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Archive for the ‘Public Administration’ Category

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?

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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”

——————————————————-

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 Manncomments 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?

 

 

Even PAPPy agrees with Eugene Wee on PAP BS

In Political governance, Public Administration on 26/08/2018 at 11:03 am

But first, a beef I have against the Lord of the Rings films is that Peter Jackson left out a very interesting episode almost at the end of the real LOTR. In the last film, after the defeat of the Dark Lord, the Hobbits returned an unchanged shire. In the real LOTR, they returned to a shire where Saruman had taken control of and ruined in revenge for his defeat, and they had to defeat him recalled as the Scouring of the Shire.

Saruman’s sidekick was one Worm who was badly treated by Saruman. He killed Saruman in the end when Saruman went too far in mistreating him: http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Gr%C3%ADma_Wormtongue

Well this post by a PAPpy reminded me of the “Scouring of the Shire” episode and the Worm’s killing of Saruman

Well said! That’s why I said the servants have become self serving. They want the voters to sacrifice for Low wages and Long working hours while they themselves demanded to be well paid.

And “right” sizing not only mean shifting into smaller house to get some retirement fund, but it also means forcing to move out of our home where memories were build upon from childhood.

If we don’t have any emotional attachment to our home we have grow up in, how do they expect us to have any attachment to our homeland?

FB post by PAP fan agreeing with Eugene Wee in Best riposte to recent PAP BS

The really funny thing is that while he’s a fan of the PAP, he claims that he’s no “ultra white” (his term, not mine). He even claims he gets dissed by them.

Best riposte to recent PAP BS

In Political governance, Public Administration on 25/08/2018 at 11:00 am

(Yes, Yes, I know I’m lifting stuff off FB, but the problem is that I’ve been seeing some really great stuff, think Calvin Cheng and now this, that I think I should share.)

One Eugene Wee posted this on FB. From his FB wall, he doesn’t seem to be a frustrated pleb who thinks he deserves to be in the elites i.e. he’s no cybernut like Tan Jee Say or those in TOC or TRE lands. He’s juz one upset S’porean now living in Chiang Mai: lucky guy living in place I might move to when the time is right to check out of Hotel S’pore where I’m living in a three star suite.

Dear Ministers,

When Singaporeans share about their pains of making ends meet or how they are struggling with living costs. The government’s response has consistently been for us to “right-size” or more clearly, downgrade.

The message is simple.

Living in singapore is not cheap, so if you are struggling, reduce your spending, reduce your lifestyle and spend within your means.

Yes frugality is important. But we may not be addressing the underlying issues here.

Singaporeans have worked all their lives; they too have hopes, dreams and ambition. No one wakes up with a dream to downgrade.

For most Singaporeans that I know, they are a hardworking bunch, willing to put in longer hours at work just to bring more to the family table.

They are not asking to buy another Lamborghini, or to stay in orchard road, or have caviar for lunch every day.

They’ve worked long hours in hopes that they can give their kids access to the best education, tutors to help the kids catch up with homework and maybe fund those rare family outings.

Most do not have much, but one thing that they have is a love for the nation. The same love, the same passion, the same commitment flows through our veins, as it did for our forefathers who brought this country to where it is today.

It is in us, that we understand that a minimum wage will affect our global competitiveness; so we have opted for lowered wages to keep the country attractive to investors and keep Singapore at the peak.

We take on these sacrifices, not because we like it, but we know it is for a bigger cause.

If you take the trains at nights, you will see exhausted fathers and mothers, after a hard day’s work, taking a crowded late night train home; often only to reach home after their child is already asleep.

That is the sacrifice we put in, plow in and give on a daily basis; because this is home.

But here is where we see the disconnect.

After we have accepted lower wages, after living with less, after sacrificing time with our families; now when we get old, we are asked to right-size” or even consider going to JB to retire.

It hurts our older folks, because this is home.

And instead of finding solutions, you we ask our forefathers aka the Merdeka generation to leave Singapore, their home.

Now for the rest of us, it gradually becomes apparent that there seems to be a different narrative when it comes to the general population and the top civil servants.

Let me explain.

When it comes to ministerial salaries, we justify that we need to pay Ministers well. The argument changes, it is no longer about frugality, but about meeting lifestyle needs.

Slowly, we see the argument going up another notch, proposing that we ought to be pegging our civil servants salary against the top earners in corporate Singapore.

Suddenly, it’s no longer about lifestyle need, but a lucrative career in politics.

We talk about the need to attract the top talents and the argument is that if we don’t offer more, these top talents will refuse to switch from the corporate world to the Civil service.

Well, I think this may actually be a good thing. It may actually help to sift out the ones who serve the country for public good and not the ones who hop on the bandwagon simply because it pays well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for paying our civil servants well, but in doing so, we are also looking for leaders who are driven by conviction, competence and compassion.

And definitely not leaders who are so accustomed to a high life, so disconnected with the ground that one can – so carelessly – suggest that people who earn less than half a million, are “mediocre”.

It’s good to be reminded that the “mediocre” Singaporeans are the ones who have opted to go without a minimum wage. It’s the “mediocre” that have kept the country attractive to investors. And these “mediocre” Singaporean form 95% of the population that built the foundational blocks of our country.

If “mediocre” meant a generation of Singaporeans who love, bleed and gave sacrificially for the country, maybe its also time the leaders joined us in being “mediocre”, and maybe “right-size” a little.

When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life

In Political governance, Public Administration on 24/08/2018 at 10:55 am

Have to agree with Calvin (again)

After posting PM talked cock I came across a FB post by Calvin Cheng on the PAP’s BS reasoning on ministerial salaries. As I see it he’s saying that that being a minister has turned turned from a calling into a cushy job for life.

Calvin Cheng
August 16 at 6:43 PM ·

I have argued consistently that the leaders of a country should be well-paid and Singapore gets it right, albeit for different reasons that the Government gives.

However, I think that the debate on Ministerial salaries will never end as long as outdated justifications keep getting trotted out.

Firstly, paying high salaries to prevent corruption may have been a good reason 20 to 30 years ago when we were a developing country. But if after 53 years of nation building and education , and as a developed nation, if our leaders have to be paid well in order for them not to be corrupt, it is bloody tragic. The leaders of other developed countries are paid less than Singapore leaders but are not any less incorruptible.

Secondly, paying high to attract talent from the private sector and/or prevent government talent from leaving is also highly doubtful. There is a Chinese saying 隔行如隔山. A different profession is like a different mountain.

It means that each profession takes time to master, and a superstar highly paid lawyer may not make a superstar government minister. And vice versa – a superstar career technocrat may not succeed in the private sector. In fact, some of the best paid professionals on Shenton Way are traders who make millions of dollars, but I am pretty sure their skills are not transferable to governance. Also, a good trader is paid more than a bad trader, a good lawyer is paid more than a bad lawyer, but that doesn’t mean that the trader is mediocre compared to the lawyer – some professions are just paid more than others.

Which brings me to why I think leaders should be paid well.

I think that Governance is an expertise in itself and I am of the school of thought that technocrats should run a country.

I do not subscribe to the whole ‘servant’ and ‘sacrifice’ rhetoric – these are things leaders all over the world say to be popular. After the end of absolute monarchies as a system of government, who wants to be lorded over by arrogant leaders? So the whole ‘humility’ “I am your servant” rhetoric is served by elected leaders all over.

In truth, I don’t need to be served. I don’t need leaders to make a ‘sacrifice’. Just run the country well – make sure that people have jobs, healthcare, education, good infrastructure and are happy. It is the most important job in the every country and thus should be the most highly paid. But in a democracy, the people reserve the right to sack them every few years, and it should also be the most insecure job. The people must be brave enough to vote a Minister out if he is not doing his job every 5 years.

Finally, what about other developed countries? They seem to be doing well even though their leaders are paid much less.

In other rich, developed countries, elected leaders are either 1) already rich people going for power or 2) career politicians. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but in general I think in developed democracies, power is diffused and things work in spite of the government instead of because of it.

I would rather we pay more, make sure we elect the best technocrats to run the country instead of hoping for a benign rich person, or a capable career hack.

But stop saying that it is to prevent corruption, or to attract high-paying professionals from the private sector, or prevent ministers from leaving for the private sector.

The people know it is BS and the more you say it, the more the issue of high ministerial pay will never go away.

Just be upfront: it is the most important job in the country, let’s pay them very well, but every 5 years if they don’t perform well, sack them.

MoE got think like this? Our teachers?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 22/08/2018 at 6:25 am

I came across this interesting Canadian idea.

Let’s start with the wrong answer

Exams have traditionally been used to test the abilities of students, while their results when aggregated are often used by parents and inspectors to judge the quality of schools.

In Canada, with an educational system that rates very highly in international assessments, administrations have adopted a very different approach.

FT

I doubt if our education system does this:

Schools and teachers focus less on celebrating correct answers, and more on interpreting how to respond to the most common incorrect responses. That allows them to understand areas of weakness in understanding, so they can reinforce aspects of the curriculum.

The “PAP is always right” attitude doesn’t allow such an approach. 

And even many 70% KPKBing that our education system doesn’t help kids get creative? Hey it’s the PAP system, stupid.

Related post: More qns for education minister

 

New Hope: Getting the cybernuts to sit down and shut up

In Public Administration on 13/08/2018 at 10:21 am

If PM that confident that govt services are that good, in his his NatDay Rally speech he will announce that the govt will be developing anlaunching an app (Designed by one Li?) like this

The Watani app is touted as “a mobile application that enables citizens, residents and visitors to evaluate public services, rate their satisfaction level, and contribute to the ongoing efforts focused on improving public services”.

It seems possible that users of the map-based app will be able to rate its own operator, the National Centre for Measuring the Performance of Public Agencies, as part of a national data-gathering programme to “help decision-makers come to the right choices”.

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-45097440

Seriously, this app will show that Lim Tean, TOC, TRE, the Indians Idiots (Sorry keep forgeting that Andrew Loh is the token Chinese there now) and other anti-PAP cybernuts are talking cock about bad, detoriating public services.

I for one will rate SingHealth very highly except when it takes 45 minutes after appointed time to see GP (To be fair very rare: nowadays 15 minutes delay is the norm). Or when they screw up the billing but then make things inconvenient for me for not settling “on time”. To be fair, staff don’t order one to pay first before providing service, but the system is designed to inconvenience “defaulters”.

And I’ll rate public tpt pretty high because I use it at non-peak times.

What do you think of the chances of this app appearing here.

 

Why many PAP voters are ready to be flipped

In Political economy, Public Administration on 06/08/2018 at 11:28 am

After I wrote Akan datang here: A six-figure salary is ‘low income’ I remembered an observation that I kept forgetting to blog on. And I promptly forgot about it until yesterday after I wrote Why anti-PAP Save S’pore Fund won’t work.

I keep getting the sense from talking to young S’poreans and their parents and grandparents that more and more young S’poreans are asking out loud: “Can I get a job that will actually pay me enough to live on (let alone be able to have a family someday)?”

And their parents and grandparents fear that their children’s (or grandchildren’s) lives will not be better and more prosperous than their own: it’ll be worse, a lot worse. Many moons ago, one P (for Politician) Ravi (Remember him?) told me that his fear for his children’s future led him to stray from the narrow, white road of Hard Truths, even though he, his siblings and his mum had benefited from the PAP govt policies: the policies, combined with their efforts and a bit of luck, took them out from poverty. But he didn’t think the PAP’ govt’s policies will ensure that his children’s lives will be better and more prosperous than his own.

The Singapore Dream of the 5Cs of condominiums, cars, country clubs, cash and credit cards are no more. Most young S’poreans know they can’t afford  condominiums, cars and country clubs, and they’ll be always short of cash (all in CPF leh they’ll moan). And they know that maxing out on their credit cards is a sure way to bankruptcy: PAP govt tot them to count.

———————————————————————

NUS survey bears out my observation

Out of 25 aspects about living in the country, Singaporeans ranked the affordability of cars as being the least satisfied with, followed by the affordability of properties, cost of living, ratio of locals to foreigners, and affordability of healthcare.

“Increasingly (over the years), they are upset about the affordability of cars and properties, so you can surmise from there that they are concerned with the issue,” said Tan.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singaporeans-less-satisfied-quality-life-democratic-rights-nus-survey-130122483.html


So it’s not surprising that the young have different aspirations: an observation made by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, the Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs. The young are realistic of the possibilities of life under the PAP govt: only the rich and the anointed ones get richer, the rest pay and pay. Their parents and grandparents are also realistic about the young’s prospects.

