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Posts Tagged ‘PAP’

PAP got a point on welfare programmes

In Economy on 14/02/2018 at 10:26 am

[M]y first wish is that Medishield Life be expanded to cover evidence-based healthcare interventions. I raised this at the IPS dialogue with DPM Teo Chee Hean last month and his response was to cite the classic neoliberal argument* that if you provide free medical care, a “buffet table syndrome” will result. This means that individuals will get all kinds of diseases and treatments just so that they can enjoy the free medical benefits. This is not his fault, it is a widely held belief among health economists from various right wing think tanks primarily in the United States who have advanced this argument.

Dr Paul Tambyah

http://yoursdp.org/news/paul_tambyah_39_s_speech_budget_2018/2018-02-12-6222

(Do read the speech from the only adult in the SDP portiburo. If only Mad Dog would step down and Dr Paul replaces him, the voters perception of SDP would change, enabling the SDP to be the Opposition not the Wankers’ (Or it it “Worthless”?) Party But Mad Dogs don’t do resigning, only biting. Sad.)

The PAP would also make the point that all welfare programmes grow and grow, as expectations rise. This in turn overwhelms other worthy state expenditures. Are they wrong?

Here’s what’s happening in the US

the crucial driver of US indebtedness is not military or discretionary domestic spending. It is the spending on “mandatory” entitlements, primarily social security payments for pensioners and healthcare programmes for the elderly and the poor. Along with interest on the nation’s debt, these make up more than two-thirds of federal spending, a proportion that is expected to grow. In the absence of a debate about how to reduce spending on big entitlements, or how to generate more revenue to support them, political fights like the one just resolved are theatre. They have the potential to do damage if they go wrong, but no chance whatsoever of changing the long-term outlook. The trajectory of the US debt burden is disquieting. The country is headed, by all accounts, for deficits of at least $1tn a year, which amounts to 5 per cent or more of gross domestic product. The total stock of US debt, now standing at 80 per cent of GDP, will pass 100 per cent before a decade is out if current policies are sustained.

FT

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, has just urged Congress to tackle the ballooning national debt, saying it posed a “dire threat” to economic and national security.

Btw, I’m sure Dr Tambyah would consider the FT and the the US intelligence community to be major part of the neoliberal establishment.


*Why you think he started sending potential ministers to the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard? Harvard is a another major part of the neoliberal establishment.

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Bishan otters PAP members?

In Environment on 14/02/2018 at 4:51 am

Or did the otters got co-opted into being constructive, nation-building animals? Did the otters got paid for this?

Seriously, this video shows the PAP, knowing that we love the otters, and are using them to influence us

Whatever fun to watch.

Heng, can be PM meh?

In Economy, Political governance on 13/02/2018 at 10:25 am

Two major biz trade groups are publicly very unhappy with Heng’s Industry Transformation Maps. Looks like bizmen and corporate executives don’t think much of the Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), drawn up by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat’s  Committee on the Future Economy (CFE)

The ITMs, which make up one of the key strategies outlined in the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) report, have come under the spotlight recently amid questions from business and industry leaders about its relevance.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/looking-ahead-to-budget-2018-what-it-could-mean-for-businesses-9943406

And he’s suppose to be a contender to PM? I mean did anyone say that Ah Loong’s economic strategies drawn up when he was a minister or DPM (Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different) were anything less than greater than great? He was the Messiah, Moses and Jesus Christ Superstar all rolled into one, even though Ong Teng Cheong was more popular with the masses.

The Association of Banks is one of the unhappy business groups:

At a pre-Budget roundtable organised by the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) last month, DBS CEO Piyush Gupta, who speaking in his capacity as chairman of the Association of Banks in Singapore, questioned if the ITMs can keep up with the rapid changes in each industry.

“The blueprint and roadmap that you put in place will be outdated by six months so what we have to create is not a transformation roadmap but transformation capabilities,” he said. “We need to take our ITMs to the next level, which is to create the industry’s capacity to experiment and rapidly change.”

Then there’s the Singapore Business Federation

Also speaking at the roundtable, Singapore Business Federation (SBF) CEO Ho Meng Kit noted a disconnect between the ITMs, which are led by Government agencies, and the “realities of the industries”.

He added that he was concerned about the ITMs being developed for the bigger firms and risk leaving out “the long tail of SMEs in the same industry that are not as productive”.

(And btw this is damning for the Ministry of Trade & Industry

According to the SBF’s latest survey, half of the roughly 1,000 businesses surveyed said they still do not know enough about the ITMs to assess their impact*.)

I repeat again:

[H]e’s suppose to be a contender to PM? I mean did anyone say that Ah Loong’s economic strategies drawn up when he was DPM (Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different) were anything less than great?

For the record, I predicted many moons ago that Heng would be PM: The next PM has been unveiled.

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

*Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran said on Feb 5 that “it is not possible for the Government to reach out directly” to all enterprises. In a written response to a parliamentary question, Mr Iswaran stressed that unions, trade associations and chambers (TACs) “must help to propagate the message”, while business owners “must also take the initiative to find out more about the ITMs”. He’s got a point that ‘business owners “must also take the initiative to find out more about the ITMs”’.

 

 

 

 

 

Kidding me? Kee Chui potential PM? He from RI?

In Political governance on 12/02/2018 at 9:40 am

The academics and the anti-PAP cybernuts who claim that Kee Chui is likely to be the next PM must either be really stupid, or really trying to sien us?

I mean who can reasonably conclude that Kee Chui is the material that PMs can be made off?

Two weeks ago, High Court judge See Kee Oon questioned an appellant’s use of a letter from her MP Lam Pin Min (Sengkang West) to play down the offence she was convicted of. (Juz wondering? MP White Horse? Or spouse White Horse or grassroots tua kee?

Kee Chui, Minister and Chief Whip, was then quoted by ST as saying that the PAP has “no specific governing rules” on the sending of MP letters to the courts or other agencies or ministries.

A retired district judge, Mr Low Wee Ping, who was the Registrar of the Subordinate Courts and Supreme Court in the 1980s, in a letter to ST, said one Harry Lee had instructed all MPs, in writing, that they should not write such letters to the courts.

Mr Lee was also of the view that if the MP’s constituent resident perceived his sentence imposed by the court as lenient, he might attribute it solely to the MP’s letter, and, therefore, feel obligated or grateful to vote for the MP in an election wrote

Also

MPs approached by TODAY, such as West Coast GRC MP Patrick Tay, said they are aware of the “long-standing practice” for PAP MPs not to write to the courts on behalf of their constituents*.

So what does Kee Chui do? Scholar and ex-SAF commander makes a U-turn on PAP MPs writing to court.

In his letter to PAP MPs on Friday, Mr Chan wrote that PAP MPs have, “as a norm” over the years, refrained from writing to the Courts on behalf of their constituents.

PAP MPs, he said, “must not do anything that may give rise to any misperception that they can influence or interfere in the judicial process”.

“When approached by constituents over matters that come before the Courts, PAP MPs may write to the Ministry of Law (on procedural issues) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (on prosecutorial issues). This has been the general practice, and will remain so,” he added.

In his letter, Mr Chan reminded his fellow PAP MPs that the courts have “clear and strict procedures to uphold the independence and integrity of the judicial process”, and are in the best position to evaluate the evidence and merits of a case.

He added: “The separation of powers has never been in question even when the courts have received a letter from an MP, directly or indirectly. Nevertheless, to avoid any doubt or public misperception, may I remind PAP MPs not to write to the Courts on behalf of their constituents.”

Today

Like that can become SAF commander and minster meh?


Kee Chui’s other major cock-up

PAP: Chinese defecate in public, Indians clean up

Remember PM signaled him to listen to how a minister should explain things?

If he were ytansport minister, S’pore would suffer a catastrophic breakdown of train services, and Changi airport would close.

________________________________________________________

And PM in waiting? Like that can be RI boy? But then he was only in RI for Pre U. Even TLK was in RI for four years. But even in RI for six yrs is no guarantee of not being a cock: think TJS.

Like that cybernut should earn millions.


*OK, OK this appeared after he wrote letter but if these MPs knew, how come Kee Chui didn’t know?

The PAP never sleeps

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

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

———————————————–

The PAP, like City, never sleeps

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

PM on 1 December 2016.

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

————————————————

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

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

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

ST sometime back

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

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

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

 

How to get S’poreans to welcome mass immigration

In Economy, Political governance, Property on 05/02/2018 at 10:25 am

The calls are getting louder, with more and more voices making the case for Singapore to relook its position on the foreign manpower issue, in the face of a severe demographics slowdown*.

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/big-read-foreigner-issue-are-we-ready-rethink

The above and a similar ST article a few days earlier is evidence that the constructive, nation-building media is again preparing the way for the flood gates to be opened and for FTs to be allowed in by the cattle truck load (not like now by only the A380 or 747 cattle class load).

The stories reminded me also that

“Opposition to immigration is largely cultural and psychological. Policy options will therefore have to address this.”

Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at Birkbeck University of London, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/why-culture-is-more-important-than-skills-understanding-british-public-opinion-on-immigration/)

Eric Kaufmann was talking about the UK, but what he says also applies here.

So somehow, I think talking in general terms that the economy needs FTs wouldn’t work. Think the Population White Paper (Population White Paper: PAP’s suicide note?) which didn’t convince S’poreans that we need FTs by the cattle-truck load.


A personal view

As I’ve blogged before, FTs by the cattle-truck load is good for me personally because of the wage repression effect, stronger GDP growth, rising property prices etc. But still I’m not even in favour of FTs by the A380 load. I want FTs by the A350 or 787 business class and first class load.

__________________________________________________________

So if the PAP wants to use culture and psychology to get S’poreans to welcome cattle truck-loads of FTs, the constructive, nation-building media should tell S’poreans what will happen to the value of their “affordable” HDB flats that they are paying for via 25-year mortgages, if said FTs are not allowed to come in by cattle truck-loads to beat up taxi uncles and professional women. After all, falling HDB, and private property, prices are a consequence of weak economic growth, which will result from restrictions on immigration: at least according according to the “experts” quoted in the said articles*.

As Moneytheism (particularly the Propery cult) is our religion, the message will sink in very fast that S’pore needs FTs by the cattle-truck load to prevent HDB prices, and private property prices, from collapsing.


*The article goes on

Last December, economists said it may be time to re-look the Government’s stringent immigration policies following a UOB report on Singapore’s “demographic time bomb” which will start ticking next year, when the share of the population who are 65 and over will match that of those under 15 for the first time.

In January, Monetary Authority of Singapore chief Ravi Menon devoted much of his speech at a high-profile conference on the topic, making an impassioned plea for Singapore to “reframe our question on foreign workers”, given the limited scope in raising birth rates and labour force participation rate (LFPR). This was followed by a commentary penned by National University of Singapore (NUS) academics urging the Republic’s universities to admit more international students, in light of falling numbers.

Dr Chua, the Maybank economist, questioned how the targets could be met based on the current workforce size without additional foreign manpower, even after taking into account those who are displaced from positions becoming redundant.

“Manpower policies will need to be fine-tuned…Singapore’s transformation roadmap cannot be fulfilled without some flexibility in its manpower policies,” he said.

Dr Chua reiterated that relaxing foreign manpower restrictions during economic upcycles will allow Singapore to capitalise on growing investments and demand. “If restrictions are too tight, business will choose not to invest in the first place,” he said. “That in turn hurts job creation and opportunities for Singaporeans.”

He added that foreigners also “pay their fair share of taxes and contribute to the overall fiscal position, reducing the tax burden on citizens”.

 

 

Why 30-year old HDB flats difficult to sell/ Why PAP rule will end in 2019

In Banks, CPF, Financial competency, Financial planning, Political economy, Political governance, Property on 02/02/2018 at 7:19 am

A doctor turned fat cat investor responded to Jialat for PAP where I reported a property saleman (OK, OK, he’s title is “research director”) as saying “From the ground, homes with leases of less than 60 years took longer to sell, and at a much lower price …”. (Background reading for those who have not followed the problem with HDB leases of less than 60 years: HDB flats: 35 is a dangerous age)

He wrote

Since 2016/2017 HDB flats older than 39 years have seen a “cliff drop” in prices due to:
(1) Reduction of CPF quantum that can be used for properties with less than 60 yrs lease;
(2) Age of buyer plus remaining lease must be >= 80.

In many mature estates undergoing SERS activities, the price of 40+ year old flats are having 35% discounts against nearby brand new “subsidized” BTO flats. Even with marketing efforts extolling the “higher chance” of SERS for those older flats, buyers are not buying it.

This mini cliff drop has been exacerbated since LW [Lawrence Wong] did an about turn against Old Fart’s & Woody’s asset enhancement propaganda.

Currently majority of HDB flats are still within 25-38 yrs old. The above problem will get worse over the next 10-15 years.

This gives PAPies another 2 terms at least to continue milking Sinkies.

Assuming the next general election is in 2019, this means the PAP will lose power or its two-thirds parly majority in 2029 or thereabouts. Mad Dog will then be 67 and Dr Paul will be about 65. If Mad Dog becomes PM jialat. If Dr Paul becomes PM, let the good times roll.

So if SDP is still headed by Mad Dog as is most likely because he’ll knife Dr Paul in the back to ensure that he’ll rule the SDP, I’ll be forced to vote PAP for the good of S’pore. So I hope he steps down soon.

 

Jialat for PAP

In Banks, Financial competency, Financial planning, Property on 29/01/2018 at 7:39 am

Unhappy HDB “owners”will complicate change of PM (Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM) and other plans.

In yet another sign of a recovery in the private residential market (SIBOR up 25%, but property mkt is hot?), prices went up 1.1 % in 2017, reversing the 3.1%  decline in 2016, figures from the URA showed last  Friday.

But the HDB Resale Price Index (RPI) for 2017 declined by 1.5% , HDB said on Friday.

Worse for those wanting to sell older HDB flats

From the ground, homes with leases of less than 60 years took longer to sell, and at a much lower price … we anticipate the market to improve, especially in areas where former HUDC developments were sold en bloc. Some of these buyers downsized to a HDB flat and kept the proceeds for retirement, or to support their children in purchasing a private home.

