atans1

Archive for the ‘Public Administration’ Category

When a ceremonial president goes “rogue”

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Indian president is supposedly

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

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

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

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

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 (The bill was later withdrawn.)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

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

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

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

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

Then there was the previous president

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————

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

——————————————

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

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

Even if she’s really a Malay. 

Oh what a tanled web we weave …

“Whoever scandalises our judges will be hunted down …”

In Public Administration on 14/08/2017 at 4:51 am

A top grossing Chinese film Wolf Warrior 2 http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-40811952 has the tagline “whoever offends China will be hunted down wherever they are”.

Seeing the way the AGC is pursuing a case against a über White Horse, without fear or favour, I tot “Whoever scandalises our judges will be hunted down wherever and whoever they are”

———————————

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) filed an application in the High Court on Friday (Aug 4), to start committal proceedings against Mr Li Shengwu for contempt of court.

This was after Mr Li failed to take down a Facebook post which he put up on Jul 15, criticising the Singapore court system.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/agc-takes-action-against-li-shengwu-for-contempt-of-court-over-9094174

——————————–

And his auntie still thinks White Horses must have privileges:

It is more than 24 hours since my nephew posted that AGC was incorrect In claiming he did not reply in time and he had proof. AGC and the media was very quick to comment and report earlier on, but are strangely reluctant to correct their mistake.

She omits to tell us that even if he had replied in time, he did not do what AGC asked him to do to purge his contempt.

It demanded that he should delete the post and apologise by July 28th.

Mr Li asked to be allowed to consider the request until August 4th; on that day he tweaked his message, but neither removed it nor said sorry. The attorney-general’s office duly filed an application in the High Court to start proceedings against him.

What would pa and ma think of her misrepresentation of the facts?

Sad.

Btw, Teo Soh Lung, our very own Xena is silent on this and M Ravi’s case. Taking “I love S’pore (PAP version)” pills to celebrate National Day? She’s not KPKBing most probably because she’s mortified as the lady M Ravi is charged for hurting, is a good friend as is M Ravi. “Own friend hurt own friend”.

Finally, M Ravi in Woodbridge

In Public Administration on 13/08/2017 at 4:43 am

M Ravi was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for two weeks on Saturday (Aug 12), after being charged over three incidents.

Ravi, 48, was charged on Saturday with two counts of causing public nuisance at Sri Mariamman Temple on Jul 31 and Aug 11 this year, one count of voluntarily causing hurt to lawyer Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss on Aug 8 and one count of causing hurt with a rash act to lawyer Nakoorsha Abdul Kadir on the same day.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/m-ravi-charged-with-voluntarily-causing-hurt-causing-public-9117538

When I wrote this about the ang moh tua kees’ mocking S’pore on our National Day for being a safe place, I had tot of citing the example of M Ravi’s one man-crime wave to point out that dissing our authourities on their lenient attitude towards Ravi was a better way of dissing S’pore. And then pointing out that the Guardian can’t because of it biases against the PAP. Sad. Sad.

Whatever, Gotham S’pore is safe. Our very own superhero gone rogue is in our very own Arkham. For those who are wondering, the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane,called Arkham Asylum or juz Arkham is where many of Batman’s opponents are locked up for treatment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pls read this

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

 August 9, 2017

Tay Kheng Soon

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

Anti-PAP Amazon fights alongside White Mare

In Public Administration on 06/08/2017 at 4:34 am

AG’s plans to whack Li Shengwu

for comments he made suggesting the city-state’s courts were not independent, said on Saturday (Aug 5) he would not be returning to Singapore.

The office of Singapore’s attorney-general said on Friday it had filed an application to start contempt of court proceedings against Li, a US-based academic, over a Facebook post he made on Jul 15.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/li-shengwu-says-will-not-return-home-to-face-charges-9095394

reminded me of a really unholy alliance.

One of the usual suspects, a S’porean version Xena, the warrior princess, recently wrote

I am sad for Singapore and Singaporeans. A single word about the judiciary in a private facebook entry which drew just 20 likes has attracted the attention of the Attorney-General’s Chamber.

How did my country descend to this depth?

Given that she’s always so unhappy about the S’porean way of life, what else could make Teo Soh Lung unhappy?

Li Shengwu, grandson of Lee Kuan Yew has now attracted the attention of the attorney general’s chambers. I believe the chamber was already watching him when he took side with his father, Lee Hsien Yang over his and his aunt’s dispute with the prime minister.

The attorney general will tell the world that there is no conflict of interest when his chamber decides to look into the private facebook entries of Li Shengwu, but I will not believe that. What business has he to look into a person’s private facebook? Isn’t there more important work than to spy on personal facebooks?”

Am I being overly cynical in thinking that if the AGC did not say the AGC was investigating this White Horse (progency of the First Familee), she’d be KPKBing, “Why no investigate? White Horse isit?”

As it is now, she’s on the same side as über White Mare Lee Wei Ling with her whine

I am surprised that AGC takes such negative reaction to a private post. Is there a government servant whose duty is to follow the Facebook activity of all people related to Hsien Yang and I, including our private musings. Also, what Shengwu posted is a common topic amongst Singaporeans who are well informed. Is this not an example of ” big Brother government”. Perhaps it is a case of “if the hat fits, take it.”

Churchill said a fanatic is “one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”. Fits Ms Teo: life is always seen in the lens of resentment against the PAP administration. An administration that has the support of 60- 70% of voters. True it locked her up without trial but that was a long time ago. Time to move on?

I mean being on the same side as Lee Wei Ling is so, so pathetic. And so is the cause. I mean White Horses (especially über ones) should be held accoutable for their actions, juz like nobodies like Roy or Amos.

I’m glad that the AGC is upholding the laws that Harry made illleral and in sending the message that über White Horses from the line of Lee not exempted.

How Pay & Pay can ensure we complain less

In Infrastructure, Media, Public Administration, Temasek on 29/07/2017 at 10:31 am

You know the PAP administration is rattled when a PAP minister castigates the constructive, nation-building media for reporting the problems that MRT breakdowns are causing commuters. He wants the media to report how Great SMRT is.

ST’s editor responded, “If press coverage doesn’t match everyday experience, then the press loses credibility.”

He only said that because we have the internet and social media to keep honest his paper and other media. I’m old enough to remember when local media coverage at times didn’t match everyday experience.

Now to some constructive advice to the minister and his minions on how to make sure S’poreans KPKB less when the trains don’t run on time.

Behavioural economists tell us we are wired to care more about things we pay than things we get for free. This tendency is called the “endowment effect”. Paying for something represents a loss of money, so we care more and get more upset over things we pay for than over things (identical or otherwise) we can get for free*.

So when an MRT delay occurs, shut the KPKBing down by making the trip free.

It has the additional benefit of showing Khaw, LTA, SMRT and Temask how much revenue is lost when trains don’t run on time.


*Take “WordPress”. Because I use the free version, I don’t grumble about things that suck.

Regime change: Yesterday Korea, TOM S’pore?

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

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

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

After all this sounds like S’pore

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will we then have this kind of leader?

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

What do u think?

 

AGO and the importance of paperwork

In Accounting, Public Administration on 20/07/2017 at 5:13 am
It’s that time of the year when the cybernuts especially those from TRELand get their yearly free (They are cheapskates, juz like the ang moh tua kees) high from the Auditor-General’s report detailing cock-ups in the process and procedures of ministries and state agencies.

For the rest of us, it shows “Efficiency? What efficiency?”: the PAP administration, like all management systems or bureaucracies, has flaws that need to be fixed. Monitoring and fixing things are eternal, non-ending unglamarous work.

Those criticised often grumble (sometimes rightly) that they live in the real world, not in a world where box-ticking is more important that delivering the “goods”. Not in the case of the WP though.

Whatever, this NYT Dealbook story tells us why getting the paperwork right is important.

Private Student Loan Debts May Be Wiped Away

Tens of thousands of people who took out private loans to pay for college but have not been able to keep up payments may have their debts wiped away. The reason? Missing paperwork.
At least $5 billion in troubled loans are at the center of a legal dispute that has echoes of problems that arose from the subprime mortgage crisis a decade ago.
Private student loans, which come with higher interest rates and fewer consumer protections than federal loans, are often targeted at the most vulnerable borrowers, but judges have already dismissed dozens of lawsuits against former students because of insufficient documentation.
Court records reviewed by The New York Times show that many other collection cases have been brought without complete ownership records.
Like those who took on subprime mortgages, many people who took private student loans may never earn enough to repay the debt.

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

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

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

Why liddat?

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

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

Sounds logical.

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

“That was the curious incident.”

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

ESM Goh said in parly:

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

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

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

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

————————————————

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

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

Talking cock about the will

Didn’t do his job as executor

—————————————

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

DPM Teo rightly responded:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

Silver Blaze by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

Indian blood required to be Prez isit?

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

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

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

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

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

TOC

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


Lines very blurred

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

——————————–

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

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

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

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

Chinese emperor that cared more for country than siblings

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Free prescriptions for chronic illness

In Public Administration on 06/07/2017 at 7:13 am

The PAP has sewn up the Pioneer Generation vote by using our money to pay the medical bills of the PG.

For the next GE, the PAP should give free prescriptions for those aged 45 and above for those suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure. That will make another group of elderly S’poreans prone to support the PAP.

And if the PAP is feeling the need for more votes, here’s a more comprehensive list courtesy of the NHS in England:

Which conditions qualify for free prescriptions?

  • diabetes mellitus, except where treatment is by diet alone
  • hypothyroidism that needs thyroid hormone replacement
  • epilepsy that needs continuous anticonvulsive therapy
  • a continuing physical disability that means you cannot go out without the help of another person
  • cancer, the effects of cancer and the effects of cancer treatment
  • disorders such as Addison’s disease, a rare hormone disorder of the adrenal glands, for which specific therapy is essential
  • diabetes insipidus and other disorders where the pituitary gland is not functioning well
  • hypoparathyroidism, where the parathyroid glands are not making enough hormones
  • myasthenia gravis, a disease that affects the nervous system and leads to muscle weakness
  • a permanent fistula (for example colostomy) that needs continuous surgical dressing for example

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40431800

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

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

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

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

And there’s this I highlighted on Monday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A pleb posted this:

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

“principals”: must have meant “principles”

Oxleygate: S’porean BBC reporter gets it right

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

I tot the above when I read

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

FT

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

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

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

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

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

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

MP Rahayu Mahzam

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

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

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

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

But want house demolished.

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

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

No automatic alt text available.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image may contain: text

Oxleygate and BBC Reith Lectures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And this is what got his siblings upset:

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

He goes on

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

And

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

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

Oxleygate: Yikes PAPpy has gd points

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

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

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

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

That is a good question.

The government has the same question.

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

So there is nothing for the government to decide now.

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

What is the urgency?

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

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

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

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

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

But,

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

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

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

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

Related article: Lee Wei Ling wants to eat her cake

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

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

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

———————————————-

My takes on the will:

Why PM could not go to court.

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

———————————————————

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

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

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

They too nutty isit?

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

Oxleygate: No leh, not monkeys, juz henpecked?

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

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

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

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

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

Oxleygate: We got monkeys as ministers isit?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————————

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

PAP govt speaking? No ler North Korean minister

In Political governance, Public Administration on 06/05/2017 at 9:23 am

“We do not tolerate any others criticising our style of socialism and we believe in the choice we have made,” Mr Han replies.Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryo.

“The masses are the centre of our state and their security and human rights are guaranteed.”

(BBC report earlier this year)

Err don’t the u/m from PAP administration on Amos the Fantastic really show that the views of the PAP administration and that of the N Korean administration are as teeth are to lips?

Seriously they show that often Silence is Golden and that it’as better to sit down and shut-up than appear to be like a product of Kim Jong Un.

Letter to the Economist

The law in Singapore

You imply that Amos Yee was prosecuted in Singapore for political dissent, and not for making vicious statements about Christians and Muslims (“No place for the crass”, April 1st). That is not true. In 2015 Mr Yee insulted Christians, saying Jesus Christ was “power hungry and malicious” and “full of bull”. In 2016 he said: “The Islamics seem to have lots of sand in their vaginas…But don’t mind them, they do after all follow a sky wizard and a paedophile prophet. What in the world is a ‘moderate Muslim’? A fucking hypocrite, that’s what!”

The Economist may agree with the American judge that such bigotry is free speech. But Singapore does not countenance hate speech, because we have learnt from bitter experience how fragile our racial and religious harmony is. Several people have been prosecuted for engaging in such hate speech.

Contrary to the suggestion in your article, Singapore’s laws on contempt do not prevent fair criticisms of court judgments, as the article itself demonstrates. Singapore’s court judgments, including on Mr Yee’s case, are reasoned and published, and can stand scrutiny by anyone, including The Economist.

FOO CHI HSIA
High Commissioner for Singapore
London

(Her 2015 letter)

And

MHA’s Comments on Amos Yee’s US Asylum Application
 1.     In 2015, Amos Yee was charged for engaging in hate speech against Christians.

 2.     He had said “Christians … are … power hungry and malicious but deceive others into thinking that they are compassionate and kind. Their impact and legacy will ultimately not last as more and more people find out that they are full of bull….. Similar to the Christian knowledge of the bible, and the work of a multitude of a priests.”

 3.     He was convicted on the charge. He was also convicted on another charge for publishing an obscene image. He was sentenced to a total of four weeks imprisonment for these charges.

 4.     In 2016, Yee was charged again for hate speech, this time against Muslims and Christians.

 5.     He had said “the Islamics seem to have lots of sand in their vaginas too…. But don’t mind them, they do after all follow a sky wizard and a pedophile prophet. What in the world is a ‘moderate muslim’? A f*****g hypocrite that’s what!……. With all due respect, Christians, you can shove that faith up your ass. Faith! Faith! I’d be damned at this retardation of humanity. F**k you, Christian shits”

 6.     He pleaded guilty to the charges, and was sentenced to six weeks imprisonment and a fine of $2000.

 7.     He was represented by counsel in both the 2015 and 2016 proceedings.

 8.     Yee had engaged in hate speech against Christians and Muslims.

 9.     The US adopts a different standard, and allows some such hate speech under the rubric of freedom of speech.

 10.    The US for example, in the name of freedom of speech, allows the burning of the Quran .

 11.    Singapore takes a very different approach. Anyone who engages in hate speech or attempts to burn the Quran, Bible, or any religious text in Singapore, will be arrested and charged.

 12.    The US Department of Homeland Security had opposed Yee’s asylum application, on the basis that Yee had been legitimately prosecuted.

 13.    It is the prerogative of the US to take in such people who engage in hate speech. There are many more such people, around the world, who deliberately engage in hate speech, and who may be prosecuted. Some of them, will no doubt take note of the US approach, and consider applying for asylum in the US.

 

Smart Nation: It’s all about Big Brudder watching us

In Economy, Infrastructure, Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 24/04/2017 at 2:45 pm

True the BBC in  http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39641262 can come across as constructive and nation-building as ST but three cheers to the BBC for pointing that the way the PAP administration does things is a major problem for the Smart Nation initiative:

Harminder Singh, a senior lecturer in business information systems at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, says the main issue with Smart Nation is that there may be too much government control over it right now for real innovation to take place.

“Singapore’s way of doing things is that the government leads, then others follow,” he told me. “This might be a problem – it is too centralised and so it may take too long for plans to trickle down.

“And ideas from the ground may be neither visible to those on top nor acceptable to them, especially if they are related to the delivery of services that are traditionally handled by the government.”

But he’s very cock in saying

it is not clear why Singapore’s leaders are so keen to move full steam ahead with this plan.

Ah ya no need to explain. It’s all about making sure Big Brother can keep on watching S’poreans. But he’s right to say that we don’t know “how the Smart Nation project will improve salaries and jobs”

“Smart Nation is about building national technology infrastructure so that the government can offer new services, or do what they do now differently. The government may need to explain more clearly how the Smart Nation project will improve salaries and jobs in Singapore to get the project moving faster.”

 

Jerusalem circa 30 AD, S’pore today

In Public Administration on 14/04/2017 at 5:39 am

One thing never changes: the mob will always be with us.

More than 2000 years ago, in Jerusalem, according to the four gospels, the nuts among the citizens of the city shouted “Crucify Jesus”after only praising him the week before.

The High Court’s reduction of the the sentences of all six former City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders, got the cybernuts shouting “Crucify the Judges and the PAP”.

————————-

The Great S’pore Sale came early this yr for some people

The 3-judge panel changed the sentences

  1. Kong Hee: From 8 years to 3 years and 6 months.
  2. Tan Ye Peng: From 5½ years’ to 3 years and 2 months.
  3. Chew Eng Han: From 6 years to 3 years and 4 months.
  4. Serina Wee Gek Yin : From 5 years to 2½ years.
  5. John Lam Leng Hung: From 3 years to 1½ years.
  6. Sharon Tan Shao Yuen: From 21 months to 7 months

——————————————–

According to the nuts in TreLand Kong Hee’s lawyer Edwin Tong (a PAP member and MP) had real clout to influence the judges; or that the judges were paid off with Kong Hee’s millions. Whatever, the PAP was to blame, somehow.

TOC (to its discredit) did a round-up of netizens’ views that were only slighly less anti-PAP and anti the judiciary

Even constructive, nation-building ST allowed ST readers to join in the fun:

Image may contain: text

(Martyn See’s FB image of ST FB’s postings by readers)

Even Jack Sim (aka the Toilet Man: a really decent, hair-minded guy) made remarks on Facebook that can fall within the contempt of court rules that parly recently approved (no I’m not going to quote him but in spirit they are close to the ST comments).

Incidentally the minister for pets and the police should be KPKBing at the so-called, constructive nation-building ST for publishing the comments. He’s got to be fair: after all he has aiming his Colt Magnum and Alsatians at Terry’s Online Channel for pointing out bad policing decisions.

Now there are good reasons to be concerned with the High Court decision that overturned a precedent that stood for 40 years. I go into that in a seperate post

But by making personal attacks on them and the PAP MP lawyer representing Kong, and the PAP and the judiciary generally the cybernuts are behaving like the Jews who wanted to crucify Jesus.

But I doubt the cybernuts would have the balls to say,

His blood be on us, and on our children.

They too are sheep, a term they use to describe the 70%ers.

 

 

 

Why Budget surpluses are bad: No not Chris K but a US president

In Economy, Public Administration on 12/04/2017 at 9:28 am

Albeit one from the 19th century. He thought it unfair for the US to tax the people while keeping the surplus.

“it is indefensible extortion and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice” for the government to run a budget surplus, and “multiplies a brood of evil consequences.”

The Treasury was “a hoarding place for money needlessly withdrawn from trade and the people’s use thus crippling our national energies, suspending our country’s development, preventing investment in productive enterprise, threatening financial disturbance, and inviting schemes of public plunder.”

Cleveland, the first Democrat to become president since before the Civil War, was incensed that the federal government was taking in more than it spent.

It bears pausing on that notion. A Democrat in the executive mansion (it wasn’t called the White House until Teddy Roosevelt came along) considered it unfair that Uncle Sam was taxing its people and squirreling away the excess.

In fact, Cleveland felt even more strongly than that. He told the assembled representatives from the then 38 states of the Union that “it is indefensible extortion and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice” for the government to run a budget surplus, and “multiplies a brood of evil consequences.”

The Treasury has become “a hoarding place for money needlessly withdrawn from trade and the people’s use,” Cleveland thundered, “thus crippling our national energies, suspending our country’s development, preventing investment in productive enterprise, threatening financial disturbance, and inviting schemes of public plunder.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-breakingviews-idUSKBN17D1SU

CHC: CBT is a very technical offence

In Public Administration on 08/04/2017 at 11:10 am

The High Court’s reduction of the sentences of all six former City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders has upset a lot of people especially the anti-PAP cybernuts. (I’ll talk about their antics in a separate post).

Here I want to explain why two High Court judges decided the way they did. (The decision was a split one: 2 to 1.

Criminal breach of trust (CBT) is a very technical crime and the judgment was a very technical one.

I know one head of crime section in the AGC who became a district judge, and as a district judge had his verdict on a CBT case overturned on appeal. He had acquitted someone accused of CBT only for the guy to be found guilty on appeal by the AGC. Incidentally his career in the legal service was not affected.

Now to the judgement.

Justice Chao said in his oral judgement on Friday that a majority decision was made to reduce the respective CBT charges against the six, from an “aggravated” form of CBT – which they were initially convicted of – to a “simple” form of CBT because the law states that a person convicted of an aggravated form charge. must be” a public servant, banker, merchant, factor, broker, attorney or an agent when committing the crime”.

Justice Chao said he and Justice Woo agreed

with the Prosecution that directors, who occupy positions of great power, trust and responsibility, are more culpable than employees when they commit CBT offences against their companies or organisations. To that extent, we agree that it is intuitively unsatisfactory that a director would only be liable for CBT simpliciter under s 406 of the Penal Code while a clerk, servant, carrier or warehouse keeper would be liable for an aggravated offence under either ss 407 or 408 of the Penal Code. This does not, however, mean that we can ignore the wording of the section. Like the Malaysian Court of Appeal in Periasamy, we are of the view that adopting the interpretation put forward by the Prosecution may be “tantamount to rewriting the section by means of an unauthori[s]ed legislative act” (at 575A). Such a task should be more properly left to Parliament. For instance, we note that the relevant expression of the equivalent provision in the Malaysian Penal Code was amended in 1993 to read “in his capacity of a public servant or an agent” …”

Because the “simple” form carried a lesser sentence, the sentences were reduced.

So why did the AGC think that what the six did was “aggravated CBT” and not “simple CBT”.

The answer according to a lawyer is that  the Court in this case did not follow the earlier High Court decision in Tay Choo Wah, which had been applied for some 40 years in Singapore and which held that Penal Code Section 409 applied to directors.

The Court could do this but the judge in the lower court was bound by the decision in Tay Choo Wah.

Will the AGC seek to persuade the Court in a future case that the Court in this case got the interpretation of Section 409 wrong, or pursue a criminal reference under Section 397 of the Criminal Procedure Code?

Or will the law be amended?

I suspect the latter. Because if there’s an appeal under s397 and AGC wins, there’ll be another cyberstorm, The convicted will not have their sentences reinstated*.


 

*I stand corrected. The CA can reinstate the sentences but is not forced to. The sentences cannot be increased. My mistake. 10 April

Revisited: Why we don’t buy the “explanations” of S’pore Inc

In Political governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 27/03/2017 at 7:40 am

In 2010 (before the double blow to the PAP of GE and PE of 2011), I posted a piece that I reproduce below.

I repost Why we don’t buy the “explanations” of S’pore Inc below because recently

— The police and prison service confirmed (double confirmed?) that a 74-yr old woman was handcuffed and restrained when she was moved from the police post to the police division and to the courts. They said it was “part of standard procedure lar”.

— AVA’s culling of fowl asserting are not junglefowl, refusing to do genetic testing. We have to accept its word despite discrepancies in its explanations that the public pointed out.

And last year we had the Benjamin’s death and in Dec 2o13 the Little India riot. Again everything was done by the book: hence no need to explain further. No need even to rethink or learn lessons. (I don’t think the changes introduced after Benjamin’s death and the riots amount to anything other than cosmetic changes to appease its supporters who were troubled by what happened.

In short, the PAP administration has not changed its spots when it comes to accepting responsibility or explaining when mistakes or cock-ups happen.


Why we don’t buy the “explanations” of S’pore Inc (first posted in 2010)

The ex-head of the civil service and now chairman of the Public Service Commission showed he “got it” when he said at a recent speech in the US to S’pore  scholars: If we strive to be world-class, we will be judged by world-class standards. If we say that we have one of the best governments in the world, the public will expect it to solve virtually any problem Singapore faces.

Taz correct.

But he showed he didn’t “get it” when he went on: Some of our citizens are now beginning to expect the government to do the impossible. Many citizens are now less prepared to give the government room to make mistakes and are less forgiving and more demanding. They tend to regard explanations as excuses. Take the recent floods. To some Singaporeans, saying that floods are natural disasters and Singapore cannot be flood-free, sounds like a cop out. Every time something goes wrong in Singapore, citizens ask: “If our public servants and Ministers are so smart and paid so well, why can’t they prevent the problem from occurring, or solve it for good after it occurs?”

He is assuming that the “explanations” given explained what had happened. He should relook this assumption.

Juz look at some of the recent “explanations” that have been given for goof-ups or incidents that caused public inconvenience. Are we wrong in thinking sume people were trying to avoid responsibility?

When MPs asked why the flat of Mas Selamat’s brother was not watched, they were told by the Home Affairs minister that that Mas Selamat could go undetected in the flat “was not a security lapse’ and that hundreds were probed . Err how abt answering the question, “Why wasn’t the flat watched?”

As to the floods, I could not understand the minister’s and senior officials’ explanations. I only “got it” when, on an inside page of ST, it was reported that more rain had fallen in a few hours than it had for days on end i.e. it was very, very heavy rainfall in a very short space of time. Point taken. But this explanation by a junior official was buried deep inside ST, and I’m sure many would have missed reading it. The front page “explanations” failed to give this fact, or where they did, this fact was lost in the smoke of hot air.

The problem is that the “explanations” given often ignore the question, assume that S’poreans are morons or that we are educated, and refuse to admit that mistakes were made. Perhaps PSC should run courses to train scholars to be less arrogant; to admit to making mistakes; and to write in simple, believable prose? One gets the impression that ministers and civil servants attend courses where they are taught not to ever admit making a mistake; and to avoid answering questions.

It wasn’t always like this. When one LKY was PM, mistakes were admitted; and explanations were given in simple and understandable English. I wonder how GCT or LHL would have explained why and how we were kicked out of M’sia, and what was the future of S’pore post-demerger?

And on economical and financial matters, no minister post-1991 has matched the simplicity of Dr Goh’s radio talks and articles.

And asses were kicked and faces shamed. (Admittedly, sometimes the wrong people were punished.)

But let’s be fair: MoE did admit that a scholarship was given to a peeping-tom because the boy’s teachers got some things wrong. He was recently convicted in England for possession of child pornography. But what if the balls-up had been made by officers higher up the food chain? I mean teachers are the lowest of the low in the education food chain, or so I’ve been assured by teachers.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/why-we-dont-buy-the-explanations-of-spore-inc/

Intimidated by police for attending rally?

In Public Administration on 15/03/2017 at 5:26 am

I reference: A police statement was quoted by Channel NewsAsia as claiming that the article “was clearly an attempt to stoke fears about the use of the Speakers’ Corner and sow distrust of the police.”

Tan Tee Seng, a real-life friend, and a social activist shared on Facebook

https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2017/03/13/singapore-police-regrettable-that-reuters-decided-to-carry-unsubstantiated-allegations-from-organisers-of-water-price-hike-protest/

and his experiences after attending a rally at Hong Lim Green.

