan a tear, why continue especially as we are now training in Oz in a big way. We are expansing the facilities there.

Auto-pilot at work isit, while millionaire minsters looking at their daily bank statements and monthly CPF statements?

Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure

In Political governance on 17/01/2017 at 4:48 am

If his appointment as minister, and rise and rise since 2012,  is the PAP’s idea of meritocracy, give me nepotism any day (See last para of article in link).

He was Executive Secretary of NTWU (Nation Transport Workers’ Union) and a non-executive director of SMRT when SMRT’s S’porean and FT drivers had problems with salaries or working conditions. Even Zorro Lim (his ex boss) seemed to criticise him.

Here’s something I wrote after he resigned from NTUC in 2012. Slightly edited.

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Our nation-building constructive media are ignoring the white elephant in the space where of the circles of TLCs/GLCs, PAP, NTUC and the civil service meet: sometimes also known as S’pore Inc.

Once upon a time, Ong Ye Kung, was S’pore Inc’s poster boy of meritocracy.

Just in April 2011, before the May GE, our nation-building constructive media praised him as an example of meritocracy at work. Son of a Barisan Socialist MP (and no friend of one LKY), he was a scholar* who rose to a senior civil service post**, then became a senior NTUC leader, and then a PAP MP candidate. It was whispered that he was Zorro Lim’s anointed successor as NTUC chief; and was tipped by ST as a future candidate for ministerial office. He did became the NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General in June 2011.

But by then his slave worker drawn chariot had gotten stuck in the mud . He was a member of George Yeo’s losing Aljunied GRC team. Worse was to follow in 2012: the wheels came off his chariot of gold and ivory and he was thrown-off, and cast into the darkness and mud and became a person that the constructive, nation-building media knew not.

Earlier this year, SMRT’s S’porean drivers made known publicly their unhappiness over pay proposals that had his endorsement as Executive Secretary of NTWU (Nation Transport Workers’ Union). As he was also a non-executive director of SMRT, if he were an investment banker, a US judge would have rebuked and censured him for his multiple, conflicting roles.

Then he resigned, effective last month, from NTUC to “join the private sector”.

In perhaps a farewell, good-riddance gesture, FT PRC workers went on strike (illegally) and we learnt:

— they lived in sub-standard accommodation (SMRT admitted this);

— unlike most SBS FT PRC drivers, most of SMRT’s PRC drivers were not union members; and

— Ministry of Manpower reprimanded SMRT for its HR practices.

All this reflects badly on Ong: NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General, Executive-Secretary of NTWU and SMRT non-executive director. And on the system that allowed him to rise to the top. After all his ex-boss said the following reported on Friday, which given Ong’s multiple roles in SMRT, can reasonably be interpreted as criticism of Ong:

In his first comments on the illegal strike, which saw 171 workers protesting over salary increases and living conditions, the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said the labour dispute “shouldn’t have happened” and “could have been avoided”. [So where was Ong: looking at his monthly CPF statements and being happy?]

NTUC is thus reaching out to SMRT’s management to persuade them “to adopt a more enlightened approach to embrace the union as a partner”, he added. [Hello, NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General was on SMRT’s board, so what waz he doing?]

Mr Lim, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Labour Movement Workplan Seminar, cited the example of SMRT’s rival SBS Transit where nine in 10 of its China bus drivers are union members. Only one in 10 of SMRT’s China bus drivers are union members, according to union sources. [So, why didn’t Ong advise SMRT to help unionise these FTs, and if he did, why didn’t NTUC push harder ehen SMRT refused?]

SBS Transit’s management “recognised the constructive role of the union”, while union leaders “played the role of looking after the interests of the drivers”, said Mr Lim.

“And as a result … they work very closely as one team, it’s a win-win outcome. In terms of how workers are being treated and respected, how management are responsive, how they work together, I think it’s a kind of model that we ought to see more and more in Singapore.” (Today)

Apparently, Ong is supposed to join his father-in-law’s property development business: but with this revelations, it should come as no surprise if his in-law’s family has reservations about him: he might mismanage and upset the workers. Property development companies are fragile because of their leverage: they can’t afford executives who can’t execute***.


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And here’s another post (Links to TRE outdated):

TRE says it all about Ong Ye Kung, NTUC & SMRT

In Humour on 10/04/2013 at 6:54 am

TRE posted these articles in the following order on its front page.
NTUC claims credit for unionising SMRT PRC bus drivers

NTUC claims credit for unionising SMRT PRC bus drivers

In a recent hour-long phone interview with 2 journalists from Yahoo! Singapore, former SMRT bus driver…
185 SMRT PRC bus drivers had petitioned MOM in 2010

185 SMRT PRC bus drivers had petitioned MOM in 2010

 

Ong Ye Kung as a director of SMRT should have known about the plight of the bus drivers. But as union leader of the bus driver, he did nothing. And NTUC is now claiming credit for unionisg PRC drivers? Why now only after a strike? But let’s be fair, maybe NTUC leaders are like the many readers of TRE who “hate” all things PRC. See all the negative stories TRE carries from the Western media about China which pander to these readers.


