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Posts Tagged ‘Kenneth Jeyaretnam’

S/o JBJ accuses TRE of being “very PAP”

In Uncategorized on 17/08/2015 at 4:26 am

At the end of this piece is something TRE put up to advertise a SingFirst talk on the reserves (held0last Saturday). I commend it for yr reading mainly because it introduces Chris Kuan, someone whose work on helping us understand the reserves and CPF Life I’ve praised.

S/o JBJ (one of the speakers) responded to TRE

Kenneth Jeyaretnam:
August 14, 2015 at 10:27 am (Quote)
“Kenneth Jeyaretnam, understandably, is busy preparing for the upcoming general election.”

This is Kenneth Jeyaretnam here and no-one from TRE has made any attempt to contact me. Could the author of this provide any evidence of any attempt to contact me to contribute to the article?

Wouldn’t it have been more balanced to put in a section for one of the very many, many blog articles I have written for http://www.sonofadud.com and given TRE permission to re-publish?

All I can say is how very PAP of you to make sure I am sidelined.

TRE responded

TRE Editor: Dear KJ,

We emailed you on 5 August under the subject “Forum to talk on reserves”. We did not receive a reply from you and thought that you must be quite busy with the GE.

As the forum will be held tomorrow (15 Aug), we had to publish the article latest today (14 Aug).

If you can email us a short write-up on what motivates you to speak about the reserves, we will be most happy to update the article.

Thank you.

To date he hasn’t responded to TRE.

I posted:

Get a life Kenneth J.

TRE is doing more for the Oppo cause than you ever can. Remember who tried to fix the Oppo (and lost his deposit). One s/o JBJ.

I’m not the the only person who am disgusted with his sense of entitlement.

KJ is no JBJ:

@ Kenneth Jeyaretnam

Your huff and puff response to the TRE team is yet another reason why you are unelectable. You do not have your father’s common touch and ironically just like LH*, you seems to have your own sense of entitlement.

You need to remind yourself that TRE has done wonders to counter the MSM and it is being run by volunteers who obviously do not have your wealth. If you cannot even have a proper sense of proportion, then how can you even connect with the voters?

You expect to walk into Parliament becos of your economic expertise and your pedigree? Come on, man, you need to win and you are not going to win if this is how you treat people on your own side.

AMK Voter:

Sigh……. reading KJ’s attacking TRE confirm that Singfirst is the much better party to contest in our GRC. How can we vote for such a person, party leader some more – attacking TRE who has done so much to expose the government and give us alternative opinions. Maybe even his own mistake not checking his email. Alamak ! How lah ! Don’t want to vote PAP, can’t vote for this type of opposition.

Did you know At the last general election Mr Jeyaretnam would go around with a party member/volunteer and they would go up to people, with the member/volunteer introducing Mr Jeyaretnam to residents with this line: “Hello, this is Kenneth Jeyaretnam, J.B. Jeyaretnam’s son.”

The writer could have added that he would avoid looking into the eyes of residents as they acknowledged him. Too atas isit, s/o JBJ?

Update at 9.30am: S/o JBJ didn’t give a talk. He send Boy Robin (Or is it Kato?) Roy Ngerng. Btw, TeamTRE should reflect on the fact that the cybernuts didn’t defend it against s/o JBJ’s accusation.

————————

SG’s reserves increasingly a hot political issue

SingFirst has invited 3 speakers to speak on Singapore’s national reserves at its 3rd Public Forum tomorrow (15 Aug).

The 3 prominent Singaporeans will speak on their concerns regarding our national reserves. They are:

  • Chris Kuan, retired international banker: How much reserves does Singapore have? What is the relationship between reserves, budget surpluses and CPF savings? What returns have they earned? How much of these returns comes from investing our CPF savings?
  • Leong Sze Hian, financial analyst and statistician: What is the difference between the returns on CPF savings that GIC has earned from investing them and the returns that CPF members are given by the government? What is the practice of pension funds outside Singapore e.g. Malaysia’s EPF? Have Singaporeans been shortchanged?
  • Kenneth Jeyaretnam, economist and Secretary-General of the Reform Party: Are Singaporeans over-taxed and under-provided for? Don’t we deserve more?

All 3 regularly blog and talk about financial matters online. They have contributed many articles to TRE in the past, and continue to do so.

TRE was able to catch up with Chris Kuan and Leong Sze Hian to find out why they are so passionate about our reserves. Kenneth Jeyaretnam, understandably, is busy preparing for the upcoming general election.

TRE interviewed Chris recently:

TRE: Chris, what brings you to write extensively about the reserves?

Chris: Funny that you should ask this. I met your Chief Editor, Richard Wan, over lunch more than a year and a half ago. He asked if I could look into what he called a very hot issue.

TRE: You seem eminently qualified to do this, can you tell us about your experience and training?

Chris: Well, I regret to disappoint you but I never attended university nor had a diploma or professional qualifications. I did work 34 years in the financial markets – the majority in London and Tokyo where I gathered very extensive experience perhaps not available in SG and had good bosses. In the last 10 years I headed capital markets and treasury for the Asia-Pacific region.

TRE: You seem very persistent in analysing Singapore’s reserves, what motivates you?