The support for Dr Tan Cheng Bock in PE 2011 and his enduring popularity (despite the PAP’s increase of the popular vote in GE 2015 to 70% from 60%) shows that there are unhappy PAP voters out there waiting to be tapped: Why the PAP fears Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

Therein lies the opportunity for the Oppo.

But then the PAP can rely on the likes of Lim Tean: A disgraceful chamber of horrors and Silence of Goh Meng Seng (self-proclaimed Indian chiefs with no Indians behind them) to keep S’poreans fearful and contemptuous of a liberal democratic alternative to one-party rule.

With enemies like these two, how can the PAP ever lose? Sad.

Let’s hope they take the hints from Dr Tan Cheng Bock:

[S]ome may also need to stand down and serve from the backroom if it is for the good of the country.

I believe that the men and women I met yesterday, were more than willing to make way for better men and women who would stand in their place. They have guts. They have put themselves out there.

Somehow I don’t think they will. What do you think?

 

 

 

 

Time to investigate if housing developers screw public by colluding?

In Economy, Property, Public Administration on 29/07/2018 at 10:47 am

“Unsold number of private properties hit 3-year high as prices continue to rise” screamed headline from a department of the constructive nation-building media.

Bit strange that prices go up when there’s plenty of unsold stock. Shumething not right.

Then this caught my attention (emphasis mine)

Ms Christine Li, senior director of research at real-estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, attributed the three-year high of unsold numbers of private housing units to the likelihood that developers are spacing out their launches, to avoid direct competitions from nearby projects due to the increased supply.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/private-home-prices-climbed-34-second-quarter-2018

Time for the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore to investigate if there is illegal collusion or other illegal practices among developers that cause housing prices to be higher than if there were no collusion etc. They juz squeezed Grab’s balls,

Another reason why the PAP rules OK

In Political governance, Public Administration on 28/07/2018 at 11:17 am

Another area where S’pore is tops, because of the PAP govt, is in “state capacity”.

Research from political scientist Lant Pritchett and others has shown that of the world’s 102 “historically developing” states, only eight have managed to develop what he describes as “high capacity” governments. True, three of those — Brunei, Singapore and South Korea — are in Asia. But Pritchett’s bar is actually pretty low: a high capacity government, he suggests, is one with institutions roughly as good as those found in Uruguay.

Worse, it is all too common to see periods of rapid state capacity degradation. Almost no country has managed to follow Singapore and persistently improve its government, decade after decade. Between 1996 and 2012, for instance, Pritchett’s work shows that the quality of Malaysia’s state declined moderately, while the Philippines declined rapidly. Both countries’ performances over the last five years seems likely to have been even worse.

Part of the problem stems from a widespread misunderstanding about what state capacity actually means. At some level a well-functioning government does indeed need basic capabilities, such as the ability to fund and run an army, or to make the railways run on time. But as James Robinson argued at a conference I attended in India in mid-June, it also means a state that has popular legitimacy amongst its people.

States work better when their citizens, and in particular the powerful middle classes, voluntarily pay their taxes and obey laws without the need for expensive enforcement, because they view their government as acting broadly in the common interest. By contrast, government works less well when the elite is seen to be largely serving their self-interests, as was the case with the obvious venality of Malaysia’s ruling party over the last decade.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Asian-governments-must-escape-the-state-capacity-trap

What is state capacity?

State capacity has become something of a buzzword amongst policy makers trying to understand how countries develop. It underpins the work of MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Chicago University’s James Robinson, whose celebrated 2012 book “Why Nations Fail” argued that good institutions support development, rather than other factors like geography or culture. The idea of state capacity has also found widespread favor in bodies like the World Bank, as well as amongst influential thinkers like Arvind Subramanian, India’s chief economic adviser.

No wonder 60-70% vote PAP despite PAP cock-ups like

— MRT system that is not first world

— S’pore like this?

— The real truths about public housing

— Akan Datang: Why CPF Life payments will begin at 85

— MAS gives finger to CSA’s CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAS gives finger to CSA’s CEO

In Internet, Public Administration on 25/07/2018 at 11:00 am

Remember CSA’s CEO downplaying the loss of NRIC numbers etc (Is Computer Security Agency CEO talking thru his ass about stolen info?)?

Should you be worried?

In short, not really, said the authorities. CSA chief executive David Koh said the stolen information are “basic demographic data”.

Constructive, nation-building CNA

Well it’s now clear that the central bank for one thinks he’s talking cock

“With immediate effect, all financial institutions should not rely solely on the types of information stolen (name, NRIC number, address, gender, race, and date of birth) for customer verification,” MAS said in a statement.

“Additional information must be used for verification before undertaking transactions for the customer. This may include, for instance, One-Time Password, PIN, biometrics, last transaction date or amount, etc.”

 

 

Mom trying to out BS CSA’s CEO

In Economy, Public Administration on 24/07/2018 at 10:45 am

Here I reported that CSA’s CEO downplayed the importance of the loss of NRIC numbers, names and addresses: Is Computer Security Agency CEO talking thru his ass about stolen info?

Well Mom is almost as bad in its PR BS. After the constructive, nation-building digital newspaper belonging to Mediacorp asked Mom to comment on the following

Hundreds of IBM Singapore employees are being laid off, amid the technology giant’s global restructuring efforts.

The firm is cutting manpower from its Singapore Technology Park, a manufacturing plant at Tampines, as it is relocating manufacturing of its Power Systems product to a facility in Guadalajara, Mexico.

IBM staff and subcontractors told TODAY that at least 200 people were being laid off, and they comprised Singaporeans and foreigners working in a variety of positions. They included blue-collar workers, professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs).

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/ibm-singapore-lays-workers-its-tampines-plant

a Mom spokesperson said:

 “We do not comment on any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.”

Excuse me, people have been retrenched. It’s not

any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.

It has happened. It;s not

any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.

Doubtless the Mom spokesperson and the CEO of CSA are from Bizarro S’pore like PM and Tharman:

PM visiting from Bizarro S’pore?

Tharman also from Bizarro S’pore?

Is Computer Security Agency CEO talking thru his ass about stolen info?

In Internet, Media, Public Administration on 22/07/2018 at 10:32 am

I went WTF when I read this from the constructive, nation-building CNA:

Should you be worried?

In short, not really, said the authorities. CSA chief executive David Koh said the stolen information are “basic demographic data”.

“We are watching to see if anything appears on the Internet both in the open and in some of the less well-known websites,” he added, noting that this has occasionally happened in past data breaches.

“But considering the type of data that’s been exfiltrated, it is – from our professional experience – unlikely that these will appear, because there is no strong commercial value to these types of data.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singhealth-cyberattack-what-you-need-to-know-10549096

I repeat WTF. NRIC numbers were stolen as were names and addresses. Before this loss of info, we had been told by the PAP govt and private sector cyber security experts that the NRIC number is very important personal data and that when a criminal has access to our i/c number, address and name, lialat: could be vulnerable to all kinds of online crime. So this not true isit?

I had also read in an earlier CNA report

[C]ybersecurity expert, Mr Leonard Kleinman, pointed out that medical data contains a trove of information – from personally identifiable data to financial details – “that can be used to create a highly sought-after composite of an individual”.

Such pilfered data can fetch a high price on the dark Web, with each entry potentially selling for US$50 to US$100 more than stolen credit card data, said Mr Kleinman, who is the chief Cyber Security Advisor at RSA Asia Pacific and Japan.

“As it could contain any amount and level of information, healthcare institutions are among the most sought-after industries by criminals who can be motivated by a multitude of possible reasons,” he said.

The executive also cautioned that the fallout of such a hack may not be immediately felt either, as it could “take months” for the data to be first sold, then used.

“Given the nature of this attack, it is hard to say exactly what the end game is, especially when the attackers haven’t identified themselves,” Mr Kleinman added.

Darktrace Asia Pacific managing director Sanjay Aurora told Channel NewsAsia in an email that it can only speculate on the hacker’s motives, but medical information, like other kinds of personal data, can be easily monetised.

That said, beyond making a quick buck, Mr Aurora said a more “sinister reason” could be to cause widespread disruption and systemic damage to the healthcare service or to undermine trust in a nation’s competency to keep personal data safe.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singhealth-cyberattack-likely-nation-state-medical-data-price-10549372

So is the PAP govt downplaying the importance of the loss of info?

And if it is, why isn’t the constructive, nation-building media not signing from the same sheet?

PAP’s kung fu with tax payers’ money cont’d

In Political governance, Public Administration on 18/07/2018 at 10:59 am

In response to SDP’s chairman’s views quoted in PAP’s kung fu with tax payers’ money 

Even though Dr Tambyah says he reiterated that ‘it’s your money that went into this wheelchair’, his patient ‘refused to accept’ it.

“This was a guy I’d been looking after for 10 years. He knew me. We got on with each other very well. But at the same time, he felt indebted to the ruling party politician because she was able to, in his mind, provide him with mobility.”

the retired NUS professor I quoted extensively in  PAP’s cock-ups since the 1980s  and Why the PAP thinks it is infallible argues that the SDP chairman is peeing on the wrong tree

Tambyah expressed himself badly, and may also have the wrong conceptual framework: the guy obviously knows that government spends taxpayer money, but it is other people’s money which the government collected and spent on his behalf; why should the guy not feel appreciative?

it is the government’s job to take money from those who have some to spare, and spend it where it is needed; there is no sin in that, just question of how well it does so; if Tambyah thinks there is something wrong with this, then he has the wrong conceptual framework about government; but I think it is probably a case of laziness: “u r spending our money” is an easy stick to grab; it can sometimes work, e.g., Roy Ngern’s “give back our CPF” did work for a while – nearly launched several new political careers; similarly, PJ Thum’s “government tells lies”, Kirsten’s “SG is repressive, becoming more so” are for the moment still working

Wondering out loud: maybe in treating Mad Dog Chee, Dr Paul got infected? Juz wondering. Juz saying. LOL.

Seriously, I think Dr Paul has yet to be bitten by Mad Dog. He was trying to make the point that the PAP works very hard to personalise govt funding to its advantage, using the example of his patient

(Minister) Grace Fu gave us this wheelchair.’ Then I said, ‘She didn’t give you the wheelchair. This is paid for by your taxes’.

“He said, ‘No, no no, she came to my house with an entourage of people, with her photographers and she gave me the wheelchair’.”

 

 

Why I not KPKBing about MediShield Life

In Public Administration on 18/07/2018 at 5:34 am

… while he feels that MediShield Life is inadequate in terms of making healthcare affordable to the masses, he acknowledges that it is “a huge advance in that it took in people with pre-existing conditions”.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/paul-tambyah-chairman-singapore-democratic-party-on-the-record-10527550

It’s really a big step from Hard Truths that it took in people with pre-existing conditions. The PAP is slowly but surely adapting itself to the realities of a modern, developed society.

Declaration of interest: I paid “peanuts” for my second cataract operation (first one was $1000 ++) because it was heavily covered under Medishield because it was the second eye operation within a yr.

Related post: Will Gleneagles sandwich cost me a fortune?

PAP’s kung fu with tax payers’ money

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/07/2018 at 11:00 am

PAP knows how to make yr money its money and make you grateful for it spending money on you.

Those were my tots when I read Dr Paul Tambyah:

[t]he PAP’s ability to mobilise state resources in other ways is “very, very difficult to try to go up against”, he says.

“During my first clinic session after the election, a patient of mine who I’ve been treating for many years wheeled himself into the room in his motorised wheelchair and he said, ‘Doc, you guys ran a good campaign. Too bad you all lost.’ I said, ‘Thank you. By the way, where do you live?’ Then he said, ‘We live in Yuhua, but you know, (Minister) Grace Fu gave us this wheelchair.’ Then I said, ‘She didn’t give you the wheelchair. This is paid for by your taxes’.

“He said, ‘No, no no, she came to my house with an entourage of people, with her photographers and she gave me the wheelchair’.”

Even though Dr Tambyah says he reiterated that ‘it’s your money that went into this wheelchair’, his patient ‘refused to accept’ it.

“This was a guy I’d been looking after for 10 years. He knew me. We got on with each other very well. But at the same time, he felt indebted to the ruling party politician because she was able to, in his mind, provide him with mobility.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/paul-tambyah-chairman-singapore-democratic-party-on-the-record-10527550

Related post written in Sept 2012: Time for Opposition to rethink assumptions, lest it repents after next GE

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

In Political governance, Public Administration on 16/07/2018 at 11:19 am

A recent comment on TRE set me thinking

NotMyProblem:
July 8, 2018 at 11:30 am (Quote)
Keep information in the dark reminds me of my schooling days.
When I had a “F” for my examination, I would not dare to show to my parents.
But when I had an “A”, the first thing I would do was flashing my result to the whole family.
Do you think this is similar with PAP’s result?
PAP being such an arrogant govt, do you think it would hide something that was good? Don’t you see the amount of skeletons in the closets which required so many million dollars Ministers to keep them hidden.

