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Archive for the ‘Public Administration’ Category

Long-term planning? What long-term planning? S’pore behind the curve in digital world

In Political governance, Public Administration on 13/08/2019 at 7:19 am

Recently Kee Chui Chan repeated the chant that the PAP govt pursues long-term economic strategies based on long term planning that would not be possible if S’pore were not a one-party state: Answering the PAP’s cock & bull about the “long term”.

Well here’s two examples where long-term planning didn’t help us keep up with London and Russia in the digital game. And we want to be a global smart city?

London is the test-bed for surveillance technology outside China. In operations across London, police have scanned everyone walking down the street using facial recognition systems. They don’t have to tell you what they are up to. They can stop you if you try to hide your face from the cameras. But then maybe S’pore has this stuff but the constructive nation-building media and alt media not telling us about it. Well since one TOC, the premier alt media publication, says

Our aim is to examine the issues that matter, or should matter, to Singaporeans and to reflect the diversity of life, of ideas and opinions, that is Singapore

has writers based in India writing about S’pore (Trying to stir discontent with the PAP govt?), what can one expect from alt media?

(Btw, why are Kirsten Han and friends not criticising the PAP govt for not being like the UK in the use of surveillance technology? They always telling us to ape ang mohs because ang moh tua kee.

Next, Russian tax authorities receive the receipt for every transaction across the nation’s 17m square kilometres within 90 seconds. This high-tech system could become a world standard, amid concerns that it will be a tool for “Big Brother and an oppressive state”.

But maybe the PAP govt is really squeamish about the misuse of digital tech. Note The Age of Surveillance Capitalism attacks Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others for extracting our personal data and turning it to profitable ends, preying on behavioural weaknesses.

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Use foreigners to breed for S’pore

In Public Administration on 09/08/2019 at 10:58 am

Further to Want S’poreans to have more babies?, here’s a constructive, nation-building suggestion for the PAP govt to implement. If as Kee Chiu recently said, there’s long term planning by the PAP govt, there would be no need for my constructive, nation-building suggestions on how to get s’porean wimmin to breed like rabbits: Answering the PAP’s cock & bull about the “long term”.

Rent foreign wombs for S’porean couples where the female partner doesn’t want to go thru the inconvenience and pain of pregnancy. Just pay foreigners to be surrogate mothers. If we can pay for foreigners to study here (S$130m a yr), why not pay for them to breed for us? TOC can’t KPKB because it pays Indians in India to write on S’pore: TOC: A lot of bull. At least FTs work here and pay GST and other taxes. Terry’s team work overseas. And TOC and its cybernut readers criticise the PAP govt for allowing in FTs?

The tot of using foreigners to be surrogates struck me when I read:

Until a few years ago, India was known globally as a hub for commercial surrogacy. Childless couples and individuals from India and abroad were ready to pay good money to have a child, and poor women were available to rent their wombs. Thousands of infertility clinics sprung up all over India to facilitate the multi-million-dollar industry. But the government has been cracking down on this practice. In 2015, foreigners were banned from seeking commercial surrogacy in India, and now a bill is in the parliament aiming to ban the practice completely, including for Indian citizens.

Proponents of the ban say that the industry flourishes at the cost of financial and medical exploitation of the surrogates, and that commercial surrogacy poses serious questions around medical ethics. The government is pushing for altruistic surrogacy instead, which offers no financial compensation, comes under certain conditions, and excludes single parents and homosexual couples. On the other hand, supporters of the rent-a-womb industry, insist that surrogates are treated fairly, and it is a win-win situation for both surrogates and childless people seeking an alternative.

Extract from BBC

Watch the video: https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cmj34zmwmy4t/surrogacy

 

 

Brownfacegate: Did you know Shanmugam also said this?

In Public Administration on 05/08/2019 at 11:19 am

In cyberspace, and in particular anti-PAP sites where cybernuts infest, urinate and defecate, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam’s comments on the video up-loaded by local YouTuber and comedian Preeti Nair (known as Preetipls) and her brother, rapper Subhas Nair, have been given a lot of publicity and scorn. The Nairs were superheroes, the cheering cybernuts said.

The video was said by the Nairs to be their response to an ad for a NETS E-Pay campaign tot by many to have committed the offence of “brownface”: a Chinese guy dressed up to be caricatures of the four major racial groupings. (Read this about how S’poreans got divided into four racial groupings: “Malay race” created by ang mohs, not the Malays)

He was quoted as saying, “When you use four-letter words, vulgar language, attack another race, put it out in public, we have to draw the line and say not acceptable.”

And “This rap video insults Chinese Singaporeans, uses four-letter words on Chinese Singaporeans, vulgar gestures, pointing of middle finger, to make minorities angry with Chinese Singaporeans.” (Btw, wow treating us Chinese the way he treated Christians, protecting our sensitivities: in Religious equality, the PAP way, I said Minister Shan treated equally offended Christians as the equals of easily offended Muslims by banning Watain from performing, here he treated us Chinese as being as sensitive as ethnic Indians. Fair chap, this minister.)

Seriously, he also said

Let’s say a Chinese now does a video attacking Indians, Malays using four-letter words, vulgar gestures, same kind of videos,” he told Channel News Asia. “And let’s say there are hundreds of thousands of such videos. How do you think the Indians and the Malays will feel? Would people feel safe? Would the minorities feel safe?

No alt media publication seems to report this. But to fair to alt media, the constructive, nation-building media (that alt media copies and paste from) don’t give much prominence to these remarks.

He has a very valid point about the possibility of Chinese attacking Malays and Indians verbally, hurting their feelings: or worse if they physically attacked them. Doubtless there will calls to protect them, and I’m sure anti-PAP sites like TOC (with writers based in India, not S’pore because of the cost here: TOC: A lot of bull) will say that the PAP govt is not protecting minorities.

Fyi, I have no problems with the ad or the video. Live and let live, I always say. And I’ve lived as part an insignificant minority in London, Sydney and Melbourne: those were the days when Red China didn’t allow its people out. Life was really good as a Chinese in ang moh places. Us Chinese were considered to be model members of polite society, those Hongkies and spit on pavements who cut queues excepted.

How the establishment view the ad, video and Shan’s comments: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/preetipls-ministers-religious-leaders-rap-video-brownface-ad-11766998?cid=h3_referral_inarticlelinks_24082018_cna

How s/o JBJ views the ad, video and Shan’s comments : https://kenjeyaretnam.com/2019/08/01/we-need-to-talk-about-race/

How the BBC views the ad, video and Shan’s comments   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49205225. And in case you don’t read thru to end, I’ll post the concluding paragraphs:

The country is no stranger to satire, but the liberal use of swear words in K. Muthusamy, and its sharp, direct and caustic tone in discussing racial discrimination, is unusual and would be considered shocking to mainstream Singapore.

But a small and growing number of Singaporeans – many of them young, voracious consumers of online content that has a similar tone to the video – see nothing wrong with it.

This is a group that yearns for a franker and bolder conversation about race, and is frustrated with the careful tones of the discourse in the tightly-controlled local media. They are not content with how mainstream society and the government get to impose a certain definition of racism, and rules on how Singapore should discuss race.

The decision to censor the video and investigate Preetipls and Subhas, coupled with a perception that those who came up with the “brownface” advertisement got off lightly, may only stoke that frustration.

Related post: Indian lady takes issue with charge that Nets ad was “brownface”

Creative thinking at URA

In Public Administration on 31/07/2019 at 8:40 am

From selling books online to publishing local literature, Epigram’s latest venture is the Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop located in the URA Building at 45 Maxwell Road.

Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop, with its 11-metre long bookshelf, is so laid-back and cool, you’ll feel super cool just being there.

https://www.littledayout.com/2019/06/23/huggs-epigram-coffee-bookshop-hold-singapore-in-your-hands/?fbclid=IwAR14l4NC4R7KErbWJNRZhxbtQeuDK9a-MIiiih3YfL219edAjRxlnLnrk3g

There’s an interesting backstory to Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop.

Edmund Wee (Quiet activist looking at his bank statement and smiling and Sci-fi can help defeat the PAP?), the publisher of Epigram Books almost persuaded senior URA managers to lease him space at the URA building for a bookshop selling books published here or on S’pore at a rent he could afford i.e. below commercial rates: book shops here are struggling because of the rent.

But fear of the cybernuts’ hero (AGO’s report: “Ownself can check ownself”), the Auditor-General made them hesitate. they didn’t want the anti-PAP cybernuts accusing them of corruption and favouritism and quoting the AGO’s comments against them.

But someone from URA (Must be RI boy or MGS gal) had a brilliant idea: rent the space to an upmarket coffee shop at market rates, on condition that the coffee shop subleases part of the place to Epigram. The end result of talks between Huggs and Epigram is Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop.

The picture shows how the books and coffee tables shared the small space. Even Queen Jos to would have problems having sex here.

PAP cabinet at work?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 11/07/2019 at 6:18 am

At GM, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is go hire a consultant on snakes. Then you get a committee on snakes, and then you discuss it for a couple of years. The most likely course of action is — nothing. You figure, the snake hasn’t bitten anybody yet, so you just let him crawl around on the factory floor. We need to build an environment where the first guy who sees the snake kills it.

Ross Perot who died recently. He was a billionaire (computer services), GM director, and US presidential candidate. He failed to be president but his agenda of balancing budget and cutting welfare, was taken up by Bill Clinton who won.

Why one-party rule sucks for Xi, Lee and Heng

In Political governance, Public Administration on 10/07/2019 at 6:14 am

Heng’s recent comments on the need of GST to rise by 2 points soon despite a weakening economy (Btw, How PAP can win 65% plus of the vote), his earlier comments that we must have FT’s by the cattle-truck load (OK population of 10m) and so on show that die-die he must defend all the actions of the previous PAP govts.

He cannot blame predecessors for cock-ups because “PAP is always right, PAP never wrong”. This is said about Xi but applies to Heng and other 4G, 3G and even 2G PAP leaders and ministers (Emphasis mine):

Not only might the horizons of the leaders of the Chinese Communist party on matters of jobs and economic growth be just as short as those of democratic politicians, their choices may be more circumscribed. A democratic leader can blame a sequence of errors by previous administrations for the current parlous state of the stock market and the economy. Mr Trump can (and does) blame his predecessors for negotiating bad trade deals …

By contrast, even though Mr Xi inherited an over-leveraged economy, he cannot blame his predecessors for the difficult hand he was dealt or for the current slowdown. They too were from the party, and if the party is fallible, does it not follow that people should have the right to vote for a different regime?

He has to maintain the fiction that the party has always made the best decision under the circumstances. That means the Chinese administration has to rescue the stock market if it tanks, and flood the economy with stimulus if growth slows significantly. In fact, it has very short horizons when reacting to potentially adverse economic developments. Chinese investors, confident that the government will bail them out if too many fail, pile in to risky assets without adequate diligence or fear, preventing Chinese markets from allocating capital appropriately.

Raghuram Rajan, author of ‘The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind’

Mr Rajan was head of India’s central bank and was also a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Will resale flat owners still vote for PAP in next GE? contd

Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

The real truths about public housing

Why 30-year old HDB flats difficult to sell/ Why PAP rule will end in 2029

And why changes in policy take so long and the explanations for change so convoluted: example welfare for us oldies, Merdeka Generation: PAP cares for u, really they do, and minor changes in education, No more streaming? Really? What a load of BS.

Here’s another reason why Lee, Heng and other PAP millionaire ministers always blame world economic conditions, never their policies:

Mr Xi’s tight control over policy also makes it hard to diffuse blame. He must defend his own departure from his predecessor Deng Xiaoping’s dictum that to prosper, China should hide its capabilities and bide its time. From his early days in power, Mr Xi asserted that “the Chinese nation has gone from standing up, to becoming rich, to becoming strong”. Some argue his actions have been tantamount to waving a red rag at the Americans, and are directly responsible for today’s trade imbroglio. To quell criticism that he has dragged China’s growth down by challenging the US geopolitically too soon, Mr Xi needs a positive resolution to the conflict.

(Rajan)

 

PAP really makes case for banning tobacco and alcohol

In Public Administration on 01/07/2019 at 11:26 am

 

Our Pet Minister* (The PAP sees voters who own pets as an important constituency*) likes to draw attention to thescientific literature that show that cannabis and other drugs are harmful, as the reason not to decriminalise them.

Well there is plenty of evidence that alcohol and tobacco are more harmful.

So why PAP no ban them?

Ang moh tua kee at work (West’s ‘human rights superiority complex’)? Our colonial masters didn’t ban alcohol and tobacco but banned these drugs, so their PAP running dogs followed blindly isit?

Fyi

[A] report published today by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, an independent group of 26 former presidents and other bigwigs. They conclude that, as far as the scientific evidence is concerned, current drug laws have no rhyme or reason to them. The commission blames the UN’s drug classification system, which sorts some 300 psychoactive substances into “schedules” according to their harms and benefits. Some, such as morphine, have medical uses. Others, such as psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), are used mostly recreationally. Drugs without any apparent medical utility are automatically placed in the most dangerous category—and subjected to the strictest criminal penalties—regardless of the risk they pose.

https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/06/25/what-is-the-most-dangerous-drug


*He and his side kick Louis Ng (PAP MP still sore at childhood failure?) got more power then the ministers responsible for Malays, Indians and Eurasians combined. Says something about the power and influence that pets who really own their so-called masters have in S’pore. Minorities can only envy these dogs and cats.

Ground is not sweet economically/ Authorities may have to do something but no gd options

In Economy, Political economy, Public Administration on 28/06/2019 at 9:12 am

Winter is here and the White Walkers are expected to land at Changi Int’l or the port any time soon.

S’pore’s recent gloomy economic data

— Electronics exports, a major driver of Singapore’s growth over the past two years, saw their biggest decline in more than a decade, hit by a global downturn in the semiconductor industry, data showed last week.

— Overall exports in May declined the most in more than three years as shipments to China slumped.

— The number of retrenchments rose 40% in the first quarter of 2019 from a year ago, driven by cuts in the manufacturing sector, according to official data released this month.

The authorities have to act if there’s going to be a GE this yr. Problem is that there are no good options.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore closely tracks data and there is a growing chance it may ease its currency-focused monetary policy for the first time in nearly three years.

Some say the central bank could even ease outside of its bi-annual meeting schedule as it did in January 2015 when it sought to counter deflationary pressures amid slowing growth.

But a more accommodative stance won’t be enough to reinvigorate the economy, said CIMB Private Banking economist, Mr Song Seng Wun, as a weaker Singapore dollar will not necessarily push up exports.

“Singapore businesses won’t suddenly become so competitive that we are going to be selling a lot more of our goods and services,” he said.

The finance ministry also has limited space to help given already-low tax rates, along with numerous incentives and cost offsets and an expansionary budget this year.

Further stimulus could come in the form of tax cuts and more rebates but factory operators aren’t waiting for the government to come to their rescue.

Reuters

Reuters also reported Mr Sam Chee Wah, general manager at Feinmetall Singapore, whose products are used for testing semiconductor wafers, as saying

[H]e’s been bracing for a tech slowdown since last year – holding back hiring and major capital investments. He’s now considering offering discounts or delayed payment terms to customers.

With US-China hostilities showing no signs of abating, Singapore will have to weather the storm for some time to come.

We are not out of the woods yet,” said Ms Sian Fenner, lead economist at Oxford Economics. “We haven’t seen the worst.”:

— Winter is here, how big will the anti-PAP vote be?

— S’pore: the canary in the coalmine/ Is the ground sweet for the PAP?

How 4G leaders going to get 65% of the popular vote( the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate)?

Remember

— Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP.

And there’s the promised 2 percentage points GST rise coming possibly, when the economy’s in a recession. This when the PAP govt has huge budget surpluses.

Next week, will forecast what the PAP govt will do.

 

 

S’pore: the canary in the coalmine/ Is the ground sweet for the PAP?

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 19/06/2019 at 5:15 am

In Europe once upon a time, every team of coal miners going underground carried a caged canary. If the canary died, they got out ASAP because it meant that there there were poisonous gases that could kill them.

S’pore is the world’s canary when it comes to trade. We suffer earlier than other countries or cities when there’s a global trade slowdown.

As the FT reports,

A trade canary sings — Singapore’s non-oil exports recorded their third consecutive double-digit fall in May, with electronics shipments falling 31.4 per cent (the largest decrease since late 2008) after a 16.3 per cent drop in April.

Marc Ostwald at ADM says the slide in electronics exports sends a “dire signal” as it represents “a generally very reliable proxy for the semiconductor and telecoms sectors worldwide”.

Oxford Economics note that their “coincident and leading global trade indicators are continuing to trend downwards, and the latter has fallen to its lowest level since 2009”.

“While this does not mean that a global recession is around the corner, it suggests that global growth will remain sluggish in the near term and that export-orientated economies will continue to struggle.”

Heng has to do better than talking about cock about natural aristocrats (PAP ministers) partnering us plebs to make S’pore a better place. His 4G team needs 65% of the popular vote: the pass mark for bragging rights that they have the people’s mandate.

What are the headwinds other than a lousy economy going into a GE

— Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP.

And there’s the promised 2 percentage points GST rise .coming possibly, when the economy’s in a recession. This when the PAP govt has huge budget surpluses.

But the PAP has a good vote bank because Why S’poreans continue voting for the PAP to have 2/3 of parly seats;  PAP genius at work and Why grumbling about PAP govt, doesn’t mean S’poreans are disaffected and rooting for change.

Where the PAP votes are coming from

 

CPF interest rates: PAP govt cares for u, they really do

In CPF, Economy, Financial competency, Financial planning, Public Administration on 18/06/2019 at 11:02 am

The US 10-year real yield — a barometer of future growth expectations for the economy — has dropped below 0.4 per cent, eyeing its September 2017 nadir of 0.25 per cent.

FT a few days ago

CPFers get a better deal from the PAP govt.

Our inflation rate is about 1.37%.

But

Savings in the Special Account earn a guaranteed 4% while savings in the Ordinary Account only earn a guaranteed 2.5%. The lower interest rate offered by OA is due to its wider usage. For instance, funds in OA are allowed to be utilised to fund child’s tertiary education as well as CPF member’s property purchase. Such uses of the CPF funds are not applicable to the Special Account and a higher interest rate is therefore provided to compensate for its restricted use.

How to Optimise Singapore CPF: Ordinary Account into Special Account

2.5 – 1.37 = 1.13. 1.13 is the real return assuming that the CPF interest rate is only 2.5%. and we know it’s higher, don’t we?

And taz not all. Read, the bits I bolded

The interest rate on Ordinary Account (OA) monies is reviewed quarterly. OA monies earn either the legislated minimum interest of 2.5% per annum, or the 3-month average of major local banks’ interest rates, whichever is higher.

The OA interest rate will be maintained at 2.5% per annum from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, as the computed rate of 0.60% is lower than the legislated minimum interest rate.

And​

The interest rate on Special and MediSave Account (SMA) monies is reviewed quarterly. SMA monies earn either the current floor interest rate of 4% per annum or the 12-month average yield of 10-year Singapore Government Securities (10YSGS) plus 1%, whichever is higher. In view of the continuing low interest rate environment, the Government has decided to further extend the 4% floor rate for interest earned on all SMA monies for another year until 31 December 2019.

Consequently, the SMA interest rate will be maintained at 4% per annum from 1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019, as the computed rate of 3.37% is lower than the current floor interest rate of 4% per annum.

And

The interest rate on Retirement Account (RA) monies is reviewed annually. RA monies credited each year will be invested in newly-issued Special Singapore Government Securities (SSGS) which will earn a fixed coupon rate equal to either the 12-month average yield of the 10YSGS plus 1% computed for the year, or the current floor rate of 4% per annum, whichever is higher. The interest rate earned by RA monies is the weighted average interest rate of the entire portfolio of these SSGS, which is adjusted in January each year to take into account the coupon rates payable by the new SSGS issuance. In view of the continuing low interest rate environment, the Government has decided to further extend the 4% floor rate for interest earned on the RA for another year until 31 December 2019.

The average yield of the 10YSGS plus 1% from November 2017 to October 2018 is 3.38% per annum. As this is below the current floor rate of 4% per annum, new SSGS issued in the year of 2019 will pay a fixed coupon of 4%.

Consequently, the RA interest rate from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 will be maintained at 4% per annum.

Above from CPF website

Vote wisely.

Related posts (Even an anti-PAP TOC writer appreciates that the PAP govt cares):

CPFLife: PAP govt cares for u, really they do

TOC’s “Correspondent” shows that PAP govt really cares for S’poreans

Vaping: PAP govt cares for u, really they do

Merdeka Generation: PAP cares for u, really they do

Groceries: PAP cares for u, really they do

SingPass sucks, really sucks: Saga continues

In Internet, Public Administration on 10/06/2019 at 7:17 am

I have yet to receive my new one-time password, despite KPKBing last Monday and doing the necessaries: SingPass sucks, really sucks (Cont’d)

But to be really fair, Wednesday was a public holiday, and SingPass promises a response within five working days. If by this evening, I don’t get my password via the post, I go KPKBing tomorrow morning. Doubtless Singpost will be blamed.

