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Archive for the ‘Public Administration’ Category

What next? Senior civil servant saying that those who don’t vote PAP don’t wish S’pore well?

In Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 23/10/2018 at 10:49 am

In Ang mohs told secret of why PAP wins and wins, I quoted our London ambassador on why the PAP thinks it wins and win.

She also wrote

The alternative—a constant merry-go-round of contending parties—does not necessarily produce better outcomes. Politicians fail to keep the promises they make, the people become disillusioned, and eventually lose faith in democracy. Witness the low voter-turnouts in many Western democracies.

FOO CHI HSIA

Doesn’t this sound as though she’s saying that those of us (self included) who want a viable opposition so that we can have a system whereby power can change hands in a GE are S’poreans who do not wish S’pore well?

Er,tot civil servants cannot engage in politics? And whatever happened to a neutral that our ministers and senior civil servants talk and boast about? They talking cock meh?

Seriously, our ang moh tua kees are forever bitching that civil service is not neutral.

But why should it be neutral?

Given that the PAP has ruled S’pore since 1959 (and first had the voters’ mandate in 1957), how can they expect the civil service to be neutral as it’s expected to be in the Westminster system? They don’t know their UK politcal history.

The UK (where of the Westminster model originated) has had two recent periods where one party ruled for a long period: 1979 — 1997 (Tories) and 1997 — 2010 (Labour). During both periods, the neutrality of the civil service was called in question by serious, fair-minded people, not the usual loonies and fruitcakes i.e. the British version of our cybernuts The complaint made by retired senior servants among others was that civil service was being co-opted by the governing party during both periods: ministers made sure the “right” civil servants were promoted.

Since the PAP has had repeatedly won the mandate (by wide margins) to push around and bully S’poreans, how can the civil service here not not be neutral ? Voters have made the choice: the PAP way or the highway.

And given that we are defacto one-party state, (“Why CCP’s fears are PAP’s fears”Keeping power in a one-party state and Would this happen in a one-party state?) how can any sane, rational voter expect a neutral civil service here?

Ending on the theme of a one-party state, here’s two parting tots to ponder

Communist party theorists have long railed against the danger of “peaceful evolution”, in which Communist rule is slowly undone as democratic ideals, from civil society to the rule of law, seep in through the back door.

FT

Same here?

And if so, Dr Thum Ping Tjin has a point when writing in TOC he cautions against being overly reliant on elections as the sole legitimate tool for political change: “Elections may be free, but not necessarily fair”:
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HoHoHo: Why oil price rises are not gd for PAP

In Economy, Emerging markets, Energy, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 15/10/2018 at 11:19 am

Phew that was a quick sharp retracement after a very sharp spik: Tua kee traders take opposing views on price of oil. The PAP govt must be relieved oil is now trading around US$82 (minutes ago) than above US$86 (middle of last week).

A US$ oil price of closer to US$100 will not only make Tun M (M’sia exports oil) more willingly to cut off our water supply but will pose problems for an early GE in late 2019 esp with the promised rise in GST(See below for GST related posts) after GE: Akan datang: GE in late 2019

According to Citi’s Johanna Chua, Asian countries suffer the most when oil prices rise because, aside from Malaysia, most are net oil importers. Singapore runs a sizable 6.5% oil and gas deficit, followed closely by Pakistan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. Indonesia and Vietnam manage slightly smaller deficits of roughly 1%.

So many of these economies see the largest inflation swings when oil prices rise. Chua’s chart ranking the sensitivity regionally over the past six years. See where we stand.

Note: *Data starting 2015 as ID had undergone fuel pricing reform in 4Q14, though regressed recently. **Using a 10yr period to reduce distortion from Sing's economic restructuring since 2011.

The ** explained that the spike in inflation here is caused by some one-off stats adjustment of data base. So not really comparable to other countries. But try telling that to cybernuts like Oxygen or Phillip Ang.

But rational readers should get the message. Voters really get hurt by oil price rises. And the promised GST price increase is not going to impress the 10 points of voters that voted for the PAP in last GE, bring the total votes for the PAP to 70%: a great result for the PM and the PAP after the failure of only 60% in 2011.


GST-related posts

GST rise: Anti-PAP activists should take note

How to ensure no GST rise

Countering PAP’s BS that taxes must go up

 

Ang mohs told secret of why PAP wins and wins

In Political governance, Public Administration on 14/10/2018 at 2:17 pm

Not because S’pore is a repressive place as the ang moh tua kees like Kirsten Han allege. Or because of Oppo clowns like Mad Dog, Lim Tean and Meng Seng.

But because according to the PAP administration’s Lady in London

The PAP has been repeatedly re-elected because it has been honest with the voters, delivers on its promises, and provides long-term stability and progress. When it has not fully met voters’ expectations, and so lost votes, it has responded with appropriate policy adjustments.

The cynics would say “She would say this, wouldn’t she?”.

But is she right? What do you think?

Her letter to the Economist

Politics in Singapore

Banyan suggested that the government of Singapore wins elections because it hounds critics and denies public-housing upgrades to opposition districts, and wondered why the ruling People’s Action Party “holds on so tenaciously” to power (September 22nd). The PAP has been repeatedly re-elected because it has been honest with the voters, delivers on its promises, and provides long-term stability and progress. When it has not fully met voters’ expectations, and so lost votes, it has responded with appropriate policy adjustments. It has also consciously renewed its leadership, with a fourth generation since independence readying itself to take on the responsibility.

The alternative—a constant merry-go-round of contending parties—does not necessarily produce better outcomes. Politicians fail to keep the promises they make, the people become disillusioned, and eventually lose faith in democracy. Witness the low voter-turnouts in many Western democracies.

FOO CHI HSIA
High commissioner for Singapore
London

 

Anti-PAPpies screaming about Oxfam report, what about World Bank’s Human Capital Index

In Economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 11/10/2018 at 2:26 pm

Another way to measure economic success other than by GDP was launched released two days ago earlier today by the World Bank.

Its Human Capital Index ranks countries according to how much is invested in young people.

The higher the investment in education and health the more productive and higher earning the workforce tends to be, the World Bank says.

Which leads to the creation of higher levels of wealth and a stronger economy.

They are silent because

First is Singapore, followed by South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

Finland and Ireland are fifth and sixth, with the UK in 15th place, below Germany but ahead of France, Norway and Switzerland.

The bottom of the list is dominated by countries in Africa, where human capital scores are a third of those enjoyed by leading nations.

Chad, South Sudan and Niger are the bottom three countries.

For 157 countries the World Bank studied the quantity and quality of education provided to children, the mortality rate for under-5s, the “rate of stunting” among young people (a measure of how healthy children are) and the chances of someone living to 60 by the time they reach 15-years-of-age (the “adult survival rate”).

Bringing the data together produced a score between 0 and 1, where zero would mean all children died before reaching education age and 1 would be all children receiving the perfect education and health start in life.