Many people vote for the PAP because they are happy, or least contented, with the results as they perceive them of the PAP govt’s policies: PAP has lost “output legitimacy”

But talk to them about whether they trust the PAP govt to tell the truth about anything and their attitude can be summed up by the above quote, in particular

When I had a “F” for my examination, I would not dare to show to my parents.
But when I had an “A”, the first thing I would do was flashing my result to the whole family.
Do you think this is similar with PAP’s result?

The PAP’s “need to know” attitude, trumpeting of successes and stifling of criticism no matter how reasonable, makes even PAP voters wonder about what we are not being told.

Why do you think the PAP until very recently had to resort to sue and sue? (Why PAP (and PMs) sue and sue). They know the trust factor is not high despite 70% voting for the continuance of a one-party state.

The bottom line for the PAP govt especially the 4th generation ministers is that they should

— realise that the PAP is in the stagnation phase (Is PAP in “decline and disintegration”?);

— stop talking cock about Hard Truths and how great is the system Harry created; and

— start fixing the flaws in the system starting with the MRT system: Public tpt: PAP ahead of the curve and flew off the rails? Related: PAP’s cock-ups since the 1980s.

They shouldn’t expect their clownish and nuttyenemies like Lim Tean (Lim Tean: A disgraceful chamber of horrors) and Meng Seng (Silence of Goh Meng Seng) to continue helping them keep the 70% onside.

 

 

 

The PAP way is the American corporate way

In Corporate governance, Political governance, Public Administration on 15/07/2018 at 11:21 am

They both exercise “extreme ownership”: Ownself check ownself.This way really delivers compared to the British way of checks and balances.

At more established US companies, managers often practise “extreme ownership” — which Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, the Seals-turned-management gurus, define as taking charge and holding yourself accountable. They have to. There is no one else to do the job.

When he was not writing books or building the world’s biggest chipmaker, Grove of Intel weighed in on this perpetual corporate governance debate: “The separation of the two jobs goes to the heart of the conception of a corporation. Is a company a sandbox for the CEO, or is the CEO an employee? If he’s an employee, he needs a boss, and that boss is the board. The chairman runs the board. How can the CEO be his own boss?”

That comment has since been quoted in numerous shareholder proposals to install an independent chairman, including at Amazon, Kroger, Target, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, ExxonMobil, Wendy’s and AbbVie. They have all been defeated. A report this week by Equilar, the pay and governance consultants, found that 38 of the top 500 US public companies last year had proposals to install an independent chair. All failed.

At seven of the top 10 US companies by market value, there is no independent chair. Most shareholders are content to give the CEO a sandbox if he builds a nice enough castle.

Contrast that with the UK, where independence is deemed essential by the corporate governance code; chairs even feel empowered to pontificate in public on the direction of their companies.

This may play well with corporate governance experts. It does not seem to help performance. The top four companies on the S&P 500 are now worth more than the entire FTSE 100.

FT

Why the PAP thinks it is infallible

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 13/07/2018 at 11:20 am

In response to PAP’s cock-ups since the 1980s where I wrote:

one is left wondering why the Oppo parties couldn’t and can’t (WP is expected to lose Aljunied in next GE) make a more serious dent in the PAP’s popularity with 60- 70% of the voters? Only Tan Cheng Bock (ex-PAPpy) can.

Is it repression and fear?

Or is the PAP juz lucky what with the quality of Oppo leaders …?

the retired NUS professor who had listed the PAP’s cock-ups since the 80s, I quoted, answered

[T]he leninist government model assumes a network of best talents that are attracted by a good ruling ideology and by distribution of material rewards from national resources controlled by the group – so by definition, opposition parties are left with inferior talent and lack resources to effectively compete; elections are meant to be “exams” in which citizens give the government a “mark” – a low mark leads it to improve itself through genuine effort, not intimidation, bribery, propaganda; you can contrast the situation in neighbouring countries to see that failure to observe these rules eventually leads to breakdown

I think he’s right. Remember our Harry liked to compare the PAP’s system of choosing leaders to the Roman Catholic church’s method of choosing leaders: cardinals elect a pope who in turn appoints the cardinals. And the pope like the church is always right. Sounds like PAP?

He went on to make a more telling observation

I also point out that the various past “blunders” I discussed are already baked into the system, and there is no simple way to reverse them; whoever currently running the country can only take the situation as it exists and work from there onwards

Harry and the rest of the Old Guard, contrary to the belief of many S’poreans, therefore bear responsibility for the problems we now face. It’s not all the fault of their successors, even if they are not as good as the Old Guard

PAP’s cock-ups since the 1980s

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/07/2018 at 9:53 am

In Is PAP in “decline and disintegration”? I wrote that PAP was in stagnation phase that began in 1990

A regular reader, a retired NUS professor lists the things the PAP got wrong since the 1984.

[S]everal major PAP blunders started in 1984 during the election campaign of that year

1. elected president: LKY had already reached 60 by that year, and this was then the public sector retirement age; so he had to face the question whether he was stepping down; the thinking at the time was to move to the presidency – under the then constitution, parliament would decide; he being who he is, the position would not be merely ceremonial, but it must be his legal background that made him uncomfortable, and a decision was made to enhance the position; the resulting controversy led to his undertaking not to be the first elected president, Goh Chok Tong’s decision to invent the post of Senior Minister to keep LKY in the cabinet, the elected president Ong Teng Chong’s conflict with cabinet, regular embarrassment about a 3-men committee rejecting candidates causing a no contest, etc

LKY could have just retired in 1990, started a newspaper column (modern idea would be blog), a charity/research foundation, a senate, and he would have remained the most influential person in the country, taking into consideration his son and his 2nd cousin were both in cabinet; it was quite unnecessary for him to feel insecure about his own place in singapore society even if he held no elected office; if he had been a blogger posting articles daily, every important person in singapore, the cabinet ministers especially, would have eagerly read them as soon as they were posted

2. HDB asset enhancement: during the campaign LKY got annoyed by opposition claiming “your HDB apartmen[t] is on 99-year lease; you dont really own it”, and announced “HDB will stop building in opposition districts”; at the time I actually did not understand why that should cause anyone to worry; but the Northeast MRT line provided part of the explanation – no population increase, no new infrastructure; the Mathias Yao–Chee Soon Juan Straits Times Forum series of letters provided some more – poor infrastructure, lower HDB value; with HDB apartments traded on the open market (previous owners are allowed to go back and buy a new apartment from HDB after 5 years).. Soon Permanent Residents, who are not entitled to buy from HDB, buying on the open market caused the HDB asset values to rise beyond affordability

3. CPF: with people living longer, the idea of delaying CPF money return was raised in 1984 and initial reaction was negative; again LKY was annoyed; soon the idea of minimum sum was adopted, later compulsory annuity, which would have been workable if most people can still get a substantial part out in cash at 55; with the weak salary increases in the past decade or so (partly because of foreign labour, e.g., IT used to have highest paid new graduates, before the industry bought in PRCs and Indians) and low interest rate, more and more people found themselves not meeting the minimum sum requirement, and every increase in minimum sum value makes more people angry

2011

[M]uch of PAP’s recent electoral adversity was self inflicted; the major examples I recall

1. James Gomez case 2006: LKY, Wong Kan Seng and George Yeo spent far too much time talking about a minor issue (LHL and GCT both kept quiet – they could afford to); the Aljunied voters punished George Yeo, and WP identified the electorate as vulnerable, put effort into the ground work and won it decisively in 2011

2. Tin Pei Lin case 2011: it was sound strategy to find some younger, especially female, faces, but the party should have made the effort to find someone with a track record as a political operator in her own right, not just a polished presenter with management consultancy experience recommended by a personal connection; I also believe if they introduced her at the end, after people have grown bored with all those familiar CVs of civil servants, generals, professionals, executives, etc, she might have enjoyed a better reception, so they botched the presentation in addition to selection

3. Joo Chiat case 2011: it was also sound strategy to replace old by young, but Charles Chong is older than Chen Soo Sen so the change could not be justified on that ground; Chen also enjoyed certain personal support which did not readily transfer via party loyalty; Workers Party ended with nearly 50%

4. Hougang case 2012: Teo Chee Hean dwelt far too long on Yaw Shin Leong’s personal and business failings, which Yaw’s former supporters preferred not to be reminded of, whereas upbeat talks about the wonderful things PAP would do for Hougang if elected, might have more fully exploited the unexpected opportunity; after the Hougang moralizing, the Palmer case was a particularly hard blow – PAP candidates are like anyone else

[W]hether the party would learn from these mistakes, and whether it would make new ones in 2016, is of course to be seen; given the resources available; it certainly has the potential of doing much better

Looking at the above, one is left wondering why the Oppo parties couldn’t and can’t (WP is expected to lose Aljunied in next GE) make a more serious dent in the PAP’s popularity with 60- 70% of the voters? Only Tan Cheng Bock (ex-PAPpy) can.

Is it repression and fear?

Or is the PAP juz lucky what with the quality of Oppo leaders: clowns like Lim Tean (Lim Tean: A disgraceful chamber of horrors), Goh Meng Seng (Silence of Goh Meng Seng) and Pritam Singh (WP distributing unsafe food (pass expiry date) and getting financial advice of cybernut resulting in having to take down misleading video after Lawrence Wong kicked Bayee’s ass)?

Email yr answers pls.

 

Is PAP in “decline and disintegration”?

In Economy, Malaysia, Political governance, Public Administration on 09/07/2018 at 2:08 pm

Seems that Abdullah Badawi had told an adviser after the premier was compelled to step down following the 2008 general election in which the UMNO-led BN’s margins of victory were badly dented:

In the nature of evolution, the former prime minister said, there were four phases in the rise and fall of states and entities: kesedaran (awareness), kebangkitan (emergence), kegemilangan (greatness) and kehancuran (decline and disintegration). When asked what phase he saw UMNO to be in then, Abdullah told the adviser: the last one  ̶  of decline and disintegration. It would take another decade, or two more general elections coinciding with the premiership of his successor, Najib Razak, before this prognosis proved to be an indisputable fact.

http://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/CO18112.pdf?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rsis_publications&utm_content=RSIS+Commentary+112%2F2018+UMNO+Post-Power%3A+What+Now+in+a+Changing+Landscape%3F+by+Yang+Razali+Kassim+

I’m sure the anti-PAP cybernuts will say that the PAP is in the “decline and disintegration” phase, but they have been saying this since cyberspace became polluted by their presence in the mid noughties. And they were saying it post 1959 when they lived in the gutters, drains and toilets of brothels.

Me? I think that Badawi is wrong about four phases: There’s a “stagnation” phase between “greatness” and “decline and disintegration”.

Harry was pretty shrewd to pass the baton to his son and GCT in 1990. By then, the PAP had entered the “stagnation” phase what with Harry getting progressively getting rid of his Old Guard in the name of leadership renewal.

Think of the flawed policies of the teams led by GCT and Harry’s son, and then Harry’s son alone: “asset enhancement”, “FTs by the cattle truck load”, the failures in the public transport system and the many restructuring plans (Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different). I mean why the need for so many since the 1980s? LHL must have drawn up a really bad plan in the 1980s for there to be a need of so many followup plans?

And he’s now PM, what? Meritocracy? What Meritocracy?

Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

We are still in that phase. As for M’sia, it entered that phase with the arrest of Anwar and continued until the day after the 2008 general election. But of course, Badawi wouldn’t admit that he presided over the stagnation that would lead to decline.

The PAP will enter the “decline and disintegration” phase when like the BN it cocks up so badly that it loses its two-thirds parly majority (BN lost this in 2008). Until then dream on cybernuts. Or should it be wank on, what?

After all, in the coming GE. WP is expected to lose Aljunied GRC: How to ensure no GST rise. It’ll then only have fortress Hougang. As for the SDP, so long as S’poreans don’t want to get rabies, it’ll be unelectable. The later Mad Dog Chee realises this, the happier the PAP will be.

Why no NIMBYism here

In Infrastructure, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 08/07/2018 at 10:18 am

NIMBYism is a problem in developed countries bar S’pore.