Dr Lee Nai Jia, Head of Research at Edmund Tie & Company

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/private-home-prices-11-2017-reversing-2016s-31-decline

(Trumpets pls: I posted this in April 2017 HDB flats: 35 is a dangerous age. And btw, this Old private flats’ value can also fall off a cliff).)

Anyway, the PAP has a problem if private property prices keep going up while HDB flats prices continue to decline, or stagnate at these levels.

Those with HDB mortgages will not be happy that their their “heavily subsidised” flats have not appreciated in value in line with FTs’ and elites’ private property values, while those with older flats will be doubly unhappy.

Since more than 80% of Singapore’s population live in HDB flats, a growing gap between HDB prices and private housing prices is not good for the PAP.

But at least Mad Dog and the cybernuts will be happy: more of the 70% will be unhappy with the PAP. They can “Keep on wanking and dreaming that the PAP will lose the next GE”.

Even PAP govt thinks ang moh tua kee

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

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

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

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

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

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

———————————————————-

Singaporean values

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

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

FOO CHI HSIA
High commissioner for Singapore
London


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

Public tenders = PAPpy greed?

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

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

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

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

—————————————————-

The trap of awarding tenders to lowest bidder for society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This issue is more complicated than the cybernuts think.

 

 

Connecting SMRT failures, 4th gen ministers & change of PM

In Economy, Political governance on 22/01/2018 at 8:16 am

This headline

All EWL stations to see early closures, late openings on weekends and select weekdays in March

(CNA)

reminded me of the failure of the PAP administration to ensure that the trains run on time*. I mean even that incompetent World War II dictator, Mussolini, ensured that Italian trains ran on time.

This failure is more significant than just the loss of output legitimacy (PAP has lost “output legitimacy”) because the PAP is talking about a change of leaders and the importance of trust.

People would also give their trust when they see the Government has been “responsible, anticipates and are responsive in meeting their needs” and there is an overall improvement in their lives, Mr Chan said.

The minister added: “Some policies take longer to bring forth results and the population may feel impatient.

“Each generation of leaders would therefore need to be consultative yet nimble in meeting these needs while managing finite resources responsibly. These are important so that we do not face a trust deficit, and run the risk of citizens disconnecting with or being disenfranchised by the government.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/chan-chun-sing-lays-out-key-leadership-qualities-needed-for-9852508

The problem for Kee Chui and other potential PMs is that the trust (partly based on output legitimacy”) S’poreans have for the PAP leaders is based on Harry, Dr Goh and gang did. The PAP has been living on (literally withdrawing yearlymillions of dollars) the trust in the bank trust account that these guys put in.

But the fourth generation ministers have not put much trust in the trust bank (OK, OK, same for GCT and Ah Loong and their gangs but that’s another story).

In fact, they could have cost losses to the bank account

— a possible future PM,  Ong Ye Kung, can be blamed for three problems: low productivity, labour unhappiness and SMRT breakdowns.

— Heng, the probable next PM, is linked to the minibond and DBS HN5 note losses (He was MD of the central bank at the time: Helping retail investors: the HK way and the S’pore way).

And worse, there’s not that much left in the bank account after the SMRT cock-ups and PE 2017 fiasco.

True, the 4th gen ministers have avoided getting involved in the SMRT mess. But that shows that they were not trusted to get involved in such an important matter affecting the lives of ordinary S’poreans.

Trust? What trust, Kee Chui?

What’s more, in a one-party state, the party in charge can’t be seen to incompetent, and the SMRT fiascos clearly show that there’s something wrong with the way the PAP does things. So that’s yet another problem for the 4th gen team.

But then could the failings of the 4th generation leaders be the excuse for the 3rd gen leaders in the cabinet to skip a generation and bring in a young, IT savvy guy as the PM in waiting? Names please on a post card?

————————————–

*SMRT said on Friday (Jan 19) that its board has confidence in the company’s management team and the ongoing efforts to enhance management, operational and maintenance capabilities.

CNA

The report went on

A Straits Times report on Thursday said that Mr Nathan has resigned and is serving out his notice. It also said that “observers are expecting chief executive Desmond Kuek to step down as well”. It did not specify which observers it was referring to or why they expect this to happen.

SMRT has been under pressure from the public and the government in recent months after a series of high-profile incidents, including the train collision at Joo Koon station in November which left more than 30 people injured, and the flooding of a section of a tunnel in October which caused prolonged delays.

 

Why PAPPies’ apologies make many angrier

In Uncategorized on 21/01/2018 at 11:38 am

When I read a BBC article on what kind of apologies work (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42716501), I couldn’t help but think of how the PAPPies and their kak kian apologise.

Think PM (before 2011 election and his family row), and Khaw, and the chairman and CEO on the MRT cock-ups; and one thing is clear. Their apologies don’t work i.e. they are not effective: they leave many angrier.

Reason is that the apologists don’t show enough concern

Experts say the formula for an affective apology can be summed up with the acronym CAR

show concern

demonstrate action

offer reassurance

(BBC article. Other extracts also from the same article.)

They demonstrate action and offer reassurance but they don’t show enough concern. But to be far, does Khaw, or the CEO and chairman of SMRT take the MRT to work? And PM was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. It was even encrusted with diamonds.

And they don’t convey empathy and compassion

From businesses, governments and organisations, a scripted response will fail to resonate as it will not convey empathy and compassion.

But if it’s one thing Harry taught the PAP, if in doubt, be “Be arrogant and complacent”.

Moreover

“It is vital that any business or individual making an apology understands the focus – is it sorry for the way it’s acted or is it sorry that the complainant feels the way they do?”

In the case of the PAPies and their minions their apologies come across as sorry that the complainants feels the way they do: think PM or Khaw.

I’ll end with

How to tell a genuine apology from a fake one

— Spontaneity – watch out for the speed of response, the quicker the apology comes, the better indication that the person making it has felt an immediate sense of guilt

— Body language – if genuine, the person making the apology will be looking for listening clues to see if they are being understood, such as eye contact and facial expressions

— Vulnerability – performed apologies always have a sense of being “acted out”, and are often accompanied by too many theatrical gestures. If the person is genuine they will provide “humbling signals”‘, such as a lowered head, to indicate remorse and vulnerability

— Denial gestures – the biggest clues of insincerity can come after the gesture itself, with non-verbal signals that silently reject the words used; this can include looking to the floor and smirking.

 

Sounds like Singapore?

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

An anti-PAP talking?

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

Nope some analyst describing Venezuela

 

Trump and Republicans take a leaf from PAP’s playbook

In Uncategorized on 24/12/2017 at 5:16 am

Remember the howls of protest from the ang moh tua kees and the other anti-PAP types when the PAP administration reduced state spending on wards that had Oppo MPs? Unfair they screamed.

Seems that ang mohs in the shape of Trump and the Republicans have done something similar. Their Christmas present tax cut clearly favoured loyal red (Republican-voting) states over Democratic blue ones.

Deductions of state and local income and property taxes, known as SALT, when calculating liability for Federal taxes is now limited to US$10,000. The provision hits hardest Democratic-leaning states with high incomes, high property values, and high taxes, like New York, New Jersey, and California.

FT reports that a New York based banker earning US$5m a year, will be paying an extra US$400-500,000 in taxes.

 

 

So unlike ministers

In Banks, Uncategorized on 23/12/2017 at 1:43 pm

The zero bonus, or doughnut, could be looming for bond traders as bank revenue from fixed-income sales and trading units has been falling FT reports.

TRE reader tells off s/o JBJ, analyses TCB’s comments

In Political governance on 21/12/2017 at 8:27 am

When TRE used a piece by s/o JBJ ranting about Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s comments etc, he was rebuked by a TRE reader

opposition dude:
December 19, 2017 at 7:36 pm (Quote)
Kenneth, kindly do stop talking about your dad at every opportunity. You are sounding like a real sore loser. At the very least carve out your own standing amongst the electorate just like how your dad was seen as a fiery match for Lee Kayu.

He then went on to explain why he disagreed with Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s comments that the fixing of PE 2017 would affect the next general election. He makes some valid points:

With that being said, the electorate will forget about the PE when the next GE comes. This is because PAP has screwed us all over so many times the electorate votes based on the frustration level on the ground at that point in time.

Just compare and contrast the last 2 GEs. The overcrowdedness on the island led to PAP’s lowest vote share, even the PAP admitted it. It wasn’t the raising of GST or lack of freedom of speech or CPF or even high BTO prices, ministers’ pay, lack of accountability or any of the issues frequently raised here on TRE.

Then you look at 2015. The PAP CLAIMS to have solved all the unhappiness for 2011 but we all know the island is even more crowded than before. But see what gratitude gets you, in this case a 10% increase in votes. Even the PAP says they were stunned because we all know that they didn’t do a proper job on the immigration issue.

Now, if the PE alone can decide PAP’s fate then I would be very surprised. For one thing, I would ask myself why the PAP were not reduced in number when the price of so called public housing made us pay up to a 35 year home loan, why there were still so many of them in parliament when GST was raised from 3% to 7% and why voters did jack when the donkeys’ pay was raised 20% in the 90s.

My take on Dr Tan’s comments: Will Oppo parties step up to the mark and score?

 

Different Parties’ Slogans

In Uncategorized on 06/12/2017 at 2:05 pm

Appeared on FB

P.A.P. – PAY & PAY.
S.P.P. – SO, PLEASE PAY.
W.P. – WHY PAY ?
S.D.P – SO, DON’T PAY.
N.S.P. – NOBODY SHOULD PAY.
S.F. – SO SELFISH!!!

Someone added

R.P. – Refuse (to) Pay

I’ll add

D.P.P – Don’t Pay Party

The PAP way?

In China, Media on 21/11/2017 at 5:52 am

The government doesn’t refute critics or defend policies; instead, it overwhelms the population with positive news (what the researchers call “cheerleading” content) in order to eclipse bad news and divert attention away from actual problems.

This has allowed the … government to manipulate citizens without appearing to do so. It permits just enough criticism to maintain the illusion of dissent and only acts overtly when fears of mass protest or collective action arise.

Sounds like the way the PAP does things with the help of the constructive, nation-building media.

No leh. It’s supposed to be the Chinese way: https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/2/16019562/china-russia-internet-propaganda-media


“Why CCP’s fears are PAP’s fears”

Keeping power in a one-party state

————————————————–

But maybe the CCP learnt from the PAP? It was one of the things that Deng learnt from LKY? After all when LKY came into power, he made sure that the local newspapers, tv and radio all became part of the PAP’s constructive and nation-building team.


Address to the General Assembly of the International Press Institute at Helsinki on 9 June 1971

“What role would men and governments in new countries like the mass media to play?… The mass media can help to present Singapore’s problems simply and clearly and then explain how if they support certain programmes and policies these problems can be solved. More important, we want the mass media to reinforce, not to undermine, the cultural values and social attitudes being inculcated in our schools and universities.

[Several paragraphs later] Freedom of the press, freedom of the news media, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore, and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government.”

——————————————————-

Their job was (and is) not to critick LKY’s govt but to be its cheerleaders.

Example from MediaCorp’s reporting (Might was well juz publish the speech):

The trust between the People’s Action Party (PAP) and Singaporeans will be tested in the coming years amid social and economic disruptions afflicting the world, party secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong warned activists on Sunday (November 19) at the PAP convention.

And it is during this period, that the trust built by the ruling party “painstakingly over more than 60 years” will be more important than ever, said Mr Lee, who is also the Prime Minister.

Stressing the need for good policies to help Singaporeans cope with the challenges, he also urged Members of Parliament (MPs), activists and “key people throughout our society” to preserve the “good politics”.

He noted that in western democracies, the trust between mainstream political parties and the people has essentially broken down, and the parties “no longer seem to represent the common man’s interests”.

“We must never let this happen in Singapore. The PAP must always pursue policies which benefit the broad majority of Singaporeans,” he said.

“The PAP must always hold the ground, stay close to Singaporeans and maintain their trust and confidence.”

Adding that it will not be an easy task to achieve goals such as upgrading the economy, creating good jobs, building world class infrastructure and preparing for an ageing society, Mr Lee said that in order to implement the policies, “we must get our politics right”.

The people must support the PAP, he said.

“Most of all, they must trust the PAP,” he added.

“They must know that the party cares about them, and is working to improve their lives.”

Mr Lee said this does not mean the government should do only popular things. From time to time, it also has to make hard choices and take difficult decisions.

“And when we do so, we must be upfront with Singaporeans” in explaining the rational and getting their support, he said.

“Even if people may not like the specific policy, we must convince them that we are doing it with good intentions, and for good reasons,” he said.

He reiterated the people “must know the PAP not as a remote, impersonal government, but as their team, as a human, personal preference – your caring MP, your friendly branch secretary, people whom you know, people who have shown that they can get things done, and will help you through difficulties and improve your lives,” he said.

 

P&G mgt reminds me of the PAP

In Uncategorized on 13/11/2017 at 6:55 am

Die, die must crush opposition to its hegemony. 

Procter & Gamble, the world’s second largest consumer group, won its battle to keep activist investor Peltz out of its boardroom. Nelson Peltz wanted to be a director (one out of 11) of what he considered a badly managed company.

P&G mgt refused and won very narrowly.

The FT reports that P&G spent at least US$100 million to deny him the seat he wanted. It had hired Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Centerview Partners and Lazard as advisers. Mr. Peltz’s Trian spent at least US$25 million.

NYT’s Dealbook reported that

 

Many of P&G’s biggest shareholders voted to give Mr. Peltz a seat on the board of the consumer product giant. BlackRock and State Street, which hold around 10% combined, voted with Trian, these people added.

Christopher Ailman, the chief investment officer of the Calstrs pension fund:
Calstrs will own Procter & Gamble long after the current management has moved on or retired. We will continue to vote our shares to ensure that individuals — like Nelson Peltz — who are a valuable asset to a board, get the opportunity to represent us and other like-minded long-term shareholders.

And

That Mr. Peltz could come so close reflects the growing power of activist investors bent on shaking up corporate boards.

As Mr. Peltz told CNBC after the P&G shareholder meeting: “There is no company today that can’t be called to task. Not one.”