—————————————————————————————————

And if anyone is wondering about the origins and meaning of the term “feet of clay”:

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. (Daniel 2:31-33)

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. (Daniel 2:41-43)

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*From 1993 to 1999, he was in the then Ministry of Communications, where he helped develop the Land Transport White Paper and was part of the team which established Singapore’s Land Transport Authority. Taz right, he was there at the beginning of the great SMRT cock-up.

**He was the Principal Private Secretary to one Lee Hsien Loong, then became the CEO of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency.

***He joined Keppel. And as a shareholder, I’m very glad he took a big salary but did nothing. He’s the fourth kind of guy described below.

General Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord, a chief of the German Army between the two world wars, is reoted to have said “I divide my officers into four classes as follows: The clever, the industrious, the lazy, and the stupid. Each officer always possesses two of these qualities.

Those who are clever and industrious I appoint to the General Staff. Use can under certain circumstances be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy qualifies for the highest leadership posts. He has the requisite nerves and the mental clarity for difficult decisions. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be got rid of, for he is too dangerous.”

 

Memo to PAP

In Political governance on 07/01/2017 at 10:28 am

Repression aside, political power flows from providing and maintaining economic prosperity, not following Harry’s Hard Truths

The

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which has held power since independence in 1966, is facing its first real challenge at the ballot box. The BDP’s share of the vote dipped below 50% for the first time in the 2014 general election, amid frustration with unemployment and with water and power shortages.

(The Economist)

The economy took a turn for the worse before 2014.

At 8.38 pm January 8, PM’s pay would pass Ah Beng’s yearly salary

In Political governance on 05/01/2017 at 7:56 am

(Amended at 1 00 pm to reflect Chris K revised assumptions. Original title was: Tom morning, PM’s pay would pass Ah Beng’s yearly salary)
Earlier this morning I reported that

 I read that really tua kee bosses in the UK will have earned more by midday on Wednesday than typical workers earn in the entire year, the High Pay Centre think tank said.

I asked Chris K or Uncle Leong to compute something similar for PM and Ah Beng. (OK I wasn’t being PC, I should have said “Ah Beng, Mat, Ar Neh or Grego” even though us ethic Chinese are 70% of the population.)

Chris K replied:

Assuming Ah Loong earned $3.2m a year and Ah Beng’s monthly salary is $3,800 a month, then by 5 am first Friday of the month, Ah Loong would have passed Ah Beng’s annual salary.

Ah Loong was reported last year to make $2.2m and Singstats reported monthly median income is $3,949. So Ah Loong pass Ah Beng on Sunday 8th January at 2038 hours.

Thanks Chris. Lunch on me when we meet.

PM’s v Ah Beng’s pay: Calling Uncle Leong or Chris K

In Political governance on 05/01/2017 at 5:45 am

It would be good if Chris K or Uncle Leong (his form has returned after a long period of really sub-standard stuff that almost had me classify him as a cybernut alongside Tan Jee Say) could calculate something similar (see below) based on PM’s pay and the median pay of S’poreans.

And also calculate something similar for Nathan for flipping pratas for being chief jaga.

(And yes I’m being really lazy asking others to do what I should be doing. In my defence, trying to peddle, promote some software. Really doing work is hard.)

I read that really tua kee bosses in the UK will have earned more by midday on Wednesday than typical workers earn in the entire year, the High Pay Centre think tank said. BBC goes on to say

Branding it “Fat Cat Wednesday”, it says that is the time executives will pass the average UK salary of £28,200.

High Pay Centre director Stefan Stern said it was an important reminder of the unfair pay gap in the UK.

‘…

The think-tank has made the calculation for the the past three years, but this year it is comparing the top bosses’ median salary of about £4m a year with the median UK employees’ salary of £28,200.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38498003

 

Here’s more from the

Daily Mirror front page headline is “The fattest of cats”.

The paper says that, by lunchtime on Wednesday, the bosses of Britain’s biggest corporations will have already earned as much as the average person will be paid all year.

In its opinion column, the paper says “inflated rewards for the overpaid elite aren’t even linked to ability or performance while most of the country grafts hard for a relative pittance”.

BBC also

Wrong reason for LKY turning in his grave

In Political governance on 22/12/2016 at 2:21 pm

After parliament allowed racial discrimination in favour of Malays, a WP supporter came out with this on Facebook. I’m surprised I didn’t see it on Terry’s Online Channel

Trump nominee puts PAPpies Hen and Fu to shame

In Political governance on 15/12/2016 at 6:52 am

The president of Goldman Sachs is joining Team Trump. Mr Cohn earned US$21m last year. His new job pays around US$180,000: peanuts.

Remember when the Hen boasted that he was doing S’poreans a favour, giving them a discount because he took a pay cut from $7m to $1m.

And this from Grace Fu on her ministerial pay cut?

Related post: Hen, JosT, GraceF: Money, money, money.

Seriously why do senior PAPpies look down on the next generation PAP leaders? One Harry said that high salaries were needed to attract future leaders because only his generation were unselfish and Queen Fu said that while she accepted her pay cut, future leaders might not be like her.