Police has poor memory. I cannot help but to obliged with the details of what they forgot…

The scene: Hong Lim Park after the Yellow Sit-in on 12 November 2016.
I had already left Hong Lim Park after Yellow Sit-In: Singapore in solidarity with Malaysia. Four police officers showed up at my home and questioned [me] for about 20 minutes. They had apparently identified me from a photo taken at the event. Identifying me, looking up my address and sending four police officers to question me in corridor of my flat and in front of my family for attending a small, peaceful gathering in what is meant to be a free speech park – it was not a regular friendly visit. Was it intimidation? You judge. I did not attend the protest last Saturday, although I want very much my unhappiness of water bill hike announced in the parliament recently. The police investigation is still ongoing as I had not received any closure on the matter – a policy of leaving you hanging or hang you?

I pulled the record from my FB post on 14 November of the incident:
Police officer: Are you aware that holding in public Malaysian flag is an offence?
Me: No (looking incredulous)
Police officer: Under National Emblems Act Chapter 196, shall I read it to you.
Me: no need, i trust Google more
After a while,
Me: Looks like a stupid law to me. Got to change it.
Police officer: we are just investigating accordingly.
Me: I was hoping MPs and Ministers got the chance to read police reports and the statement. Anyway why are athletes allow to display the country flags and run round the stadium when they win?
Police officer: Those are sanctioned events.
Me: You mean events at Hong Lim park is not sanction by the law?
Police officer: we are just investigating
Me: Law must have basis, right? To disallow the display of state flags maybe is to prevent abusing the symbol of the country. We were very respectful of the flags, I was holding it gingerly.
(Finally, the statement go something like this. Not aware of the offence but treated the flags respectfully)

What do you think? Was what happened to Tan Tee Seng meant to “attempt to stoke fears about the use of the Speakers’ Corner”? If so, typical of an ang moh publication to use thr wrong example. LOL

 

Police’s feelings very easily bruised LOL

In Public Administration on 14/03/2017 at 4:29 am

What a bunch of wiltering flowers. No wonder kanna whacked by FTs in Little India a few yrs ago. Shortly after a scathing commission of enquiry (headed by a retired judge) report, the Police Commissioner (a scholar) retired.

Police were upset over a Reuters report that said, “The organizers of Saturday’s protest said more people would have turned up if they had not feared a police crackdown.” (My take on that protest.)

A police statement was quoted by Channel NewsAsia as claiming that the article “was clearly an attempt to stoke fears about the use of the Speakers’ Corner and sow distrust of the police.”

I don’t often agree with ang moh tua kee Kirsten Han but she is absolutely correct to say (on FB) that

If a couple of short paragraphs in a news article can damage public trust in the police force then we have much bigger problems than a Reuters report.

She also attached this report: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singapore-says-reuters-report-water-price-protest-misleading-201625008–business.html

My Facebook avatar’s take of the police sensitivity was:

Juz feeling sensitive after this in this week’s E http://www.economist.com/…/21718571-three-protesters…? Will be calling E’s office later today to report that I did not receive it last Friday. lol

I’ll leave the last word to Melvin Chong who pointedly pointed out

There is no need for anyone to sow distrust of the police when they are fully capable of doing it on their own.

 LOL. Sad

Watergate: All about fleecing the sheep

In Political governance, Public Administration on 04/03/2017 at 4:48 am

Because even efficient users of water face 30% increase.


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

PAP Bandit leader talking about why his gang takes advantage of peasants  (From The Magnificent 7). A bit like natural aristocrats having serfs to serve them.

———————————————————–

“The consumer must feel the price of water, realise how valuable water is in Singapore, every time he or she turns on the tap, right from the first drop,” says water minister Masagos Zulkifli.

So taz why even thrifty users of water kanna whacked. They too are sheep to be sheared in the eyes of Masagos Zulkifli.

Let me explain.

Someone showed me his water bill. His household’s water consumption is only 44% of the national average (water bill says so). But the household too will be hit by the 30% increase, and will get no rebate cause they live in a terrace house. Admittedly it’s “peanuts” ($9 a month), and their life-styles will not be crimped. Juz means no subscription i.e. donation ($36 a year) to Terry’s Online Channel and donation to SPCA ($120 a year), he laughed.

But still getting a household that uses water so efficiently (44% of national average) to pay so much more in absolute terms is ridiculous because the householders don’t waste water and one major justification of the 30% hike is to make users of water realise how much they are wasting.

Why whack efficient users of water in that case also?

Why must they “feel the price of water, realise how valuable water is in Singapore, every time he or she turns on the tap, right from the first drop.”

So that ministeras can be paid a million dollars each isit?

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

is what Masagos Zulkifli should have said.

 

 

Otters, Watergate: What’s worth of ministers’ parly statements?

In Environment, Political governance, Public Administration on 03/03/2017 at 5:12 am

I recently wrote that I was afraid for our Bishan otters because

a population of five in mid 2015, has expanded to 14 in about two years. By the end of 2018, there’ll be 10 sexually mature otters. They won’t be stopping at two for sure.

And

what happened at Sing Ming can happen to the Bishan otters because based on what happened to wild pigs and the fowl, the default mode at AVA to any animal problem is “Cull first, ask questions and BS later”.

So it was really nice that on Tuesday, a junior minister made it clear that

The culling of animals is only a “very small part” of the overall work of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), and it does not track the expenditure it incurs on doing so, said Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee.

Answering a question in Parliament on Tuesday (Feb 28), Mr Lee said AVA takes a multi-pronged approach to manage the animal population and mitigate health and safety concerns. It first undertakes a professional assessment of potential threats that animals might pose to public health and safety, he explained, and AVA will have to act if there “significant health and safety concerns”.

“Where feasible, it will work with stakeholders, including the animal welfare groups and organisations like Wildlife Reserves Singapore, to relocate and rehome these animals,” said Mr Lee. “Culling is used only as a last resort.”

In response to a clarification from Member of Parliament Louis Ng, Mr Lee added that AVA’s total budget for animal management operations for 2016 was S$800,000.

CNA

But then I learnt that VivianB had said in parly in 2015 (juz before GE) that there was no need to change the price of water because of PUB’s improvements in membrane tech and productivity and that the water tariff and WCT reflected the scarcity of water.

But we now know 18 months later than that isn’t true any more (Wah facts change so fast? Can tell us what changed? Or cock-up somewhere? Or 2015 statement was “political”?) and that the price of water will be 30% more because of the cost of producing water and to reflect the scarcity of water.

———————————

“The consumer must feel the price of water, realise how valuable water is in Singapore, every time he or she turns on the tap, right from the first drop,” says Water minister Masagos Zulkifli.

————————————————-

So we can’t trust the word of a PAP minister even when he makes a statement in parly.

Sad.

What S’poreans not told about PISA

In Public Administration on 16/12/2016 at 4:49 am

The constructive, nation-building media, and the PAP IB are going on to warp drive about the latest PISA rankings (S’pore is tops) and the cybernuts are dissing the achievement. Both are insulting the intelligence of the swing voter by not telling S’poreans the facts.

First our education system can’t take most of the credit for the good results. The Asian Chinese tiger moms play a huge part

Second-generation East Asian pupils in Australia are roughly 2.5 years ahead of those with native-born parents. They do even better than pupils in Singapore, the highest-performing country in PISA, even as results in Australia as a whole have fallen.

Economist

(To see a real tiger mom at work read the last few paras of this. She’s the real deal, not this wannabe tiger mum: juz blur KS S’porean.)

So PM is talking a lot of bull (see below).

==========

Global education surveys show Ministry of Education is moving in ‘right direction’: PM Lee

On Tuesday, it was announced that Singapore took first place in all three categories – reading, mathematics and science – in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, its best performance yet in the global benchmarking test.

Conducted once every three years, PISA measures how well 15-year-olds around the world make use of their knowledge to solve problems. A total of 72 economies took part in its 2015 assessment.

Just a week earlier, Singapore’s Primary 4 and Secondary 2 students topped another international ranking in mathematics and science, theTrends in International Mathematics and Science study (TIMSS).

The study, which assessed pupils from 63 other education systems around the world, also found that Singapore students have more positive attitudes towards learning and are immersed in conducive learning environments. Singapore students also showed improvement over the years, especially in higher-order thinking skills.

CNA

===============

Next here FTs do better here in PISA tests than locals (Indians and Malays let the side down? Err juz joking.)

Seriously, PISA rankings show how good a place in a certain kind of test but

Opponents of PISA argue that trying to make sense of all this is like trying to hear oneself over the noise of an obstreperous classroom. They note that education is about more than doing well in tests. And besides, some critics add, there is little useful to learn from the results, since it is culture and parents that lead to swots. Last week in an effort to be funny, Yong Zhao of the University of Kansas wrote that the right response from tests that show spectacular scores in East Asia might as well be for others to start using chopsticks.

PISA has flaws. It is just one of many tests, and tests are not all there is to learning.

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21711247-reforming-education-slow-and-hard-eminently-possible-what-world-can-learn

If we so smart, how come we not good in productivity and uni rankings huh?

The former Argentine education minister Mr Bullrich  says PISA is like an X-ray of a country’s education policy. It is not a full picture of your health but it can help you spot where things are sickly. But this analogy means that it also doesn’t always tell what can be improved upon.

 

PAP administration giving the finger to Int’l Human Rights Day?

In Media, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/12/2016 at 7:30 am

Speakers’ Corner: Photo of “boarded-up” notice board seems very symbolic of the state of freedom of expression in S’pore

Some 60 people commemorated International Human Rights Day at Hong Lim Park. It was organised by MARUAH.The crowd may be small but the speeches were interesting.

Almost all the basic rights enunciated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were touched upon.Interestingly there was a conspicuous absence of plain clothes police officers. There may have been just a couple of them in the crowd. And there was only one police vehicle at the carpark.

The Hong Lim Park Notice is plastered up. New and stiffer regulations will soon be displayed.

2016 has been a bad year for civil rights activists. Many of them were harassed by the police and had their computers, mobile phones, disk drives etc confiscated without court orders. Being hauled up for police interviews appears to be common and frequent. Two recent Hong Lim Park events have seen a number of activists and spectators being questioned by the police.

Finally, the passing of the Administration of Justice (Protection) Bill has stifled free speech to a ridiculous level. This law undermines the judiciary rather than protects it.

(Ms Teo Soh Lung  on her FB page)

 

Real meritocracy at work, not the PAP version

In Political governance, Public Administration on 18/11/2016 at 6:05 am

Furlong, 30, enrolled in a three-month coding boot camp that usesHackerRank, a web platform that trains and grades people on writing computer code. After earning a top ranking for Java developers globally, Furlong was hired by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in December for its two-year technology training program.

This is Wall Street’s new tech meritocracy.

Wall Street needs coders. Banks need to fill so many programming jobs that elite schools can’t possibly pump out enough candidates. So the industry is looking in places it never did. – Bloomberg

From NYT’s Dealbook

Contrast this with the PAP way.

My posts on meritocracy the PAP way

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Lucy Kellaway, FT’s court jester on management issues, once described what Charles Trevelyan, the permanent secretary to the UK Treasury 1840-59, had in mind when he proposed that meritocracy should be introduced into the civil service.

“He wanted young people to be chosen who had merit – the very best,” says Greenaway. “But he believed that the best were to be found in the gentry, in the professional classes. As the 19th Century went on, the education system mirrored the social system. The universities in Oxford and Cambridge and public schools became the preserve of the gentry and the professional classes – clergy and lawyers and so on.”

Education locked in what used to be patronage, replacing it in a way that was acceptable to the conservatives who had been fearing that these exams would undermine the social fabric of the country.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23376561

Sounds like the PAP way doesn’t it?

FTs and Zika/ The dog that didn’t bark

In Public Administration on 03/09/2016 at 7:25 am

Did you know that FTs account for 35% of the Zika cases here? OK 34.78% leh

Taz the conclusion based on the u/m facts reported in the FT

the total number of confirmed cases rose to 115 in the largest single outbreak of the virus in Asia; and

21 Chinese nationals, 13 Indian citizens and six Bangladeshi nationals among the Zika cases in Singapore, according to authorities.

Emphasis mine.

Waz strange* is that TISG is not using these facts to “attack” FTs to attract eyeballs; something that it was perceived to be doing in the recent past. Whatever, good that it is not trying inadvertently “to  promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore”.

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

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

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

Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

Silver Blaze by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Uodate at 2.00pm: Reader pointed out that the mozzies don’t like FT blood: Considering that 40% of the total population is foreigner, and 55% of the working adult population is foreigner …. this means that a smaller proportion of foreigners compared to Sinkies are being infected. Either foreigners have stronger genes or they exercise better mozzie control than Sinkies or the local mozzies can’t stand the smell/taste of foreigner blood.

Zika shows alternative media at its best and worst

In Political governance, Public Administration on 02/09/2016 at 6:09 am

Reading alternative media and the constructive nation-building media, would one know the following (on Tuesday morning) about the Zika outbreak?

The Singapore outbreak appears to be localised. Of the 26 new cases identified in Singapore on Tuesday, 22 live or work near the Aljunied neighbourhood in the south-east of the city where 56 cases were confirmed earlier this week. [OK FT had not heard about Bedok case]

At least 36 of the Singapore Zika patients are foreign construction workers …[They] live in dormitories separate from the local population, reducing the risks of transmitting illnesses.

You might just. Many in the alternative media, and the PAP administration’s media allies (or worse) have good reasons to complicate the facts and issues.

So three cheers for the WP, and people in the alternative media like Chris K ,  Daniel Yap and others in Team TMG, Terry and others in Team TOC (“All the measures now by MOH are only implemented after the first find” is more than fair comment) and Alex Au (a super piece on Zika), are doing the right thing by asking relevant questions or pointing out the PAP administration’s BS.

We need more citizen analysts and journalists like Chris K, Alex Au  Daniel Yap and his team at TMG (Yes even though there is there someone who wanted to be a Sith Lord until told the vacancy had been filled), Terry and his team at Terry’s Online Channel, SgDaily* and Forever Vagabond (If he keeps away from Nathan, OTC, investments, SMRT and DBS and focuses on social injustice here).

They believe like CP Scott “Comment is free, but facts are sacred”


Charles Prestwich Scott (26 October 1846 – 1 January 1932) was a British journalist, publisher and politician. Born in Bath, Somerset,[1] he was the editor of the Manchester Guardian(now the Guardian) from 1872 until 1929 and its owner from 1907 until his death. He was also a Liberal Member of Parliament and pursued a progressive liberal agenda in the pages of the newspaper.

(Wikipedia)

———————–

And we need a lot less of those in Team TISG** and the TRE cybernuts now joining TISG. They make the likes of Mad Dog and Goh Meng Seng sound pretty rational. At least Mad Dog and GMS don’t pretend to anything other than partisan.


Cover-up? What cover-up?

My response to the almost similarly worded rants by the SDP and TISG (Sharing resources isit? That poor?) is

If there was a cover-up i.e, we’d not be told there was one case. And then told that there were 41 cases with more to come. We’d not be told nothing. And that the clean-op activity etc were “Juz precautions leh. Cannot isit?”

MoH was complacent and was “caught with their pants down” even if on the issue of “alarm” in the Zika case, I’m on govt’s side, like I was over haze and masks when a prominent blogger went bananas a few yrs ago.

I’m not the only one who has issues with the usual suspects. Here’s a non-partisan view from a person working in communications

Singapore had its first confirmed case of Zika on 28 August 2016, and the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a press statement on the same day and called for a press conference the next day. Unfortunately, when it comes to managing issues concerning viruses (especially when the symptoms are mild and can be easily misdiagnosed) retrospective diagnosis is not uncommon. Thus when further testing on previously undiagnosed cases were done, the number of confirmed Zika cases rose literally overnight. When these additional numbers were subsequently made public, alternates were quick to accuse the MOH for deliberately hiding information from the public.
 
What is disconcerting is that these unfounded allegations against the Government hinders the proper and effective flow of important health information to the public. Instead of focusing the public on what they should and can do to protect themselves from the Zika virus, the public is distracted to focus on a non-existent witch-hunt. Valuable government resources are then diverted from dealing with the crisis to dispelling unfounded rumors.
 
As communications consultants, we constantly advocate for information to be released as soon as possible to stay ahead of the social media cycle. However, we also advise clients tobalance the need for speed with the need for accuracy. This is because false positives can cause unnecessary panic (especially in instances concerning public health) and this will affect the credibility of the organization and any subsequent message that is released.
 
Not being privy to what the MOH knew, or the thinking behind their decision, we can only speculate. What we do know is that when dealing with a crisis, there are usually trade-offs when deciding what to communicate with the public. In the case of Singapore’s first confirmed case of locally transmitted Zika, we assess that the MOH needed to decide whether to unnecessarily alarm Singaporeans (and visitors to Singapore which will impact the economy), or to allow the Government to be accused of a cover-up. Rightly or wrongly, we noted that the MOH chose to be responsible and opted not to cause alarm.
But let’s be fair. The PAP administration has in recent months shown yet again that its preferred option is to avoid telling S’poreans anything that is inconvenient to the administration. Think “Traingate” and “SGHgate”.
So reasonable people have grounds not to trust the PAP administration’s version of anything, giving TISG’s and the cybernuts’ rantings some credibility.
————————

What annoys me is the Goh Meng Seng’s, TISG’s, SDP’s etc rants are full of misleading information, allegations and wrong assumptions: “Facts are irrelevant when it comes to criticising the PAP administration”.

This doesn’t help the responsible people in alternative media and those of us opposed to the PAP’s hegemony connect with the swing voters. Worse, misleading or false  information, allegations and wrong assumptions, mean that the reality of the PAP administration’s cock-ups and misdeeds are often ignored by swing voters because the news and analysis comes from alternative media, and the swing voter associates alternative media with the likes of TISG and TRELand.

Finally, juz wondering, if the TRE turned TISG cybernuts will attract to TISG rabid TRE posters like Oxygen***, Dosh, GreatEagle etc? TISG must hope that Oxygen will migrate to a new and better rats’ nest. He was rumoured to have donated $10,000 to TRE in 2015. TISG sure can use that kind of money.


*My Facebook avatar can post links on the SgDaily’s wall.

** The boast “Government and related agencies see us as a useful loudhailer.” is really surprising.

***Example: The 69% are TOO STUPID TO EVEN KNOW THEY ARE STUPID – some even clapping fictitious CPF returns of 2.5% to 3% per annum (really is MONOPOLY money credited to their imprisoned CPF accounts cannot be withdrawn) when global interest rate is 1.5% or negative for even 10-yr govt bond yields.

Other stupid Sinkies voted PAPpy looking skyward IMAGINING their property values will soar higher with municipal carrots dangling in front of their greedy eyes. ALL STUPID – even prime waterfront property hold for 10 years lost millions of dollars.

Here is my evidence.

https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/1-4-mil-loss-reflections-000000355.html

And there are also IDIOTS AMONG THE 70% Sinkies thinks PAPpy immigration policy of massive influx will bring in rich Ah Tiongs to chase their property value up.

WRONG!!! stupid again.

 

 

 

Experiment that failed in Japan, being tried here

In Internet, Public Administration on 28/08/2016 at 4:24 am

It’s really hard to believe that Yaacob is an RI boy, I mean RI boys are supposed to be smart, not stupid. OK, OK I know he’s Minister for Communications and Information, Minister-incharge of Muslim Affairs and Minister in charge of Cyber Security. But Minister in charge of Cyber Security, ne’s trying out something here that failed in Japan.

William Saito, a special cyber security adviser to the Japanese government, said some Japanese companies had cut internet access in the past year, usually after a breach. “They cut themselves off because they thought it was a good idea,” he said, “but then they realised they were pretty dependent on this internet thing.”

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/24/singapore-to-cut-off-public-servants-from-the-internet

Let’s see if the PAP administration can succeed where the Japanese cos failed.

Meanwhile at a real animal farm

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/07/2016 at 1:06 pm

Maybe they’ve been taking lessons from the PAP administration?

Perdue Aims to Make Chickens Happier and More Comfortable The poultry producer’s plans to improve conditions for its chickens could force competitors to adopt similar measures.

Seriously, ain’t Pioneer benefits, improving the public tpt syste,m and SingHealth, and building more public housing etc all meant to make life happier and more comfortable for the sheep voters? and it’s all with our own money.

Sounds like our tpt and public housing systems

In Private Equity, Public Administration on 03/07/2016 at 5:36 am

But first

When the population surged by half a million:
Did PAP increase the number of hospital beds? No
Did PAP construct additional housing to cater to the population increase? No.
Did PAP conduct additional maintenance for our MRT? No

(One of TRE’s usual suspects and he has a point: remember PM’s apology of sorts in 2011.)

This brings us to the issues of public tpt and public housing where, inter alia, the NYT Dealbook explains why the profit-motive and doesn’t work, as does cutting costs, increasing prices. (But note that the New York Times is more socialist than Mad Dog Chee. It pretends to be capitalist.)

IN PRIVATE EQUITY’S HANDS, PUBLIC SERVICES AND HOUSING IN DISARRAYSince the 2008 financial crisis, private equity firms have taken over a widening array of civic and financial services that are central to American life, Danielle Ivory, Ben Protess and Kitty Bennett report in DealBook. People interact with private equity when they call emergency services, pay their mortgage, play a round of golf or turn on the kitchen tap for a glass of water.

Unlike other for-profit companies, which often have years of experience in certain services, private equity’s main skill is to make money. And in many of these businesses, it applied a sophisticated moneymaking playbook, cutting costs, increasing prices, litigating and lobbying, a Times investigation has found.

In emergency care and firefighting, this has created a fundamental tension when there is a push to turn a profit while caring for people in their most vulnerable moments. And the effects have been dire. Under private equity ownership, some ambulance response times worsened, heart monitors failed and companies slid into bankruptcy. In at least two cases, lawsuits contend, poor service led to patient deaths.

Cities and towns have struggled to pay for public infrastructure and ambulance services since the financial crisis and private equity stepped in. At the same time, private equity firms have moved in where banks have scaled back their mortgage operations. The shift has happened with relatively little scrutiny, and now private equity firms are repeating the mistakes that banks made during the housing crisis, Matthew Goldstein, Rachel Abrams and Ben Protess report. They are quick to foreclose on homeowners and are losing families’ mortgage paperwork, much as the banks did.

Many of these practices were enabled by the federal government, which sold tens of thousands of discounted mortgages to private equity investors, while making few demands on how they treated struggling homeowners.

The Times examined the largest private equity firms operating in the housing industry to assess their impact on homeowners and renters. Lone Star Funds’ mortgage operation has aggressively pushed thousands of homeowners toward foreclosure. Nationstar Mortgage, which leaped over big banks to become the fourth-largest collector of mortgage bills, repeatedly lost loan files and failed to detect errors in other documents. Its mistakes put borrowers “at significant risk of servicing and foreclosure abuses,” according to regulatory records.

When it invests in real estate, private equity also needs to compete for middle-market renters to serve pension fund investors that have come to expect strong returns. As a result, it tends to focus on suburban communities where relatively few people hold federal subsidy vouchers. “These firms are going into markets which would have recovered anyway,” said Alan Mallach, senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress, a nonprofit that advises communities on dealing with vacant and blighted homes. As a result, many of the working poor are being bypassed.

Read more about The Times investigations into broadening private equity ownership here.

Now this sounds like S’pore:  As a result, many of the working poor are being bypassed.

And I speak as someone who has good experiences using SingHealth, and public tpt (Off-peak of course. But pre-2011 GE, this was painful.)

ELD owes us tax-payers a clear explanation

In Political governance, Public Administration on 26/06/2016 at 2:03 pm

Not my words but that of a TRE reader who wrote the following

Where does ELD draw the line?

I have read the news of the arrest of Teo Soh Lung, Roy Ngerng and Jason Chua by the police for breaking the Cooling Off or Polling Day rules. How did the election department know who break the Cooling-Off day rules? I thought it only applied to candidates and their parties? If they are investigating individuals who had posted political things on Cooling off day, they should also be investigating so many others. Why draw the line at Teo Soh Lung, Roy Ngerng and Jason?

Augustin Lee said he complain to election department on 30 May about fabrication about the pap but the department did not take any action. Why didn’t the election department take any action against FAP after the complaint? The election department should explain to commoners like us why they did not do anything to Fabrication Against the pap. They can lodge report against Roy and Teo Soh Lung but show double standard when comes to a pro-government page.

Next election or by election we complain to election department about postings by people who are anti-government then we will see police report made against them. If complain about pro government then confirm sweep under carpet.

I think ELD owes us tax-payers a clear explanation.

Angry Singaporean

 

And govt wants to encourage fintech?/ PAP is never wrong

In Banks, Economy, Internet, Political governance, Public Administration on 22/06/2016 at 6:04 am

Is Tharman trying to tell jokes again? (Examples in the past, another recent one?). He’s the leading advocate of fintech here.

But demand for digital services leaves banks and other financial institutions more open to more risk. The majority of top bankers said they were open to more risks than they could manage as a result of digital developments, according to a global survey of bankers by the consultancy Accenture.

Yet the PAP administration has indicated by its plan to restrict direct access to the internet for civil servants that it is trying to cut cybersecurity risks by cutting internet connections.

——————————————————

Delinking cicil servants from the internet

‘The Govt’s move to delink computers used by civil servants from direct access to the Internet is “absolutely necessary” to keep govt data and public services secure,’ PM. He cited the possibility of personal data like NRIC numbers, addresses and income tax returns being hacked and put up for sale in the internet.

When this policy takes effect in May next year, civil servants can only access the Internet through dedicated computers or through their own computers. It seems that there have been very determined attacks on the Govt’s IT systems and the threats are getting more severe and sophisticated. Just relying on the system’s defensive measures is looking like a losing proposition? It is best to cut the connections to the minimum?

————————————————————-

So how does the call for more fintech dovetails with the plan to deny most civil servants direct access to the internet?

 

Fintech is all about increasing connections, the civil service delinking initiative is all about cutting connections.

Does the PAP administration think that the banks and other financial institutions can safeguard data better than it can? Or that the data financial institutions hold  is not so impotant?

Or maybe is the delinking policy, is as suggested by Chris K, aimed at avoiding a PR disaster:” PAP must always look good even when PAP goofs”? A variant of “Napoleon is always right”*?

Or is Tharman just joking about the importance of fintech to S’pore?


*Another one of Boxer’s mottoes is “I will work harder”. Sounds so S’porean and something that the PAP encourages. But then why is productivity is so worryingly low. Too many of the PAP’s favoured caste, FTs, isit?

AVA’s e-system sucks, really sucks

In Public Administration on 23/05/2016 at 1:55 pm

In March I received a letter from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority telling me one of my dog licences was expiring today. I put it aside planning to go to post officer nearer the date.

About two weeks ago, I took out the letter and found the usual forms were not attached. Seemed everything was to be done electronically.

When I went into the website, there was a notice telling people not to call the help-line because there were lots of calls. Better to email contact number and wait for a call. looks like there was a lot of problems.

I emailed the AVA asking what was happening on renewing licences. I got a prompt call back. The girl told me that so long as I had an i/c number to create an account and a credit card to use to pay no problem.

Well today I went into the system to create an account. At first things were easy. But then there were two problems

— Some of the address fields were not working so I could not type in my address in the prescribed format (Code got Buddhists taking day off, isit?).

— The form required an alternate contact. That would be my 90+ mum as we stay together. Problem is that the alternate contact must have a H/P number. Well my mum doesn’t have a H/P. Bet, I’ll be told to key in my H/P number twice

So I emailed AVA pointing out the problems I’m having. And posted this.