Singapore scored 0.88 and the UK scored 0.78.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45816049

Uniquely Temasek? Kill Mandai wildlife to build wildlife paradise

In Environment, Public Administration, S'pore Inc, Temasek on 11/10/2018 at 10:47 am

This headline in our constructive, nation-building media on Monday

Mandai mangrove and mudflats to be Singapore’s newest nature park

reminded of a BBC story a few months back headlined

Singapore’s Mandai eco-resort: Paving paradise to put up an eco-resort

Singaporeans are getting a new wildlife paradise to bring them closer to nature, but as the BBC’s Yvette Tan writes, the development is carving into the jungle and pushing rare animals into the path of danger.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44856567

Animals are getting killed  to create a new wildlife paradise

Five animals – including a leopard cat, a huge sambar deer, a wild boar and a critically endangered sunda pangolin – have become roadkill since development began last January. All the accidents took place in the area around Mandai – with two occurring on a busy expressway.

This reminded me of two US military operations in the Vietnam War :

— “Did we have to destroy the town in order to save it?”” Colonel Myron Harrington was a US Marine officer at the Battle of Hue during the Tet Offensive. The battle resulted in the destruction of the town and the killing of its residents—. Harrington is credited with the quotation “Did we have to destroy the town in order to save it?””

— “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” This has been attributed to an unnamed United States major, referring to the bombing of Ben Tre, South Vietnam; reported by AP correspondent Peter Arnett, “Major Describes Move”, New York Times (February 8, 1968).

Coming back to the Mandai project, Mandai Park Development (MPD) says

the resort, to be run by resort operator Banyan Tree, will be built “sensitively… to reduce impact to the environment”.

But Mr Subaraj, a self-styled conservation expert (I know he has no academic or formal credentials in this field, but I also know he’s passionate about local wildlife)

argues that this may not be enough.

“If you look in other countries, for example [at an eco-resort in] the Danum Valley in Malaysia, they’ve got around 30 rooms,” said Mr Subaraj.

“We’ve got up to 400 rooms. When you develop a resort that big, no matter how much mitigation you put in place, there will be an impact.”

In other words, the development is akin to building a HDB block of flats as opposed to a jungle hut.

Btw

MPD is a branch of Mandai Park Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore’s state investor – Temasek Holdings.

🤑

Btw2, MPD

the body behind the work, says developing the area into an eco-hub is a much more “environmentally sensitive” choice than if an urban development were to take over the area.

😪😢😢😪

Why Grab can give finger to S’pore govt

In Public Administration on 06/10/2018 at 7:34 am

(Update on 9 October 20180 at 10am: Microsoft has invested in Grab. Amt is reported to be US$200.)

S’pore mkt is irrelevant to Grab.

SoftBank will soon increase its commitment to Grab by pouring an additional $500m into the south-east Asian ride-hailing company, after the Singapore-based firm announced it is looking to raise about $1bn before the end of the year.

FT

Remember

Singapore’s competition watchdog has fined Grab and Uber a total of S$13 million over their merger, saying that the deal has led to the substantial eroding of competition in the ride-hailing market.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/grab-uber-fined-after-merger-deal-competition-watchdog-10751522

And this is a lot of bull

The fall from grace of “digital darling” Grab serves as a cautionary tale for digital disruptors, after its Uber takeover left riders and drivers up in arms over price hikes and lower incentives.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/fallen-grace-grab-could-learn-hard-way-if-it-does-not-change-its-ways-report

But what to expect from constructive, nation-building media?

“Experts” wrong to write-off Ong as next PM

In Political governance, Public Administration on 01/10/2018 at 9:34 am

“Experts” kanna chiat sai a second time: they got to recant their view that he’s no longer in contention to be the next PM. (For the record, I’ve never tot Ong Ye Kung was in the running to be PM. In fact, I tot he was “very mediocre”. In Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure I’ve listed his NTUC and SMRT failings, and more.)

But many “experts” (Think Eugene Tan) did think he could be our next PM, and they had to eat their own faeces and drink their own urine after the latest cabinet reshuffle: Our new PM/ Trumpets pls for me

But given the announcement of a very major change in our education system,


Primary and secondary schools to cut down on exams and tests, as MOE announces sweeping changes to reduce emphasis on grades

In a major move to reduce emphasis on grades, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will do away with examinations and graded assessments for Primary 1 and 2 students from next year.

Mid-year examinations for students in Pri 3, Pri 5, Secondary 1 and Sec 3 will also be removed in phases from 2019 while all students from Pri 3 to Sec 4 or Sec 5 will not have more than one weighted assessment per subject per school term.

In addition, students’ report books will also no longer reflect their class and level positions as well as overall marks, with scores to be rounded off without decimal points.

These changes were announced by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (Sept 28).

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/primary-and-secondary-schools-cut-down-exams-and-tests-moe-announces-sweeping-changes

—————————————————————————–

these experts should now eat more their own faeces and drink more their own urine and repent and recant their writing-off of his chances of becoming PM. There was a really good reason for PM to retain him at MoE: to finalise and announce the above changes, even if “Schools” were in the portfolio of Ng Chee Meng, now NTUC’s Secretary-General.

Me? I don’t think he’s going to be the next PM, but I’m not so cocksure any more.

Firstly, because PM seems to like him: remember he served as Lee Hsien Loong’s Principal Private Secretary (2002–2004). To be fair to him and PM, he did good work when he was concurrently

  • Director of Trade at the Ministry of Trade & Industry (2000–2003)
  • Deputy Chief Negotiator of Singapore-US Free Trade Agreement (2000–2003).

And because he can throw smoke. Not as good as Lawrence Wong (Smell the smoke? From Indonesia or from the PAP & cybernuts?) but still better (Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”) than Heng or Kee Chiu:

The real reason why HDB flats are a touchy topic

In Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 27/09/2018 at 10:22 am

Other than the fact that S’poreans have realised or discovered that HDB flats are 99-yr leases not freehold (They read what they agreed to buy? Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin) the other major headache for the PAP govt in public housing is that housing (private or public) seems to be more about psychological rather than material needs.

In the US and UK

Our space expectations are conditioned not only by where we have lived before, but also by our neighbours.

Because house size is a status symbol, we feel worse off when other people get larger houses.

A recent US study found that an increase in the size of the largest 10% of “superstar” houses had a significant negative effect on their neighbours, even if those people had also moved to bigger homes.

Previous surveys have suggested people would be prepared to have less living space overall if it meant they had more than others.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45420795

Given that more than 80% of Singapore’s population live in HDB flats, no wonder the PAP govt now wants to kick the expiring lease issue into the really long grass.

Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

Smell the smoke? From Indonesia or from the PAP & cybernuts?

Ex-PM’s money obsession causing PAP problems

In Political governance, Public Administration on 19/09/2018 at 10:33 am

Over the weekend I read

Finance, like law, is a profession that attracts a lot of reasonably intelligent, hard-working people who rather like money. People like me. Most of us are not really suited to it, though, and that makes for a lot of unhappy careers. The financial crisis saved me from that, and I am grateful.

Robert Armstrong FT’s chief editorial writer and was a hedgie analyst 10 yrs ago

This reminded me of

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:10

Then today, I read

Factually, the government website, has debunked online falsehoods on PM’s and Ministers’ pay. I shall use this opportunity to debunk public perception that I am paid a ministerial salary.

(GCT on FB)

This then reminded me that GCT poured shit and piss on the PAP’s NatDay celebrations with his comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. And that the PAP only chose ministers from the private sector if they were earning $1m or more. OK, OK, he later did say that salary was not the “starting point” when the PAP chose $1m ministers.