Chris: A lot of things really. At first I took it as a challenge and to help the man in the street to understand a bit more about the reserves. As my research took me further into the subject, not least being urged by helpful TRE readers who asked me to look into this or comment about that, I began to realise the enormous socio-economic costs to the ordinary citizens in the government’s relentless accumulation of reserves. I strongly believe that the citizens have a right to know because those reserves impose huge burdens on them.

TRE: Do you need to be an expert to analyse the reserves?

Chris: Not really. I am not really one myself. Some background in reading balance sheets and analysing simple portfolio metrics will be very helpful. Also need to keep a level head and not overreach or jump to a pre-conceived answer. I learned to avoid that the hard way when I was young and foolish, haha.

TRE: It cannot be easy?

Chris: No, no, not easy at all. Digging out the information and trying to make sense of it is the tough bit. I went up a few blind alleys, mostly because the government, i.e. the MOF (Ministry of Finance), the ministers and the SWFs (sovereign wealth funds i.e. GIC and Temasek Holdings) were very inconsistent about what they say about the reserves. Prime example is at first GIC did not manage CPF and then GIC did.

TRE: Why is that so?

Chris: I always believe that when there is non-transparency and non-accountability, government tends to become indolent or lazy about the way they disclose information.

TRE: What do you hope to gain out of this?

Chris: Finance and economics I always believe are the most important factors in politics. We say let’s do more for the poor, let’s un-squeeze the “squeezed middle” – these are socially just, commendable goals but ultimately the finance and the economics need to align to deliver these goals. And I like to say that finance and economics have a wide range of nuances, interpretations and outcomes: some good, some bad and nearly always the good cannot be had without the bad or what I often call trade-offs.

TRE: So there must be alternative views?

Chris: Yes we must. It is too important not to. A bunch of scholars trained in the PAP’s right-wing thinking and another bunch brought up in centrist or left-of-centre social market will come up with different solutions to the same socioeconomic problems. Unfortunately, in Singapore, the public is informed only of one narrative without any alternatives. Social media is very important.

TRE: How are you connected to SingFirst?

Chris: Well, Tan Jee Say and I exchanged a few emails on the subject. He invited me to the forum. I was reluctant to attend at first because the timing was inconvenient. But then Richard Wan convinced me of the need to do National Service again, haha.

TRE: Are you standing for election?

Chris: Heavens no. Don’t think I am MP material. No, personal commitments keep me [away] from Singapore. I do my part by helping the ordinary people understand the politics of finance and economics.

When TRE asked Leong Sze Hian why he is so passionate about our reserves, he emailed the following to us:

I have written more than a hundred articles relating to the reserves in the last 15 years or so. The fundamental question is why do we need to keep accumulating more reserves?

In this connection, the budget surplus for FY2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 was $2.32, 3.86, 3.92 and -0.13 billion, respectively. In other words, the cumulative budget surplus from FY2011 to 2014 was $9.97 billion.

The budget estimate for FY2015 is a deficit of $6.67 billion, but this is after a $6 billion top-ups to endowment and trust funds, which under IMF fiscal reporting guidelines may not be allowed as an expenditure item.

But the estimated cash budget surplus under IMF fiscal reporting guidelines is more than $24 billion for FY2014, and also more than $20 billion every year in the last five years or so.

So, as you can see, the government reports one thing to the citizens in Parliament but reports another to IMF (under IMF fiscal reporting guidelines).

We need more transparency from the government with regard to our reserves. That is the motivation why I keep pressing on the issue of our reserves, which belongs to Singaporeans and not the government.

At the end of the day, one has to ask – how have the huge reserves benefited the man in the street?

Anyone who wants to know more about Singapore’s reserves can listen to the 3 experts speak at Hotel Royal (36 Newton Road), 2pm tomorrow (15 Aug) – see: 3 speakers at SingFirst forum: SG’s national reserves.

No doubt, Singapore’s reserves are increasingly a hot-button issue as Singaporeans become more politically aware.

The Great Wall the Oppo has to climb

In Political governance on 14/08/2015 at 4:32 am

There is plenty of “analysis” (or is it “wishful thinking”) in cyberspace on which areas the oppo will win. One of these days, I’ll analyse why other than Potong Pasir SMC (if that nutter once ofthe  NSP doesn’t stand), there are only two GRCs that can reasonably be expected to change hands, one of which is Aljunied.

But today I want readers to think about the barrier that the Oppo faces everytime there is a GE.

Forget about the gerrymandering, fixing the Oppo, defamation suits, personal attacks and the election goodies:when GE time comes around there is a mental barrier the Oppo parties have to climb over or breach: voters take a pragmatic view based on what they would be best for the economy, their jobs, and their families. 

When elections come it seems that the electorate reaches an unhappy conclusion that life is difficult, and that they will reluctantly back the party that they think offer the best hope in difficult circumstances.

The Tories [in the UK] didn’t win a majority because people were going to the polls saying ‘I love these bunch of guys’.

Voters took a pragmatic view based on what they would be best for the economy, their jobs, and their families. The psychology seemed to be what will be the least worst, not what will take us to Nirvana.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33723766

One of these days, I’ll blog on why I told a SDP tua kee he should do after the GE: visit Scotland and meet the SDP strategists.