I’ll keep readers posted on this e-govt initiative.

FYI, I use Chrome browser and am still on XP, so let’s see if they blame the technical problems on these.

Update at 2.40pm: AVA is working today. I got a prompt reply which helped me create an account. As expected I was asked to use my H/P number for my mum’s contact number which really defeats the purpose of a second contact.

And I had double confirmation that there were problems in the address fields. They asked me to key in my postal code. Well I had done that first time, but nothing happened. Now my address appears. WTF!

I got into the system but there was no way to pay. Worse there was a misleading info. There was a note saying that I had received a second reminder earlier this month, Never did. WTF!

Update on 24 May qat 4.00 am. AVA’s response team is awesome. When I sent my second email, I got a phone call. The girl took me thru the payment process. Turned out to be my fault. I like using Chrome but because I have cataracts (Cannot yet be operated on: I’ll ask doctor on next visit whether if I were a private patient, not a SingHealth cheapskate, would I have had an operation by now?) I zoom to 175% for easy, speed reading. I should have reset it to 100% for the AVA site.

Actually Firefox is a better browser, But S’pore organisations are not Firefox friendly. I’ve filled up forms, press “Send” and get “technical error”. Turns out that the sites don’t do Firefox. .

 

 

 

 

 

The Lion roars

In Political governance, Public Administration on 31/03/2016 at 2:11 pm

On 21 March. Leon the Lion reported on his Facebook page Today I filed this Parliamentary Question for oral answer at the next available sitting:

“To ask the Minister for Health (a) what are the names of the SGH and Ministry staff who have been disciplined in connection with the Hepatitis C hospital infection cluster in 2015; (b) what are the penalties and/or warnings that they individually received; and (c) for what reasons have these penalties and/or warnings been given in each case.”

[Readers will know I have problems with the naming of so many people, but I agree with his two other points about the details of their “honest mistakes”. Related post.

The Hepatitis C infection cluster in 2015 was a tragedy that led to seven lives being lost. With confidence in our healthcare system at stake, Singaporeans deserve to know who was held to account and in what way. After all, when doctors are sanctioned by the Singapore Medical Council, they are publicly named. I hope that Parliament will be able to debate this matter of grave public concern. 

[Looks like the beast in him wants blood via a cyberspace lynching. I think a deep bow and apology from the CEO of SGH is sufficient.]

Leon the Lion is no duckweed. Neither is he a highly paid social worker like the elected WP MPs. And he like the rest of the WP East Coast team (bar Gerald Giam, I hear) is walking the ground there. After GE2011 GG went AWOL, though to be fair that team broke up after GE 2011.

I’ll end with a question a reader asked about how infection is controlled in public hospitals

What I really like to know is what actions have been taken to control infection/cross-infection in every conceivable medical situation or protocol. It is the renal ward today. It can be another specialty/ward tomorrow. Granted that this is highly specialised and technical work requiring a very keen sense of awareness and detailed knowledge of procedures, (and detective work, perhaps?) etc. The best and onerous way about it is to embark on a very thorough and detailed audit of every pertinent and relevant medical/clinical/ward area/activity. Is this now being done?

As an example, MRSA infection, nowadays a rather common infection acquired by patients as a result of hospital stay. What is actively and effectively being done to monitor and control it? Are patients aware of the steps he/she has to take to protect himself/herself and for those who have been infected/acquired MRSA, how can they protect themselves and their family members, relatives and friends whom they come into contact with during hospital visits and upon discharge from hospital? What medical procedure and control measures have been formalized and implemented by the MOH across the board not only for SGH, but ALL private/public/restructured Singapore hospitals? At the moment, it seems very much like a ‘see no evil, say no evil and hear no evil’ situation of pretense and hoping that nothing worse would/can happen even when it can be a very serious infection for one who had contacted it and there is no available more powerful antibiotic to fight it.

Can someone who knows any good PAP MP (think Lily Neo or Puthu son of Coldstore detainee) or any of the three WP NMPs pass this on to them and ask them to raise this issue. Don’t bother with any of elected MPs of the Wankers’ WP: they are Tin Pei Lin clones. Highly paid social workers who only “Talk cock, sing song” in Parly when they are not silent.

 

What really went wrong at SGH?

In Public Administration on 21/03/2016 at 1:57 pm

And why the reluctance to do more than issue letters of warning?

A regular reader and commenter of this blog who seems to have been  a medical doctor and administrator has an explanation.

Note he had already raised the issue of the use of shared vials here before the internal report came out. He goes further below presumably having read the internal report.

This WAS a systems failure whereby the major gap was allowing same vial of insulin for multiple patients i.e. shared vials, although supposedly using fresh, sterile needles & syringes. By using shared vials, this created a single point of failure if any of the 1,001 aspects of infection control was not strictly adhered to. E.g. lack of hand disinfection — between patients, before drug preparation, before administering insulin, after administering insulin; not disinfecting the rubber bung of the shared vial adequately before use; not using new sterile needles/syringes; using new sterile needles/syringes but leaving them exposed for too long or mishandling them thus rendering them no longer sterile; etc etc. The possibilities are endless.

And then the pathogen being introduced into the shared vial and subsequently being re-transmitted, even though subsequent usage all followed 100% infection control — the bug is already in the insulin/vial, no matter how solid & how sterile you prepare the subsequent insulin administrations for other patients, you’re simply injecting them with already contaminated insulin.

Who’s responsible?!?! The senior doctors, medical directors who came up with this protocol in the 1st place??? The CEO or chief medical officer who approved & signed off on this protocol?!?!? The infection control team & educators who didn’t educate the ground staff enough, and weren’t vigilant enough in their audits & random spot checks?!?!?! The external audit teams who couldn’t detect any shortcomings & signed off that the staff are following protocol?!?!? The actual ground staff/staff nurses who got careless or bochap or simply burnt out to overlook 100% of the by-the-book steps?!??! How many of these staff nurses??? 1, 2 or the whole lot of them?!?!?

Going by what he says maybe the Health Minister must commit hari-kiti? No wonder only warning letters were issued? And ST is wayanging?

(Related post: GCT believes in Jap values. But not for the elites.)

Seems I was right to ask if ST’s call for a public cyber-lynching of “responsible” staff is a lot of wayang aimed at distracting attention away from those that must take responsibility: the CEO of SGH and athe MoH senior officer that delayed reporting the matter to the minister.

“Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. But what does he do if there is no forest? He grows a forest to hide it in.”― G.K. Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown

ST wants cyberspace lynching? Waz its agenda?

In Public Administration on 20/03/2016 at 1:53 pm

Name those responsible for Hep C infections at SGH

Staff confidentiality has no part to play when there is a serious breach of patient care

 

No the above did not appear in TRE or TOC or any other anti-PAP blog. It appeared in the constructive, nation-building ST and was written by its long-time health reporter, a usually reliable ally of MoH. She was ranting like any cybernut rat from TRELand, The findings should have gone a long way towards restoring the badly dented reputation of SGH, which describes itself on its website as “Singapore’s flagship tertiary hospital with a history and tradition of medical excellence spanning two centuries”.

Instead, all we were told this week was that disciplinary action has been taken against 16 (unidentified) senior-level people, and that the action included “warnings, stern warnings and financial penalties”.

The public had expected transparency and accountability*.

Well the TRE rats would agree with her.

What she’s missing is that where there is a systems failure where no-one person or group persons are primarily responsible, in management or organisation theory, it’s wrong to name and shame all of them publicly. This is especially true in  the age of social media. The cybermob can bully and intimidate. Is this what a responsible reporter and the nation-building ST want? Cybermobs running riot in cyberspace, bullying and intimidating.

Coming back to mgt theory, the CEO of SGH is the one that has to accept public responsibility for the failure of procedures that resulted deaths and someone at MoH has to accept the responsibility of not informing the minister earlier.

The reporter and ST should have asked for a Japanese style apology from the CEO of SGH and the senior MoH officer responsible for the delay in reporting the problem. GCT was keen to stress Jap values so long as they didn’t apply to the PAP administrationKhaw when it applied to the WP.

Where’s GCT’s and Khaw’s Jap style of responsibility from the head of SGH and the senior official in MoH**?

Actually is this the kind of Jap behaviour the PAP administration prefers? CEO takes cover.

Coming back to the ST article, could the call for the naming and shaming of staff be a smoke screen to avoid the real issue of who should take responsibility for the deaths, and the late reporting of the problem? Is it to avoid the CEO of SGH being made to accept public responsibility for the failure of procedures that resulted deaths? Is it to protect someone at MoH who would have otherwise had to accept the responsibility of not informing the minister earlier?

What do you think?

“Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. But what does he do if there is no forest? He grows a forest to hide it in.”― G.K. Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown

In this story, Father Brown, an amateur detective, deducted that a commanding officer hid his murder of a fellow-officer by sending his soldiers into battle in the area where the body lay. The dead bodies of the soldiers “covered up” the murder.

Is ST and the reporter growing a forest to help their ally, the PAP administration, avoid the issue of mgt responsibility for the deaths and the late reporting?

What do you think?

——–

*But it does not tell us who these people were, how they were at fault, and what disciplinary action has been taken against each of them.

When asked for details, the MOH spokesman said: “Adhering to staff and patient confidentiality norms, we would like to assure the public that the staff who were involved in the incident have been disciplined accordingly.

“The disciplinary actions were decided based on the specific roles, responsibilities and job nature of the officers, as well as the nature of the incident and the impact of their actions in this episode.”

Sounding like one of those anti_PAP warriors she cont’d

Patient confidentiality, one can understand. But staff confidentiality?

The public had expected transparency and accountability.

Instead, what it got was roughly: “We’ve looked into it and taken action. You don’t need to know anything more. Just trust us to do the right thing.”

Staff confidentiality has no place when people have died because of something those 16 people did or failed to do.

Patients go to a hospital to be cured, not to get an avoidable infection because staff were cavalier, or negligent, or inept.

Yes, hospital-acquired infections are unfortunately common, and people do catch them and die as a result. But this was not a case of an airborne bug which spreads easily.

This, according to the Independent Review Committee set up by the MOH, was likely due to “gaps in infection prevention and control practices”.

Doesn’the above sound like something from an anti-PAP blogger, not from a responsible reporter from the nation-building, constructive ST?

**She pointed out:

It bears repeating: 25 people were infected and seven deaths were possibly caused by the outbreak.

Tell us, was it caused by laziness, negligence or ineptitude – or something else altogether. Tell us also that this incident is viewed seriously by spelling out the actions taken.

If people are left with the impression that doctors and ministry officials get special protection no matter what they do, then confidence in the system will be badly eroded.

Can’t argue with her and her cyber-rat fans cheering her on.

 

 

 

Treatment of Roy and MoH, SGH staff

In Public Administration on 20/03/2016 at 7:05 am

 

The above has been making the rounds in cyberspace. And even some usual rational people say that it has a point.

A super troll points out that it’s comparing rambutans to durians: Big difference. The latter made “honest mistakes” in the cause of their duties that sadly resulted in deaths. Roy was skivving while at work.

Update at 7.10am

Lest one forgets, being given a”warning” letter are usually career-damaging in the public sector. The anti-PAP waeeiors don’t point out/.

Update at 10,15am: PAPpy pointed out in a FB post: Prior to his dismissal, two warnings were served and all these were in black and white and communicated professionally in the best relationship between an employer and employee.

And

He was caught red handed because the PC n mailbox are the property of the company. He was caught red handed. Prior to this, the whole company knows that he was not using the working hours constructively liao. Not only that, he was consulted by his superior many times until TTSH had to serve him warning letters to communicate the process leading to his termination officially. So in which way u don’t understand, please feel free to check with TTSH.

Attend C after taking anti-malaria tablets

In Public Administration on 09/03/2016 at 2:38 pm

There is an article on TRE My son nearly died from SAF issued Anti-Malaria drug. The writer claims that it was his wife that “convinced”. medical experts that the boy’s problems could be due to the malaria pills. Whatever, it would seem that SAF was failing in its duty of care in the initial treatment of the case.

Here’s a story from a fellow member of a closed Facebook discussion group. The SAF’s bo chap attitude is clear from the bits I bolded.

“Just to share my personal experience during BMT:

1. When given malaria pills we were asked if anyone has G6PD*, but allergies are hard to detect because nobody will take such pills before going to NS.

2. I contracted the “Tekong Cough” which lead to high fever and bronchitis , I was “awarded” attend C and expected to make my way home all the way from Tekong to my home in Jurong West. It was a long and painful journey on train, almost pass out near Clementi, and I alighted and took a taxi home. I saw the GP as the medication from the MO was just panadol and cough mixture and I spent an entire week bed ridden due to lack of proper medical attention while in camp. I don’t really blame the Medical Centre seeing the daily horde of “patients” they have to handle in the morning and some of the MOs are fresh grads from med school with hardly any practising experience.

3. Be smart if you feel taking the malaria pills are hurting your body just pretend to swallow and spit out later. No point dying for your country this way.”

And really given that anti-malaeia pills can cause nasty problems, there should be doctors in Tekong Medical Centre that can detect possible cases of the nasty side effects of taking the pills. As the writer points out if one hasn’t taken the pills before, how to know know if got allergy to it? Catch 22.

————————–

*Should be termed “G6PD Deficiency”. People with this tend to have red blood cells that self-destruct easily. 1 of my ex-platoon guys has this disorder.

Quite a number of Asian males have this recessive genetic disorder. Usually asymptomatic but can flare up in serious illness due to adverse drug interactions, infection, or certain foods especially broad beans.

Serious illness can be hemolytic crisis (severe anemia & jaundice), DKA or ARF, and can result in death.

The most famous drug allergy for G6PD deficiency people are: anti-malarial drugs, sulfa-antibiotics (usually older 1st-generation-type antibiotics), and Aspirin.

(A regular reader who is very knowlegable on medical matters. I suspect he has medical qualifications.)

HDB policy makes life harder for single mums

In Public Administration on 06/03/2016 at 7:00 am

“One single mother said she was regarded by HDB as “too well-off to qualify for a rental flat, but too poor to buy a flat.” Many are forced to rent in the open market, depleting what assets or savings they have left. By the time the 30-month debarment period is over, even if they did not start out poor, they have become poor. It is thus rental access rather than home ownership which needs attention.

The limitations of Fresh Start

Emphasis mine.

This is how a rental flat family lives

Nurhaida Binte Jantan is making dinner. She is roasting otah-otah, a Malay dish of fish paste wrapped in banana leaves, over a portable stove.

She is a 29-year-old unemployed single mother with six children from five to 13 years old. She lives in a tiny flat, just 30 square metres, with little furnishing.

There is no dining table, so the children eat their otah-otah with rice and chillies crouched on the floor.

The children share the single bedroom – their only bedding is mattresses and thick blankets. Nurhaida sleeps on the sofa in the living room.

She receives weekly groceries from charities, as well as about S$600 ($474, £262) a month in government aid and money from a boyfriend. But she admits that it is difficult to make ends meet. She has not been able to afford asthma medicine for her second daughter for months.

“No one can afford to get sick in this house because our finances are too tight. It’s quite tough and a struggle for me to be raising them up,” she said.

“I have to look after this house 24/7… so for me if I were to find a job, it would have to be a night job, so that once they are in bed, I can go out and the older kids can watch the young ones.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26349689

 

PAPpies keep trying trick that’s obsolescent

In Political governance, Public Administration on 16/02/2016 at 3:27 pm

The internet, new media and social media makes the trick ever easier to detect. Yet they persist in treating this trick as a Hard Truth, even though when caught out it makes them look like Phey Yew Kok and friends. Why do they persist? That stupid and complacent isit? Why liddat?

The above were my tots when GIC’s ex-chief economist (now with the Institute of Policy Studies) highlighted this bit in SunT’s report on an environment assessment report which said the effect of soil testing works on animals and plants in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve could be kept to “moderate” levels if measures to reduce impact are strictly implemented when building MRT tracks in the area.

What does “moderate” mean? The roughly 1,000-page report, seen by The Sunday Times, said a moderate impact “falls somewhere in the range from a threshold below which the impact is minor, up to a level that might be just short of breaching a legal limit”.

Assistant Professor Chian Siau Chen of the civil and environmental engineering department at the National University of Singapore said there are usually five categories under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) framework: Major, moderate, minor, negligible and beneficial.

My FB avatar posted

Thanks for highlighting the scale. So Moderate comes after Major ((((( Reminds me of what Financial Times wrote: “The practice of “reservation” — giving answers that are technically accurate but tactically misleading — was honed by medieval Jesuits ….

‘There is a problem with Jesuitical equivocation, as select committee hearings may show. It makes exponents look shifty if they are rumbled.” In the age of the internet the PAP govt should be learning new tricks, not try to use old tricks that no longer work.giving answers that are technically accurate but tactically misleading

(Emphasis mine)

This reminded me about another recent incident where the literal truth misled and S’pore Technologies was made to look shifty.

Remember the story that we we had PRC parachute riggers?

The u/m appeared on a senior lawyer’s wall

“The SAF continues to fully employ its Riggers, particularly for key operations and training. In order to optimise our resources, we have outsourced the parachute-packing function to Singapore Technologies (ST)”.

Question : If the parachute-packing is outsourced to ST, what do the riggers do?

Answer : Dunno. Answer is (probably intentionally) obscure. One possibility is that the riggers check the parachutes – but the SAF’s answer is far from being a model of clarity.

Question : Has the outsourcing of packing to ST reduced the SAF’s need for riggers?

Answer : Almost certainly.

Question : Are there PRC nationals employed by ST to pack parachutes.

Answer : SAF doesn’t say. Who knows.

Question : Do ST packers have to jump with a chute they’ve packed themselves?

Answer : SAF didn’t say.

And

A very direct allegation (that parachute packing is now being done by PRC nationals) was made, and the answer was vague, and did not contain a denial…… Hmmmm.

Why didn’t the SAF simply state that no foreign nationals are employed to pack parachutes? I hope it’s ineptness in public relations rather than clumsy 1MDB style non-denials.

The rather sad thing is that the newspapers pick up on the SAF response and repeat it verbatim as news, without asking any follow up questions trying to understand what it really means in simple terms.

This is the ‘uncritical’ media culture we have … In today’s day and age, where Singapore is trying to promote risk taking and value creation, the newsmedia culture is somewhat outmoded ,,,

My FB avatar chirped:

Someone in another group informed of a deleted comment. It could explain why SAF aswered the way it did./// “I checked into this. Here’s what I was told:
“There are a couple of PRC Riggers who are under IWF (Integrated Work Force) and work for ST. These Riggers are US certified and will be certified again by the SAF if they have met the requirements and standards. Their pack jobs are certified by SAF Riggers who approve that the parachutes are ready and good for jump. They are only basic trained and perform their job according to their level.””///

The internet, new media and social media make giving answers that are technically accurate but tactically misleading easier to catch and this makes exponents look shifty if they are rumbled. In the age of the internet, the PAP administration should be learning new tricks (like telling the tral truth, not just the literal truth), not try to use old tricks that no longer work like giving answers that are technically accurate but are misleading.

 

 

A*STAR, unlucky or accident-prone?

In Public Administration on 17/01/2016 at 1:21 pm

Is there anything wrong with the way A*Star selects scholars?

I mean we have had the very entitled scholar Eng.

And now we hear that ex-A^Star scholar Ouyang Xiangyu admitted putting toxic substances (i.e. mildly poisonous substances) in the water bottles of two lab mates. But she never had any personal issues with them and “didn’t mean to harm people”, she said.

Huh? She really must be looney to want to poison people who she didn’t dislike ? And double loooney to poison people that she “didn’t mean to harm”? Juz the kind of looney criminal that Batman sends to Arkham.

Seriously, she comes across as one of the guards in a Nazi concentration camp explaining to their trial judges why they did what they did to inmates. They often  said they “didn’t mean to harm”. or that they don’t hate the inmates: juz doing their duty and obeying orders.

Let’s wish her well*, unlike the PAPpies (Think readers and followers of Jason Chua and FATPAP) who are screaming that she should have been jailed or hung** for disgracing S’pore (They forgot court is US court), but surely there must be a flaw with the way A*STAR chooses its scholars.

One swallow does not make a summer. But two?

And remember Oscar’s Wilde: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

To have one scholar that is a potential inmate of Gotham City’s Arkham may be an accident, but to have two nut cases looks like carelessness. And is worrying use of taxpayers’ money.

————–

*She got probation and has to do community service in California, and is getting treatment. I can’t help but think that in the S’pore of the early 80s (when I was a close observer of how the govt did things), the matter would be resolved quietly since the victims were only slightly hurt and because she was a scholar. She’d have to give up her scholarship (but not pay any penalty for bond breaking) and seek treatment, and the public would be no wiser.

Wonder if her parents, guarantors have to pay up on her bond? I hope not.

**OK I exaggerate about the hanging, but not by much. Their long-lost siblings, the TRE cybernuts shout the same tots.

 

Headmaster that blur meh?

In Media, Public Administration on 11/01/2016 at 12:00 pm

Maybe it’s a surprise that we don’t have more PTSD victims like Amos Yee given the logic of this ex-headmaster.

The ex-principal (going for further studies, not kanna fired) of Shuqun Secondary recently responded* to

In September of last year, this video of a bullying incident in Shuqun Secondary School surfaced and soon went viral.

http://theindependent.sg/deliberate-and-irresponsible-reporting-outgoing-shuqun-secondary-principal-takes-tmg-to-task/

In summarry, he blamed new media (and the constructive, nation-building media: the PAPpy friendly ST etc reported the Middle Ground’s story) for blowing up the bullying incident and not telling the truth. The reporting was “deliberate and irresponsible”: this included supposedly “balanced” online and mainstream media who felt right to reproduce the articles choosing to feature sensationalised headlines that gave a wrong impression of the facts.

The problem (i.e. flaw) with his analysis is simple. Until he gave his side of the story, three months after the event, there was only silence from him and the MoE. So how could there be “balance” or “truth” (whatever this is)? Now he and the MOE may have reasonable and legtimate reasons for silence if the decision to keep quiet wasn’t simply an honest mistake**.

Whatever, how can he now blame media (new and constructive, nation-building) of irresponsible behaviour when he was unwilling or unable to say anything at the time the video went viral?  If anyone was “deliberate and irresponsible” (I assume he really meant “deliberately irresponsible”) , it was the silence of theprincipal and perhaps MOE**.

Having been freed from the constraints of his job**, he could (and should) have simply told his side of the story without name-calling or labelling: just give the facts as he saw them. But no, he had to indulge in name-calling and labelling like Amos Yee. And he’s an educated man who held a position of trust and responsibility, not a spoiled kid, whose mother thinks he’s “fantastic”.

As he’s going for further studies, one can only hope that the course includes handling the media in an age of 24/7 news coverage. new media and social media. Pigs will fly first.

Seriously MoE must remind officers not to talk cock because talking cock reflects badly on the eduction service. It must also update its manual on the handling media queries. viral videos etc in an age of 24/7 news coverage. new media and social media. Silence is no longer the default option.

Finally, I can’t stop laughing at this comment by Bertna Henson the editor of TMG NOW he talks….three months later. After a deafening silence, a deadening rant. As always, shoot the messenger, after declining to talk to them. And messengers must always deliver “good news” to be considered “responsible””.

Really people who once lived in glass houses should refrain from throwing stones. She was once a general (paper stormtropper) on the Death Star that is ST. ST was during her time (and still is) very good at shooting nessengers of news that the PAP administration rather not hear.

——-

*Text of FB message

‪#‎howisthisnotbullying‬

Dear friends,

I was the principal of ‪#‎shuqunsecondary‬ from 2012 to 2015.

From 1 Jan 2016, I will be leaving the education service. I am hoping to pursue further studies. Yes, I am doing well. smile emoticon And no, before you ask, I made this decision some time before the “bullying incident” in my school. MOE and the public service is more reasonable and far kinder than most give them credit for.

To assure those of you who are still curious about the follow up to the incident, I thought I would share a picture of the 3 boys involved. The circle time in the picture was taken on the FIRST DAY after all of them returned to school. The “bully” apologised in person and in writing to both victims and to the class. Both victims forgave him and they were friends again within 2 hours. Consequences were meted out to the boy according to our school rules in private and ALL THE PARENTS INVOLVED were satisfied with the actions of the school. The boy will have to face more serious punishment under the law.

More hearteningly, in November, the 3 boys, together with their classmates, initiated and planned their own service learning project during the school’s open house. They baked brownies and made drinks for visitors to showcase the work of our student-run Hideout Cafe. They told me they wanted to make restoration for the bad reputation they had brought to the school. I am very proud of them.

Many ppl who know the truth of the events in my school have asked me why I did not respond more actively to the various reports on the Internet when the incident happened. My answer – I did not want to feed the ongoing media frenzy and help viral irresponsible articles that were being put out by my comments. Sadly, this included supposedly “balanced” online and mainstream media who felt right to reproduce the articles choosing to feature sensationalised headlines that gave a wrong impression of the facts.

Make no mistake – these were deliberate and irresponsible decisions made by the media. For example, an online news website that purports to be a place for “moderate speech and agreeable disagreement” posted an article headlined “the school was aware of the bullying 5 months before the incident”. A close reading of the report itself would have revealed that a single complaint was made to the school and the teacher involved had done the correct thing by warning the aggressor. She was not aware that the bullying resumed a few days later.

The same website chose not to emphasise comments by the mum herself that she appreciated the work that the school had done with her child and the improvements that she had seen in the child over the last 3 years. They ellided over the fact that A FULL WEEKEND separated the incident from the time it was posted on the Internet, during which neither victim mentioned anything to the school nor their parents. The media chose not to mention that both VICTIMS had written to me that they felt sorry for their friend and hoped to see everyone move on. They did not clarify that the online video was NOT posted by any of my school’s students (because we teach them that the correct thing to do if they care for their friends is to raise it to the teachers) but a school leaver from another school who posted it on a gaming site at 9am on a school day. There was no mention that one of the victim’s mum had gone down to the police station ON HER OWN 2 weeks later to withdraw the police report because she felt satisfied with the school’s handling of the incident and that it was a mistake to have gone to the police in the first place.

At the same time, some of the online reports seem to suggest that after one or two meetings with one of the victims in question, the journalist somehow understood and COULD SPEAK FOR the boy’s psychological state, better than the school. By reducing the children to spokespeople for “the broader problem of bullying in schools”, the reports cared nothing for them as people. They mention nothing about how one of the boys dreams of being a top chef, another speaks to his mum in sign language, the last has improved significantly in his reading despite suffering from dyslexia, and all three find EBS difficult. And all this which I know as a Principal is nothing compared to what my teachers know of them, working daily for 9+ hours each day with the boys over the last 3 years and sharing with them the heartache and struggles of their growth.

It is not difficult to see how these biased reports might have fed some of the extreme online vitriol. These included many threats by netizens such as “if i see the boy, I will bash his skull in”, “let me give him a taste of his own medicine.” Instead of trusting the school and the police to investigate and take the right actions, many suggested taking things into their own hands. There were false accusations of gang connections and that the boy was a compulsive bully. Unhappily, there were also derisory comments about the school by people who did not know the first thing about Shuqun Secondary. This was unfair to the 1200 other students, their parents, the committed staff, and the alumni and stakeholders of the school.