A really bad example of “Not In My Backyard” is Heathrow’s expansion. They’ve been talking about it since the 70s (I first used that airport in 1976). UK’s parliament has finally decided to let Heathrow build a third runaway.The majority of 296 for third runway is welcomed by business and deplored by locals: court challenges are expected.

Here’s someone complaining to the FT about the decision

What utter tripe. Of course the most important question is whether the runway is “needed”, and for this Country, in this Century; the answer is no. There is little to be gained environmentally or financially for the Citizens of the UK. BAA – yes. Transit passengers- yes. BA- yes. Travel operators- yes. But for tax payers, Children who breathe the air, and UK PLC as a whole, who will suffer ever poorer traffic delays and travel costs. Nope. It’s a scam. Like The Privatised Utilities, and the whole Brexit fiasco. Heathrow expansion is a bl33dy scam.

NIMBYism is kept in check in S’pore not because 70% of S’poreans are constructive and nation building, putting the needs of S’pore (as defined by the PAP) before self, but because S’pore is a one-party authoritarian state.

 

Indians prefer to employ Indians

In Public Administration on 04/07/2018 at 10:26 am

It’s not an urban myth or racial stereotyping that countrymen always prefer countrymen.

An analysis of Upwork, for example, found that employers of Indian descent disproportionately sought Indian nationals for their tasks.

Economist

———————————————

Upwork is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely.


Those ang moh tua kees who think the sun shines of Tharman’s ass should be assured that it’s not true that Tharman negotiated the deal with India that allowed Indian FTs in by the truck load via the inter office transfer. It was one Trade and Industry Minister George Yeo.

My experience with S’pore’s digital programme

In Infrastructure, Public Administration on 04/07/2018 at 5:24 am

And Three cheers for PM’s son

The following reminded me that I juz had to related my experience with an initiative of the Digital Government Blueprint

By 2023, citizens and businesses will be able to access all Government services anytime, anywhere on an Internet-enabled device.

Citizens will also be able to complete 90 to 95 per cent of transactions entirely on government websites.

Fresh from announcing the Digital Readiness Blueprint to help every Singaporean navigate a digital future of cashless payments and other innovations last Saturday, the Government laid out its own targets in the Digital Government Blueprint on Tuesday (June 5).

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/nearly-all-govt-services-go-digital-2023-20000-public-servants-be-trained-data-analytics

Well a few years ago, renewing my dogs’ licences went online: no paper at all. Couldn’t  go to the Post Office to pay cash.

It was a pain in the neck following the online procedures (presumably for “security”) and so unnecessary because each “licence” is unique as is the owner’s i/c.

Finally someone realised this and this year renewing the licence was a breeze.

Rumour has it is that it was PM’s son (also rumoured to have become a dog lover two years ago) who sorted this out. Remember he’s in charge of the digital programme.

Whatever, at least dedication to public service runs in PM’s family, unlike in his younger brother’s family where LKY’s grandson pisses and shits on grandpa’s legacy of reforming the judiciary. Sad. Btw, rumour has it that this boy loves dog meat. Sad.

Coming back to dog licences, one has to assume that elderly S’poreans who are not digitally literate or have bad eye sight have to put down their pets and go without the companionship of dogs because the PAP govt wants to do away with paper and go digital. Sad.

Minister Ong wants a camel?

In Public Administration on 03/07/2018 at 4:11 am

The education system which the Government is aiming to develop will be a “combination of the best parts of the Singapore and Swiss systems”, said Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Thursday (June 7).

Mr Ong, who is visiting Switzerland as Education Minister for the third time in as many years, cited the Swiss “dual study system”, which combines classroom study with workplace apprenticeship training, as of particular interest to Singapore.

The participation of industries is another “admirable feature” of the Swiss education system, he added.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/government-aiming-best-singapore-and-swiss-education-system-ong-ye-kung

Well if we manage to combine the Swiss system with our neo Victorian system (very elitist and which is practised today in England only within the private ie public school sector) we have, it’ll be a world first and maybe gd for S’pore. Juz don’t hold yr breath.

Seriously we’ll just have camel, only good for survival in certain conditions.

 

How to make it jialat for HDB owners if got child in RI

In Public Administration on 02/07/2018 at 12:15 pm

Just as how Singapore prevented racial enclaves from forming in its housing estates, the country must avoid the formation of any social enclaves, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Tuesday (June 5).

To that end, the Government will “further refine” the design of precincts and public housing flats to “allow greater social mixing between people of different economic backgrounds”.

“This is especially important as society matures and social mobility and social mixing weaken,” said Mr Chan, who did not elaborate.

Constructive, nation-building media

We have a racial quota for each HDB estate to prevent racial enclaves from forming HDB estates. This upsets Indians, Malay and Eurasians no end because they can only sell to a minority, limiting the value of their flats. Chinese can sell flat to anyone because of their uber majority status: the quota doesn’t affect them.

So maybe to ensure that ensure that there’s a mix of educational abilities in HDB estate, HDB flat owners with one kid in RI or other so-called “elite” schools, can only sell their HDB flats to people with kids in RI or other so-called “elite” schools.

Why Tun M, Anwar, PAP won’t, can’t reform the status quo

In Political governance, Public Administration on 28/06/2018 at 10:36 am

Reformasi is in the air on both sides of the causeway, with even PAP ministers talking of the need to change.

I’m the first to admit that because I’ve had an active interest in M’sia since the 80s, I’m skeptical that A New Hope will be followed by the Return of the Jedi. It’ll be followed by The Empire Strikes Back (though that doesn’t imply the return of BN or UMNO).

As for the PAP, pigs will fly first before the PAP reforms S’pore.

Whatever,

[Alan Blinder, Fed Vice-Chairman when Greenspan was Chairman] draws various lessons[for reforms based on his experiences in helping get Reagan’s 1980s tax reform package passed]. First, start with strong but broad presidential leadership. Second, leave technocrats to design a policy combining effectiveness and simplicity. Third, find some wily political operators with tactical nous to sell it. Fourth, come up with an eye-catching symbol that defines the package (in this case, a massive reduction in the top rate from 50 per cent to 28 per cent). Fifth, allow a degree of backroom bargaining while the deal is constructed. And sixth, make sure the package is agreed as a whole, rather than picked apart by special interests.

Advice and Dissent, by Alan Blinder

Think Tun will do this? I have my doubts. For one, he wants to ensure the continuance of Malay dominance.

And it’s not only Tun who wants to ensure cont’d Malay dominance.

Anwar has assured Malays and other Bumiputras that their rights under the new government would not be sidelined, while stressing to all not to be taken with the false propaganda about the Democratic Alliance Party, which is also part of PH. Like Tun and the DAP, he needs the kilang and cina coolies to clean up the manure created by Tun, himself and Najib.

“Felda and Universiti Teknologi Mara will not be threatened but kangkung professors can’t (be accepted),” Dr Anwar said.

As for the PAP, so long as they worship Harry,  Hard Truths will prevail. Sad. Because Harry between the 1950s and the end of the 1980s had no Hard Truths to guide him. He did what he did to get power, then retain power and in the process help bring material prosperity to S’poreans and S’pore. He changed course several times: from socialist to fascist lite, from democrat to authoritarian, from multiracism to “English and Mandarin tua kee”.

He only tot up Hard Truths when he became goal keeper to keep himself busy because as goal keeper he had little to do other than manage the team. He was the first of the player managers. Sad.

Coming? Cyber law forbidding “anti-state purposes”?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 24/06/2018 at 11:28 am

(Or “Who said “Law should not protect the weakling but make the strong even stronger”)

A law has just been passed in Vietnam which

bans internet users in Vietnam from organising people for “anti-state purposes” and contains sweeping language under which users would not be allowed to “distort history” or “negate the nation’s revolutionary achievements”

FT

Such a law can be used lock up one PJ Thum (What Oxford really says about PJ Thum and Project Southeast Asia) and his side kick one Sonny Liew (Coldstore: Why Harry’s narrative or the highway).

While our Minister for Pets and Police could have said this based on what he has said about the authorities needing more powers

Law should not protect the weakling but make the strong even stronger.

he didn’t.

This was said by Hans Frank’s Hiltler’s personal lawyer immortal words (cf. Konrad Heiden,’The Fuehrer’, p. 567).

Waz the point of Social Service Office and Comcare?

In CPF, Public Administration on 17/06/2018 at 10:54 am

When “Got CPF income” is the excuse for the PAP govt not helping a man in need?

“Got CPF income,” man told: so no help from Social Service Office or ComCare.

So CPF money is not yr money, isit? Going by this, how can the PAP govt dare say “CPF money is your money”?  Govt money isit?

 

Whether he gets aid or not from ComCare or the Social Welfare Office, should not depend on his monthly CPF payout because this payout is from his own savings, doled out to him in drips and drabs, instead of being returned the full saved sum to him, as was once promised, a long time ago. It cannot be considered income. 

Damage control at work but BS missing the point

MSF posted the following on FB on Saturday afternoon. Wah civil servants that hard-working meh?. Feel free to skip the BS and read my take.

Hi everyone

You may have come across a post recently about a ComCare applicant who did not qualify for ComCare Long Term Assistance (LTA).

We would like to share more about the case and our LTA scheme.

The applicant, Mr T, was referred to the Social Service Office (SSO) at Toa Payoh for assistance in Feb 2018.

The SSO assessed Mr T’s needs. To determine how much further assistance he required, the SSO considered his sources of income, money received and support provided by family, friends and the community.

Mr T has been receiving the following support:

1. The monthly rent for his HDB 2-room rental flat of $50 a month (shared by him and 2 other tenants), as well as conservancy fees, are paid for by a Buddhist Temple.

2. Mr T’s weekly kidney dialysis charges are fully covered by National Kidney Foundation (NKF).

3. His taxi trips to the dialysis centre are fully subsidised by an NKF taxi card.

4. The SSO is working with NKF to assess whether he needs more support when he travels to and from his dialysis appointments.

5. He receives full subsidy for his medical treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).

6. TOUCH Home Care provides him 2 daily meals, under MOH’s programme, which are delivered to his home every day.

7. The Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) provides Mr T with monthly food rations.

8. Mr T receives monthly payouts of $620 a month from his CPF Retirement Account, which is sufficient for around 3 years.

9. He receives an additional $550 a month from a close friend who lives overseas.

10. From Feb to Apr 2018, the Toa Payoh Central Grassroots Organisations also provided Mr T with financial assistance, and visited Mr T.

Based on his daily expenses, monies received, and the community support provided, the SSO assessed that Mr T did not currently require ComCare LTA. However, the SSO will reassess his needs if circumstances change, and work with agencies and community partners to support him.

ComCare LTA provides long-term support to those who are unable to work due to old age, illness or disability, have limited or no means of income, and have little or no family support. As part of our ComCare assessment, we take into consideration the needs of the individual or household, as well as monies received and overall support rendered by the Government, the community, family and friends to the applicant. This reflects our partnership approach that involves the community and families

Members of the public who know of someone in need can call the ComCare hotline at 1800-222-0000 or approach the nearest MSF SSO (www.msf.gov.sg/ssolocator) or Family Service Centre (www.msf.gov.sg/fsclocator) for help.

He gets help from MOH, hospital and NGOs. Bugger all from ComCare or Social Service Office. So waz the point of these? Ownself create work for ownself so that Ownself pay ownself isit?

Why liddat?

Whatever, the explanation doesn’t answer why “Ownself money” makes one ineligible for financial assistance from Social Service Office or ComCare.

It took 5 policeman to arrest a child in his school?

In Public Administration on 28/05/2018 at 10:54 am

This brought back unhappy, angry memories

How many police officers does it take to arrest someone? This was a question asked when two videos of a group of people fighting last year resurfaced last month and went viral.

In them, around six police officers could be seen trying to defuse the situation, prompting netizens to question why so many were needed, and why they could not just use a taser and be done with it.

Amid such comments, the police invited some reporters to the Home Team Academy last week for a half-day boot camp to experience firsthand the challenges and decisions officers faced in such situations.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/arresting-someone-not-easy-it-seems

The above puff piece from the constructive, nation-building media over the weekend reminded me about Benjamin Lim’s arrest and suicide in 2016. This FB comment says it all:

Shan said a lot but answered none of the most obvious and vexatious questions. The procedures/protocol he took pains to spell out told us nothing about what took place. He made it sound like a routine walk in the park by the policemen. The fact that they thought fit to send FIVE grown up policemen to ‘fetch’ a 14-year old from school revealed a lot about the mentality of the police. DON’T FORGET THAT BY THEN THEY HAVE ALREADY VIEWED THE HDB CCTV CLIPS AND KNEW EXACTLY WHAT TO EXPECT AND HOW BENJAMIN LIM LOOKED LIKE. SO ANY SUGGESTION THAT THE POLICE HAS TO ‘INVADE’ THE SCHOOL IN FORCE IN CASE OF AN AGGRESSIVE BENJAMIN WILL BE PURE BS. Even from the pictures on social media we can see how average and geeky the student looked like. It is not as if Benjamin Lim had a punk hairstyle (i.e. bald headed) and had tattoo on his arm and legs!!!