Reminder: In Scotland, the SNP had only 50% of the votes but won 56 out of 59 seats (Labour lost 40 seats). 50% of the voters ended up with only 3 seats.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/uk-election-results-makes-pap-look-democratic/

And with people like s/o JBJ, Goh Meng Seng* (the reincarnation of Harbans Singh, the clown king of Oppo politics in the 70s and 89s), Roy and Sebastian Teo (president of the No Substance Party standing, and the silence of the WP MPs, and the inability of ANPETC to keep proper records, you can understand why at least 60% of the voters think that the PAP is the least “bad” choice even if the PA (where PM is the chairman) has serious problems about enforcing its internal financial rules, and the PAP has some heartless and brainless MPs.

Btw, the Great Wall of China was not breached or scaled by the Manchus in the 17th century. A Ming dynasty general ordered the gates to be open. And while the Qing dynasty was Manchu, the army and cicil service was staffed largely by Han Chinese.

*I think this TRE reader describes him perfectly:

kanasai gms:
August 11, 2015 at 8:44 pm (Quote)
this GMS fella, i will not vote for him. what he wrote or spoke about to the man are all the obvious issues that had appeared in this forum, and other online media many times before.

i will not want a character like him to be my mp. people will not forget the way he kept sniping at Sylvia Lim (and her party), even at her private affairs. what a bast**d this guy is. He even condemn my football hero Quah Kim Song. Remember because of his big mouth people will also remember those negative and bad remarks that he said about NSP hor!

this is classic kaykian kanasai howtai fella! With a fucker like him who need enemies as the saying goes…lolol!

he is now trying to appear to be praising and appreciative of his mentor LTK. sorry man! he had said many bad thing that he should not about LTK. one “good” quote from LTK during his walkabout will not redeem him

baring that english is not his 1st language, look at the way he handle and present himself in front of reporters in the ST video. i dont see a leader and a mp in him. it is no wonder that he had to resigned from NSP.

look at this youtube vid of the man himself. kanasai lah!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q_7jwkS8_Q

He left out Meng Seng sliming Nicole Seah in the guise of giving her advice. Taz the quality of the man.

 

S/o JBI is another drama queen?/ SingFirst is first class

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 11/08/2015 at 6:22 am

Looks like RP will have two drama queens. Roy is a well known drama queen and is expected to stand in AMK for the RP. “We also hope that RP would consider fielding Roy Ngerng to contest in Ang Mo Kio. He is energetic and is passionate about the CPF issue. No doubt, the CPF issue is a major concern for all Singaporeans today,” said SingFirst’s TSJ.

But s/o JBJ is proving himself to be just as good a drama queen as Roy.

S/o JBJ walked out in a huff last Thursday night when SingFirst said it wanted to contest AMK. In the last GE, RP put its “tissue paper” marker there. Three reasons why SingFirst has every moral right to contest AMK and needn’t have pulled out*.

S/o JBJ declared before GE 2011 that he didn’t believe in the “chop” system (Tot that he like WP, can remove the tissue paper used as a marker?). He put his words into action when he contested the by-election Punggol East and lost his deposit. There were more spoiled votes than votes for him (third best candidate).

He did not want to contest in AMK in 2011. He was dragged screaming into the fight by foul mouth Alex Tan (Remember him? His language makes Amos look like a choir boy.) who had left SPP (Mrs Chiam had said he was “like a son”) to join RP, having been assured that RP would contest AMK.

S/o JBJ then told him that RP had no money for AMK fight. But Alex Tan found backers to fund the deposits . S/o JBJ had to agree to an AMK fight.

Finally, RP doesn’t have anyone from the Alex Tan team as a member anymore.

All in all, AMK doesn’t belongs to RP.

Btw, I quite like SingFirst having once been concerned that they might split Oppo votes.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/the-state-of-the-oppo-parties/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/spending-more-on-poor-middle-class-not-juz-cause-ge-coming/

Even if I have doubts about its leader TSJ, I have a lot of respect for Dr Ang Yong Guan.

Relate post: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/some-background-info-on-tan-jee-say/

—-

*On 10 August SingFirst announced that it will not be contesting in Ang Mo Kio GRC for the upcoming GE It said that it would withdraw its interest to contest in Ang Mo Kio GRC and focus its resources on Tanjong Pagar and Jurong GRCs, leaving the 6 member GRC to RP.

Punggol East: More Tak Boleh Tahan comments

In Humour, Political governance on 24/01/2013 at 6:06 pm

(Or “Who are WP, PAP Koh, s/o JBJ, & TJS trying to bluff?”)

Starting with WP, the “can’t stand” comments (Note unless otherwise attributed, quotes are from CNA)

— “Lee Li Lian said having another WP member in Parliament will strengthen the voice of the opposition party.”/ “Lee Li Lian said the Punggol East by-election will serve as a barometer of her party’s performance since the last General Election.

Ah Lian, Voice, what Voice? Performance, what Performance? Eight no sound, no action: one more make the difference meh? WP juz wants another 15k a month allowance.

— “Ms Lee said the by-election will show whether residents will have the confidence to give the party their votes.”

She means confident that WP is PAP Lite, without being able to give away goodies?

— “The Workers’ Party has urged Punggol East residents to use their votes to make the government work harder.”