As a teachable moment following the incident, my teachers conducted a bully-free lesson with all the students. This is material which we repeat every year as part of our bully-free week where we teach our students about the different forms of bullying including physical, verbal and psycho-social. In her reflection, one of my students mentioned the way that adults were behaving online, that was causing my students being afraid to go out in public in their uniforms after school and to participate in social media. She ended her reflection by asking ” how is this not bullying?” I had no answer for her.

(The same media website compared this case with another case of bullying in a prestigious all-girls’ school that was recently resolved in court and suggested that there was a difference between physical and verbal/psychosocial bullying. We teach our students that these are all forms of bullying that cause suffering in others, and that it does not matter what was the intent behind the action but the act itself).

(An Auckland school principal gave a similar response to cyber-bullies after a similar incident happened in his schoolhttp://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm…)

In ending, my wishes for the new year are –

1) To the media friends especially (some of whom are my relatives, ex-classmates and former students), I would like to urge you to take greater care in your reporting. For each irresponsible journalist and dubious media website, I have met many more considered and enlightened ones, some of whom reported on the many achievements and good stories from my students and staff in the past. While I understand the pressure to attract more views and comments in this age of social media through increasingly sensational reporting, you too have a DUTY OF CARE to your subjects, especially children. You have the power to report the full truth and shape opinion, not just pander to the lowest denominator in the hopes of representing yourself as the mouthpiece of the public. Be mindful of the innocent parties that you might be unintentionally hurting, and the feelings of hatred you might be stoking online. In some cases, it can spill over to real cases of vigilantism, as several cases of adults taking the law into their own hands against children or teenagers have shown in 2015. Sometimes the best thing we can do for the people we care about is to stay quiet and do the deep work to support and help them learn and grow.

2) To the wider and largely well meaning public, be mindful of what u “like” or comment on the Internet. Be aware that what u see or read online often does not constitute the whole truth, and choosing even to click on links (without needing to share) can help to viral these falsehoods. Trust the institutions that we have put in place to do the right things; that is the mark of a civil society.

And if we speak about allowing our children to learn from their mistakes in education, to give the academically weaker students a chance to catch up and succeed, the same grace and patience should be extended to our students when teaching them good character. We can do better as adults to be kinder to one another in real life and on the Internet. Remember, OUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING AND LEARNING.

3) To my fellow colleagues in Shuqun and elsewhere in the teaching fraternity, those in social services and the police who work daily with these kids – strive on! I have had the privilege of meeting many of you in my years of service. Some have given up higher paying jobs. Others, like me, have studied and taught in “top” schools but chose to work in schools like Shuqun because you want to go to the places of greatest need and believe in the potential of every child of Singapore, not just some. And we live the mission every day, and don’t just talk or write about it.

To encourage you, let me share something that another parent sent me, during those difficult days of September. He was the father of the boy that was hit by one of the victims, in another video that surfaced subsequently. This time the student who had taken the video did the right thing, and brought it to my attention before it went viral so that we could address the matter with those involved. When I met the father, he had complete trust in the school’s handling of the matter. More importantly, because of the close relationship he had with his son, he was confident that his boy would have raised the matter to him if it had affected him. 2 days later, when the video became viral, it was HE who sent me a message of encouragement through my school counsellor – “Tell Mr Chia to take care. I am very impressed by his dedication to the students.”

Thank you Mr Hong , and the many other parents and partners, for renewing our faith and for supporting our teachers as they do the hard work of believing in and helping your children.

Happy New Year.

Chia Hai Siang

P.S. Pls SHARE if you think this will encourage a teacher or a parent.

**MoE officers like all civil servants are not authorised to talk to the media unless expressly authorised.

Related post on why the PAP administration’s PR is so bad

Teachers kanna pap and pay

In Financial competency, Public Administration, Uncategorized on 10/01/2016 at 8:34 am

Folloing reports that teachers* may soon have to pay for parking in school premises (Is the assumption that these lots will be made available to the public if not used by teachers? I mean schools are not supposed to be public areas, I tot?), a post by an-ex school teacher is going viral on Facebook. I’m sharing it as not everyone will be able to read it otherwise. As all good writing it entertains us, and makes us reflect on the absurdities it reports.

A message from an ex-teacher (which is not me):

Teachers,

you don’t have to feel so upset over the impending parking fees. It’s a good move to be transparent to the public. Since the ministry wants to ensure that it doesn’t give unsubsidized parking to ensure transparency, it’s good to let MOE know that you should also stop paying for stuff out of your own pocket to ensure ‘transparency’ too. Some example of fees that you have been paying out of your own pocket:
1. Classroom deco, charts, notice board materials(excluding manpower and labour fees):$100 at least
2. Coming CNY, Hari Raya and Deepavali deco:$100-$300
3. Resources for teaching:$300(conservative estimate)
4. Remedials/supplementary/enrichment classes:$50 per hr(market rate for MOE tutors).
5. Prizes/gifts/McDonald/pizzahut/KFC treats to motivate students(varies from teacher)
6. Children’s day gifts:$100-$200
7. OT pay for staying overnight at camps, Meet-the-parents sessions at night, meetings during school holidays, learning festivals on Saturdays and Sundays, organizing events for community/MP :$50 per hour
8. Premium fees for last minute instructions from MOE for example, calling parents from 10pm-12am on a Sunday night to inform them of school closure due to haze. $100per hour.
9. Other miscellaneous fees such as home internet or using your personal hp talk time/mobile data to conference with parents/HODs(not including OT pay for doing these after 6pm): $110 per month.
10. Transport fees to attend courses that you are ‘nominated’ to attend. You can’t claim them currently as MOE have already SUBSIDIZED you to attend them.(not that you have any choice)
11. Labour fees for moving cupboards,tables and shelves in classroom/staffroom, cleaning students up after they poo/vomit:$20 per hour.
12. All the money you paid to replace faulty PE/music/art/ICT equipment on your own. Too lecheh to do AOR, ITQ, and then go through Gebiz and evaluation plus endless meetings with KP/AM/P just to get a pair of soccer gloves for your student.smile emoticon
13. Last but not least, fees for marking after 5pm each day, as no marking can be done before that due to meetings/CCAs/meeting parents/meeting vendors/meeting P: $50 per hour.

At the end of the day, is that season parking so difficult to afford? I don’t think so. But the message that the sacrifices of teachers are not appreciated by MOE will have a greater cost than the revenue that it can collect from the season parking. Kudos to my ex-colleagues who are still believing in making a difference to the next generation.

‪#‎justsaying‬ ‪#‎moedoesnotcherishteachers‬

From a (currently much happier) ex-teacher.smile emoticon

Update at 11.20am:

A prominent social activist whose wife teaches posted on FB: Bean counters need to understand, that not all beans can be counted by them.

To which my Facebook avatar ponted out

—   Ownself count ownself? )))

— Seriously one of the legtimate complaints that govt depts, ministries have against the AGO is that it can be very selective in what it quantifies. Quantification is not a science, it’s a tool of manipulation. Can justify anything.

=====

*To be fair, it’s not MoE but the Auditor-General’s Office who is behind this piece of nonsense.

PRC’s detention without trial versus ours

In Public Administration on 05/01/2016 at 10:06 am

A reader of this asks chua chin leng (aka redbean) cheers for prc (china) and goh meng seng cheers for hk (sar). why don’t these two blokes change their citizenships instead ?

Because, this doesn’t happen in S’pore, to critics of the PAP administration, even “Marxist conspirators”, alleged Jihadists, bookies and drug lords?

Another associate of a Hong Kong bookshop specialising in titles critical of the Chinese government appears to have disappeared. [HK media later reported later said he called his wife from a mainland-registered phone number , saying he was“assisting in an investigation” ]

Last month four other employees of the same bookshop and publishing house, including its owner, went missing.

Their colleagues believe they have been detained because of their work.

Freedom of the press is guaranteed in Hong Kong, but many in the publishing industry say they are beginning to feel pressure from mainland China.

The latest associate to be reported missing is the man who raised the alarm when his colleagues disappeared in October.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-35208879

Despite the lies that Tan Wah Piow, sex pervert Comrade Bala, Dosh, Oxygen, Meng Seng etc tell about S’porean justice, in S’pore detention-without-trial arrests are never so secretive and out of the public eye.

And even an alleged cat killer gets a lawyer pro bono, juz like LKY-hater Amos Yee. .

And would Uncle Redbean or Meng Seng dare criticise China the way they criticise the PAP administration? I doubt it.

By not moving on from S’pore citizenship, we know that they don’t walk the talk, juz talk the talk.

 

Rating our public servants

In Public Administration on 29/12/2015 at 6:21 am

A family of kids in the US traumatised by a police raid (the police came in with revolvers drawn thinking that there was a captive in the house: seems the police got a hoax call) developed an app, called Five-O, intended to help improve police behaviour and community relations. It lets citizens rate their experiences with officers, record both parties’ race and sex and the purpose of the interaction, and find aggregate scores for county forces.

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21684687-high-school-students-want-citizens-rate-their-interactions-officers-how-three

Hmm maybe our human right kay pohs (think Maruah, Aware, Community Action Network*, Dr Chee) should bring this in? But given that an app of this nature to rate the police, SingHealth staff and other public sector workers will likely show that the public satisfaction with public services is pretty high (think 70% who voted for the PAP), bringing this in wouldn’t suit their agenda of oppression, bad service and intimidation?

Err what about the PAP bringing it in? Or the Institute of Policy studies? Or even Home Team?

Could even give the PAP 75% in next GE.

—————————–

*CAN: Shelley Thio, Lynn Lee, Joshua Chiang, Jolovan Wham, Jennifer Teo, Woon Tien Wei, Rachel Zeng, Roy Ngerng and Martyn See. This was formed to support Amos the Fantastic but whennhe dissed them for letting him rot in remand, they moved on.

(Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/fool-them-once-shame-on-amos-fool-them-twice-shame-on-them/)

Health care: Model for S’pore

In Public Administration on 19/12/2015 at 2:24 pm

The country is Cuba which like S’pore is a one-party state (albeit only de-facto here) but which is really poor but has a free-health-care service and

To serve its population of 11 million, the country has 90,000 of them. That’s eight for every 1,000 citizens – more than double the rate in the US and in the UK (the US has 2.5 doctors per 1,000, the UK 2.7 per 1,000 according to the World Bank).

S’pore has 2.1 per 1,000 in 2o14 acording MoH data.

Seriously given the Big Brother mentality here by both the pigs and the sheep aristocrats and the peasants, surely we can have this here

Compulsory health checks

“My nurse knows where they live,” Dr Quevas Hill jokes. “They can run, but they can’t hide!”

The data from this check-up allows the family doctor to put her patients into categories according their “risk”. If they’re healthy, the annual check-up is enough. But if they’re showing signs of ill-health, if they drink too much, smoke or have a continuing health condition, they’re seen much more regularly.

It’s an integrated, whole-person approach to healthcare, perhaps too intrusive for some, but widely accepted within Cuba.

The aim is to stop people getting ill in the first place.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35073966

If you’re wondering if the SGH tragedy could happen there, rest assured it won’t. If it happens the head of the unit responsible will be executed by firing squad. Our Harry would juz have humiliated the head and sacked him. But Jnr ….

 

SGH Tragedy: Calling abc

In Public Administration, Uncategorized on 12/12/2015 at 7:40 am

Does the report confirm qwhat you wrote here? And any further tots?

Moral of the story is to have good medical insurance that can cover at least B1 or A-class in govt hospitals. Such “private class” patients are issued their own personal drug vials including multi-use ones — no such thing as sharing of multi-use vials.

The main reason is that C & B2 class are loss-making [CI note: Can explain how the losses come about?], requiring large injections of cash from MOH to cover. Much of the practices in C & B2 wards in govt hospitals e.g. standardised care plans, clinical pathways (equivalent to SOPs & IAs in army) are designed to save money & avoid so-called unnecessary tests / investigations / procedures.

Do you know that even “poor” community hospitals (e.g. Ren Ci, St Luke’s) issue personal multi-use drug vials to their patients — no sharing?!? How come?? Becoz these are considered as private hospitals & they are required by MOH to practice cost-recovery at a minimum, in order to obtain the minimal subsidies from ministry. Hence such hospitals simply issue personal drug vials as (1) to avoid cross-infections which will be hell to recover from as a “poor” community hospital with no ministry backing, and (2) vast majority of such drug vials are priced / cost in the cents or at most $1 or $2 — still easily recovered from individual patients.

SGH tragedy: “Penny wise, Safety foolish” allegation

Ministers’ salary benchmark is flawed

In Corporate governance, Political governance, Public Administration on 07/12/2015 at 1:53 pm

So what value the link?

Below is the Letter from Lex of two Saturday’s ago. It’s another nail in coffin of the argument that our ministers and senior civil servants deserve their multi-million salaries which are benchmarked against the private sector. The pay structure at the top of the private sector is flawed, badly flawed.

Letter from Lex: Let’s spin the wheel!
Readers,
It may indeed be better to be lucky than good; don’t assume you can tell the two apart. There is a good-sized pile of academic research devoted to determining what part of corporate success (measured by return on capital, margins, or what you will) is down to the skill of the boss. Social scientists and statisticians stagger towards consensus along a twisting path. Most of the studies do, however, seem to converge on a couple of points: (a) management skill is a wickedly slippery thing to measure and explain, yet (b) skill seems to make a small but significant difference to performance on the margin, although (c) luck plays much bigger role most of the time. Raising these points often elicits one of two responses. The first: “You damn pinko academics/journalists hate capitalism and will say anything to undermine it.” Alternately: “Anyone who has actually worked in a big company knows that a CEO is a dart-throwing chimp whose characteristic skills are climbing the greasy pole and looking good in a suit.”

Both responses may contain elements of truth. In any case, this week gave the Lex column various reasons to reflect on luck, skill and the grey abyss in between:

Emphasis mine.

Human rights kay pohs don’t do “fixers” and “jihadists”

In Public Administration on 27/11/2015 at 5:12 am

The Court of Appeal ordered the release of alleged match-fixer Dan Tan release from detention on Nov 25. (Bit strange as he should have released on Oct 15)

The Court of Appeal ordered Tan’s release and called his detention without trial “unlawful”. The court not only gave the reasons for their decision but also also addressed the scope of the Home Affairs Minister’s powers in such cases.

————————————————————

Background 

He has been detained without trial since October 2013, under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act. The Act gives the Home Affairs Minister power to detain without trial “a person who has been associated with activities of a criminal nature … if the Minister deems it necessary in the interests of public safety, peace and good order”.

He was arrested in September 2013 for allegedly being the “leader and financer of a global football match-fixing syndicate operating from Singapore”. Between 2009 and 2013, Tan had been linked to match-fixing activities in Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey and Trinidad and Tobago. Tan also allegedly recruited runners and agents in Singapore to help in these illegal activities.

Originally detained for one year, Tan’s detention was extended for another year, until October 2015. Tan’s first appeal to review his detention was dismissed by the High Court in September 2014. The Court of Appeal heard Tan’s application against this dismissal.

——————————————————————————————

Below is something I wrote in Jan 2014 about the case and what it showed abiut the human rights kay pohs, Below it is an excerpt from CNA on judges’ reasoning.

(Btw, since the Paris murders, HomeTeam has renewed the detention of several alleged jihadists. Maruah and the rest of the kay pohs are silent but had earlier this yr rushed to the defence of Amos Yee, Mummy’s Boy Fantastic. They scared of being killed by jihadists?)

Govt detains without trial S’poreans: No outrage meh activists?

It might be the season to be jolly and of peace and goodwill, what with the Christmas and NY hols gone and the CNY hols coming, but the human rights activists have really got my goat.A man dressed as Krampus in Austria … pretty scary, huh?

The contrast between their vocal support for FT deportess, and their seeming indifference to S’poreans detained without trial make me sick. The Holly Man outside the Globe Theatre in London

Last Friday, it was reported by CNA that, “MHA has placed the son of Singapore Jemaah Islamiyah leader Mas Selamat Kastari under a two-year detention. Masyhadi Mas Selamat, 25, was detained on 21 November 2013 on an Order of Detention under the ISA.”

The silence on his detention from the usual human rights kay pohs is deafening.

TOC, Maruah, Vincent Wijeysingha, Rachel Zeng, Kirsten Han etc etc were all up in arms demanding justice for the manual migrant workers detained by the police after the riot. They were upset many of those detsined were then given air-tickets to move on out of S’pore, rather than sent for trial. Some had the charges  withdrawn and the court granted them discharges amounting to acquittals and then were deported, while many were never charged, just deported. They demanded “due process” for these FTs, even though as someone posted on Facebook, ” Rightly or wrongly, deportation is more lenient than jail and caning.” A lot more, so is it fair to insist as the kay pohs do that the courts must be involved in “due process”? One could even argue that the govt is being easy on “alleged” rioters.

The deportation law is draconian but there are more draconian laws that true blue S’poreans are subject to: the Internal Security Act and the Criminal Law Temporary Provision Act.

They allow the govt to detain almost indefinitely people who never had the benefit of a trial. The former is nowadays used to detain alleged “Islamic” terrorists,  while the latter is used to detain Dan Tan (the guy alleged to have fixed footie matches) and alleged drug dealers (mules get murdered, judicially, after due process if they don’t have useful evidence).

Yes, yes, I know that TOC and Maruah have spoken out against these laws (albeit once upon a time) and have called for their abolition (again once upon a time), and I’m sure Vincent, Kirsten, Rachel etc etc, if asked, will say they oppose these laws and want them abolished.

Still, their silence*, or indifference(?) whenever the govt and mainstream media report these detentions (and they do) when contrasted with the chorus of disapproval and outrage over what is happening to the alleged rioters, and deportees is disturbing at the very least. Double standards?

I have never heard any activist say about Dan Tan, Masyhadi or any other alleged Islamic terrorist, or drug dealer, “Activists, while often faced with heart-wrenching stories, are not just bleeding hearts. Behind the criticism lies a much bigger issue: that of access to justice and due process … But we are obliged to ensure that they have access to justice.” (Kirsten Han in http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/did-deported-workers-deserve-time-court-015254163.html)

As I wrote last year: The coming deafening silence [referring to Dan Tan’s case] of the usual human rights kay pohs will tell us a lot of their prejudices: they are supportive of FT drug mules, and middle class anti-PAP activists. But not working class criminal suspects (no-one is complaining that Vui Kong’s alleged drug lord is held under ISA CLTPA) or those whom the govt alleges are Islamic radicals. Touch a FT or a middle class anti-PAP activist, and the screams will be deafening, even if it’s juz a policeman paying a home visit.

Are S’poreans too not worthy of “justice and due process”, Ms Han? They too like FTs are human

                                                                                               Hath
 59   not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
 60   dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
 61   the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
 62   to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
 63   warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
 64   a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
 65   if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
 66   us, do we not die?

(Shylock in The Merchant of Venice)

A wicked, cynical, unworthy and doubtless mistaken tot. Could it because our kay pohs know that ang mohs are not too fussed when alleged drug dealers, footie fixers and Islamic terrorists are detained? Only when migrant workers are? http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2013-12-18/human-rights-activists-accuse-singapore-of-failing-to-recognise-the-rights-of-rioters/1236768

Since the CIA and MI6 are pretty relaxed about working with countries that do not give alleged Islamic terrorists “access to justice and due process”, one can legitimately (if unreasonably) ask if these agencies have managed to influence our kay pohs.

Let me be clear, the kay pohs like Ms Han etc have every right to champion and fight any cause they like: if they want justice for FTs, taz their right. They also have the right not to want justice for S’poreans. They are free to do what they want to do. But I, and other S’poreans, are entitled to make judgements based on their actions, silence and inaction.

My judgement is that “FTs tua kee” attitude is not confined only to the govt: our kay pohs too take pride in it too. Why like that meh? Hath
 59   not a S’porean eyes? hath not a S’porean hands, organs,
 60   dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
 61   the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
 62   to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
 63   warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
 64   a FT is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
 65   if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
 66   us, do we not die?

Related post: Kirsten Han wants S’poreans to have a dialogue with the govt on FTs, despite fact that as a HR activist she should know that the govt doesn’t do dialogue .

*WP asked about Dan Tan in parly getting the standard non-answer. BTW, surprised that DPM Teo didn’t ask Auntie, “Bookie ask WP to ask question meh?”. But then, DPM Teo’s late father was a gentleman and must have brought up DPM Teo the “right” way. BTW2, I understand that Maruah had planned to denounce Dan Tan’s detention, but that the media release got lost. An honest mistake, I assume? Like holding a seminar in Little India on “struggle for workers’ rights” weeks after a riot there, albeit on a day unlikely to have many workers in the area?

From CNA on the Dan Tan judgement

ACT SHOULD NOT HAVE A “LOOSE OR OPEN-ENDED REMIT”: CHIEF JUSTICE

In coming to their decision to free Tan, the Chief Justice and Judges of Appeal Chao Hick Tin and Andrew Phang Boon Leong examined in detail the proper scope of the Act. “At its inception, the Act was intended to deal with real and physical threats of harm within Singapore,” the judges noted, citing times when Singapore had been terrorised by “gangsters, secret society members, and drug traffickers with underworld and international syndicate connections”.

The criminal activities must be of a “sufficiently serious nature” to come under the ambit of the Act. While the “precise range of activities caught by the Act had broadened over time, their core characteristics have not”, the CJ pointed out, saying that the act should not have a “loose or open-ended remit”.

DETAINING TAN WITHOUT TRIAL BEYOND MINISTER’S POWER: CHIEF JUSTICE

The apex court also came to a landmark judgement regarding the scope of the power vested in the minister, and ruled that in Tan’s case, the minister’s action “fell outside the limits of his power”.

The Act provides for detention without trial if the criminal activities have a “prejudicial effect” on the public safety, peace and good order of Singapore. This is the “entire reason” for the Act, CJ Menon wrote, emphasising that the activities need not have occurred here, but that they must threaten our public safety, peace and order.

However, there is “nothing to indicate that (Tan) did engage in any activities of so serious a nature” as to warrant detention without trial under the Act, CJ Menon wrote. Furthermore, Tan’s criminal acts had ceased almost two and a half years before he was served with a detention order, he noted.

Though Tan has been linked to syndicated international match-fixing activities, his actions at best “amount to a slew of corrupt practices”, CJ Menon said. “As reprehensible as they undoubtedly are, (they) cannot be said to rise to the level of gravity that they would have to in order to come within the scope of the Minister’s power to act.”

SGH tragedy: “Penny wise, Safety foolish” allegation

In Public Administration on 04/11/2015 at 4:27 am

A regular reader and commenter who describes himself “As someone who has worked in PAP’s health system apparatus and also with the civil service real politicks” gives his take on the sharing of vials. (Btw, here’s his take on why Amos “the Fantastic” was sent to Block 7, Woodbridge.)

Btw, I hope he or she can explain where the huge losses occur in the system: bureaucracy, overstaffing?

———————–

The Hepatitis C outbreak in a Singapore hospital has cast the spotlight on a practice known as multi-dosing, where nurses or doctors inject patients by attaching new needles and syringes to a shared vial of fluid. 

The Singapore General Hospital – the site of the cluster – said the virus could have spread that way, and it has since stopped the practice. 

On Wednesday (Oct 7), the Ministry of Health said that it is “not yet conclusive” that the use of multi-dose vials is the cause of the Hepatitis C infections at SGH*.

(CNA)

———————–

Moral of the story is to have good medical insurance that can cover at least B1 or A-class in govt hospitals. Such “private class” patients are issued their own personal drug vials including multi-use ones — no such thing as sharing of multi-use vials.

The main reason is that C & B2 class are loss-making [CI note: Can explain how the losses come about?], requiring large injections of cash from MOH to cover. Much of the practices in C & B2 wards in govt hospitals e.g. standardised care plans, clinical pathways (equivalent to SOPs & IAs in army) are designed to save money & avoid so-called unnecessary tests / investigations / procedures.

Do you know that even “poor” community hospitals (e.g. Ren Ci, St Luke’s) issue personal multi-use drug vials to their patients — no sharing?!? How come?? Becoz these are considered as private hospitals & they are required by MOH to practice cost-recovery at a minimum, in order to obtain the minimal subsidies from ministry. Hence such hospitals simply issue personal drug vials as (1) to avoid cross-infections which will be hell to recover from as a “poor” community hospital with no ministry backing, and (2) vast majority of such drug vials are priced / cost in the cents or at most $1 or $2 — still easily recovered from individual patients.

—————————————————-

*More from From CNA on 7 October

“Both single-dose and multi-dose injection medication vials are used in our public hospitals. Our public hospitals utilise multi-dose vials where the preparation is specifically formulated for such use, and governed by safety protocols,” MOH said in response to media queries.

“Regardless of whether medication vials are single-dose or multi-dose, their safe use requires healthcare providers to adhere to existing safety protocols for the use of medication vials. Staff education, appropriate training and compliance to the protocols are important in ensuring patient safety.

“As multi-dose vials are potentially at risk of contamination between uses, their safe use requires additional safety and infection prevention and control measures that staff have to comply with, such as opening only one vial of a particular medication at a time in each patient-care area, as recommended by WHO. Failure to comply to safety protocols may cause infection,” the ministry said.

Leon Perera: A Lion of a Man

In Public Administration on 03/11/2015 at 4:39 am

(Or “Worthless Party’s Worthy Man:Leon Perera” )

If only I had known that Leon Perera would turn out to be the kind of co-driver that I had hoped Low and friends* would be but were not (They prefered to take the money and behave like Kate Spade Tin, the PAP social worker), I’d have voted for WP in the last GE. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t vote for the WP. I once even even voted for a ex-Woodbridge patient but I grew the line on an arrogant, worthless (most of the time and JJ excepted) parly team who don’t do accounting and monitoring.

The Workers’ Party (WP) has reiterated its call for the Government to reconstitute the Hepatitis C review committee as a Committee of Inquiry (COI), saying it does not see the need to wait for findings to be released, before convening a COI.

The party’s Central Executive Council member Leon Perera said this to reporters on the sidelines of a food distribution event on Saturday (Oct 31).

(CNA)

Leon the Lion rightly said it is possible to convene a COI without making public aspects that are under investigation, but said that “deliberations” into the workflow within SGH and MOH after the cluster was discovered, as well as the point of public announcement and containment measures, should be made public.

He also said it is not “necessary or helpful” to have a two-step process, where the authorities wait for the findings of an independent committee before deciding to convene a COI. He again cited the examples of the Little India riots and MRT breakdowns, where COIs were convened missing this step. “We do not see the necessity for a two-step process.We would rather in the first instance take the existing process we have, strengthen it. In the interest of timeliness and efficiency, we feel it is the best approach. It’s not our intent to undermine the current process or the committee members. We want to keep all of them and strengthen the process.”

The last line shows that he knows how to have the cake and eat it too.

—————————–

Losing the plot? Who said what when?

The govt set up an Independent (but it’s an internal) Review Committee earlier this month to look into the Hepatitis C outbreak at the Singapore General Hospital. The virus infected 25 patients and may have contributed to the deaths of five people.