The silence from the present cabinet is deafening.

Secret Squirrel and Morocco Mole tell me that they hear that he was “ordered” to release the transcript of what he said and clarify that salary was not a factor when the PAP chose ministers.

Much good this did. I didn’t start commenting on his comments until I read the transcript. I mean TOC, TRE and The Indians Idiots are the cybernuts what ST is to the PAPpies.

And if salary was not the “starting point” when the PAP chose $1m ministers, why talk so much about money?

Whatever, based on his comments about ministerial salaries over the yrs, I get the sense that he is obsessed about money. Fault of wife? Remember she said $600,000 salary was “Peanuts”. Or could it be because he came from a very poor family?

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:10

I’m not the only one not impressed  with the transcript he released. Here’s something a FBer posted at the time

There was a clarification? I thought it’s the just the transcript.

Or did he think the transcript gave him a context? I’ve read it, the points remain that his idea of meritocracy is how much money one can make.

His main point, which is where the money is going to come from, is correct, but he is also forgetting that if people are taxed more, then what politicians earn come even under greater scrutiny.

Certainly, I am happy to pay Scandinavian level taxes if it means free healthcare for the elderly and free education, but not if it goes to enriching politicians.

That said, and it goes back to what I said about the Ben Davis saga, our Government need to be more innovative when it comes to their pay package. Using an indicator based on economy sends a strong signal that nothing else matters, that running a country is only about the economy.

But it’s not.

Shouldn’t a minister in charge of transportation, for example, be pegged against how efficiently our transport systems run?

Shouldn’t a minister of social and family development be pegged with how many families move out of poverty each year?

Shouldn’t a minister of health be pegged to how more people are getting proper healthcare and the overall health of the nation?

If a minister does a good job at his portfolio, based on tangible KPIs on the aspect of society he or she looks after, I’d be happy to even pay them $10m, much less $1m. So maybe it can be flexi-wage, where they get a lower monthly salary but a much higher bonus payout if they perform well for example.

There are so many ways we can attract private sector talent, especially today when so many bright minds join start-ups for very little money in the hope of a big pay-out later.

I agree that we do need to pay our ministers well – but how that pay comes about can be far more creative than the way it is currently structured.

Related posts

What PM, PAP can learn from very rich tech entrepreneur

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

New Hope: Time to make robots PAP ministers?

 

S’pore Unis’ NOT on employability list

In Public Administration on 18/09/2018 at 10:10 am

HK U is no 13 and three Oz unis (5th, 6th and 29th) are on the list.  Several PRC unis too.

Which universities will really impress the boss?

Top 30 for employability

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
  2. Stanford University, US
  3. University of California, Los Angeles, US
  4. Harvard University, US
  5. University of Sydney, Australia
  6. University of Melbourne, Australia
  7. University of Cambridge, UK
  8. University of California, Berkeley, US
  9. Tsinghua University, China
  10. University of Oxford, UK
  11. New York University, US
  12. University of Toronto, Canada
  13. University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  14. Yale University, US
  15. ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  16. Princeton University, US
  17. Columbia University, US
  18. University College London, UK
  19. University of Tokyo, Japan
  20. Peking University, China
  21. Cornell University, US
  22. University of Chicago, US
  23. Seoul National University, South Korea
  24. University of Pennsylvania, US
  25. University of Michigan, US
  26. (equal 25th) University of Waterloo, Canada
  27. Fudan University, China
  28. Waseda University, Japan
  29. University of New South Wales, Australia
  30. Ecole Polytechnique, France

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45481996

Ong Yee Kung should stop talking cock about LGBTs being discriminated against and get our unis onto this list. But then this will be really hard work for him and his track record of success is near zero: Our new PM/ Trumpets pls for me.

He prefers to talk cock:

Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”

Minister Ong wants a camel?

Akan datang says minister: Non-grad minister

 

What PM, PAP can learn from very rich tech entrepreneur

In Political governance, Public Administration on 17/09/2018 at 10:13 am

And by so doing make sure that S’pore will remain a de facto one-party state forever and day: though there won’t be mega-rich ministers*.

Mr Von Ahn is CEO of Duolingo, the world’s most popular language learning app, with 200m users. He also has academic credentials that PAPpies can only dream about.

And best of all he’s not a “very mediocre” person (Remember GCT’s comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. And that the PAP only chose ministers from the private sector if they were earning $1m or more.): he’s very rich.

So the PAP should listen to what Von Ahn recently told the FT, “If it requires you paying them off to come work for you, I don’t think they’re going to be in it. We prefer missionaries to mercenaries.” Related post: When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life

Another of his strategy is to differentiate Duolingo from other employers by is focusing on diversity. He now has a 50/50 male female ratio in software engineers. Related post: New Hope: Time to make robots PAP ministers?

On diversity, FT’s Letter from Lex a few weeks ago said

Working with outsiders helps solve problems. When a stranger joins a team its performance tends to improve, according to research by US psychologists who tested out the theory on groups engaged in murder mystery puzzles. But do not expect gratitude. Tight-knit groups often do not realise they are underperforming.

Still, the pain is worth the gain. In business, assertive shareholders can help companies improve their strategies. But the experience tends to be uncomfortable for company bosses.

[…]

Of course, boards do not have to listen to naysayers — only to those with the clout to count. That is frustrating for Arsenal’s small shareholders. Its fans criticised a deal struck between the north London football club’s two largest shareholders, which will hand full control to the US sports magnate Stan Kroenke. Lex said Mr Kroenke’s leveraged bet might pay off if the value of Premiership media rights go up. But the shareholder fans, known as “gooners”, face disappointment. They are likely to be left without any more annual meetings to have their say.

Related post: PM, PAP should remember what world’s richest man said

______________________________

*Er but maybe if ministers can’t be rich they don’t care if the PAP doesn’t rule.

 

Access to healthcare here: Below average

In Media, Public Administration on 14/09/2018 at 10:55 am

As Yogi Bear might have put it: “Worse than below average bear”

I’m sure the editor of the constructive, nation-building publication that highlighted the u/m would privately have been told he “does not mean S’pore well”:

When it came to evaluating access to healthcare, Singapore scored 45.46 – below the study’s average of 50.91 – even as it boasts the most value-for-money system. This was attributed to shortages of hospital beds and skilled healthcare professionals.

For this study, “access” is evaluated by the number of skilled health professional density and hospital beds in relation to its population, and the percentage of people at risk of impoverishment due to surgical care.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/spores-healthcare-system-best-value-and-satisfaction-falls-behind-providing-access-study

But

Overall, Singapore’s healthcare model topped Philips’ measure of healthcare value with a score of 54.61. Australia and Germany followed behind with scores of 52.59 and 50.93 respectively. The report evaluates value by averaging each country’s healthcare access, satisfaction and efficiency scores.

But waz the point of being number 1 when access is below the average bear.

Btw, TOC, TRE while cheering on PJ thum and friends and supporting the repeal of s377A, ignored this bread-and-butter failure of the PAP administration: Advice to cybernuts writing in TOC, TRE etc

The PAP is lucky in its enemies. With enemies like these, how can S’pore not be a de facto one-party state. Sad.

