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Posts Tagged ‘Lee Hsien Loong’

SG50/ BKR50: Buffett, LKY & Ah Loong

In Financial competency, Political governance on 31/03/2015 at 5:03 am

(Or “Ah Loong imitated Buffett, not dad”)

When business leaders make mistakes, they have nothing to lose from a proper apology

Thus runs the subtitle of a an aricle in an article sometime back FT which goes on: One business leader who has no problem detailing his mistakes is Warren Buffett. He regularly does it in his annual letter to shareholders. This year’s marked the golden anniversary of his and Charlie Munger’s control of Berkshire Hathaway so he dredged up 50 years of mistakes.

They included investing in dying textile companies and seeing acquisition “synergies” evaporate.

More recent mistakes included holding on to Tesco shares even though he knew it was likely that the UK retailer’s initial problems were just the first in a series. “You see a cockroach in your kitchen; as the days go by, you meet his relatives,” he wrote.

The reasons Mr Buffett gave for his mistakes were not poor advice, or lapses by his managers, but his own “thumb-sucking”, “childish behaviour” and “I simply was wrong”.

The advantage of pointing out your own errors is not only that it deprives others of the opportunity but that it makes it plain that business is hard, that we make mistakes and that only by examining them can we reduce, but not eliminate, our chances of making them again.(FT extract)

Well it didn’t work in politics for our PM did it?

Ah Loong in 2011 departed from dad’s Hard Truths of “Never explain, never apologise”, “PAP is never wrong”, “The message is always right. Blame the messenger, not the message”, “THE LKY way or the highway”, and “It’s the song, not the singer”..

In an attempt to avoid losing a GRC and setting a new record low for the popular vote, he said, “If we didn’t get it right, I’m sorry. But we will try better the next time.” 

It was an apology that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong saw fit to repeat twice on Tuesday during the People’s Action Party (PAP) first lunchtime rally at Boat Quay next to UOB Plaza.

PM Lee acknowledged some of the government’s initiatives have resulted in “side effects”, such as problem gambling among Singaporeans due to the opening of the Integrated Resorts.

He also cited the congestion in public transport because of the increased intake in foreigners.*

Fat good it did him or the PAP say the hardliners in the PAP and other “Lee Kuan Yew is always right” groupies: the PAP only got 60% of the votes (PAP’s worst result ever) and lost a GRC that had two ministers and one junior minister.

Worse in the presidential vote that followed, the PAP’s preferred candidate (Dr Tony Tan) won by a handful of votes from Dr Tan Cheng Bock. They shared 70% of the vote, showing that with the right formula, the PAP could do well.

The problem is that the PAP don’t have the right formula.

So apologising doesn’t always work, FT writer. The problem for Ah Loong is finding the right formula. More on the right formula soon.

——

*“These are real problems, we will tackle them.  But I hope you will understand when these problems vex you or disturb you or upset your lives, please bear with us, we are trying our best on your behalf,” said PM Lee to a crowd of about a thousand.

The secretary-general of the PAP continued, “And if we didn’t quite get it right, I’m sorry but we will try better the next time.”

Pushing on with a message he had for voters on Monday, PM Lee also admitted the government had made two other high-profile errors.

“We made a mistake when we let Mas Selamat run away. We made a mistake when Orchard Road got flooded,” he said.

“No government is perfect… we will make mistakes. But when it happens we should acknowledge it, we should apologise, take responsibility, put things right. If we are to discipline somebody, we will do that, [Err, the train services are getting worse under the “new” CEO and tpt minister, but no-one is being fired] and we must learn from the lessons and never make the same mistake again,” said PM Lee.

Yet, he explained the difficulties in making decisions with incomplete information.

For instance, if the government knew there would be a sudden surge in demand for HDB flats in mid-2009 and that foreigners would have created such congestion on the roads, it would have ramped up plans for more flats and MRT lines.

“We’re sorry we didn’t get it exactly right, but I hope you will understand and bear with us because we are trying our best to fix the problems,” he said.

The government will build 22,000 flats this year and open one new MRT line every year for the next seven years however, the government “has been right more often than wrong,”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/pm-lee-didn-t-m-sorry-152850327.html

 

PM drunk? Or juz trying on new superheloo costume?

In Political governance on 05/02/2015 at 4:25 am

PM’s interview with a German newspaper (see below) reminded me of this

And a very strange speech he made in December.