Another reason to ban e-scooters

In Public Administration on 09/06/2019 at 7:59 am

Further to UK got this right, S’pore wrong and LTA: What a lot of bull, another reason to ban e-scooters

Motorised versions of children’s kick scooters are notoriously unsafe. Their silent motors catch pedestrians and other road users unawares. A study by the Portland Bureau of Transportation concluded that e-scooters get into accidents 22 times as often as cars do, and 44 times as often as motorbikes. Another, by the city of Austin, found that one in three users is hurt on their first go. They are also increasingly unwelcome.

https://www.economist.com/business/2019/06/06/electric-scooter-startups-are-becoming-more-cautious

SingPass sucks, really sucks (Cont’d)

In Internet, Public Administration on 03/06/2019 at 5:25 pm

Further to SingPass sucks, really sucks (where I explained that I was given an invalid one-time password by SingPass to reset the password of my dormant, unused SingPass account) when I called the SingPass call centre this morning, what I was told had my blood pressure up to 180/100.

I was told that I could not have been given the password I was given because it was all numeric: it should be alpha numeric. I was then told that it would take another 10 days before I could use my SingPass account. Of course, it was explained, I could go down to the Marine Parade SingPass counter and sort the issue out on the spot: which defeats the purpose of a digital nation, doesn’t it?

The Chinese (local or M’sian, I’m not sure) gal could also not answer my question, “What assurance do I have that the single-use password I will given again, is not rubbish: like the one sent to me?”

I demanded to talk to someone more senior. It took 10 minutes before someone dared pick up the phone. The Malay lady who came to my assistance assured me (after receiving my reset request digitally), that there should not be a mistake this time in the password provided (Let’s wait and see) and that by next Monday, I should be able to use SingPass to do stuff (Let’s wait and see). I also found out that one-time password can be all numeric.

Says a lot about quality of staff training, that I was given wrong info.

Morocco Mole (Secret Squirrel’s sidekick) assures me that his second cousin removed working in SingPass tells him that a true-blue anti-PAP cybernut working in IT forgot to ensure that when the password was sent to me that the system would accept it. Has happened before because the cybernut spends almost all his working time reading TOC, TRE and The Idiots, and posting comments on these sites.

 

Older HDB flats: How much value is lost in under 2 yrs

In Property, Public Administration on 03/06/2019 at 7:27 am

Windbag Tan Kin Lian who lost his deposit in 2011 PE but who helped the PAP’s preferred candidate become president has provided some interesting data on how fast a flat can lose value.

A Miss X, he reports, has a HDB flat in Telok Blangah … with a market valuation price of $322,000 as at Dec 2017. The property agent told her that the market price had dropped as her flat had passed the 40 year mark. Later, the market became worse after Lawrence Wong (Fixing Sabo King minister) announced that HDB flat will have no value at the end of 99 year lease.

Miss X could not sell her Telok Blangah flat within 6 months. She had bot another flat nearer her place of work. But HDB did not press her to sell the flat.

She was finally (In late 2018 or early 2019, we are not told) able to get a buyer willing to pay $292,000. HDB gave a lower valuation of $275,000 for the flat. The buyer opted out.

Worse, an agent she had used) is marketing her neighbours’ flats at around $250,000.

From $322,000 to $250,000 within one and a half yrs: a 23% fall. Vote PAP?

The ground is not sweet for the PAP: Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP and Will resale flat owners still vote for PAP in next GE? contd.

How to get 65% of the popular vote liddat?

Answer: How PAP can win 65% plus of the vote.

Vote wisely.

 

SingPass sucks, really sucks

In Internet, Public Administration on 02/06/2019 at 7:18 am

I ‘ve been making the move to the e-age. I’ve activated or setup e-banking systems (Tot of finally voting for the PAP govt because of the free (so far) same day funds transfer) etc.

As a final step, I decided to reactivate my SingPass. As I had forgotten my password, I applied for and got a new one-time password so that I can reset my password.

Guess what? Earlier this morning, I tried to log in with the SingPass given password. Cannot get in.

I wasted half an hour retrying (maybe my typo mistake or I went to wrong login page). Called call centre and it only works during office hrs.

Got to wait until Monday morning to sort out what went wrong at SingPass’s end. I think someone didn’t change the password.

Li Hongyi got a lot to do before he is PM material. And grandpa and GCT didn’t set the bar very high for Hongyi’s pa did they?

Data protection the PAP way

In Internet, Public Administration on 01/06/2019 at 10:42 am

S’pore has begun a public consultation on proposed changes to its Personal Data Protection Act.

There are also proposed changes to allow a business to use personal data for business innovation purposes without needing consent.

FT quotes Anne Petterd, a principal at Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, a law firm

Data protection? What data protection?

Related post: Welcome to S’pore: Mall BSing on data protection law

LTA: What a lot of bull

In Public Administration on 31/05/2019 at 10:57 am

With Singapore’s ageing population, roads and paths in residential towns must be updated to reflect the needs of seniors who may have difficulty traversing the streets, LTA said in its report.

To this end, it has committed to complete road safety installations at 50 mature estates, or “Silver Zones”, by 2023.

These safety installations include narrower roads, speed humps and two-stage crossing that allow people to pause safely in the middle of the street crossing.

Today

If the PAP govt were really conerned about the safety of us senior citizens, it should ban electric scooters from pavements. They can kill or injure badly because they are heavy metal “monsters” designed for speed.

They are banned in the UK, France and in Madrid, all first world places.

Related post: UK got this right, S’pore wrong

Religious equality, the PAP way

In Public Administration on 20/05/2019 at 11:04 am

Yesterday was Vesak Day and this reminded me of the way the PAP govt treats the sensibilities of the various religions: equal treatment of intolerant religious views.

Recently minister Shan gave the lie (in the religious context) to the view that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” 

The Christian preachers, when they talk to me, say ‘you are very, very strict when it comes to anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic messages…They said: ‘You treat the Muslim community differently than the Christian community.’

Minister Shanmugam

True, very true in my opinion. I had always tot that easily offended Muslims found it very easy to obtain satisfaction from the PAP govt compared to easily offended Christians. (Declaration of interest: I was once upon a time a very liberal Methodist. Didn’t believe that God created the world in seven days; didn’t believe that bible is the only record of what God says; tot that it didn’t matter if Christ never rose from the dead; and relaxed about LGBTs and divorce etc.)

So what did this PAP minister do after hearing out the Christian preachers?

I looked at it and I thought that there is some truth to what they say, I won’t say that it is completely true but it is an approach.

Result Watain’s performance was banned, upsetting its Malay fans.

“You have a group of Malay young men, showing the one-finger sign, supporting the group,” CNA quoted the minister.

“If a group of Chinese went and showed the finger sign and said that we should allow it – how would you all have felt? It is the same.”

Watain ban: playing the easily offended game can backfire

He’s being very fair in trying to ensure that all easily offended zealots of all religions are not offended, and if as a result of his actions, others are offended, juz too bad. No longer true (if it ever was) that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Remember what George Yeo once infamously said, “Christians are less likely to riot”?

But what this even handed illiberal attitude does to S’pore’s aspiration to be a global city on par with London and NY?

As intolerant as M’sian Talibanites? Uniquely S’porean solution

S377A: Ex-ST tua kee thinks Christians won’t harm him?

 

PAP govt one up up on repressive central Asian republic?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 13/05/2019 at 10:55 am

In S’pore, a few years ago, a person was arrested for holding a mirror. So did someone from Kazakhstan study our laws and decide to imitate us?

The Kazakh police took a young activist into custody after he decided to test whether he could get away with standing in the street holding a placard with no writing on it.

Aslan Sagutdinov took the placard to the central Abay Square of his native city of Oral in the west of the country, and held it up opposite the central council offices.

The video blogger took the precaution of having a colleague capture the whole thing on film, which the local Uralskaya Nedelya news site embedded in its report.

“I’m not taking part in a protest, and I want to show that they’ll still take me down the police station, even though there’s nothing written on my placard and I’m not shouting any slogans,” the 24-year-old told reporters who’d turned up to see what happened.

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-48187353

Here is what I wrote in 2017 about the guy carrying a mirror who was arrested.

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

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.

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

And there’s this more recent event: Jolovan’s latest problem shows Sylvia Lim’s and my prescience

“There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech”

In Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/05/2019 at 10:59 am

Did Minister Shan say this?

No. But he could have and still may soon. Or some other minister may say it, if Shan is taking a break, because this is the philosophy behind the new law. Ministers can publish corrections alongside claims about public institutions that it deems false. Those who publish false statements with “malicious intent” face criminal sanctions, including fines of up to S$1m and jail sentences of up to 10 years.

Don’t believe me? The law differs from laws against the spread of misinformation in other jurisdictions, which typically focus on taking down problematic content from online platforms.

Still don’t believe me? Read The one-party state and fake news where I quoted from Fake news law: Ownself judge ownself

The problem about lies or “fake news” is who gets to decide what is or is not a lie or “fake news”.

In liberal democracies, even the president of the US cannot get his view of what is or is not a lie or “fake news” accepted by even a majority of the voters. There’s some sort of consensus (“conventional wisdom”) driven (manipulated?) by the elites and media about what is or is not a lie or “fake news” in which facts often play an important part.

In a one-party state (de facto or de jure) the ruling party decides what is or is not a lie or “fake news”

— Keeping power in a one-party state

— Would this happen in a one-party state?

— Coldstore: Why Harry’s narrative or the highway

The planned tackling of “fake news” is a smokescreen for muzzling further netizens, not juz cybernuts. The internet and social media has made it a lot easier for S’poreans to share facts, ideas, and criticisms of the way we are governed by the PAP.

— Minister wants his cake and eat it/ PAP doesn’t get the Internet

— Ingratitude, uniquely S’porean? Blame the internet? Not really

— Us Netizens: Comancherios of the Internet?

This freedom (relative) to share facts, ideas, and criticisms of the way we are governed by the PAP worries the PAP (juz like the CCP worries about the internet and social media in China), hence the plan to further muzzle the internet and social media.

was said by Idi Amin

a Ugandan president best known for his brutal regime and crimes against humanity while in power from 1971-1979.

Idi Amin – Facts, Life & Uganda – Biography – Famous Biographies

Social mobility depends on structure of economy not education

In Public Administration on 09/05/2019 at 1:33 pm

When I read the following excerpts from the FT’s chief economics columnist, Martin Wolf, I couldn’t help but think about the so called abolition of streaming and other attempts to make good education less exclusive  (Examples: Lower- and middle-income students at independent schools to receive more financial aid: Ong Ye Kung and “abolition” of streaming for the plebs.


My take on our education system

No more streaming? Really? What a load of BS: It’s only for the plebs not gd enough for RI, MGS, St Nick and other so-called elite schools.

Don’t blame kiasu parents, blame PAP govt

Hard truths about elite schools

Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”

Minister Ong wants a camel?

Akan datang says minister: Non-grad minister

——————-

Martin Wolf:

The chief determinant of social mobility [the writer had earlier used UK data to show the relationship of the UK economy to social mobility], then, is the class structure of the economy and its rate of change.

Education has only second-order effects on mobility. It influences, but does not determine, the structure of the economy: that is why graduate unemployment is quite common across the world. It is, in fact, more of a positional good: relative education matters. While some from working-class backgrounds will get more of this good, professional parents will always help their offspring to outcompete them.

In sum, if we really care about social mobility, it is on the economy that we should focus most of our attention.

 

Fake news?

In Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 08/05/2019 at 1:22 pm

proposed law against fake news narrows, not widens, the Government’s powers, the Ministry of Law said on Thursday (May 2).

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/online-falsehoods-bill-pofma-fake-news-narrows-government-powers-11496172

The article goes on

The Law Ministry’s Ms Teo reiterated the point …. that that the powers to be given to the Government under the Bill, and the public interest grounds on which the Government can exercise its powers, “are actually narrower than the Government’s existing powers”.

“In key areas, the Bill narrows, rather than extends, the Government’s powers,” she said in the letter that was also provided to CNA and published in the Straits Times.

But as has been pointed out by the public

[The] proposed law is also broad and vague in how it can and will be implemented. Clarifications and amendments are needed to make it more focused on its real purpose.

FB post

And

But more clarifications and more amendments might mean more restrictions which the G is not willing to impose on itself.

If and how the G reacts to criticism will be very telling on where its comfort zone is.

Another FB post

Related posts:

The one-party state and fake news

Why the PAP is really afraid of Facebook?

Silencing fake news and inconvenient voices: two sides of the same coin

Fighting fake news while raising revenue

What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

 

 

Buffett “responds” to our PM presumptive

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 07/05/2019 at 8:42 am

Heng said last Saturday our time

It is “not a given” that having an opposition party, or having multiple parties, will “result in the best outcome for our society” …

“So the question is this: As our society becomes more diverse, as our people are better educated, better exposed all round the world, how do we harness the energies of everyone in a constructive way and to take Singapore forward? Rather than spend time scoring political points, debating for the sake of debating.”

Buffett said last Saturday at his co’s AGM:

In the end Berkshire should prove itself over time. There are no perpetuities and it needs to deserve to be continued in its present form.”

Since the time GCT and Ah Loong took over, the one-party state leaders have run into one problem after another: asset inflation, MRT breakdowns, immigration etc etc. The younger leaders have not proved themselves. They have been living off the legacies and ideas of the Old Guard.

PAP has lost “output legitimacy”

The PAP govt has lost “output legitimacy”: Discuss

Memo to Paper General heading Computer Security Agency

Even PAP voters don’t trust the PAP to tell the truth

But because there’s some form of Opposition, the PAP govt is forced to spend more of our money on S’poreans (not on foreign investment bankers and other advisers on our reserves) to keep its share of the popular vote above 60%.

Hard Truth why PAP wins and wins

Merdeka Generation: PAP cares for u, really they do

Under PAP rule will S’pore become like UK or Venezuela?

Imagine if there was no Oppo candidates to vote for? We’d have to eat bitter while our reserves pile up.

Vote wisely. Vote tactically.

 

Why grumbling about PAP govt, doesn’t mean S’poreans are disaffected and rooting for change

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 06/05/2019 at 9:34 am

The first anniversary of regime change in M’sia is coming. This reminded me how happy the ang moh tua kees and their cybernut allies were last yr, saying that regime change was coming here. PJ Thum even asked Tun to bring change here: PJ Thum cares about S’pore?

The ang moh tua kees and their cybernut allies should have read, “Unpopular Culture: The Ritual of Complaint in a British Bank”, published in 2004, was written by a John Weeks, a US academic.

He spent six years observing NatWest (a UK bank, and since 2000 part of RBS, with retail and commercial operations in England and Wales ), investigating why the staff (from the CEO to the tea-ladies) spent so much time grumbling about it.

Their gentle KPKBing, he found, was a sign of affection for NatWest and of loyalty to each other: they were not unhappy with their employer.

An outsider might have assumed the complaining meant the staff disliked the bank, they did not.

Likewise “outsiders” like Kirsten Han, Mad Dog, PJ Thum, s/o JBJ etc, and their cybernut allies like Ozzie-based “Oxygen” (He fled S’pore yrs ago butcan’t get S’pore off his mind: he still has a CPF account and it’s alleged he uses it to evade Oz taxes) think that S’poreans dislike the PAP govt: when in fact our KPKBing about the PAP govt is a sign of affection for the PAP govt and other S’poreans.  No wonder, our Harry called us affectionately “champion grumblers”.

Related posts showing why ang moh tua kees and cybernuts are not real S’poreans but clueless”outsiders”:

Cluelessness of ang moh tua kees

10- 20% of voters are anti-PAP cybernuts

What the anti-PAP cybernuts have in common with US progressives

Kee Chiu Cybernuts who want to migrate to Bangladesh

 

Meritocracy? What meritocracy? How our PMs are chosen

In China, Currencies, Political governance, Public Administration on 29/04/2019 at 10:42 am

But first, where Heng and Tharman failed.

Further to  what was reported in London trashes S’pore, London in 2019 is still the king of the offshore renminbi payments market according to the Chinese.

The UK (i.e. London) accounted for 37% of renminbi foreign exchange transactions outside of China in January.In the final quarter of 2018, average daily trading volumes of the Chinese currency in London reached £76.6 billion, up nearly 50% on the same period in 2017, according to a report published on Wednesday by the City of London Corporation and the People’s Bank of China’s Europe Representative Office.

I ask again

Tot PAP govt said we had plans to be a leading off-shore renminbi trading centre.

What went wrong? After all we are already a leading global FX trading centre.

London trashes S’pore

And Heng is DPM and PM presumptive? While ang moh tua kees and some anti-PAP types want Tharman as PM?

Failure is being rewarded?

Thinking about it our PM became PM after failing big time:

Another decade, another restructuring report?

In the 80s, one Lee Hsien Loong as trade and industry minister headed a committee to recommend changes in the economy. In the early noughties when DPM he headed another committee on the same issue.

In 2010, one Tharman and his committee produced the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC). And now there’s the CFE. It’s a bit early, but then there wasn’t a report in the 90s: so maybe making up for lost time?
If Lee Hsien loong’s 1980s plan was so successful, why keep needing plans every decade? Plan succeeded, but circumstances change said people from constructive, nation-building media like Balji and Bertha then. Really?  Since that plan, new plans that are a copy and paste from the previous one: Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different.
(And anyway can believe Bertha and Balji, now that they telling us how they helped PAP govt fix JBJ?)

Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM (Another Heng cock-up)

Why do we keep getting mediocre ministers?

Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

 

PAP genius at work

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 26/04/2019 at 11:14 am

The middle classes in developed nations are under pressure from stagnant income growth, rising lifestyle costs and unstable jobs, and this risks fuelling political instability, a new report by the OECD has warned.

FT

As we are a “developed” city state, while S’pore’s middle class has stagnant income growth relative to “affordable” public housing, rising lifestyle costs (think CoEs or public transport fares), and unstable jobs (all those retrenchments and “new age” “sharing economy” jobs), no sign of political instability here despite the attempts of TOC and other cybernut publications, Mad Dog, and Lim Tean.

These articles show why there’s political stability here even though Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP:

Merdeka Package shows how smart scholars are

Great IB riposte to Mad Dog and P Ravi etc

6,400 senior citizens each get $312.50 hongpao from a TLC

Did u know S’pore graduated to “Flawed democracy”?

Why Milliennals will vote for the PAP

Keeping power in a one-party state

Why ang mohs will vote for the PAP

Why 37,000+ sure to vote for PAP

So what if S’pore is very low on democratic accountability?

 

2 must reads: NUS voyeurism balls-up

In Public Administration on 25/04/2019 at 11:13 am

Or is it cock-up?

Sorry. Can’t help the flippancy. What happened is really black comedy at it’s blackest. After the police, AGC and NUS washed their hands (OK sort of) over a voyeur (Maybe taking the attitude “From poor family; must pang chance.”?), the unhappy victim got the voyeur crucified on the day the Christ was crucified or thereabouts.

If the system fails her, she cannot be expected to behave like a meek and mild lamb, can she? Power to her for having the balls to demand publicly that she gets her retribution. Note I said “retribution”, not “justice”.

Here’s a link to a very good commentary on the perspective that the police, AGC and NUS missed: a damning indictment of their failure to understand how gals feel.

Commentary: Here’s what zero tolerance towards sexual misconduct looks like

The NUS voyeurism incident offers lessons for all education institutions, says AWARE Executive Director Corinna Lim.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/nus-sexual-misconduct-zero-tolerance-toilet-filming-monica-baey-11472002

Even better is this comment from someone who seems to know how prosecutorial discretion works in practice. What he says bring back memories of the days when the then head of Crime section in the AGC and I chatted about the role of his team. Where he is wrong, is the person making the decision is supervised and the head of the crime division has to sign-off.

Heng Choy Yuen

I agree with the contents of your article. But the OVER-dependence on protocols and routine thinking may become too dogmatic. Here’s why I say so …. the RESULT of any interview by counsellors, investigations led by the SPF depends on whose desk the case file lands inside the AGC. He/she at AGC is the one who decides whether the legal process stops at his/her desk or be sent for arraignment. Due to the peculiar nature of sex-related and sexual crimes (stealing underwear, peeping tom, filming videos, physical outrgae of modesty, rape), sometimes a less-experienced AGC legal officer may make an error of judgement, not due to lack of factual evidence but simply because the analysis of cases involving sexual crimes require a deeper and thorough understanding beyond what is written in the Penal Code and statutes. Yes, there are more than sufficient precedents to guide towards a judgement (from 2015-2018 there were reportedly 20 cases of sexual misconduct handled by NUS alone) but I think in MIss Baey’s case, the person at AGC charged with deciding the punishment of MIss Baey’s offender perhaps made an error of judgement – by showing leniency (protecting the offender’s future) by itself is not ‘wrong’ when weighed against the evidence and facts gathered – but the ‘high probability of being remorseful” is an ASSESSMENT, not a fact. THe AGC officer in this case should have also considered a more potent FACT backed up by global research on the mental health of sex crimes victims – the FACT that Miss Baey, along with countless victims of similar sex crimes, will live with her mental trauma, fears and anguish. In all probability for the rest of her life. No amount of remorse, a single letter of apology can erase the mental scarring that has already occurred. Therefore while it is commendable to show leniency for ‘remorseful first-time offenders’, the LIFE-LONG irreversible mental damage on the victims of sexual misconduct MUST be prioritised – the victim had no say but … the perpetrator (unless mentally ill) made a wilful, perhaps even premeditated, decision. He was also reportedly under the influence of alcohol but how drunk he was we do not know …. so how does a drunk man summon enough soberness to go from cubicle to cubicle (captured on CCTV) ostensibly to film a naked woman bathing? Obviously his vision was not impaired by alcohol in making his directorial debut …. Isn’t it ironical that the efforts by the law enforcement authorities and NUS to show leniency just so the offender’s future is not destroyed, is producing the very opposite aftermath? Did they anticipate that their ‘merciful’ punishments would generate such public uproar and media attention? A few days ago, Great Eastern put the perp (who was working there) on suspension, but he chose to resign. But while he may recover some semblance of normalcy say after 4-5 years, the mental trauma he caused to MIss Baey is etched in her memory perhaps forever. THAT is a LESSON no victim would ever want.
(Emphasis mine)

PAP ant oppo can learn from world’s richest man

In Public Administration on 21/04/2019 at 5:02 am

Our PAP govt is very risk adverse (Got to check with list of Hard Truths or call up Harry’s spirit before proceeding?) and everytime something does do wrong the anti-PAP types are out screaming at the PAP.