PM, PAP should remember what world’s richest man said

In Political governance, Public Administration on 09/09/2018 at 10:56 am

Given former PM’s comments his comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”, it’s surprising that the PM and the PAP are ignoring what the world’s richest man said

“Experiments are by their very nature prone to failure. But a few big successes compensate for dozens and dozens of things that didn’t work,” said Mr Jeff Bezos in 2014.

FT

I was reminded of this when I read

Mr Alfred Tan said that the PAP still refuses to acknowledge the policy blunder [about HDB leases]. He said that one of the key basic disciplines in problem solving is admitting that there is a problem. Only when there is an admission of misjudgment can the first step be taken towards a real and meaningful resolution and rectification of the problem.

“Is the PAP government prepared to man up and admit this misstep?” Mr Tan asked.

http://yoursdp.org/…/sdp_calls_out_out_of_t…/2018-09-08-6257

Dr Chee

 

Pay And Pay in action

In Public Administration on 07/09/2018 at 10:59 am

Yes taking a break from commenting on the useful dupes*, PJ Thum (as rich as the Youngs of Crazy Rich Asians fame) and his side-kick Hirsten.

Sorry for the aside. The constructive, nation-building media, NOT Terry’s Online Channel** report that social enterprise hawker centres use PAP’s SOPs to make hawkers Pay And Pay.

They were introduced three years ago with the aim of keeping food prices low for consumers, among other social objectives.

But the jury is still out on not-for-profit, social enterprise hawker centres, as they came under the spotlight recently after food critic and consultant K F Seetoh raised concerns about how they were run.

Mr Seetoh said in a post on his Makansutra website that hawkers at such centres have to pay an average of S$4,000 a month in rent due to extra expenses that included coin-changing services, charges for crockery washing, collection and return, as well as a fee for spot-checks on food quality and operation.

This monthly rental fee is higher than that of popular centres such as Maxwell Food Centre managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA), he said.

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/not-all-can-stomach-social-enterprise-hawker-centres-stall-owners-call-flexibility-lower

To add insult to injury no freedom on to of costs:

Other policies have also led some to question the way these social enterprise hawker centres are being run. Among those that have not gone down well with hawkers include requirements to keep their stalls open at least 12 hours, forking out monthly fees for cashless or self-payment kiosks, as well as having to pay for marketing and publicity efforts.


*Chris K posted on FB

The philosopher and sometime novelist G.K Chesterton once noted,

“Evil always wins through the strength of its splendid dupes; and there has in all ages been a disastrous alliance between abnormal innocence and abnormal sin.”

The PAP is always lucky to have its “splendid dupes” among its critics and opponents. If you think “splendid dupes” is too cheem, then use the more common “useful fools”. The fools should give their brains a chance and not fall in love with the sound of their own voices.

**To be fair to Terry, he’s a one-man show and swamped with “contributions” from the friends of PJ, Kisten and Jovolan. So much so, that he published a piece saying flat owner does not own HBD flat because cannot rent via Airbnb. If that is so, us landed property also don’t own our properties.

 

Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”

In Public Administration on 02/09/2018 at 11:33 am
“Every school being a good school does not mean every school is the same. If every school is the same, every school can’t be a good school.
Ong Ye Kung
Huh?
And to make “Every school a good school” even more meaningless, it’s an aspiration like the Pledge*:
So when we talk about this aspiration or this vision, of every school is a good school, it is really to say, it is possible at some point, every kid can go to a school that suits him or her best and help him or her achieve the best that he or she can be … And that requires every school to be slightly different, to be strong in different areas that play to the strength of the kid. And for that to happen, choice is important.”
Ong Ye Kung is talking cock thru his ass methinks. Time to move Lawrence Wong, good smoke thrower to MoE? Lawrence Wong: a PM-in-waiting
Here’s an interesting article on Doublespeak
Doublespeak: A Weapon Aimed at the Language

Doublespeak is not language. It is anti-language. The purpose of language is to transfer a truth from one mind to another; the purpose of doublespeak is to transfer a falsehood disguised as a truth.

In “Doublespeak” (Harper & Row), William Lutz undertakes to define, analyze and document the term, observing at the outset that it has nothing to do with bad grammar or syntax.

“It is instead a very conscious use of language as a weapon or tool by those in power to achieve their ends at our expense. While some doublespeak is funny, much of it is frightening.”

Lutz says there are four kinds of doublespeak. The first is the simple euphemism, in which a word is used to soften a cruel reality. This use may be benign, as when we say “passed on” or “sleeping with.” The second is jargon, which is useful within a trade or profession, but which may be used to keep outsiders out. The third is gobbledygook, the use of big words and strings of nouns so beloved by bureaucracy. The fourth is inflated language designed to make the ordinary seem extraordinary.

http://articles.latimes.com/1989-11-02/news/vw-112_1_nuclear-weapons

———————————-

*The Aspiration, not the Pledge
“We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity
and progress for our nation.”

Exposed: Flaws in PM’s HDB spin

In Political governance, Property, Public Administration on 31/08/2018 at 10:56 am

From a TRE reader

In his NDR speech, PM Loong gave an example of his AMK 4-rm residents, trumpeting how their flats can now fetch $400k when they’ve paid only $25k for their units 40 years ago.

Yes, no one will argue about this fact. First owners of HDB flats were able to make a huge profit from their flats purchased decades ago. This is possible only because they bought their flats cheap.

Leong Piah Mann

Yup, it was all about getting in at a great level and riding the Pacific wave.

But now

Govt ‘smartly’ pegged BTO flats to HDB resale price. Resale price is based on the flat’s valuation price. Owners were given high valuation for their units (and you know who valued your HDB and they BS you it’s about demand that your flat cost that much), so resale price kept heading skyward and BTO price follow suit to the delight of the greedy govt.

Entry point is “rigged”. So how to make money?

And what about the sucker buyer?

When PM Loong bragged about how much profit a AMK 4-rm flat first owner can make from selling his flat, PM made himself look so excellent, like a grade A, top notch leader, but he conveniently forgot to mention about the buyer of that resale flat. After paying $400k for an almost 40yrs old flat, how much will the buyer be able to sell his flat for as it continues to age and ending up as govt’s eventually?

Sorry jialat. Liddat why vote PAP so that $$G ministers also can be “Crazy Rich Asians”?


Related posts:

The real truths about public housing  my summary of piece by “Tan Jin Meng, a postgraduate from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He has an interest in social policy and economics.”.

Why many PAP voters are ready to be flipped

New Hope: Why Dr Tambyah can flip PAP voters

——————————————————————————————————–

Leong Piah Manncomments in full

A Layman’s View On The Hot HDB Issue

I think people should stop arguing about whether we’re “owners” or “lessees” of HDB flats because the PAP and their lackeys can always defend the govt using all kinds of crooked logics. Fact remains, our HDB flats will belong to the govt after 99 yrs.

In his NDR speech, PM Loong gave an example of his AMK 4-rm residents, trumpeting how their flats can now fetch $400k when they’ve paid only $25k for their units 40 years ago.