Minister Shan tried to play down the ‘number’ game when he said only one policeman had accompanied Benjamin to the AMK police station. I am unconvinced and would rebut this by pointing out that at least three of them could had easily left earlier in one of the two unmarked police cars that they drove to the school in without waiting for the officer questioning Benjamin in the principal office. Why were they idling in the school’s premises, unless they were there to pre-empt the student from making a possible run for it! This says quite a lot about the kiasuness of the police or perhaps it exposed their lack of confidence or competence. God knows what sort of internal police guidelines they have to comply with which perhaps could have been issued after a couple of past cases where adult prisoners had escaped from custody! This raises questions about the competency of at least some of our policemen or their (kiasu) superiors.

The silence of Sham

Waz this call for a leader like Tun M here?

In Malaysia, Political governance, Public Administration on 20/05/2018 at 10:54 am

Cyberspace is full of unfavourable comparisons between our leaders and Tun M.

Do our anti-PAP activists and cybernuts really want a leader that is quick to break election promises?

Tun broke one pledge,

PH previously pledged to repeal a host of laws that it said were oppressive, such as the Anti-Fake News Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, and Sedition Act.

Malay Mail

He is now saying the Anti-Fake News Act will be reviewd and tweaked, not repealed: Why M’sia needs a Fake News Law but S’pore doesn’t

And is all over the place on another pledge

New Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will no longer take on the education ministry portfolio, after members of the public pointed out that his coalition’s manifesto had pledged that there would be no double portfolios for the premier.

“I cannot break (the manifesto pledge) at the moment,” he said in a video posted on his party’s Facebook page on Friday (May 18).

“Unless of course there is a demand that I take up the education portfolio.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/malaysian-pm-mahathir-drops-education-portfolio-to-honour-10247712

(Whatever, I’m happy about his interest in education and hopes he becames education minister, though the new minister is also a reformer: http://says.com/my/news/who-is-dr-maszlee-malik-our-new-education-minister. An education project, where I tot up the seed idea and did a lot of the initial leg work, had the blessing of Badawi when he was PM. The project was premised on a good Mahathir-era policy. Najib changed the policy and a Malaysian lost money. Let’s see if it can be revived.)

Coming back to our anti-PAP types: have they forgotten how upset they got over the so-called failure of the PAP govt to live up to its promise of no GST increase until 2021? Why the PM doesn’t need friends


How not to handle fake news

Though the PAP administration was dumb in the way it handled reaction to the fake news that the Mad Dog and his fellow cybernuts were propogating: GST: Even economists tot GST could go up.

The PAP administration was too clever by half and the result in PR terms was a score draw: and mud in the eye for the PAP in a de-facto one party state.

—————————————————–

And they now want an “effective” leader who breaks his promises when he gets into power? Btw, I predict that like the Anti-Fake News Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, and Sedition Act will only be tweaked, not repealed.

With enemies of the PAP like these, 60-70% of the voters will allow the PAP to rule forever and a day.

M’sia/ S’pore: Academic nuttier than cybernuts

In Malaysia, Political governance, Public Administration on 13/05/2018 at 10:26 am

(Or “Will US AG accuse our PM of theft?“)

In M’sia: ‘Mountain of challenges’/ BBC analysis applicable here too,I made fun of those anti-PAP cybernuts who shout that Mad Dog will lead a coalition of the nuts to beat the PAP in the next GE.

Well I found an even nuttier nut: he’s a M’sian-born Oz academicwho he thinks PAP is like UMNO

Meanwhile Singapore has been ruled by the People’s Action Party (PAP) since 1959, almost the same number of years as UMNO was in power. On the surface, PAP appears to be strong. In the most recent general elections, held in 2015, PAP’s share of the popular vote increased by about 10 per cent, reversing after years of decline. Many would argue that the increased vote was primarily due to the death of Lee Kuan Yew six months earlier; Singapore’s voters wanted to give LKY a last hurrah. The nation is due to hold its next general election in two years’ time and Lee Hsien Loong, the current prime minister, will hand over power to the so-called 4G (Fourth Generation) leaders. No corruption allegations akin to 1MDB have been made about the PAP leadership but there is persistent unhappiness among Singaporeans over the escalating cost of living and the paternalistic style of PAP rule. The standard joke is PAP actually stands for “Pay And Pay” party.

Given Malaysians and Singaporeans have a fairly similar political culture, the dismissal of UNMO by their Malaysian cousins may prove inspirational. As more and more Singaporeans associate PAP with surging costs – and a planned hike in the rate of GST confirmed earlier this year – the PAP brand may become toxic as well. Ordinary Singaporeans already have a negative view of the PAP elite, who graduate from the best-known universities, hold the most prestigious scholarships and serve in the Singapore Armed Forces before entering PAP politics. They are seen as totally removed from the hard lives of ordinary Singaporeans.

http://www.afr.com/opinion/mahathirs-victory-a-warning-shot-for-singapores-pap-20180510-h0zwql

The nut forgets that the PAP had 70% of the popular vote in the last GE (the UMNO-led coalition had less than 50%) and the PAP has still a two thirds majority in parly (the UMNO-led coalition lost that in 2008).

I have two questions for him, “Does he foresee any scandal like 1MDB happening here? A scandal here that has the US of A’s Department of Justice and the AG accusing the PM* of theft?”

Btw, I’ll always joke that what will bring the PAP down is for S’poreans to find out from the int’l media that our Harry had had a secret Swiss bank account. Even after Pincohet lost power in Chile, even his opponents respected him as incorruptible: he had his enemies killed but he was not corrupt, or so they tot. But Chileans lost their respect, love of him when it was discovered he had a secret Swiss bank account.

Coming back to the topic of nuts, here’s another nut. He was a FT (where the “T” stood for “Trash”): https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-05-11/malaysia-singapore-union-flickers-back-to-life.


*OK, OK, they did not directly name Najib, but the documentation made it clear they were referring to FLOM’s hubbie.

Najib shows power that Lee Jnr can command as PM

In Political governance, Public Administration on 09/05/2018 at 11:28 am

Najib said in a recent interview “that Malaysia’s attorney-general later cleared him of wrongdoing”, adding for good measure, “you cannot just accuse somebody of being a thief or anything unless there is evidence”.

Bit rich of Najib to say AG had cleared him. The AG was planning to charge him but was sacked (OK, Ok officially he resigned because of ill-health) before he could charge Najib

As either FT or Economist said about Najib:

He has shored up his position by sacking dissenting senior government figures, curbing freedom of speech, hamstringing investigations, gerrymandering, and increasing handouts.

Accusations against Najib

1MDB, which since 2015 has been the subject of global probes into billions in lost funds.

Mr Najib himself faced allegations — which he denied — of misappropriating around US$700 million (S$929.45 million) that was channelled into his personal accounts before the 2013 election.

Now what Najib did to his AG and others, our  veryPM can likewise do here, if pushed in a corner.

The following (talking about our constitution) also applies to the constitutional framework in M’sia: hence Najib’s powers.

our constitution was drafted by ang mohs and locals steeped in the tradition that the ruling elite know best, certainly not the demos or mob or masses or ordinary people.

The drafters probably had liberal instincts but were elitists having gone to elite schools here or in the UK, and then to Oxbridge colleges. The mob are only allowed a choice of their dictator every 4-5 yrs. To further ensure the mob doesn’t get ideas beyond their station, it was drafted in such a way that all the colonial-era laws still applied and were “deemed” constitutionally legal.

In S’pore we have rule by law not the rule of law.   

And assuming Najib and BN lose the election but decides to stay in power, we’ll see what further powers he can wield though he’ll need the acquiescence of the commanders of the police and military, the AG, Chief Justice and the king. The last is the joker who can derail his plans to retain power if he and BN loses the election. While he’s a constitutional monarch, he also has to answer to the other sultans who elected him.

In S’pore, given the way Hali became president, #hardlymahpresidentit’s reasonable to doubt Hali ever disagreeing with the PM.

And I’m the guy who in March 2016 tot she could thrash TCB, and I said that I’d have voted for her despite having voted for TCB.

Sigh.

 

Healthcare: user fees drives up costs

In Political governance, Public Administration on 08/05/2018 at 11:17 am

To show S’poreans that saying that they want to earn the right to lead is more than BS, the coming generation of leaders should start looking at Hard Truths that have become irrelevant or were wrong in the first place. They can do no worse than look at user fees in healthcare.

The PAP administration swears by user fees in healthcare because it says that not to have fees means that there’s a buffett syndrome: Welfare for insurers (cont’d)

It would argue

In the 1980s and 1990s many health economists were relaxed about out-of-pocket payments, also known as user fees. The World Bank saw them as a way of making sure money was not wasted, and of helping health-care consumers hold providers to account. There is merit to this argument. Research by Jishnu Das of the World Bank found that when Indian health workers saw patients in their private clinics, they spent more time with them and asked more questions than when the same health workers saw patients in public clinics.

Economist

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I’ve blogged before that the PAP doesn’t need that many smart people as it follows most of the Economist’s prescriptions (except on hanging, drug legalisation, free media and a liberal democracy): PAP’s bible challenges “market-based solution”)

—————————————————–

Well its bible now says that it’s not a

good idea to rely mostly on user fees to fund a health system. They stop those who need care from seeking it. Concerns that users will consume too much health care unless they have to pay are overblown. And when people are not getting vaccinated to save a few cents, others suffer, too.

Worse

Out-of-pocket payments are also “cannonballs of inefficiency”, says Timothy Evans of the World Bank, which is now sceptical about user fees. If spending is pooled, it can insure more people against the risk of ill health and put pressure on providers to cut prices. Of the $500bn generated globally by user fees every year, the World Bank estimates that 40% is wasted.

https://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21740870-if-universal-health-care-become-ubiquitous-politicians-will-have-act-more

Re the issue that user fees

are also “cannonballs of inefficiency”

seems to apply here as DBS says govt should control costs of households esp in healthcare: See who’s telling govt to control healthcare costs/ What we be should be KPKBing about

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” & the PAP

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/04/2018 at 10:56 am

Milos Forman, the director of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, died recently died. It was only the second film in history to win Oscars for best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay.

The film starred Back Nicholson as a man battling the system in a psychiatric establishment and was based on Ken Kesey’s novel.

Milos Forman said:

“To me it was not just literature but real life, the life I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968,” …

“The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-43767278

Here’s an extract from the book on which it was based.  The speaker is Nurse Ratched, the lady really running the equivalent of our Mental Health Institute:

“Please understand: We do not impose certain rules and restrictions on you without a great deal of thought about their therapeutic value. A good many of you are in here because you could not adjust to the rules of society in the Outside World, because you refused to face up to them, because you tried to circumvent them and avoid them. At some time—perhaps in your childhood—you may have been allowed to get away with flouting the rules of society. When you broke a rule you knew it. You wanted to be dealt with, needed it, but the punishment did not come. That foolish lenience on the part of your parents may have been the germ that grew into your present illness. I tell you this hoping you will understand that it is entirely for your own good that we enforce discipline and order.”

She let her head twist around the room. Regret for the job she has to do was worked into her face. It was quiet except for that high fevered, delirious ringing in my head.

“It’s difficult to enforce discipline in these surroundings. You must be able to see that. What can we do to you? You can’t be arrested. You can’t be put on bread and water. You must see that the staff has a problem; what can we do?”

… The face moved with a ticking noise till the features achieved a different look. She finally answered her own question.

“We must take away a privilege. And after careful consideration of the circumstances of this rebellion, we’ve decided that there would be a certain justice in taking away the privilege of the tub room that you men have been using for your card games during the day. Does this seem unfair?”

Doesn’t what she say sound familiar if you

— lived in Potong Pasir when the Chiams ruled the place; or

— are living in Aljunied or Hougang

and have to wait forever and a day for yr HDB upgrading?

Or if you are a singleton below age 35, ineligible to get a BTO flat?

Or are a singleton age 35, eligible to only get a two room BTO flat in a non-mature estate?