In his latest annual report to shareholders, Bezos is keen to remind investors that failing one reason for long-term success at Amazon: https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2019/04/11/1554989596000/Bezos-on-why-failure-is-not-failure/

Maybe the anti-PAP types scream at govt failures because they want S’pore to fail? They hope that that by screaming, they can prevent govt from experimenting its way to success for S’pore.

The one-party state and fake news

In Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 18/04/2019 at 7:57 am

In Why I no ak the Select Committee hearings on Deliberate Online Falsehoods in April last year, I wrote about the above. I tot that as this is the season about

disaster and even death as the doorways for redemption. It’s about apparent failure and ultimate success. It’s about vivid appearances and unsuspected realities.

Tom Morris

, I’d resurrect the piece given that a very draconian law is going to be enacted soon (Fake news law: Ownself judge ownself)

The problem about lies or “fake news” is who gets to decide what is or is not a lie or “fake news”.

In liberal democracies, even the president of the US cannot get his view of what is or is not a lie or “fake news” accepted by even a majority of the voters. There’s some sort of consensus (“conventional wisdom”) driven (manipulated?) by the elites and media about what is or is not a lie or “fake news” in which facts often play an important part.

In a one-party state (de facto or de jure) the ruling party decides what is or is not a lie or “fake news”

— Keeping power in a one-party state

— Would this happen in a one-party state?

— Coldstore: Why Harry’s narrative or the highway

The planned tackling of “fake news” is a smokescreen for muzzling further netizens, not juz cybernuts. The internet and social media has made it a lot easier for S’poreans to share facts, ideas, and criticisms of the way we are governed by the PAP.

— Minister wants his cake and eat it/ PAP doesn’t get the Internet

— Ingratitude, uniquely S’porean? Blame the internet? Not really

— Us Netizens: Comancherios of the Internet?

This freedom (relative) to share facts, ideas, and criticisms of the way we are governed by the PAP worries the PAP (juz like the CCP worries about the internet and social media in China), hence the plan to further muzzle the internet and social media.

In a recent FB post, I commented that I can see the good of getting Lim Tean and Goh Meng Seng (Meng Seng: fake news propogator) off the air: Chris K that my view was the equivalent of thinking the SS were right to kill everyone in a village when a few SS troops were killed nearby. He has a point.

Since you have read this far, you may be interested in

Why the PAP is really afraid of Facebook?

Silencing fake news and inconvenient voices: two sides of the same coin

Fighting fake news while raising revenue

What is “news”?/ “Fake news” is not “fake” says Harvard expert

Local academics propogate fake news?

 

What about the pink elephant in the corner, DPM Teo?

In China, Public Administration on 17/04/2019 at 11:02 am

I couldn’t but think the above, when I read in the constructive, nation-building CNA:

Despite their vast difference in size, Singapore and China have common issues to tackle, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said on Monday (Apr 15) as he hailed the good bilateral ties between the two countries.

These issues cover areas like economic transformation, skills retraining and managing an ageing population.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-china-have-common-issues-to-tackle-dpm-teo-chee-hean-11447412

Funny he doesn’t mention the area where both ruling parties have a common interest: suppressing fake news.

Our very own, pending, draconian law on fake news ( Fake news law: Ownself judge ownself) sounds very much like what China already has: the ruling party decides what is fake news. But to be fair to S’pore, the PAP govt says that there’ll be an appeals procedure making the judiciary the decision-maker. In China, the judges are subordinate to the party. According to our Constitution, our judiciary is independent.

The CCP way is the PAP way: The PAP way?

 

So what if S’pore is very low on democratic accountability?

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 12/04/2019 at 11:08 am

The KPKBing about very draconian laws further restricting the space on the internet and social media is evidence, anti-PAP activists say, that the PAP govt is very authoritarian with very little democratic accountability. Very true: look at the area shade pink. Among developed “countries” only HK (Remember Goh Meng Seng thinks HK is paradise), is worse.

So what? Look at the area shaded pink in these two charts, and vote wisely and tactically.

 

 

 

 

Fake news law: Ownself judge ownself

In Internet, Public Administration on 03/04/2019 at 5:08 am

Or in posh English, not Singlish, “In the proposed fake news law, ministers are judge and jury.”

This is a seriously good reason concerned about the proposed bill introduced on Monday, which gives the government very sweeping powers in the name of regulating fake news propogators like Goh Meng Seng and TOC’s Danisha Hakeem.

My main concern is that it makes ministers the initial (and in most cases the final and only) arbiters of truth about claims regarding the PAP government’s performance: “Ownself judge ownself”.

That is most unfair and unnatural because it makes a minister the judge and the jury in his own cause. Worse although there is some sort of a right of appeal, the burden of establishing the truth lies on the appellant, not the minister. I do not think a minister should have the power to regulate comments made about them or their department in the same way as the government having the power to regulate hate speech or even seriously offensive speech against race or religion.

There is an obvious potential for serious conflicts of interest here, like “Ownself check ownself”.

PAP giving money to anti-PAP group

In Public Administration on 30/03/2019 at 11:17 am

In creative hubs such as London and New York, contemporary art has been born in the underground and, eventually, syphoned from the top. “Singapore’s art scene is not organic,” criticised Lorenzo Rudolf, founder and president of Art Stage Singapore in an interview with Southeast Asia Globe. “A successfully sustainable, functioning art scene can only grow from the bottom up. Never in history have you seen an art scene which has been built from the top down functioning.”

So what? Artists are getting paid by the PAP govt, even if that group, usually defines itself as anti-PAP.

[T]here is evidence that emerging artists are benefiting from state-funded initiatives. In 2018, the National Arts Council launched the SG Arts Plan, as well as Orthodox, which was held during Singapore Art Week (SAW) in January – an exhibition focused on work inspired by issues surrounding faith and belief exclusive to 20-something artists. The seventh edition of the Singapore Art Week ran for nine days and staged events and openings across the island, from galleries and museums to art precincts, and independent art spaces. Alongside this came the announcement of a partnership between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Frieze, which included S.E.A. Focus – an initiative set up by STPI Creative Workshops & Gallery as a platform for Southeast Asian artists to present their work in the pop-up spaces. There is also ART SG – a new art fair for Singapore and Southeast Asia debuting in November and coinciding with the Singapore Biennale which aims to spotlight young artists.

https://www.dazeddigital.com/art-photography/article/43563/1/singapore-reality-growing-contemporary-art-scene-sarah-choo-su-en-wong-art-week

Money talks, BS walks.

PAP is really trying hard to get 65% of the popular vote: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote.

Vote wisely. Remember that a GST rise is coming: How to ensure no GST rise.

Vote tactically (I tell how soon) because at worse PAP will still form govt:

But the cybernuts like bapak should not be raising their hopes of their hero Mad Dog forming a coalition govt of spastics. At the very least, the PAP will get only 60% of the popular vote (a 10 point fall) and retain a two-thirds majority and not win back Aljunied. No GRC will fall even to Team TCB.

Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP

 

TRE: “Clueless Alternative Parties” & Thinking about VERS

In Public Administration on 29/03/2019 at 7:20 am

Let me declare upfront that I am neither an Incumbent Party supporter or an Alternative Party supporter.  I will cast my vote to the party whom I have confidence will work for the betterment of Singapore at the ballot box. And I will try to be as discerning as possible.  There are Incumbent Party members who have work for the betterment of Singaporeans, just as there are those who have not.  Likewise, there are Alternative Party members who are likely to work for the betterment of Singaporeans, just as there are those who won’t.

There is one sombre message that I believe all Alternative Parties members need to bear in mind.  They cannot, should not and must not think that they can win the General Elections because the electorates dislike or no longer trust the Incumbent Party.  Rather, they have to showcase their abilities and capabilities, that is, what they can actually do for the people if they are elected into the Parliament.  Furthermore, they must act in a way to be above reproach at all times.

As of this moment, I can honestly say that I have lost almost all faith in the Incumbent Party and I am very much inclined to cast my vote to an Alternative Party.  However, some recent behaviours of the Alternative Parties leave much to be desired, so much so that I could not help wondering whether I would be making a wise decision.

I will describe an incident below which I hope will serve as wake-up calls for the Alternative Parties members.

Lack of Thinking and Planning

The first incident revolves around NSP, which apparently held a rally last weekend.  (Surprise!  Surprise!)  A friend of my boyfriend attended the rally and we were quite surprised as none of our other friends are aware of that rally.

However, the worst is to come.  NSP members started telling the small group of audience (apparently only about 20+ people!) during the rally that NSP deserved to be voted in because they will be the voice of Singaporeans and they will do whatever is necessary to improve the lives of Singaporeans.  One member of the audience asked the following 3 related questions and requested NSP to use them as an example to show how NSP intends to act for the betterment of Singaporeans.

  1. Why are HDB flats priced so high despite having zero value at the end of the 99-year lease?
  2. How is the Incumbent Party intending to resolve the problem of tenants when the lease of their flats expire?
  3. What will NSP do differently to resolve the problem?

Our friend told us that apparently none of the NSP members have any clues on how to answer those questions. NSP members simply mumbled some incoherent responses and it became quite obvious after a while that they have never thought through the issue of the HDB 99-year lease at all.  Hence, the none of the NSP members have any ideas on how to resolve the problem of the tenants when the lease of their flats expire.

To be fair, I do not know how true is the above description since I was not physically there.  The only thing I can safely say is that our friend, despite being an Alternative Party supporter, was definitely not impressed by NSP. He left the rally feeling disappointed and disillusioned.

I found the above narration quite disturbing.  The HDB 99-year lease issue is a topmost issue affecting the lives of 80% of all Singaporeans and basically everybody knew about this issue for more than six months.  This is a most important and critical issue that has significant impacts on the lives of many Singaporeans.  If NSP is serious about being the voice of Singaporeans and it will do whatever is necessary to improve the lives of Singaporeans, how is it possible that nobody in NSP thinks through and works out some plans on how to resolve this critical issue?  If they are not concerned with such a critical issue, how exactly does NSP intend to be the voice of Singaporeans and to improve the lives of Singaporeans if they get elected into the Parliament?

To the credits of other Alternative Parties, both SDP (Chee Soon Juan) and PVP (Lim Tean) have clearly laid out their plans and thoughts on how this issue can be resolved.  This is what Singaporeans want and need from the Alternative Parties.  If these Alternative Parties members get elected into the Parliament, they have concrete plans to know what to do for the betterment of the lives of Singaporeans.  Of course, some plans may not be entirely feasible and need to be refined.  But it is at least a good start in the correct direction and it goes to show that these Alternative Parties are serious about improving the lives of Singaporeans if they are elected.  Indeed, prominent members like Pritam Singh/Low Thia Khiang, Chiam See Tong/Lina Chiam, Tan Cheng Bock, Goh Meng Seng, Tan Jee Say, etc should also make known how they intend to resolve this issue if they get elected into the Parliament.

Incidentally, a recent post indicates a very plausible method on how the Incumbent Party intends to resolve this issue – to finance VERS using a combination of tax hikes and price increases.  And the article was apparently written by a supporter of the Incumbent Party!

http://www.tremeritus.net/2019/03/25/why-vers-will-work-but-it-is-still-a-bad-idea/

I have performed some analysis in the past which shows that the government needs to fork out at least 3 billion every year to finance VERS, even if the average payment is merely $250,000 per flat.  The more probable financing cost is likely to be in the range of 4 to 5 billion every year.

At that time, I was adamant that VERS cannot work simply because it is too huge a financial burden – remember that this is not a one-time payment but a recurring cost year after year.  However, the above article throws some light on how VERS is to be financed – the monies generated by the tax hikes and price increases are easily in the range of tens of billions every year and these are more than enough to finance VERS, as well as to cover up losses in Temasek Holdings and GIC (the latter point was contributed by other writers).

Alternative Parties need to showcase how they intend to resolve this particular issue (and many other issues) to allow all Singaporeans to compare their plans against the Incumbent Party’s plan of financing VERS through tax hikes and price increases.  Then Singaporeans can make informed choices at the voting booths during the General Elections.

The only thing that is worse than showing a plan to finance VERS through tax hikes and price increases is when an Alternative Party does not even bother to think through this issue and has no plans on how the issue is to be resolved.  In such a situation, how are Singaporeans expect to trust that such an Alternative Party to run the country to improve the lives of Singaporeans if it is elected into the Parliament?

Cheryl Gupta

Alternative Parties seriously need to get up to speed

Merdeka Generation: PAP cares for u, really they do

In Political governance, Public Administration on 27/03/2019 at 11:28 am

(Part of an occasional series meant to burst the blood vessels of cybernuts like pork-eating, alcohol drinking “bapak” aka “Jihadist Joe”, and tax-dodging grave-dancer “Oxygen”).

Taxi driver Lim Ee Teh, 66, usually spends between S$10 and S$20 when he visits the polyclinic for his monthly diabetes check-up.

Mr Lim, who is eligible for the newly-announced Merdeka Generation Package, learnt on Sunday (March 24) that he could soon be paying less for this visit. This was after he attended a briefing organised by the Silver Generation Office (SGO) at the ComfortDelGro’s Cabbies’ Carnival.


What’s expensive, what’s cheap in diabetes treatment

If Mr Lim is seeing the polyclinic doctor monthly, his must be terok case. As the consultation fee is $12+, he’s only paying $7 for the blood test and medicine. But the blood test is pretty expensive: $13+ each time. So the numbers don’t add up: unless he’s seeing a nurse, where the consultation fee might be lower.

My friends’ monthly medicine bill for diabetes average between $4-5, they tell me. They see the doctor once every three or four months. They pay $12+ for the consultation, and $13+ for the blood test. Assuming, they see the doctor once every three months, their monthly cost is around $12.

Seeing the doctor and blood tests are the expensive bits.

—————————–

Whatever, this is what he (and me) are getting

Under the Merdeka Generation Package, which is eligible to all Singaporeans born between 1950 and 1959, beneficiaries will be entitled to Chas subsidies from November regardless of their household monthly income per person or the annual value of their homes.

Beneficiaries of the package will also receive an annual topup of S$200 into their Medisave account under the Central Provident Fund (CPF) until 2023. They will also receive an extra 25 per cent discount on their bills at polyclinics and specialist outpatient clinics, on top of prevailing subsidies.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/more-medisave-top-ups-merdeka-generations-wishlist

Wow. How not to vote for the PAP? Still prefer BS from Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Meng Seng, Jihadist  Joe aka Pious Joe?

And taz not all, from NTUC Fairprice, there’s this

And for a one-year period from July onwards, customers who belong to the Merdeka Generation will enjoy a 3 per cent discount on all purchases every Wednesday.

Merdeka Generation individuals are those who were born from 1950 to 1959 and obtained citizenship in or before 1996, as well as seniors who were born in or before 1949, became citizens in or before 1996 and did not receive the Pioneer Generation Package.

Mr Ng Chee Meng, the secretary-general of NTUC, said that this was done because of feedback from workers that they needed more help to cope with the cost of living.

“So NTUC, as a social enterprise, we were trying to see how we could help in meaningful ways. Essentially, what we wanted to do was help people cope with the rising costs, in ways we could afford,” he said.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/prices-ntuc-fairprice-house-brands-cut-remain-same-for-15-months

PAP is really trying hard to get 65% of the popular vote: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote.

Vote wisely. Remember that a GST rise is coming: How to ensure no GST rise.

Vote tactically (I tell how soon) because at worse PAP will still form govt:

But the cybernuts like bapak should not be raising their hopes of their hero Mad Dog forming a coalition govt of spastics. At the very least, the PAP will get only 60% of the popular vote (a 10 point fall) and retain a two-thirds majority and not win back Aljunied. No GRC will fall even to Team TCB.

Another reason why ground is not sweet for the PAP

Watain ban: playing the easily offended game can backfire

In Public Administration on 12/03/2019 at 7:15 am

Easily offended Muslims are paying the price for being easily offended and making police reports etc, and getting other S’poreans into trouble. Their actions have had consequences. When social media took after here, all those years ago, some easily offended Muslims were forever making police reports or complaining loudly publicly about posts they found offensive. Well easily offended Taliban Christians (minority here thankfully) were watching and listening, and learning.

The govt said Watain targeted the Christian religion specifically and hence the ban. Fair point given that if the band insulted Muslims, it’d have been banned because the authorities didn’t want easily offended Muslims to be upset, and making known their unhappiness.

But because “Christians don’t riot” (BG Yeo said this when he was a minister: remember him?) some civil servant tot it fine to let them in to perform? I’m glad the govt is being even-handed in its illiberal attitude*, which I personally disagree with.

I note the band also targets Jews.

But they don’t insult or diss Islam or Muslims. Why, despite Islam being an Abrahamic faith too? I can only suppose because jihadists even in Sweden kill or threaten to kill those who mock Islam or Muslims. Christians and Jews in Sweden ain’t so violent against those who insult their religion, I suppose.

This is another reason to ban them: for having only the balls to insult those who they know won’t kill or threaten to kill them for the insults. Christians don’t riot remember? Ditto Jews? The Jews only file law suits.

And I agree with the Minister with responsibility for the welfare of pets, among other duties, who warned the Muslim community that it has responsibility to show that it lives in a multi-cultural society and must be aware of others’ sensitivities, just as it expects others to be sensitive to its sensitivities.

“You have a group of Malay young men, showing the one-finger sign, supporting the group,” CNA quoted the minister.

“If a group of Chinese went and showed the finger sign and said that we should allow it – how would you all have felt? It is the same.” Very true. Something for the Malay community to think about.

As the photo has gone viral “across the Christian community”, Shanmugam said that it was crucial to show that the picture does not represent what the Muslim community thinks. “They won’t realize that this a small group of Malays, but they may think, is this what Muslims think of us? So now we have to send the message that this is not what the Muslim community thinks. These are black metal group supporters, they are not the mainstream community.”


*Minister Shanmugan said, “The Christian preachers, when they talk to me, say ‘you are very, very strict when it comes to anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic messages…They said: ‘You treat the Muslim community differently than the Christian community.’ I looked at it and I thought that there is some truth to what they say, I won’t say that it is completely true but it is an approach.”

Added 21 hrs after first publication.

 

 

 

No more streaming? Really? What a load of BS

In Public Administration on 09/03/2019 at 10:58 am

Going by alt media reports, the cybernuts have bot into the SDP’s message that the PAP followed the SDP’s recommendation to abolish streaming. But has the PAP really abolished streaming as the SDP claims.

I think not. The PAP govt has actually refined streaming, while saying it has abolished streaming. Stupid SDP, stupid cybernuts. But what to expect from the best enablers the PAP have: with enemies like these, it doesn’t need real friends.

Roy Ngerng is absolutely right. Extract from: PAP’s changes on the education system is nothing but a cosmetic joke

Under the new system, G1 subjects correspond to the Normal (Technical) standard, Ong Ye Kung said. G2 subjects correspond to the Normal (Academic) standard and G3 subjects correspond to the Express standard.

Take the hypothetical situation that students take 3 subjects for their ‘O’ Levels at Secondary 4, with the different G-subject combinations and grades according to the following:

[1] G3 (A grade), G3 (A), G3 (A).
[2] G3 (A), G3 (A), G2 (A)
[3] G3 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[4] G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[5] G2 (A), G2 (A), G1 (A)
[6] G2 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)
[7] G1 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)

Instead of 3 streams, now do we have 7 streams?

An extended version with 4 subjects would look like this:

[1] G3 (A grade), G3 (A), G3 (A), G3 (A)
[2] G3 (A), G3 (A), G3 (A), G2 (A)
[3] G3 (A), G3 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[4] G3 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[5] G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A)
[6] G2 (A), G2 (A), G2 (A), G1 (A)
[7] G2 (A), G2 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)
[8] G2 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)
[9] G1 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A), G1 (A)

Does this now make 9 streams?

Now, take this and multiply by the number of subjects students have to actually take (6 to 8, at least), and then by the more refined grading (A1, A2, B3, B4, etc.).