In a statement on Oct 25, WP urged the govt to reconstitute the committee into a COI. NCMP Leon Perera, had said the outbreak is “at least as grave” as the train breakdowns in 2011 and the Little India riots. A COI was convened for both incidents.

The Health Ministry responded saying a COI will be formed if WP is “prepared to lead evidence before the COI, to substantiate whatever allegations it might have”. WP, rightly, called the suggestion “inappropriate”, as the Party does not have inquisitorial or investigative powers to obtain evidence and said convening a COI does not constitute wrongdoings by any party.MOH had also said the WP had asked for a COI before the committee concludes its probes and pending police investigations.

Lion Man repeated the call for a COI on Saturday, adding it will help restore confidence while making deliberations public.

Gan’s response to Leon the lion.

————————–

The WP once was full of loonies and bicycle thieves. But it had a Lion of a man: JBJ, Lion Man..

The way things are going, Leon is the lion who could transform the WP, if given the opportunity by Low and the wankers into an alternative party of govt, rather than the PAP Lite, Worthless Party wanking its way to the bank that it is now.

Any tots JG?

—————————————-

*If only Gerald Giam had done some constructive criticism of the PAP administration’s public tpt system when it ground to a halt between 2011 and 2015. Instead he kept quiet. He only knows how to stab his sifu in back in a dark alley isit?

SGH tragedy: Gan emerges from behind Ms Lee’s skirt

In Public Administration on 02/11/2015 at 4:17 am

I was wondering if Health Minister Gan Kim Yong had gone AWOL leaving his press secretary Ms Lee Bee Khim to say really bitchy things about ST and the WP when defending MoH’s actions in the Hepatitis C outbreak at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH)

Well it seems he has finally found the courage to emerge from behind Ms Lee Bee Khim’s skirt. (Or to be fair, maybe, he had a sour throat and couldn’t speak, writing down the bitchy words for Ms Lee to parrot in public) and said some sensible things that Ms Lee should have said in the first place, instead of the very bitchy things she said on his behalf*.

————————-

*Even when MoH responded in an ultra defensive, aggressive way to an ST article, I wasn’t too fussed. ST was a juz being a pariah trying to bite the hand that fed it. I was thinking, “Yup beating up ST is good. Dogs should not bite the hand that feeds them.”

But MoH’s response to WP’s call for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) was so petulant, aggressive, defensive and so misrepresentative of what the WP said that I’m wondering if there is an email or two somewhere in the system that could be perceived as a “smoking gun” that MoH wants to hide?

———————————————————-

Mr Gan said that since the review committee’s task is to look into the processes of SGH and MOH, and identify gaps, as well as the cause of the cluster, “I think we should wait for the committee to finish its task, to finish its review, study its reports and recommend its findings very carefully, because the findings will be made public.

‘So all of us can look at the findings, and then we can decide what are the next steps. I think it is best for us to wait for the outcome of the review and the police investigations, and then we can look at the findings, and then we can decide what will be the next steps.”

Fair enough**. But this should have been said a long time ago.

——————————–

**Reasonable people can agree or disagree on whether a COI should be held, skipping an internal investigation. I for one tot that waiting for the internal report was a reasonable, responsible position to take but could understand if others tot that a COT was necessary. But Ms Lee’s very aggressive, defensive, “take no prisoners” stance on behalf on her minister and MOH me wondering if there is really something that needs to be hidden from, us, the rabble.

The use of language has consequences, affecting perceptions. Ms Lee as a PR practitioner should be aware of this.

MoH: PM needs a minister who can communicate

In Public Administration on 28/10/2015 at 4:36 am

PM says the PAP must change. Obviously MoH thinks otherwise. Is the MoH (minister included) saboing the efforts of the PAP administration to project a PAP administration that does the right thing in the right way, always explaining its actions.

Seriously like in transport where the PM said the minister in charge must be able to communicate to the public, MOH needs a minister who can communicate to ,we, the rabble.

When the “noise” whacked the MoH on the Heptais C tragedy, my sympathies were with the MoH. It was trying to fix a problem while dealing with the noise from the usual suspects like parachutist extraordinaire Goh Meng Seng (three GEs, three GRC and three different parties: and getting less votes eeach time). “Stuff happens. So why the chattering? 30% ng kum guan isit? So KPKB?”

Even when MoH responded in an ultra defensive, aggressive way to an ST article, I wasn’t too fussed. ST was a juz being a pariah trying to bite the hand that fed it. I was thinking, “Yup beating up ST is good. Dogs should not bite the hand that feeds them.”

But MoH’s response to WP’s call* for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) was so petulant, aggressive, defensive and so misrepresentative of what the WP said** that I’m wondering if there is an email or two somewhere in the system that could be perceived as a “smoking gun” that MoH wants to hide?

Seriously MOH needs to stop playing word games and being so ultra-defensive yet so aggressive.

As a member of the conservative FB group I belong to put it

I think that the final question that needs to be asked is:

“Why not?”

1) Does a COI incur much greater cost than an independent committee? Is there a disadvantage? Why not just do the COI, if there is nothing to hide?

2) If a cluster of deaths do not meet the threshold for implementing a COI, then this raises the question: What would be a serious enough incident? Accidental black hole? Heat death of universe?

3) Why is MOH protesting so defensively? Not once, but twice (once against Rachel Chang, and once against WP)?

It would have been so simple, reasonable and appropriate to say that a COI is not necessary at the moment. because a COI can still be convened after the initial investigations by the police and review committee. The call is premature and the juz WP wayang, trying to show that its not the Worthless Party.

Instead, the MoH’s reply to the WP to produce evidence came across as dismissive, defensive, aggressive and arrogant. This should not be the way if the MoH is not trying to hide anything.

The WP says rightly that it’s “inappropriate” to call for the WP to present evidence before the COI) into a Hepatitis C cluster at the Singapore General Hospital can be convened.

Finally, I note the health minister wasn’t good in MoM too. Maybe he’s scare to get moved on out like Lui, Paymond Lim? Juz wondering.

——-

*The Workers’ Party welcomes the broadening of the remit of the independent review committee to include review of MOH’s procedures and actions.Drawing the right lessons from the outbreak of the Hepatitis C virus infections at the renal ward of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) is critical for Singapore. It is tragic that four individuals may have lost their lives as a result of these infections in one of our leading healthcare institutions, and one more person may have died for reasons possibly related to the infections.

The outbreak and the government’s response to it have exposed potential gaps in our public health protection protocols. Aside from the risk to human life, the matter has considerable implications for Singapore’s status as an international business and tourism hub.

The work of the review committee is critical not just to rectify any lapses to prevent future recurrences, but to maintain and bolster public confidence in our healthcare system and review processes. To this end, not only must the review be rigorous, transparent, independent and fair in terms of its outcomes. It must also be seen to be so.

With these ends in mind, we call on the government to pursue the following actions in respect of the committee’s work.

  1. The government should explicitly task the committee to investigate the reasons for the extended delays between:
  1. The discovery of the cluster in April/May and the notification of MOH in late August.
  2. 3 September when MOH’s Director of Medical Services knew of the existence of the cluster of 22 infections, and 18 September when the Minister for Health was informed of the cluster.
  1. The terms of reference of the committee do not explicitly state that the committee is required to arrive at conclusions and recommendations about the timeliness of public alerts and preventive or containment measures. Given that the public was only informed about the cluster in October when the probable existence of this cluster was discovered in April/May, we repeat our call for the committee to review:
  1. If existing protocols about timeliness of public alerts and containment measures were adhered to in this instance; if so, how can these protocols be improved upon as they have been shown to be lacking; if protocols were not adhered to, why not; and what measures are recommended to strengthen adherence towards zero fault tolerance on such matters of life and death.
  2. If protocols do not exist, to recommend protocols that should be adhered to in future in respect of the maximum time frame for ascertainment of an infection cluster, for MOH notification, public notification and commencement of containment measures.

The Workers’ Party regrets the degree of delay between the discovery of a probable cluster of infections in April/May and the initiation of public notification and screening in October. We note that the Press Secretary to the Minister for Health stated, in a letter to The Straits Times Forum published on 20 October 2015:

“Medical professionals and public officers in MOH and SGH sought to perform their duties professionally and objectively. They acted in the interest of patient safety and to minimise risks to patients. Political calculations played no role in their consideration of the proper course of action. To suggest otherwise impugns the professional integrity of these public servants, who are unable to reply to defend themselves.”

We hold that a responsible and transparent government should explain in detail how the delays in public notification and screening from April/May to October represent actions that were taken in the best interests of patient safety and risk minimisation to patients.

Calls on the government to explain the delays in detail should not be met by calls to provide evidence of any inappropriate motivation.

Now that the review committee’s remit has been broadened to cover MOH’s workflow, we also call on the government to take action in regards to the committee’s composition and procedures in the following two regards:

  1. In the case of the Committee of Inquiry into the 15 and 17 Dec 2011 MRT breakdowns and the 8 Dec 2013 Little India Riots, the deliberations of the committee were made public so as to strengthen public confidence in the security and public transport systems respectively. In this case, we recommend that the deliberations of the committee likewise be made public. The Hepatitis C outbreak is at least as grave an incident as the MRT breakdowns and Little India riot, with serious implications for the public confidence of Singaporeans and foreign stake-holders in our vital national institutions. So as to facilitate this and in line with the norms established by the COIs relating to the MRT breakdowns and the Little India riots, we recommend that the current review committee be reconstituted as a Committee of Inquiry (COI) under the Inquiries Act.
  1. We note that the review committee is composed of currently serving clinicians in public healthcare institutions. Now that the committee’s remit has been broadened to include a review of MOH’s workflow, these individuals are effectively being asked to critique the actions of senior civil servants who oversee and administer government policy that affects their work as clinicians on a day-to-day basis. This would place members of the review committee in an awkward position. We suggest the inclusion of retired clinicians and healthcare administrators in the committee and the appointment of a retired healthcare administrator or clinician as co-chair. We further suggest that one of the committee’s members be a person qualified to be a Judge of the High Court, as required by the Inquiries Act should the committee be reconstituted as a COI. This would strengthen the ability of the committee to conduct a truly rigorous and, where necessary, critical review.

In this grave matter, the review committee bears a huge responsibility. We offer these suggestions so as to strengthen the review committee’s ability to do its job well and to be seen to be doing so.

LEON PERERA
NON-CONSTITUENCY MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-ELECT
THE WORKERS’ PARTY

25 October 2015

++In response to media queries on the Workers’ Party’s statement today, the following can be attributed to the Press Secretary to the Minister for Health:

The Workers’ Party (WP) has called for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the cluster of Hepatitis C cases at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

An Independent Review Committee has been appointed to review the cause of the incident and surrounding circumstances. To facilitate its work, the Review Committee has engaged additional resource persons, including international advisers, to ensure that it has access to all the necessary expertise to do its review thoroughly.

The Committee’s findings and recommendations will be made public. A Police report has also been filed and the Police are conducting investigations.

The WP statement is careful not to make any suggestion that SGH or MOH officers acted with improper motives. Yet it has asked for a COI ahead of the Committee’s report and the conclusion of Police investigations. If the WP believes that there are questions that the Committee cannot answer, or that any officer acted with improper motives, it should state so directly. The Government will convene a COI provided the WP is prepared to lead evidence before the COI, to substantiate whatever allegations it might have.

25 OCTOBER 2015

Zorro: Sotong or trying to sotong us over FT, local numbers

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 24/08/2015 at 4:25 am

Shielding Workers

But first, dare PM, Zorro, Kee Chui or anyone in the PAP or the NTUC dare say they are safeguarding S’poreans’ jobs or wages? (Sorry, the image can’t appear in the post: OK in draft. Go to http://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2015/aug/08/the-bodleian-treasures-online-in-pictures and scroll down) (I’ll leave PM’s outrageous attempt at misrepresenting our views on FTs for another day)

Let’s look at the facts of job protection for locals here. I”ll let Manpower Minister (and previously NTUC head) Lim Swee Say speak first.

In an interview last week,  said that the government will hold fast to its goal of having a two-thirds Singaporean core in the economy, and this will be the structure of the country’s workforce in the “medium to long term”. BS

NCMP Yee says Lim talking cock over optimistic view of maintaining 1/3 FTs in “medium to long term” For starters, FT workforce already more than 1/3

On his blog [Link] on 21 Aug, JJ pointed out that former Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin had admitted that the one-third FT target is possible only for this decade, during a Parliamentary debate 2 years ago.

“That I agree with.”

“Whilst doing our own computations for alternative models, we had then studied all the publicly available numbers about population in Singapore. There will be net addition to the local workforce from 2013 till 2020, the end of this decade. This is because there will be more Singaporeans turning of age to be included into the workforce than there are Singaporeans retiring.”

He noted that beyond 2020, in order to get the kind of economic growth the PAP government had wanted in the White Paper, there has to be more addition of foreign labour without any addition of local manpower.

“How much to add will depend on productivity growth, which the government had set a target of 2-3%. Sadly, this productivity growth has been near zero or negative in recent years.”

He therefore questioned Lim’s talk of maintaining the 2:1 ratio of Singaporean to foreign workers in Singapore’s workforce in the “medium to long term”.

“So, Mr Lim’s comments that the two-thirds Singaporean core will be something for the  ‘medium to long term’ is rather puzzling. What is ‘medium to long term’?”

“His predecessor (Tan Chuan-Jin) had already agreed with me that ‘by 2020 our own domestic labour force growth will basically end up at about zero. So whatever growth we have thereafter will largely be foreign labour growth’ and that ‘it (foreign workforce) is really about one-third for this decade until about 2020.”

Worse, the proportion of local work force seems to be decreasing while that of foreign work force is increasing.

“At the point that I had asked the question in March 2013, based on available manpower data of 2012, locals made up 63.0% of the workforce. By 2014, this figure has dropped to 61.9%. It was 62.1% in 2013 (Source: http://stats.mom.gov.sg/Pages/Labour-Force-Summary-Table.aspx).”

Mid 2012 Mid 2013 Mid 2014
Total Workforce (‘000) 3,361.8 3,443.7 3,530.8
Local Workforce (‘000) 2,119.6 2,138.8 2,185.2
% Local 63.0% 62.1% 61.9%

In other words, as of last year, the proportion of foreign workers in our work force was already 38.1%, more than 1/3.

“Is Mr Lim’s definition of long-term up to 2020 only? If it is beyond 2020, how is he going to achieve that because even with a growing local workforce in this current decade, the ratio has been declining well past the two-thirds ratio already while productivity has failed to improve?”

Hear, hear for JJ, This is the kind of questioning I expect when I voted for WP at the last GE.

Back to the interview. Zorro said that the tightening of Singapore’s foreign manpower was not a reaction to past mistakes, but was rather a reflection that realities had changed. The inflow of foreign manpower was a hot topic during the 2011 General Election, and Mr Lim identified the “determination to manage” the growth of the foreign workforce here as the key shift in manpower policy since.

“It’s not so much because the policy of the past was a mistake but rather, we are now having a new stage of growth and therefore we have to pursue a new direction,” he said.

Oh how very convenient that “a new stage of growth” comes at a politically convenient time?

If anyone believes this, they’ll believe anything.

He went on to say, “Every country has to find the right balance … But on the whole, I would say that we have managed the process a lot more effectively compared to some other cities and countries. Through the manpower quota system, we have ensured foreign manpower spread across all sectors and companies.”

Manpower quota system? As TRE pointed out: for foreign PMETs, that is, foreign EP holders, there is no quota imposed in Singapore.

In the US, for example, the congress controlled their H-1B visa (equivalent to Singapore’s EP) for foreigners tightly. The current US law limits to 65,000 the number of foreign nationals who may be issued a H-1B visa each fiscal year. US laws also exempt up to 20,000 foreign nationals holding a master’s or higher degree from US universities from the cap on H-1B visas. In addition, excluded from the ceiling are all H-1B foreign workers who work at universities, non-profit research facilities associated with universities, and government research facilities. Universities can employ an unlimited number of foreign workers as cap-exempt. This also means that contractors working at but not directly employed by the institutions may be exempt from the cap as well. In FY2010, 117,828 H-1B visas were issued by US government. In FY2012, it was 135,991 [Link].

In Singapore, for example, the figures given by the government for the number of EP holders at the end of 2010 and 2011 were 142,000 and 176,000. That means, there is an increase of 34,000 foreign EP holders in Singapore in 2011 [Link]. If we were to add in S-Pass holders, the increase in number of foreign PMETs in 2011 came to 49,000. That’s already almost half of what the whole of US issued in FY2010.

Also, spouses of H-1B visa holder in US are not allowed to work at all. But in Singapore, spouses of EP holders can work through obtaining a Dependant’s Pass [Link].

Coming back to the protection of jobs and wages, it would seem that the PAP and NTUC can safely say that they are protecting FTs jobs and wages here, given the absence of quotas for employment pass holders. What do you think?

SDP’s Dr Paul Tambyah said something recently that deserves to be very widely known. At a recent forum organised by the National University of Singapore Society where representatives from nine opposition parties and the ruling PAP were present, Dr Paul Tambyah said that young local doctors complaining about the hours and working conditions in hospitals, were told that the hospitals could always employ FTs at lower salaries. If our brightest citizens (even straight As can’t get into the local medical schools)  are threatened with FT replacements, what about the Vocational Institutes’ grads?

Yet at the forum Sim Ann representing the PAP said, “We always put SGs front and centre.”

I ask again, “If our brightest and most expensively educated get threatened with being replaced by cheaper FTs, are the Normal streamers safe?”

Double confirm: PM’s really from Bizzaro S’pore

In Political governance, Public Administration on 23/07/2015 at 4:51 am

Yesterday, I speculated that our PM’s from Bizzaro S’pore*. Well u/m double confirms this suspicion:

Speaking at a FutureChina Global Forum, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Government had “Singaporeans’ interests at heart” when it came to immigration and population policies.

He said “it makes sense to take in foreign labour and immigrants” purely from the perspective of numbers.

“We have explained the reasons many times. I think people may not necessarily want more explanations.”

“But from an emotional standpoint, it is not easy for people to accept, to agree and support.”

Now isn’t the above in line with the Bizarro Code?

In the Bizarro world … society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!” In one episode, for example, a salesman is doing a brisk trade selling Bizarro bonds: “Guaranteed to lose money for you”**. Later, the mayor appoints Bizarro No. 1 to investigate a crime, “Because you are stupider than the entire Bizarro police force put together”***. This is intended and taken as a great compliment.

I belong to a Facebook group that is pretty conservative and members cut the PAP administration a lot of slack particularly on healthcare, law and order, and welfare (well-off leh and mean) issues. But members don’t cut the PAP administration any slack when it comes to immigration and population policies. While they believe talents are needed and there is a need for immigration, they feel that too much trash is coming in. The belief is that the primary reason for immigration is to keep costs down.

When PM says “I think people may not necessarily want more explanations”, he isn’t talking about this Facebook group. He is talking about Jason Chua and his Fabrications aboyt the PAP? Btw, Jason Chua was kicked out from this group for posting runbbish from FATPAP. He then complained that the group considered supporting the PAP as a crime. My avatar posted to loud acclaim that his stupidity was criminal.

My serious point is that PM is deluded if he thinks the PAP administration has explained away why we need FTs by the container load: even a Facebook group that cuts the PAP a lot of slack doesn’t accept the “right” explanations.

He thinks we S’poreans too from Bizarro S’pore, like him?

—————————————————————-

*The Bizarro World (also known as htraE, which is “Earth” spelled backwards) is a fictional planet appearing in American comic books published by DC comics. Introduced in the early 1960s, htraE is a cube-shaped planet, home to Bizarro and companions, all of whom were initially Bizarro versions of Superman, Lois Lane and their children and, later, other Bizarros including Batzarro, the World’s Worst Detective.

In popular culture “Bizarro World” has come to mean a situation or setting which is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations.

**Think the scholar, general, Temasek MD running NOL. I wrote this in 2013 https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/scholar-cant-repair-nol-maersk-steams-ahead/ and this in 2015 https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/nol-versus-maersk-what-can-i-say/

***Think the scholar, general running SMRT who can’t make the trains run on time https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/aqua-lions-no-worries-about-coup-smrt-no-got-this/.

Why Khaw, Vikram must commit hari kiri

In Political governance, Public Administration on 21/07/2015 at 4:31 am

Findings highlighting several lapses at Admiralty Citizen’s Consultative Committee (CCC) in the Auditor-General’s Report are being taken seriously, said Members of Parliament for Sembawang GRC Khaw Boon Wan and Vikram Nair*.

The grassroots leader “resigned” from his post but going by the u/m post on Facebook, Khaw and Nair should take responsibility Japanese style (something Khaw, who asked the WP’s leaders to commit hari kiri over the issues at their town council**. and the PAP – think ESM– advocate when it doesn’t involve a PAPpy or a scholar:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/learn-from-japanese-set-example-leh-elites/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/pap-pls-do-not-use-tragedy-to-push-yr-agenda/)

I was in grassroots from 1992 til mid 2008.. I held positions ranging from Exco, Secretary, Treasurer n Auditor.. If the cc n the adviser were doing their respective jobs.. This cannot happen.. We needed to submit reports, accounts n statements for everything.. We had only certain banks which we could deposit our monies into n a minimum of two signatures was ALWAYS required.. We were always fearful of being audited and found to be dishonest n so we would work into the night to ensure our submissions were fit for clearance.. To be fair we had access to plenty of training as to how to discharge our various duties n so I’m shocked .. As for the monies involved.. We had a balance of several tens of thousands n a monthly accounts of several thousands.. We not only ran several classes n day care (and we were not even that busy or aggressive) and we could bank in some hundreds every month easily. And we also used to receive funds from the various affiliates n grassroots organizations n eve the near by temple would donate funds for community events. Also the monies involved are not surprising for Why do you think the PA’s annual budget is so huge.. I quit coz I got disillusioned with the grassroots.. I felt I was no longer serving my residents but the .. Ahhh but then that’s another story..
*please note that this sharing is based to the best of my recollection and it’s not meant to disparage anyone fingered and I don’t in any way mean to cast aspersions on those folks especially since they’ve resigned :)) WAhahahahahah :)) T

What the post implies is that if Vikram and Khaw had been “on the ball” in carrying out their duties, the incident should not have arisen. It was a failure of the managers, not a system failure.

They also have to take responsibility for not ensuring that staff were trained to follow the “right” procedures. CNA reported that only after the report was released, did staff and volunteers at Admiralty CCC familiarise themselves with the financial procedures.

Again if Khaw and Vikram had been more on the ball … But let’s be fair to both of them. Vikram may still be suffering from the after-effects of drinking water from the tank where an FT went swimming and drowned, polluting the water supply of residents. And Khaw had a lot of work recently:

— Fernvale

— Fixing the WP

— Mourner in chief

— GE planning.

———

*Mr Khaw, who is also National Development Minister, said Admiralty CCC fully cooperated with the People’s Association investigation Panel. The report highlighted that the CCC chairman had awarded two contracts worth S$32,000 to a company at which he was linked to. He had also approved S$114,767 of his own claims.

The grassroots leader involved has stepped down and Mr Khaw said he was “glad” the Investigation Panel found no evidence of dishonesty.

Mr Nair said he was “saddened” to learn of the findings and said the grassroots leader concerned has served with distinction for many years. “I am relieved to note that there was no dishonesty found on his part by the investigation,” he said.

The PA said the non-declaration of conflict of interest is a serious lapse and that the staff involved have been reprimanded.

(CNA)

**Ok, OK I exaggerate.

 

 

Security: Kampong spirit or software better?

In Public Administration on 07/06/2015 at 9:56 am

DPM Teo called for what I consider the “kampong spirit” to combat radicalisation after it became known

A Singaporean youth has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for terrorism-related activities since April this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Wednesday (May 27).

…another youth was arrested in May under the ISA for further investigations into the extent of his radicalisation.

–  –  –

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean said Singapore faces real threats from radicalisation, similar to other countries. He noted that attacks can still happen, even if a country is already on high security alert.

“Our community leaders have worked hard to counter radical ideology. And we should all, from all communities in Singapore, support one another … All of us must play our part. If you know or suspect anyone who is becoming radicalised, please notify the authorities early,” Mr Teo said.

“You may be helping to save that person from harming himself and others. And our security agencies will do their utmost to detect and prevent any terrorist attacks.”

“We must strengthen our community resilience so that if an incident were to occur here, we can recover and emerge even stronger, and more united,” he added.

(CNA)

Err what about more high tech stuff?

In the UK, schools are being offered new software that helps teachers spy on pupils’ potentially extremist online activity.

It alerts teachers if pupils use specific terrorism-related terms or phrases or visit extremist websites on school computers, laptops or tablets.

Teachers are encouraged to look for a pattern of behaviour rather than raise the alarm after a single warning.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-32996327

Seems we don’t have similar software because “Fortunately, another person who knew Arifil [the detainee] noticed the changes in him, and had brought him to the attention of the authorities, who were then able to investigate the matter and take action before he could carry out his violent attack plans in Singapore,” said MHA.

Shouldn’t this mum get serious money?/ Don’t let kids suffer for mum’s sins

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/06/2015 at 4:49 am

In S’pore, money talks, BS walks as Amos Yee pointed out when castigating the good-hearted kay pohs, anti-PAP ang moh tua kees like Roy Ngerng, Shelly Thio, Lynn Lee and Kirsten Han who did everything to help him except stand bail. Since then, they have become very quiet about him. When asked about “Amos Yee, freedom fighter, Harry slimer”, they mumble that he went beyond the pale ’cause of the false accusation he made that his bailor molested him, and his flip flops about an apology.

Why do you think, they treat him like a leper? Because that the slimer of Harry turns out to be foul-mouth brat who speaks the truth about the hypocrisy of the ang moh tua kees, and not a knight in shining armour out to defeat the evil dragon Harry?

Seriously given the exhort ions to S’poreans to breed more, and the incentives given to couples breed, it’s surprising that this lady with six kids is in such dire straits. She should be paid prize money for having six kids, not made to suffer, for having six of them.

She is a 29-year-old unemployed single mother with six children from five to 13 years old. She lives in a tiny flat, just 30 square metres, with little furnishing.

There is no dining table, so the children eat their otah-otah with rice and chillies crouched on the floor.

The children share the single bedroom – their only bedding is mattresses and thick blankets. Nurhaida sleeps on the sofa in the living room.

She receives weekly groceries from charities, as well as about S$600 ($474, £262) a month in government aid and money from a boyfriend. But she admits that it is difficult to make ends meet. She has not been able to afford asthma medicine for her second daughter for months.

“No one can afford to get sick in this house because our finances are too tight. It’s quite tough and a struggle for me to be raising them up,” she said.

“I have to look after this house 24/7… so for me if I were to find a job, it would have to be a night job, so that once they are in bed, I can go out and the older kids can watch the young ones.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26349689

Sad for the kids too.

We don’t know whether she had some or all of the kids out of wedlock. But if the govt can on pragmatic grounds decide not to prosecute under 377A (despite saying that the majority of S’poreans have public morality problems with gays), why can’t it ignore any issues of public morality in her case and provide her with more funding. And if she had the kids in wedlock, then the govt’s behaviour is disgusting.