No, I’m sure you like me were puzzled by SuperWimps’s AhLoong’s ramblings about the coming GE at a PAP party during December. Reminder this is what he told PAP cadres:

— It will be a “deadly serious” fight between the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and the opposition.about who forms the government, and not just how many seats the opposition gets;

— too many checkers results in him and the PAP administration being unable to get things done (For whom, we may ask? For themselves? For S’poreans?). “You will have a lot of checkers, you have no workers… There will be gridlock, like in other countries,” he said. – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/too-many-checks-will-lead-checkmate-20141208#sthash.m4oKYKQZ.dpuf

I wondered if he should consult M Ravi’s doctor or talk to his sister at the Mental Health Institute.

I mean since when did any except the really anti-PAP nutters believe that the PAP would lose the next GE (even the SDP and NSP* doesn’t believe that the PAP will lose power in next GE), or that the Worthless Party are effective checkers**?

So maybe he was drunk on the fumes of dried BS turds that the PA  grassroot leaders were burning in the convention hall in lieu of incense?

But after I read a comment on BBC Online by Prof  John Shattuck***. I realised that Ahloong may be trying to tell us something.. Prof  John Shattuck said the challenge (in Eastern Europe) is to “understand what is appealing about a more authoritarian approach….”.

He believes it is driven by “fear of change, fear of economic retrenchment… and when you feel insecure you want someone to solve your problems without having to think about them yourself”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30271801

Well when he was talking about “fear of change, fear of economic retrenchment … insecure”, he could be talking about S’poreans.

So maybe PM thinks we are craving for a strong leader (Sheep of S’pore Farm We want someone to solve our problems without having to think about them ourself”) like Hitler, or Stalin, or Mao or PM’s dad? And his speech was an attempt to remake himself into a authoritarian leader like his dad, if not a dictator. Like dad, Hitler, mao and Stalin, no checkers pls.

Sadly because he isn’t his dad, his words make him come across as this guy. An undated handout picture released by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 27 April 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) looking at a computer screen along with soldiers of a long-range artillery unit at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

Stranger than fiction intro

About right for a guy who is alleged to have marched out of step with the band of which he was drum major?

As to the use of checkers, maybe he hould talk to the ordinary people of Zimbabwe, not the president who was holiday here in December or his very rich ministers?

In a wide-ranging interview with German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday (Feb 3), Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about integrating new citizens, religious harmony …

ON THE GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IN INTEGRATION

“We set the tone. In terms of our social policies, we make it an objective to facilitate this integration. For example in our public housing estates, which is where 80-plus per cent of the population live, we make sure there are no pure neighbourhoods. We enforce integration, enforce diverse neighbourhoods, and integration in terms of race, also integration in terms of proportion of non-citizens so that you will not have an enclave. So you force people to have to live together.

“When the British built the colony their policy was to keep the different groups apart. To go from that to a modern Singapore where they are all integrated together, where every neighbourhood is integrated, was active social policy. We could do it because we had public housing programmes. We cleared the old villages and slums. We resettled the whole population, so in that process we had the opportunity to cause everybody to mix together.”

ON RELIGIOUS HARMONY

“All the major religions of the world are in Singapore. So we have to get along together and one of our basic principles is that there has to be tolerance and compromise. If you insist on absolute requirements, then we are not going to be able to live peacefully together. That means in terms of your practices, your customs and your celebrations.

“We are also not purists on freedom of speech, so if you say things which go out of your way to denigrate or attack some other faith, that is an offence.”

ON LIFELONG LEARNING

“In Germany, the employers have a model. They look for people, they work with them in the institutions, they work with them on an apprenticeship programme, and the people who are employed after that, completing their apprenticeship, expect to work for quite a long time with the company. They do not go and wander off straight away because somebody else is paying them another 5 or 10 per cent more.

“We do not have such a culture in Singapore. We are trying to move in that direction and get the employers more engaged in the training of the people, even in the institutions and have internships and immersions as a person graduates. We are making some progress, but it’s a long way to go.”

——————

*And the WP doesn’t even want the Oppo to win a GE. It wants its MPs to remain as highly paid, ineffective co-drivers.

**Actually the WP is mixing up “checking” (co-driving) with accountability. The WP should be holding the govt to account not trying to “check”. Example: The WP is in no position to prevent a public tpt fare rise. But after the minister said that fares will go up by 2.8% (discount leh, should be 3.4%), WP should be publicly asking why when the price of oil has fallen from US$115 in June to around US$60. Instead the WP only speaks out when its direct interests are affected by the administrations actions.

***He is the president of the Central European University, an American human rights lawyer, law professor, diplomat and former assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration.

George Soros, the Hungarian-born investor and philanthropist, funded the creation of the Central European University, with the specific aim of promoting the values of an open society and democracy.

But the challenges have changed. If the university was created on a rising tide of democracy, it now has to examine liberal values under pressure. In parts of Eastern Europe, the voices of authoritarianism and nationalism are getting louder.