As such, the ‘Express’, ‘Normal (Academic)’ and ‘Normal (Technical)’ streams have been removed in name, but have they only been replaced by a more refined way of streaming, as outlined in [1] to [7 or 9, or more] above?

Strange, no, why the PAP government announced that streaming will be “removed” but did not say how students will be streamed into the junior colleges, polytechnics and ITEs?

I suppose the good thing now is that students will not have to live with the label of being from certain streams, but will it only be replaced? I was from 8 G3s, or I am from 5 G3s and 3 G2s?

There were two perceptive comments among the usual rants

It will likely work like current JC to University, where there are basic subject prerequisites to take up a subject or course combination.

The impact is that students will likely have to decide career paths much earlier than in the past and pick the G3, G2 subjects early working on their areas of strengths.
The divergent will happen later, students will go to JCs, poly or ITE based on the level and choice of subjects.

And commenting on the above comment

bro, there is a difference between removing streaming and refining streaming.

what the clown pap ong Lj has done is NOT remove but refine.

unless he is so ffffing stupid he cannot say remove streaming when he can only say refine streaming.

under g1 g2 g3 there will still be many in g1 who zero chance right off the bat from poly or U. so actually even without S$m paid to us we know g1 is for ITE and g2 is for poly and g3 is for U.

Why 37,000+ sure to vote for PAP

In Political governance, Public Administration on 08/03/2019 at 9:57 am

I refer to Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP where I talked of falling resale prices causing a problem for the PAP with those who bot resale flats. But this is not an issue for those received this special government grant for buying a home to live with or near their parents or children. A friend drew my attention to (emphasis mine):

The number of households that received a government grant for buying a home to live with or near their parents or children has nearly doubled, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Friday (Feb 8).

Since the launch of the Proximity Housing Grant in 2015, about 20,100 households have benefited from the scheme as of end-2018. This compares to the 11,000 households that received the grant between 2015 and 2017.

The grant was increased in February 2018 to encourage more families to live near each other.

In total, S$377 million has been disbursed under the scheme. An additional 300 families will receive their grants once their resale transactions are completed.

Under the scheme, all Singaporean citizen families who buy a resale flat to live with their parents or children enjoy a grant of S$30,000. Those buying a resale flat to live near their parents or children receive S$20,000.

Eligible singles who buy a resale flat to live with their parents receive S$15,000, while singles who buy a resale flat near their parents receive S$10,000.
Advertisement

The proximity condition of “near” is defined as within 4km.

All Singaporeans are eligible for the Proximity Housing Grant once, regardless of their household income, ownership of private property or whether they have enjoyed housing subsidies before.

Those who own private properties will have to dispose of them within six months of the resale flat purchase.

As of Dec 31, 2018, about 20,400 households have applied for the grant. Of these, 53 per cent did not qualify for other housing grants, HDB said.

Families made up 83 per cent of the applications, while the remainder were singles.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/hdb-proximity-grant-number-doubled-live-near-parents-children-11222086

why will they not thank the PAP govt by voting for the PAP?

FYI, I got the headline number based on “Families made up 83 per cent of the applications, while the remainder were singles.” and “An additional 300 families will receive their grants once their resale transactions are completed.”

Every vote matters for the PAP.

Vote wisely.

Why S’poreans continue voting for the PAP to have 2/3 of parly seats

In Political governance, Public Administration on 05/03/2019 at 1:35 pm

Interesting graphic that shows that S’pore scores well on well-being axis.

Explains why despite Terry’s Indian Goons, Correspondent or Ghui, all from TOC,  and the cybernuts ranters from TRE, The Indians Idiots, other alt media outlets and FB, 60- 70% S’poreans keep on supporting the PAP.

Rather than juz KPKB maybe these anti-PAP types should try explaining how S’pore “fixes” its high score on the Well Being axis.

Chart from https://www.economist.com/open-future/2019/01/28/culture-as-the-menacing-force-behind-todays-crazy-politics.

Vote wisely. And I don’t mean Mad Dog, Lim Tean or Meng Seng. But pls remember the SDP is more than Mad Dog.

Related post: Great IB riposte to Mad Dog and P Ravi etc

Jolovan’s latest problem shows Sylvia Lim’s and my prescience

In Political governance, Public Administration on 04/03/2019 at 10:01 am

 

And that Terry Xu has a good point on the police and constructive, nation-building media.”

Many moons ago, I asked:

“Jogging alone can be illegal?

‘If wearing the wrong tee-shirt or singlet?”

Well something like it has happened here.

Social worker and activist Jolovan Wham is being investigated for protesting outside State Courts without a valid permit, police said on Saturday (Mar 2)*.

Seriously, 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.”

Jogging alone can be illegal?

Terry Xu wrote on FB yesterday

[T]he shocking part for me, is that the Police had provided information to the media to create an impression that Wham willfully committed an offence on 13 Dec despite being warned.

This is even before any charge is being made against Wham and established that a protest was being held in front of the state court. What is factually established is Wham took a photo in front of the state court with a piece of paper that had some wordings. He was not being approached by any officers nor arrested for his act, which would imply it was either too insignificant or too short of a time period to be noticed by the guards.

Also, the act of taking a photo should not be considered an offence as photographers from the media take photos of suspects on a regular basis. Unless there is a blatant double standard by the Police.

Yet the Police and the media frame it up as an act which justifies the investigation launched upon Wham.

It’s not shocking to me, or I’m sure, Auntie.

As I wrote many moons ago, try walking or jogging alone wearing a “Free our CPF” singlet: remember that any public assembly of more than one person needs police permission.

But 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? Nothing happened to them.

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

Sad. Because discretionary, or vaguely worded powers can one day be turned against you, the upright, civic, PAP-voting S’porean; not juz against the usual suspects like Jolovan Wham.

Vote wisely.

Related posts:

PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

Jolovan Wham: Nothing wrong in asking Tun M to intervene in S’porean affairs

Why Jolovan Wham’s vigil singled out?


*CNA report goes on

Wham had posted a photo on Dec 13 on social media channels, which showed him standing outside the court complex while holding up a piece of paper that read: “Drop the charges against Terry Xu and Daniel De Costa.”

The protest happened the same day Terry Xu, the editor of socio-political website The Online Citizen, and Daniel De Costa were charged for publishing an article that alleged corruption among the Singapore Government’s highest officers.

In response to Channel NewsAsia’s queries, police said that Wham had written to the police earlier in November to apply for a permit to stage a protest outside the State Courts. His application was not approved.

“The State Courts is gazetted as a Prohibited Area under the Public Order Act, with stricter security protocols,” police said.

“He was well aware that a police permit was required for such an event. Still, he went ahead to protest outside the State Courts on Dec 13, 2018.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/police-investigating-activist-jolovan-wham-protest-state-courts-11305502

 

 

 

Merdeka Package shows how smart scholars are

In Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 24/02/2019 at 11:23 am

It shows how the PAP’s millionaire ministers are killing five birds with one stone.

The Budget especially the Merdeka Generation Package has been condemned by all the usual suspects. Alt media and social media is full of criticism of said Budget. Nothing new here especially from the cybernuts who like Goh Meng Seng are prepared to misrepresent the facts (More on this another day). (Related post: 10- 20% of voters are anti-PAP cybernuts.)

Here’s an interesting angle from 99.co which has no known or even alleged links to the PAP IB or the constructive, nation building media.

THE MERDEKA GENERATION PACKAGE WILL INDIRECTLY HELP WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The Merdeka Generation Package will benefit some 500,000 Singaporeans, mostly from ages 60 to 69. Over S$6 billion will be channelled into outpatient treatment subsidies, Medisave top-ups, and CHAS coverage of chronic illnesses.

But how does this affect Singapore’s housing? One of the biggest contributors to our rising cost of living is healthcare. Singapore’s healthcare inflation is now the highest in the region, and it will grow as our population ages. Anything that mitigates the rising cost of living will indirectly affect our ability to afford housing.

We feel that, while most Singaporeans can afford their HDB flats, taking the strain off healthcare costs will affect the housing considerations of retirees, or those near retirement. It may now be possible for some of them to finish off outstanding home loans instead of downgrading, for example, given CHAS coverage of chronic conditions and greater outpatient subsidies.

https://www.99.co/blog/singapore/how-budget-2019-could-impact-property/?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=featured_stories

Hmm. Not tot about this. Did you?

What the Merdeka Generation Package does

— makes healthcare more affordable

— makes then housing more affordable

— also lessens pain of weaker HDB prices (Double confirm, ground not sweet for PAP) for resale buyers

vote buying i.e. spending more of our money on ourselves

— shows the PAP govt cares

Vote wisely.

Maybe that’s why Terry’s Online Channel has been praising the PAP govt — TOC now part of constructive, nation-building media? and Wah lan! TOC praises PAP govt?

But to be fair: Cybernuts can relax: TOC resumes normal anti-PAP service.

Great IB riposte to Mad Dog and P Ravi etc

In Political governance, Public Administration on 22/02/2019 at 5:00 am

Mad Dog and P Ravi have been telling S’poreans not to succumb to the PAP’s bribes election goodies.

Btw, it would be smarter for them to tell or remind S’poreans that it’s our money the PAP is using.

“Peanuts”: WP MPs’ liability

In Accounting, Corporate governance, Financial competency, Public Administration on 19/02/2019 at 1:31 pm

All this talk about Hyflux’s accounts and KPMG reminded me of another set of accounts that involved KPMG.

Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC)

is seeking to claim S$33.7 million of “improper” payments made to AHTC’s former managing agent FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) and contractor FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI).

A retired WP cadre (no friend of Auntie, Low or Bayee) told that this amount is excessive. It’s all the gross payments made by WP run Aljunied town council to FMSS and FMSI without deduction for services provided. No-one, not even PAPpy running dogs (apologies to the real dogs), denies that services were provided: What the US army and WP have in common. The issue is accounting for those payments: Wankers’ Party still blur on audits and accounting and .

The lawyer for the Wankers Three said

The sum of money that AHTC seeks to claim is unreasonable, as it amounted to all payments made to FMSS and FMSI. This contradicts the previous assessment made by accounting firm KPMG, which stated that there was an alleged improper payment of slightly over S$1.5 million, with only about S$624,000 to be recovered.

The retired cadre who has read all the various audit reports (AGO/ PwC and KPMG) says that while KPMG has lots of issues about the payments made to FMSS and FMSI , it has only flagged as an improper payment an amount around $1.5m. The other payments are open to question, some more questionable than others, only considering as haraman an amount around $1.5m  : What the US army and WP have in common

Whatever, funny that the defence lawyer slammed KPMG while relying on its view of liability of the amount in question:

Defence lawyers in AHTC trial slam the way KPMG compared managing agent costs

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/defence-lawyers-ahtc-trial-day-4-slam-kpmg-managing-agent-costs-10812630

Low can easily pay off $1.5m: juz sell one of his condos.

 

 

 

 

6,400 senior citizens each get $312.50 hongpao from a TLC

In Public Administration, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 19/02/2019 at 4:47 am

(Part of an occasional series “PAP govt really cares for u, really they do” meant to burst the blood vessels of cybernuts like pork-eating, alcohol drinking “bapak”, and tax-dodging grave-dancer “Oxygen”).

A TLC gives 6,400 elderly S’poreans hongpaos each containing $312.5, whether they are Chinese or not.

A computer system error by NCS (owned by SingTel and ultimately by Temasek) caused about 7,700 individuals to receive inaccurate healthcare and intermediate- and long-term care subsidies, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (Feb 16).

But those who were overpaid will not have to refund. So that’s a lot of free lunches. Can buy a lot of restaurant or hawker food as each hongpao works out to an average of $312.5.

About 6,400 individuals received higher subsidies than what they are eligible for. The total amount is estimated to be about S$2 million. MOH intends to recover from NCS the costs and expenses incurred as a result of this incident, as allowed for under our contract.

And taz not all

“About 1,300 individuals received lower subsidies than what they are eligible for. The total amount is estimated to be about S$400,000. This will be reimbursed to the affected individuals,” MOH said.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/7-700-singaporeans-received-inaccurate-chas-subsidies-due-to-11249848

PAP govt really cares, but could it be because a GE is coming?

Wah lan! TOC praises PAP govt

In Internet, Public Administration on 18/02/2019 at 10:46 am

I kid u not.

Singapore has one of the top education systems in the world. Singapore’s education system supports the development of children’s strengths and social skills. Schools in Singapore produce students with strong academic results who later go on to pursue successful careers.

https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2019/02/14/school-fees-in-singapore-most-expensive-affordable-schools-in-singapore/?fbclid=IwAR3tHIEHXEwgJS6JrXknD3U1rEOlQjHfjqj_xHJ_MYxB_1BnHlKDOl-40m4

What next? Terry’s Online Channel will tell S’poreans to vote for the PAP?

Or is this juz an “honest mistake” by TOC? The usual anti-PAP propaganda will resume soon once Terry takes his medicine?

 

Will Oliver Lum and other Hyflux investors still vote for the PAP?

In Financial competency, Infrastructure, Political governance, Public Administration on 18/02/2019 at 7:21 am

Amid all the KPKBing by SIAS, Hyflux investors aided and abetted by the anti-PAP cybernuts, why doesn’t anyone from this mob of born losers point out the “honest mistake” made by an agency of the PAP govt that led Hyflux to build Tuaspring? The Electricity Market Authority (EMA) got a key economic projection wrong, badly wrong, by 50 percentage points: see bits I bolded below.

[I]t is important to highlight that when the Tuaspring project was first awarded in 2011, the outlook for the Singapore power market was very favorable. The Tuaspring power plant was projected to turn in profits from day one. At that time, new power generation plants were planned to support the country’s projected electricity demand with a reserve margin of 30%. Today, however, due to oversupply of gas in the market, the projection by Electricity Market Authority (EMA) in their Singapore Electricity Market Outlook 2017 showed an increase in reserve margin to 80% in 2018. By way of illustration,the average wholesale electricity price has dropped from about SGD220 per MWh in 2011 when the Tuaspring project was awarded to an average of SGD81 per MWh in 2017, resulting in significant losses from electricity generation.

https://www.hyflux.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Hyflux-responses-to-SIAS-letter.pdf

Blame the all seeing, all wise PAP govt that a minister was praising in SunTimes.

Vote wisely. As though it’ll make a difference. With Tan Kin Lian, Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Meng Seng opposing them, the PAP don’t need friends. Sad.

Related posts:

A really curious incident

Did Hyflux’s auditors mislead?

Hyflux fiasco shows why “book value” is BS

Public-private initiatives: the Hard Truth

In Infrastructure, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 16/02/2019 at 7:17 am

I tot of the National Stadium, Hyflux and MRT (though not technically a public-private initiative) fiascos when I read

The important question is not whether we choose publicly managed infrastructure or public-private partnerships. Neither prevents overbuilt infrastructure projects that do more to profit private interests than to serve public needs. Though we’re used to hearing about burdensome “subsidies” for the most cost-effective modes of transportation, the surface transportation infrastructure we can no longer afford to maintain was built for the least cost-effective mode, which predictably proliferated in response. Only when users of the most expensive infrastructure pay the full costs of the infrastructure they use, and when public policies encourage (instead of deter) the more sustainable mobility modes, can we hope for a more sustainable future.

https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2019/02/08/1549605601000/An-honest-history-of-how-America-pays-for-roads/

The public-private initiative that is the bus system seems to be working.

Related post: Bus driver says complain to LTA about bus sign problem

 

CPFLife: PAP govt cares for u, really they do

In CPF, Public Administration on 15/02/2019 at 1:20 pm

(Part of an occasional series meant to burst the blood vessels of cybernuts like pork-eating, alcohol drinking “bapak”, and tax-dodging grave-dancer “Oxygen”).

Kuala Lumpur EPF branch retirement advisory service (RAS) officer Nornisah Mohd Yusof said many subscribers ran out of their EPF savings within three or five years after retiring although the life span for Malaysians had increased to 75 years.

“More worrying are cases where retirees withdrew 70% of their savings and spent the money in less than 30 days,” she told Bernama.“

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/12/28/epf-some-retirees-spending-all-their-withdrawals-in-30-days/?fbclid=IwAR21pdbrTrQOaWlZbr5KkFr6KJBF1PyKDFwvV_xjlkUrnGn00Z4PPIxJ9Bs

 

 

Cybersecurity: “Ownself hack ownself”

In Public Administration on 13/02/2019 at 11:01 am

Given the cybersecurity problems at the Ministry of Health and Singhealth, time to “Ownself hack ownself”?

The Japanese are planning to do this (Remember Goh Cock Chok Tong’s exhortation to learn from the Japanese: Learn from Japanese — set example leh elites):

Japan gears up for mega hack of its own citizens
Unprecedented cyber attack on 200m internet enabled devices is designed to test the nation’s vulnerability

FT headline

FT reports that the experiment, which will run for five years and will be supervised by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. It is intended to focus on devices that fall into the broadly-defined category of “internet of things” (IoT). FT says, “anything from a yoga mat that informs a smartphone of your contortions, to remotely controlled factory robots” will be tested.

Well we could have our very own “Ownsef hack ownself”: the Computer Security Agency should try to hack the IT systems of govt and its agencies’ systems.

Had been tried yrs ago, sort of.

At the dawn of the internet age here, when one Lee Hsien Yang was CEO, Singtel tried, “without permission”, to access our PCs etc: “Testing if users got proper security leh”. There was public row and SingTel apologised.

And now Lee Hsien Yang is a hero of the cybernuts who wish the PAP and 70% of the voters ill. Juz because he and his tai kor no longer have pa to supervise them. They forgot he tried to do surveillance of S’poreans all those yrs ago.

Btw, when I saw u/m video of a much henpecked otter, I tot of Lee Hsien Yang. It’s alleged he got fierce sister and wife.

 

Vaping: PAP govt cares for u, really they do

In Public Administration on 07/02/2019 at 1:38 pm

(First of an occasional series meant to burst the blood vessels of cybernuts like pork-eating, alcohol drinking “bapak”, and tax-dodging grave-dancer “Oxygen”).

Under section 16(2A) of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act (TCASA), it is illegal to possess, purchase and use vaporisers here. Plenty of KPKBing that PAP govt is wrong to ban vaping.

But vaping devices are dangerous. They injury, even kill users.

An exploding vaporiser pen resulted in the death of a 24-year-old Texas man, a post-mortem examination has ruled.

The pen’s battery blew up when William Brown tried to use it, sending shards of metal into his face and neck and severing an artery.

He died two days later in hospital of a stroke, in what is at least the second such death in the US.

Malfunctioning e-cigarette batteries have caused hundreds to thousands of similar injuries, US reports say.

The National Fire Data Center found 29% of exploding vape pen incidents from January 2009 to December 2016 had caused severe injuries.

Another report from the University of North Texas Health Science Center looked at US emergency room data from 2015 to 2017 and found 2,035 e-cigarette related explosion and burn injuries – far more than previous reports.

The researchers said regulation and surveillance of e-cigarette devices “is urgently needed”.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47136678

HIV data leak: Calvin Cheng is right again

In Public Administration on 01/02/2019 at 2:34 pm

😱Don’t know whether to 😰 or 🤣

I know, I know, I’ve called him a dickhead

———————————————————–

When I said Calvin Cheng was a dickhead

Riposte to Calvin Cheng’s defence of UA

Calvin, Amos & other cyber-vermin: the global perspective

Why MLC has to talk about Calvin

——————————————————————————————-

But I have to agree with him yet again*.

Mr Cheng told TODAY: “Given the sensitivity and stigma surrounding HIV patients, I do not think there was an urgent need to tell the general public.

“There is, however, responsibility to tell the affected HIV patients. I think MOH genuinely thought in 2016 that the information was retrieved and the perpetrator caught and punished. The moment they realised this was not the case in 2018, they informed the affected people.

“In 2019, when the information was put out into the public domain, they announced this to the public… In this case, the need for privacy for the HIV patients takes precedence over the need for the general public to know.”

However, Mr Cheng said that the MOH “ought to have told the affected parties immediately in 2016 even after they apprehended (Brochez)”.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/health-ministry-should-have-gone-public-earlier-hiv-registry-leak-observers

————————————————-

*I wrote before

I agree with Calvin Cheng. I know, I know, it’s getting to be a habit ( When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life) . But what can I say except that he seems to have mellowed.)

Kee Chiu Cybernuts who want to migrate to Bangladesh

Bill: Private hospital treatment, public hospital fees

In Public Administration on 31/01/2019 at 12:53 pm

My mum was discharged from atas hospital last Saturday. Nine nights 5-star stay and treatment cost slightly less than $2,500 (excluding Medisave deduction). After Medisave deduction (“our money”), amount I paid via credit card was “peanuts”. (I don’t carry more than $50 cash).

And that’s not all. If there’s a MediShield payout, I will get a refund via my credit card.

All in all, the amount we paid amounted to about 17% of the itemised, detailed bill. And that’s before any MediShield payout.

It was a great deal for her.

What the cybernuts and alt media are missing (Because they all living overseas or have private healthcare plans?) is that for many S’poreans, the public healthcare system (treatment and cost) is good and affordable. There are big, problematic gaps if specialised treatment is needed or if the family is struggling financially. But for the majority of patients, these problems do not arise.