Yes, no one will argue about this fact. First owners of HDB flats were able to make a huge profit from their flats purchased decades ago. This is possible only because they bought their flats cheap. This is possible only because our govt 40 yrs ago was genuinely caring. This is possible only because our 1G leaders’ main intention of building public housing was to let citizens have a roof over our heads. The Old Guards weren’t greedy. They didn’t price the HDB flats with the intention to make big profit from citizens or to let citizens make profits from their flats. More importantly, they never buy votes using the HDB flats upgrading or asset enhancement policy as election carrots.

As we can see, the situation now is no longer the same. The present govt has become too greedy that their greed has resulted in our  public housing (amongst others) becoming so costly, in fact too costly!

Govt ‘smartly’ pegged BTO flats to HDB resale price. Resale price is based on the flat’s valuation price. Owners were given high valuation for their units (and you know who valued your HDB and they BS you it’s about demand that your flat cost that much), so resale price kept heading skyward and BTO price follow suit to the delight of the greedy govt.

When PM Loong bragged about how much profit a AMK 4-rm flat first owner can make from selling his flat, PM made himself look so excellent, like a grade A, top notch leader, but he conveniently forgot to mention about the buyer of that resale flat. After paying $400k for an almost 40yrs old flat, how much will the buyer be able to sell his flat for as it continues to age and ending up as govt’s eventually?

Mr Owner is lucky and happy but what about Mr Buyer? If VERS is real, how much will the govt compensate Mr Buyer in 30 yrs’ time? For sure he’s going to make a loss. And what if VERS is just an invincible election carrot? If Mr Buyer is 30 yrs old, by the time he’s 89 yrs old, his $400k would go up in smoke. Why didn’t PM Loong talk about Mr Buyer? Don’t tell me getting paid millions of dollars cannot even foresee such an obvious problem?

I’d definitely applaud the govt if Mr Owner is allowed to sell his flat back to govt at the market value of $400k. Then the govt sells that flat to Mr Buyer at $400k but renew the lease to 99 yrs.

Did the govt not plan to have HIP II? They can even have HIP III and HIP IV to keep the flats in good conditions. Continuous upgrading whenever necessary for our future generations to live in, is this not also being fair to our descendants? If there really is a must to tear down any blocks of flats due to safety reasons, then compensate the residents accordingly with SERS.

Our children and grandchildren are our future generations. Families are getting very small these days. Our children can inherit our old flats and continue to live in them. If our govt genuinely cares and thinks for the people, there’s really no need for all our flats to
go back to the state for the govt to redevelop the land and build new flats.

We first heard that CPF money is not our money. Now we realised our HDB flats will not be our flats eventually. What next?

Apparently the scariest thieves in sg wear white not black. So, Singaporeans beware! Please stop inviting thieves into our house and allow them to freely steal our belongings anymore.

Leong Piah Mann

Smell the smoke? From Indonesia or from the PAP & cybernuts?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 30/08/2018 at 10:34 am

In the last few weeks, the smell of smoke has been getting stronger even though the usually annual haze has yet to show up in the weather stats.

So maybe its juz the PAP throwing smoke and the cybernuts reacting with hot air?

After all I started smelling the smoke when Goh Chok Tong decided to shit and piss on the PAP’s NatDay celebrations with his comment that those in the private sector earning less than $1m are “very mediocre people”. The subsequent uproar had him back pedalling.

Then came PM’s NDR speech on being frugal (Shumething PM left out in NDR speech/ Reason why?) and the plan to kick the HDB lease expiry issue into the long grass via Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (Vers) which will begin circa 2038

Experts interviewed told TODAY that by airing its thoughts on the complex issue early, the Government achieved another objective: To restore some calm in the HDB resale market, and provide reassurance to homeowners.

https://www.todayonline.com/big-read/big-read-hdb-lease-decay-govts-solutions-not-perfect-theres-light-end-tunnel

This goodie was ignored:

Every HDB flat can also expect to undergo major upgrading twice during its 99-year lease period, with the new Home Improvement Programme (HIP) II rolled out for ageing units at the 60- to 70-year mark.

Then came Larry (Lawrence Wong: a PM-in-waiting) with

Mr Wong had also said earlier this week that even though many details for Vers will not be ready for some time, the Government felt that it “owed” Singaporeans an early explanation on its thinking for the next phase of public housing.

Of course the cybenut mob had to react with hot air of their own drowning out the cold doses of reality that sensible criticks of the PAP like Calvin Cheng (When being a minister turns from a calling into a job for life) and Eugene Wee (Best riposte to recent PAP BS) were pouring out to counter the PAP’s smoke.

And then there was “There seems to be a certain sourness on the ground, with more grumbling than usual about issues especially to do with the Government,” a semi-retired ST tua kee observed: “In the many chat groups I belong to, more people seem to be getting worked up.”

“ST Editor panicked over ground sourness urges PAP 4G leaders to do something” screamed Terry’s Online Channel cutting and pasting the ST piece: https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2018/08/26/st-editor-panicked-over-ground-sourness-urges-pap-4g-leaders-to-do-something/

I’m still thinking if Han Fook Kwang is correct to say the present mood reminds him of the run-up to the 2011

— attributing the public discontent to the “disconnect” between the government leaders and the general public,

— adding “I agree with commentators who have pointed out that overly high ministerial salaries poison the relationship between leaders and the led, reducing it to a transactional one.”

What do you think, is the mood like that in 2011?

 

 

Even PAPPy agrees with Eugene Wee on PAP BS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best riposte to recent PAP BS

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

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

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

Dear Ministers,

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

The message is simple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But here is where we see the disconnect.

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

It hurts our older folks, because this is home.

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

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

Let me explain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have to agree with Calvin (again)

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

Calvin Cheng
August 16 at 6:43 PM ·

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MoE got think like this? Our teachers?

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

I came across this interesting Canadian idea.

Let’s start with the wrong answer

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

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

FT

I doubt if our education system does this:

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

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

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

Related post: More qns for education minister

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Why many PAP voters are ready to be flipped

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

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

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

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

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

———————————————————————

NUS survey bears out my observation

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

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

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


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

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

Therein lies the opportunity for the Oppo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Time to investigate if housing developers screw public by colluding?

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

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

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

Then this caught my attention (emphasis mine)

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

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

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

Another reason why the PAP rules OK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is state capacity?

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

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

— MRT system that is not first world

— S’pore like this?

— The real truths about public housing

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

— MAS gives finger to CSA’s CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAS gives finger to CSA’s CEO

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

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

Should you be worried?

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

Constructive, nation-building CNA

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

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

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

 

 

Mom trying to out BS CSA’s CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a Mom spokesperson said:

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

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

any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.

It has happened. It;s not

any impending or speculative restructuring exercises of any company.

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

PM visiting from Bizarro S’pore?

Tharman also from Bizarro S’pore?

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

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

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

Should you be worried?

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

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

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

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

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

I had also read in an earlier CNA report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Why I not KPKBing about MediShield Life

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

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

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

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

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

Related post: Will Gleneagles sandwich cost me a fortune?

PAP’s kung fu with tax payers’ money

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

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

Those were my tots when I read Dr Paul Tambyah:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A recent comment on TRE set me thinking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

The PAP way is the American corporate way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FT

Why the PAP thinks it is infallible

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

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

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

Is it repression and fear?