 

 

F9: Education Minister Ng Chee Meng

In Political governance, Public Administration, Uncategorized on 05/04/2018 at 10:47 am

Ong Ye Kung minister of Education (Higher Education and Skills) talks the talk reflecting the latest ang moh thinking, example

Singapore’s education system should, as far as possible, reflect the real world that our children are going to grow up and live in. That is why the Government is making changes to take the emphasis away from just academic grades, said … Ong Ye Kung.

But the other education minister (Ng Chee Meng is responsible for schools) doesn’t seem to have a clue about the latest trends in education.

From the PAP’s bible (PAP’s bible challenges “market-based solution”):

EVERY year in Singapore 1% of pupils in the third year of primary school bring home an envelope headed “On government service”. Inside is an invitation to the city-state’s Gifted Education Programme. To receive the overture, pupils must ace tests in maths, English and “general ability”. If their parents accept the offer, the children are taught using a special curriculum.

Singapore’s approach is emblematic of the traditional form of “gifted” education, one that uses intelligence tests with strict thresholds to identify children with seemingly innate ability. Yet in many countries it is being overhauled in two main ways. The first is that educationists are using a broader range of methods to identify highly intelligent children, especially those from poor households. The second is an increasing focus on fostering the attitudes and personality traits found in successful people in an array of disciplines—including those who did not ace intelligence tests.

New research lies behind these shifts … The research also suggests that the nature-or-nurture debate is a false dichotomy. Intelligence is highly heritable and perhaps the best predictor of success. But it is far from the only characteristic that matters for future eminence.

https://www.economist.com/news/international/21739144-new-research-suggests-new-ways-nurture-gifted-children-how-and-why-search-young

It’s impt to kick Ng’s ass because according to the Economist”new research”

shows that countries which do not get the most from their best and brightest face big economic costs.

Ong should show that he can be PM by telling off Ng for sticking to outdated practices and theories (like PSLE). He should remember that Harry became PM by showing S’poreans that Lim Chin Siong was “wrong”.

What “fake” news will be allowed

In Malaysia, Media, Political governance, Public Administration on 27/03/2018 at 11:01 am

Adding to my tots in Fake news traffickers will be hanged

there was this

“Any information related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that has not been verified by the Government is considered fake news.

Datuk Jailani Johari (pic), the Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister, explained that fake news is information that is confirmed to be untrue, especially by the authorities or parties related to the news.”*

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/03/21/unverfied-info-on-1mdb/#QKmu29kU273TUQuU.99

M’sia is introducing legislation that would result in people found guilty of publishing “fake news” being jailed for up to 10 years or face fines of up to M$500,000: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43538109

This reminded me of

 

 

The Straits Times (ST) splashed on the front page today (16 Mar) the headline, “Fewer foreigners, more locals in workforce last year“.

It reported that the number of foreigners working in Singapore fell by 32,000 last year – the biggest in 15 years, ST said.

However buried within the artcle ST did report that the decline was mostly due to fewer work permit holders due to weakness in the construction and marine industries. For more read https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/03/16/net-increase-in-foreign-pmets-last-year/

I think ST’s headline is more than misleading or misrepresenting the truth: it’s “fake” news analysis. Inconvenient facts are “hidden” from view.

Sadly this is the kind of “fake” news that will be allowed. Why? Because ST and other constructive, nation-building publications and channels practice it as part of nation-building.

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act

George Orwell

Sadly in S’pore our anti-PAP cybernuts do not believe in doing revoluntary acts. They’d rather tell lies too: think Phillip Ang.


*But then

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak (above) today assured that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filings on 1MDB won’t be considered fake news.

He said this during a meeting with foreign correspondents today which also saw the government tabling its the Anti-Fake News Bill in Parliament.

“You can quote them, what did they say, based on the filings. It is not considered fake news.

“It’s their views. Like DOJ, you quote them, what they said,” he said.

 

Fake news traffickers will be hanged

In Media, Political governance, Public Administration on 19/03/2018 at 10:53 am

That was my tot when I read on FB

Singapore may fight fake news in the same way as drugs: Puthucheary

(Constructive, nation-building headline last week)

My FB avater commented: Hang convicted people isit? Terry Xu u have been warned.

TX: I am always prepared to die for what I am doing. So not much of a threat.

My avater: Respect.

Seriously, other than hanging convicted traffickers of “fake news”, there’s another probability about what the FT (He sneered at those who did NS) jnr minister wants: there’ll be no presumption of innoncence for those accused of trafficking in fake news. They got to prove their innocence.

If a suspect is caught with a prescribed amount of an illegal drug, it is deemed to be a trafficker and liable to be hung. It’s up to the suspect to prove that it isn’t a trafficker.

So maybe a suspect traffickier of ‘fake” news has to prove his innocence?  Stuff from certain sites like “The Indian Idiots — S’pore” are presumed to be “fake” unless proven otherwise by the suspect? Maybe anything that Dr Chee says will be deemed to ne “fake” news, until proven otherwise?

And maybe the presumption of guilt can be overturned by showing that the “fake” item was from a report that orginated from the constructive, nation-building local media like Mothership or ST? Or that a govt agency said it?

And maybe there’ll be a law that says that whatever a minister or govt agency says is the truth: those who allege otherwise will be deemed to be traffickers of fake news who will have to prove their innocence like drug “traffickers”.

The mind boggles.

GST: Even economists tot GST could go up

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/03/2018 at 10:44 am

I quoted a senior lawyer

If the G thinks the earlier remarks were clear and categorical, so that citizens could have no doubts, how does it explain why so many reputable economists were willing to entertain thoughts of an increase this decade?

PAP voter cheers on Auntie, says Fu talking cock 

A pal of mine posted on the FB post where this quote originally appeared

The economists even factored in an increase in their analysis of GDP growth. Btw, I’m one who tot that GST would not go up this yr because it would contradict what Tharman said in 2015 and because it would make no sense effectively “locking up” the increase for 2018- 2020 because there’ll be a new govt by 2021.

The retired GIC Chief Economist waded in

…my respected economist friends were similarly unsure if GST would be raised this time after attending pre budget MOF briefings, even with Minister Heng.

Here’s what the constructive, nation-building rag of MediaCorp had to say about the economists changing their forecasts after the Budget speech

The Budget’s one-off cash handouts and delay in the goods and services tax (GST) hike, which will kick in sometime between 2021 and 2025, prompted Credit Suisse to raise its 2018 economic growth forecast for Singapore from 3 per cent to 3.3 per cent.

Taken together, these would boost growth domestic product (GDP) as well as private consumption, the bank said in a research note, as it raised its private consumption growth forecast to 3.6 per cent, up from 2.9 per cent.

Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan said the bank had previously factored in a 2-percentage point GST hike for its macro forecasts. “We, together with most other economists, were forecasting GST rates to rise this year,” wrote

Mr Wan, who described Monday’s announcement on the delayed GST increase as among the “surprises” of Budget 2018.

Other economists who had expected a GST hike to be implemented either this year or next agreed that the delay would bring a “minor boost” to consumption spending. Nevertheless, they left their GDP forecasts unchanged.

Commenting on the Credit Suisse report, Mr Bernard Aw, principal economist at IHS Markit, said consumers are expected to bring forward “large purchases” ahead of the GST hike.

UOB economist Francis Tan said he is keeping to his earlier forecast of 2.8 per cent GDP growth this year, which was based on a 1 percentage point GST hike this year. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the delay of the GST hike “provides some upside”. He added: “Whenever there is a higher tax, people reduce their purchases.”

Maybank Kim Eng economist Chua Hak Bin is also maintaining his 2018 GDP forecast at 2.8 per cent, as he had expected the GST hike to be implemented next year. Private consumption is expected to improve from last year but it is unlikely to exceed 3 per cent this year, he said. “The jobs market looks to be improving and that will support consumer spending,” he added.

Both Mr Tan and Mr Chua, however, did not think that the impact of the hongbao handouts would be significant enough to lift GDP growth. Some Singaporeans may choose to save the money instead of spending it, Mr Tan noted. “In that aspect, these are not material handouts,” he said.

The reason I quoted so extensively is to show that “after attending pre budget MOF briefings, even with Minister Heng” the economists felt it necessary to factor in a GST rise in their forecasts.

 

Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

In Political governance, Public Administration on 06/03/2018 at 10:04 am

And why ministers can only talk cock sing song, repeating mantras or clichés about Hard Truths: think about the comments about GST and the reserves.

Last Saturday, I read in the FT

“By appointing people with like minds but with a wide range of professional backgrounds . . . we can discuss things with an open mind and go beyond past ways of doing things to speedily implement bold new ideas.”

Toyota’s president on Toyota’s appointing the first female director, a senior Japanese banker

This led me to think about our cabinet.

With the exception of two doctors and a private sector lawyer, the rest of cabinet (85%) came from the public sector*. All but three were senior officers of three bureaucratic, command and control and hierarchical organisations: SAF, the civil service (which effectively means the admin service: there’s only one “civil service” minister that’s not from the admin service) and NTUC. Two of the remaining three were executives from GLCs (SingTel and PSA) and other was an academic from a local university.

So how to expect creative thinking, let alone commercial, financial or business expertise?


The Spartan who defeated Athens

By the end of the 5th century BC, the superiority of the Athenian Navy had long gone, and the Spartans were more than a match for the Athenians at sea … Firstly, the Spartan Navy had significantly improved. Naval warfare had traditionally been seen as ‘cowardly’ by the Spartans, but this attitude began to change as Lysander gained authority. The illegitimate son of an aristocrat, Lysander grew up in relative poverty. It was perhaps his unusual upbringing that allowed him to think differently from the Spartan norm. He painstakingly made his way up the ranks and was finally given a position of authority in his mid-forties, when he was made the Spartan Admiral in 407. Lysander borrowed heavily from the Achaemenid Empire and used the money to purchase ships and crews; the Spartans were finally a proper naval force.n his

http://www.warhistoryonline.com/guest-bloggers/final-blow-lysander-aegospotami.html

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The first PAP cabinet in 1959 (and for at least a decade  and a half thereafter) was diversity in action. There were private sector lawyers, civil servants and businessmen.

Later, there was a local executive from HP (then a respected tech MNC), the MD of Shell’s local operations and two bankers. OK, OK, one banker was from a bank where his uncle was the chairman, although uncle was not the controlling shareholder. Before that he was an academic. And when in the bank, he was considered by many outsider bankers an improvement to the usual OCBC senior managers. The other banker was originally from the civil service but he was transferred to DBS.

Things went downhill in terms of diversity since the day when several ex-SAF generals were made ministers. To be fair to one Goh Chok Tong, he tried to bring diversity back by bringing one VivianB into the cabinet. But in 2005 or 2006, he told Cheong Yip Seng (ST editor appointed by one Harry Lee)) that he was disappointed that VivianB had “become like the others”. In fact, VivianB went one step worse than the other PAP ministers, he openly sneered at the elderly poor.

Btw, the PAP administration is so desperate to show that it has private sector experience and expertiste that one minister who in his younger days was in the admin service was said in his cabinet CV to have joined the private sector*. He worked in S’pore Technologies and Temasek.

This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetically tragic for S’pore.


*Many yrs ago, I “discovered” that official data classified all 100%  govt owned cos incorporated under the Companies Act as “private companies”. Hence the huge discrepency between official data and a report from the US embassy on state participation in the economy.

 

Heng needs AI to help him in making Budget forecasts

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 20/02/2018 at 9:41 am

Because if my favourite fortune-teller had made the Budget surplus prediction of S$1.91bn that Heng made in 2017, she would lose all credibility. The 2017 surplus is S$9.6bn: 5 times or 503% bigger than projected last year. This is a miss of S$7.7bn, or, as Chris K points out, nearly 1.8% of GDP.

As usual the “blame” for the whooping error is put on stamp duty. And the next PM said this is a one-off. If I recall, this has happened more than a few times already. Still a one-off?

But Heng and the rest of MoF, and the entire PAP administration are not held accountable for getting the 2017 projected surplus horribly wrong.

Yesterday morning, in Budget: Consistently flawed/ Use more from Reserves meh?, I pointed out that the previous year’s Budget surplus is always bigger than predicted because

Consistently expenditures will be found to have been overestimated, and revenues underestimated

And that this tot was triggered by FT’s description of a Japanese mgt practice

[T]he pattern is too consistent for comfort, often strays into the deliberately deceptive, and is carried out as part of a habit of systemic conservatism

Let me be clear. I am not accusing anyone in MoF or the govt of being  “deliberately deceptive”. Here in S’pore, the pattern of underestimating revenue and overestimating expenditure “is too consistent for comfort and is carried out as part of a habit of systemic conservatism”).