 

S’poreans told to clean up FTs’ trash? PM so pro FTs meh?

In Humour, Political governance on 02/02/2015 at 4:32 am

Or juz as clueless as clueless as a certain Catholic High drum-major whose band allegedly ignored him when he and they marched to a different rhythm?

These were my tots when I read PM’s comments* about the garbage at the Laneway Festival because

— I had tot it was for expats, their SPGs, and local ang moh always tua kees: true blue S’poreans from the Hearlands, not welcomed (even if there wasn’t a sign saying “Dogs and Hearlanders banned”; and

— how come no cleaners? I mean even the Pinoys employed cleaners to clean up after their 2013 do at Hong Lim Green a few yrs ago.

Sweiously, two comments on Facebook that I agree with:

Simply put, Why accuse Singaporean in the first place? They already make this country open internationally and why claim only Singaporean are the one that cause the damage? Isn’t this accusation uncalled for especially from the top man of the land? I find it shameful for such well educated man to accused without being there, what is he trying to stir?

And a very totful

On one hand, we can’t discount that the littering problem may the exacerbated by a more varied and transient demographic profile with little attachment to the place. But, this needs more targeted research and serious surveys. Nationality aside, perhaps we may have to look at more undercurrent structures that may have stifled the collective sense of public ownership and initiative in a pathologically manicured state that required a very heavy hand to keep the place clean. Although there are community efforts in cleaning up beaches and swamps, the initiatives that we see in the very ordinary efforts Japanese and Burmese in cleaning their own mess in foreign lands seem absent for Singaporeans in general. why?

And even more seriously seriously, does he want us to employ cleaners, and then not use them?

But to be fair to him, the PAP administration which he heads expects us to pay ministers and senior civil servants and senior executives govt agencies millions of dollars to make decisions like

— awarding land slated for a temple to a listco for commercial purposes; or

— raise public transport fares when oil prices have collapsed.

Maybe PM should have done us a favour and become a top mathematician or scientist http://mustsharenews.com/lee-hsien-loong-mathematician/ or master computer programmer** or anything except to be a PM whose default mode is to blame S’poreans for the Trashies he let into S’pore, or appointed to high office (with us paying them  millions)  and then being blamed for not cleaning up for them.

—-

*Last Saturday, the 2015 Laneway Festival was held at the Meadow at Gardens by the Bay. The left pic shows what the 13,000 festival goers left behind.

It takes continuous effort to keep Singapore clean. We need to progress from being a cleaned city to a truly clean city. All of us can play a part – picking up our own litter, educating our children and grandchildren, and reminding others to do the right thing. Visit thePublic Hygiene Council‘s page to find out how you can help.

**When he was an army officer, he programmed a HP scientific calculator to do trigonometry calculations that had to be done using pen, paper and calculator or slide-rule: . Sadly the HP calculator ,as the US army could have told him wasn’t (isn’t) rugged enough for military use, even in the paper SAF. At least he didn’t try progamning the TI scientific calculator. It’s fragile.

How AhLoong’s salary compares to that of ord S’porean

In China, Political governance on 21/01/2015 at 4:24 pm

Yesterday I blogged that despite President Xi getting a 62% pay rise his pay was peanuts when compared to our very own AhLoong  despite AhLoong taking a pay cut in 2012 (US$22,256 a year versus US$1.8m a yr).

Mr Xi’s monthly base income is roughly twice the average annual income of a registered Beijing city-dweller according to the FT relying on official Chinese data.

Using Mom data, for the monthly median salary of an  ordinary S’porean (employer CPF included), it seems PM’s monthly salary is 4 times that of an ordinary S’porean’s median annual income in 2013. In the late 60s , LKY’s monthly salary was about four times that of my dad’s monthly salary.

No need to wonder why there is a growing income gap between the rich and poor here, is there?*

Which reminds me: “If the annual salary of the Minister of Information, Communication and Arts is only $500,000, it may pose some problems when he discuss policies with media CEOs who earn millions of dollars because they need not listen to the minister’s ideas and proposals, hence a reasonable payout will help to maintain a bit of dignity.”

– Dr Lim Wee Kiat, PAP MP for Nee Soon GRC, 24 May 2011 in Lianhe Wanbao.

So when Ahloong meets Xi or the Obama, he will not respect them, their views or their countries despite the US being the hegemon and China a wannabe?

*Readers might like to know that the PAP’s bible has been going on recently about inequality: inequality and the travails of the middle-classes are America’s (and the West’s) biggest problem, has been gaining currency for some time now. So has the idea that one of the better fixes is to begin to overhaul America’s dysfunctional tax code. Indeed, one publication in particular has been saying precisely that for quite a while.