I prefer what a PAPpy minister said, “Voting for PAP will make WP work harder.”

— Sylvia Lim said that some things (alternative suggestions on certain policies) are whispered to the govt behind “closed doors’’

This was what PAP MPs used to say, Auntie. Oh, I forgot: you are PAP Lite.

— “Chairman Sylvia Lim had said that this by-election is in some way an indicator of how the people feel about the government’s performance.”

So if voters like the way the govt is spending our money on ourselves, vote PAP is it, Auntie?

(I can go on and on, what with what PritamS and Low said on rally nights, but I don’t want to appear anti-WP. Still hoping to have a date with JG.)

But the PAP is just as bad:

— “Dr Koh also said he is fighting his own race in the by-election.”

Err, so so PM, DPM, Education Minister etc did not come, or attack the WP? Impersonators did these things?

— “[H]e feels that tackling local issues first will bring about more immediate reprieve for the residents.”

So Palmer was not doing his job as MP, preferring mangoes with Laura? So why didn’t PAP tell him to pull up his socks (and pants) and help residents? Why wait until now?

— “serving the people”

In Telok Blangah to be precise, not Punggol East or even Punggol. And the ST dares call him “son of Punggol”: err more like prodigal son, who preferred to “move on” to Toa Payoh, then Telok Blangah: anywhere except Punggol area.

— “I want to be a participant in this process of change from within.”

PAP MPs always saying this from time immemorial (“Go with the flow” Georgie said this once): were it not for GE and PE results, there would be no change on the policy of not spending our money on ourselves. The money would be allocated allocated for casino games. Post these elections, the govt has been spending our money on making life more comfortable for ourselves. Voters forced this change of mind-set on the PAP. It didn’t come from within. If change could have come from within, PM would not have had to apologise. Nor would George have turned like a cornered rat on the PAP in a vain attempt to remain a minister.

— Kate Spade Tin and side-kick Denise He were told not to sabo when they volunteered to run Koh’s social media activities.

As to the Sui Kees who think they are Tua Kees:

— “The Reform Party will be having their rally carried out as per planned … This is after being assured by the police that it would be safe to attend the rally and that security has been stepped up. Just a while ago, the fanpage announced that the party will not proceed with the rally unless Singapore Police Force ensures the safety of their supporters.” TOC

Wayang King, Drama Queen, this son of Lion King, JBJ, and Lion Queen, Margaret. They must be weeping in heaven, at how their son turned out. Never mind, the other boy is better, a lot better, even if he married into a PAPpy family. Err maybe, taz why he has high EQ, in addition to high IQ, and is one of us.

— s/o JBJ got flu after being in rain

How to be MP in S’pore? Always raining here. He will always be AWOL or MIA if elected MP.

— “TJS says he tried but failed to persuade RP) and SDA to withdraw” TRE

Wonder if KJ or DL said to him, “Juz following your example, Big Brudder.”. Someone posted this on TRE, “TSJ you yourself is a spoiler do you think as a spoiler you are more professional to talk to spoiler.Come on you are a jilted failure candidate.”

No, not criticising Desperate Loser because he deserves two cheers. He is a warning to Low and Sylvia and other arrogant non-fat people that fat, short, balding men should not be taken for granted nor pushed around: they can cause trouble, serious trouble if provoked. Remember Eric Tan? One day he too may have his revenge on Low, Sylvia and GG, Eric’s apprentice.

As for Mad Dog (or is it it Coyote?) Chee, he deserves a posting of his very own. Akan datang.

Anyway, voters of Punngol East, as the PAP used to say when the WP fielded bicycle thieves, Maurice Neo, loonies,  and JBJ, “Vote wisely”.

And if any voter wants to vote “unwisely” to send messages to the PAP and the WP, vote for DL: he is one of us, a true blue S’porean. He juz got mad as hell, fed-up of being pushed around. KennethJ is not one of us. He is low EQ, high IQ FT that juz happened to be born here, who thinks that S’poreans owe him a living because he is s/o JBJ. Give him the finger.

*I mean one LKY even said that the size of the reserves had to be kept a secret from S’poreans, lest we want it to be spent on ourselves.

Punggol East voters are not daft

In Humour, Political governance on 20/01/2013 at 5:58 pm

(Update again: PAP got the killer reason to vote for it “Voting for PAP will make WP work harder: Heng Swee Keat” LOL)

I predict that the PAP will win with  a 6-10 percentage points  margin over the combined votes of the Ah Lian, Determined Loser and Wayang King (or is it Drama Queen, or both?)*. The last two will lose their deposits.

Why a comfortable PAP win?

The very cynical answer is that the voters have experience of being part of a town council in a DPM’s patch. Long-term residents in the GRC and Punggol East know that things get done when an MP is also the DPM. They would have seen the contrast: civil servants, PA officials may tai-chi away a MP or minister’s request, but a DPM’s request is different.

It happens in Tharman’s GRC too. A friend who has been living in Tarman Jurong for many years, and who has been a grass-roots activist since Tharman became an MP, tells me the practical difference having a DPM makes. When Tharman was an MP and then minister, things happened but only at a glacial pace. Always got some reason for not doing what he wanted. The usual excuse is “Not in present plan. Next plan, maybe.”