It’s right to highlight and complain about these failings, but that’s different from saying that entire system is not fit for purpose. The condemning by alt media and cybernuts of the entire system based on individual failings only helps the PAP when ordinary people use the system and find out that it works pretty well. They’ll realise that alt media and the cybernuts are propogating fake news. And they’ll vote for the PAP.

Related posts:

Private hospital treatment, public hospital fees

No surplus B2 and C beds in govt hospitals

Will Gleneagles sandwich cost me a fortune?

HDB not allowing WP GRC to turn into slum

In Public Administration on 31/01/2019 at 10:21 am

From the constructive, nation-building ST (emphasis mine):

The HDB announced the Lift Enhancement Programme in 2016 to support town councils in equipping lifts with recommended components by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

The Government later said that the 10-year initiative, costing an estimated $450 million, will benefit more than 80 per cent or about 20,000 of the 24,000 lifts in HDB estates.

The programme is substantially funded by the HDB and extended to lifts which have not fulfilled all of the BCA’s recommendations and operated for less than 18 years from the start of the LEP.

Around 1,500 lifts managed by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council will undergo the same Lift Enhancement Programme in the next 10 years, with the first batch of 180 lifts slated for upgrading in the next 15 months, a spokesman said in response to media queries.

AHTC is also adopting BCA’s list of eight recommended safety features, he said.

No surplus B2 and C beds in govt hospitals

In Political governance, Public Administration on 25/01/2019 at 9:34 am

When Secret Squirrel visited my mum in hospital, he told me that we were really lucky that my mum had breathing problems during office hrs and that since there was a longish queue for B2 and C beds in the nearest govt hospital, the ambulance took her to an atas hospital: Private hospital treatment, public hospital fees.

He said the govt hospitals do not have spare C and B2 beds: they are juggling fluctuating demand with existing capacity. There are always patients going to be discharged and beds waiting to be made ready for new patients, and so while the supply and demand match over 24 hrs or as usual less, there’s always a waiting period for a bed: sometimes longer, sometimes shorter.

He told me that last weekend, a walk-in patient at the NUH A&E had to wait 10 hrs before getting a bed in a ward. Luckily, for him (Election yr?), there are now fully equipped rooms in govt hospital A&E departments that are effectively wards: transit wards. This helps give peace of mind to patients and their families, and avoids the bad PR of patients on stretchers in A&E corridors.

(Though I’m sure Alex Tan and other irresponsible anti-PAP people in alt media or social media will publish photos of patients on stretchers A&E corridors, saying that this is happening now. Doubtless Uncle Leong and friends will share such photos. And so there’ll be plenty to keep AG’s lawyers and ministers’ private lawyers busy.)

Contrary to what the cybernuts say, the PAP cares: at least to do enough to win 65% of the votes. The reason why: Why PAP aiming for 65% of the popular vote.

Vote wisely.

There are many things to be unhappy about the PAP govt

— no balls to sink M’sian ships

— MRT still screwed up

— Pay And Pay policies on water and GST

— SAF training deaths

— arrogance etc etc.

And there are good oppo people out there like Dr Tan Cheng Bock, Dr Paul and other SDP activists, the Chiams, and the Wankers.

But there are the likes of Mad Dog, Goh Meng Seng and Lim Tean.

Soon I’ll blog on how AMK voters voted wisely in 2006 (PM only had 66% of the popular vote) and got extra goodies by the next GE. In 2011, voters were happy, and PM was happy with the result (70% of the popular vote, in an otherwise bad yr for the PAP: only 60% of the popular vote).

 

 

 

Private hospital treatment, public hospital fees

In Public Administration on 18/01/2019 at 4:15 am

In Will Gleneagles sandwich cost me a fortune?, I talked of my experience of going to Gleneagles for an eye op at SingHealth rates

Yesterday in the early afternoon, my ninety-something mother finally felt the results consequences of refusing for weeks to get her cold treated (She only very reluctantly agreed to go see a doctor before Christmas to treat her very persistent cold and cough and then got upset with the bill: “Subsidy? What subsidy” — she expected polyclinic rates) and of generally behaving like she was 50-something.

She suddenly had difficulty breathing and when the doctor saw her, she called for a ambulance, saying I should I have called from the ambulance from home.

Anyway, the ambulance came and took her to the nearest public hospital. Except It is no such thing.

It is a real atas place: marble and glass everywhere. When my mum recovered sufficiently, and heard from the nurse where she was and that she needed to be warded for observation, she asked me to get her into a “govt” hospital. I said I wasn’t going to move her, even if the doctors allowed it. The nurse told her “Pay public hospital rates Auntie”.

And it’s a great deal. Her ward is airconed and there are only three patients in a ward for eight. Only one ward was full. The rest, empty or half empty. A whole floor is available for patients like my mum.

And no I’m not naming the atas hospital lest I breach the Official Secrets Act and my mum loses her privileges if I name the hospital. My aunt’s doctor friend doesn’t know of this scheme. And I can’t find online the fact that this hospital is a “public hospital”  when it comes to ambulances operated by the govt.

Seriously, don’t believe Terry’s Indian goons and other alt media enemies of the PAP govt, and social media on why the S’pore public healthcare always sucks.

It works pretty well. Maybe Terry’s Indian goons etc are being paid to slime our public healthcare system by the enemy state that hacked our public health system?

What do u think?

TOC’s “Correspondent” shows that PAP govt really cares for S’poreans

In Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 16/01/2019 at 11:04 am

In a story headlined

HDB extends LBS to 5-room and larger units as resale value of old flats continues to slide

TOC’s “Correspondent” inadvertently (He very anti-PAP and his mental health shows it: More evidence that being anti-PAP is bad for yr mental health) shows that PAP cares for those flat owners who have 5-roomers who don’t want to move if they need to downsize by extending the buy-back to five room flats.

In the media report, it quoted part-time security guard Tang Lum Sui, 68, a widower who lives alone in his Jalan Bahagia 5-room flat is all for the extended LBS.

“I don’t want to move out of Toa Payoh because I have lived here all my life, and I like that my son’s family (living in Qatar) can stay with me whenever they come back to Singapore,” he said. Mr Tang, whose flat has 67 years left on the lease, added, “As long as the terms are favourable, I will go for it.”

TOC’s writer (He is not one of the two Indian subversives propagating fake news: Why TOC’s Danisha Hakeem is a menace to the credibility of alt media) then goes further, implying that the leaseback could help if prices fall.

However, Mr Tang should be aware that the value of his 5-room flat is no longer as high as before.

But if he can use the buy-back scheme, why should he worry about falling prices? And even if prices fall so what? All depends on his entry price. As he’s 68, his entry price will be pretty low, assuming he BToed it.

Vote wisely.

 

 

 

 

Repression? What repression? (Cont’d)

In Political governance, Public Administration on 13/01/2019 at 6:34 pm

Further to Repression? What repression?/ Alt media cannot be trusted, we had our National Conversation after the PAP got only 60% of the popular vote.


From Wikipedia

Our Singapore Conversation is a national conversation initiative first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his 2012 National Day Message.

Heng Swee Keat, then Minister for Education of Singapore, was appointed to lead the committee that will participate in the conversations with Singaporeans to create “a home with hope and heart”.[1]

The committee held the first of an estimated 30 dialogue sessions with Singaporeans on 13 October 2012, involving “about 60 people from all walks of life, including taxi drivers, professionals, full-time national servicemen, university undergraduates and retirees.” [2]

————————————————————————————————–

France is about to start its National Conversation after weeks of protests, some violent. There were deaths and central Paris boutique shops were set on fire.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said a national debate is due to kick off on 15 January in response to weeks of protests by the “gilets jaunes” – so-called because of the high-visibility jackets they wear.

It will be held publicly in town halls across France and on the internet, and will focus on four themes: taxes, green energy, institutional reform and citizenship.

BBC report

Sure as I’ve often said S’pore is a de facto one-party state (China is a de jure one party state), but this doesn’t mean that in a one-party state repression is a given.

How PAP can make S’poreans happier

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/01/2019 at 10:48 am

But won’t.

Because it’ll go against one of LKY’s Hardest Truths: S’pore should not have supportive social systems and institutions thereby making it easier for people who don’t or won’t work hard (But do you want cybernuts living off yr money and dissing you and the govt for not giving them more money?) to fall through the cracks.

But seriously Hard Truths seem to have forgotten about those who can’t work hard because they are too sick, too old or have to care for others.

So we only 34th globally. But PAP govt will point out we are top dog in the neighbourhood. Bit like having a bungalow house surrounded by slums.

 

The UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network ranking of the happiest countries in the world

suggest that happy societies are those with supportive social systems and institutions that make it harder for people to fall through the cracks.

Why is Finland so happy? | March 2018

In March 2018 Finland was named the happiest country in the world by the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Three Nordic cousins—Norway, Denmark and Iceland—took the next places. The UN report uses global polling data from Gallup to measure how pleased people feel with their lives, and tries to explain the differences in results using variables such as GDP per person, social support, healthy-life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption. Its results suggest that happy societies are those with supportive social systems and institutions that make it harder for people to fall through the cracks.

(Emphasis mine)

 

Repression? What repression?/ Alt media cannot be trusted

In Political governance, Public Administration on 10/01/2019 at 11:25 am

Going by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, Kirsten Han, the Lee White than White  Horses, TOC, other alt media, and Lim Tean and his fellow cybernuts are fibbing when they claim that the PAP govt is getting more repressive.

S’pore’s Democracy score is improving

2018 — 6.38

2017 — 6.32

2016 — 6.38

2015 — 6.14 LKY died in March

2014 — 6.05

2013 — 5.92

2012 — 5.88

(2011 — LKY resigned from cabinet after GE)

2010 — 5.89

2008 — 5.89

2006 — 5.89

S’pore is classified, like the US, as a “Flawed Democracy”. To be fair to both nations, the US of A only joined S’pore in this category since Trump’s election as president. Before that it was a “Full Democracy”: juz on the right side (or wrong side, depending on one’s views) of the railway.


The Chinese Communist Party way is the The PAP way?

————————————————————————————-

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. The index rates 167 countries by 60 indicators across five broad categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture and civil liberties. It is stricter than most similar indices: it concludes that just 4.5% of the world’s people live in a “full democracy”. However, the overall global score remained stable in 2018 for the first time in three years.

Will resale flat owners still vote for PAP in next GE? contd

In Property, Public Administration on 04/01/2019 at 1:05 pm

Last yr, private home prices rose nearly 8%* while prices of resale flats fell 0.9%**. (Related post: Why S’pore is so shiok for private property investors)

How to get huge mandate for 4G leaders remembering that one of them, Lawrence Wong*** (Btw, he not from elite school or so-called elite school), is being blamed by alt media (and more importantly by many S’poreans) for being responsible for the collapse in the prices of older flats?

Resale value of older flats has been sliding down ever since National Development Minister Lawrence Wong let the cat out of the bag in Mar 2017 by disclosing that not all old HDB flats are eligible for SER. He added that for most HDB flats, their leases will eventually run out and the flats returned to HDB, which in turn surrenders the land the flats are on back to the State. In other words, the value of the flats will go to zero when their lease ends.

TOC****

Will this resale flat buyer vote for PAP in next GE?

Will resale flat owners still vote for PAP in next GE?

“Houses are for living in, not for speculation”

Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

Big problem for PAP. So why is it a surprise in an election yr that Budget is earlier than usual? Really good goodies to try to help us forget that after GE, GST will go up by 2 points as promised.

One can only hope that TOC and other alt media will keep reminding voters of this fact and stop propagating fake news: Why TOC’s Danisha Hakeem is a menace to the credibility of alt media. But don’t hold yr breath.


*Private home prices in Singapore rose 7.9 per cent in 2018, compared with a 1.1 per cent rise the year before, according to flash estimates from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Wednesday (Jan 2).

However, the rise appeared to have slowed significantly after the Government introduced more measures in July to cool the red-hot market.

Private home prices slowed to a 0.5 per cent increase in the third quarter of 2018, and fell 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, URA’s estimates showed.

URA resale prices graph
Source: URA

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/private-home-prices-property-2018-ura-11078890

**Prices of resale flats in Singapore fell 0.9 per cent in 2018 compared to the year before, flash estimates released by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Wednesday (Jan 2) showed.

In the fourth quarter of 2018 alone, prices fell an estimated 0.2 per cent, according to HDB’s resale price index.

****TOC

[A]ccording to PropertyGuru, housing agents have been trying to sell 5-room units in block 30 at Jalan Bahagia for close to $600K:

But the value of the units transacted at this block has been observed to be sliding down rapidly in the last few years.

Data on PropertyGuru shows that units at the block were indeed transacting at $500 to $600K from 2014 to mid-2016. But the last 2 transactions which occurred in Mar 2018, however, shows that one was sold at $403,000 while the other at $322,888.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gods punishing Potong Pasir residents for voting PAP?

In Media, Political governance, Public Administration on 31/12/2018 at 10:32 am

In the space of the last few days, the constructive, nation-building media reported without comment (Imagine if these bad things had happened in Aljunied or Hougang?):

Giant trap to control Javan Myna population trialed in Potong Pasir
and
Burst pipe in Potong Pasir leaves homes without water for several hours
It could be that the Gods are punishing the residents of Potong Pasir for preferring material benefits that the PAP offers in return for deserting the Chiams.
Will the residents repent abandoning the Chiams in 2011 and not turning back to them in 2015? Will they vote for Mrs Chiam in next GE?
Seriously, I’m shocked that anti-PAP publications like TOC, TRE and The Idiots, and the cybernuts on social media are not using the incidents to show that the PAP govt is incompetent: it can’t even look after areas that support the PAP.
Maybe, these people are on luxury holidays overseas and so missed the news.
But most probably, the cybernuts (not enough money to even donate peanuts to keep alive TOC and TRE let alone go on luxury hols) are distracted by what they consider as the persecutions of Uncle Leong, Terry and Daniel Augustin De Costa aka Willy Sum: PAP & strategic distraction
Or even more likely, the PAP has succeeded in frightening the chickens and sheep by suing a few monkeys.
What do you think?
Prosperous 2019. Vote wisely but not for the three stooges: Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng where are yr durians?. And make a distinction between Dr Chee and the SDP.

PAP whacks greedy pigs

In Property, Public Administration on 17/12/2018 at 9:45 am

Funny anti-PAP types not cheering PAP for making life difficulty for private property owners. But then these anti-PAP types especially the cybernuts from TRE and TOC Lands think that the PAP and private property owners must be hated, and got rid off.

More than 30 collective sales sites have failed to find successful bidders at the close of tender, following the latest round of cooling measures introduced in July.

In a bid to entice developers, around 15 en bloc projects have sought to lower their asking prices, according to Huttons Asia.

One of them is Park View Mansions in Jurong, which relaunched its tender for a second time on Wednesday (Dec 12) at an asking price of S$250 million – 22 per cent lower than its initial asking price earlier this year.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/more-than-30-en-bloc-bids-fail-to-find-buyers-cooling-measures-11035028

Real reason why Terry of TOC kanna lim kopi?

In Infrastructure, Public Administration on 11/12/2018 at 10:58 am

To signal to him to stop publishing fake news on the public transport system? LOL.

Let me explain.

If you skim thru TOC’s headlines as regularly as I do, you are sure to get the impression that our public tpt system is on the verge of collapse and that most S’poreans think it sucks: bad and expensive.

Well I personally find the system pretty good (and cheap) but then I use it off-peak and I’m an oldie: Public tpt users will vote for PAP?

As I don’t use it during peak rush hours (the real test of any public tpt system) and I get a concession rate, I sit down and shut up and defer to Terry’s Online Channel on how bad the system really is, even if I think it’s pretty decent. Unlike cybernuts, I know that most of the time my personal opinions are not the reality.

So it was great interest that I read an article by an ang moh FT in an online publication that has no known, or unknown connection (I double checked with Morocco Mole, Secret Squirrel’s sidekick) with the constructive, national-building media, or the PAP IB.

Here’s the most relevant extract. Do read the whole piece and make up yr mind on its accuracy vis-a-vis Terry’s Online Channel.

Singaporean’s Generally Approve of Their Public Transportation System

Public opinion is another factor worth considering. After all, these are the customers and their satisfaction is another key piece of information for judging success of each system. Singapore also fares very well by this measure. For example, a study by McKinsey & Company found that 86% of the population approves of the current public transportation situation and 84% approve of recent changes to the system. Both of these figures are significantly higher than those of most other cities, representing another indication that Singapore’s public transportation is performing well relative to other major cities.

Satisfaction with Public Transportation System by City

Where Does Singapore’s Public Transportation Rank?

Based on efficiency, it appears that Singapore’s public transportation system performs relatively well compared to those of other cities. Additionally, when taking into account other key indicators such as affordability and customer satisfaction, it appears that Singapore’s is among the best in the world. Therefore, while there is always room for improvement, it seems reasonable to believe that Singapore’s public transportation system is performing relatively well.

[…]

William Hofmann

William is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion Singapore, focusing on banking and SMEs. He previously was an Economic Consultant at Industrial Economics Inc.

 

Defusing a stink bomb before the next GE

In Political governance, Public Administration on 05/12/2018 at 11:18 am

The PAP listens to the concerns of the 70% especially near a GE (before not after: think Watergate: All about fleecing the sheep, Watergate: MIW caught with pants down).

The issue of parking fees by MPs, civil servants and grassroots volunteers became a major KPKBing point after the Education Ministry said in March that teachers at all national schools and junior colleges will have to pay for parking in school premises from August 1, after a policy review.

The debate prompted questions by the public (not juz the usual cybernuts like Lim Tean and his TRE pals) over whether MPs, civil servants and grassroots volunteers must pay to park their vehicles.

So

Under the revised system, elected MPs with an annual permit may park in Parliament House, and will still be able to enter HDB carparks and park in any spot — including season-parking spaces — for their constituency work. But they will have to pay to use the carparks, based on the circular.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/mps-pay-short-term-parking-hdb-carparks-following-govt-review

The annual permit will cost S$250 (including GST) to park in Parliament House for official business. This permit costs S$365, and lets MPs park in HDB carparks — including in season-parking spaces — when they carry out constituency work, and in Parliament House.
Advertisement.

The changes, which take effect from Jan 1 next year, follow a government review of the yearly permit.

The issue of parking fees was thrust into the spotlight after the Education Ministry said in March that teachers at all national schools and junior colleges will have to pay for parking in school premises from August 1, after a policy review.

The debate prompted questions over whether MPs, civil servants and grassroots volunteers pay to park their vehicles.

The PAP listens to the concerns of the 70% especially near a GE (before not after: think Watergate: All about fleecing the sheep, Watergate: MIW caught with pants down), I repeat.

Interesting a Wankers’ Party MP is the only MP grumbling that his parking fees could go up a lot as a result of the change.

The Hardest Truths about the PAP/ Not cybernuts but PAP IB?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 02/12/2018 at 1:23 pm

When TRE republished this Another sign that GE will be next yr/ Three cheers for TOC, there was a response from a PAP supporter covered here: What has the PAP ever done for us?

A TRE reader made two good points (emphasis mine) in response to the PAP supporter

Always Reember:
November 17, 2018 at 6:58 am (Quote)

A political party is just about a group of people.

A party is only as good as the people in that group at the very moment in time.

Your primary school teacher who guided you to top performing PSLE, may not be able to do the same when you are in poly, uni or corporate world.

Especially those who though their past success, entitles them to still herd you around like “fishing villagers”.

PC Ong:
2019 is the 200th anniversary of the founding of Singapore. Yes, Singapore was not founded by PAP but by Raffles. But the PAP deserves the most credit for getting Singapore to its 200th anniversary, as a top global city where talents and corporations of all kinds want to be. Ever since independence in 1965, Singapore could very easily have lost its way because we do not have natural resources and we were so vulnerable to external threats. Not only were these threats and vulnerabilities overcome, Singapore has just grown better and better, while other top cities in the world like New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and HK decline. This is due in large part to political stability and sound policies in Singapore.

No cybernut he or she.

So unlike Oz tax dodger, Oxygen or his pals Hagen, The Angry Rooster; Sg; rukidding; Homeless Cat; LIONS; and patriot of Temesak (also known as patriot of TUMASIK) who are as nutty as they come. They even think that ex-ST tua kee mentioned in TRE Cybernut defends ex ST tua kee didn’t carry the PAP’s balls when she was in ST saying she only wrote nasty things about the PAP.

But then maybe TRE funder Oxygen ($50,000 in 2015) and his pals are well-trained, deep cover agents of the PAP’s IB, exposed by their stupidity.

Why S’poreans keep voting for the PAP (cont’d)

In Political governance, Public Administration on 01/12/2018 at 2:10 pm

Another way of putting what I said in Why PAP’s cock-ups don’t matter to most voters most of the time is that

We react to real events when and after they happen

Voters cannot be persuaded of that which has yet to be felt.