 

Xi gets 62% pay rise, but still paid “peanuts” by AhLoong’s standard

In China, Political governance on 21/01/2015 at 10:06 am

The Chinese president’s new base salary is equivalent to US$22,256 a year, despite a pay rise of 62%.

FT points out that he and Obama are outearned by Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, the world’s highest-paid prime minister, who took a pay cut to S$2.2m ($1.8m), beginning in 2012.

As the PAP likes to say that “Pay peanuts, get monkeys”, so the PAP thinks Obama, Xi and other leaders are monkeys? What do you think?

Relevant posts:

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/hen-jost-gracef-money-money-money/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/with-mps-like-these-pap-does-not-need-enemies/

And from FT too

What countries pay their leaders (annually/$ excluding benefits)
Singapore 1.8m
Russia 1.76m
US 400,000
European Commission 372,000
Germany 290,000
South Africa 224,000
UK 215,000
France 208,000
Indonesia 64,000
Poland 64,00

The Xiaxue of the anti-PAP cyber masses/ Uncle Leong is well

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 14/01/2015 at 6:06 am

Roy, celebrity and irrationality

So Roy and his lawyer M Ravi are back in the headlines KPKBing their rotine lines: Roy (“Juz want a debate on CPF but persecution contines”), M Ravi (“I’m always right because it’s my grandfather’s law”)

Why is Roy such a celebrity while Uncle Leong (Leong Sze Hian) his si fu* is a relative unknown. After all all the best bits of Roy’s CPF “research” are things Uncle Leong (and, to be fair, others) has been talking about and highlighting over the years.

The only thing that was new was the accusation that the PAP administration criminally misappropriated the CPF moneys. Even then he quickly said this allegation is false and completely without foundation. when PM threatened legal action*.

Despite this recantation, Roy remains a hero to the anti-PAP cyber masses.

This, from an Economist blog, explains his appeal: As Drew Westen argued a few years ago in his book “The Political Mind”, political persuasion is all about moving people emotionally, not appealing to their rational faculties.

Roy dared, at no small cost to himself, in public to say what anti-PAP coffee shop and cyber warriors are whispering. .For that act of courage, they are to willing to suspend their critical faculties, if they had any. He is right because he is saying publicly what they don’t dare say. They support him unthinkingly because he validates their view of the way CPF works.

And for that very reason, the PM felt it necessary to sue him even if it annoys many people who think Roy is talking rubbish, and even though suing goes against the kinder, gentler, more liberal view of the PAP administration that he is trying to project. Btw, one of these days, I’ll go into the steel trap that the PAP have set for themselves in the litigation game: they are damned whether they sue or don’t sue.

Uncle Leong is alive and well, and is still rocking

The last piece Uncle Leong wrote was at the end of November. Since then he has been silent causing me and others to wonder or worry what has happened to him. Not like him to remain quiet for even three days.

But read these two pieces that appeared in TRE on Jan 10 and 11

Recently, one of our public hospitals became famous for the action which they took (compared to the immediate sacking of Roy Ngerng citing his defamation of the prime minister as one of the reasons, despite the court hearing had not even commenced yet) in regard to their foreign employee’s Facebook posting against Singaporeans.

There have also been reports claiming that the hospital employs about 70 to 80 per cent of its staff from one foreign country. Actually, some people say that about 80 per cent of their staff are non-Singaporeans (work permits, S-pass, employment pass, PRs, foreign spouses on letter of consent, foreign interns, trainees, etc).

According to the MOH’s web site – this public hospital had the highest total hospitalisation billing for citizens (among all public hospitals excluding the National Heart Centre) for all ward classes (Class C, B2, B1 and A) at the 90th and 95th percentile in 2013.

For example, it was $8,071 at the 95th percentile, against just $4,758 at the lowest public hospital in Class C.

At the 90th percentile – it was $5,220 against $2,901.

Why?

Why is it that this particular public hospital has the highest billing sizes across all ward classes?

Could it be that they employ more non-Singaporeans than other public hospitals?

Win battles lose war

* Submitted by TRE reader.

“Uphold values of respect, professionalism, integrity and social responsibility”

According to the Straits Times report “Health-care workers must ‘uphold values of respect’: Health Ministry” (Jan 10) – “Public health-care professionals, both local and foreign, are expected to uphold values of respect, professionalism, integrity and social responsibility, said the Health Ministry (MOH).”

Got “respect” for Roy Ngerng?

Where was “respect” in the sacking of Roy Ngerng when one of the reasons cited for his sacking was his defamation suit when the hearing had not even commenced yet?