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

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

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

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

He went on to make a more telling observation

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

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

PAP’s cock-ups since the 1980s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it repression and fear?

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

Email yr answers pls.

 

Is PAP in “decline and disintegration”?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

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

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

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

Why no NIMBYism here

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

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

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

Here’s someone complaining to the FT about the decision

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

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

 

Indians prefer to employ Indians

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

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

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

Economist

———————————————

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


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

My experience with S’pore’s digital programme

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

And Three cheers for PM’s son

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minister Ong wants a camel?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Constructive, nation-building media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whatever,

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

Advice and Dissent, by Alan Blinder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A law has just been passed in Vietnam which

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

FT

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

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

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

he didn’t.

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

Waz the point of Social Service Office and Comcare?

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

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

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

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

 

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

Damage control at work but BS missing the point

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

Hi everyone

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

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

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

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

Mr T has been receiving the following support:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why liddat?

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

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

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

This brought back unhappy, angry memories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The silence of Sham

Waz this call for a leader like Tun M here?

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

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

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

Tun broke one pledge,

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

Malay Mail

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

And is all over the place on another pledge

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

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

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

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

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

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


How not to handle fake news

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

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

—————————————————–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Najib shows power that Lee Jnr can command as PM

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

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

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

As either FT or Economist said about Najib:

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

Accusations against Najib

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sigh.

 

Healthcare: user fees drives up costs

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

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

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

It would argue

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

Economist

———————-

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

—————————————————–

Well its bible now says that it’s not a

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

Worse

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

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

Re the issue that user fees

are also “cannonballs of inefficiency”

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

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

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

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

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

Milos Forman said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doesn’t what she say sound familiar if you

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

— are living in Aljunied or Hougang

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

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

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

 

 

F9: Education Minister Ng Chee Meng

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What “fake” news will be allowed

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

Adding to my tots in Fake news traffickers will be hanged

there was this

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

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

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

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

This reminded me of

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

George Orwell

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


*But then

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

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

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

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

 

Fake news traffickers will be hanged

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

That was my tot when I read on FB

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

(Constructive, nation-building headline last week)

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

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

My avater: Respect.

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

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

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

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

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

The mind boggles.

GST: Even economists tot GST could go up

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

I quoted a senior lawyer

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

PAP voter cheers on Auntie, says Fu talking cock 

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

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

The retired GIC Chief Economist waded in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Why cabinet can’t do bold new ideas

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

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

Last Saturday, I read in the FT

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

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

This led me to think about our cabinet.

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

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


The Spartan who defeated Athens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

Heng needs AI to help him in making Budget forecasts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook

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

After all in 2014,

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

 

The PAP never sleeps

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

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

———————————————–

The PAP, like City, never sleeps

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

PM on 1 December 2016.

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

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

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

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

ST sometime back

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

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

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

 

Even PAP govt thinks ang moh tua kee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Singaporean values

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

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

FOO CHI HSIA
High commissioner for Singapore
London


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris K posted on FB

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public tenders = PAPpy greed?

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

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

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

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

—————————————————-

The trap of awarding tenders to lowest bidder for society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This issue is more complicated than the cybernuts think.

 

 

PAPpies will love this UK cock up

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

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

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

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

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

BBC report

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

Tomorrow China, The Day After S’pore

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

Why does PM wants a cashless payments system?

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

Why PM wants a cashless payments system

from NYT Dealbook late last yr

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

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

From Paul Mozur of the NYT:

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

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

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

 

Need Paracetamol? Ask SingHealth

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

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

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

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

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

Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss on FB

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

But sales are lousy, really lousy.

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

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

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

Sorry for the digression. Back to the book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Facebook see govt no ak is it?

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

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

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

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

The BBC reports

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

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

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

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

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

Sounds like Singapore?

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

An anti-PAP talking?

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

Nope some analyst describing Venezuela

 

Why I’m not writing to IMDA protesting proposed changes

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

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

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

 

Human Rights Watch talks cock about S’pore?

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

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

S’pore is called “a repressive place”:

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

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

Yes,

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

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

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

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

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

What do u think?

StanChart event endangered lives

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

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

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

Diabetes: The real reason PM is worried?

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

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

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


CPF Life die, Yr Problem

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

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


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

Diabetics live longer

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

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

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

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

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

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

PAP has lost “output legitimacy”

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 28/10/2017 at 9:54 am

We all know the failures of SMRT and MRT. So no need to elaborate.

But the problems at SMRT and MRT and the failure of the PAP administration to hold anyone to account except “the maintenance team” (Though to be fair the team failed to empty the holding tanks beneath tracks so they can absorb rainwater without jamming the service.) shows that the PAP administration has really lost “output legitimacy”.

I wrote this four years ago between GE 2011 and 2015. The results of the two elections showed not that the PAP regained “output legitimacy”; but showed that the PAP spent more of our money on ourselves in between Are you better off now than you were in 2011?(Death of LKY also helped):

The ST has for several weeks been writing about the loss of trust between the people and the govt, and laying the blame on the people (“daft”) who are distracted by the new media’s DRUMS beating the RAVII theme ( OK I exaggerate but juz a little). (BTW, here in a different context, I’ve looked at the role the new media plays: amplification, not distortion of the dissenting, inconvenient voices to the PAP’s narrative which the local media propagandises, while suppressing the former.)

Actually, the loss of trust is due to the PAP govt’s loss of “output legitimacy” since the 1990s.

“Output legitimacy” is the idea that elected leaders make decisions that are unpopular in the short term but will be approved by voters once their success has been demonstrated.  A govt aiming for “output legitimacy” (most govts don’t, but the PAP is an exception) is a bold, self-confident govt because the govt and the politicians need to be proved right by events.  Sadly for S’poreans and the PAP, the record doesn’t look that great for one LHL. He had been DPM, and in charge of economic and financial issues, and the civil service, since the 1990s, until he became PM in 2004.

Yet events have showed that S’poreans are discontented, not happy with the achievements of his govt. The PAP only polled 60% (lowest ever) in the 2011 GE, and three cabinet ministers lost their seats, with the WP winning for the first time ever a GRC. In the subsequent PE, the PAP’s “preferred” candidate and a challenger (ex PAP man too) polled 35% each. The preferred candidate won by a very short nose.

This yr, the PM promised to meet our concerns (housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable, and on education) is like that: “Crashed the cars, trains and buses we were on – and then wants us to thank him for pulling us out of the wreckage using our own money, by voting for the PAP”.

— https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/analysing-pms-coming-rally-speech/

— https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/govt-needed-natcon-survey-to-find-these-things-out/

After all S’poreans’ concerns that housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable, and on education are the result of govt policies

His dad introduced the concept “output legitimacy” to S’pore (although not the term: too highfalutin perhaps?), partly because it suited LKY’s personality (intellectual thuggery, the belief that “leaders lead” and shouldn’t be governed by opinion polls, and micromanaging**), and partly because while S’pore was a leading Asian city in the 50s and 60s (as LKY and PAP haters like to remind us ad nauseam), that wasn’t saying much for most S’poreans: err bit like now, one could reasonably argue. Examples:

— When the PAP came into power in 1959, unemployment was over 10%; and

— in 1960, 126,000 man-hours were lost in strikes as compared to 26,000 in 1959.