Chris K spotted two more whopping misses in 2017 that are likely to be repeated based on the forecasts for 2018

Land sales revenue is estimated to be 12,2b for 2018 but for 2017, land sales revenues are revised from 8.2b to 12.9b. A revenue miss of 4.7b.

Investment income pertaining to interest and dividends only is estimated at 11.5b for 2018. But for 2017, it was revised from 10.5b to 17.5b, a whopping miss of 7b. Why I say whopping? Interest and dividends from an investment portfolio are fairly predictable, what is not predictable is the change in market value of investments. But the latter is not included so why such a large miss?

In total, both land sales revenues and investment income are 23.7b estimated for 2018 and revised upwards to 30.4b for 2017.

Facebook

Coming back to Heng and AI, maybe MoF should use IBM’s Watson cognitive computing innovation to help it improve its forecasting techniques.

After all in 2014,

DBS Bank and IBM today announced an agreement in which DBS will deploy IBM’s Watson cognitive computing innovation to deliver a next generation customer experience. This collaboration is part of an ongoing journey by DBS to shape the future of banking.

 

The PAP never sleeps

In Political governance, Public Administration on 09/02/2018 at 11:02 am

Well it’s Budget Day, so, With the Budget 10 days away (Sorry I got my dates mixed up, I tot it was today when I first did the piece this morning: 5.00pm)) it’s a good time to remind the anti-PAP types that the PAP is always preparing to win the next general election.

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The PAP, like City, never sleeps

The PAP is already preparing for the next General Election (GE) – possibly to be held in 2021 – and Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has been appointed to lead the process of identifying new candidates.

PM on 1 December 2016.

And immediately after the results of GE 2011, Ng Eng Hen, said the PAP campaigning starts next day.

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It’s already preparing to win over another segment of the population in time for the next GE. The millennials are being courted:

Young couples will soon be able to move into their new homes quicker, as the Government is looking to shorten the wait for public housing.

When implemented, the move will see the waiting period for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats dip to two to three years, from the current three to four years, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong last week.

ST sometime back

And the elderly (and their children and grandchildren too because less state help means they have to pay and pay more for the needs of the old) are being given more goodies

Amid the rapidly ageing population, healthcare expenditure with a strong social focus to support seniors to age in place will be one of the “big items” in the Budget, said Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah.

We already know GST will go up, but the timing, what are the “offsets” (after all our money) and how will everything be spun is what be known later today.

 

Even PAP govt thinks ang moh tua kee

In Political governance, Public Administration on 28/01/2018 at 10:57 am

Juz different type of ang moh. They look up to the “Victorians” i.e. the arch colonisers. (Btw, one Raffles, was a pre “Victorian”. Farquhar with his Malay mistress and support of gambling as a source of revenue, was not.

But first, below is the govt’s response to an Economist article entitled “Rules are thicker than blood” which made fun of S’pore’s “Victorian” values.

It makes several good points that our ang moh tua kees forget or ignore or are ignorant of:

— “today’s Western norms … are historically recent and by no means uncontested, even in Western societies”; and

— “time will tell if a cautious approach to social change is wiser”.

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Singaporean values

Rules are thicker than blood” (January 13th) derided Singapore’s norms on what constitutes a family as “Victorian”. Our values and social norms on what makes for a stable family unit are conservative and shape the government’s policies and rules on adoption. They differ from today’s Western norms, which are historically recent and by no means uncontested, even in Western societies. Singaporeans will determine their own pace of any change in family values.

A push for rapid social change, especially on contentious moral issues, risks polarising society and producing unintended results. In Singapore nearly all children are born and raised in wedlock, starkly different from what now happens in the West. We make no claim to know which values are best for every society. The Economist may think Singapore is quaint and old-fashioned, but time will tell if a cautious approach to social change is wiser.

FOO CHI HSIA
High commissioner for Singapore
London


OK, OK yes I know “Victorian” values were once ang moh values. And that shows that today’s ang moh tua kees are also real S’poreans like the PAPpies.

See who’s telling govt to control healthcare costs/ What we be should be KPKBing about

In Economy, Public Administration on 25/01/2018 at 11:08 am

This guy from DBS has the right idea: govt should control costs of households esp in healthcare

Controlling costs for households, especially healthcare costs, would also help moderate government spending on subsidies and rebates.

DBS senior economist Irvin Seah says: “No matter how much we increase healthcare subsidies, it will never be enough if costs are not kept in check.”

The cost of healthcare has been rising inexorably. Between 2011 and 2016, Singapore’s average annual healthcare inflation rate was 2.4 per cent, compared to an average of 1.6 per cent among developed countries.

“There is an urgent need to review the current cost structure of the healthcare system,” Mr Seah adds.

ST: Do taxes in Singapore really need to go up?

Thw point about keeping costs down was also made last week in a letter published in ST. Getting the PAP administration to keep down costs is what S’poreans should be KPKBing about.

But the letter writer is wrong about there being no free lunch available. Think of the reserves, especially the returns. It’s billions of lunches being hoarded.

Chris K posted on FB

 Heartening. Despite the govie jawboning about increase in taxes and trying its damnest not to talk about the other way to meet higher expenditures, tapping more earnings from the reserves, 40% preferred tapping the reserves versus 34% favouring tax increases.

He was referring to the IPS study highlighted in http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/most-singaporeans-believe-family-and-government-should-take-care-elderly-poll

To sum up: S’poreans should demand that the PAP administration strive to keep costs down while spending more of the income from the reserves on S’poreans. Jam today: Welfare: Jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.

And we should also KPKB that the PAP’s definition of budget deficit is not one used by IMF and Western countries. For starters, it excludes land sales only half of the returns from the reserves is included, so the last sentence in this piece is a lot of rubbish.

Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan predicted that annual government spending will rise by a further 1.7 per cent to 2.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025, driven by infrastructure projects, higher social expenditure, and measures to transform the economy. If the Government does not raise its revenue, it could run into a deficit of between 0.3 per cent and 1.4 per cent of GDP by that year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Do taxes in Singapore really need to go up?”/ ST trying to change its spots?

In Economy, Public Administration on 24/01/2018 at 7:15 am

“Do taxes in Singapore really need to go up?”is the title of an article in the constructive, nation-building ST.

But it looks as though it’s trying hard to no longer be constructive and nation-building.

In the article, it quotes Maybank Kim Eng economist Chua Hak Bin as saying

“It is quite remarkable that Singapore, with one of the highest saving rates in the world (at 48 per cent of gross domestic product) and fiscal reserves, still needs to increase taxes.

“The risk is that higher taxes may weigh on growth, which could lead to lower tax revenue collection as a result. Singapore’s low-tax regime has been historically a reason for its success, its attractiveness as a business hub and a vibrant city that draws talent.”

Taz no exactly what the PAP expects to hear from it’s No 1 loudhailer.

But taz not all, it further quotes him as saying that the govt should target subsidies more effectively.

For instance, the Pioneer Generation healthcare package should have been more targeted towards those who needed help most (by housing type or income), rather than a blanket scheme for everyone aged above 65, suggests Maybank Kim Eng’s Dr Chua.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/do-taxes-in-singapore-really-need-to-go-up

Now taz criticising the PAP adminstration’s signature policy, and it’s across the board schemes

Whatever, my mum for one is not impressed by this suggestion. She’s one of those who he thinks that she doesn’t deserve her “freebies”.

Btw Mr Chua is a M’sian. His dad is a fat cat who owns a finance co.

Public tenders = PAPpy greed?

In Financial competency, Public Administration on 23/01/2018 at 7:26 am

At regular intervals, cybernuts (Think TKL and TRE nuts) and usually rational S’poreans complain that public sector public tenders must not always go to the lowest bid or to the highest offer. Discretion must always be exercised for the good of the public. In their opinion, the PAP administration’s failure to exercise discretion for the good of the public is evidence of the greed of the PAP.

But are they willing in turn to give the govt and other public organisations the benefit of the doubt when bids are won by those bidding more or offering more (say for leases) but then things go wrong?

The reality of winning public tenders is that the lowest bids or highest offers are the way to win them. The UK has seen the collapse of Carillion, a construction and outsourcing contractor, who won public sector bids by consistently being the lowest bidder.

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The trap of awarding tenders to lowest bidder for society

Rob Whiteman oversaw the procurement process at the government’s UK Border Agency, where he used to be chief executive. He now heads up the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

He worries public contracts are too often awarded to low bidders.

“Low bidding can appear attractive to procurement officers because they know they will be judged on value for money. But I think there is a bear trap,” he explains.

“If we overscore cost in the evaluation then we risk squeezing contractors’ profits and if they’ve got their sums wrong they may take their best staff off the contract and the taxpayer gets a sub-standard delivery.”

Another concern raised by Mr Whiteman is a lack of focus on the companies’ financial robustness during the tendering process.

He thinks that while civil servants look at a firm’s track record for delivery, more questions need to be asked about how financially sound the company is before awarding a contract.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42720245

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To avoid accusations of wasting public money, there’s pressure to accept the lowest bid. Conversely when tendering revenue generating contracts (say leases), there’s pressure to accept the highest bid to avoid accusations of failing to maximise public revenue.

Remember that in the background is the elephant: there’s the taint or accusation of corruption, favouritism or cronyism when the lowest bid (or highest offer) is not accepted.

Coming back to the idea that discretion must be exercised for the good of the public, what is the “good of the public”? Ideas on a post card, as those wanting public tenders to be awarded using this criteria don’t seem to be able to define it. In the case of renting leases, for the “good of the public” usually amounts to renting out to a small mom-and-pop comfort food operation rather than Tony Tan Colonel Saunders or Big Mac who can afford to pay and pay unlike the small family eatery. So everyone KPKBs of “moneytheism” of the PAP administration.

 

This issue is more complicated than the cybernuts think.

 

 

PAPpies will love this UK cock up

In Public Administration on 20/01/2018 at 2:13 pm

This is funny. The tobacco industry is accused of using the UK’s Freedom of Information Act to get data to further their commercial aim.

The Telegraph’s lead says the medical records of patients in England diagnosed with lung cancer over a four-year period have been handed to an American firm working for one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, Philip Morris International.

It says the information – from anonymised NHS records – was taken without the consent of the patients or their families.

According to the paper, the firm said it wanted to examine the relationship between tobacco use and cancer. But, the paper adds, many will suspect the data will ultimately be used to further the commercial ends of the tobacco industry.
Public Health England – which released the data – tells the paper it had a legal duty to do so as it was requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

BBC report

This shows the unintended consequences of a Freedom of Info Act and is thew kind of example the govt wqill use to diss those who want such an act here. Sad.

Tomorrow China, The Day After S’pore

In China, Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 19/01/2018 at 6:46 am
Further to

Why does PM wants a cashless payments system?

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

Why PM wants a cashless payments system

from NYT Dealbook late last yr

The tech that will power China’s police state in the future.

The World Internet Conference in Wuzhen wasn’t just a gathering to show off the latest in Chinese gizmos, like a version of the Consumer Electronics Show. It also offered a glimpse of how new advances in artificial intelligence and facial recognition can be used to track citizens, and how they have become widely accepted.

From Paul Mozur of the NYT:

Investors and analysts say China’s unabashed fervor for collecting such data, combined with its huge population, could eventually give its artificial intelligence companies an edge over American ones. If Silicon Valley is marked by a libertarian streak, China’s vision offers something of an antithesis, one where tech is meant to reinforce and be guided by the steady hand of the state.

Big Brother is watching you. thanks to the the internet and other technology.

Related post: Coming here, China’s new tool for social control?

 

Need Paracetamol? Ask SingHealth

In Public Administration on 17/01/2018 at 4:47 am

Getting Paracetamol from SingHealth, like Using yr CPF OA as a savings account, is one of few ways S’poreans who are not millionaire ministers or senior bureucrats can get a “free” lunch.

Recently when I went to Marine Parade Polyclinic for  my usual blood pressure pills, I asked the doctor for a big pack of Paracetamol. I was given a packet of 90 which should last me for months.

This reminded me that a SPP member and wannabe MP posted on FB a few months back:

Now I find this fascinating. In Singapore, a box of Panadol 12 x 500mg tablets costs $6.85 ie 57 cents per tablet. Here in London I saw Tesco selling a box of paracetamol 16 x 500mg tablets at 57 cents (32 pence) ie 3.56 cents per tablet. Panadol is just paracetamol. So the same product is 16 times (!!) more expensive when sold under a brand name. Come to think of it, can we buy generic (unbranded) paracetamol from shops in Singapore? I haven’t seen …

Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss on FB

Many of her FB “friends” pointed out that Paracetamol is widely available here and some tot that it could be cheaper here than in the UK. Everyone said it was even cheaper in JB but they couldn’t give a price. I couldn’t comment as I’ve not bought Paracetamol from my Chinese medicine shop for yrs because I get mine from SingHealth, though I did think 3 cents was a good deal.