Got “professionalism” in the way Roy Ngerng was sacked?

Where was the “professionalism” in giving Roy Ngerng just hours to leave his job, without any prior notice?

Got “integrity” – no fairness and natural justice?

Where was the “integrity” in not giving Roy Ngerng any opportunity to defend himself against the allegations made against him? Where was the principle of fairness and natural justice in the case of Roy Ngerng?

“Social responsibility” in employing 80% foreigners?

Where is “social responsibility” if it is true that about 80 per cent of the employees are non-Singaporeans (work permits, S-pass, employment pass, PRs, foreign spouses on letter of consent, foreign interns, trainees, etc)?

Hypocrisy and double standards?

Don’t you feel that MOH’s statement reeks of hypocrisy and double standards?

Win battles lose war

* Submitted by TRE reader.

Sounds familiar?

For the record, I’m no Sherlock Holmes. A prominent civic activists drew my retention to one of these pieces.

—————–

*Roy helped co-write Uncle Leong’s pieces for several yrs.

** I recognise that the Article means and is understood to mean that Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore and Chairman of GIC, is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Fund.

3.I admit and acknowledge that this allegation is false and completely without foundation.

4.I unreservedly apologise to Mr Lee Hsien Loong for the distress and embarrassment caused to him by this allegation.

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/roys-defence-has-me-confused/

 

The Japanese story PM didn’t tell us

In Corporate governance, Political governance on 02/01/2015 at 5:17 am

For some reason, AhLoong is such an easy person for me to get annoyed with.

Juz as I was thinking that I was going too far in making fun* of a basically decent chap trying to live up to dad’s expectations while trying to make life more comfortable for us (OK so that he can continue drawing his salary), he has to put up a story about Japan inter-generational strife (http://blogging4myself.blogspot.sg/2014/12/pm-shares-article-from-japan-times.html) to shore up one or several of dad’s Hard Truths.

Well given the performance of his tpt ministers (2.8% rise in public tpt fares instead of 3.4%** despite oil prices falling 49%, and pipes bursting and other problems at Changi Airport), VivianB (rats), and Yaacob (cont’d cluelessness), he doesn’t  follow the Japanese practice of solving managerial problems.

Let me explain.

The president of Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata is to step down, amid widespread criticism of how the company handled recent safety crises.

Stefan Stocker presided over the firm during a period in which Takata airbags were linked to the deaths of five people.

Additionally, concerns that some of Takata’s designs may be defective have led to widespread recalls: more than 24 million vehicles globally since 2008.

Under certain conditions, Takata airbags can be set off with too much explosive force and potentially fire out metallic shrapnel.

The company has been heavily criticised by regulators in the United States for its slow response to the problems, which first came to light six years ago.

Stefan Stocker’s role will be taken over by the current chairman, Shigehisa Takada.the 48-year-old grandson of Takata’s founder. Shigehisa Takada.will take a 50% t pay cut for four months in response to the safety crisis.

Related article: https://atans1.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/learn-from-japanese-set-example-leh-elites/

——-

Since when has AhLoong taken a pay cut in response to ministerial failure?

*https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/ahloong-should-ask-this-tourist-for-advice/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/ahloong-needs-his-very-own-superheloo-costume/

**The last review done by PTC in Jan this year resulted in a fare increase of 6.6%, to be adjusted in two steps. A 3.2 per cent hike was implemented in Apr, and the remaining 3.4 per cent carried forward to the current review.

The fare formula is based on four components:

Core CPI inflation: This currently stands at 1.7 per cent, and excludes home and car prices.
Average wage increase, at 4.3 per cent
Energy index: This registered -12.6 per cent, due to a drop in energy costs in 2013
Productivity index at 0.5 per cent, where operators share productivity gains with commuters

Based on this formula, this year’s fare adjustment quantum is -0.6%. But because of the “roll-over” of 3.4% from Jan’s review, it resulted in 2.8%.

Mr Lui said, “Here we are using 2013, for this fare formula. We know that energy costs have come down, as compared to 2012, which is why for the most recent year, the index was actually -0.6.”

“You may recall that it was 6.6 per cent, of which the most recent fare increase gave an upward revision of 3.2 per cent. So there was a 3.4 per cent that was carried over, and now taken together with the -0.6 per cent, which was derived using all the numbers in 2013, the maximum that is allowed for this particular fare increase will be 2.8 per cent.”

AhLoong should ask this tourist for advice

In Africa, Humour, Political economy, Political governance on 29/12/2014 at 4:34 am

In a BBC Online piece dated 24 December, the writer said that Zimbabwe’s president Mugabe and his family “[are] holidaying in Singapore this Christmas.”