(Can’t remember where I came across this)

Until things start going badly wrong, then voters will turn against the PAP explaining partly why Why access to the truth has not set S’poreans free

Related post: Truths about voter choices: Why people vote PAP despite everything

 

Why PAP’s cock-ups don’t matter to most voters most of the time

In Political governance, Public Administration on 29/11/2018 at 12:12 pm

Think the

— MRT problems (Khaw seems to say that part of it is the fault of Dr Goh Dr Goh’s HK counterpart had similar views on MRT and other major issues),

— present and future HDB “flaw” (“Houses are for living in, not for speculation”),

— uncalled for water hike (Watergate: All about fleecing the sheep, Watergate: MIW caught with pants down),

— Hawkergate (Another sign that GE will be next yr/ Three cheers for TOC),

— promised pain of a GST hike (How to ensure no GST rise),

— and a general perception of arrogance (Think of Kee Chiu’s smirks):

then wonder why the PAP will get at least 60% of the vote at next GE in a free but unfair election.

Doesn’t sound rational does it?

It’s rational though because there is a great deal of ruin in a nation, as Adam Smith once observed: meaning a lot of things need to go wrong over a longish period of time before a country gets into a mess and voters get really upset.

Think M’sia. It went off the rails in the 90s under the then and now present PM. The next PM tried to sort things out but was ousted by a peeved Tun, his predecessor, who then picked Najib who decided if the US Marshall is to be believed, that he’d rather be rich than good.

Other examples:

— The Swedish welfare system was only reformed beginning in 1990s despite problems with it becoming apparent in the 70s (Think the hike in the price of oil). The system was set up after WWII.

— The US infrastructure system is still staggering despite many roads, bridges etc passing their useful life spans decades ago.

As Chris K has said “S’porean’s have not suffered enough”. Which is the reason why Oxygen and his TRE cybernut pals keep on cursing S’pore hoping their fellow S’poreans finally suffer. Meanwhile ordinary S’poreans juz take the “right” coloured pill and keep on paying and paying.

Meanwhile the PAP will continue doing just enough to keep us mutinous but not rebellious, using our own money. Ownself pay ownself to keep PAP in power.

No wonder Oxygen and his nutty pals are consumed with anger and rage.

But let’s be fair to S’poreans and the PAP:

Like people around the world, the Taiwanese voted for peace and prosperity.

BBC’s ending sentence in an article on the recent Taiwanese elections.

Whatever the problems S’poreans have with the PAP as regards prosperity, will having people like Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Meng Seng (Mad Dog, Lim Tean, Meng Seng where are yr durians?) in an anti-PAP coalition govt ensure prosperity?

So cybernuts, don’t blame S’poreans for voting for the continued hegemony of the PAP. Blame the likes of Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Meng Seng. S’poreans are prepared to vote for people like Chiam, Low, Auntie and Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

 

The evidence that the Social Enterprise hawker centre model is badly flawed

In Public Administration on 25/11/2018 at 1:41 pm

In Why the Social Enterprise hawker centre model is badly flawed I posted an analysis from a FB poster that the Social Enterprise hawker centre model is badly flawed because hawkers

have little bargaining power, so taking the strict legal route is not the way to go.

Here’s the evidence albeit the example is not directly to the point because the row is between the operator of a commercial food court (NTUC Foodfare who also operates Social Enterprise hawker centres ) and a hawker’s family. However the row centres on a contractual term that is also present in contracts that hawkers have with operators of  Social Enterprise hawker centres

the story of another hawker who was fined S$3,500 for closing her fish soup stall at Food Emporium for a week after her father, the main chef, suffered an injury.

https://mothership.sg/2018/11/foodfare-hawker-fine-dispute-ntuc/?fbclid=IwAR2l2bct7a_aMsAu3O4H9EYMCUsTdJqsKOrZ9fTKa1mxMwTzysth6U9qq3U

While the story had a happy ending (money refunded to the hawker despite the rules being broken) before it was published by the Indian “Idiots” (something the anti-PAP types who highlight this story pretend never happened), one cannot but feel for the family.

Read it to see why because hawkers

have little bargaining power, so taking the strict legal route is not the way to go.

While one can argue that the frontline NTUC Foodfare executives should have been more compassionate, the model is ultimately based on a contract drawn up by the operator. And in the case of Social Enterprise hawker centres, similar contracts have been OKed by the NEA, without the input of hawkers, or so the activists active on behalf of the hawkers claim.

 

Why the Social Enterprise hawker centre model is badly flawed

In Public Administration on 24/11/2018 at 2:40 pm

I used to be agnostic about the Social Enterprise hawker centre model and tot that its problems were caused by the Pay And Pay attitude of the PAP govt, its biz allies and NTUC: Pay And Pay in action

But then I read this on FB (edited for paragraphing):

[T]he idea of a hawker centre operator runs counter to the nature of the business. We forget that hawkers are first and foremost small independent business operators, not employees that serve the greater social good or cause. That’s how ‘hawker culture’ started and it should be left to grow organically as it had for many years. It was never meant to be all things to all people.

By artificially suppressing hawker centre food prices and trying to ‘curate’ and dictate the terms of their businesses, this new model has unintentionally made it harder for them to do what they do best, reasonable food at reasonable prices in a way that makes sense for them. Whatever services that truly support the hawker in his business should be kept but whatever terms or conditions that reeks of unreasonable control or which takes away the hawkers choices should be jettisoned.

The G and these social enterprises have to understand that these hawkers are individuals against the might of a behemoth, they have little bargaining power, so taking the strict legal route is not the way to go.

Just bring the hawker centre back to its roots and let it flourish organically. It was for the hawkers to have a clean and safe operating premise. Just provide that at nominal or reasonable rent and throw in the support services at cost and leave them be. This heavy handedness is killing whatever hawker culture there is left, and then there’d be nothing left to gazette or enjoy. And no CKT worth eating when you want some.

Public tpt users will vote for PAP?

In Infrastructure, Public Administration on 20/11/2018 at 11:01 am

When the CEO of SMRT threw his disgraced predecessor onto the path of train by saying that he disagreed with the failure’s view that SMRT had a culture problem, this reminded me that S’pore

is the second most affordable city for public transport, according to a study comparing trends in public transport fares across 12 major cities.

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) study – which was commissioned by the Public Transport Council (PTC) – compared trends in public transport fares across the cities in terms of concessionary fares, fare affordability and fare revenue per passenger kilometre.

The cities include London, Beijing, Sydney, Seoul, Paris, Hong Kong, Taipei, Toronto, New York, Tokyo and San Francisco.

Constructive, nation-building CNA*

Us oldies definitely will

Singapore’s senior citizen and student concessionary fares were also among the lowest across the 12 cities compared, according to the study.

Seniors in Singapore, London and Sydney pay concessionary fares at age 60 while other cities have lower fares for seniors only at age 65 or 70.

The study also found that Singapore collected the lowest fare revenue per passenger kilometre, when compared with Hong Kong, Sydney, Toronto, New York, San Francisco and London.

————————————

*More details

The study measured fare affordability as the proportion of disposable income spent on public transport by a household in the second quintile household income group.

This quintile was chosen because it is the group “most likely to depend on public transport regularly”, said the study.

“To allow comparability of public transport affordability across the cities, an index illustrating the costs incurred by a typical family with two working adults and two schoolgoing/school age children as a percentage of household disposable income was developed,” it said.

[…]

Based on this, Singapore came in second after San Francisco in terms of fare affordability with an index score of 4.8, compared with San Francisco’s score of 4.1.

This means that on average, a typical family that uses public transport on a daily basis in Singapore spends about 4.8 per cent of its disposable income on public transport, said the study.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/public-transport-in-singapore-second-most-affordable-out-of-12-10857020

 

Double confirm GE in 2019: Free lunches for two yrs for KPKBing hawkers

In Political governance, Public Administration on 19/11/2018 at 1:42 pm

OK, OK, sort of free.

Stallholders at seven new social enterprise-run hawker centres will get some help in paying for dishwashing services from next year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced on Friday (Nov 16) in a move to mitigate hawkers’ operating costs.

From Jan 1, the authorities will co-fund the costs for centralised dishwashing at seven new hawker centres. They are: Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, Kampung Admiralty Hawker Centre, Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre, Ci Yuan Hawker Centre, Yishun Park Hawker Centre, Jurong West Hawker Centre, and Our Tampines Hub Hawker Centre.

Stallholders there will pay 50 per cent of the costs for the first year, and 70 per cent of the costs for the second year, under an extension of the NEA’s Productive Hawker Centres grant. They will pay the full costs from the third year onwards.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/stallholders-social-enterprise-run-hawker-centres-pay-only-50-cent-dishwashing-costs-help

Notice that the subsidy ends at end of 2020 and that in 2020 it’s only 30% compared to 50% in 2019?

Well Terry’s Online Channel noticed and is KPKBing that’s “not enough”.

Looks like it wants everything subsidised for hawkers.

“Dollars and Sense” of a Hawker Stall should be required reading for wannabe hawkers. 

 

What has the PAP ever done for us?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 18/11/2018 at 1:41 pm

A  lot according to a TRe reader: a really Hard Truth for TRE cybernuts to swallow.

When TRE republished this, Another sign that GE will be next yr/ Three cheers for TOC, among the bile, vomit and BS that it caused, there was this comment that was posted by a 70%er

PC Ong:
2019 is the 200th anniversary of the founding of Singapore. Yes, Singapore was not founded by PAP but by Raffles. But the PAP deserves the most credit for getting Singapore to its 200th anniversary, as a top global city where talents and corporations of all kinds want to be. Ever since independence in 1965, Singapore could very easily have lost its way because we do not have natural resources and we were so vulnerable to external threats. Not only were these threats and vulnerabilities overcome, Singapore has just grown better and better, while other top cities in the world like New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and HK decline. This is due in large part to political stability and sound policies in Singapore.

As expected, he got slimed and insulted. So here’s my good deed for the day: publicising his view.

Other gd things PAP has done for S’pore:

Why are there hawker centres in Singapore?

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

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/im-invested-in-spore-spore-in-50s-60s/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/minimum-wages-yikes-pap-may-be-right/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/property-prices-mm-lee-is-too-modest/

More advice for PM, PAP from world’s richest man

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/11/2018 at 2:14 pm

Further to PM, PAP should remember what world’s richest man said, l came across another saying by Bezoz (“no mediocre” man). Explaining why he raised minimum wages at Amazon, Jeff Bezos said “the Henry Ford approach: if you put more money in your employees’ pockets, they spend more money on your platform. It comes back to you.”

Given that personal consumption figures are really bad here vis-a-vis places like HK, time to stop FTs by the cattle car loads so that wages of locals can rise, and they can spend more?

And given that the value of HDB flats are declining while private property prices are inching up (Will this resale flat buyer vote for PAP in next GE?) and the PAP needs a big win because of the change of PM a few yrs after next GE, voters with more $in their pockets are likely to vote PAP.

So time to tweak NIRC and NIR?

NIRC consists of 50 per cent of the Net Investment Returns (NIR) on the net assets invested by GIC, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Temasek Holdings and 50 per cent of the Net Investment Income (NII) derived from past reserves from the remaining assets.

[W] spend 50 per cent of the estimated gains from investment, and put the remaining 50 per cent back into the reserves to preserve its growth for future use.

Under PAP rule will S’pore become like UK or Venezuela?

And promise not to think about raising GST until 2023? How to ensure no GST rise.

And even more goodies for oldies Hard Truth why PAP wins and wins.

After all after PAP wins 70% of popular vote, PM can take back most of the goodies. Think water hike after last GE:

Watergate: MIW caught with pants down

Watergate: All about fleecing the sheep

Watergate: PUB got consumption figures all wrong?

 

 

 

 

Another sign that GE will be next yr/ Three cheers for TOC

In Media, Public Administration on 13/11/2018 at 4:16 pm

In another sign that GE will be next yr, the PAP govt is showing that it does listen, even if the agitation for a change in policy started in Terry’s Online Channel.

I’m talking about Hawkergate. The quiet, underground grumbling about the so called “not-for-profit hawker centre model” which some unhappy hawkers and foodies like Seetoh see as Pay And Pay in action* did not catch the public attention until our constructive, nation-building media and TOC publicised the allegations. In highlighting the problems faced by hawkers such as costly tray-return deposit schemes, long working hours, unreasonable penalties for contract termination and additional fees for dishwashing, tray returns and quality control, they started a forest fire which had the PAP scrambling to contain the conflagration. TOC, unlike the MSM, also agitated for something to be done, unlike the MSM, whose silence on what should be done were deafening.

Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resource Dr Amy Khor announced in October that NEA will do a “stock take” of the not-for-profit hawker centre model, which allows social enterprises and cooperatives to run these centres.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Nov 9 that it had ordered “tweaks to standardise the contractual terms between socially-conscious enterprises and hawkers following feedback from hawkers, patrons and social enterprise hawker operators”. More on this at: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/nea-impose-changes-hawker-operator-contract-terms-1-january-085102551.html

The four changes include the removal of “onerous” terms to better safeguard the interest of hawkers, said Dr Khor on Nov 9 during a visit to Ci Yuan Hawker Centre.


All about hawker food

Why are there hawker centres in Singapore?

The Hard Truth about hawker food

The Harder Truth on hawker food

“Dollars and Sense” of a Hawker Stall

Subsidised hawker food book

——————————————————————-

Three cheers for Terry and his team (if there’s one). Sadly that’s all the recognition he’ll get. TOC needs $, but the cybernuts don’t want to help it out. A long time (2006 — 2012), the then readers were generous with their money. But then they were not cheapskates, born losers like those now polluting the comment pages of TOC and TRE.

Of course opportunists like Lim Tean and Meng Seng (Lim Tean, Meng Seng where are yr durians?) had to join in the agitation for changes. Since Lim Tean has raised funds from the public for various projects (see above link) but not done anything at all about his projects, he should hand over his loot the monies raised to TOC?


*Written before TOC started publicising the problems faced by hawkers in the not-for-profit hawker centre model and agitating for changes to the model. The contributors were focusing on LGBT and other identity issues. They had and have no time for chay kway teow issues, only ang moh issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hard and Harder Truths about Uber, Grab or Go-Gek

In Financial competency, Public Administration on 13/11/2018 at 10:19 am

They got the funding to burn dollar notes, others don’t.

“Tens of others had technology just as good as Uber that never went anywhere. The difference is Uber has been heavily financed by Wall Street and they’ve raised more than $13bn. We didn’t have the same access to capital.”

He says building Uber’s app might have cost something like $30m but the rest of its huge pile of cash has gone on subsidising rides, offering discounts, effectively buying up the market.

CEO of Autocab talking to BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-46151994

As Autocab had been providing various services to cab firms for 20 years and was developing apps back before Uber got off the ground, the BBC reporter asked the CEO (Safa Alkateb) the obvious question: why wasn’t this Manchester firm heading for a $120bn (£92bn) IPO and global domination and not the start-up born in San Francisco?

Safa Alkateb, who spent a career in Silicon Valley before coming home to run Autocab, had a simple answer – money.

The Harder Truth: Uber raised the white flag in S’pore and the region, the winner Grab stopped subsidising fares. Fares rose while incentives for drivers were scaled back.

The throwing of money is aimed at securing a monopoly or near monopoly position.

South-east Asian authorities gained valuable experience as they scurried to respond, suggested Toh Han Li, chief executive of the CCCS* and this year’s chair for Asean’s competition agencies group. The Grab-Uber case “can be considered as the first significant case involving co-operation among Asean competition authorities”, he said.

Nikkei Asian Review

*Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore

 

Why S’pore is so shiok for private property investors

In Political economy, Property, Public Administration on 12/11/2018 at 9:46 am

Look at the table and note that here holding costs (i.e. interest paid) for 5 yrs (assumes no profit from sale after 5 yrs) and fees payable (taxes, duties) very low compared to rest of the world bar a shithole of a city. The PAP govt treats private property investors better than they treat otters (TRE Cybernut says PAP has created paradise for otters not citizens)? $ means US$.

Waz there not to like about the PAP if u are an investor in private property?

Compare this to if u bot a resale HDB flat: Will resale flat owners still vote for PAP in next GE? and Will this resale flat buyer vote for PAP in next GE?

Dr Goh’s HK counterpart had similar views on MRT and other major issues

In Hong Kong, Political economy, Public Administration on 10/11/2018 at 3:35 pm

Remember Khaw saying this?

It was a very different era. Finance was tight, so we really had to scrutinise every dollar of spending.

The government of the day thought very hard if we could really afford an MRT line. It took months to think through and debate through this major strategic decision.

It was not easy. Some of you who are younger might not remember.

But I remember, as a civil servant, the big debate which was televised on the options – an all-bus system or an MRT system.

There were proponents for the MRT, as a city without MRT is almost impossible. But there were others who were extremely worried whether we can really afford it.

So sometimes today we spend money as if money comes easily. We forget that it was not too long ago. So when there are people who criticise the North-South and East-West Lines on why we did not do this and that, we were simply short of cash.

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/comparing-singapores-newest-and-oldest-mrt-lines

He left out the elephant in the room: Dr Goh Keng Swee. He wasn’t convinced that an MRT would be cost effective. Hence the scrutiny the project underwent, even after the cabinet (sans Goh) had agreed to build it.

A contemporary of his, Sir John Cowperthwaite, HK’s financial secretary (17 April 1961 – 30 June 1971) had earlier opposed the building of the MRT system in HK, citing the cost: despite the traffic jams in the streets. Construction only began after he retired.

Here’s more on Sir John Cowperthwaite, who came to HK as a British civil servant in 1945. He should be interesting to S’poreans because he had views, some like that of Dr Goh, some unlike, on how to have a prosperous, thriving economy in a small state.

Like Dr Goh, he was for

Low taxes, lax employment laws, absence of government debt, and free trade are all pillars of the Hong Kong experience of economic development.

And

No deficit government financing, which could merely push costs to a future generation and make the territory vulnerable to financial upheaval.

[…]

Public housing would be funded, but only for tiny flats; reservoirs would be built, but users would be charged.

[…]

Requests by industry for subsidies were routinely rejected.

Architect of Prosperity: Sir John Cowperthwaite and the Making of Hong Kong

https://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21729983-sir-john-cowperthwaite-most-unlikely-things-bureaucrat-hero

Sounds like a PAPpy?

But throughout the 1960s, Cowperthwaite refused to implement free universal primary education, contributing to the relatively high illiteracy rate among today’s older generation in HK.

And he really believed in the importance of the private sector, unlike the PAP (not excluding Dr Goh) who talked the talk of the importance but the private sector,  but who made sure GLCs dominate the local economy.

“I myself tend to mistrust the judgment of anyone not involved in the actual process of risk-taking.” This faith was rewarded. As industries such as cotton spinning, enamelware and wigs declined and Cowperthwaite declined to offer assistance, businesses shifted their attention to promising areas such as toy and electronics production, and then finance. Migrants found work in the expanding industries, becoming a cog in a productive engine rather than merely a cost.

(Economist review)

But he allowed private sector cartels to continue to dominate the HK economy. In his time, it was the Hongs (Jardines, Swire and other ang moh Hongs) and the big banks (HSBC and StanChart).  A tradition continued today with local property cos controlling the property mkt (no massive affordable public housing), and Cheung Kong, Jardines and Swire having a big share of the retail mkt, and HSBC and Bank of China dominating the finance sector.

 

 

“Singapore is a not a clean city. It’s a cleaned city.”

In Environment, Political governance, Public Administration on 06/11/2018 at 2:10 pm

So what we may ask?

More than S$120m a year is spent on cleaning public spaces. And PAPpies not happy that the PAP administration has to this amount to keep S’pore clean. (Perhaps they hope that this money can be diverted to millionaire ministers?).

The PAPpy unhappiness

At first, the policy [LKY’s Clean and Green policy of which the anti-littering campaign was part of ] worked, according to Liak Teng Lit, chairman of the National Environment Agency. A combination of public awareness campaigning and punitive measures made a difference. More people picked up after themselves. The city became cleaner.

————————————–

Green S’pore

LKY & greenery

My S’pore: A greener & more pleasant land

Urban planning: a constrasting tale of UK cities & S’pore

2025: LKY’s memorial unveiled

Uniquely global: Rainforest in a global city

————————————

In 1961, Singapore had a “broom brigade” of 7,000 day labourers who were directly employed by the department of health. By 1989, there were only 2,100.

But things changed. The city became wealthier, and it became easier to use low-cost labour to clean up. Nowadays, says Liak, Singapore isn’t clean because locals fear fines. It’s clean because there’s an army of workers scrubbing it. They do the heavy lifting. More than anyone else, they keep Singapore clean.

“Singapore is a not a clean city. It’s a cleaned city,” Liak declares.

There are 56,000 cleaners registered with the National Environment Agency. There are likely thousands of independent contractors who aren’t registered. Mostly they’re low-paid foreign workers or elderly workers. Taipei, by contrast, has maybe 5,000 cleaners, Liak adds.

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20181025-the-cost-of-keeping-singapore-squeaky-clean

One reason they give for wanting us to pick up litter: good for our souls i.e. civic consciousness the PAPpy way

Edward D’Silva [chairman of the Public Hygiene Council] is frustrated about the way the rise of this army of cleaners has changed the culture in Singapore. With so many cleaners, Singaporeans came to regard cleaning up as someone else’s job. Today, Singaporeans often leave their tray on the table at hawker centres after eating a meal, because they don’t consider it littering, or they think it’s the cleaners’ job to clean up after them. (In fairness, tray return facilities were only installed in 2013.)