Well I can inform readers that my Paracetamol cost me less than 2 cents a pill. To be exact $o. o15555 a pill.

Yes, I do find it strange that Ms Chong doesn’t know Paracetamol is widely available here. But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she and her family use analgesics that don’t contain Paracetamol. After all, I prefer Aspirin, but was told when I was in my 50s, given my age, I should not take it unless a doctor prescribed it or OKed its use. Seems that many doctors hold the view that if Aspirin were invented today, it would not never ever get regulatory approval to be sold over the counter.

Still it doesn’t look good for her and the Oppo that she’s clueless about a basic medical item. I’m sure our millionaire ministers know that Paracetamol is sold here.

 

“The Gatekeeper”: Our home-grown “Animal Farm”

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/01/2018 at 11:21 am

But sales are lousy, really lousy.

Our anti-PAP types especially the cybernuts like Tan Kin Lian and his pals from TRELand love to compare S’pore to Animal Farm, the PAP to the pigs and the 70% who vote PAP to the sheep.

But when an award-winning, home-grown book by a local author, satirises S’pore the way Animal Farm satirised the Soviet Union and communism, these people don’t buy the book and use its ideas against the PAP.

With enemies like these, the PAP doesn’t need friends to maintain its hegemony.

Sorry for the digression. Back to the book.

Edmund Wee ( Quiet activist looking at his bank statement and smiling) in late 2016 published Nuraliah Norasid’s The Gatekeeper which on one reading satirises multiculturalism and multiracism as practiced by the PAP.

In an article titled “Recognising Racism: Nuraliah Norasid’s “The Gatekeeper” Wong Wen Pu wrote:

Winner of Epigram Book Prize 2016, The Gatekeeper is set in the fictional country of Manticura, where humans and non/part-humans have come to live uneasily together. Ria is a medusa that lives with her sister in the outskirts of a human town in Manticura. One day, after she methodically petrifies the entire village, Ria and her sister flee to and take up residence in an underground ghetto, Nelroote. Time passes, and Ria becomes gatekeeper to the enclave, where her deadly ability is a valuable asset against encroachers. In this way, the sisters and Nelroote live in relative peace until one Eedric Shuen seduces Ria, with disastrous consequences, back into the sunlit world.

The fantastic premises of The Gatekeeper might seem wildly inventive, yet when we set the cosmetic differences aside, many of the social dynamics portrayed in the novel between human and non/part-human species bear similarities to Singapore’s racial dynamics.

First, there is the self-loathing of the social other that we find in both Singaporean and Manticurian society, generated by the societal affirmation of racial/species hierarchy. Despite Manticura being a multi-species country, dominant social discourse drives those who fall outside the boundaries of human normalcy to self-loathing. Reminders to the other that they are intrinsically worth less are everywhere: Eedric’s part human mother was casually put down “like a sick pet” because she was unable to control her Changer form, while Eedric’s girlfriend views the non-humans as “people not like [herself], but as mutant[s and] social outcast[s]”. … Analogously, what sort of racial narratives has Singapore nursed so that Singaporean Indians would jump to defend the casual racism of insensitive casting directors, or for Malays to laugh when jokes are told, upon the opening of a new cornerless building in Singapore, about the place having nowhere for them to lepak(loiter)?

And then there is the comparable language politics of Singapore and Manticura. In Singapore, English, ostensibly racially neutral, is deployed as our administrative language, as a way of reassuring Singaporeans of our racial equality. After all, if everyone has to learn a “foreign” language, no race is particularly advantaged. However, Singapore has always been unabashedly described by our political leaders as a society of Asian (read: Confucian) values. While Singaporeans might speak in the same language, the cultural direction we gravitate towards is often Chinese. Therefore, English usage in Singapore creates the illusion of social cohesion and glosses over our racial differences, while hegemonic discourse quietly imposes Chinese culture onto the Singaporean racial minority.

In Manticura, a similar project is attempted: “Sce’ ‘dal, the lingua franca of the Layeptic region,” has been largely replaced by Ro’ ‘dal, the colonial tongue used by the classy, educated, big city dwellers of Jankett Town. Remnant speakers of Sce’ ‘dal, as we find amongst the Nelroote dwellers, have been literally driven underground, and those that want to leave Nelroote for the outside world are forced give up Sce’ ‘dal for Ro’ ‘dal. Like in Singapore, the ability to speak in the common tongue confers the right to assimilate in the cultural mainstream. Yet this belonging would, as Ria’s Cikgu astutely points out, lead to minorities “dying out of their traditions.” Like Singapore’s deployment of English as a way of co-opting minorities in the eradication of their own culture, Manticura’s Ro’ ‘dal aims at homogenising the Manticurian populace by eradicating species differences, and bringing what it sees as racial aberrance to heel through the implementation of a common language policy.

http://www.asiancha.com/content/view/2873/630/

Despite this storyline and relevance to S’pore, I understand the book is not selling well. In fact until Christmas Eve, there was a 20% discount available online for this book.

With enemies like the anti-PAPpists, the PAP doesn’t need friends to maintain its hegemony.

But to be fair, Epigram has not marketed this book as S’pore’s “Animal Farm”. Edmund, like Homer, must have nodded off. Look at how a children’s book was marketed to the cybernut mob in TOCLand (They not as cheap skate as their TRE counterparts).

But Edmund has another winner. Edmund is also behind “The Phantom of Oxley Castle” which sold 800 odd copies (Print run of 2,000) before its launch because of a TOC story that got the anti-PAP mob rushing to buy the book online. And then feeling cheated when TOC had to retract the claim that PM was going to sue the publisher. Read the twists in the plot at https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/11/13/tocs-account-on-the-potential-legal-actions-surrounding-the-phantom-of-oxley-castle/

The Gatekeeper” was marketed as a “horror” tale, a genre which has an honourable local tradition here (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/mythology-merlion-pontianak-singapore-writers-festival-9399102). 
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A minister in the first PAP cabinet wrote horror stories in the 50s.
Singapore :  Heinemann Asia,  1991

Malayan horror :  macabre tales of Singapore and Malaysia in the 50’s /  Othman Wok ; stories compiled by Lily Othman.

It’s a new year, so time to rebrand the book as our very own-home grown Animal Farm?
Hopefully Nuraliah Norasid’s “The Gatekeeper” will be marketed properly this year as “Our very own Animal Farm”.

Whatever, if you want to show yr unhappiness with the PAP’s policies and personnel,  buy the book to cock a snook at PM and his PAP administration.

 Walk the Talk TRE cybernuts, don’t be like Lim Tean

 

 

 

 

Facebook see govt no ak is it?

In Public Administration on 31/12/2017 at 9:53 am

The details of 263 Facebook users were requested by the Singapore Government between January and June this year, the social media company revealed in a report released on Monday (Dec 18).

The Government made a total of 204 requests for such information, according to the Facebook Transparency Report. Facebook complied with 59 per cent of the requests.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/263-facebook-user-details-requested-by-singapore-government-9513160

The BBC reports

Figures provided by Facebook suggest it handed over data in 85% of requests from US law enforcement and 90% in the UK.

So the S’pore authorities requests were rejected a lot more than requests by the Brits and Americans.

“Why liddat?”, we should be asking. Ang moh tua kee isit? China is sure to take note as Zuckerberg is trying to get the Chinese to allow FB in. I doubt if Chinais impressed that FB rejects so many of our govt’s requests since we and China are one-party states. Related posts Keeping power in a one-party state

But to be fair to the PAPpies, S’pore’s reject rate is the same as that of Germany.

Btw, three cheers for ST for reporting the UK and US numbers alonside that of S’pore’s. I’m sure someone sure kanna call up to lim kopi.

Sounds like Singapore?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 25/12/2017 at 4:54 am

An anti-PAP talking?

[G]overnment has maintained a façade. It proclaimed democracy and concern for social rights. In reality, it eroded civil, political and economic freedom.

Nope some analyst describing Venezuela

 

Why I’m not writing to IMDA protesting proposed changes

In Political governance, Public Administration on 20/12/2017 at 1:39 pm

Based on comments by FB pals whose judgment I trust, I was to write in giving my objections. In fact I was going to cut and paste and use the text sent by one of them. But because Martyn See put this up on FB, and because I know he misrepresents the facts many-a-time, I’m not going to complain. Too much work researching the facts.

With an enemy like him, the PAP doesn’t need friends.

 

Human Rights Watch talks cock about S’pore?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/12/2017 at 10:56 am

Human Rights Watch’s report  on S’pore is partly based on interviews with civil society activists, journalists, lawyers, academics and opposition politicians, many of whom declined to be identified “due to fear of possible repercussions,” according to Human Rights Watch.

S’pore is called “a repressive place”:

“Beneath the slick surface of gleaming high-rises, however, it is a repressive place, where the Government severely restricts what can be said, published, performed, read, or watched,” the 133-page report said.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/human-rights-watch-calls-on-singapore-to-relax-free-speech–assembly-laws-9494568

Yes,

the Government severely restricts what can be said, published, performed, read, or watched.

I personally don’t feel repressed because I have access to whatever I want to read, watch or listen. I can also say publicly what I want to say publicly.

(For the record, I’ve lived in London, Sydney, Melbourne and Manila for longish spells.)

And I don’t think many S’poreans feel repressed. The cybernuts from TRELand, TOC, Chris K’s FB wall etc are free to spew their venom and hatred of the PAP unmolested.

S’poreans are unhappy “yes” but repressed “no”.

What do u think?

StanChart event endangered lives

In Public Administration on 14/12/2017 at 4:53 am

What were the people behind a StanChart event thinking? If SMRT can get away with doing bad things to S’poreans, so can StanChart isit? After all Temasek owns shares in both.

More likely though they tot they could get away with doing bad things to S’poreans because Sport S’pore a govt organisation was another sponsor of the event?

Diabetes: The real reason PM is worried?

In CPF, Political governance, Public Administration on 31/10/2017 at 6:50 am

In his NatDay Rally speech he worried that 22% of the population will get diabetes (from the present 11%). Maybe he worried that if that happens, then CPF Life Standard Plan will be in trouble?

The Standard plan surely will go bust because the Standard plan covers until death and diabetics could live longer than those without diabetes. There’ll be a public backlash because of the “Fund go bankrupt, yr problem”.


CPF Life die, Yr Problem

There is a provision in the law governing the CPF Life Plans which states that payouts are contingent on the Plans being solvent. This is because premiums that are paid in to get the annuities are pooled and collectively invested. If the plan you chose doesn’t have enough money to pay out, you die. This is unlike the MS scheme, where account holders are legally entitled to the monies in their CPF accounts.

More details. Note that there are now only two plans, not the menu first offered. Of the two existing plans, the Standard Plan, is the less attractive one because there is a lot KS in favour of the annuity provider. Of course if u  are confident u’ll live to 150, opt for it. But u still got the worry of “Fund insolvent, yr problem”.


There will also be problems at the Basic Fund that pays out annuities until people reach 90 if everyone lives longer because they got diabetes. And there could be a lot more 90-year old destitute S’poreans who are unlikely to vote PAP.

Diabetics live longer

Seriously, PM’s NDP rally speech on diabetes reminded me of shumething I read last year from which I concluded that diabetics are likely to outlive those wihout it, if the diabetics manage to keep their diabetes under control. Diabetes cannot be cured in most cases, but it can be controlled.

So it’s a good thing to have because the medication also works to prevent cancer, heart disease or cognitive impairment.

Metformin, the most basic medicine prescribed for diabetes, seems is a miracle drug helping those with  cancer, heart disease or cognitive impairment.

There is already a candidate anti-ageing drug, a generic called  that has been widely used by diabetics around the world. It works to lower insulin levels in the blood and triggers a range of other molecular pathways that are likely to influence the ageing process. The way it works inside the cell is not completely understood but it is thought to favourably influence metabolic and cellular processes associated with the development of age-related conditions such as inflammation, autophagy (when broken bits of cell are recycled) and cell senescence (when they are unable to grow and divide any longer). In humans, those who take metformin seem to have improved risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Epidemiological work suggests that its use is associated with reduced incidence of cancer and mortality. There is some evidence it may reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment.

Nir Barzilai of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York wants to test the drug in thousands of people who already have, or are at risk of, cancer, heart disease or cognitive impairment.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/08/economist-explains-8