Well as Mugabe doesn’t brook any checkers to his power, maybe our PM should ask him for advice  since PM grumbles that too many checkers results in him and the PAP administration being unable to get things done:  “You will have a lot of checkers, you have no workers… There will be gridlock, like in other countries,” he said. – See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/too-many-checks-will-lead-checkmate-20141208#sthash.m4oKYKQZ.dpuf

Well there is no-one to check Mugabe who has been PM since 1987. The country is a mess http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-30578027 while Robert Mugabe and his ministers in the Office of the President and Cabinet are living large despite a stubborn economic crisis at a time government revenues are dwindling due to a shrinking tax base. – See more at: http://nehandaradio.com/2014/12/28/mugabe-spends-big-amid-poverty/#sthash.FmNmxOnn.dpuf

I don’t think PM wants this outcome here. What do you think?

AhLoong needs his very own superheloo costume?

In Humour, Political governance on 23/12/2014 at 4:56 am

Recently, I met someone who gave me the best reason why PM was wrong to sue Roy Ngerng. (Btw, the guy is as anti-PAP as Dr Chee and Roy and New Citizen H3 combined, but he isn’t that mad as to believe that Roy’s research and writings bears any semblance to the truth.)

He said that in his opinion, PM sued Roy to show S’poreans that he too was a tough guy like his dad: “Don’t play play with me,” was the message PM wanted to send.

Trouble my friend says is that AhLoong looks and sound like a SuperWimp. Suing Roy to show us he as tough and nasty and mean as dad, juz shows us the difference between him and his dad. He is not the man, for gppd or ill, his dad.

And this does not reflect well on AhLoong: it makes us realise that dad’s SuperThug costume doesn’t fit AhLoong. AhLoong needs his own superhero costume but can’t seem able to afford one despite the millions he’s earned.    .

What do you think should be his costume?

Update at 5.30am

Thinking further about it, the PM should have done what he did after dad went off the rails at GE 2011, threatening the Aljunied voters. LKY was seen and heard no more and PM said that things were different now. On the Roy issue, he could have ended the matter after Roy chickened out, admitting

1.On or around 15 May 2014, I, Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, published on my blog (at http://thehearttruths.com/), an article entitled “Where your CPF Money Is Going: Learning From The City Harvest Trial” (the “Article”). I also published links to the Article on my Facebook page (at https://www.facebook.com/sexiespider) and on The Heart Truths’ Facebook page (at https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-want-the-government-and-people-to-work-together-for-Singapores-future/185331834935656).

2.I recognise that the Article means and is understood to mean that Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore and Chairman of GIC, is guilty of criminal misappropriation of the monies paid by Singaporeans to the Central Provident Fund.

3.I admit and acknowledge that this allegation is false and completely without foundation.

4.I unreservedly apologise to Mr Lee Hsien Loong for the distress and embarrassment caused to him by this allegation.

5.I have removed the Article and the links to the Article and undertake not to make any further allegations to the same or similar effect.

by demanding that Roy pays his legal costs, waiving his rights for damages.

This would send the message that the PM wasn’t in the business of bankrupting people fo protect his reputation, but that defaming him wasn’t cost-free publicity for wanna-be celebrities. They’d have to pay his legal fees.

AhLoong: Clueless in school, 2005 and today? Still no want checkers?

In Political governance on 15/12/2014 at 4:30 am

I received two interesting allegations in response to https://atans1.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/what-pm-can-learn-from-two-other-privileged-kids/#comments

Our PM was going right-left-right while the rest of his band was left-right-left and nobody bothered to correct him except us bunch of kids who were shouting “Botak kayu”, to have his bodyguards come after us from across the school field.

[Er, I tot drum-major is always right, juz like the RSM on the parade square. Bte, anyone knows if SAF still has RSMs?]

And

Well, his kayu days are still very much with him. Like the occasion when inspecting a German guard of honour during a visit to Germany, our sissy PM walked on oblivious to the fact that his escort, German Chancellor Angela Mekel, had stopped and turned to salute her country’s flag as was their country’s protocol! An aide had to fetch him back! That was a prized video clip. I wonder if it is somewhere in the Youtube. I would not rule out the possibility that Lee’s followers must have BOUGHT it off the TV station that owns it to prevent even more Singaporeans from watching it.

Here is a forum comment at that time: http://sgforums.com/forums/8/topics/166923

As to whether he is clueless now about whether he needs better checkers than that provided by the MPs from the Worthless Party, what do you think?
To help you decide, here’s shumething from the Economist letters’ page

Rebranding citizens

SIR – Lexington attributed the rise of public doubts about government in Western democracies to globalisation and the economic wrench it has produced (November 15th). Undoubtedly globalisation has created new strains. However, the erosion of trust dates back earlier than implied. An article in The Economist in 1999 (“Is there a crisis?”, July 17th 1999) described the erosion of trust beginning in the 1960s in America and Sweden. Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand followed in the 1970s or 1980s. This downward trend continues to the present.