Tharman and residents had wanted a covered walkway to a MRT station since he became MP. Always told why it had to wait. But when he became DPM, and made a request for the up-teem time, the walkway was not only built but better than the one he had been requesting.

Now, I know, residents in the Punggol, Pasir Ris area have similar tales to tell. So would the voters of Punggol East take the risk of becoming part of a WP town council, given that they have a PAP MP who happens to be a DPM round the corner?

They also have the following non-cynical reasons excuses to vote PAP:

— PAP has apologised and started delivering on its promises (witness ministers’ salaries reduction, S$1.1bn on buses, MRT plans, more flats)*;

— WP has done bugger-all for them (KennethJ double confirms this, as though he has done anything for them too too) and country;

— Low implicitly tells them to vote PAP, “The Government should be given time to rectify the shortcomings and neglects pointed out to it. Doing so [not whacking the PAP] would ‘serve the public interest better than continuing to agitate and raise political tension to gain maximum political mileage for WP’, as it takes time for policy changes to take effect on the ground”**;  and

— WP can’t win what with the two clowns contesting. Even if they weren’t, the previous margin of victory of the PAP would show that it wouldn’t be easy. No George Yeo and his gals from hell here.

So, the voters will be Chinese (even the non-Chinese 20%) i.e. pragmatic. They will vote for the PAP teochew boy born in the area made and good, for goodies, to show WP and other opposition parties not to take voters for granted, and to show netizens that they (the netizens) are nothing but elitist kay poh do-gooders who live in districts 9,10, 11 and 15, not in the heartlands of S’pore.

The people of Punggol East are juz decent, hard working, aspirational S’poreans, not elitist activists. And the PAP knows this.

*I’m glad to hear that it seems the SPF asked if he had contacted the London police. He apparently said, “No”. He was asked “You not taking the threats that seriously? Surely you want the police there to keep an eye on them?” I’m told, he kept quiet. [Line struck out after reading Monday’s ST report that his wife had made police report in London. But I’m surprised to read that grandson of that Lion was so upset: he 16 years old, not kiddie.)

**No, PAP has not paid me to say this. It is a fact that the govt is finally spending our money to make life more comfortable for us.

***Isn’t this telling voters that they should continue giving PAP the chance to deliver on its promises? Low needs a better speech writer.

Why is son of JBJ wayanging with WP?

In Political governance on 17/12/2012 at 5:47 am

(Update after 16 January 2012: Opps waz wrong. He didn’t back out as I expected. Must think loss of cred if he skunked away again with tail between his legs, would be too great. Will lose his deposit.)

“Furthermore in GE 2011 we were prevented from being able to contest any SMC, even in areas where we had been conducting outreach for some time. For these reasons we are strongly considering contesting this seat if and when a by-election is called”. http://theonlinecitizen.com/2012/12/the-reform-party-statement-on-michael-palmers-resignation/.

Why is KennethJ, son of JBJ and self-styled and self-appointed keeper of JBJ’s flame, seemingly picking a fight with the WP? It was NSP that refused to allow RP to contest a SMC, not WP.

Goh Meng Seng, wayang kung fu artiste extraordinaire, after being humiliated by the WP over Moulmein-Kallang GRC,  vented his anger on KennethJ, the paunchy. GMS gave flying kicks to said KJ’s face, paunch, balls and behind, refusing to allow the son of JBJ to contest in Radin Mas, which said son said had some affinity with said father. GMS had the quiet support of the ex-RP members that joined NSP. They were getting their own back on KennethJ’s ill-considered, ill-judged and ungracious remarks on their motives and character in leaving him alone to play with his toys in the RP mud play-pen. Their behaviour was dignified and gracious, and showed up KJ’s low EQ, up-bringing and manners. He behaved like a PAP man, not the son of JBJ, who for all his low IQ (unlike said son), was a man of dignity and charisma, not petulance.

As this is the second time, he is “seriously considering” peeing on WP’s territory (remember Hougang?), one can only assume he is sore with WP: for dethroning daddy from his throne (which he KJ had expected to inherit?)?

Anyway, somehow I don’t think KJ got the balls to fight in a WP area. Even his dad would have lost his deposit in a three-way fight there with WP and PAP. Palmer won the seat because the Chinese PAP grassroot activists brought out the votes for a non-Chinese. Who would want to help bring out the heartlander votes or vote for someone who can’t recite the Pledge correctly, and who talks in an ang moh accent, despite being back for many a year?

If KennethJ wants us to continue putting JBJ on a pedestal, he should move on out of politics. If he continues, the bravery and idealism of JBJ may be forgotten. He may be remembered as the dad of one KennethJ, a clownish opposition politician: more suited to be a PAP member because of his arrogance, petulance, and low EQ and inter-personal skills.

Update: See comment below on another reason why he is more PAP than JBJ: high IQ. LOL

State of the Opposition Update: My light-hearted analysis based on gossip heard

In Holidays and Festivals, Political governance, Wit on 30/01/2012 at 5:30 am

This is the “news” I picked up over the last week while feasting and dicing. I have tried to indicate which are the more reliable stories, and which are the more rubbishy ones. As usually I add my very personal takes i.e. analysis.