D’Silva says students don’t pick up after themselves either, because they’ve always had a cleaner to do it for them. It’s something the Public Hygiene Council is trying to address at local schools. Simply put, he thinks Singaporeans have had it too easy for too long, and they need to change. Liak agrees.

“The government cleans the apartment [building], right up to your corridor, typically twice a day. When you have a very efficient cleaning service, and your neighbour messes up the place, you don’t blame the neighbour, you blame the cleaner for not picking it up,” he says.

BBC report

The real reason, want to save $:

In Singapore, cleaners are mostly drawn from a pool of roughly a million foreign workers as well as local aged workers. But as Singapore’s population grows and labour becomes more expensive, it simply won’t be affordable to employ so many cleaners.

Edward D’Silva says part of the original push for a cleaner Singapore was economic. Cleaning public spaces is expensive and it takes money away from more valuable pursuits. He says that’s still the case, and Singapore needs to change its behaviour fast. Singapore spends at least SGD$120m (US$87m) a year on cleaning public spaces.

“If you are able to instill and cultivate a habit whereby people don’t throw their litter anywhere and anyhow, then the money you would have otherwise spent to employ those cleaners, well, millions of dollars could have been better spent on health and education,” he said.

BBC report

As usual with the PAP, it’s all about money.

Survey feedback: a really Hard Truth

In Political governance, Public Administration on 02/11/2018 at 4:52 pm

The PAP administration is always asking for feedback via surveys etc. But even many of the 70% think that the whole exercise is a waste of time because they think the PAP administration already “knows” the results of the survey etc.

The feedback is for confirmation that the PAP administration got it right and is wayang.

To overcome this cynicism:

It is more important to follow through and take real steps to make people happier and more productive.

FT

Context of above quote

There is a growing view that too many companies think doing the odd staff survey is enough to tick the engagement box. It is more important to follow through and take real steps to make people happier and more productive. Put another way, a company can do as many surveys as it likes, but if it irks workers with doltish managers, idiotic dress codes, petty rules on attendance and worse, it should expect to be treated in kind.

The really Hard Truth:

The PAP administration can do as many surveys as it likes, but if it annoys voters with second rate but overpaid ministers, inefficient (think SMRT) or expensive public serices (water and electricity), bullying, agencies with bad culture (Integrated Health Systems*), petty rules or worse, it should expect cynicism: a “What’s it in for me?” attitude or worse even if S’pore remains a de facto one-party state.


*Senior mgr chiak chua

The day before, a senior manager of IHiS’ security management department, Mr Ernest Tan, had testified that he was reluctant to raise the alarm to his superiors despite knowing about suspicious logins to the patient database, for fear of working “non-stop” to “deliver answers” to top management.

This had led to a delay in the reporting and detection of the cyber attack, which saw hackers make off with the personal data of 1.5 million SingHealth patients between June 27 and July 4.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/cultural-issues-ihis-hampered-detection-and-reporting-cybersecurity-incidents

 

 

Why paper generals, not private sector CEOs make it to PAP cabinet

In Corporate governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 01/11/2018 at 10:43 am

Today when flipping thru the FT, emphasis mine, I read

The desire to have more “business people” involved in politics is a well-worn itch. Gordon Brown’s decision, for example, to form a “ government of all talents” in 2007 with non-politicians such as Lords Digby Jones and Alan West proved a flop. The skills that make individuals successful in business rarely translate into politics. CEOs are programmed to take charge. Operating under political guidance grates, even for the most seasoned executive, however alluring the grace-and-favour mansion may be.

FT editorial

Our paper generals are programmed to take orders from ministers and senior civil servants; local private sector CEOs are not. Unlike our paper generals, who never have had to lead troops into battle or even into a hostile, environment, these CEOs “are programmed to take charge.”


Paper General in action

Kidding me? Kee Chui potential PM? He from RI?

Why “Kee Chiu” got renamed “Kee Chui”

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Btw, the CEOs of those successful TLCs and GLCs that are world class, are somewhere in between, if they rose from the ranks of the GLC or TLC, and not parachuted in. And the best ”are programmed to take charge”.

African example PAP govt will follow?

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 30/10/2018 at 9:47 am

The Tanzanian government is in the process of amending its statistical legislation so that it can impose fines or jail time on anyone who questions the accuracy of official figures.

Not a big step from what Ng Eng Hen did as a newbie cabinet minister (Manpower) many yrs ago when he roughed up some academics who published analysis based on extrapolation (I think) of officially published data on a sensitive issue (FT employment rates vis-a-vis locals). Appparently there was some unpublished data according to Hen that contradicted the extrapolation: they should have asked his ministry whether their analysis was correct.

After the row died down (the academics sucked XXXX), the long-standing head of the stats dept resigned. As a noted economist (then and now) remarked tongue -in-cheek: “Wow, govt admits data published on website is not accurate”.

Whatever, Hen never looked back: his star was on the rise.

Under PAP rule will S’pore become like UK or Venezuela?

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 28/10/2018 at 2:07 pm

In Hard Truth why PAP wins and wins I wrote about goodies for oldies from the PAP govt as its way of of bribing making sure that the vast majority of the Pioneer and Merdeka Generations continue voting for the PAP. As far as I’m concerned, we got the money for this and more, a lot more. Think of the buget surpluses: How we fund our SWFs

But if the cybernuts are right that our reserves have been lost, implying that the income from our reserves that goes into the Budget is fake $, then we are in trouble.

After all over the last 10 years, Singapore’s net investment returns (NIR) contribution (NIRC) to the Budget has more than doubled from S$7 billion in FY2009 to an estimated S$15.9 billion in FY2018.


Waz this NIRC and NIR BS?

NIRC consists of 50 per cent of the Net Investment Returns (NIR) on the net assets invested by GIC, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Temasek Holdings and 50 per cent of the Net Investment Income (NII) derived from past reserves from the remaining assets.

In other words, we spend 50 per cent of the estimated gains from investment, and put the remaining 50 per cent back into the reserves to preserve its growth for future use.

Associate Professor Randolph Tan is Director of the Centre for Applied Research at the Singapore University of Social Services, and a Nominated Member of Parliament.


The money finally runs out because of too many bribes goodies for voters to keep them voting for the PAP. So if there’s really no money because the reserves are squandered as alleged by Phillip Ang (CPF class action: Phillip Ang’s “reply’ to fellow cybernut) and other cybernuts, then S’pore under the PAP will become like UK and Venezuela.

In the UK

‘Everything is just stretched to its limit’

“There are more people requiring services,” says Simon. “We’re an ageing population and there are more children in schools. It’s alright them saying they’re putting more money in, but per individual it doesn’t equate.”

Like many locals, the men are worried about Scarborough Hospital, which is part of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. It is facing a reorganisation and locals fear departments could be closed in their town.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45968036

And in Venezuela

From schoolteacher to cleaner

Maria Eugenia Carrillo was enthusiastic about the system of free schooling introduced by Hugo Chávez in the early 2000s. But increasing pressure by her bosses to include political content in lessons bothered her. And then there was the poverty.

“I saw my children sick and hungry, their parents looking for food among the rubbish and diseases like measles running rampant through the school,” she says.

“When parents came to pick up their children they stopped asking ‘what did you learn today?’ and asked instead: ‘What did you eat today?'”
Image caption “I always dreamed of living and dying in Venezuela.”

The 52-year-old teacher says that the political pressure caused her so much stress that her fibromyalgia became more acute – until she decided she had to leave Venezuela, flying to Madrid in October 2017.

Without official papers, she has no chance of working as a teacher, and is cleaning homes for cash.

“I always dreamed of living and dying in Venezuela,” she says. “I even had a beach house until a Chavista [a supporter of Venezuela’s government] took a shine to it and moved in. I couldn’t do anything. I was paralysed by the fear of being arrested.”

And

The irony of Spain and Venezuela’s reversal in fortunes is not lost on Cándido Soengas, who escaped poverty and dictatorship in 1950s Spain by crossing the Atlantic.

Now, he has been forced to return to Spain, as living conditions unravelled in the Venezuelan capital.

“I never expected to come back,” 87-year-old Mr Soengas says in the garden of his Madrid retirement home, reminiscing on the life he and his late wife made for themselves in Caracas.

“I was happy in Venezuela. There were always people about to lend me a hand and when I brought my children up, we wanted for nothing.”

“They were good times.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45640307

“They were good times,” hopefully I won’t say this 25 yrs from now when I’m his age.

 

Hard Truth why PAP wins and wins

In Financial planning, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 26/10/2018 at 1:36 pm

(Or “Why oldies are getting more goodies” or “You massage my back, and I scratch yrs”)

The Merdeka generation are getting goodies, juz like the Pioner Generation. Both generations in their prime have given the PAP solid support (over 60% of the popular vote).

PAP is juz rewarding voters who keep it in power

Not only that, but as S’poreans are living longer, keeping the Merdeka generation (and the balance of the Pioneer Generation) contented with the PAP govt means that the PAP’s hegemony can last at another 20 yrs.

The average Singaporean can expect to live 85.4 years in 2040, up 2.1 years from the average of 83.3 years in 2016, according to a new study by a global health research organisation.

Singapore is expected to maintain its third-place ranking in average life expectancy in 2040, if recent health trends continue.

By then, Spaniards are expected to live the longest — an average of 85.8 years — pipping the Japanese, who are expected to live an average of 85.7 years.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/average-singaporean-live-third-longest-world-till-854-years-2040-study

Add to that having people like Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Meng Seng as opponents and the PAP will rule forever and a day.

 

What next? Senior civil servant saying that those who don’t vote PAP don’t wish S’pore well?

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 23/10/2018 at 10:49 am

In Ang mohs told secret of why PAP wins and wins, I quoted our London ambassador on why the PAP thinks it wins and win.

She also wrote

The alternative—a constant merry-go-round of contending parties—does not necessarily produce better outcomes. Politicians fail to keep the promises they make, the people become disillusioned, and eventually lose faith in democracy. Witness the low voter-turnouts in many Western democracies.

FOO CHI HSIA

Doesn’t this sound as though she’s saying that those of us (self included) who want a viable opposition so that we can have a system whereby power can change hands in a GE are S’poreans who do not wish S’pore well?

Er,tot civil servants cannot engage in politics? And whatever happened to a neutral that our ministers and senior civil servants talk and boast about? They talking cock meh?

Seriously, our ang moh tua kees are forever bitching that civil service is not neutral.

But why should it be neutral?

Given that the PAP has ruled S’pore since 1959 (and first had the voters’ mandate in 1957), how can they expect the civil service to be neutral as it’s expected to be in the Westminster system? They don’t know their UK politcal history.

The UK (where of the Westminster model originated) has had two recent periods where one party ruled for a long period: 1979 — 1997 (Tories) and 1997 — 2010 (Labour). During both periods, the neutrality of the civil service was called in question by serious, fair-minded people, not the usual loonies and fruitcakes i.e. the British version of our cybernuts The complaint made by retired senior servants among others was that civil service was being co-opted by the governing party during both periods: ministers made sure the “right” civil servants were promoted.

Since the PAP has had repeatedly won the mandate (by wide margins) to push around and bully S’poreans, how can the civil service here not not be neutral ? Voters have made the choice: the PAP way or the highway.

And given that we are defacto one-party state, (“Why CCP’s fears are PAP’s fears”Keeping power in a one-party state and Would this happen in a one-party state?) how can any sane, rational voter expect a neutral civil service here?

Ending on the theme of a one-party state, here’s two parting tots to ponder

Communist party theorists have long railed against the danger of “peaceful evolution”, in which Communist rule is slowly undone as democratic ideals, from civil society to the rule of law, seep in through the back door.

FT

Same here?

And if so, Dr Thum Ping Tjin has a point when writing in TOC he cautions against being overly reliant on elections as the sole legitimate tool for political change: “Elections may be free, but not necessarily fair”:

HoHoHo: Why oil price rises are not gd for PAP

In Economy, Emerging markets, Energy, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 15/10/2018 at 11:19 am

Phew that was a quick sharp retracement after a very sharp spik: Tua kee traders take opposing views on price of oil. The PAP govt must be relieved oil is now trading around US$82 (minutes ago) than above US$86 (middle of last week).

A US$ oil price of closer to US$100 will not only make Tun M (M’sia exports oil) more willingly to cut off our water supply but will pose problems for an early GE in late 2019 esp with the promised rise in GST(See below for GST related posts) after GE: Akan datang: GE in late 2019

According to Citi’s Johanna Chua, Asian countries suffer the most when oil prices rise because, aside from Malaysia, most are net oil importers. Singapore runs a sizable 6.5% oil and gas deficit, followed closely by Pakistan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. Indonesia and Vietnam manage slightly smaller deficits of roughly 1%.

So many of these economies see the largest inflation swings when oil prices rise. Chua’s chart ranking the sensitivity regionally over the past six years. See where we stand.

S'pore oilThe ** explained that the spike in inflation here is caused by some one-off stats adjustment of data base. So not really comparable to other countries. But try telling that to cybernuts like Oxygen or Phillip Ang.

But rational readers should get the message. Voters really get hurt by oil price rises. And the promised GST price increase is not going to impress the 10 points of voters that voted for the PAP in last GE, bring the total votes for the PAP to 70%: a great result for the PM and the PAP after the failure of only 60% in 2011.


GST-related posts

GST rise: Anti-PAP activists should take note

How to ensure no GST rise

Countering PAP’s BS that taxes must go up

 

Ang mohs told secret of why PAP wins and wins

In Political governance, Public Administration on 14/10/2018 at 2:17 pm

Not because S’pore is a repressive place as the ang moh tua kees like Kirsten Han allege. Or because of Oppo clowns like Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Meng Seng.

But because according to the PAP administration’s Lady in London

The PAP has been repeatedly re-elected because it has been honest with the voters, delivers on its promises, and provides long-term stability and progress. When it has not fully met voters’ expectations, and so lost votes, it has responded with appropriate policy adjustments.

The cynics would say “She would say this, wouldn’t she?”.

But is she right? What do you think?

Her letter to the Economist

Politics in Singapore

Banyan suggested that the government of Singapore wins elections because it hounds critics and denies public-housing upgrades to opposition districts, and wondered why the ruling People’s Action Party “holds on so tenaciously” to power (September 22nd). The PAP has been repeatedly re-elected because it has been honest with the voters, delivers on its promises, and provides long-term stability and progress. When it has not fully met voters’ expectations, and so lost votes, it has responded with appropriate policy adjustments. It has also consciously renewed its leadership, with a fourth generation since independence readying itself to take on the responsibility.

The alternative—a constant merry-go-round of contending parties—does not necessarily produce better outcomes. Politicians fail to keep the promises they make, the people become disillusioned, and eventually lose faith in democracy. Witness the low voter-turnouts in many Western democracies.

FOO CHI HSIA
High commissioner for Singapore
London

 

Anti-PAPpies screaming about Oxfam report, what about World Bank’s Human Capital Index

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/10/2018 at 2:26 pm

Another way to measure economic success other than by GDP was launched released two days ago earlier today by the World Bank.

Its Human Capital Index ranks countries according to how much is invested in young people.

The higher the investment in education and health the more productive and higher earning the workforce tends to be, the World Bank says.

Which leads to the creation of higher levels of wealth and a stronger economy.

They are silent because

First is Singapore, followed by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

Finland and Ireland are fifth and sixth, with the UK in 15th place, below Germany but ahead of France, Norway and Switzerland.

The bottom of the list is dominated by countries in Africa, where human capital scores are a third of those enjoyed by leading nations.

Chad, South Sudan and Niger are the bottom three countries.

For 157 countries the World Bank studied the quantity and quality of education provided to children, the mortality rate for under-5s, the “rate of stunting” among young people (a measure of how healthy children are) and the chances of someone living to 60 by the time they reach 15-years-of-age (the “adult survival rate”).

Bringing the data together produced a score between 0 and 1, where zero would mean all children died before reaching education age and 1 would be all children receiving the perfect education and health start in life.

Singapore scored 0.88 and the UK scored 0.78.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45816049

Uniquely Temasek? Kill Mandai wildlife to build wildlife paradise

In Environment, Public Administration, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 11/10/2018 at 10:47 am

This headline in our constructive, nation-building media on Monday

Mandai mangrove and mudflats to be Singapore’s newest nature park

reminded of a BBC story a few months back headlined

Singapore’s Mandai eco-resort: Paving paradise to put up an eco-resort

Singaporeans are getting a new wildlife paradise to bring them closer to nature, but as the BBC’s Yvette Tan writes, the development is carving into the jungle and pushing rare animals into the path of danger.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44856567

Animals are getting killed  to create a new wildlife paradise

Five animals – including a leopard cat, a huge sambar deer, a wild boar and a critically endangered sunda pangolin – have become roadkill since development began last January. All the accidents took place in the area around Mandai – with two occurring on a busy expressway.

This reminded me of two US military operations in the Vietnam War :

— “Did we have to destroy the town in order to save it?”” Colonel Myron Harrington was a US Marine officer at the Battle of Hue during the Tet Offensive. The battle resulted in the destruction of the town and the killing of its residents—. Harrington is credited with the quotation “Did we have to destroy the town in order to save it?””

— “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” This has been attributed to an unnamed United States major, referring to the bombing of Ben Tre, South Vietnam; reported by AP correspondent Peter Arnett, “Major Describes Move”, New York Times (February 8, 1968).

Coming back to the Mandai project, Mandai Park Development (MPD) says

the resort, to be run by resort operator Banyan Tree, will be built “sensitively… to reduce impact to the environment”.

But Mr Subaraj, a self-styled conservation expert (I know he has no academic or formal credentials in this field, but I also know he’s passionate about local wildlife)

argues that this may not be enough.

“If you look in other countries, for example [at an eco-resort in] the Danum Valley in Malaysia, they’ve got around 30 rooms,” said Mr Subaraj.

“We’ve got up to 400 rooms. When you develop a resort that big, no matter how much mitigation you put in place, there will be an impact.”

In other words, the development is akin to building a HDB block of flats as opposed to a jungle hut.

Btw

MPD is a branch of Mandai Park Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore’s state investor – Temasek Holdings.

🤑

Btw2, MPD

the body behind the work, says developing the area into an eco-hub is a much more “environmentally sensitive” choice than if an urban development were to take over the area.

😪😢😢😪

Why Grab can give finger to S’pore govt

In Public Administration on 06/10/2018 at 7:34 am

(Update on 9 October 20180 at 10am: Microsoft has invested in Grab. Amt is reported to be US$200.)

S’pore mkt is irrelevant to Grab.

SoftBank will soon increase its commitment to Grab by pouring an additional $500m into the south-east Asian ride-hailing company, after the Singapore-based firm announced it is looking to raise about $1bn before the end of the year.

FT

Remember

Singapore’s competition watchdog has fined Grab and Uber a total of S$13 million over their merger, saying that the deal has led to the substantial eroding of competition in the ride-hailing market.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/grab-uber-fined-after-merger-deal-competition-watchdog-10751522

And this is a lot of bull

The fall from grace of “digital darling” Grab serves as a cautionary tale for digital disruptors, after its Uber takeover left riders and drivers up in arms over price hikes and lower incentives.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/fallen-grace-grab-could-learn-hard-way-if-it-does-not-change-its-ways-report

But what to expect from constructive, nation-building media?

“Experts” wrong to write-off Ong as next PM

In Political governance, Public Administration on 01/10/2018 at 9:34 am

“Experts” kanna chiat sai a second time: they got to recant their view that he’s no longer in contention to be the next PM. (For the record, I’ve never tot Ong Ye Kung was in the running to be PM. In fact, I tot he was “very mediocre”. In Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure I’ve listed his NTUC and SMRT failings, and more.)

But many “experts” (Think Eugene Tan) did think he could be our next PM, and they had to eat their own faeces and drink their own urine after the latest cabinet reshuffle: Our new PM/ Trumpets pls for me

But given the announcement of a very major change in our education system,


Primary and secondary schools to cut down on exams and tests, as MOE announces sweeping changes to reduce emphasis on grades

In a major move to reduce emphasis on grades, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will do away with examinations and graded assessments for Primary 1 and 2 students from next year.

Mid-year examinations for students in Pri 3, Pri 5, Secondary 1 and Sec 3 will also be removed in phases from 2019 while all students from Pri 3 to Sec 4 or Sec 5 will not have more than one weighted assessment per subject per school term.

In addition, students’ report books will also no longer reflect their class and level positions as well as overall marks, with scores to be rounded off without decimal points.

These changes were announced by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (Sept 28).

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/primary-and-secondary-schools-cut-down-exams-and-tests-moe-announces-sweeping-changes

—————————————————————————–

these experts should now eat more their own faeces and drink more their own urine and repent and recant their writing-off of his chances of becoming PM. There was a really good reason for PM to retain him at MoE: to finalise and announce the above changes, even if “Schools” were in the portfolio of Ng Chee Meng, now NTUC’s Secretary-General.

Me? I don’t think he’s going to be the next PM, but I’m not so cocksure any more.