Research suggests that the changes in the values and norms of the public, a shift in the style of interest-group politics and the norms of media reporting have contributed to a secular shift towards a more assertive and sceptical public. The deferential citizen is becoming an endangered species, which is a benefit to democracy.

Russell Dalton
Centre for the Study of Democracy
University of California, Irvine

Finally, FT reported last week, talking about president Xi and the communist part: “On the whole they are nervous. There is a lack of confidence. They know the one-party state is an exception to [global] trends,” say Jean-Pierre Cabestan, head of the government and international studies department at Hong Kong Baptist University. “One of the weaknesses in the party state is the lack of checks and balances . . . Zhou Yongkang clearly enjoyed a huge level of impunity. How do you control that?”

Zhou Yongkang was the security chief under the previous president and was recently arrested, accused of corruption etc.

 

Selective Courage and other PM’s tales

In Political governance on 09/11/2011 at 6:43 am

On 30 October 2011, MediaCorp reported the PM as saying,” [T]o dare to stand up and say something which is true but may be difficult, spiky, which the population may not wish to hear … that takes courage … as Government, it’s our responsibility to speak the truth to Singaporeans …  it’s the Opposition’s responsibility also to acknowledge the truth and to speak it, whether or not it’s politically advantageous to them.”

Fair point but PM, don’t you think that it also takes courage to admit that the government, cabinet, minister, ministry or civil servant has goofed, is sorry, and will take steps to remedy the situation? Whatever Wong Kan Seng may have done, he is the only minister to have taken responsibility for a goof-up by his ministry (the escape of a “terrorist”). Usually tai-chi is practicised.

Think minister Mah, who defended his policy of allowing the prices of public housing to rise in a recession. Or of Raymond Lim for threatening to impose GST on transport fares, while doing nothing to ease congestation on public transport?

Or of VivianB for getting his numbers wrong wrong on the new national stadium and the Kiddie Games, and insisting that he was right to be wrong. Or berating the poor for wanting hawker or restaurant food.

Or the Home ministry allowing  a violent and dishonest shop assistant; and hawkers to become PRs. Or the minister failing to apologise for not recapturing a physically handicapped “terrorist” before he swam out of S’pore.

Or Yaacob talking of “once in a century’ flood, when there was a flood a month. Or of the entire cabinet in allowing immigrants in by the truck-load without thinking of the consequences on the public infrastructure and social fabric.

You were also quoted as saying parliament was for “serious discussion, not just criticism”. It is wrong to try to distinguish “serious discussion” from “criticism”. “[C]riticism” is part of “serious discussion”. Go ask any Cambridge academic.

You said that Parliament is not just a place to hold either the government or Opposition to account … both sides should participate in solving problems together, or Singapore would be worse off for it.

What about giving out more information so that the public can know what is happening? If local academics got beaten up by the then Manpower minister, a few years ago, for using data from a government website, surely there is a problem somewhere? And it’s not with the academics. How can publicly available info be misleading? But that minister is now one of your most trusted ministers.

“Academics, economists and sociologists are demanding more than the “pledge to share more information.” They want the raw data, instead of the ad hoc releases from the official propaganda machine,” notes S’pore Notes some time ago.

This brings me back to your “acknowledging the truth” comment. The truth can only be established by evidence, so make more raw data available.

Your comments seem nothing more than your father’s “style of single-party governance: long-term decisions made by an inner circle, without the distractions of a substantial opposition or the time pressures of electoral deadlines. “Public debate can make issues “harder to solve,” you said sometime back, so it’s reasonable to assume that you would rather avoid informed public debate of any kind.

In his book “Golden Fetters”, Barry Eichengreen argued that one reason the gold standard failed to work after the first world war was that most states had become democracies; regular doses of austerity were needed to ensure sound money. But that was politically impossible once the working classes had the vote, especially as politicians were worried about the threat of communist revolution. [Took this from Buttonwood’s Notes, an Economist blog.]

Try telling the PA and yr minister abt unity, PM?

In Political governance on 06/09/2011 at 7:18 am

On 1 September 2011, the PM said Singapore must also build a united society which leaves no Singaporean behind. He was speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of Singapore’s seventh President Dr Tony Tan at the Istana.

This was the fifth time that he had spoken about the need for unity since the 7th May 2011 General Election. Five times in five months.