SPP

Juz before the hols, I was told by a reliable source that Mrs Chiam had said that the coming party conference would be a “non event”. Some non event:

– two men that were expected to lead the SPP post Chiam said they were no longer interested in being on the central executive committee (Mrs Chiam was blamed for their lost of interest); then

– six central executive members (including the above two) resigned from the party juz before the conference with one saying “that one or two key CEC members are not willing (to accommodate) a complete change over for collective leadership and accountability, and that being the case, my presence in the party will not add credible value.”

For jet-setters (like one DYadav) and planet hoppers who were away, read here and here.

Desmond Lim (remember him) was one happy man this hols, people who know him tell me. Remember he had a bad 2011 initially, being slimed by Mrs Chiam as lacking the “X” factor to succeed Chiam and hence the trouble he was giving the Chiams, then losing his deposit in the May GE. Well with the failure of the party to retain Potong Pasir and to renew itself, and the unhappiness of long serving stalwarts and newbie ex-scholars all becoming public before the hols, he feels vindicated in opposing the Chiams in 2010 and 2011. I hope he gambled big time before the Year of Rabbit ended as his luck certainly did improve.

WP

No need to say anything abt Yaw because he said “IF it is rumours …”, the other lady said, ““I hope you will not identify me or the other woman involved,”, his wife withdrew her Facebook comments about irresponsible journalism, WP’s Low Thia Kiang said: “You said yourself that these are rumours, why are you still asking me?”, and deputy treasurer of the WP, a Mr Png, said: “We have to think carefully about our response”.

They shld realise that their comments collectively give the game away. Why so stupid leh, WP Sec-Gen, members and Mrs Yaw?

All I will report is that WP high command and those who should be in the know are saying nothing in private to friendly, influential outsiders (including prominent bloggers: I’m neither a friend nor influential) or “lesser mortals” WP supporters. As they are also saying nothing in public, I conclude that the WP’s attitude is, “Your problem Yaw. You solve it”.

Problem for the WP is that the silence implies that there is a problem that Yaw has to resolve, whatever it is.

But if Yaw is the dad of a bastard (albeit a Dragon), the WP can’t escape collateral damage. He was possibly the most trusted lieutenant of Sec-Gen Low, and if he was as rampant a stag as alleged by TRE, it casts doubt on Low’s judgement. And if Low didn’t know that his Kim Jong-il look-a-like aide was as horny a stag as alleged, it shows the lack of his of intel on members.

NSP

The old guard can’t believe that the newbies are fighting among themselves and with the old guard.

Hazel Poa (Sec-Gen) and her hubbie Tony and other newbies are spitting mad at Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss (VP) who has the support of the people’s celebrity, Nicole Seah. Ms Chong is refusing (and has refused for over six months) to declare her personal wealth. (Reminder: she is hot-shot corporate and shipping lawyer, or so it is claimed. Detractors say it is a two partners and no slaves, legal assistants, firm).

All central executive members have to submit this declaration to the government in order to get the licence for NSP’s newsletter renewed.

Why she refuses to give this declaration or step down, and why Nicole Seah is supporting her is a matter of speculation. One mean spirited view is that she and Nicole realise that moving to NSP was a big mistake and they want to jump ship again. If they leave when Tan Jee Say sets up his party (the two gals got crush on him, it is alleged), there is a danger that they will be perceived as serial, air head rats: first KennethJ, then Goh Meng Seng. If NSP was in disarray, they could excuse their leaving by blaming the NSP mess.

The old guard kicked out one Goh Meng Seng for failing to deliver a breakthrough. He got his revenge. The newbies he brought in are fighting each other and the Malay Bureau (his creation) and the old guard. Want to destroy an organisation, give GMS an executive role: juz kidding.

TJS

Glad to read in ST confirmation of a story I heard: he is pursuing the shared resource centre for the Opposition that he was thinking about before the last general election.

As he is turning 58 soon, why is he working so hard? “Relax. Watching over yr daughters and making sure they hook rich China men and is hard work. Do it well, and can be richer than Peter Lim”.

But seeing that that Dynamic NSP Duo (Hazel and Tony) are helping him recruit people for the centre, does it mean that he is giving Jeannette Chong and Nicole Seah, the brush off? Scholars like the company of other scholars, not pretty air heads who are serial hoppers? Will hope to find out more in the next week of feasting, dicing and Black Jack. No, dicing is not Roulette, it’s Backgammon.

SDP

Michelle Lee is expected to leave SDP soon even if TJS doesn’t set up up a new party for her to join. She didn’t join other SDP members in CNY Chinatown walkabout. She joined the SPP, NSP, RP and TJS in their Ang Moh Kio walkabout which SDP officially declared it wouldn’t join (Danny, the teh tarik bear, doesn’t like competition from Nicole, the people’s princess? Hey Danny, you are cuddily and furry but not sexy enough for boys to fantasise having sex with), clashed with its long planned Chinatown walkabout.

Others

KennethJ is rumoured to be looking for a job in financial services. No surprises there as he was a hedgie and hasn’t been working for a few years, dedicating his time and efforts to politics and keeping dad’s memory alive. What is surprising is that he is rumoured to be looking for a London-based job. Trying to make a graceful exit? Whither RP, which dad founded? RIP both RP and KennetJ’s political ambitions?