PM, Khaw, SMRT: Apologise like Zuckerberg

In Infrastructure on 30/10/2017 at 11:13 am

Recently, Mr Zuckerberg observed Yom Kippur, the Jewish festival of atonement. He wrote on Facebook: “For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness and I will work to do better.”

I think Khaw, Desmond and the chairman of SMRT should have followed him Where’s Khaw? (cont’d) instead of doing a pale imitation of Japanese-style apology over the “ponding” problem.

PM and the PAP should also do a Zuckerberg for creating disharmony to ensure the “right” person became president by

— going against the national aspirations of meritocracy and multiracialism by wanting a Malay as president, and

— selecting as the Malay president someone whose i/c says “Indian”.

But let’s be fair. Maybe this is why Why PAP thinks we need a Malay president?

And after the recent London terror attack, only the anti-PAP TRE cybernuts will say that the PAP administration is wrong to try to prevent terror attacks.

 

PAP has lost “output legitimacy”

In Economy, Political economy, Political governance, Public Administration on 28/10/2017 at 9:54 am

We all know the failures of SMRT and MRT. So no need to elaborate.

But the problems at SMRT and MRT and the failure of the PAP administration to hold anyone to account except “the maintenance team” (Though to be fair the team failed to empty the holding tanks beneath tracks so they can absorb rainwater without jamming the service.) shows that the PAP administration has really lost “output legitimacy”.

I wrote this four years ago between GE 2011 and 2015. The results of the two elections showed not that the PAP regained “output legitimacy”; but showed that the PAP spent more of our money on ourselves in between Are you better off now than you were in 2011?(Death of LKY also helped):

The ST has for several weeks been writing about the loss of trust between the people and the govt, and laying the blame on the people (“daft”) who are distracted by the new media’s DRUMS beating the RAVII theme ( OK I exaggerate but juz a little). (BTW, here in a different context, I’ve looked at the role the new media plays: amplification, not distortion of the dissenting, inconvenient voices to the PAP’s narrative which the local media propagandises, while suppressing the former.)

Actually, the loss of trust is due to the PAP govt’s loss of “output legitimacy” since the 1990s.

“Output legitimacy” is the idea that elected leaders make decisions that are unpopular in the short term but will be approved by voters once their success has been demonstrated.  A govt aiming for “output legitimacy” (most govts don’t, but the PAP is an exception) is a bold, self-confident govt because the govt and the politicians need to be proved right by events.  Sadly for S’poreans and the PAP, the record doesn’t look that great for one LHL. He had been DPM, and in charge of economic and financial issues, and the civil service, since the 1990s, until he became PM in 2004.

Yet events have showed that S’poreans are discontented, not happy with the achievements of his govt. The PAP only polled 60% (lowest ever) in the 2011 GE, and three cabinet ministers lost their seats, with the WP winning for the first time ever a GRC. In the subsequent PE, the PAP’s “preferred” candidate and a challenger (ex PAP man too) polled 35% each. The preferred candidate won by a very short nose.

This yr, the PM promised to meet our concerns (housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable, and on education) is like that: “Crashed the cars, trains and buses we were on – and then wants us to thank him for pulling us out of the wreckage using our own money, by voting for the PAP”.

— https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/analysing-pms-coming-rally-speech/

— https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/govt-needed-natcon-survey-to-find-these-things-out/

After all S’poreans’ concerns that housing, healthcare and public transport will remain affordable, and on education are the result of govt policies

His dad introduced the concept “output legitimacy” to S’pore (although not the term: too highfalutin perhaps?), partly because it suited LKY’s personality (intellectual thuggery, the belief that “leaders lead” and shouldn’t be governed by opinion polls, and micromanaging**), and partly because while S’pore was a leading Asian city in the 50s and 60s (as LKY and PAP haters like to remind us ad nauseam), that wasn’t saying much for most S’poreans: err bit like now, one could reasonably argue. Examples:

— When the PAP came into power in 1959, unemployment was over 10%; and

— in 1960, 126,000 man-hours were lost in strikes as compared to 26,000 in 1959.

Source: book reviewed here

There were then things that had to be done that would upset many people most of the time for a while. But if the policies worked, then the results would be visible. Well, at the very least, the voters were prepared to give LKY and the PAP, over 70% of the popular vote and all the parly seats for over a decade.

The world’s now a bit more complex since then, and S’poreans’ expectations have rightly risen, so whether it is ever possible that the PAP govt can ever recover “output legitimacy” is open to question even if it has the ‘right” people leading it. But at least it’s willing to spend more of our money on making life a more comfortable for ourselves. Maybe that should be its articulated goal, to frame our expectations of its “output legitimacy”.

Maybe the constructive, nation-building media, and new media outlets that believe in constructive criticism, like the Breakfast Network and the Independent*** can help the PAP govt? Better than flogging the dead horses of trust, daft people and that the internet beats DRUMS to the RAVII theme.

*Recriminations, Accusations, Vilifications, Insinuations & Insults

**Remind me of the bible verses: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” or “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.”

***Independent sucks because it got its branding wrong. Name is so traditional media. In fact there is an established UK newspaper by that name.

Names with a whiff of the establishment seem old hat. Chris West, founder of Verbal Identity, specialists in linguistic branding, says that “they appear to be hankering after a debased culture of corporate magnificence”. Consumers think of them as pompous, self-serving, impersonal. The advantage of calling your business Wonga and GiffGaff lies in the rejection of superfluous formality. We perceive them as younger, more in-touch, less “corporate”. As Mr West concludes, “they sound like words we might hear at the pub”.

Then there is the quality of its writing. But that shows up the pedigree of two of its founders.

As for BN, it’s a work-in-progress, and it’s a gd training place for budding journalists: got ex-TOCer who has learnt to write proper, readable English. So I wish it well, even if I’ve heard allegations about its funding. And it has a great name. Spent a lot of cash getting its name right?

The PAP govt has lost “output legitimacy”: Discuss

Btw, Breakfast Network morphed into TMG which has just announced that it’s closing. No money. The Independent has morphed into The Idiots.

Related post: Parable of the contented dog/ No need to be grateful to the PAP

Why our Oppo so small and weak

In Uncategorized on 22/10/2017 at 1:39 pm

They are like our wild animals. They enrich the PAP-created environment without endangering the PAP or S’poreans. Think s/o JBJ, the two Ravis, the Chiams or the Wankers.

Big, dangerous Oppo figures are “sued” to extinction (JBJ, Roy etc) or detained (Teo Soh Lung, Amos Yee etc). But then Mad Dog Chee is still roaming the streets, so beware.

“THE WILD ANIMALS WE HAVE IN SINGAPORE ARE GENERALLY SMALL AND CAN THRIVE IN OUR WOODS AND GARDEN CITY. THEY ENRICH OUR ENVIRONMENT, MAKING SINGAPORE A NATURAL CITY AND NOT A BARREN ONE. THE PRESENCE OF SMALL, WILD ANIMALS IS A TRIBUTE TO OUR ABILITY TO BALANCE URBAN LIVING WITH NATURE.”

HE ADDED: “OCCASIONALLY WE MAY RUN INTO LARGER AND POTENTIALLY AGGRESSIVE ANIMALS SUCH AS WILD BOARS, SNAKES AND CROCODILES. THEY ARE BEST LEFT ALONE AND REPORTED TO THE AUTHORITIES WHO ARE TRAINED TO HANDLE THEM SAFELY. NOT WORTH PUTTING ONESELF AT RISK OR STRESSING THE WILD ANIMAL FOR THE SAKE OF A SELFIE OR VIDEO.”
(ESM GOH CHOK TONG)

Above posted by FB and real life friend on FB.

2033: Real reason why PAP rule will really end

In Political governance, Property on 21/10/2017 at 7:07 am

When I wrote Today SMRT, TOM Resale Public Housing which tells readers living in HDB flats how much time they have to enjoy “asset enhancement” after paying off their “affordable” 25-year mortgage (before the value of their HDB flats collapses according to calculations made by the constructive, nation-building ST not anti-PAP cynernuts), a regular reader linked my tots to an earlier piece Why 2033 will be the yr PAP rule ends.

By then the problem of large swathes of HDB estates’ (not just blocks here & there) impending demise to zero value will be front & center.

this fat cat rentier pointed out referencing Why 2033 will be the yr PAP rule ends

So u really think Ah Loong wants his son to be the 5th generation PAP PM? Something his siblings and anti-PAP cybernuts allege?

Today SMRT, TOM Resale Public Housing

In Property on 20/10/2017 at 10:50 am

But first, why a good public housing system is good for society.

Housing is the first of the social services. It is also one of the keys to increased productivity. Work, family life, health and education are all undermined by crowded houses. Therefore a Conservative and Unionist Government will give housing a priority second only to national defense.

1951 Tory conference: Economist

(Note the Tories won the UK general election and ruled until 1964 despite several debacles like the Suez crisis and not getting into the EU.)

Like the Tories, Harry and the PAP Old Guard when they came to power in 1959 also understood the importance of housing in building a cohesive society .


Related articles

“Housing is Affordable”: The real truth

Recognise this ang moh description of our HDB system?

From conception to death, the PAP looks after S’poreans

—————————————————

But things started going wrong when HDB flats on 99-year leases became “assets” to be manipulated for political gain (Think “asset enhancement”). The result: “affordable” public housing now means HDB “owners” having to take out mortgages of 25 years. Not a big problem if one buys a BTO flat from the HDB. After paying off the mortgage, there’s 39 years to go before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/will-you-still-love-your-hdb-flat-when-its-over-64

Note, it’s not the anti-PAP cybernuts pointing out the fall in value when the flat is 65 years old. It’s the constructive, nation-building ST.

But if one bought a 30-year old HDB resale flat, by the time the mortgage is paid up, one only gets 9 years before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

In between a BTO and a 30-year old flat:

— If one bought a 20-year old HDB resale flat, by the time the mortgage is paid up, one gets 19 years before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

— If one bought a 10-year old HDB resale flat, by the time the 25 year mortgage is paid up, one gets 29 years before the value of the flat falls over a cliff.

One by one, the icons of PAP rule are showing their feet of clay. First was and is the MRT system run by SMRT, next will be resale public housing.

——————————————-

Feet of clay

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. (Daniel 2:31-33)

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. (Daniel 2:41-43)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to win over PAP voters

In Uncategorized on 18/10/2017 at 4:26 pm

Online rows cannot be settled by quoting facts, suggests research.

Instead focus on the benefits that voting against the PAP will bring like having getting rid of the paper generals and other scholars. And that the PAP will throw more of our money at us.

But whatever don’t follow Oxygen and his other nutty and ratty TRE pals. They think that the 30% must rule over the 70% because the cybernuts are more intelligent than the avewrage voter.

Facts don’t matter online

There’s a well-known cartoon featuring a woman asking a man when he’s coming to bed who then says: “I can’t – someone is wrong on the internet.” It sums up just how we can be drawn into arguments online with people who seem to be immune to reason.

But a neuroscientist at University College London says we are probably wasting our time if we think facts will change people’s minds. Tali Sharot has written a book called The Influential Mind about how the methods we use in argument don’t work because they don’t fit with the way the mind operates.

She says the sheer volume of information now available on the internet is actually making things worse: “You can find information that supports anything you want to – and people do.” So if you believe the world is flat or that vaccines cause autism, you can find material online to back up your beliefs.

“What we need to realise is fighting the confirmation bias is not very helpful,” says Dr Sharot. “We can’t change millions of years of evolution – our brains work in a certain way.”

It seems a counsel of despair for anyone who believes that facts matter. But there is a cunning way of getting people to change their minds.

Dr Sharot points to a group of scientists who took a different approach when trying to convince parents that vaccines were not linked to autism. Instead of confronting them head on with studies that showed there was no link, they accepted the parents’ beliefs and instead talked to them about the good things vaccines did – such as keeping children safe from measles or mumps.

“They highlighted something everyone agreed on,” she says. This approach proved far more effective at changing minds than just a bald laying out of facts.

And do not feel smug in the belief that you are far too smart to be dogmatic about your beliefs even when you are shown evidence to the contrary. Dr Sharot says the research shows that the more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to have a confirmation bias.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41206533

Old told homes are not ‘assets to pass on to offspring’

In CPF, Political governance, Public Administration on 14/10/2017 at 11:11 am

No not a PAP minister or MP telling S’poreans that yr HDB flat is not really yrs.

According to the UK’s media, the UK social care minister has suggested pensioners’ property is not “an asset to give to their off-spring” but could instead be sold to pay for their care needs.

Maybe she’s the kind of person, the PM should offer citizenship to and promise to fast track her into the cabinet? After all, the recent fiasco on what the AG advised the cabinet to do showed what a cock, Kee Chui Chan, one of candidates to be PM is.

Btw, we don’t have this problem In the Daily Mail newspaper, UK’s justice minister Phillip Lee warned that the UK is a “selfish” society where families shirk their duty by “outsourcing” the care of their elderly relatives.

Here we got laws to make sure that S’poreans, not the state, have to look after their elderly relatives, one reason why taxes here are “peanuts”.

Then there’s this:

But if you transfer your CPF to your parents’ or grandparents’ CPF, you could be solving a problem (their need for money) in a way that creates another problem (your retirement needs) worse. Ownself sabo ownself.

Worse the PAP administration will be laughing all the way to the bank if yr parents or grandparents die earlier than expected and they are on CPL Life, not the old CPF Retirement Sum Scheme. The bequest should be much lower compared to if they opted-in to CPF Life.

CPF changes: Rob Peter to Pay Paul and worse

Why 2033 will be the yr PAP rule ends

In Political governance on 11/10/2017 at 8:00 am

Recently, I wrote

The USSR lasted for 74 years from 1917’s October Revolution. Counting from 1959, PAP has until 2033.

Here’s the real reason why PAP rule will end in 2033: 2033 will be the time when the 5th generation of PAP leaders take charge.

Here’s the detailed reasoning.

Tay Kheng Soon posted on FB on Sunday

Cherian George’s prediction or expectation that there will be 20 exceptional young people who will emerge to form singapore’s 5th generation leaders is too optimistic. Unlike the first generation leaders of the 60’s who had a socialistic world view the young today have been destroyed by post modern philosophy which combined with a good life has inbued in them a hyper subjectivist mentality. Its old radicals that need to step up to the challenge of a disrupted world. The 4th generaltion leadership are on cruise mode.