Whatever the circumstances of the case, the govt  should give her a free four room flat. After all she is doing something that the govt wants S’poreans to do: breed more. If more were like her, we’d not need FTs. But then maybe taz the real reason for not funding her: the PAP administration wants FTs.

And she can’t be a bad mom because if she was one I’m sure my RI PreU class-mate, Ang Bee Lian, would have made orders to remove the children from her care.

 

Degree mills are scams, not unaccredited institutions

In Public Administration on 21/05/2015 at 4:42 am

In response to https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/mom-thinks-we-that-stupid-or-they-really-that-stupid/, a regular reader and most intelligent commenter explained why degree mills are not “unaccredited institutions” as Zorro and the staff at MoM is insisting the are. He says (Emphasis is mine. My comments are within [ ] in normal print):

Aiyah, it is factually wrong to say all degree mills are unaccredited institutions. Why?? Because degree mills are mutually exclusive from all & any educational institutions. You can say that unaccredited institutions are a subset of educational institutions, but it is false to say that degree mills are a subset of educational institutions.

[Zorro and his officials are talking cock, real cock. Meritocracy? What meritocracy?]

Degree mills are scam jobs, pure & simple, just like pyramid schemes. The perpetrators know it and the consumers know it. Any person with average intelligence who participates in it will realise something is not right, even if he benefits. A consumer who pleads innocence and “sincerely believes it is genuine” is merely being disingenuous and acting in self-preservation.

[Heard that IDA about its beloved new citizen Nisha.]

And yeah it’s easier (& cheaper) to fake work experience than fake degrees. In my younger days, I was bumming around doing odd jobs & contract jobs for about 2 years in-between “real jobs”. When I went for job interviews later, I got so fedup with having to explain & justify my 2 years “hole” in my resume that I put in fake work experience with a fake company. And I got a good pal to act as my ex-supervisor in case any prospective company wanted to check. No company ever checked & my pal never got any calls.

Lim Swee Say also says that MOM conducts 100% checks on papers from known unaccredited institutions or degree mills. What about fake degrees obtained from degree mills?? I can get a bona-fide look & feel posh degree scroll + academic transcripts from the University of Sydney by paying some Peenoi degree mill US$350. US$500 if I also want someone to impersonate as my professor with Aussie accent & fake Uni letterheads & fake email account to act as my reference.

[If you think the last two para are rants,

Woman entered Singapore under false identities

She had fled over fake degree, but returned using various passports

She fled the country after being charged in 2002 with using a fake degree to apply for permanent residency. But that did not stop Lin Lifen, 39, from repeatedly coming back to Singapore over the next 12 years using different identities. She is now appealing against a 16-week jail sentence for her offences.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/woman-entered-singapore-under-false-identities-20150520#sthash.2Ye39gOg.7aaisx26.dpuf%5D

And all these doesn’t even touch the millions of sub-par & 3rd-rate ahneh, cheena, peenoy, burmese graduates from the mass of “accredited universities” that have so lax academic & ethical standards that you can get 1st class honours 4.0 GPA without studying if you’re willing to prostitute yourself, either with your body or with your money.

[Steady bro, don’t want FT lovers and ang moh tua kees like Kirsten Han and Lynn Lee making police complaints against this blog. LOL]

MoM thinks we that stupid? Or they really that stupid

In Public Administration on 19/05/2015 at 4:15 am

Or they juz trying their luck, throwing smoke, hoping to confuse S’poreans? And hoping smoke also protects FTs with fake degrees?

I mean if people fake their qualifications, why should they be trusted not to fake their work experience (see Zorro’s comments in parly below*? I would say even likeier because it is easier to fake work experience than to fake qualifications.  They could pay ex-supervisors or ex-employers to issue fake reports on his experiences, etc. Or they could fake reports themselves. How to verify meh?

On to something very serious: Not all unaccredited institutions are degree mills

A TRE reader points out there is a difference between an “unaccredited” institution and a degree mill, and that it’s wrong for MoM to say that they are the same: The Ministry of Manpower is now trying to pass off degree mills as “unaccredited schools” through its infographic (link). (In the extract* below, Zorro says the same thing as his staff: As for qualifications obtained from an unaccredited institution (degree mill) …)

The TRE reader goes to explain that while all degree mills are unaccredited institutions, not all unaccredited institutions are degree mills citing our very own SIM and SMU who are “unaccredited” in NZ.

SIM, SMU, which both teach undergraduate courses in Singapore, are by all means bona fide educational establishments. Their courses require rigour and a level of standard befitting a tertiary qualification. Ask any SIM or SMU graduate and they will tell you there was nothing fake about their educational experience at these institutions. They were required to submit assignments, pass exams, and complete internships if the course calls for one.

That said, both SIM and SMU are considered “unaccredited” universities in New Zealand for the purpose of immigration and/or employment in licensed sectors for example, teaching, health and law. I am sure SMU or SIM graduates will strongly disagree that it is because their course is not rigorous or of a poor standard. More importantly, their course was not fake. The “unaccredited” status just means New Zealand authority has little understanding of the rigour of these courses and their entry requirements or deems the learning outcomes are not at a level New Zealand recognises as compatible to the skills the country seeks in its immigrants and workforce. This, in no way illegitimise the qualifications from these institutions.

A qualification obtained from a degree mill, on the other hand, reeks of non-existent education experience and absent rigour. Degree mills have long been considered fraudulent schemes which are really “dollar for paper” printing machine. One need not mug through exams or sweat through assignments. There probably aren’t much course readings to do, even. There is no internship or practicum to speak of. The tuition fee you pay does not give you face-to-face support from a tutor or lecturer, not even by distance through Skype. What it does give you is that piece of paper to “qualify” you as a graduate in a certain field of study whether you have actually studied it or not.

Degree mills are not new. They have been around for many decades. Singaporeans had previously not heard much of it because the laws of our land are so strict that few would contemplate jeopardising their future by buying into such a scheme**. We have been brought up to mug, to burn the midnight oil and to put in the hard mile. The government always prided itself for having built a nation of honest, hardworking citizens with integrity.

The Ministry of Manpower is now trying to pass off degree mills as “unaccredited schools” through its infographic (link). The government may have brought Singaporeans up by the rod but it certainly is handling its adopted children with cotton gloves.

No, I will not let the authority pull wool over my eyes. Degree mills are not merely “unaccredited schools”. They are fraudulent schemes and people who use them to gain entry into our country or workforce should be recognised as such and properly chastised.

Been There Seen It

Thank God for IDA’s and now MoM’s attempts to defend FTs with fake degrees. They are helping to offset the “feel good” factors of Harry’s funeral and the PAP administration’s spending of our money on ourselves that were working in the PAP’s favour in making the ground sweet for GE.

Here’s two constructive suggestions to make us feel good: free “S’pore” Lego kits for all voters, not just teachers, and throw Amos into a cell without internet access and throw away the key.

—-

*“As for qualifications obtained from an unaccredited institution (degree mill) that does not ensure that its students are properly qualified, MOM conducts 100% checks and disregards these qualifications completely,” Mr Lim assured.

“They will have to meet more stringent criteria in terms of experience and salary in order to qualify for the EP or S Pass.”

In other words, foreign applicants with qualifications from degree mills can still qualify for a work pass based only on their experience and salary.”

**I remember a few years back when a degree mill was exposed, ST reported S’poreans who were taken in, resigning from their jobs, before their private sector employers found out and asked them to leave. Some of them had proper degrees and took the “fake” course to better themselves.

Now S’poreans who kanna sien can point out to Nisha and IDA. WTF MoM.

Jogging alone can be illegal?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 07/04/2015 at 4:48 am

If wearing the wrong tee-shirt or singlet?

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

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

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

Jogging by Lake Tanganyika

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

Burundi: Where jogging is a crime

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

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

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

———‘

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

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

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

Earlier, in 2007, she had said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Holding highly paid to account

In Corporate governance, Political governance, Public Administration on 05/04/2015 at 4:53 am

Hmm, maybe PM should think of adapting these ideas for himself, his ministers, senior bureaucrats and CEOs of TLC and other commercial GLCs.

HOLDING EXECUTIVES ACCOUNTABLE Should top executives be required to contribute a chunk of their pay to a pool that would pay penalties if misdeeds were later uncovered at the company? That is a nonbinding proposal that Citigroup shareholders will vote on next month, notes Gretchen Morgenson in the Fair Game column.

A somewhat similar idea can be found in a law journal article by Greg Zipes, a trial lawyer for the Office of the United States Trustee. Mr. Zipes proposes that top executives sign a contract pledging to pay back 25 percent of their gross compensation in the event of major corporate misdeeds. Such proposals, Ms. Morgenson says, are intended to combat the “perverse incentive” that encourages executives to take on huge risks in order to earn rich pay and bonuses, safe in the knowledge that the consequences won’t be costly.

Maybe there should be pools for the ministers, senior bureaucrats and CEOs where they contribute part of their gross remuneration.

If their peers cock up, the money in the pool gets forfeited to the Consolidated Account.

Maybe ministerial peer pressure can keep Lui on his toes. And the ex-SAF generals running SMRT and NOL. CEOs of DBS, SIA, Keppel, CapitaLand etc will make sure that incompetent peers are “moved” on.

Ello, Ello! FTs bully, beat S’poreans with impunity?

In Public Administration on 01/04/2015 at 4:38 am

(Updated on 7 April 17.00 to reflect that SPF has finally charged Ello Ello^. Hopefully the Pinoys, especially the ambassador, will know their place here.)

Last Wed, the local media reported that Australian and Singapore permanent resident, Aaron Peter Jeremicjczyk, has been fined $3,000 for assaulting jazz singer Dawn Ho last year in Sentosa.

My first tot was, “Now more ang moh men will beat up local gals: only $3,000 fine for doing so: juz claim provocation”. I hope the prosecution appeals against the sentence: verbal abuse should not ever mitigate an offence where physical violence resulting in injuries. Btw, this FT was a marketing executive: we no got this skill here meh?

This reminded that in early January, Pinoy Ello made offensive anti-Singaporean comments on Facebook: remarks that went viral. He filed a police report claiming that his Facebook account had been hacked.

A few days later he was fired. His employer said

Our decision for dismissal is independent of the ongoing police investigation of the more recent alleged posts made in January 2015. We are still in full cooperation with the police on the alleged comments.”

He had made earlier anti-S’porean remarks and did not deny them.

Since then there has been silence from the police (Still investigating or case closed? Compare Ello’s case with how quickly Amos Yee, a S’porean boy, was arrested for among other things insulting Christianity) and the Pinoy ambassador. The latter had criticised S’poreans for anti-Pinoy remarks:

The Philippines ambassador to Singapore, Antonio A Morales … expressed concern about “the few Singaporeans” who have lashed out, and condemned the blog that suggested abusing Filipinos.

“I think it was unfair and racist and discriminatory,” he said, adding that the blogger had still not been identified.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28953147

(My take on the interview https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/pinoy-tua-kee-gives-the-finger-to-govt-meng-seng-2/)

But he has never criticised Ello for the comments that Ello said he made https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/ello-ello-pinoy-ambassador-has-nothing-to-say/. Pinoys above our laws isit?

The Filipino embassy told Ello to be “extra careful with his social media usage”, days after the nurse, Edz Ello, made some insulting and threatening comments about S’porean on social media.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/pinoy-and-prc-diplomatic-behaviour-contrasted/

Seems the Pinoys see S’pore and S’poreans no ak despite coming here by the container load.

I end by posting remarks made by a TRE reader

Pinoy Leader Didn’t Give Face:

The Philippines with 100 million population couldn’t give a damn about the tiny red dot. If its the mother Mrs Aquino in charge, she would definitely attend L*Y funeral.

All the top leaders of Asean were in Singapore [not correct but the leaders of the major countries were here except for the Philippines] except President Aquino. He cannot even spare a few hours to fly in for the funeral. What’s is more important that he has to personally attend to ? What’s the point of sending the Foreign Minister ?

This show that L*L has been played out wholesale and not given any face like the Chinese saying goes. Its time to send all these ungrateful Pinoys home.

—–

*http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32115052

Reminds me of what Robert Kuok said: He wondered how to encourage that entrepreneurial spirit among Singaporeans, and would put the question to powerful businessmen he met there. South-east Asia’s richest man, Mr Robert Kuok, remembers how he responded to Mr Lee: “I told him, you have governed Singapore too strictly, you have put a straitjacket on Singapore. Now, you need to take a pair of scissors and cut it.” – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/remembering-lee-kuan-yew-the-greatest-chinese-outside-ma#sthash.ix2sIx93.dpuf

Does the SPF have to throw the book at every insult to religion and LKY?

Here’s another case where SPF took their very sweet time prosecuting FTs (this time beating up S’poreans) https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/heads-must-roll-in-the-home-team/

^CNA reports that Ello has been arrested and charged. He can go to prison for a few years

… Ello Ed Mundsel Bello was arrested and charged in Court on Tuesday (Apr 7). He faces two counts under the Sedition Act, and another three for providing false information to the police during investigation.

Police alleged that the 28-year-old had posted two comments on Facebook which had the “tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of the population of Singapore”, namely the Singaporeans and Filipinos here, the charge sheet stated. 

The first comment allegedly stated: “Now the Singaporeans are loosers in their own country, we take their jobs, their future, their women, and soon, we will evict all SG loosers out of their own country hahaha. The best part, I will be praying that disators strike Singapore and more Singaporeans will die than I will celebrate. REMEMBER PINOY BETTER AND STRONGER THAN STINKAPOREANS.”

The second comment allegedly stated: “Yes I love our people, we will kick out all the Singaporeans and SG will be the new filipino state.”

The other charges under the Penal Code were for misleading the police who were investigating the case. Ello told the police he did not post the abovementioned comments, and that his Facebook account had been accessed without authority, according to the charge sheets.

Under the Sedition Act, if Pinoy Ello is found guilty of promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of S’poreans, Ello is liable, on conviction for a first offence, to a fine of up to S$5,000 or a jail term of up to three years, or both.

Under the Penal Code, giving any information which person knows to be false to a policeman is punishable with a jail term which may extend to one year, or a fine up to S$5,000, or both.

 

Pet minister and e-justice

In Public Administration on 07/03/2015 at 10:23 am

No not elephant justice but electronic-justice.

As he is also the law minister, he should take off from his very important role as pet minister to modernise the civil justice system by ordering the development of an “online court”

The first tier would be “dispute avoidance”, helping people diagnose their issues and identify the best way of resolving them.

Tier two would be labelled “dispute containment” using facilitators to help the parties reach agreement on resolving the issue.

Finally, tier three would be “dispute resolution”, employing the use of online judges to consider cases online, largely on the basis of papers received electronically, but with an option of telephone hearings.

Taz what England is planning:

The body overseeing the modernisation of the civil justice system is calling for an “online court” to be developed in England and Wales to reduce costs.

The Civil Justice Council’s report recommends an Online Dispute Resolution system, which would see judges deciding some non-criminal cases online, without the expenses generated by a court.

The report suggests a pilot followed by a full roll-out in 2017.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service says it welcomes the report.

The proposed scheme would include online tools to diagnose and resolve disputes, online facilitators to help parties reach agreement, and if that fails, online judges whose rulings would be as binding as court rulings.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31483099

And I know juz a software developer that can build such a system.

Did HDB, URA officials mislead MP?

In Public Administration on 17/02/2015 at 4:27 am

Let’s revisit shumething that was the talk of cyberspace only a few weeks ago: a commercial columbarium near a residential estate.

There is a seemingly major contradiction in what the PAP MP told us the authorities told him and what Khaw said in parliament on the issue of Eternal Pure Land winning a bid to build a temple  Dr Lam Pin Min said that the authorities (presumably URA and HDB) had assured him that commercial firms could bid for land earmarked for religious purposes*. That is why he defended the tender at the dialogue session.

This not what Khaw told us:The decision to award a site designated as Place of Worship to a company not affiliated to a religious organisation is a first for the Government, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament on Thursday (Jan 29). CNA

Khaw was careful to use the term “private company” and “for-profit company”**, not Dr Lam’s “commercial entity”. If Dr Lam had been an Oppo MP or NMP, the anti-PAP cyber warriors (like TOC and TRE) and their cyber-nut allies would be baying (and rightly so) for an explanation of what the HDB and URA officers told Dr Lam. But because Lam’s a PAP MP, it’s OK if public servants mad misrepresentations of fact to him?

And were they lying or making an “honest mistake”.

There doesn’t seem to be a difference between “commercial firm” and  “for-profit company”, so it would seem that the HDB and URA had assured Dr Lam that “for-profit companies” had been awarded tenders in the past.

All I can say is that  MP with his, “I was an honest broker”* (my words) and the residents deserve one another: both he and they are hypocrites.

I mean which honest broker will accuse residents of objecting to anything?

And then there is this.

At the session, Dr Lam was perceived to be defending Eternal Pure Land (EPL) – who were awarded the contentious tender – and the authorities rather than siding with his constituents. Some people pointed out that he was sitting at the same table as representatives from Life Corporation, the parent firm of EPL.

“My purpose there was first to facilitate the dialogue session, to clarify the misinformation of what was posted online, and to allow residents to raise their concerns to me and the relevant agencies,” he said. “Usually for a dialogue session, this is how it’s done.”

Well he could have taken the position of the Speaker in the UK parly, sitting between both sides. LOL

But whatever we may think of him, no public servant should misrepresent facts to anyone. Today an MP, tomorrow a Pioneer Generation Auntie.

*“I… asked HDB and URA whether a commercial entity is allowed to participate in a tender process for a place of worship, and I was informed that it had been done before,” he said.

**Mr Khaw said the Ministry of National Development is “in discussion” with Eternal Pure Land (EPL) to “ensure that the land is restored to the original plan of a Chinese temple”. He was responding to questions posed by MPs Seng Han Thong, Lee Li Lian and Lee Bee Wah.

“We now understand that the winning tenderer for this site, Eternal Pure Land, is actually a private company without any religious affiliation. From what we know, the plan of the company is to run a commercial columbarium on the site,” the minister said. “This is not in line with our plan for the Places of Worship site.”

He said the authorities never thought that a for-profit company would participate in a non-profit making venture, such as building a Chinese temple. Reports said EPL, which is owned by Australian company Life Corporation, had put in a S$5.2 million bid in July 2014.

 

GE: Not before end August 2015

In Corporate governance, Political governance, Public Administration on 16/02/2015 at 4:44 am

At the very earliest. My earlier take that it would be in June next yr.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/betterest-indicator-on-whether-there-will-be-early-ge/

This is my latest guess based on the fact that AHPETC will not get any S&C funds until it can furnish clean accounts by end August 2015. This is what Khaw said:

“Make restitution to the residents for the losses to their town council. Submit a clean set of accounts for FY 2013 to Parliament by Jun 30, 2015. Submit your accounts for FY 2014 on time by Aug 31, 2015. Account to Parliament, account to your residents and those in this House.

“These are not high hurdles. These are the basic requirements for any organisation, for anyone seeking to run for office in any organisation. Every town council has been able to do this, including those run by opposition MPs in the past. This is what supporting the Motion means.”

Actually, they are very high hurdles given that AGO reports

  • Inadequate oversight of related party transactions involving ownership interests of key officers, hence risking the integrity of such payments;
  • Not having a system to monitor arrears of conservancy and service charges accurately and hence there is no assurance that arrears are properly managed;
  • Poor internal controls, hence risking the loss of valuables, unnecessary expenditure as well as wrong payments for goods and services; and
  • No proper system to ensure that documents were safeguarded and proper accounts and records were kept as required by the Town Councils Act.

After the CNY hols, if no-one else has blogged on the matter, I’ll try to explain the problems the WP faces in getting clean audit reports given the AGO’s comments. To tease readers: there needs to be a forensic audit (Guess what PAP rats MPs are calling for?), or a really nasty write-down coupled with a promise to “recover” monies from Low’s friends.

It’s that or allow residents to suffer. Because no govt grant (S&C rebate based on HDB units in the area) until then: “Until the weaknesses are addressed, there can be no assurance that AHPETC’s accounts are accurate and reliable, or that public funds are properly spent, accounted for and managed.”*(AGO)

The issue is will Aljunied voters repent voting WP? Or will they be so annoyed that die-die will support WP. Before answering, do remember that the PAP only needs a 5 percentage points swing to win back the GRC.

Meanwhile Auntie and her Singh will have to haul the garbage bins. Let’s hope they are better cleaners than lawyers. Seriously as a trained lawyer, I’m appalled that they and Chen Show Mao allowed this

  • inadequate oversight of related party transactions involving ownership interests of key officers, hence risking the integrity of such payments

LAPSES IN GOVERNANCE OF RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

The town council did not fully disclose the related party transactions in its financial statements, nor did it adequately manage the conflicts of interests of related parties arising from ownership interests of its key officers, in contracts amounting to about S$25.9 million in total, the AGO said.

For example, the AHPETC Secretary was the owner of FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI) – one of two companies engaged to carry out managing agent services, as well as essential maintenance and lift rescue (EMSU) jobs. The Secretary, General Manager and Deputy General Manager of AHPETC were directors and shareholders of the other company, FM Solutions and Services (FMSS), the AGO said.

“The key officers of AHPETC who had ownership interests in FMSS and at the same time performed a role (for AHPETC) in approving payments to FMSS were in clear conflicts of interests,” the AGO said. For example, the town council’s General Manager both issued payment claims as director of FMSS while approving the payment as AHPETC staff.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/conflicts-of-interest-what-conflicts/

As I said, if this had happened at the club where I was Hon Treasurer, not only would have the Committee been booted out but I’m sure members would have lodged a police report, and complained to the registrar of societies. Btw, a PAP MP was the chairman.

Can readers help me by telling if among the WP’s many words, they apologised for the failure to manage the many conflicts-of -interest better. I can’t find any “We goofed. Sorry.”

For the record: My other election guess in the past (2013) https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/why-a-2015-ge-is-now-more-probable/

*Another example of the anti-PAP cyber-nuts’ thinking. When AGO was appointed, the by the PAP administration, they said AGO would clear WP. Now they calling AGO part of “fix” WP team.

Right incentives for couples to want to have kids cont’d

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 24/12/2014 at 4:51 am

Further to this, another measure that the govt could consider is rental rebates for conceiving couples renting  HDB flats. More temporary flats will be set aside for couples waiting for their new Housing Board flats under a rental programme which, as National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan put it, has been “delivering results, and babies”.

Under the rental programme, called the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), more than 100 babies were born to those living in 1,000 or so flats – a hit rate of 10 per cent.

– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/more-flats-parenthood-couples-await-housing#sthash.e3meENpS.dpuf

Better still do things the Hard Truth way: no conceive, rents doubled?.

This appeared in Forum on 17 December

Act on rising cost of raising children in Singapore

I am a parent of three children, two of whom are attending pre-school. It disturbs me that their fees are rising yet again next year – by a significant 20 per cent.

I tried to look for another pre-school that was near my home, and found out that those that had not raised their fees were planning to do so.

It was reported in September that three of five major pre-school chains – which are required to keep fees affordable in return for regular government grants – will increase their prices next year (“3 major pre-school chains raising fees next year”; Sept 27).

This comes after the median monthly fee for full-day childcare rose in a year by $80 – the biggest increment in at least eight years – to reach $830 last year.

The other two pre-school chains are not raising their fees because their current fees have hit the maximum allowed for anchor operators.

What is the Ministry of Social and Family Development doing to stem the fee increases?

More families have parents who are both working and have no choice but to enrol their children in pre-schools. Moreover, a cheaper school may not be an option as there may be no vacancies, or the family may live too far away.

The article (“It costs twice as much to feed your baby today”; Monday) reported that the average price of baby milk has more than doubled in the past decade.

Clearly, the cost of raising children has risen exponentially over the years.

While the Government may be powerless to stop milk powder prices from rising, it should step in where it can exert control, such as childcare costs, especially since it aims to get Singaporeans to have more children.

Ng Keng Nam

And the really Hard Truth way to make sure couples conceive during sex:

Update at 6.40am: Just read in ST that some lovely old flats (in a shady area) in Tiong Bahru have been assigned as “love nests”. The govt should do the same for the flats in the Old Airporty Road area that it’s taking back. Another romantic spot.

Male gays here: On “permanent” parole

In Economy, Public Administration on 03/11/2014 at 5:48 am

Gay rights in Singapore

On permanent parole

(http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/10/gay-rights-singapore)

The above headlines encapsulate the issue male gays face more than TOC’s and M Ravi’s pontificating, sanctimonious, self-serving anti-PAP rubbish. Their comments are more aimed at sliming the PAP govt, than advancing the cause of gay men.

I was a supporter of the govt’s studied ambiguity on the issue. And that the gay community in pressing for abolition were pushing their luck.

But the Economist’s headline made me realise the problem that male gays faced. The repeal of 377A is necessary to ensure that male gays can come out to play, hold hands or kiss publicly without the fear of the govt of the day deciding that it, after all,  wants to enforce 377A: not enforcing it was an “honest mistake”. Remember the decision not to use 377A is by way of administrative fiat. What is decided by administrative fiat one day, can be changed without warning another day without public debate.

Accepting LGBTs doesn’t harm society, could even be beneficial as LT’s Lombard points out: The coming out of Apple’s Tim Cook is a chance to remind readers of Tomkins’ Rule. This proposes a nation is civilised in proportion to its tolerance of gays, because they are distinctly different in a way that does not harm others and are always in a minority. Works for a big company too.

Btw, ever wondered like I did about why gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals are lumped together? Here’s the reason, The term LGBT, representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, has been in widespread use since the early 1990s. Recent additions – queer, “questioning” and intersex – have seen the term expand to LGBTQQI in many places. But do lesbians and gay men, let alone the others on the list, share the same issues, values and goals?

Anthony Lorenzo, a young gay journalist, says the list has become so long, “We’ve had to start using Sanskrit because we’ve run out of letters.”

Bisexuals have argued that they are disliked and mistrusted by both straight and gay people. Trans people say they should be included because they experience hatred and discrimination, and thereby are campaigning along similar lines as the gay community for equality.

But what about those who wish to add asexual to the pot? Are asexual people facing the same category of discrimination. And “polyamorous”? Would it end at LGBTQQIAP?

There is scepticism from some activists. Paul Burston, long-time gay rights campaigner, suggests that one could even take a longer formulation and add NQBHTHOWTB (Not Queer But Happy To Help Out When They’re Busy). Or it could be shortened to GLW (Gay, Lesbian or Whatever).

An event in Canada is currently advertising itself as an “annual festival of LGBTTIQQ2SA culture and human rights”, with LGBTTIQQ2SA representing “a broad array of identities such as, but not limited to, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, two-spirited, and allies”. Two-spirited is a term used by Native Americans to describe more than one gender identity.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28130472

 

 

The right way to boost birth rates? And attracting votes?

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 29/10/2014 at 5:39 am

The South Korean annual budget to boost birth rates has reached an equivalent of US$13.85bn this year, says Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s largest and oldest daily.

Though is almost sevenfold increase since 2006, the number of births has actually dropped by almost 12,000 to 436,500 last year. The birth rate, or the number of births per 1,000 people per year, also fell to 8.6. This is the lowest level since records began in 1970, and also among the world’s lowest indicators, according to World Bank data. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29598172

According to Chosun Ilbo, the main reason why the government appears to be failing in its efforts to boost the birth rate is because most of the money is allocated to childcare subsidies, rather than making Koreans want to have more children.