And finally, how can I forget Goh Meng Seng? He after all has many, many enemies saying nasty things about him. The least nasty is that he is desperately waiting for a phone call from Lina Chiam who has said SPP “will continue to seek new passionate and talented individuals with the right aptitude and who will pursue the opposition cause cohesively.” His enemies say he has told Lina that he is willing to be co-opted into SPP mgt committee. Err wonder if Lina thinks he has the X factors she is seeking? Somehow looking at his CV, I doubt she would. Anyway, SPP’s loss is TOC’s gain, or is it bane? If he joins SPP, he would have to resign from Team TOC. The Chinese section of TOC that he founded to large self-publicity seems kinda quiet.

Taz all folks. An update next week. One more week of feasting and gambling. Take care, drink or drive, not both.

SPP: Changing of the guard?

In Political governance on 13/11/2011 at 7:07 am

(Update: Didn’t go to plan. On 2 February 2012:

The six former Singapore People’s Party (SPP) Central Executive Committee members who resigned from the party last week have acknowledged the response given by its former secretary-general Chiam See Tong on Wednesday night.

Following Chiam’s clarification that the SPP had received legal advice to confirm the constitutional legitimacy of its Central Executive Committee (CEC) election at the party’s Ordinary Party Conference (OPC) last Sunday, the group said on Thursday morning that his clarification and accountability “bodes well for the SPP’s credibility”.

The six, which consist of the party’s former first and second assistant secretary-generals Wilfred Leung and Benjamin Pwee, organising secretary Ting Sze Jiang, Malay/Muslim affairs head Mohamad Hamim bin Aliyas, his wife and businessmen affairs head David Tan, made clear in their statement that their differences held with the party over leadership styles had never been with Mr Chiam.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/spp-dismisses-tan-jee-say-rumours–maintains-continuity.html

It seems that Mrs Chiam managed to persuade her husband not to go allow new blood to reinvigorate the party. Not that he needed much persuading going by his track record. Wilfred Leung’s decision to leave after long years of service shows how bad things have become.)

Sometime back, ST reported that Singapore People’s Party (SPP) chairman Sin Kek Tong is retiring. He told ST that he is stepping down and will not be running in the next central executive committee (CEC) election, due to be held at the party’s conference in late November.

Speculation is growing among SPP members and supporters that secretary-general Chiam See Tong will decide to run for the chairmanship. Under the SPP constitution, the secretary-general is the most powerful office bearer. So if Chiam becomes chairman, it means he will be giving up much of his formal power. It will also show that he is serious about “renewal”.

As usual, the Chiams are not saying anything.

If Chiam moves on, then either Benjamin Pwee or Wilfred Leung, both currently assistant secretary-generals, will run for the secretary-general post. I understand that Leung has a full-time job in Shanghai, so this may be an obstacle in him standing given that the duties and responsibilities of the post require the holder to be based here. So it is likely to be Pwee, if Chiam decides to move on to be chairman.

If Pwee gets the post, it would be a most a meteoric rise.  By his own admission, he only got to know Chiam only a few weeks before the May GE. He would therefore have outshone fellow scholars Tan Jee Say (presidential candidate), and Hazel and Tony (NSP CEC members, with the former being secretary-general), in rising so quickly to the top in Opposition politics. In the NSP, the president, not the secretary-general, is the most powerful official, while TJS has no organisation to take advantage of the votes he got in the presidential election (25%).

Someone who has had dealings with Pwee recently says as befits a scholar and ex-admin service person, he is analytical and methodical. He also has gd inter-personal skills. He is a charismatic speaker as I can testify having heard him speak at TOC’s dinner honouring Chiam.  Tan Cheng Bock, as earlier reported, is believed to be advising Pwee and other SPP members who helped him in his recent presidential campaign. He is helping them plan the transition from brand Chiam, and how to get support in Western S’pore, his territory.

Note that Chiam has a liking for brainy people. Remember his going out on a limb trying to help unproven, untested newbie Kenneth Jeyaretnam of the Reform Party takeover the Singapore Democratic Alliance? Even after KennethJ proved himself bereft of management and EQ skills, I was told, he offered KennethJ a place on his Bishan Toa Payoh team. KennethJ declined as it would mean resigning from RP (where he was in charge of a deserted, sinking ship sampan) to become an ordinary SPP member. It seems he insisted on being made a CEC member if he joined SPP.

I don’t know much about Leung except that he has walked the Long March with the Chiams and other SPP members since 2005, so I can’t comment on his abilities.

Note that in typically S’porean fashion, there will be only one candidate each for the chairman’s and secretary-general’s post. There will be the usual back-room deals in the name of “unity”. Some things never change.

Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam is likely to remain as second vice-chairman. But “new faces” are likely to run for key positions.

Let’s wish the SPP well.

TJS: Right attitude, wrong project?

In Political governance on 30/09/2011 at 6:49 am

I’m one of those 75% of voters who didn’t vote for TJS in the presidential elections. I wasn’t convinced that he was sincere (to be frank,I thought he was an opportunist); and the lack of a verifiable track record, career-wise, since 1991 was of concern. My thoughts on whether he was a hero or bad guy.

And there was the issue of S$60bn. “[S]mall change”, but not to his fan websites, and the party he resigned from the SDP.