Cherian George had earlier been interviewed by Mothership (the PAP’s atas version of Petir) as saying:

“What the PAP and their supporters celebrate today is the creation of a small band of exceptional young Singaporeans. Lee Kuan Yew and less than 20 other people. So I asked myself, is it reasonable to hope that in Singapore today, among teens among 20-somethings and 30-somethings, that there are 20 Singaporeans with exceptional intelligence, ability, sense of public service, empathy, and conscience, to make Singapore what it can be? Yeah, of course I have hope! You can’t find 20? Please!”
Cherian George on why there’s hope for Singapore to become a better country.

After publicising the article: Cherian George (Malay Minister’s brudder-in- law, and his wife was ex tua kee in ST) commented  on FB

… be able/willing to rise
to the top. That’s why I don’t talk about 4G. More realistic to place hope in 5G (a long time off).

Coming back to the USSR, depending on how one decides to count the leadership changes in the USSR, it was the 5th generation of Soviet leaders that presided over the collapse of the USSR.

Already things like the continual breakdown of MRT services and the failure to find new engines of growth despite a restructuring plan every decade (Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different) shows that like the USSR after death of Stalin, S’pore is going to the dogs after Harry’s death.

Seelan Palay: Sylvia Lim was right

In Political governance, Public Administration on 08/10/2017 at 1:46 pm

Here I made fun of Seelan Palay’s latest attempt to test the OB markers: he crossed a red line after the police tried very hard not to arrest him, but he persisted, “After several failed attempts by the Police to persuade Seelan to leave the area, he was arrested by the Police at 3.20pm.” (TOC report)

Two years ago I wrote about how one person can be arrested for an illegal assembly

Jogging alone can be illegal?

If wearing the wrong tee-shirt or singlet?

Try walkng or jogging alone* wearing a “Free our CPF” singlet: remember that any public assembly of more than one person** needs police permission.

And jogging in a group of two or more”Free our CPF” singlets will be like jogging in groups in Burundi: illegal.

Running is a national pastime in Burundi, with hundreds of people out jogging on weekend mornings. But in March [2014] the authorities banned jogging in groups – unless permission was sought from the authorities. It affects all group sports in the capital, which can now only be played in designated areas.

Jogging by Lake Tanganyika

The restrictions followed the arrest of some opposition members who were out jogging and chanting political slangs. Police officers tried to stop what they regarded as an illegal march and the situation deteriorated into clashes. More than 40 Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) party members received sentences ranging from five years to life.

Burundi: Where jogging is a crime

Wonder what about wearing a tee shirt with a Oppo party logo, drinking teh tarik as social media celebrities Ravi and Jeannette Chong used to do when they were NSP tua kees.

And what about the crowds assembling to pay their respects to LKY? What about the crowds at the National Museum LKY exhibition?

Seems anything the PAP administration or the SPF doesn’t like can be an illegal assembly.

Related post: PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?

———‘

*Auntie Sylvia was absolutely right in 2007 and 2009 when she spoke out publicly:

The change in definition of “assembly” and “procession” is more disturbing. As the Explanatory Statement to the Bill says, these words are no longer restricted to gatherings of 5 persons or more. This means even ONE person alone can constitute illegal assembly, thus giving the State complete control over an individual citizen’s freedoms.

‘First, to say that 1 person constitutes an assembly is certainly an abuse of the word. Secondly, is the government making the change because there had been incidents involving less than 5 persons which had disrupted public life? Unless there is compelling evidence to prove to us that expanding the definition of assembly and procession is needed, this expansion does not deserve our support,”  Sylvia Lim in parly in 2009.

Earlier, in 2007, she had said:

“This refers to clauses 29 and 30 of the Bill. By clause 29 of the Bill, we are removing the heading “Offences Against Public Tranquility” and replacing it with “Offences relating to Unlawful Assembly”. By Clause 30, we will be deleting “mischief or trespass or other offence” and replacing it with “to commit any offence”.

S 141 has been amended to bring it in line with a recent Court of Appeal case: PP v Tan Meng Khin [1995] 2 SLR 505. Now, an assembly will be unlawful if people intend to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment of 6 mths or more, even if it is peaceful and does not disturb public tranquillity. Under our law, a person who organizes a procession or assembly after the police rejection of a permit can be punished with max 6 months jail under the Miscellaneous Offences Act. Hence 5 or more people who gather to do so will become members of an unlawful assembly.

As our society continues to evolve, the time is surely ripe for us to allow peaceful outdoor protests as a form of expression. By all means, we can have rules about how, where and when such processions may be held, but wider law reform is needed. S 141 should be restricted to offences which threaten the public peace, and other laws such as the Miscellaneous Offences Act which require permits for peaceful assemblies should be modified.”

**Two men between the ages of 24 and 25 were arrested by police outside the Istana on Saturday afternoon (Apr 4).

Police said the duo had turned up in front of the Istana with placards at about 4pm. Channel NewsAsia understands that the men were holding signs that read “You can’t silence the people” and “Injustice” for about half an hour. They were clad in identical red hoodies and dark blue jeans.

Police also said both of them had refused to stop the activity despite requests from officers. As such, they were arrested for organising a public assembly without a permit, under Section 16(1)(a) of the Public Order Act, Chapter 257A.

 

 

PAP uses Lawfare against its opponents?

In Political governance, Public Administration on 08/10/2017 at 4:47 am

Is Lawfare the PAP’s weapon of choice against the enemies of the people the PAP?

Yesterday, I came across a word that JBJ, Dr Chee, Roy, Amos, Francis Seow and many other opponents of the PAP would have agreed as being the victims of, if they knew of the term. The word is “lawfare”.

The term is used by the Brazilian lawyers of ex-president Lula da Silva who was recently found guilty of corruption in a letter to the editor in the latest issue of the Economist . They define “lawfare” as “the misuse of law for political ends” and they accuse the Brazilian authourities of using lawfare against their client. 

What do you think? The PAP is using lawfare against its opponents?

Very related article: In S’pore we have rule by law not the rule of law.   

(Last para added at 6.20am)

PAP rule will end in 16 yrs time

In Political governance on 06/10/2017 at 2:59 pm

There have been quite a few comments on FB recently comparing PAP ruled S’pore to the USSR.

The USSR lasted for 74 years from 1917’s October Revolution. Counting from 1959, PAP has until 2033.

 

Why PAP doesn’t do accountability, meritocracy

In Political governance, Public Administration, S'pore Inc on 26/09/2017 at 11:16 am

Meritocracy and accountability are two sides of the same coin as the US navy has recently shown (PM, this is accountability). (Btw, a long time ago, the British executed a white horse to encourage other senior naval officers to do their duty.)

Therev are many examples where despite all the talk of meritocray (Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness), by the PAP, failures are rewarded, showing there’s no accountabilty. Think NOL’s CEO who is now SPH’s CEO or Ong Yee Kung  or SMRT’s Desmond Kwek or paper General Ministers.

The reason is simple: they were doing what they were supposed to do. Juz like when algos fail, the algos are not faulted. They juz doing what they were designed to do: “only doing what it was told”.

This realisation came when I read this

If Facebook’s algorithms were executives, the public would be demanding their heads on a stick, such was the ugly incompetence on display this week.

First, the company admitted a “fail” when its advertising algorithm allowed for the targeting of anti-Semitic users.

Then on Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg said he was handing over details of more than 3,000 advertisements bought by groups with links to the Kremlin, a move made possible by the advertising algorithms that have made Mr Zuckerberg a multi-billionaire.

Gross misconduct, you might say – but of course you can’t sack the algorithm. And besides, it was only doing what it was told.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41358078

Blame the PAP (or rather the leaders of the PAP). And blame the pioneer generation for allowing S’pore to become a de facto one-party state?

Looking at things this way, and maybe the poor among the pioneer generation deserve the “peanuts” the PAP are shelling out.

What do u think?

Pot calling kettle black

In Political governance on 24/09/2017 at 5:14 am

I couldn’t help think the above when I read

Several Members of Parliament yesterday called for greater compassion from a public service that has, in Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng’s words, “lost its heart”, citing examples of how people have been turned away because public servants were doing things strictly by the book.

(Today)

The constructive, nation-building free sheet then went on to quote several PAP MPs.

Come on, the same can be said about today’s PAP MPs with the honourable exceptions of Lily Neo, Kate Spade Tin and a few others.

 

PAP beware: PAP and LKY loyalists not the same

In Political governance on 20/09/2017 at 7:16 am

When GCT was talking cock about the moral authority of the PAP administration (OK, OK he used the word “govt”) I couldn’t help but remember a remark that would pls the Oxley Rd hermitess and her younger brudder, and worry PM and the other PAppies, if they had been told about it.

In a closed FB group that my avatar belongs to, someone who could be reliably relied on to parrot the PAP line, was KPKBing about the reserve presidency (even though Hali’s i/c like his said “Indian”). When other members of the group gently pointed out his deviation from the PAP line, he said something to the effect that “I’m the third generation of LKY loyalists, I’m not a PAPpy”.

He got a good number of “Likes”.

Based on PE 2011 and GE 2011 and GE2015, the core PAP vote is around 35%, with the soft PAP vote about 35%.

No wonder PM was so keen to get Hali as president because even a ceremonial president can cause problems. But in so doing, he may have reduced further the die-die must vote PAP voters. Now that is a real problem. When LKY loyalists disagree with the PAPpists, the PAP’s core vote may now be smaller than 35%.

Never mind, expect more goodies using our own money. My hope is the extension of Pioneer Gen healthcare benefits to those in their early sixties.

 

 

“I’m invested in S’pore”

In Economy, Political governance on 19/09/2017 at 5:21 pm

Hence I talk so much about the way the PAP is mismanaging the place. I wrote this in 2013:

Shumeone (Bad grammar indicates that it is a member of YPAP Internet Brigade? Juz joking LOL) wrote,”why (sic) is this blog becoming like the local sites to air political grievances ?”

Because like PAPy Puthu, “I’m invested in S’pore”. So long as I remain a quitter in residence, and have investments here (property, shares, S$ cash), I must protect these investments. Increasingly the issues affecting my investment centre around the goofs of the PAP govt. These goofs have resulted in over 5% inflation, overcrowding, failing (by S’pore’s very high standards) infrastructure (telco and train cock-ups, congested roads, and the very high cost of public housing), productivity, stratification of society, among others.

“I’m invested in S’pore” & S’pore in 50s/ 60s

I’m not like chief TRE cybernut Oxygen who moved on out of S’pore years ago, but cannot get S’pore out of his mind. He still KPKBing about his CPF when all he needs to take it out is to become an Oz citizen. But maybe Oz will not him become a citizen because he’s a nut?

Hali humble? What a load of bull

In Political governance on 18/09/2017 at 4:54 am

Justin Wee posted this on FB

PAP and the MSM keeps telling us the sham President Halimah Yacob is humble, no doubt to fudge the controversy surrounding the way she was selected in a blatant disregard for the fundamental tenet of the Elected Presidency.

Now, if she’s humble, can we suggest Halimah to dispense with the motorcade and entourage that accompany her wherever she goes?

She’s certainly not deserving of it given that none of us voted for her.

What’s she afraid of if she claims to be a “President” for all?

Is she afraid of S’poreans?

PAP doesn’t think. They juz use standard procedures from the operating manual. They missed a trick to salvage her and their reputations from the mauling they getting from the public. But maybe they juz don’t give a damn. They look at their monthly CPF statements and smile.

#hardlymahpresident

In Political governance on 17/09/2017 at 11:07 am

WTF? President is paid millions but we got to do her work for her isit?

This is the implication of what Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said. He wants

 Singaporeans to “help the President succeed” in a Facebook post.

“The process of how Halimah Yacob became President may be highly controversial but she is not a controversial figure,” he wrote on Thursday (Sep 14) afternoon.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/do-our-part-to-help-the-president-succeed-goh-chok-tong-9216068l

Jokes aside, while she was not a controversial figure (In fact I tot she could thrash TCB, and I said that I’d have voted for her despite having voted for TCB), she is now a controversial figure because of her complicity in the wayang of selecting a Malay president whose i/c says “Indian”.

She signed up to the wayang, which

— decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which the presidency is held; and

— induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against the presidency and the president.

And taz why she’s now a controversial figure, even taking into account her past good deeds and character. But she’s crying or laughing all the way to the bank, so u think she really cares what anyone thinks about her? I doubt it. Money talks, BS walks.

One thing I must say about the PAP. If they had been in charge of the Jewish council that paid Judas 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus, they’d have paid him a lot more. But then having worked for the premier Jewish house in the City, Jews pride themselves on being mean. The joke was that to work in Rothschilds, u needed to have a private income. It was like being an officer in the Queen’s Household Brigade.

Btw, I like the Singlish version of #notmypresident. For one, it sums up my feelings better: #hardlymahpresident.

When the Presidential Commission recommended scrapping presidential elections and reverting to an appointed presidency, a government white paper rejected the idea. The reason for the rejection was that it was important to give the presidency a “popular” and “direct” mandate. 

Going by the Wayang

“popular” and “direct” mandate

must now seem to be Orwellian.

(Last two paras added at 11.40am)

Hali cracks a great joke

In Political governance on 17/09/2017 at 4:40 am

“Although this is a reserved election, I am not a reserved President. I’m a President for everyone”

There was no election. It was a walkover. How can a “reserved” president that was “not elected” be “everyone”‘s president.

Especially when she implies S’poreans are racists to justify the way she became president, parroting the PAP’s explanation of why there had to be a Malay president even if said Malay has i/c saying “Indian”.

Seriously as someone posted on FB

You know you’re off to a bad start when even your humility inconveniences your neighbourhood.

 

Two cheers for Hali

In Political governance on 16/09/2017 at 10:53 am

(For TRE cybernuts like Ng Cock Lim aka Rabble-rouser, pls look up the meaning of “two cheers”)

Because of Hali, “chop” cannot be banned

I am both gladdened and saddened by the National Environment Agency’s reply (Two hawker centres set ‘house rules’ against choping; Sept 2).