Well by going waz happening here, the problem here is the same: the incentives are allocated to childcare subsidies, rather than making S’porean couples want to have a child, lrt alone, more children. They prefer to have pets.

So what are the ways that the govt can persuade S’poreans to want to have children? What about a bigger “subsidy” and fast-tracking for that “second” bite at a “subsidised”HDB flat. The more kids a couple have, the bigger the “subsidy” and the faster they can get a second flat? (And the govt can give incentives to private property developes to offer bigger discounts to couples with more kids.)

And what about a discount on that CoE for a prime mover? The more kids a couple have the bigger the discount? Ten kids are a CoE is effectively free?

Finally, what about abolishing the maid levy if parents have a third kid? And a “free” maid if they have 10 kids?

Finally, cut working hours so that couples have more time for sex. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/improving-productivity-try-this-pm-tharman-possible-reasons-for-peanuts-real-wages-growth/

Sadly, a Hard Truth for the PAP is that populism is out. Only bullying, haranguing the voters allowed. Which is why the Pioneer Generation package, spending on public tpt and other “goodies” is a puzzle. PM is a populist in disguise? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/minister-you-thinking-of-yr-govt/

Or are we going to get screwed with a huge GST increase after the next GE. Remember 2006? A great piece by scholar on how the extra 2 percentage points increase in GST never went into social welfare as promised. http://thereformparty.net/blog/2010/12/24/further-tax-burden-to-enhance-our-social-safety-nets/. The piece was written in 2010 and my admittedly back-of-the-envelope calculations shows that the position is the same today. Perhaps someone should ask Uncle Leong or Roy to update the data.

Whatever it is, remember to ask the PAP when campaigning begins for next GE, “Will you raise GST after the elections, if you win?”

Related post

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/a-populist-measure-can-be-a-sound-measure-ex-imf-chief-economist/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police offered canteen meal break to H3, she declined

In Public Administration, Uncategorized on 12/10/2014 at 10:04 am

Then KPKB that she was denied food. The drama princess wanted restaurant food at People’s Park is it?

Let me explain.

I awaited with interest the police’s response to the following allegations made by New Citizen H3

— she wasn’t allowed to eat despite being interviewd for over seven hours (“her request for food was denied. She was also not allowed to leave PCC for dinner,” her cheer leader TRE wrote.); and

— the police took away her notes of the interview.

These seemed contrary to the “right” procedure.

In this morning’s SunT, the police said that she had declined a break for dinner. So it seems she was allowed to eat in the police canteen but she declined. She wanted something better*? People’s Park gourmet food?. What can I say? Hui Hui has a terrible record when it comes to telling the truth.

[Update at 2.20pm: TOC reports

The police also said it was Ms Han who had “declined an offer to take a break for dinner.”

However, Ms Han said she was told – at about 5pm – that the interview would only last a further 30 minutes. This was why she decided not to have the dinner break.

As it turned out, the interview took another 4 hours or so and only ended at 9.30pm.

http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2014/10/police-deny-visiting-han-hui-hui-at-midnight/

Juz wondering: when interview went beyond 6.00pm, did she ask for a meal break? And if “No”, why not? And if she asked for a break, but wasn’t given one, why doesn’t she now KPKB about it?]

 

On the taking away of her notes, I’ll wait for further details to emerge before commenting. But this I will say: Many yrs ago when I was interviewed by the CAD on whether my actions could amount to a crime, I recollect being offered pen and paper so that I could take notes. When I declined, the officer said,”Sure or not?”. I said I would be signing a police statement and if I disagrred I wouldn’t sign.

Btw, can confirm that there is no truth in the allegation that SGH’s A&E was flooded with policemen and women with fang and claw wounds. Still trying to confirm that H3’s police interviewer is being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms.

[Update at 2.25pm: Can also confirm not true that any police person was given anti-rabies vaccination.]

Reminds me of Pussy Lim and other M’sian Chinese https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/not-damaged-cd-like-cat-lim-still-holding-reits-and-dividend-stocks/

ComCare aiding owners of landed property

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 29/09/2014 at 4:19 am

We are told that this will happen here if we have ang moh welfare type system

It’s not easy being overweight and on benefits, says 25 stone mother-of-two who wants MORE money from the government to help her diet: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2768442/It-s-not-easy-overweight-benefits-says-25-stone-mother-two-wants-MORE-money-government-help-diet.html

So, I was surprised to read in ST last week, that there are five cases of ComCare giving financial aid to elderly residents in Opera Estate. Now the houses in Opera Estate are going for a over $1m each, so really there is no excuse for ComCare to help these people.

Now I understand the emotional attachment of living in the same place for many yrs and preferring not to move, or renting a room out despite oddles of soace (I’m one of those people) but no-one is entitled to welfare when they own a multi-million dollar houses.  Owning such a property is blessing. And yet the heartlanders are subsidising the people living in a landed property? Not right, ever. I mean elderly residents at Tanglin Halt have to move on. [Last sentence added at 5.47am]

That ComCare is helping them with financial aid is a worrying sign for two reasons. One is Opera Estate voted for the WP in the last GE, helping JJ to almost win Joo Chiat SMC. Could it mean the PAP govt is indulging in vote buying.

It’s also a sign that more and more S’poreans are thinking that they are entitled to feed at the trough of public money, even if they are very well-off. But are they wrong to do so, when minsters despite their above average salaries, insist on constantly reminding us that they could be making more outside govt? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/hen-jost-gracef-money-money-money/

(Btw, I juz came across this quote while reading FT, “money is by far the least [important factor]” when choosing where to work. At this level it can’t be painful, right? The job we’re doing is a vocation. All of us like to be paid whatever is deemed competitive in the market, but it’s not the main driver.”” said the CEO of Switzerland’s third largest bank who has had to cut his pay by 12% because shareholders were unhappy. [Added at 6am])

The govt can do a lot more to help the elderly poor, the children of the less well-off to get better education, and in healthcare for those without million-dollar salaries, given that we got the money, but let’s be careful of indulging the lazy and the greedy.

I’ll say no more because I read yesterday that, “A household that earns less than S$1,900 will get basic computing devices such as a tablet, and subsidised fibre broadband internet access for the next four years, from the Digital Inclusion Fund.”

Hmm a gd deal and my hsehold income is below S$1,900. The word is “earns”: dividends, rental income, interest or pension payment doesn’t count.

 

Swedish minister: Why public sector pay shldn’t be benchmarked to private sector

In Political governance, Public Administration on 03/09/2014 at 4:52 am

Peter Norman is Sweden’s financial markets minister. He is reforming Sweden’s state pension schemes, known as the AP funds; cutting five funds into three. Despite a background in financial services, he is against benchmarking public sector pay to that of the private sector: FT reported on Monday

Adding insult to injury for those working at the AP funds, whose jobs are now at risk, Mr Norman also wants to cut the salaries of those who will remain at the three buffer funds drastically.

He believes their salaries should not be benchmarked against private sector companies but against other public authorities, such as the central bank, where pay is far less generous. He does not buy the argument that this will result in a “brain drain”.

“Take SMHI, which delivers the [Swedish] weather forecasts,” he says. “Surely there is a weatherman in the US who is considered the best in the world and who earns an astronomical salary, but that doesn’t mean someone at SMHI should earn the same. We need discipline.”*

Benchmarking salaries in this way would cut the pay for AP staff in half, according to those inside the funds. “It is a tough pill to swallow,” says Mr Norman, who has spoken out against excessive pay in the financial industry frequently.

 —-

*Reminds me of the time when ministers salaries were linked to remiser king, Peter Lim’s take-home pay. Wong Kan Seng, Mah Bow Tan, Yaacob and Raymond Lim that gd meh?

New citizens: Why doesn’t PM, PAP condemn this behaviour, close NS loophole?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 02/09/2014 at 4:54 am

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged new citizens to engage in the community where they live and take part in community activities. Speaking at a citizenship ceremony at the Ang Mo Kio and Sengkang West constituencies on Saturday (Aug 30), Mr Lee said he hopes the new citizens will actively integrate into society and discover more about Singapore.

About 150 new Singaporeans from the constituencies received their citizenship certificates and identification cards at the ceremony in the afternoon*. (CNA on Sunday). (Context: A total of about 3,150 new citizens were given their citizenship tin ceremonies across the island last weekend.)

This reminded me of two-timing new citizen Raj and the inaction on a loophole he is using to ensure his son avoids NS.. I posted this last yr

We did NS to protect this new citizen? WTF!

In Public Administration on 03/07/2013 at 1:53 pm

I was shocked when I read this:

An Indian former FT who prefers international schools is new citizen, Raj, originally from India. During an interview with TOC [Link], Raj revealed that only he in the family has converted to Singapore citizenship. His wife and daughter remain PRs and his son is on a student pass.

Raj said that if his son was a PR, he would need to serve NS. He preferred to “let his son decide if he wanted to put his roots down in Singapore or go back to India when he turns 21″.

The benefit of having his son on a student pass is that his son can always work in Singapore later as a “foreign talent” and eventually become a PR himself. He will not be considered a second-generation PR since he was not sponsored by his parents in the first place. A second-generation PR who gives up his PR is barred from working in Singapore.(http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/07/03/st-report-reveals-indian-fts-prefer-to-send-their-kids-to-international-instead-of-local-schools/)

Why the loop-hole, and why hasn’t it been closed? It must be commonly used for this FT to talk publicly about it, is my guess

Now, I RODed in the 70s,  am a bachelor and I don’t have children, but I’m upset at this loop-hole. Imagine the anguish of a parent whose son died while doing NS if he finds out that its so easy for new citizens and PRs to avoid legally NS?

This loop-hole had better be closed, and fast.

Hopefully some MP will raise this issue in parly especially as most PAP and WP male MPs have done NS. I know Puthu (very proud of the fact it seems based on his own words) and one Malay MP did not do NS. I know that excluding Low, all the Chinese and the sole Indian male MPs have done NS. Not sure about the Malay WP MP.

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

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/new-citizens-is-the-govt-naive-or-cynical/(added in October 2013)

(Btw, no MP has raised this issue. The Worthless Party MPs have been mute on this issue, as on several other issues.)

And this

New citizens: Is the govt naive or cynical?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Majulah Singapura to you.

——-

*Speaking at the citizenship ceremony, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted that changing citizenship is a major decision. “It’s not just weighing up the benefits and the costs rationally and doing a spreadsheet and say ‘Okay, now cost-benefit breaks even’, but committing your heart – what identity do you adopt, what values will you make your own, where will your loyalty lie,” Mr Lee said.

Prime Minister Lee acknowledged there will be some adjustments new Singaporeans will have to make because they all come from different cultures. But he said he is confident that their roots will grow year by year, just as it was with the older generations of Singaporeans.

Mr Lee encouraged the new arrivals to serve the community alongside Singaporeans and to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday next year with fellow citizens. He also urged residents to help the new citizens fit in on a more personal level – by inviting them for community events and for meals at their homes.

At an earlier ceremony in the morning, another 200 new Singaporeans living in the Ang Mo Kio and Sengkang West constituencies received their citizenship certificates. 

When will the last S’porean move on?

In Humour, Public Administration on 28/08/2014 at 4:31 am

A simulation by the South Korean parliamentary research service, shows the population there will decline from 50m today to 5m in 2172, 100,000 in 2379 – and total extinction before 2750. (Backgrounder: South Korea’s fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman, according to a 2012 World Bank estimate, which puts the country joint last in the birth stakes alongside nations including Singapore, Spain and Greece.)

I’m surprised that neither the population and talent unit in PMO  nor the Institute of Policy Studies have done such a study in order to alarm the sheep 60% who vote for the PAP.

The population unit and IPS have been known to do some really outlandish stuff. Remember the former’s Population White Paper was criticised by several scholars (Think Donald Low, ex civil servant and now in LKY School; and Yeoh Keong Lam, the retired chief economist of GIC.) for not being sound. Likewise, IPS’ defence of the White Paper was rubbishy.

Maybe, ST should be more constructive and nation-building? Or that wannabe Onion, New Nation?

 

 

It’s more about financing; car dealers contradicts LTA

In Public Administration on 13/08/2014 at 4:36 am

In the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the Scouring of the Shire was left out. In it Wormtongue (remember him?) turned on Sauron Saruman, killing him, after yrs of being bullied and abused by him.  I was reminded of this episode when I read, The re-classification of Category A Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) may be one reason for the rise in the number of cars with a lower open market value (OMV) registered, but some motor distributors believe the tough loan curbs are having a bigger impact.

They were responding to the letter from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) last week, which credited the introduction of a power cap, in addition to the usual engine-displacement criterion, for the rise in number of cars with lower OMV being registered. .

The LTA had disagreed with a reader who said “the addition of an engine power criterion in Category A has not improved the demarcation between premium and mass-market cars”. BT 6 Aug

[Background: In February, Cat A for cars under 1,600 cc was re-defined to include an engine output limit of 97 kW or 130 hp in a move designed to keep luxury models out of this small-car COE category. S’poreans have been bitching that high-end cars had been blamed for high COE premiums in the past three years.]

The LTA said in its letter: “The additional criterion has resulted in a significant decrease of almost 30 per cent in the median OMV of cars registered in Cat A over the past six months.

“Correspondingly, there are also now more cars with lower OMV of up to $20,000 registered in Cat A.”

But some distributors say the rise in number of cheaper cars sold is more a result of the vehicle-financing restrictions introduced in 2013. Car buyers now need up to a 50 per cent cash downpayment, and to sign up for a maximum repayment period of five years. Before the change, it was possible to borrow 100 per cent of the car price, and pay up the loan over up to 10 years.

The managing director of a volume dealership said: “The loan curbs have not hurt the ability to buy a Cat A model as much as a Cat B model, simply because the latter costs more.”

Someone who can no longer afford a new Cat B model will likely look to a cheaper Cat A car … He moves down the price range to a model that fits his budget … pushing up demand for Cat A cars.”

The sales manager of a luxury dealership conceded that it was true that the re-categorisation had contributed to more lower-OMV cars sold.

“But from what we have seen, the main reason is still the financing restriction,” …  pointed to the Cat A and B COE premiums from the past six months: In the last tender before the recategorisation, that is, the second tender for January this year, a Cat A COE cost S$72,290 and Cat B one, S$79,000.

In the most recent tender two weeks ago, Cat A COEs were S$62,890 apiece, and Cat B, S$65,001 … “Cat A has fallen S$9,400 or 13.0 per cent, but Cat B has dropped by more – S$13,999 or 17.7 per cent. COE supply issues aside, it shows that indirectly, there is now less demand for Cat B, with its more expensive models, than for Cat A.”

The gap between the Cat A and B premiums has narrowed, from S$6,791 in late January to S$2,111 late last month. In the past, when this gap became smaller, most prospective buyers gravitated towards Cat B because they perceived such models to be better value for money; this would then typically push up the big-car premium and widen the gap again …  “So we will have to see in the next few rounds whether that happens. If it does not and the gap stays small, then it implies that demand for Cat B is softening, and that it is probably due to the loan curbs’ impact on affordability.”

When the constructive, nation-building BT is willing to carry a story contradicting LTA’s BS, LTA should realise that its BSing is too much for even brown-nosers.

Related articles

Property * credit

Property & credit II

Property & credit III

Julius Caesar was wrong about these anti-PAP activists

In CPF, Humour, Political governance, Public Administration on 24/07/2014 at 4:19 am


When I saw the above photo in TOC, I couldn’t help think that  Juius Caesar was wrong when he said,
Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o’ nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
(Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar scene ii)
Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Dr James Gomez, Dr Paul Tambyah and Mr Goh Meng Seng don’t have a lean and hungry look.
And they certainly think too much. As to dangerous what do you think?
Only the presenter and a blogger (the two tiny ones in the centre) fit the description of “dangerous”.
GMS used to pretty trim, now his belly is as big as Garbra Gomez’s and KenJ’s. They not doing the rounds like NSP’s P Ravi? He lost a lot of weight by climbing stairs distributing NSP materials to HDB residents, getting a great workout in return. And all the WP MPs and NCMPs are trim. They do the rounds of their areas.
Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Dr James Gomez, Dr Paul Tambyah and Mr Goh Meng Seng  were taking part in “TOC Policy Exchange on CPF – rethinking the system”. Do watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmViCNPF_vc
And donate to TOC:
TOC’s Policy Exchange discussion on the CPF. We thank the various members on the panel who have contributed to the discussion. MOM and CPFB were invited to join us, but have declined.

Regrettably, we had to scale down to size of the event due to lack of funding. If you would like TOC to continue holding such discussions, please do help us with funding. To note, our forums are open to sponsorship.

Finally, do remember that Dr Paul Tambyah is an active SDP member and a professor at NUS. Gone are the days when people liked him accepted invitations to join the PAP without thinking. Or when dabbling in Oppo politics was a no-no for NUS academics. They could be investigated and sacked.

S’pore is changing despite the PAP’s hegemony.

“There are many ways of being smart”

In Public Administration on 23/07/2014 at 4:22 am

If any principal or teacher dares tell their pupils, “There are many ways of being smart”, then I’m confident of S’pore’s future, even if the PAP maintains its hegemony.

A letter sent to pupils at a Lancashire primary school along with their key stage two test results has gone viral on social media sites.

The letter to pupils at Barrowford Primary School in Nelson told them the tests do not always assess what makes them “special and unique”.

The letter reads:

Please find enclosed your end of KS2 test results. We are very proud of you as you demonstrated huge amounts of commitment and tried your very best during this tricky week.

However, we are concerned that these tests do not always assess all of what it is that make each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you… the way your teachers do, the way I hope to, and certainly not the way your families do.

They do not know that many of you speak two languages. They do not know that you can play a musical instrument or that you can dance or paint a picture.

They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day. They do not know that you write poetry or songs, play or participate in sports, wonder about the future, or that sometimes you take care of your little brother or sister after school.

They do not know that you have travelled to a really neat place or that you know how to tell a great story or that you really love spending time with special family members and friends.

They do not know that you can be trustworthy, kind or thoughtful, and that you try, every day, to be your very best… the scores you get will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything.

So enjoy your results and be very proud of these but remember .

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-28319907

Somehow I doubt if any principal would send this letter, or any teacher  even think about thinking about “there are many ways of being smart”, even though the education minister talks the talk of holistic education. The principals and teachers would fear being sacked or “marked”.

Easier for pigs to fly or Maruah and other middle class kay pohs to call for the release of Dan Tan from detention without trial.

Even in the UK, the principal had to deny that the letter was telling pupils that test scores did not matter.

“We never give pupils the message that academic attainment isn’t important – what we do is celebrate that we send really independent, confident, articulate learners on to the next stage of their school career.”

BTW, the school is a good school. The exam results of its pupils are good.

What connects “Free My CPF”, PM’s suit & NLB, LGBT row?

In Humour, Public Administration on 18/07/2014 at 4:36 am

The ideas behind this TRE post had crossed my mind: that the NLB row was manufactured by the govmin to detract the sheep S’poreans from more impt issues. In other words, it was a cunning PAP plot that the anti-PAP cyber warriors fell for:

One uncle pointed out that there is a hideous hidden agenda which was ordered down from the top to divert the focus of citizenry from CPF issue which Roy seemed to garner a lot of sympathy from both Singaporeans and foreigners in that it is a rather despicable joke that a PM in a democratic country sued a citizen over defamation just because he used the available information to arrive at his conclusion and that even the 71 year old vandalised and jailed by the court got sympathy over his frustration of the Govt is not returning his hard earned CPF.

He continued to say that many horse f**t devils in many ministries were thinking hard what to create. NLB came up with the idea of destroying children books that are tainted with favouring a gay issue based on the gay problem which recently showed a majority of Singaporeans are rather uncomfortable with. NLB was right. It took the heat from CPF. NLB could continued to grip the attention of the citizenry on the gay and other even if it is distantly related to the social taboo.

http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/07/16/nlb-saga-agenda-to-divert-focus-away-from-cpf-issue/

If true, Yaacob and NLB’s CEO are not blundering fools: they are gd black ops’ operatives..

Seriously, a look at SgDaily since the NLB story broke will show that the NLB action has dominated this cowboy town. Not only are the usual suspects (LGBT activists, anti-PAP cyber warriors, though Goh Meng Seng and Gilbert Goh, are quiet), but “moderate” apolitical bloggers are not happy with NLB.

On Facebook too, there is a lot of unhappiness with NLB’s decisions.

Heck even a PAP MP expressed reservations on FB, as ST reports:

Member of Parliament Hri Kumar Nair became the first member of the ruling party to speak out against the National Library Board’s (NLB) decision to pulp three children’s books for their homosexual content.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday night, Mr Nair (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) said he did not think that “destroying books is akin to censorship, and that all censorship is bad”, but said that “the real question is whether homosexuality falls in that category which should be excluded”.

“I do not believe homosexuality falls in the category of issues which should be excluded,” he wrote. “In fact, neither does the NLB. It says it carries such books in the Adult section….Excluding such books, or worse, destroying them, sends an altogether different and confusing message about the role of the NLB.”

He proposed a solution of placing the books in a separate section, “which children can only access with an adult present – much like a ‘PG’ movie”.

Makes gd sense.

Member of Parliament Hri Kumar Nair became the first member of the ruling party to speak out against the National Library Board’s (NLB) decision to pulp three children’s books for their homosexual content.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday night, Mr Nair (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) said he did not think that “destroying books is akin to censorship, and that all censorship is bad”, but said that “the real question is whether homosexuality falls in that category which should be excluded”.

“I do not believe homosexuality falls in the category of issues which should be excluded,” he wrote. “In fact, neither does the NLB. It says it carries such books in the Adult section….Excluding such books, or worse, destroying them, sends an altogether different and confusing message about the role of the NLB.”

He proposed a solution of placing the books in a separate section, “which children can only access with an adult present – much like a ‘PG’ movie”.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/hri-kumar-childrens-books-homosexual-content-should-be-r#sthash.ROPlS5cL.qF590F01.dpuf

Coming back to the conspiracy theory, even if there isn’t a PAP plot, the PAP is surely be happy that the LGBT and ang moh tua kee* activists are helping the PAP alat the CPF and bullying issues. I’m sure the cheques for thirty pieces of silver and invitations to an Istana function are in the post.

But I’ll end with two Voices that puts to shame not only the anti-LGBT gang and the book banners but the LGBT gang and friends. The views of the former are to be expected, but I had expected more from people who call themselves “liberal” and “tolerant”. Based on their comments on blogs and FB, too much of their tots are of the “If you are not with us, you are against us” George Bush, Taliban, Isis variety.

Tolerating a lifestyle doesn’t mean agreeing with it

From
Yong Kai Chang
Published: 4:04 AM, July 17, 2014
I disagree with the writer’s views in the letter “Many parents happy with NLB decision” (July 15). We each have the right to educate our children in our preferred manner in the privacy of our respective spaces.

I believe in not sheltering my children but raising them as well-informed young adults familiar with the practical social realities of our complex world. Others believe their children are impressionable and must be protected from practices they deem deviant.

It is fine to disagree because I have no more right to decide how other children should be educated than other parents have to decide for mine.

If, however, we allow our children to step out of our respective spaces and interact with others in this shared space called society, we must accept that they will have to face and deal with views that differ from ours.

Accordingly, in this public space, no single group has the right to dictate what material should be made unavailable for our children’s collective education in our national library, which is funded with our money.

If any of us are uncomfortable with this, we can mutually agree on separate guidelines for, say, supervised or restricted access to items deemed sensitive. We do not get to ban or destroy one another’s books in this common space.

To tolerate is to disagree but to allow. For example, one may disagree with my definition of family but one allows the book And Tango Makes Three to be in our library.

I may disagree with the Bible, but I would allow a Noah’s Ark children’s book in our library. I would be just as upset if the latter were removed.

One need not support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement to allow an LGBT-themed book in our library; one need only tolerate it.

[Emphasis mine]

I am puzzled as to whether the writer, by supporting a ban on an LGBT-themed book in our library, understands truly what tolerance means.

An earlier Voice (before the NLB story broke) Png Eng Keat on 23 June pointed out

Don’t conflate disapproval with discrimination

I refer to the letter “Morality should be shaped by all in Singapore” (June 21).

Firstly, as a Protestant, I am heartened to know that the Humanist Society (Singapore) (HSS) shares some of the same emphases as my religion: Reason and compassion. Without reason and compassion, there can be no common dialogue in a civilised society.

However, I take issue with how the writers conflate the two distinct ideas of disapproval and discrimination. Deeming another’s act unacceptable need not involve any discrimination, nor would it necessarily lead to any discrimination.

People can disapprove of acts such as sex between adults of the same sex, and sex with someone other than their marriage partner (“Religious identity stronger in Muslims, Protestants”, June 18), but that does not preclude them from “loving thy neighbour”.

Like the writers, I believe that no one group in society should have the sole right to shape morality since we live in a pluralistic secular society.

Everyone should be allowed to converse at the table with love and reason. The danger is when any one group tries to hijack the discussion, assert its superiority and push the rest out of the ship.

This has happened in the West with militant secularism squeezing religion out of the public sphere. May this never happen here in Singapore.

Admittedly, disapproval often crosses over to discrimination, but it needn’t and the distinction should be borne in mind. The failure of the LGBTs and friends to recognise this distinction is the thing that annoys me most about them.

—-

*Strangely, FT lovers wannabe NMP for FTs, Kirsten Han and Maruah are silent. They like GMS and GG all got sore throats? Bit unfair on GG and GMS. They most probably realise that the NLB actions are meant to distract S’poreans from matters that matter.

“E-Friction” index: HK’s 5th, S’pore’s 15th

In Economy, Hong Kong, Internet, Public Administration on 01/06/2014 at 4:48 am

Interesting that this never ever got reported by our constructive, nation-building media or mentioned by Yaacob, the propaganda ministry, MDA and IDA

The solution to improving our score is ensuring speedy and cheap online access should top the list. So come on Yaacob, MDA and IDA: stop trying to fix netizens and get us cheaper online access. Example the 4G charges were added on.

More on the index:

A new study by the Boston Consulting Group, to be presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week … “Greasing the Wheels of the Internet Economy”, its purpose is to make it easier to identify points of friction that hold back the digital economy.

At the heart of the report is an “e-friction” index. The authors took no fewer than 55 indicators (from “internet bandwidth per capita” and “average mobile connection speed” to “strength of intellectual property protection” and “press freedom”) and calculated a score for each of the 65 countries covered, which rises the higher the friction (see chart on this page. The full country ranking can be found here).

The usual suspects from northern Europe (Sweden, Finland, Denmark) end up on top, with HK 5th, Oz 14th and S’pore 15th.

… Such rankings often depend on how the indicators are weighed. BCG argues that infrastructure factors, such as the quality and cost of internet access, are the most important sources of friction, and bases half of its index on these. Other types of indicators, such as those that measure barriers that deter companies and consumers from adopting the internet, count much less. But even with a more even weighting, the authors say, the results would not be much different.