Firstly, because PM seems to like him: remember he served as Lee Hsien Loong’s Principal Private Secretary (2002–2004). To be fair to him and PM, he did good work when he was concurrently

  • Director of Trade at the Ministry of Trade & Industry (2000–2003)
  • Deputy Chief Negotiator of Singapore-US Free Trade Agreement (2000–2003).

And because he can throw smoke. Not as good as Lawrence Wong (Smell the smoke? From Indonesia or from the PAP & cybernuts?) but still better (Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”) than Heng or Kee Chiu:

The real reason why HDB flats are a touchy topic

In Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 27/09/2018 at 10:22 am

Other than the fact that S’poreans have realised or discovered that HDB flats are 99-yr leases not freehold (They read what they agreed to buy? Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin) the other major headache for the PAP govt in public housing is that housing (private or public) seems to be more about psychological rather than material needs.

In the US and UK

Our space expectations are conditioned not only by where we have lived before, but also by our neighbours.

Because house size is a status symbol, we feel worse off when other people get larger houses.

A recent US study found that an increase in the size of the largest 10% of “superstar” houses had a significant negative effect on their neighbours, even if those people had also moved to bigger homes.

Previous surveys have suggested people would be prepared to have less living space overall if it meant they had more than others.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45420795

Given that more than 80% of Singapore’s population live in HDB flats, no wonder the PAP govt now wants to kick the expiring lease issue into the really long grass.

Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

Smell the smoke? From Indonesia or from the PAP & cybernuts?

Ex-PM’s money obsession causing PAP problems

In Political governance, Public Administration on 19/09/2018 at 10:33 am

Over the weekend I read

Finance, like law, is a profession that attracts a lot of reasonably intelligent, hard-working people who rather like money. People like me. Most of us are not really suited to it, though, and that makes for a lot of unhappy careers. The financial crisis saved me from that, and I am grateful.

Robert Armstrong FT’s chief editorial writer and was a hedgie analyst 10 yrs ago

This reminded me of

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:10

Then today, I read

Factually, the government website, has debunked online falsehoods on PM’s and Ministers’ pay. I shall use this opportunity to debunk public perception that I am paid a ministerial salary.

(GCT on FB)

This then reminded me that GCT poured shit and piss on the PAP’s NatDay celebrations with his comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. And that the PAP only chose ministers from the private sector if they were earning $1m or more. OK, OK, he later did say that salary was not the “starting point” when the PAP chose $1m ministers.

The silence from the present cabinet is deafening.

Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole tell me that they hear that he was “ordered” to release the transcript of what he said and clarify that salary was not a factor when the PAP chose ministers.

Much good this did. I didn’t start commenting on his comments until I read the transcript. I mean TOC, TRE and The Indians Idiots are the cybernuts what ST is to the PAPpies.

And if salary was not the “starting point” when the PAP chose $1m ministers, why talk so much about money?

Whatever, based on his comments about ministerial salaries over the yrs, I get the sense that he is obsessed about money. Fault of wife? Remember she said $600,000 salary was “Peanuts”. Or could it be because he came from a very poor family?

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:10

I’m not the only one not impressed  with the transcript he released. Here’s something a FBer posted at the time

There was a clarification? I thought it’s the just the transcript.

Or did he think the transcript gave him a context? I’ve read it, the points remain that his idea of meritocracy is how much money one can make.

His main point, which is where the money is going to come from, is correct, but he is also forgetting that if people are taxed more, then what politicians earn come even under greater scrutiny.

Certainly, I am happy to pay Scandinavian level taxes if it means free healthcare for the elderly and free education, but not if it goes to enriching politicians.

That said, and it goes back to what I said about the Ben Davis saga, our Government need to be more innovative when it comes to their pay package. Using an indicator based on economy sends a strong signal that nothing else matters, that running a country is only about the economy.

But it’s not.

Shouldn’t a minister in charge of transportation, for example, be pegged against how efficiently our transport systems run?

Shouldn’t a minister of social and family development be pegged with how many families move out of poverty each year?

Shouldn’t a minister of health be pegged to how more people are getting proper healthcare and the overall health of the nation?

If a minister does a good job at his portfolio, based on tangible KPIs on the aspect of society he or she looks after, I’d be happy to even pay them $10m, much less $1m. So maybe it can be flexi-wage, where they get a lower monthly salary but a much higher bonus payout if they perform well for example.

There are so many ways we can attract private sector talent, especially today when so many bright minds join start-ups for very little money in the hope of a big pay-out later.

I agree that we do need to pay our ministers well – but how that pay comes about can be far more creative than the way it is currently structured.

Related posts

What PM, PAP can learn from very rich tech entrepreneur

When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life

New Hope: Time to make robots PAP ministers?

 

S’pore Unis’ NOT on employability list

In Public Administration on 18/09/2018 at 10:10 am

HK U is no 13 and three Oz unis (5th, 6th and 29th) are on the list.  Several PRC unis too.

Which universities will really impress the boss?

Top 30 for employability

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
  2. Stanford University, US
  3. University of California, Los Angeles, US
  4. Harvard University, US
  5. University of Sydney, Australia
  6. University of Melbourne, Australia
  7. University of Cambridge, UK
  8. University of California, Berkeley, US
  9. Tsinghua University, China
  10. University of Oxford, UK
  11. New York University, US
  12. University of Toronto, Canada
  13. University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  14. Yale University, US
  15. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  16. Princeton University, US
  17. Columbia University, US
  18. University College London, UK
  19. University of Tokyo, Japan
  20. Peking University, China
  21. Cornell University, US
  22. University of Chicago, US
  23. Seoul National University, South Korea
  24. University of Pennsylvania, US
  25. University of Michigan, US
  26. (equal 25th) University of Waterloo, Canada
  27. Fudan University, China
  28. Waseda University, Japan
  29. University of New South Wales, Australia
  30. Ecole Polytechnique, France

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45481996

Ong Yee Kung should stop talking cock about LGBTs being discriminated against and get our unis onto this list. But then this will be really hard work for him and his track record of success is near zero: Our new PM/ Trumpets pls for me.

He prefers to talk cock:

Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”

Minister Ong wants a camel?

Akan datang says minister: Non-grad minister

 

What PM, PAP can learn from very rich tech entrepreneur

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/09/2018 at 10:13 am

And by so doing make sure that S’pore will remain a de facto one-party state forever and day: though there won’t be mega-rich ministers*.

Mr Von Ahn is CEO of Duolingo, the world’s most popular language learning app, with 200m users. He also has academic credentials that PAPpies can only dream about.

And best of all he’s not a “very mediocre” person (Remember GCT’s comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. And that the PAP only chose ministers from the private sector if they were earning $1m or more.): he’s very rich.

So the PAP should listen to what Von Ahn recently told the FT, “If it requires you paying them off to come work for you, I don’t think they’re going to be in it. We prefer missionaries to mercenaries.” Related post: When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life

Another of his strategy is to differentiate Duolingo from other employers by is focusing on diversity. He now has a 50/50 male female ratio in software engineers. Related post: New Hope: Time to make robots PAP ministers?

On diversity, FT’s Letter from Lex a few weeks ago said

Working with outsiders helps solve problems. When a stranger joins a team its performance tends to improve, according to research by US psychologists who tested out the theory on groups engaged in murder mystery puzzles. But do not expect gratitude. Tight-knit groups often do not realise they are underperforming.

Still, the pain is worth the gain. In business, assertive shareholders can help companies improve their strategies. But the experience tends to be uncomfortable for company bosses.

[…]

Of course, boards do not have to listen to naysayers — only to those with the clout to count. That is frustrating for Arsenal’s small shareholders. Its fans criticised a deal struck between the north London football club’s two largest shareholders, which will hand full control to the US sports magnate Stan Kroenke. Lex said Mr Kroenke’s leveraged bet might pay off if the value of Premiership media rights go up. But the shareholder fans, known as “gooners”, face disappointment. They are likely to be left without any more annual meetings to have their say.

Related post: PM, PAP should remember what world’s richest man said

______________________________

*Er but maybe if ministers can’t be rich they don’t care if the PAP doesn’t rule.

 

Access to healthcare here: Below average

In Media, Public Administration on 14/09/2018 at 10:55 am

As Yogi Bear might have put it: “Worse than below average bear”

I’m sure the editor of the constructive, nation-building publication that highlighted the u/m would privately have been told he “does not mean S’pore well”:

When it came to evaluating access to healthcare, Singapore scored 45.46 – below the study’s average of 50.91 – even as it boasts the most value-for-money system. This was attributed to shortages of hospital beds and skilled healthcare professionals.

For this study, “access” is evaluated by the number of skilled health professional density and hospital beds in relation to its population, and the percentage of people at risk of impoverishment due to surgical care.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/spores-healthcare-system-best-value-and-satisfaction-falls-behind-providing-access-study

But

Overall, Singapore’s healthcare model topped Philips’ measure of healthcare value with a score of 54.61. Australia and Germany followed behind with scores of 52.59 and 50.93 respectively. The report evaluates value by averaging each country’s healthcare access, satisfaction and efficiency scores.

But waz the point of being number 1 when access is below the average bear.

Btw, TOC, TRE while cheering on PJ thum and friends and supporting the repeal of s377A, ignored this bread-and-butter failure of the PAP administration: Advice to cybernuts writing in TOC, TRE etc

The PAP is lucky in its enemies. With enemies like these, how can S’pore not be a de facto one-party state. Sad.

PM, PAP should remember what world’s richest man said

In Political governance, Public Administration on 09/09/2018 at 10:56 am

Given former PM’s comments his comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”, it’s surprising that the PM and the PAP are ignoring what the world’s richest man said

“Experiments are by their very nature prone to failure. But a few big successes compensate for dozens and dozens of things that didn’t work,” said Mr Jeff Bezos in 2014.

FT

I was reminded of this when I read

Mr Alfred Tan said that the PAP still refuses to acknowledge the policy blunder [about HDB leases]. He said that one of the key basic disciplines in problem solving is admitting that there is a problem. Only when there is an admission of misjudgment can the first step be taken towards a real and meaningful resolution and rectification of the problem.

“Is the PAP government prepared to man up and admit this misstep?” Mr Tan asked.

http://yoursdp.org/…/sdp_calls_out_out_of_t…/2018-09-08-6257

Dr Chee

 

Pay And Pay in action

In Public Administration on 07/09/2018 at 10:59 am

Yes taking a break from commenting on the useful dupes*, PJ Thum (as rich as the Youngs of Crazy Rich Asians fame) and his side-kick Hirsten.

Sorry for the aside. The constructive, nation-building media, NOT Terry’s Online Channel** report that social enterprise hawker centres use PAP’s SOPs to make hawkers Pay And Pay.

They were introduced three years ago with the aim of keeping food prices low for consumers, among other social objectives.

But the jury is still out on not-for-profit, social enterprise hawker centres, as they came under the spotlight recently after food critic and consultant K F Seetoh raised concerns about how they were run.

Mr Seetoh said in a post on his Makansutra website that hawkers at such centres have to pay an average of S$4,000 a month in rent due to extra expenses that included coin-changing services, charges for crockery washing, collection and return, as well as a fee for spot-checks on food quality and operation.

This monthly rental fee is higher than that of popular centres such as Maxwell Food Centre managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA), he said.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/not-all-can-stomach-social-enterprise-hawker-centres-stall-owners-call-flexibility-lower

To add insult to injury no freedom on to of costs:

Other policies have also led some to question the way these social enterprise hawker centres are being run. Among those that have not gone down well with hawkers include requirements to keep their stalls open at least 12 hours, forking out monthly fees for cashless or self-payment kiosks, as well as having to pay for marketing and publicity efforts.


*Chris K posted on FB

The philosopher and sometime novelist G.K Chesterton once noted,

“Evil always wins through the strength of its splendid dupes; and there has in all ages been a disastrous alliance between abnormal innocence and abnormal sin.”

The PAP is always lucky to have its “splendid dupes” among its critics and opponents. If you think “splendid dupes” is too cheem, then use the more common “useful fools”. The fools should give their brains a chance and not fall in love with the sound of their own voices.

**To be fair to Terry, he’s a one-man show and swamped with “contributions” from the friends of PJ, Kisten and Jovolan. So much so, that he published a piece saying flat owner does not own HBD flat because cannot rent via Airbnb. If that is so, us landed property also don’t own our properties.

 

Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”

In Public Administration on 02/09/2018 at 11:33 am
“Every school being a good school does not mean every school is the same. If every school is the same, every school can’t be a good school.
Ong Ye Kung
Huh?
And to make “Every school a good school” even more meaningless, it’s an aspiration like the Pledge*:
So when we talk about this aspiration or this vision, of every school is a good school, it is really to say, it is possible at some point, every kid can go to a school that suits him or her best and help him or her achieve the best that he or she can be … And that requires every school to be slightly different, to be strong in different areas that play to the strength of the kid. And for that to happen, choice is important.”
Ong Ye Kung is talking cock thru his ass methinks. Time to move Lawrence Wong, good smoke thrower to MoE? Lawrence Wong: a PM-in-waiting
Here’s an interesting article on Doublespeak
Doublespeak: A Weapon Aimed at the Language

Doublespeak is not language. It is anti-language. The purpose of language is to transfer a truth from one mind to another; the purpose of doublespeak is to transfer a falsehood disguised as a truth.

In “Doublespeak” (Harper & Row), William Lutz undertakes to define, analyze and document the term, observing at the outset that it has nothing to do with bad grammar or syntax.

“It is instead a very conscious use of language as a weapon or tool by those in power to achieve their ends at our expense. While some doublespeak is funny, much of it is frightening.”

Lutz says there are four kinds of doublespeak. The first is the simple euphemism, in which a word is used to soften a cruel reality. This use may be benign, as when we say “passed on” or “sleeping with.” The second is jargon, which is useful within a trade or profession, but which may be used to keep outsiders out. The third is gobbledygook, the use of big words and strings of nouns so beloved by bureaucracy. The fourth is inflated language designed to make the ordinary seem extraordinary.

http://articles.latimes.com/1989-11-02/news/vw-112_1_nuclear-weapons

———————————-

*The Aspiration, not the Pledge
“We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity
and progress for our nation.”

Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

In Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 31/08/2018 at 10:56 am

From a TRE reader

In his NDR speech, PM Loong gave an example of his AMK 4-rm residents, trumpeting how their flats can now fetch $400k when they’ve paid only $25k for their units 40 years ago.

Yes, no one will argue about this fact. First owners of HDB flats were able to make a huge profit from their flats purchased decades ago. This is possible only because they bought their flats cheap.

Leong Piah Mann

Yup, it was all about getting in at a great level and riding the Pacific wave.

But now

Govt ‘smartly’ pegged BTO flats to HDB resale price. Resale price is based on the flat’s valuation price. Owners were given high valuation for their units (and you know who valued your HDB and they BS you it’s about demand that your flat cost that much), so resale price kept heading skyward and BTO price follow suit to the delight of the greedy govt.

Entry point is “rigged”. So how to make money?

And what about the sucker buyer?

When PM Loong bragged about how much profit a AMK 4-rm flat first owner can make from selling his flat, PM made himself look so excellent, like a grade A, top notch leader, but he conveniently forgot to mention about the buyer of that resale flat. After paying $400k for an almost 40yrs old flat, how much will the buyer be able to sell his flat for as it continues to age and ending up as govt’s eventually?

Sorry jialat. Liddat why vote PAP so that $$G ministers also can be “Crazy Rich Asians”?


Related posts:

The real truths about public housing  my summary of piece by “Tan Jin Meng, a postgraduate from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He has an interest in social policy and economics.”.

Why many PAP voters are ready to be flipped

New Hope: Why Dr Tambyah can flip PAP voters

——————————————————————————————————–

Leong Piah Mann’s comments in full

A Layman’s View On The Hot HDB Issue

I think people should stop arguing about whether we’re “owners” or “lessees” of HDB flats because the PAP and their lackeys can always defend the govt using all kinds of crooked logics. Fact remains, our HDB flats will belong to the govt after 99 yrs.

In his NDR speech, PM Loong gave an example of his AMK 4-rm residents, trumpeting how their flats can now fetch $400k when they’ve paid only $25k for their units 40 years ago.

Yes, no one will argue about this fact. First owners of HDB flats were able to make a huge profit from their flats purchased decades ago. This is possible only because they bought their flats cheap. This is possible only because our govt 40 yrs ago was genuinely caring. This is possible only because our 1G leaders’ main intention of building public housing was to let citizens have a roof over our heads. The Old Guards weren’t greedy. They didn’t price the HDB flats with the intention to make big profit from citizens or to let citizens make profits from their flats. More importantly, they never buy votes using the HDB flats upgrading or asset enhancement policy as election carrots.

As we can see, the situation now is no longer the same. The present govt has become too greedy that their greed has resulted in our  public housing (amongst others) becoming so costly, in fact too costly!

Govt ‘smartly’ pegged BTO flats to HDB resale price. Resale price is based on the flat’s valuation price. Owners were given high valuation for their units (and you know who valued your HDB and they BS you it’s about demand that your flat cost that much), so resale price kept heading skyward and BTO price follow suit to the delight of the greedy govt.

When PM Loong bragged about how much profit a AMK 4-rm flat first owner can make from selling his flat, PM made himself look so excellent, like a grade A, top notch leader, but he conveniently forgot to mention about the buyer of that resale flat. After paying $400k for an almost 40yrs old flat, how much will the buyer be able to sell his flat for as it continues to age and ending up as govt’s eventually?

Mr Owner is lucky and happy but what about Mr Buyer? If VERS is real, how much will the govt compensate Mr Buyer in 30 yrs’ time? For sure he’s going to make a loss. And what if VERS is just an invincible election carrot? If Mr Buyer is 30 yrs old, by the time he’s 89 yrs old, his $400k would go up in smoke. Why didn’t PM Loong talk about Mr Buyer? Don’t tell me getting paid millions of dollars cannot even foresee such an obvious problem?

I’d definitely applaud the govt if Mr Owner is allowed to sell his flat back to govt at the market value of $400k. Then the govt sells that flat to Mr Buyer at $400k but renew the lease to 99 yrs.

Did the govt not plan to have HIP II? They can even have HIP III and HIP IV to keep the flats in good conditions. Continuous upgrading whenever necessary for our future generations to live in, is this not also being fair to our descendants? If there really is a must to tear down any blocks of flats due to safety reasons, then compensate the residents accordingly with SERS.

Our children and grandchildren are our future generations. Families are getting very small these days. Our children can inherit our old flats and continue to live in them. If our govt genuinely cares and thinks for the people, there’s really no need for all our flats to
go back to the state for the govt to redevelop the land and build new flats.

We first heard that CPF money is not our money. Now we realised our HDB flats will not be our flats eventually. What next?

Apparently the scariest thieves in sg wear white not black. So, Singaporeans beware! Please stop inviting thieves into our house and allow them to freely steal our belongings anymore.

Leong Piah Mann

Smell the smoke? From Indonesia or from the PAP & cybernuts?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 30/08/2018 at 10:34 am

In the last few weeks, the smell of smoke has been getting stronger even though the usually annual haze has yet to show up in the weather stats.

So maybe its juz the PAP throwing smoke and the cybernuts reacting with hot air?

After all I started smelling the smoke when Goh Chok Tong decided to shit and piss on the PAP’s NatDay celebrations with his comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. The subsequent uproar had him back pedalling.

Then came PM’s NDR speech on being frugal (Shumething PM left out in NDR speech/ Reason why?) and the plan to kick the HDB lease expiry issue into the long grass via Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (Vers) which will begin circa 2038

Experts interviewed told TODAY that by airing its thoughts on the complex issue early, the Government achieved another objective: To restore some calm in the HDB resale market, and provide reassurance to homeowners.

https://www.todayonline.com/big-read/big-read-hdb-lease-decay-govts-solutions-not-perfect-theres-light-end-tunnel

This goodie was ignored:

Every HDB flat can also expect to undergo major upgrading twice during its 99-year lease period, with the new Home Improvement Programme (HIP) II rolled out for ageing units at the 60- to 70-year mark.

Then came Larry (Lawrence Wong: a PM-in-waiting) with

Mr Wong had also said earlier this week that even though many details for Vers will not be ready for some time, the Government felt that it “owed” Singaporeans an early explanation on its thinking for the next phase of public housing.

Of course the cybenut mob had to react with hot air of their own drowning out the cold doses of reality that sensible criticks of the PAP like Calvin Cheng (When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life) and Eugene Wee (Best riposte to recent PAP BS) were pouring out to counter the PAP’s smoke.

And then there was “There seems to be a certain sourness on the ground, with more grumbling than usual about issues especially to do with the Government,” a semi-retired ST tua kee observed: “In the many chat groups I belong to, more people seem to be getting worked up.”

“ST Editor panicked over ground sourness urges PAP 4G leaders to do something” screamed Terry’s Online Channel cutting and pasting the ST piece: https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/08/26/st-editor-panicked-over-ground-sourness-urges-pap-4g-leaders-to-do-something/

I’m still thinking if Han Fook Kwang is correct to say the present mood reminds him of the run-up to the 2011

— attributing the public discontent to the “disconnect” between the government leaders and the general public,

— adding “I agree with commentators who have pointed out that overly high ministerial salaries poison the relationship between leaders and the led, reducing it to a transactional one.”

What do you think, is the mood like that in 2011?