It is good that the NEA has acknowledged that “choping” is indeed a problem. But its approach to solving this is not in touch with reality.

The softly-softly approach has not worked ….

ST forum complainer

He’s a real cock (Ng Cock Lim’s twin isit?). Chopping cannot be banned because we juz saw PAP chopping the presidency. If PAP can chop presidency, S’poreans cannot chop seats isit?

#notmypresident protest and me

In Political governance on 16/09/2017 at 6:16 am

Gilbert Goh has called for a silent sit-in protest (text below) against the reserved presidential election today from 4.30PM to 6.30PM at Hong Lim Park.

I usually don’t do protests or solidarity.

But in solidarity, I posted yesterday a post on Hali’s inauguration speech that implies we are racists. And later today and tom in further shows of solidarity (I still don’t do protests), I’ll post more takes showing how the changes to the way the president is chosen

— decreases the respect, regard, or confidence in which the office is held; or and

— induces disparaging, hostile, or disagreeable opinions or feelings against the presidency and the president.

Sad.

Lamentation of the Malay minister’s brudder-in-law https://mothership.sg/2017/09/a-monumental-miscalculation/

Worth a read even if his comments appear in a PAPpy funded publication. Which begs the question, “Why does it appear there?”

What do u think?

——————————-

Dear Fellow Singaporeans,

We have just received the NParks permit to stage a first-ever Silent Sit-in Protest against the Reserved Presidential Election this coming Saturday 16th Sep from 4.30 to 6.30pm.

Its a sit-in protest meaning that we won’t have any speakers for the event with no stage and no microphone speaker system. You can however bring along your placards to show your displeasure with the incoming government-appointed Presidency.

If you feel dissatisfied with the recent events surrounding the controversial PE, this is the time to show up and be counted. You can continue to be a keyboard warrior quietly firing away online but the time to step up is NOW!

Fear has crippled you all this while you are burnt up inside and its time to unleash that frustration by showing up with like-minded Singaporeans together as ONE voice.

People dropping by are encouraged to bring a mat and sit down silently on the park as a sign of protest against the PE. You can drop by anytime between 4.30 to 6.30pm or leave anytime of course. If you can join us for the sit-in silent protest for the whole 2 hours it will be great!

If you bring food and water along do be mindful not to litter the place.

Do wear black so we are united as ONE heart and people regardless of race and religion.

See you soon Singaporeans – Malays, Indians, Chinese and Eurasians are all welcomed!”

Gilbert Goh
Organiser
#notmypresident

Hali wants to unite S’poreans?

In Political governance on 15/09/2017 at 1:24 pm

Against her isit by branding voters as “racists”. Why liddat?

“I look forward to the day when we will no longer need to rely on the provision to have reserved elections, and Singaporeans naturally and regularly elect citizens of all races as Presidents”

The above implies that we voters are racists despite events like the Bukit Batok by-election where an Indian (with the help of true blue Chinese like Grace Fu) whipped the ass of talk cock sing song Hokkien-speaker and GE2015 where yje same Indian beat Chen Show Mao in the latter’s ward. Only the GRC system saved Mao. Ironic because the PAP said GRC was to protect minorities against orang Cina, not orang Cina from Chinese.

Many S’poreans believe the only reason why we had a reserved election was to ensure the PAP’s wish of having someone whose i/c said “Indian” as the second “Malay” president and first woman. If this is true, then the PAP are the racists, not us. And sexists too.

How to respect someone who uses the presidential pulpit to brand me and other S’poreans as racists?  And in her first speech too as president?

Was I wrong about her. I wrote in early 2016: Malay PAPpy that can thrash Chin Bock. I even said I’d vote for her in a one to one fight with Dr Tan despite voting fot Dr Tan the last time round.

Whatever, with comments like this from her, its going to be easy to keep S’poreans angry with the PAP about the way she became president. I had tot that come the next GE S’poreans, bribed with their own money, would forget their anger.


The only way to make PAP listen to you is through your vote. The way to stop PAP from manipulating the elected presidency is to stop them from having a 2/3 majority. They can still be the government with over 50% of the total seats in parliament but once they obtain above 66%, it means they can change the constitution at their whims and fancy and there absolutely NOTHING you can do about it. GE 2011 has shown that if you want PAP to listen to you, the only way is to stop voting for them, nothing is more straightforward and clear cut than that! Losing 1 GRC already made them panic, imagine what losing another 5 GRCs and a couple more single seats will do to them?! You have the power to bring them to their knees, just be smart with your vote.

FB post by upset S’porean

———————————————–

If Hali keeps on sounding like the PAP (Remember PM and ministers on need for reserved presidency? They all said we are racists.) maybe we’ll thank her one day. Meanwhile she can look at her bank statement and laugh at Judas. He only got thirty pieces of silver. And Jews are supposed to be really smart.

 

 

Why PAP thinks we need a Malay president?

In Political governance, Property on 12/09/2017 at 6:25 am

Even if her i/c says “Indian”.

Because it wants to avoid property prices from collapsing?

A Muslim president will keep some Muslims from becoming radicalised and then becoming terrorists because there hasn’t been a Muslim president since Yusof Ishak? (Btw, even at the time, there were questions whether he was Malay. He comes from Minangkabau stock.)  (Btw, Read what a law professor has to say about the definition of “Malay” in our con.

Here’s what an Indonesian Muslim scholar says about Islam and terrorism

… should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to “Islamophobia.” Or do people want to accuse me — an Islamic scholar — of being an Islamophobe too?

What basic assumptions within traditional Islam are problematic?

The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the relationship of Muslims with the state, and Muslims’ relationship to the prevailing legal system wherever they live … Within the classical tradition, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is assumed to be one of segregation and enmity.

Perhaps there were reasons for this during the Middle Ages, when the tenets of Islamic orthodoxy were established, but in today’s world such a doctrine is unreasonable. To the extent that Muslims adhere to this view of Islam, it renders them incapable of living harmoniously and peacefully within the multi-cultural, multi-religious societies of the 21st century.

https://pamelageller.com/2017/09/muslim-scholar-truth-about-islam.html/

Bottom line, PAP wants to keep S’pore safe? Otherwise property prices will plunge if there’s no Muslim president?

=====

According to law professor Kevin Tan in a talk at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Forum on The Reserved Presidential Election on Sept. 8, the definition of “Malay” in the Constitution is anomalous because he says“who is a Malay?” is a highly problematic legal question.

Source: Singapore Statutes Online

“With Malay candidates, it gets even more interesting, because I think back in 1988, this formula when it was first brought up, they already recognised that it was almost next to impossible to define who is or is not a Malay…Because it is a social construct, we make it up, about race, about who is and is not a Malay, or Chinese or so on. It is actually socially constructed. In the case of the Malay, it actually says, a person belonging to the Malay Community means any person and here nobody else has this phrase ‘of the Malay race or otherwise’. So this means that I, meaning Kevin Tan can say I am Malay, even though I am not of Malay stock, theoretically. “

My take on the “Malay” race: no such race.

Race is BS or “post-truth” at work?

In Political governance on 09/09/2017 at 3:41 pm

The upcoming reserved Presidential Election is part of Singapore’s overall framework to create a strong national identity, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/reserved-presidential-election-part-of-framework-to-build-9199346

Does he mean that a “Malays only” presidency where the only “Malay” candidates have i/cs saying “Indian” or “Pakistani” means that the idea of different races or that the term “Malay race” are really BS?

More like “post-truth” at work methinks.

“Post-truth” is a word that has come to prominence as the Western liberal elites are angsting and spinning about their defeats in Brexit and the US presidential election.

The Oxford Dictionary declared ‘post-truth’ its word of the year 2016. FT added “A less verbose way to describe the same phenomenon would be to say it was the year in which emotion trumped fact. Or cruder still, it was the year of the lie.”

The Economist (the PAP’s bible) got emotional about “post-truth”:

Mr Trump is the leading exponent of “post-truth” politics—a reliance on assertions that “feel true” but have no basis in fact. His brazenness is not punished, but taken as evidence of his willingness to stand up to elite power.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21706525-politicians-have-always-lied-does-it-matter-if-they-leave-truth-behind-entirely-art

And

tempting to dismiss the idea of “post-truth” political discourse—the term was first used by David Roberts, then a blogger on an environmentalist website, Grist—as a modish myth invented by de-haut-en-bas liberals and sore losers ignorant of how dirty a business politics has always been. But that would be complacent. There is a strong case that, in America and elsewhere, there is a shift towards a politics in which feelings trump facts more freely and with less resistance than used to be the case. Helped by new technology, a deluge of facts and a public much less given to trust than once it was, some politicians are getting away with a new depth and pervasiveness of falsehood. If this continues, the power of truth as a tool for solving society’s problems could be lastingly reduced.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21706498-dishonesty-politics-nothing-new-manner-which-some-politicians-now-lie-and

Even Goldman Sachs talked about “misinformation, half-truths, and political spin”, despite having its alumni in the White House.

Well the ideas and concepts behind “post-truth” have been around at least 1900

“They wanted facts. Facts! They demanded facts from him, as if facts could explain anything.”
―from LORD JIM (1900) by Joseph Conrad

A ship’s crew abandons their human cargo of pilgrims, breaking all naval traditions. A young junior British officer Jim is one of them. At a court of inquiry he is questioned in great detail over what happened and in partucular his own actions; the other members of the crew having run way again. He is publicly censured for his actions, and stripped of his qualifications.

The above quotes reflect the narratot’s view of his state of mind at the inquiry.

*LORD JIM is a classic story of one man’s tragic failure and eventual redemption, told under the circumstances of high adventure at the margins of the known world which made Conrad’s work so immediately popular. But it is also the book in which its author, through a brilliant adaptation of his stylistic apparatus to his obsessive moral, psychological and political concerns, laid the groundwork for the modern novel as we know it. With An Introduction By Norman Sherry. READ an excerpt here:http://knopfdoubleday.com/book/30813/lord-jim/

 

More on Hali’s judgement between 2007 -2011/ Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

In Uncategorized on 18/08/2017 at 10:07 am

Further to this about Hali’s judgment as SMRT non-executive director in not being aware of MRT problems that ordinary S’poreans were aware of, there’s more about her judgement (or rather lack of it) during her spell as SMRT director and a senior NTUC leader.

She really showed bad judgement because it concerned SMRT’s labour relations.

I wrote this in 2012 about Ong Ye Kung, but it applies to Halimah too given that labour problems don’t just happen overnight. They fester over time. And she should have known about the labour tensions in SMRT given that  she was Deputy Secretary General, Director of the Legal Services Department and Director of the Women’s Development Secretariat.

Earlier this year, SMRT’s S’porean drivers made known publicly their unhappiness over pay proposals that had his endorsement as Executive Secretary of NTWU (Nation Transport Workers’ Union). As he was also a non-executive director of SMRT, if he were an investment banker, a US judge would have rebuked and censured him for his multiple, conflicting roles.

Then he resigned, effective last month, from NTUC to “join the private sector”.

In perhaps a farewell, good-riddance gesture, FT PRC workers went on strike (illegally) and we learnt:

— they lived in sub-standard accommodation (SMRT admitted this);

— unlike most SBS FT PRC drivers, most of SMRT’s PRC drivers were not union members; and

— Ministry of Manpower reprimanded SMRT for its HR practices.

All this reflects badly on Ong: NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General,  Executive-Secretary of NTWU and SMRT non-executive director. And on the system that allowed him to rise to the top. After all his ex-boss said the following reported on Friday, which given Ong’s multiple roles in SMRT, can reasonably be interpreted as criticism of Ong:

In his first comments on the illegal strike, which saw 171 workers protesting over salary increases and living conditions, the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said the labour dispute “shouldn’t have happened” and “could have been avoided”. [So where was Ong: looking at his monthly CPF statements and being happy?]

NTUC is thus reaching out to SMRT’s management to persuade them “to adopt a more enlightened approach to embrace the union as a partner”, he added. [Hello, NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General was on SMRT’s board, so what waz he doing?]

Mr Lim, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Labour Movement Workplan Seminar, cited the example of SMRT’s rival SBS Transit where nine in 10 of its China bus drivers are union members. Only one in 10 of SMRT’s China bus drivers are union members, according to union sources. [So, why didn’t Ong advise SMRT to help unionise these FTs, and if he did, why didn’t NTUC push harder ehen SMRT refused?]

SBS Transit’s management “recognised the constructive role of the union”, while union leaders “played the role of looking after the interests of the drivers”, said Mr Lim.

“And as a result … they work very closely as one team, it’s a win-win outcome. In terms of how workers are being treated and respected, how management are responsive, how they work together, I think it’s a kind of model that we ought to see more and more in Singapore.” (Today)

Judgment? What judgment?

Coming back to Ong. Given he’s failed at NTUC as Zorro Lim implied above, he’s now said to be a possible PM?

And NTUC is not the only place he failed. He failed here too:

Ong was the Chief Executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency from 2005 to 2008. There, he spearheaded many initiatives to build up the Continuing Education and Training infrastructure for Singapore, and made training accessible to the individual worker, including contract workers and the unemployed.

Wikipedia entry

Surely he must share a lot of the blame for the low productivity of S’pore’s work force?

Meritocracy? What meritocracy?

Related: Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”

When a ceremonial president goes “rogue”

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Indian president is supposedly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then there was the previous president

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————

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

——————————————

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

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

Even if she’s really a Malay. 

Oh what a tanled web we weave …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pls read this

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

 August 9, 2017

Tay Kheng Soon

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

Legendary Malay hero was really Indian/ Blame Mendaki, not PAP

In Uncategorized on 08/08/2017 at 10:25 am

I came across this FB comment made by someone using a Malay name.

Remember Old Malacca sultanate PM or Bendahara , Bendahara Sri Maharaja Tun Mutahir (died 1510) was a famous Bendahara of the Malaccan Sultanate. He belongs to Tamil Muslim ancestry. He was the seventh Bendahara, a post equivalent to a prime minister. He was accepted as Malay in Malay country!

What he left out about the Indian Bendahara was that he filled court positions with his relatives, and was executed by the Sultan who was suspicious that he was trying to become sultan, hence giving posts to his relatives.