Source: book reviewed here

There were then things that had to be done that would upset many people most of the time for a while. But if the policies worked, then the results would be visible. Well, at the very least, the voters were prepared to give LKY and the PAP, over 70% of the popular vote and all the parly seats for over a decade.

The world’s now a bit more complex since then, and S’poreans’ expectations have rightly risen, so whether it is ever possible that the PAP govt can ever recover “output legitimacy” is open to question even if it has the ‘right” people leading it. But at least it’s willing to spend more of our money on making life a more comfortable for ourselves. Maybe that should be its articulated goal, to frame our expectations of its “output legitimacy”.

Maybe the constructive, nation-building media, and new media outlets that believe in constructive criticism, like the Breakfast Network and the Independent*** can help the PAP govt? Better than flogging the dead horses of trust, daft people and that the internet beats DRUMS to the RAVII theme.

*Recriminations, Accusations, Vilifications, Insinuations & Insults

**Remind me of the bible verses: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” or “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”

***Independent sucks because it got its branding wrong. Name is so traditional media. In fact there is an established UK newspaper by that name.

Names with a whiff of the establishment seem old hat. Chris West, founder of Verbal Identity, specialists in linguistic branding, says that “they appear to be hankering after a debased culture of corporate magnificence”. Consumers think of them as pompous, self-serving, impersonal. The advantage of calling your business Wonga and GiffGaff lies in the rejection of superfluous formality. We perceive them as younger, more in-touch, less “corporate”. As Mr West concludes, “they sound like words we might hear at the pub”.

Then there is the quality of its writing. But that shows up the pedigree of two of its founders.

As for BN, it’s a work-in-progress, and it’s a gd training place for budding journalists: got ex-TOCer who has learnt to write proper, readable English. So I wish it well, even if I’ve heard allegations about its funding. And it has a great name. Spent a lot of cash getting its name right?

The PAP govt has lost “output legitimacy”: Discuss

Btw, Breakfast Network morphed into TMG which has just announced that it’s closing. No money. The Independent has morphed into The Idiots.

Related post: Parable of the contented dog/ No need to be grateful to the PAP

Where’s Khaw? (cont’d)

In Corporate governance, Infrastructure, Public Administration, Temasek on 17/10/2017 at 6:59 am

Since I wrote Where’s Khaw? on Sunday, he’s resurfaced like a submarine. From a flooded MRT tunnel isit?

And he’s not blaming the constructive nation-building media or new media or even commuters for misrepresenting the truth about the “ponding” at Bishan. Instead

In his first comments on the unprecedented flooding-induced train outage on Oct 7, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan apologised to commuters but pinned the blame squarely on operator SMRT’s maintenance regime.

But there’s more:

Chairman of SMRT Corporation and SMRT Trains Seah Moon Ming bowed and apologised to the public for the underground flooding incident along the North-South Line (NSL) on Oct 7-8 that resulted in a 20-hour disruption. 

But SMRT’s president and group chief executive officer Desmond Kuek, while expressing regret, did no apologies or bowing:

“Much progress has been made with the inculcation of a positive work culture, but there remain some deep-seated cultural issues within the company that has needed more time than anticipated to root out.”

Hello he became the President and Group Chief Executive Officer of SMRT Corporation Limited (SMRT) on 1 October 2012.

So it’s been a good five years since he took charge. He now owns the culture and all other bits of SMRT. SMRT’s history pre October 2012, is no longer an acceptable, reasonable excuse.

But in S’pore scholars don’t get sacked do they? Meritocracy? What meritocracy? Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy.

Here life is good for scholars. Multi-millionaire salaries but not accountable for results: juz for trying hard it seems.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then there’s this:

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

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

CPF changes: Rob Peter to Pay Paul and worse

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

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

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

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

Jogging alone can be illegal?

If wearing the wrong tee-shirt or singlet?

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

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

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

Jogging by Lake Tanganyika

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

Burundi: Where jogging is a crime

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

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

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

Related post: PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?

———‘

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

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

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

Earlier, in 2007, she had said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Last para added at 6.20am)

Tharman talking cock? Or cracking a joke?

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

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

Tan Tee Seng, Operation Spectrum detainee, on FB

The preceding bit reads

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

The whole post

 

Related post: Tharman the wannabe comedian

MoH that cock meh? Only know to cut and paste isit?

In Public Administration on 01/10/2017 at 10:22 am

I didn’t think anything was wrong when I read

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is reviewing the residency programme for doctors, Senior Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat said on Saturday (Sep 30), acknowledging that some of the outcomes “have not been as positive in practice” as originally hoped for.

The residency programme was last revised in 2010 when MOH adopted the American residency system to provide trainee doctors with a more structured framework and regular supervision.

“As the residency system was adapted from the US, there were challenges to fit its different elements into our system in Singapore during implementation,” Mr Chee said.

“We have to be honest and acknowledge that while the residency programme has its advantages and good points, some of the outcomes have not been as positive in practice as what we had originally hoped for.”

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/moh-to-review-doctors-residency-programme-9266378

I mean adapting an overseas benchmark or practice involves making modifications after the initial introduction to take into account some local quirks that were not thought about when the initial adaption was made.

But then I read this and went WTF!

One main problem of the current residency programme is that disease patterns in Singapore and the US are vastly different, said Associate Professor Chen Fun Gee, who is director of the graduate medical studies division at National University Hospital.

This means trainee doctors are assessed on diseases that are not common in Singapore, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

“In Singapore, we have a higher diabetes rate compared to other countries; we have dengue haemorrhagic fever, which you don’t see in the United States … we need to make sure our doctors understand these diseases and should be assessed in their competencies in these diseases,” said Assoc Prof Chen, who is also a member of the Singapore Medical Council.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/moh-to-review-doctors-residency-programme-9266378

Surely MoH should have had more sense than to cut and paste wholesale when introducing the programme?

I mean adapting to local circumstances isn’t exactly rocket science. For example much of our financial and corporate law legislation are based on ang moh legislation. As is much of our accoutancy framework. As are our food and safety rules. And I can go on and on.

LKY, Dr Goh and other pioneer leaders must be spinning in their urns.

 

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

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

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

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

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

This realisation came when I read this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do u think?

Why Tharman wants to “evolve” a good education system

In Economy, Public Administration on 22/09/2017 at 4:34 am

“The Singularity is coming” is the short answer.

To face a tumultuous future with challenges, Singapore’s education system will need to keep evolving as it has done over the last 50 years, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the first Majulah Lecture organised by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on Wednesday (Sep 20).
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/if-it-ain-t-broke-don-t-fix-it-will-not-cut-it-for-singapore-s-9235202

He wants the system to

— “to make the most of technology or those who are displaced and disempowered by technologies?”

— to maintain “a sense of togetherness in society.

–to become “an innovative society – with individuals and people with a mind of their own – while retaining a deep sense of community.”

Well in NY (a day earlier), Masayoshi Son made a speech (reported by NYT’s Dealbook) that explains why Tharman (and the PAP administration) thinks the education system needs to change

The Singularity is coming, Masayoshi Son says.