Well the trouble with this latest attempt was that the day before, the People’s Association (a statutory of agency of which he is chairman) had published a statement explaining why it excluded Opposition MPS from being appointed grassroot leaders. In a letter to the Straits Times Forum, PA director of corporate and marketing communications Ooi Hui Mei said on behalf of the CEO, “Besides connecting people to people, grassroots advisers are required to help the Government connect with people and help promote Government policies and programmes such as anti-dengue and active ageing. Hence, the Government has to appoint grassroots advisers who support its programmes and can play this role well. Opposition MPs cannot be expected to do this and thus cannot become advisers to GROs.”

She is saying that Opposition MPs are not loyal S’poreans that the government and PA can trust.

Ms Ooi’s letter drew a response from WP’s Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh (the guy with tots of being in coalition with the PAP on his brain). He wrote on his Facebook page that he found it “apposite to inform the PA that Opposition MPs do not love the aedes mosquito, nor do we have anything against active aging.” He cited examples of former and current PAP MPs, including former MP Tan Cheng Bock and President Tony Tan, who opposed the Nominated MP scheme and the graduate mother’s scheme respectively.

Hehehe. Snigger, snigger. Gd riposte Bei-Yee Singh. Letter writers to ST and Today and online forums joined in the fun of bashing Ms Ooi’s letter.

Unhappy with this mauling, the deputy chairman of the PA, Lim Swee Say (who is also a cabinet minister and NTUC chief), not heeding PM’s call for unity, got Ms Ooi to issue another letter on 3 September 2011, making the same point again: that Opposition MPs are not loyal S’poreans that the government and PA can trust.

Because of her letters, I’m again left wondering (I’ve commented on his four previous attempts here) whether the PM is sincere when he calls for unity. Why should I take his words at face value, when the spokeswoman from a government agency, where he is the chairman, takes a view that is contrary to his call for unity, both before and after his message. If she had not written the second letter, I would have been willing to try to suspend cynical disbelief. But Ms Ooi’s letters have left me no choice but to disbelieve the PM.

Is he or the CEO and deputy chairman, she scribed for, off-message? Or is his definition of “unity” different? Maybe he means “unity under the regime of Hard Truths”?

Time will tell.

If PM is sincere abt unity, what abt talking a leaf from Mao. When the Chinese Communist Party refused to listen to him, he launched the Culture Revolution. Maybe PM should reform the PA to better serve his and our needs.

PM’s repeated calls for unity, what he means

In Political governance on 31/08/2011 at 7:22 am

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong again appealed for national unity after an intense campaign dominated by calls from critics for an independent president who can act as a check on the PAP, “Now that the election is over, we should all come together again as Singaporeans, to tackle the challenges that Singapore faces, and take our nation forward”.

Forgive me for being extremely cynical but I had heard something similar thrice since the 7 May 2011 general election.

Immediately after the election, the PM had promised that the ruling party would do some intense soul-searching and find better ways to reach out and connect with Singaporeans. He urged Singaporeans to close ranks and work together with the government to achieve the overriding objective of improving the lives of the people.

In August, during his National Day Rally speech, the PM had further committed his government to getting its politics and policies right.

Then two weeks ago, he called for a “harmonious political system where we make decisions in the best interest of Singapore and Singaporeans and keep ourselves safe in this uncertain environment.” Singapore was “too small to afford an impasse and gridlock, to have two sides blocking one another, so you can’t move, you can’t solve problems, you can’t go ahead”.

So one would think the government would have played its part in fostering national unity. But consider the evidence.

One minister called us netizens the “lunatic fringe”, while the PM called internet communities “cowboy towns”, insultiing the inhabitants of those towns and showing his lack of knowledge of Westerns. Those towns were reasonably civilised places. They, at least, didn’t have respectable senior citizens burying hatchets into other folks. The town sheriff or a visiting US Marshall would have shot such a person dead, or arrested him; or the citizens would have lynched him.

Then we learnt that two statutory government agencies, the HDB and the PA (where the PM is the chairman),  tried, almost immediately, after the May GE to fix the WP that had won a GRC by taking away from the WP town council the right to lease out prime common spaces for community functions.

So let’s take PM’s latest message for unity with a big pinch of salt. He must mean unity on his and the PAP’s terms: unconditional surrender by the sheep (swing voters who constitute 45% of the voters) and the asses (the 20% who will vote for any ass if it is an anti-PAP ass) to the donkeys (the 35% who will vote for Tin Pei Ling because she is a PAP donkey).

But ironically, our very own Mr Bean, has got 65% of us animals united against him and the other leaders of the donkeys. So the joke is on our PM, aka Mr Bean. I’m being mean? Google up pixs of both and decide if they look alike.

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