Actually the Malacca Sultanate, the Golden Age of the Malays, was a pretty multiracial place.

Hang Li Po, a supposedly Ming dynasty princess, was the fifth wife of Malaccan Sultan Mansur Shah.

Btw, the poster went on

Tun Mahathir , ex PM and numbers of Indian ancestry ministers and MPs from UMNO accepted as members , a party which only Malay can join!

Why we in Singapore make a big fuss about Malay ancestry of Elected President.In fact how many of Malay people are pure Malay!We are Rojak society , and in us flow many ancestry bloodline before our IC indicate the race MALAY!

If Malaysia, Malay country can accept any Indian ancestry Muslim Malay spoken , especially in Penang, as Malay why can’t our country, Singapore.

Thinking about it why didn’t the PAP simply say Nathan also Malay?

After all PAP MP Zainal Sapari says i/c is irrelevant in deciding whether one is a Malay (Malayness issue post). Actually he may have gone further, allegedly claiming that Mandaki was wrong in using i/c card race classification in deciding whether to extend aid. Sadly he sanitisied his FB thread so we can’t be certain.

——————————-

This is especially because Mendaki’s position is that if i/c doesn’t say “Malay” there’ll be no help for the Muslim supplicant, even if the entire kampung swears that said supplicant is really a Malay.

Malay-Muslim self-help group Yayasan Mendaki has a set of criteria for its financial assistance schemes for students administered on behalf of the Government. Among other things, the recipients “must be of Malay descent” as stated in their identity cards. It spells out a list of what it considers to be “Malay descent”, and this includes 22 ethnicities including Acehnese, Javanese, Boyanese, Sumatran, Sundanese and Bugis. Students with “double-barrelled” race are eligible if the first race is listed on the identity cards as Malay, said a Mendaki spokesman. For example, a student who is Malay-Arab would qualify for the schemes but an Arab-Malay student would not, he added.

(CNA)

Malayness issue post

———————-

If he did, was he aware that the Malay minister responsible for Malay affairs heads Mendaki? Now that guy’s i/c says “Malay”. But a classmate of his says that the story in school (Tanjong Katong Technical School) was that his dad chose “Malay” instead “Arab” because of the goodies. But we know school boys can be mean, and tell lies.

So waz new? PAP instinctively prefers FTs

In Political governance on 04/08/2017 at 7:13 am

The MacPherson Zone B Residents’ Committee (RC) will offer a refund to everyone who took part in its open house, after charging new citizens less for tickets to the event.

The RC apologised on Thursday (Aug 3) after some pointed out that tickets for the Jul 30 event cost S$1 for new citizens, but S$3 for everyone else.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/macpherson-rc-offers-refund-on-open-house-tickets-after-charging-9089574

OK, OK, the PAP’s running dogs repented. Thet nade the event free.

But really it shows that the running dogs’ Pavlovian response is to screw S’poreans, while making life great for FTs.

And where did they learn that response from? The PAP.

Remember CurryGate? A govt agency told locals to stop cooking curry because it offended FTs. And worse was proud of its action.

But to be fair to the PAP, here’s an example (the only one I can find of the PAP administration discriminating against FTs)

Also seen just outside the event area was Russian student Elijah Zamyatin, who was playing Monopoly with three Singaporean friends when the group was approached by Yahoo Singapore. The 18-year-old, who has lived in Singapore for seven years, said he had been unaware of the new regulations until he read the signs placed around the area.

“I don’t understand why (it is like this). It seems like love is for everyone except foreigners. This event is to spread love, but you ban foreigners,” he said.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/pink-dot-2017-draws-thousands-despite-new-restrictions-152411039.html

Like him, I can’t understand this discrimination. If he has the right the right to live here for seven, he has the right to attend an event like this,

“Malay race” created by ang mohs, not the Malays

In Uncategorized on 03/08/2017 at 10:48 am

(Alt title: “How can S’pore be creative and prosperous when the PAP clings to discredited. outdated theories?”)

But first, this well argued, reasoned piece appeared as a letter to TRE. It also provides the background to the explanation that the “Malay race” is a Western, colonial creation to better subjectate natives. One could argue that the PAP keeps the concept in order to play the British game of “divide and rule”.

Coming Presidential Election is a failure at all levels

It feels like the next Presidential Election is a failure at all levels. The government have given their reasons for reserving this next election for the Malays, following changes to the Constitution to ensure the highest office of the land reflects Singapore’s multiracial society.

While the government sees this as a way to reflect multiracial society, this have backfired on them. Where once Singaporeans don’t really see race as an issue, as this generation accepts Singapore’s diverse races living and working together, this very decision to ensure a Malay representative get the Presidency role seems to have given rise to racism.

Now, we have online netizens questioning in what constitutes of being a Malay. Three person are almost certain to be the candidates for the Presidency Election, one allegedly an Indian Muslim, one is of a Pakistani descent and one cannot even speak Malay properly. Now, everyone is questioning on what the government sees as Malay! The issue with this is that race was once not part of this political process, where people vote according to who they think will do a good job. It just so happened that no Malay candidate would run.

Now they have opened to Malays only. Isn’t this going against their open arms policy?And by having only Malays, isn’t this also a racist thing to do? Now everyone is questioning whether this Malay candidate is Malay enough, not some mixed heritage. Just because they speak Malay, does not mean one is a Malay. LKY spoke impeccable Malay, but he is not a Malay! Furthermore, one candidate cannot even speak Malay properly.

So you see? Government wants to reserve the President for a Malay, cos we have not had one for a long time. But by doing this, you are saying Malays cannot contest on their own merits. Govt must hand hold them, and let Malays challenge the not so Malays, and the winner would be a Malay. What kind of logic is that?

Fadly Yusoff

Well said Fadly Yusoff.

Coming back to blaming the Europeans for the problem where “Indians” and “Pakistanis” can be Malays in an election where only Malays can stand, blame in particular the British and an 18th century German.

In 1824, the British introduced the concept of the “Malay” race into S’pore’s psyche and political governance, when they classified the residents of S’pore into “Chinese”, “Indians”, “Malays” and “Others”.

Raffles’ views must have played a part in this classification even though by 1824 he had retired and was living in England:

The popularisation of Malay as a racial category was in essence a colonial product, the significant role of which played by the Spanish since the 17th century and that of the British since the 18th century in identifying the Archipelago as the Malay world. The view held by Thomas Stamford Raffles for example, had a significant influence on English-speakers, lasting to the present day. He should probably be regarded as the most important voice in projecting the idea of a ‘Malay’ race or nation, not limited to the traditional Raja-Raja Melayu or even their supporters, but embracing a large if unspecified part of the Archipelago.[23]William Marsden, another British “merchant-scientist,” classified the inhabitants of the Archipelago as Malays, based on religion (Islam), language (Malay) and origin.[24]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_world#Malay_as_a_racial_category

In the previous century, it was a German who proposed the idea of a “Malay race”:

The concept of a Malay race was originally proposed by the German scientist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach(1752–1840), and classified as a brown race.[1]Malay is a loose term used in the late 19th century and early 20th century to describe theAustronesian peoples[2] / categorize Austronesian speakers into a race.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_race

The people of the Malay archipelago* (the British name for the region) were not consulted about this theory nor about the British classification of races in S’pore.


The Real Malays

Yes there really are “Malays” (not just Indian Muslims and Pakistanis and other Muslims who say they are Malays, to get the goodies, one assumes):

Malays (Malay: Orang Melayu,Jawi: اورڠ ملايو) are an ethnic group of Austronesian peoples predominantly inhabiting theMalay Peninsula, eastern Sumatra and coastal Borneo, as well as the smaller islands which lie between these locations — areas that are collectively known as the Malay world …

There is considerable genetic, linguistic, cultural, and social diversity among the many Malay subgroups, mainly due to hundreds of years of immigration and assimilation of various regional ethnicity and tribes within Maritime Southeast Asia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malays_(ethnic_group)

And yes there is a place in south east Sumatra call Malayu (or Melayu).

But there is no Malay race. Malays are an ethnic group.

Read this to understand the difference between race and ethnicity.

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Ethnicity_vs_Race

—————————————————-

Coming back to the German and his theory,

Since Blumenbach, many anthropologists have rejected his theory of five races, citing the enormous complexity of classifying races*.

So the PAP is adhering to an outdated and discredited theory in creating a “Malay” presidency? And where only “Indians” and “Pakistanis” want to become a “Malay” president?

Given that a fifth of marriages are between people of different “races”, surely we should be moving away from thinking in terms of “race”? And then there’s this aspiration:

We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.

But then maybe the PAP is using the issue of race to play a modern day version of the British game of “divide and rule” the natives?

What do u think?

Whatever, how can S’pore be creative, let alone progress if the ruling party in a defacto one-party state refuses to change its mind on policies that no longer work or never worked in the first place?

Take the economy where the PAP

— continues to see welfare** as a bad thing except when it needs to buy votes, and

— believes that FTs are needed to keep the economy growing.

No wonder we have had restructuring plans galore (Once every decade it seems),

Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back

John Maynard Keynes

Maybe time listen to the views of this guy on how to fix S’pore’s problems? Lawyer with LLM from Cambridge who was a senior partner in the law firm where the CJ and other judges and two AGs came from.

———————–

*And nowadays called Maritime Southeast Asia (the maritime region of Southeast Asia as opposed to mainland Southeast Asia and comprises what is now Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and Timor Leste. An alternate term for the region is “the Indonesian Archpielgo and the Malay Peninsula”.

**To be fair to the PAP, “A shift to a welfare state is a daunting challenge that cannot be realised without raising taxes comprehensively,” says a S Korean economist taking of the Korean govt’s plans. But as Chris K and Yeoh Lam Keong keep pointing out, there’s a lot more that can be done within the present framework.

“Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation” 

In Political governance on 24/07/2017 at 5:01 am

“Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation” was said by George Carlin. He was an American stand-up black comedy comedian, actor, author, and social critic.

When Sonny Liew became the first S’porean to win an Eisner Award (In fact he won three*: the Eisner Awards are the comic industry’s Oscars.), I realised that “Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation” applies here too because of the hostility to alternative narratives to the “The S’pore Story: The PAP Version”.

“The S’pore Story: The PAP Version”

goes something like this: Newly independent from its bigger neighbor Malaysia, small and vulnerable in the middle of the Cold War, beset by Communist infiltrators and surrounded by domino nations, Singapore finally found stability and a road to prosperity when its founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, defeated dangerous left-wing opponents, regrettably by having many tossed in jail.

“The S’pore Story: The PAP Version”

has been hammered home in textbooks, the mass media and television shows. To oppose it meant risking detention without trial, costly libel suits or extreme marginalization in a country where the state controls most purse strings and levers of power.

The above extracts are from

After the above book was published, Singapore’s National Arts Council (NAC) withdrew a publishing grant, and an official wrote in a letter to the constructive, nation-building ST that the book “potentially undermines the authority and legitimacy of the Government and its public institutions.”

(The author talks about his present relationship with the NAC: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-40606324/singapore-artist-tops-comic-book-oscars-nominations)

Then there’s “State of Emergency”, another novel. The author sent the first draft of book to NAC and his subsidy was stopped.

Synopsis:
Siew Li leaves her husband and children in Tiong Bahru to fight for freedom in the jungles of Malaya. Decades later, a Malaysian journalist returns to her homeland to uncover the truth of a massacre committed during the Emergency. And in Singapore, Siew Li’s niece Stella finds herself accused of being a Marxist conspirator.

Jeremy Tiang’s debut novel dives into the tumultuous days of leftist movements and political detentions in Singapore and Malaysia. It follows an extended family from the 1940s to the present day as they navigate the choppy political currents of the region. What happens when the things that divide us also bind us together?

Praise:
“A well-written novel, and it has a wide historical perspective.”—Philip Holden, author of Heaven Has Eyes and NUS Professor of English

“A superbly structured piece of work. The sweep of the dramatic narrative is impressive, with just the right dose of intrigue and mystery.”—Haresh Sharma, Resident Playwright, The Necessary Stage

https://shop.epigrambooks.sg/products/state-of-emergency

(Btw, both books are published by Epigram Books, owned by Edmund Wee. He wants to make S’pore Literature Great.)

Then there’s Mr. Thum Ping Tjin, better known as PJ Thum, a Research Associate at the Centre for Global History and co-ordinator of Project Southeast Asia, University of Oxford. He’s got local academics foaming with rage over his analysis of Operation Coldstore. He used declassified British archives to challenge the PAP narrative that S’pore faced a credible Communist threat. Really there’s nothing really very new about his analysis. Some Western historians had been disagreeing with the PAP’s narrative even before the British declassified their records, basing their analysis on information available from US and Australian archives.

(Here’s his analysis of the 1964 “racial riots”: https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/07/26/why-history-matters-to-singapore/. It’s not the official narrative.)

Btw, he has his own alternative history podcast on S’pore. Again this often goes against the PAP narrative but in the main it follows what Western historians have talked about. S’poreans are generally not aware of what Western historians write about S’pore because their books and articles are about the region, and the S’pore material is just a “little red dot”.

I’m no fan of his because I think in his analysis of S’pore in the 50s and 60s, he leaves out the bigger picture of Western fears and concerns, not unreasonable, about the danger of Communism to their regional and global interests. For example, in any analysis of S’pore in the late 50s and early 60s, account must be taken of  the PKI,  the Indonesian Communist Party. By 1965, the PKI was the strongest communist party outside the USSR and China. It had influence over Sukarno.

———————————–

*Nominated in six categories for graphic novel “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye”, Liew won three:

Best Writer/Artist,

Best US Edition of International Material – Asia, and

Best Publication Design and categories

 

 

 

Halimah not BSing that she got to consult further

In Political governance on 21/07/2017 at 5:17 am

But first

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text

(Happy to attribute if I know whom to attribute this to)

Back to Halimah

Speaking to reporters after a community event at her Marsiling ward, Mdm Yacob said she has been asked this question many times and felt honored and humbled by the support, but she needed more time to consult with her family and colleagues further.