The founder of SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate, had the business world chattering on Monday night with his speech at the Appeal of Conscience FoundationFoundation. (DealBook is the first to report on it.)

His main thrusts:
• The Singularity, when artificial intelligence finally outstrips that of humans, will replace huge swaths of jobs.
• The number of sentient robots on Earth will rival the number of humans.
From his speech:
“Here we have white collar and blue collar. I said a new collar will start: that is metal collar. That metal collar will not only replace most of the blue collar jobs, but many of the white collar jobs. So when they become so smart and the muscles to move, what is the definition of what mankind’s job should be? What should we do if they replace many of our jobs? What is the value of our lives? We have to think once more, deeply.”

More from Mr. Son on artificial intelligence:
“I predict 30 years from now, the number of smart robots, the smart robot population on this earth will be 10 billion. By that time, human population will be around 10 billion. So here on this earth we will have 10 billion population of mankind and 10 billion population of smart robots. This is the first time on this earth that we live together with 10 billion robots.”
“Every industry that mankind created will be redefined. The medical industry, automobile industry, the information industry of course. Every industry that mankind ever defined and created, even agriculture, will be redefined. Because the tools that we created were inferior to mankind’s brain in the past. Now the tools become smarter than mankind ourselves. The definition of whatever the industry, will be redefined.”

Yikes? Even US health system better than ours?

In Public Administration on 21/09/2017 at 4:48 pm

The extract on S’pore

U.S. vs. Singapore: A Mix of Ideas

The United States has a mix of clashing ideas: private insurance through employment; single-payer Medicare mainly for those 65 and older; state-managed Medicaid for many low-income people; private insurance through exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act; as well as about 28 million people without any insurance at all. Hospitals are private, except for those run by the Veterans Health Administration.

Singapore has a unique approach. Basic care in government-run hospital wards is cheap, sometimes free, with more deluxe care in private rooms available for those paying extra. Singapore’s workers contribute around 36 percent of their wages to mandated savings accounts that may be spent on health care, housing, insurance, investment or education. The government, which helps control costs, is involved in decisions about investing in new technology. It also uses bulk purchasing power to spend less on drugs, controls the number of medical students and physicians in the country, and helps decide how much they can earn.

Singapore’s system costs far less than America’s (4.9 percent of G.D.P. versus 17.2 percent). Singapore doesn’t release the same data as most other advanced nations, although it’s widely thought that it provides pretty good care for a small amount of spending. Others counter that access and quality vary, with wide disparities between those at the top and bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

Our pick: United States, 4-1

AARON: United States. Singapore is intriguing, because it’s so different from other systems. But its huge mandatory savings requirement would be a nonstarter for many in the United States.

CRAIG: United States. Singapore, a scrappy underdog, has become a fan favorite of conservatives. But its reliance on health savings accounts is problematic: When people are spending more of their own money on health care, they tend to forgo both effective and ineffective care in equal measure.

AUSTIN: United States. It’s hard for me to overlook Singapore’s lack of openness with data.

ASHISH: United States. The lack of data in Singapore is a problem, and it had higher rates of unnecessary hospitalizations and far higher heart attack and stroke mortality rates than the United States. Plus, the U.S. has a highly dynamic and innovative health care system. It is the engine for new diagnostics and treatments from which Singapore and other nations benefit.

UWE: Singapore. It’s hard to defend the messy American health system, with its mixture of unbridled compassion and unbridled cruelty.

 

 

What walkover means for Hali’s presidency

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mandate from the people? What mandate?

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

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

 

 

 

 

Diabetes: Chinese ignored by PAP

In Public Administration on 08/09/2017 at 1:54 pm

And not the minorities. And it’s a member of an “oppressed” minority saying this.

Let me explain.

There has been a lot of KPKBing from the usual suspects that the PAP administration is stigmatising the diets of the Indians and Malays because the diabetes stats show that

– 9.7% Chinese had diabetes
– 16.6% Malays had diabetes and
– 17.2% Indians had diabetes

Here’s how a member of a minority race does the maths, the logical conclusion of which seems to indicate that the PAP administration is discriminating against the Chinese. From FB

Abdillah Zamzuri

SINGAPORE DIABETES IN REAL NUMBERS

Singapore’s Media has been focused on Malays and Indian diet to combat diabetes but here’s how the data looks like based on 2010 National Demographics and Diabetes Statistics.

In 2010, there were
– 2, 794, 000 Chinese
– 503, 900 Malays
– 348, 100 Indians

Of these,
– 9.7% Chinese had diabetes
– 16.6% Malays had diabetes and
– 17.2% Indians had diabetes

Percentage makes Malays and Indians look super unhealthy but here’s the reality in numbers…

– 271, 018 Chinese suffered diabetes
– 83, 647 Malays suffered diabetes
– 59, 873 Indians suffered diabetes

Which means, living in Singapore, Chinese are 3 times more likely to suffer diabetes than Malays and 4 times more likely to suffer diabetes than Indians.

Can we then ascertain that Chinese meals and lifestyle are unhealthier compared to Malay and Indian meals and lifestyle because well, the numbers said so.

In percentages based on overall population, this is how it looks like:

– 10.99% Singaporeans suffer from diabetes of which the denominations are…

– 7.18% Singaporeans (Chinese) suffer from diabetes
– 2.22% Singaporeans (Malay) suffer from diabetes
– 1.59% Singaporeans (Indian) suffer from diabetes

Reference:
http://www.singstat.gov.sg/…/census_2010_rel…/cop2010sr1.pdf
https://www.nrdo.gov.sg/…/defau…/diabetes-info-paper-v6.pdf…

#Diabetes #singapore

Seriously, this means

— minorities cannot complain if the government decides to allocate more resources in the war on diabetes in order to help the Chinese since by his logic they are the biggest sufferers; and if

— you tally up the education stats, more Chinese students “fail” than any other group. So SDP is wrong to KPKB that SAP schools “steal” money for the Chinese at the expense of the minorities.

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

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

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

Let me explain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Why there’ll be no presidential election

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

The short answer is that ST Editor said so leh.

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

Image result

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

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

A fanboy of Hali

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

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

He posted on FB

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image may contain: text

Explanation from Wikipedia on the allusion

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

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

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

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

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


*Once upon a time I wrote

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

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

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

What ST doesn’t tell us about our PISA ranking

In Public Administration on 28/08/2017 at 2:55 pm

Update at 7-00am on 29 August: ST reports that MoE says this is “fake news”. What do u think?

Before over 1500 delegates, Director General of the Ministry of Education, Mr Wong Siew Hoong, projected graphs depicting Singapore’s stellar PISA results. He then juxtaposed these to OECD data on student wellbeing, and also of innovation in the economy, revealing Singapore in the lowest quartile. His conclusion was stark: “we’ve been winning the wrong race”.

https://au.educationhq.com/news/41377/the-pisa-fallacy-in-singapore-insights-from-the-nie/

There are S’porean civil servants who think. But are they allowed to take corrective action?

When a ceremonial president goes “rogue”

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Indian president is supposedly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then there was the previous president

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even if she’s really a Malay. 

Oh what a tanled web we weave …

“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”

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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