A more interesting finding is a clear correlation between a country’s rank in BCG’s index and the size of its internet economy: the lower the friction, the larger the share of online-related activities as a percentage of GDP …

What can countries do to move up the curve? Each country is different, the authors of the study argue. But ensuring speedy and cheap online access should top the list.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2014/01/digital-trade

Tightening FT immigration helps S’poreans PMEs

In Political governance, Public Administration on 20/05/2014 at 4:41 am

Al least for finance and accounting professionals.

Salaries for finance and accounting professionals in Singapore are expected to rise, with the tight labour market likely to force companies to increase wages to attract and retain employees, said recruitment firm Robert Half on Thursday in a press release.

55 per cent of companies in Singapore plan to increase wages for professionals in their finance and accounting department. Only 1 per cent of firms plan to cut wages, while the remaining 43 per cent plan to maintain salaries.

This is in contrast to the other five markets surveyed. (CNA last week). These markets are China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil.

So waz this rubbish that welcoming FTs with open arms helps S’poreans get better wages? The extract implicitly shows that a liberal Ft policy helps repress wages of locals PMEs; and even ST reported that the liberal FT immigration policy deprive young of jobs:https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/proof-that-fts-displace-sporeans/.

An example of tightening polices: a Pinoy couple and their son are PRs, but their young two-month old child only has a long-term pass. The couple are KPKB about discrimination and fear. I think they are barking up the wrong tree. But then they are Pinoys , playing the “victim” game, like PIDCS . ST reported:

PIDCS is currently being targeted, presumably by Singaporeans who oppose the staging of the event (‘Organisers of Philippine event targeted’, 17 Apr).

PIDCS is said to have received anonymous phone calls demanding the cancellation of the event. The organisers have reportedly felt harassed.

“The callers say we have no right to hold the event in Orchard Road,” a PIDCS spokesman said. “We do not dare to pick up phone calls now if we don’t recognise the number.”

As I told a Pinoy community adviser, “S’poreans, unlike Filipinos, don’t go round shooting people in malls. Nor do they go round burning the Filipino flag. So pls tell the organisers not to BS their fear. This is S’pore not Manila or Mindanao.”

(Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/grandfathers-place-is-it-pidcs-finest-filipino-talents-at-work/)

But let me end constructively. Three cheers for OCBC and may others follow it. I’ll let BT tell the story

For the first time, a local bank will be giving its employees payouts from the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS), instead of using the funds for training and development initiatives.

OCBC Bank will be disbursing $3 million of its first WCS payout to 1,500 eligible Singaporean employees of the bank and its securities subsidiary …

Introduced in Budget 2013 as part of the three-year Transition Support Package, the $3.6 billion WCS helps firms cope with rising wages in a tight labour market. It also encourages businesses to channel resources towards enhancing productivity and subsequently share productivity gains with employees. The WCS payouts co-fund 40 per cent of pay rises given to Singaporeans who earn a gross monthly income of $4,000 and below.

The 1,500 recipients of OCBC’s WCS payout make up about 25 per cent of OCBC … total staff strength in Singapore. Most of these recipients are junior executives and unionised employees, serving as assistant managers, bank officers and clerical staff in the bank’s consumer financial services as well as operations and technology divisions. They will receive the payouts in June and July.

Recipients can opt to have their payout credited to their Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts or to invest in shares through the OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan, which is open to all employees of the bank. Employees can choose only one of the two payout options.

 

Pinoy organisers give the finger to GMS, GG and friends

In Public Administration on 19/05/2014 at 5:01 am

I have it on good authority that the the Pinoy organisers of the 8 June party (a party that Goh Meng Seng says “trespasses” on S’pore’s sovereignty, while Gilbert Goh says our sovereignty is being threatened) have applied for a police permit. This is despite not having raised the $50,000 or thereabouts to pay for the premises and ancillaries. And despite the telcos (TLCs, GLCs)  being nervous about seen sponsoring an event that upsets Goh Meng Seng, Gilbert Goh and their friends.

Maybe they took the advice of one GMS who advised them on Facebook to apply for a permit?

Seriously, because GG, GMS and friends have made the location an issue of sovereignty (as defined by them*, not int’l law) the Pinoy organisers are apparently not backing down. If their govt can stand up to China over some rocks, despite having a useless navy, so can they stand up to GG, GMs and friends, seems to be the reasoning.

Could the Pinoy organisers’ garangness could also be because they think that the PAP govt is on their side on the issue of the party’s location? If so blame it on some junior civil servants.

I have it on more good authority that junior officers from PMO are assuring the Pinoy community that the Pinoys have nothing to fear. And it’s not my argument that “S’poreans in S’pore, unlike Pinoys in their country, don’t carry or use guns”. Seems these junior officers are saying that “we treasure Pinoys”. Wonder who the “we” encompasses?

Certainly not me. While I have no problem about the Pinoys wanting to party at Orchard Rd, to me those working here are “hewers of wood and drawers of water” (Joshua. 9:21) i.e. menial drudges; labourers. I don’t treasure them, even if there are at least 50,000 new citizens** who are Pinoys. I appreciate them for their gd service and low cost, but treasure them I do not.

Whatever, GMS, can be proud that the Pinoys are taking his advice and applying for a police permit. He can’t complain if they take his advice. Wonder if the Pinoys will dedicate a song to GMS on 8 June thanking him for his efforts? Or invite him to receive a token of their appreciation?

Jokes aside, wonder what will GMS, GG and friends do? Behave like the Filipino govt over the said rocks? Jus KPKB? Might is right as the Chinese govt said to the Filipino govt.

Update at 6.20am: BTW, I juz came across this

Question: Do you believe Professor Santiago Caaway earns only S$1,700 (60,000 pesos) a month?

The Filipino who complained about the expensive Alaskan king crab he and his family have feasted on claims his salary is only 60,000 pesos (approximately S$1,700) a month.
Why you think Pinoys come here to work? It’s a very poor country. And BTW also, he may not be a real “professor”, juz as the college he is working at may not be a real “college”.

——

*“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”(Thru the Looking-Glass)
https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/our-flag-kanna-burn-blame-pro-prc-ft-policies/
**Correct as of few yrs back. Don’t have the latest figure.

 

No security breach, but “secured” premises vandalised?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 16/05/2014 at 4:45 am

(Or “PR spinning goes mad” or “‘Ponding’ revisited”)

There was “no breach of security measures” by the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council in relation to the vandalism case in Toa Payoh … said Dr Teo Ho Pin* (CNA).  Graffiti was found along the rooftop of Block 85A at Toa Payoh Lorong 4. on 8 May and five 17-year-olds have been charged with vandalism.

Earlier, on 5 May, a train at the Bishan depot was spray-painted with graffiti. This is the third time vandals have struck a key transport facility in four years, and the second time a train in Bishan depot has been vandalised . In the latest case, reports said the depot’s perimeter fence was intact, and SMRT has yet to confirm any security breach, CNA reported.

So how did the vandals get in undetected to deface the property and then get out again undetected? Goh Meng Sen** allowed the vandals to use his UFO’s  teleporting machine to get in and in and out of the secured premises, is it?

Come on SMRT and Dr Teo, if vandals can get in and out of secured premises, then there were breaches of security. Let’s not indulge in word games to try look gd. These semantics only make you look stupid, and remind S’poreans that only the PM has cockles with a certain dish.

Dr VivianB put an end to claims by his officials that Orchard Rd wasn’t flooded, it was juz “ponded”. He sneered at their claims of “ponding”. Much credit we netizens gave him, showing how much he is disliked in cyberspace.

Mr Teo Chee Hean should show SMRT and Dr Teo why he was brought in as Home Minister. It had become a sex holiday camp during Wong Kan Seng’s long tenure there and Mr Teo made it fit for purpose again, looney M’sians braching borders excepted.

He should publicly  take SMRT and Dr Teo to task for trying to PR their way out of security failures that could have jeopardise lives, and further damage the PAP govt. If terrorists had breached these premises, and people had died, S’poreans would know that the PAP govt is a paper tiger when it comes to protecting S’poreans against terrorists.

Worse, imagine if the terrorists were the people Gilbert Goh or Goh Meng Seng love to trash, and MoM Tan, PM and his ministers, Kirsten Han and Maruah love to embrace: FTs?

All hell would break lose, and rightly so given that the PAP govt prides itself on keeping S’pore safe and on its love of FTs. S’poreans would be rational in thinking that when security and FT policies contradict one another, the security of S’pore and S’poreans suffer.

So pls Me Teo, pls wake up and go wake up Dr Teo’s and General Kuek’s. ideas. It’s OK to sleep in Parly (white elephant only) but not on the day-job of keeping S’pore safe.

—–

*CNA tells us how the vandals got in:.

Channel NewsAsia has been trying to figure out how the vandals could have reached the rooftop without using the trap door.

Looking at the place, one can see a small opening which leads to the roof. There are also stains on the walls, which could mean that the vandals could have placed a ladder against the walls to get to the opening.

If allowing a small opening to remain is not a security breach, what is, Dr Teo?

Dr Teo stressed that the PAP town councils take a serious view of the security and safety of roofs and water tanks at HDB blocks.

He said that over the last three years, the town councils have set up a security protocol on rooftop access.

Dr Teo said: “The town councils have set up three lines of defence to make sure that (only) authorised personnel can go up to the rooftop of our HDB flats.

“So we have, first of all, secured locks to make sure that all the trap doors and all the doors are properly locked using a very robust lock system.

“We also make sure that our water tanks are all with brackets — they are all bolted down to make sure that nobody can vandalise (them).

“At the same time, we have an authorised access system where only authorised persons can go up the roof.”

The town councils believe the present security system is adequate to prevent any unauthorised access to the roofs. However, they will need to evaluate if the breach is caused by other factors.

How can measures be adequate, yet there is a breach, causing a need to evaluate if the breach is caused by other factors.

**Maybe taz why GMS is AWOL or MIA yet again. He was leading the charge against the Pinoys’ party but has gone quiet. Maybe modifying his teleporter (with the help of Tan kin Lian) to zap Pinoys who party at his sacred spot and transfere to Filipino Lucky Plaza, where the Pinoys have de-facto sovereignty?

Have a gd weekend. Tune in next week. Plenty on garang Pinoys planning on taking on GG and GMS.

 

 

PM’s idea of saving our lunch

In Economy, Malaysia, Public Administration on 07/05/2014 at 4:54 am

Is to let FTs come in and eat it? And our dinner, supper and breakfast too.

“We can’t tell our competition to go away. They want to eat our lunch, we know that. They want to eat our dinner, we suspect that. We can’t stop them from wanting, but we can make sure we can hold our own, and we can eat our own lunch.” (PM’s May Day speech)

So long as the govt allows PMET FTs in by cattle-class on A380s and 747s (an improvement from the container load, I must admit), taz the effect even if  as PM cont’d*, “We can provide you the resources and the means to stay one step ahead of the competition, and we will have a Singapore system which we can work together to build, to maximise your potential, maximise your contributions.”

From this week’s Economist, “Bill Martin and Robert Rowthorn, economists at Cambridge University, argue that one reason for Britain’s poor post-crisis productivity is that low wages encouraged firms to rely on human labour for low-skilled work, rather than investing in machines and software. Wage rises should start to reverse that trend, boosting investment and workers’ productivity.” Emphasis mine

This stands the Hard Truth that productivity must come before wage rises on its head.

But maybe this Hard Truth will be ditched before the next GE, even if LKY hasn’t “moved on” by then?”

Yesterday, ST reported, Singapore cannot be a First World economy with Third World costs, said Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang yesterday at a lunch dialogue with prominent European diplomats and business leaders based here.

But he also assured them that Singapore will stay competitive and business-friendly even as it restructures the economy to achieve quality growth.

Responding to a question from the floor on rising business costs, Mr Lim said: “We have to acknowledge that, over time, Singapore cannot be a First World economy with Third World costs.”

Actually the only thing here about “third world” costs is that our PMETs and other true blue S’porean workers are paid “peanuts”. Other costs like property rentals, petrol, utility bills are among the highest in the world. and the cost of cars are out of this world. Remember the govt tried to debunk a UBS survey of cities which showed that KL had a better ranking because the cost of living there was more in line with wage levels than S’pore? Though to be fair, public tpt fares are reasonable by NY, or London standards, or even that of Brisbane.And healthcare is reasonably priced if one uses the public healthcare system.

So oldies like me who are not 110% behind the PAP had better watch out: wage repression has been gd for us. We are like suckling pigs voting for CNY, sheep for Ramadan or turkeys for Christmas. If LKY calls me “daft”, he is right as usual.

Coming back to PM, and saving our lunch while continuing the “FTs are best” policy, PM should remember what an American officer asked,during the battle of Huế**,“Did we have to destroy the town in order to save it?”.

He should be asking himself if Hard Truths require that FTs eat locals’ lunch and more so that S’pore’s GDP can continue to grow?

——-

*[Update at 1.33pm} I juz read that PM said yesterday that “the number of foreign workers in the country is still growing, though not as fast as before.” (CNA). It was so fast, that if it had cont’d at the rate between 2006- 2011, we’d be having serious overcrowding problems.

** The Battle of Huế during 1968 (also called the Siege of Huế), was one of the bloodiest and longest battles of the Vietnam War (1959–1975). Battalions of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), two U.S. Army battalions, and three understrength U.S. Marine Corps battalions defeated 10 battalions of the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN or NVA) and the Viet Cong (Việt Cộng or VC, also known as National Liberation Front or NLF).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hu%E1%BA%BF

More equal than other S’poreans?

In Political governance, Public Administration, Uncategorized on 30/04/2014 at 6:03 am

I’m thinking of Ronald McDonald (a FT turned true blue S’porean who if he had a son with dual citizenship would surely insist that his son dows NS, unlike Yaacob who tells us only that he hopes his son will do NS) and again my beef (rendang flavoured) is with the way the S’poreans who don’t dream the “right” dreams” or think the “right” tots are being ghettoised and discriminated against by the PAP govt.

Let me explain.

I avoided going anyway near a McDonald’s store on Monday because it was the start of the latest “Hello Kitty” promotion. I had memories of what happened in 2000:

Fist fights broke out while frustrated patrons threatened store managers, damaged restaurant property and compelled the fast-food outlets to hire private security firms to police crowds. At one outlet, at least seven people were injured after a glass door they were leaning on shattered.

Singapore, which keeps tight curbs on public speech and famously bans most sales of chewing gum to keep its streets clean, was caught by surprise. While public demand was heated for similar promotions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, few expected law-abiding Singaporeans to turn so catty—or for the issue to claw its way to the top ranks of power.

“We should not get too carried away,” said then-Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who later became prime minister. “Even if you want the Kitty, there is no need to fight fiercely to try and get one,” he told local media at a public event.

In Parliament, a lawmaker asked the environment minister if he planned to stop McDonald’s from selling Hello Kitty dolls. “It’s not under my purview,” the minister replied.

And only last yr

… things got heated again when McDonald’s rolled out a so-called “Fairy Tales” Hello Kitty set, featuring six versions designed after popular folklore. The last one—a black kitten sporting a skeletal motif—sparked mayhem as security personnel were called in to deal with heated squabbles caused by widespread line-jumping. McDonald’s wrote a letter to a local newspaper apologizing for the chaos and promised to do better next time.

(http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303834304579523793654859518?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303834304579523793654859518.html)

Finally, an online sale, I tot, was a warning of the public order problems that would ensure on Monday.

To improve buyers’ experience and curb black-market sales, the company also is offering online sales for a collector’s set featuring all six toys, Ms. Low said.

But the online sales drive was overwhelmed by the weight of orders, forcing the fast-food chain to temporarily suspend sales after less than two hours.

Hundreds of disgruntled Kitty-lovers hurled abuse on McDonald’s Facebook page, accusing the fast-food chain of sloppy customer service.

So you’d have tot that the police would conclude, “Three strikes and you’re out, Ronald.”; the police having the power to prevent such a commercial event from being held if they had concerns about “public disorder and mischief”, that “may disrupt community life”.

But, Pledging to prevent a repeat of ugly scenes that plagued past promotions, McDonald’s says it has engaged private-security firms to provide crowd control and prepared line-management plans for its staff. It is also boosting its toy supplies by roughly 50% .compared with last year.

In the event, the police were right in their judgment in allowing the promotion to go ahead, nothing untoward happened on Monday and Tuesday.

But my point is that given the track record of problems in 2000 and 2013, and the very recent online bad-tempered, why did our police not insist that McDonald cancel the event?

Yet some S’poreans are routinely not allowed to hold events in public spaces (other than in Hong Lim) because of concerns of public order. Even the light-blue clones of the MIW were not allowed to hold an event in a park in 2007 because of concerns of public order.

When WP chairman and NCMP Sylvia Lim raised a question over the issue in Parliament, she (and we) was told that such activities “have the potential for public disorder and mischief, and may disrupt community life.”*

Yet the police, it seems, had no such concerns with the MacDonald’s promotion, despite MacDonald’s track record of being the cause of public “disorder and mischief”, that disrupted “community life” in 20000 and 2013.

My point is that shouldn’t these S’poreans (who are not PA or NTUC activists) be given the opportunity as the Filipinos and McDonald of proving the police wrong. After all many of these S’poreans who dream different dreams or think different tots have served NS, defending the country.

Shouldn’t they be given the opportunity to show that they can behave in the right way in public like the Filipinos? https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/fts-more-equal-than-the-wrong-sporeans-why-liddat-pm/

And why is Ronald McDonald given the benefit of the doubt despite his track record of causing problems (albeit unintentionally and indirectly) in 2000 and 2013?

And yet the “wrong” S’poreans are presumed to be dangerous to public order? Doesn’t their honourable discharge from full-time NS mean that they deserve to be treated like Filipinos and Ronald, and be given the presumption of good behaviour?

One could reasonably argue (I’m not) that such an attitude to NS men sucks, and is most insulting from a govt that says it values those who do NS. Just recently, the media reported that Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said a package of “meaningful” benefits is being considered for operationally ready NSmen. “We want to centre the recognition benefits by giving them a greater stake in Singapore, whether it is housing, health or education,”…

The various contradictions and inconsistencies  that have mutated from the Hard Truths on which the PAP has governed S’pore since 1959 are coming to haunt the PAP; contractions and inconsistencies which have especially multiplied since the “FTs are betterest” policies were introduced to repress the wages of local PMETs. Appropriately, the ghosts are appearing juz as the PAP govt is planning to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our enforced independence, as a prelude to its next GE campaign.

——–

*”Police requirement is that such party activities be held indoors or within stadiums, so that any law and order problems will be contained. This policy applies to all political parties,” Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee.

 

Reason why S’poreans migrating, not reproducing?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 24/03/2014 at 4:23 am

… Google managers need to keep their staff happy because, Mr Teller says, you don’t need your manager’s permission to leave a particular section if you believe they are behaving in an obnoxious manner.

“Not only will you leave but everyone will leave and that guy is going to find himself voted off the island by his own people,” he adds. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25880738) Emphasis mine.

Hmm bit like general elections. Opps forgot that we got the GRC system. So we can’t vote the PAP out even if another 11%  of the voters change their minds about the PAP in the next GE. Those who predict that in the next GE, the PAP will lose power should remember this in their lucid moments when they lapse into sanity.

Seriously, maybe the number of true blue S’poreans, migrating (https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/spore-inc-are-local-talents-emigrating-too-fast/) and the low birth rate* is the way S’poreans are telling the PAP that the PAP sucks? Even if 60% of the voters continue voting for the PAP.

But never mind, maybe PAP is thinking like this?

After the uprising of the 17th of June

The Secretary of the Writers Union

Had leaflets distributed …

Stating that the people

Had thrown away the confidence of the government

And could win it back only

By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier

In that case for the government

To dissolve the people

And elect another?

(The writer, Bertolt Brecht, was a famous playwright,  a Hollywood screen writer in the golden years of Hollywood in the 1930s) and a Marxist activist.) https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/rewriting-lkys-views-on-fts-and-if-so-why/

Coming back to the Google manager:

You must reward people for failing, he says. If not, they won’t take risks and make breakthroughs. If you don’t reward failure, people will hang on to a doomed idea for fear of the consequences. That wastes time and saps an organisation’s spirit.

Finding new transformational ideas is like sending out a team of scouts to explore uncharted terrain for new mountains to climb, he says.

“If you shame them when they come back, if you tell them that they’ve failed you because they didn’t find a mountain, no matter how diligently they looked for or how cleverly they looked for it, those scouts will quit your company.”

But this is no excuse for those in Home Team. They are not creative types: they are employed to prevent things happening (breach of border security) or escalating (senior police commanders). From the I(ndian?) http://theindependent.sg/review-the-home-team/

BTW, I’m glad the Indian stopped the self-defeating habit of not allowing one to read its article unless one “Liked” it. I always moved on. I mean how to “Like” something before one read it? So PAPpish or CCP, not the spirit of the world’s largest democracy.

——————————————————–

*Update at 5.00am: Juz read this

Now the big problem is a rock-bottom low birthrate — with a fertility rate under 1.2 – barely  half that necessary to replace the current population, which threatens to turn this ultra-dynamic city state into a giant old-age home.

The reasons for this plunge, according to demographer Gavin Jones at the National University of Singapore, lie largely in such things as long working hours and ever-rising housing costs, something that has been boosted by foreign purchases of private residences. With large apartments increasingly expensive, Singaporeans, particularly those with children, often think of emigrating to less expensive or at least roomier places such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand. One recent survey estimated that over half of Singaporeans want to migrate; the World Bank estimates upward of 300,000 Singaporeans have moved abroad, accounting for almost one in 10 citizens. …

.One key element relates to focusing on how to nurture families once again, and to recapture that sense of Singaporean-ness that makes the place so special. It is not so much a matter of financial incentives — these have not worked — as in controlling housing costs, expanding space for families,  and most importantly, finding better ways to balance life and work.

Already some initial steps to humanize the metropolis are taking place. These include a remarkable expansion and improvement of green space, and attempts to decentralize work around the newer state housing estates and commercial developments. Steps to increase the size of apartments, repurpose aging shopping and office structure for housing as well as encouraging more home-based work could also prove helpful. These changes will be critical if the world’s most successful city wants to remain so in the decades ahead.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2013/07/18/singapore-needs-a-new-sling/

Neighbours show up the S’pore system, for gd and bad

In Indonesia, Malaysia, Political governance, Public Administration on 22/03/2014 at 5:41 am

The governor of Jakarta has been in the news recently because he was nominated by a major Indo political party to be a presidential candidate. He is a very popular choice because he is seen as being against inefficiency, maladministration and corruption.

What our constructive, nation-building and PAP-allied media doesn’t tell us is that he before he entered politics, he sold furniture. He was no scholar, general or admiral like paper generals Kee Chui and MoM Tan (and before them Lui, Pinkie, Teo or Cut and Run George). He was an ordinary citizen who cared enough to enter politics.

This reminds me: a PAPpy-hater complained that http://trulysingapore.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/adequate-water-supply-is-common-sense-not-foresight. Well going by the following BBC extract,

London-based Inmarsat said its engineers realised at an early stage that the aircraft had probably flown for several hours on a northern or southern track, and it was very unlikely that the plane could have headed north over countries with sophisticated air defence systems.
The company further said that it had informed the Malaysian authorities of the information, through an intermediary company, on 12 March, but this was not publicly acknowledged until 15 March.
Furthermore, the authorities continued to search in the South China Sea and Malacca Straits during that time, despite the information suggesting that the plane had flown on much further.

The M’sian officials lacked common sense. At least the then PAP cabinet had the common sense to do make sure we had adequate water supplies. I can’t be sure of the present cabinet. What do you think?

Flooding the city with FTs but not increasing the supply of hospital beds. Worse denying that there is a shortage. http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/21/dr-amy-khor-need-to-put-hospital-bed-crunch-in-context/. Err actually this gd TRE piece shows that there are advantages in having an elite schoolboy and scholar on the team. TeamTre has one such person. The TeamTRE-generated analysis is a lot better than the TOC team’s inhouse generated analysis.  For reportage TOC is miles ahead.

BTW, TOC, the chamion of free speech and a free internet, has disallowed my FaceBook avatar from commenting on their FB wall. Gee and they got the cheek to call for the govt to allow greater freedom of expression? Juz as intolerant as MIW? At least MIW are not hypocrites. They openly endorse the idea that only the “right” tots are allowed to be expressed. LOL.

TRE, in contrast, republishes pieces where I ridicule the readership’s excesses in hating all things PAP. Now that is walking the walk of freedom of expression.

Who let the dogs in? And let them become PRs?

In Public Administration on 05/03/2014 at 4:24 am

The recent public row over the dogs at Pasir Ris Camp (well described in this TRE article  http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/02/28/all-mindef-said-it-would-only-issue-a-stern-warning/ has been well analysed (example http://www.tremeritus.com/2014/03/02/mindef-bungles-management-of-stray-dogs-saga/).

But what were the dogs were doing in the camp in the first place? When I read the initial reports, I wondered< “If dogs can barrow in under the fence, so can terrorists. Grave breach of security. Worse than SMRT breaches. Why S’poreans not complaining?”. It then transpired that even though Mindef called them “strays”, these dogs were the camp’s PRs (albeit true blue S’poreans, not FTs like PAP MP Lee Bee Wah): Mindef’s silence on the allegation that the dogs were PRs confirms the truth of the allegation, methinks.

So, once upon a time, someone in authority, allowed the dogs in, and camp commandants allowed them to remain as PRs even if this was against military regulations, as I understand them. (Mindef owns them and should be fined for not buying licences?)

Their PR status then explains why the camp commandant (I assume this is the LTC that kanna counseled even though he didn’t abuse the dogs) didn’t call in the AVA to remove the dogs when they started biting people. (BTW, as a dog-owner for 50 yrs, I can assure readers that dogs can sometimes bite people without being aggressive: fear is the trigger)

He didn’t dare ’cause the dogs were there against regulations. He’d have a lot of explaining to do to his superiors and his rice bowl would be in jeopardy. Hence his actions against the dogs and the servicemen who were unhappy with his actions and those of the WO. He was solving the problem the way SMRT was run: fault of true-blue S’poreans.

All to no avail as Mindef is facing the most serious allegation of all, something that goes right to the heart of any society’s compact with its military. As netizens have asked:Where is MINDEF’s values of decency, integrity and honour?

Evidently they’ve gone AWOL or MIA, given Mindef’s continued silence on the allegation that an investigator had promised that the whistle-blower would at most be reprimanded.

Silence can only mean, “What can we say without digging a bigger hole for ourselves?”

Hopefully a PAP MP or Lina Chiam will raise the issue. The co-driver is busy explaining to the Auditor-General how all the problems with the town council accounts (bar one) is the fault of BG Yeo’s team.

Finally, this is my Facebook avatar’s advice to Mindef:

Hey Mindef you are taking on the dog lovers’ community. They have their own minister. He has shown that he is a lot more effective than ministers responsible for Eurasians, Malays and Indians. Be afraid , very afraid. Cannot bully. They not NSmen. They are the DOG Lovers. They got ang moh FT scalp as trophy of their power. Be afraid, very afraid Mindef. Sacrifice the LTC and WO to appease the dog lovers and their minister. Not worth the trouble.

Related post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/alison-mcelwee-3-bites-tammys-death/