Heard an interesting story from the usually unreliable sources. Though I hear while he’s happy for wife to be president (Who wouldn’t like to will the Toto top prize?), he’s not happy about  becoming the first First Man doing the traditional First Lady duties like being patron of women’s charities and hosting tea parties for women social workers. He’s no male chauvinist but I’m told he doesn’t fancy doing the things Mrs Tan does and Mrs Nathan did.

Hence the delay in his wife declaring that she wants to be president. His role has yet to be defined to his satisfaction.

Doubtless a fair and reasonable solution will be worked out for him a real gentleman, as his friends and ex-collegues describe him. I’m told he’s retired.

Btw, he’s Malay-Arab.

Can a true blue Malay (no cross breeds pls) from the Malaya Archiplego pls stand up.

The term Malaya Archiplego

was derived from the European concept of a Malay race,[4]which referred to the people who inhabited what is now Brunei,Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia (excluding Western New Guinea), the Philippinesand East Timor. The racial concept was proposed by European explorers based on their observations of the influence of the ethnic Malay empire, Srivijaya, which was based on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.[7]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_Archipelago

What Liu Xiaobo can teach S’poreans

In Uncategorized on 15/07/2017 at 11:14 am

Later today Gilbert Goh and the other usual suspects will be protesting at the failure of PM to sue his siblings. I hope that at least one of the speakers will also talk about what to me is the real scandal of Oxleygate: other ministers not suing the PM’s siblings. Unlike PM, they don’t have the excuse of blood ties.

S’pore and China are both one-party states (one de jure, the other de facto), but different in that in S’pore one a referendum is allowed every five yrs and where the ruling party wins by a majority of at least 60% of the popular vote, or as is bar once, a lot more. Hence 60% of the popular vote is the passing mark of the PAP’s popularity. To the PAP and S’poreans, a 60% win is really bad and it throws out bribes (using S’poreans’ money) to get a better score next time.

So the following remarks in an FT article about the life and death of Liu Xiaobo, are relevant to S’poreans especially to those who will later today protest at the PAP’s hegemony:

Liu imagined a country where Beijing residents might, for example, one day wear black T-shirts on the June 4 anniversary of Tiananmen. Who would the police arrest if thousands of people did that, let alone tens of thousands?

“Tyranny is not terrifying,” Liu wrote. “What is really scary is submission, silence, and even praise for tyranny. As soon as people decide to oppose it to the bitter end, even the most vicious tyranny will be shortlived.”

The PAP is not as formidable as it appears, something I’ll talk about soon, I hope. Meanwhile, here’s one reason why: the trains don’t run on time, and here’s why*.


*Do read this. V V gd analysis.

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

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

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

“That was the curious incident.”

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

ESM Goh said in parly:

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

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

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

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

————————————————

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

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

Talking cock about the will

Didn’t do his job as executor

—————————————

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

DPM Teo rightly responded:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

Silver Blaze by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

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

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

I tot the above when I read

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

FT

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

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

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

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

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

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

MP Rahayu Mahzam

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

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

Pink Dot photo describes to a T the S’pore Harry designed and constructed

In Political governance on 02/07/2017 at 6:04 am

This was posted on FB by Jolovan Wham, a Jedi who fights for the rights and dignity of migrant workers.

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing, tree and outdoor

I mock Harry’s younger children’s rants about the abuse of power, the absence of “checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government”, and the lack of media freedom as BS because what they are ranting about is the natural consequence of the defacto one-party state that their Pa built with the overwhelming support of S’poreans. Remember that once upon a time, the PAP won 86.7% of the popular vote in the 1968 general election, and they have never had less than 60% of the popular vote in a general election. They often had 70% and more.

The only time the PAP could have “lost” was in presidential election 2011 (their preferred candidate won by about 3000 votes), but dadly the anti-PAP voters voted for two RI opportunists and deprived an honourable, decent RI boy of a famous victory. The 30% and the two RI opportunists betrayed S’poreans, and the PAP dudn’t even have to pay them. They betrayed S’pore for free.

As for the two spoiled kids, they only screamed when they were ignored by the governing system their Pa installed.

Give Harry the finger! Preseve that house!/ PAP see parly no ak isit?

In Political governance on 01/07/2017 at 6:57 am

I’ve always tot it strange that the anti-PAP mob, sane and nutty (Think Goh Meng Seng and Mad Dog Chee), want that house to be demolished as per LKY’s wish. I mean what would be a better way to insult his memory and show that HE cannot get his way (“The Lee way or the highway”) than by preseving his house against his (and his wife’s) wishes*.

S’poreans would be showing that for all their fine words for Harry, and support for the PAP, they don’t respect him enough to grant his final wish*.

As to the real elephant in the room, on the surface it looks equally strange that the PAP wants to go against his wish while pretending to honour him*. But that the subject of another post.


*Incidentally this is why the PAP tried to pull a fast one, and argue, unsuccessfully, that it was also his wish in his will to preserve the house. Thankfully S’poreans know this is BS and quoted what the PM, LKY’s eldest son, told parliament in 2015.

The PAP sat down and shut up.

Seriously it was so amateurish of the PAP not to check what it’s sec-gen said in parly. See parly no ak isit? So why is the High Lord of Everything Else (PM, PAP sec-gen and eldest son of Harry) making a statement in parly about his siblings allegations, since the PAP does not respect parliament enough to check what its leader said in it?

 

 

 

Oxleygate and BBC Reith Lectures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

———————————————-

My takes on the will:

Why PM could not go to court.

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

———————————————————

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

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

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

They too nutty isit?

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

The significance of PM’s coming statement in parliament

In Political governance on 26/06/2017 at 4:56 am

Anti-PAP cyberwarriors, sane and nutty, and neutral commenters have been complaining that PM’s coming parliament statement is all wayang because

— he enjoys parliamentary immunity, a feature of the Westminster and other Western systems

———————————————————–

(1) No Member shall be liable to any civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages by reason of any matter or thing which he may have brought before Parliament or a committee by petition, bill, resolution, motion, or otherwise or may have said in Parliament or in committee.

(2) No person shall be liable to any civil or criminal
proceedings, arrest, imprisonment or damages by reason of any act done under the authority of Parliament or the Speaker and within its or his legal powers or under any warrant issued by virtue of those powers.

——————————————————-

He can defame his siblings publicly and they can’t sue him unless he repeats his comments outside parliament.

— His siblings don’t have such immunity to counter him.

— The PAP controls parliament, so difficult questions can be ignored and a vote of confidence can be engineered easily.

The critics are correct.

But they have forgotten, or are ignorant, or are concealing another aspect of the Westminster way of doing things which could explain why he’s making the statemewnt.

By Westminster convention, a minister found to have misled parliament is expected to resign or face being sacked. This is because the knowing presentation of false information to parliament, is a very serious offence under the Westminster system.

Effectively then, PM is making a statutory declaration in public and challenging his siblings to show that he misled parliament.

Of course, in the de-facto one party state we live in, the PAP can ignore the convention. But still there is the international reputation of S’pore to consider, something both the PAP and S’poreans really, really care about.

We love the praise of ang mohs, and get defensive and angry when they criticise us. Ang moh still tua kee, despite S’pore becoming self-governing in 1959, and independent in 1965.

Truths about voter choices: Why people vote PAP despite everything

In Political governance on 07/06/2017 at 2:33 pm

70% of S’poreans regularly get criticised from the unhappy 30% (whether sane like Chris K or Cherian George or insane like TRE donor, Oxygen, Philip Ang or Dr Chee).

Two persons, talking about the UK, shed light why the 7o% did what they did, and why at least 60% of the voters will keep on voting PAP so long as the PAP delivers authoritarian rule that works: http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21722865-city-states-success-offers-much-admire-little-emulate-how-foreigners-misunderstand

Nigel Farage, Mr Brexit, without meaning to got to the nub of why S’poreans continue supporting the PAP. Noting that UK’s big businesses were quite happy about UK being in the EU, he said

Well, yes, of course, if you’re doing well in life you don’t want any change at all.

Or, as I’d put it, “If u think u are if you’re doing well in life you don’t want any change at all.”

Now the next truth is as a FT writer puts it: Voters in general elections make a broader judgment, at once about the character of the leader and the credibility of her or his policies.

This means because they got a low regard for the Labour leader and his policies, even though
Many voters may agree with Mr Corbyn about the NHS, the railways and, even perhaps on soaking the rich — and then they will proceed to cast their ballot for Mrs May’s Conservatives.

Translated into local politics even though many of the 70% may agree that the PAP’s policies on FTs, public transport, welfare, ex-generals badly running ministries, statutory boards or GLCs, and that NS and military spending suck, they still will not vote for the Oppo because of the state of the Oppo.

Talking of the minor parties

— NSP is led by someone who pled guilty to a CBT charge,

— Chiams are egotistic and nepotistic,

— s/o JBJ is autistic,

— People’s Parachutist Party is led by a S’porean based in HK who is pro China, and

— TJS and Pwee are opportunists.

As for the Worthless (or Wankers’) Party, what can I say?

With a few exceptions, they’ve not bothered to raise issues in that concern S’poreans in parly.

Worse, the PAP administration will get the opportunity to pick up Auntie’s taunt and dare. Remember Auntie said, “Sue us if we did anything wrong”. There are two reports by two int’l accounting firms that say AHTC (or rather AHPETC) has a lot to account for, and the WP has allowed a third-party to decide on the recovery of monies. 

And no, I haven’t forgotten the SDP and Mad Dog Chee.

Mad Dog does not believe in leadership renewal, he’s the only party leader still in charge since 1993 when he swapped serious politics for the self-indulgence of street politics, after stabbing Chiam in the front (Chee’s version of events, my interpretation).

Remember in 1993, the SDP had two MPs in parly (excluding Chiam). They were no JBJs but they never stood a chance in 1996 when they stood for re-election what with Mad Dog peeing and crapping all over the streets to the disgust of most S’poreans (self included).

Since 1993, the SDP has been in the Wilderness. Maybe God’s will? Remember the Israelites had to spend 40 years in the Wilderness because they offended God. But at least they reached the Promised Land and committed genocide.

Somehow, I don’t think God is Dr Chee’s side.

And with an activist like Brendan Chong determined to fix the Pink Dot organisers, need I say anything more about the SDP?

“Money talks, BS walks” or “There’s no competition”

In Airlines, Political governance on 05/06/2017 at 4:55 pm

Just ask UA, and the PAP and they’ll say “Cost and cenvenience matters more than quality of service”.

[UA] has just had a great month. Of course, there was the odd hiccup. First, the video of a bloodied United passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight for the crime of wanting to stay in the seat he had paid for. Then there was the giant rabbit, en route from London to Chicago to compete for the title of world’s largest bunny, who died in United custody with lawyers alleging the airline put the live beast in a freezer for 16 hours. Then there was the airline’s apology to the Paris-bound passenger who ended up in San Francisco instead. And the flyer whose trip was cancelled after he taped an argument with a United employee.

Yet despite this month of PR disasters, United is doing fine. Better than fine, in fact. The airline announced this week that it had its best month of the year in April, beating all of its main rivals in key metrics.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2017/05/not-cruellest-month

70% of voters are like UA customers? Never mind the danger of getting beaten up (Think Donald Low, Amos Yee and AHJC), detained without trial ( “Marxist conspirators”),  hung (all those drug smugglers), sued (Roy Ngerng, JBJ, Dr Chee etc) and kanna whacked by price rises (S’poreans), the PAP is convenient and “cheap” for the quality provided.

But here’s an alternative view:

Roger Wicker, a Republican senator from Mississippi, had a different explanation: “There’s not enough competition in the industry.”

George Cherian would agree, He has commented on FB that

The PAP’s marketing of democracy and human rights as “bad products” as you put it is only half the story. The other half: the PAP ensures that it operates in a protected market where those selling the competing product are “taxed” practically out of existence, by placing obstacles in their ability to organise, and destroying careers of activists. It’s not because there aren’t “good marketeers” among Singaporeans who care about these issues. It’s because they are in a market completely different from the example you cite.

What do u think?

(Related article explaining what Cherian was referring to)

Operation Spectrum: Ownself contradict ownself

In Political governance on 04/06/2017 at 2:10 pm

There’s been a lot on FB about about the “Marxist” conspiracy by anti-PAP gang, rational and nuts, in rebuttal LKY was quoted a lot by the pro-PAP cybernuts.

But going by their quotes, it seems even LKY didn’t think there was a “Marxist” conspiracy.

Let’s set the scene. 21 May 1987 was the day when 16 people, mostly Catholic social workers, were arrested and accused by the PAP administration of waging a “conspiracy” to topple the government. Later, six more were arrested for the same reason.

They were never charged in open court where the administration would would have to produce the evidence for detaining them, and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were subversives out to undermine the state. Instead the Internal Security Act was used: the state was prosecutor and judge.

Now, 30 years on, the ex-detainees continue to maintain their innocence, and accuse the PAP administration of faking the “conspiracy” for political reasons: conveniently forgetting that they had confessed and then recanted and then some recanted their recantation.

The PAP administration maintains that the ex-detainees were subversives, driven by Marxist ideology.

But if so why then did LKY tell the Catholic Archbishop of Singapore, the late Gregory Yong, that detainees themselves were of minimal concern to him. He dismissed them as “do-gooders who wanted to help the poor and the dispossessed” and “simpletons”.

Err so where’s the Marxist subversion?

But then helping “the poor and the dispossessed” is Marxist subversion because it showed up the PAP’s BS on welfare?

Here’s another point I want to make. Many of those who want pluraity of views here join the ex-detainees, and the anti-PAP activists and the cybernuts nuts in asking for a commission to establish the truth.

Actually, it’s good for those of us who want greater plurality that the administration refuses to listen.

The more the PAP administration ignores the calls, the more it shows to the voting public the hollowness of “Ownself check ownself” and the flaws in a one-party state . If it does the right thing, it can spin this as “Ownself can check ownself”.

 

 

 

 

PAP ministers will demand new benchmark

In Uncategorized on 30/05/2017 at 12:39 pm

They’ll demand to be benchmarked against the top executives Apple and other tech cos, not juz Peter Lim and local bank CEOs?