But 25% of voters voted for him which shows that he convinced a quarter of adult S’poreans that he was sincere and competent. I accept their judgement. I am happy that he has rewarded (or should it be repaid?) their trust by saying he will continue fighting for his articulated principles and convictions.

But is trying to unite the Opposition a good use of his passion and talents? I think not.

Chiam tried it twice. First with the setting up of SDA and then by trying to help KennethJ take over the SDA. The latter ended with Chiam taking the SPP out of the SDA, and with both Chiam and KJ looking stupid and arrogant. Chiam recovered his reputation, KJ never did. But KJ was playing for high stakes. If he had taken over the SDA, he would have established himself as a master tactican.

Next, why would the WP and SDP want to team up because of TJS? They have distinct brands, and appeal to different voters. If the parties worked together closely, WP would not be able to attract the swing voters. They would not to be associated with the “radicals” of the SDP. Although not true, that is the image that the swing voters have of SDP members, an image that the constructive, nation-building local media, PAP and government helped build and maintain. Though to be fair, until very recently, SDP members made it easy to caricature themselves.

It is no surprise they have not commented on what he has said.

Then there is the state of the other parties. The SPP punches above its weight because of brand Chiam. The NSP (forever reinventing itself between elections), RP (remember who this is?), and SDA are sick parodies of political parties.

See who are the parties that welcome his initiative, and are willing to join the “Coalition of the Hopeless”: the SPP, NSP, RP and SDA.

Finally, the present arrangement of all the parties not fighting three-way contests suits everyone except the SDP.  In particular, the WP benefits from having the SDP’s supporters having no choice except to vote for it. See this.

True in 2011, the WP refused to give way to the SDA in one area (but it was vindicated when the SDA candidate lost his deposit) and there were rows between the WP and NSP, and between the NSP and RP on seat allocations. But the bigger party bullied the smaller party into submission in both cases. Goh Meng Seng was bullied by the WP, and he in turn bullied KJ.

This co-operation may not be possible after the next GE. The parties, especially the WP and SDP, may raise their ambitions, but that is in the distant future.

So I hope TJS finds something more doable and constructive, taking into account his talents and weaknesses. What that could be I hope to explore in a future post. 

Meanwhile, “Tan Jee Say, Ho Say Leh”: so long as he repays the trust that 25% of adult S’poreans have in him.

Do we need more political parties?

In Political governance on 16/09/2011 at 6:58 am

So now there are voices calling for Tan Jee Say and Dr Tan Cheng Bock to each form a new political party. And I’m sure, there are voices out there asking the “Voice of the People” to make a fool of himself again (this time with his daughter by his side) by forming the VP Party or VPP.

I’m sure some of these callers are thinking, genuine and sincere people, while some of the callers are PAP activists hoping to split the votes of voters unhappy with the PAP. But most of these calls are coming from very daft, but sincere and genuine people.

Think of where the parties of TJS and TCB will position themselves.

There are two slightly left-of-centre parties, the Workers’ Party and the Singapore People’s Party. Further left (but not on extreme left, despite what the local constructive, nation-building media say), we have the Singapore Democratic Party and somewhere between the WP and the SPP, and the SDP, there is for the moment the National Solidarity Party.

The NSP is forever changing shape in between general elections and, at the moment, is undergoing yet another metamorphoses. The WP and SDP have strong brands and active supporters, while the SPP is finally trying to make a serious effort to move away from brand “Chiam”. Let’s hope it succeeds. Chiam deserves to leave behind a political legacy. He showed us that an ordinary, decent man could take on the PAP and survive. There was no need to play the matyr game.

Now where will brand Tan Jee Say fit in? Based on his behaviour during the presidential election, his party will be further left of the SPP and WP, and right of the SDP. A space that the NSP, with two of his scholat mates in its management committee, is now trying to make its own. Kinda crowded, aint it?

As for Dr Tan Cheng Bock, the man, who waffled on during the election about not being the preferred PAP candidate and abt unity via footie and multiracialim (If I sound mean, I remind that I voted for him. Yup I can be that irrational), where will his party stand? Right of the WP, and SPP most likely, based on his waffling.

Even if it occupies some of the right-of-centre space dominated by the PAP, it will be fighting for some of the very moderate left votes.

The space on the left is crowded, with these six parties. There may not be enough seats to satisfy the ambitions of these six parties in a general election. There may be three-way contests. Then there are the absolute no-hopers, Singapore Democratic Alliance and the RP: making a total of eight parties on the left. The only place left field unoccupied is on the extreme left.

Establishing a new party is not easy. Remember the Reform Party? Set up by the late JBJ, it had to be resurrected by his son, KennethJ,  because of JBJ’s death soon after its founding. Despite all the goodwill that the memory of JBJ attracts, the RP had problems recruiting. And anyway, the newbies soon left, leaving King KJ to play and fantasise alone.

So please, let’s not encourage bored men with large egos, deep pockets and axes to grind to form new parties of the left. The field is crowded left of centre with eight parties.

Now, there is plenty of space on the extreme right. Anyone bored with a big ego, deep pockets and an axe to grind interested? I’m sure one LKY will be the party’s patron if the party ideology is a mixture of fascism, capitalism, socialism and his Hard Truths.

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