From NYT Dealbook

Apple is 40 percent more valuable than Chicago. Technology companies have grown so large that they’ve surpassed the economic value of major American cities, according to data from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, which compared company market capitalizations to metropolitan gross domestic product. – Marketwatch

 

PM that stupid meh?

In Economy, Political governance on 28/05/2017 at 1:27 pm

In cyberspace, from the early noughties onwards, S’poreans were telling him and his millionaire ministers that we needed better quality FTs, not Trash by the cattle truck load. Err we were “unhappy” people according to him.

Only yesterday did he agree with us saying

“We have to manage the inflow carefully, and make sure that the people who come can integrate into our society, make sure they have the abilities and skills to contribute to our economy, and make sure their hearts are in the right place and they will become good Singaporeans. We are a country, not simply a city or an economy.”
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-has-to-manage-population-growth-carefully-pm-lee-8888750

What took him so long?

Worse, despite his double first in Maths, he got problem in counting, a bit like Uncle Leong:

About 30,000 babies are born as citizens every year and, to top up, about 20,000 foreigners become new citizens annually.

With about 50,000 new citizens every year, Singapore can “almost sustain a stable population”, he added.

Err what about the PRs and those on employment passes? Why they not included in the 50,000 bodies needed to “sustain a stable population”. After all, PRs are part of the resident population.

 

 

 

Using the Italian way to defeat the PAP?

In Uncategorized on 25/05/2017 at 3:27 pm

Maybe Tan Kin Lian isn’t that whacko after all because some of the ideas he farted out during the PE2011 campaign seem to resemble some ideas that work for M5S. So maybe Goh Meng Seng not that nutty to associate himself wuth TKL.

***

The populist Five Star Movement (M5S), has become Italy’s biggest opposition group in about seven years. At the last general election in 2013, the M5S took a quarter of the vote. One other main Oppo party has imploded, and another is like our SDP, unelectable, M5S in government is no longer unthinkable.

It all began when an IT man persuaded an unemployed comedian to start a blog; yes a blog.

Neither of the two men who founded the movement in 2009 was a politician at the time. One was Beppe Grillo, a comedian in the mould of Michael Moore or Russell Brand. Mr Grillo has lent the M5S visibility and celebrity charisma. But it was his co-founder, Gianroberto Casaleggio, an IT executive, who gave it its distinctive character. Mr Grillo wrote that he first took the shaggy-haired internet buff to be a lunatic, but soon concluded he was a visionary. Mr Casaleggio persuaded the comedian—banished from television because of his attacks on the powerful—to start a blog. He then encouraged devotees of the blog to use the Meetup platform to form the local cells that laid the foundations for the M5S.

M5S sees the internet as the reason for its existence:

a medium remorselessly eliminating mediation of all kinds that will eventually destroy parties and make possible a form of direct democracy if the people control the government through constant voting over the web.

It doesn’t see itself as a political party

At the core of the movement’s philosophy is the view that it is not a party, but an organisation set up to get rid of parties, which many in Italy view as sources of patronage and graft. This is one of the things that distinguishes the M5S from other disruptive political groups such as Podemos or UKIP. The latter use the internet to rally support. The M5S sees it as the very reason for its existence: a medium remorselessly eliminating mediation of all kinds that will eventually destroy parties and make possible a form of direct democracy if the people control the government through constant voting over the web. This idealistic, almost Messianic, vision explains some of the Movement’s other distinguishing traits: its refusal to do deals with the pre-existing parties, its cult-like nature (dissidents are regularly purged in online ballots) and its insistence that it is neither of left nor right (since it aims to embrace the entire electorate).

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/10/economist-explains-22

What makes America Great, and LKY unnecessary

In Political governance, Uncategorized on 05/05/2017 at 5:25 am

Whether the president is a wimp or Bozo doesn’t really matter

The greatly respected political scientist and TV election analyst Anthony King, who died in January, observed last year that the best-governed countries “owe their good government in large part to the fact that their political institutions and political culture obviate the need for strong leaders”.

He concluded: “A successful liberal democracy is liable to be one that is effectively “leader-proofed”, one in which… it is made difficult for a strong leader to acquire and wield power and in which the government does not rely on strong leaders for its long-term success”.

He was surely right.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-39748185

So there’s no way that the PAP will ever allow S’pore to become a democracy, let alone a liberal democracy, lest it becomes a successful one, making the PAP surplus to needs i.e. redundant.

But LKY is dead, so stop this whining BS

In Political governance on 04/05/2017 at 10:24 am

I tot the above when I came across this extract on FB from what must be a post from either a ng kum guan or an ang moh tua kee type (I’ll attribute if I know where it came from)

“As the 30th anniversary of this event approaches, there is concern that the impact of Operation Spectrum can still be felt. Without an open and honest accounting of what took place, the uncertainty continues to perpetuate a climate of fear and nervousness. It creates barriers to Singaporeans engaging fully in civil society and civic life, and becoming the active, engaged citizenry that benefits every democratic country.”

There are lots of things wrong with the way S’pore is governed because it’s a de facto one-party state

Keeping power in a one-party state

Would this happen in a one-party state?

And “Yes” there’s a lot of righteous anger among the detainees, and their friends and allies.

But let’s fight today’s and tomorrow’s battles, not yesterday’s battles.

I mean can anyone seriously imagine PM (LKY’s son) or any leader (present or next generation) using the ISA to detain political dissidents? They have better means of fixing “the “enemies of the people”. Err OK the enemies of the 70%ers. Juz looking at the AHTC. Or Terry’s Online Channel.

Btw, the TRE cybernuts are calling PM and his ministers weak people when comparing him to LKY: They want LKY to be in charge again isit?

 

 

 

Othman Wok: an alternative view

In Political governance on 30/04/2017 at 1:32 pm

We know what the constructive, nation-building media said about him: he was a pillar of the multi-racial S’pore that the PAP built. Here’s another view: he put Harry and the PAP before the Malay community.

In the u/m and the thread on FB that followed there was nothing about S’pore. It was all about his “failure” to look after the interests of the Malay community.

Maybe the PAP and Harry have a point about the shallow roots of our multi-racial, cultural society: Scratch a S’porean and there’s a sectarian underneath. Hence the need for illiberal laws?

What do you think of the post below?

Khan Osman Sulaiman

Othman Wok has passed away. In my community, many believe that we cannot talk about the dead. I disagree. Strongly.

The belief that we cannot talk about a dead man past has its roots from Islamic teachings that forbid anyone to air out a dead man’s shameful/disgraceful past. This, I agree.

But what many would do the moment we tried to discuss about a man’s past, his beliefs, his stand, his deeds, his contributions, his ideology and his political leaning, we are swiftly reminded not to talk about it even if it has nothing to do with exposing of the dead man past.

As with Othman Wok, many would know about the infamous words he uttered on the burning of the corpses. Many also would know of his loyalty to LKY.

When speaking about this, I dont think this is shaming the man for bringing back what he said before because Othman Wok still stands by it and has never apologized nor is he ever contrite for his words.

Othman Wok was the de facto leader of the Malay community by virtue of being appointed a minister in the 60s and 70s. As a leader back then, we should be allowed to study and discuss his actions and contributions as it has bearings on how our community socio-cultural environment developed.

We can see the mainstream media pouring praises on Othman Wok. Are we then not allowed to counter with facts on his actions? If we take on the line not to discuss a dead man past, we would never have known how evil Hitler and Saddam was.

No, we are not shaming or airing out his personal details and discretion, but rather to visit history and discuss the impact he, Othman Wok has contributed based on his actions and words.

Othman Wok was never a leader to me. In fact, it was during his time as a minister, policies that were detrimental to my community went unchallenged, passed without much fun fare that ultimately, led to a whole generation of my community to be weakened economically.

It shaped the political environment my community faced today. Because whatever we fight today, we fight for our future generation. He, Othman Wok never fought for us. He acquiesced and was complicit with the gov questionable act.

As a Muslim, I pray for his well-being in the afterlife. May god bless his soul.

But In this life, I cannot put him on a pedestal.

Zainudin Nordin never was PAP MP isit?

In Media on 26/04/2017 at 4:37 am

Image may contain: 2 people, text

(Happy to attribute above I saw on FB, if I know who to attribute it to.)

The four individuals connected to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) investigation into Singapore football are out on police bail. Bill Ng, his wife Bonnie Wong, Zainudin Nordin and Winston Lee are assisting the police in their probe into the suspected misuse of club funds at Tiong Bahru Football Club and an attempt to obstruct audits into clubs.

ST

Bill Ng, wife, ex-FAS president and FAS gen sec arrested

Cynical Investor

Don’t know waz excuse of constructive, nation-building media but my excuse is I wanted to focus to the FAS connection. And anyway, my previous story (about Zainudin Nordin) was headlined:

What weed is ex-PAP MP smoking?

As a FB pal put it:

It was the same MSM “privilege” with Choo Wee Kiang, Chng Hee Kok, Phey Yew Kok and probably others that I don’t recall. I don’t think such an omission would have made any difference but the estab wouldn’t want to take any risk, even if it’s a nationwide loss of 100 votes. It’s also up to S’poreans to keep themselves informed – politically and nationally interested S’poreans would be able to tell it’s a PAP MP.

Tiong Bahru FC: Gambling not haram meh?

In Footie on 23/04/2017 at 5:51 am

It’s clear that Tiong Bahru FC (TBFC) is a gambling club (29 one-armed bandits generating $36m ++ in revenue) with a football team (expenses of $0.2m –) attached.

One of the most profitable clubhouses among local football clubs, Tiong Bahru, which plays in the first division of the amateur National Football League (NFL), generated a total revenue of S$36,736,775 from its fruit machines in the last financial year.

The clubhouse currently has 29 functioning fruit machines. That is more than triple the eight machines that S.League club Balestier Khalsa has at the Toa Payoh Stadium, and almost double the 15 machines that Albirex Niigata (S) has at its clubhouse, also in Toa Payoh. It paid out around S$23 million in winnings in 2016 …

The club paid its 15 employees S$2.073 million in salaries in 2016, and also forked out an additional S$528,000 for staff training, uniforms and staff welfare. But spending on its football team was a more modest S$169,000.

After accounting for its various expenditures — which includes employee compensation, paid out claims, tax on takings, rental fees and expenses for accessories for its football team — the club earned a profit of S$604,542 in 2016.

http://www.todayonline.com/sports/modest-clubhouse-pays-almost-s1m-rent-and-s207m-salaries

The chairman of TBFC’s general committee is listed as former FAS president Zainudin Nordin, an ex-PAP MP. Readers will know that PAP Malay MPs are Malay community leaders. So it seems suprising that  Zainudin Nordin is happy to be associated gambling, even if he’s no longer a PAP MP.

And it seems in 2016 (he stepped down as MP before 2015 GE) he was slated to become chairman of TBFC (a separate, and more senior and powerful post) but then declined.

He’s also helping the police in its investigations over alleged irregularities at TBFC and FAS.

And there’s more: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/ex-fas-president-zainudin-i-have-no-business-dealings-bill-ng

One cannot help but wonder if there were QC problems in the PAP? After all the PAP prides itself in choosing “whiter than white” people as MPs.

 

 

 

Rubbish: PAP claim that draconian laws and authoritarian govt provide security

In Political governance on 06/04/2017 at 5:49 am

Just ask the residents of Moscow.

Russia shows the lie that draconian laws and authoritarian govt provides security. It suppresses dissidents, has draconian laws and has an authoritarian govt. Yet

Russians are no strangers to terrorism. During Mr Putin’s rule, Moscow’s metro system has been hit three times by Islamist groups from the North Caucasus. Two explosions six months apart in 2004 killed a combined 51 people and a pair of suicide-bombers killed another 40 in 2010. A suicide-bomber also attacked Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in 2011, though there have been few attacks outside the North Caucasus since then.

Economist

Four attacks on Moscow alone since 2004, killing 90 over people. Contrast that with liberal London, two “major” attacks in the same period, and a lot less deaths. Likewise Paris.

And since 9/11, New York City hasn’t had a terrorist attack.

All three cities are in countries that are liberal democracies, where the “rule of law” (not the “rule by law“: term coined by the ex-wife of the Minister of Pets) prevails.

Eat yr heart out PAP ministers and MPs

In China on 04/03/2017 at 2:58 pm

The really rich

Chinese Lawmakers’ Wallets Give Sweden’s G.D.P. a Run for Its Money

The combined fortune of the wealthiest members of China’s Parliament, or the National People’s Congress, and its advisory body amounts to $500 billion.

NYT Dealbook

 

 

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

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

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

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

And

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

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

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

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

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

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

CNA

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

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

———————————

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

————————————————-

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

Sad.

What the Old Guaed got right/ What the Young Guard ignores

In Economy on 27/02/2017 at 11:20 am

Yesterday, I posted that there wasn’t much difference politically between the PAP Old Guard and the African leaders that governed after independence*.

But these leaders lost power because didn’t help their people achieve material prosperity. It was this prosperity** that gave the PAP legitimacy in the eyes of up to 80% of the voters from 1965 — 1990

Since then the PAP and the economy have been on auto-pilot.

The PAP avoided a crash in 2011, and regained altitude by throwing more of our money our way. What the PAP derided as “welfarism” will be redefined as the “need to attend to the well-being of citizens” (words of a PAPpy running dog in today’s SunT)

But the economy for all the talk of restructuring is still on auto pilot. When S’poreans realise what 2-3% economic growth really means (hope to blog on this soon), unhappiness will grow especially among those who boutht into the idea of die-die must buy pigeon hole in the sky..


*A reader pointed out

The difference is that the old guards viewed themselves as chairman & board of directors of a corporation, and were internally motivated to see the long-term growth of same, staking their own prosperity with that of the country/corporation. That said, a corporation isn’t a democracy.

Africa & Burma strongmen basically were more interested in short-term extraction of maximum wealth & benefits in the shortest time possible, while using guns & muscle to maintain the looting for as long as possible.

Places like India fall somewhere in-between.

**If Lim Chin Siong and friends had won, based on their own words, we’d have gone the way of the Africans and Burmese. Whether they’d made a u-turn is something that can be debated until the cows come home. All I’ll say is that they did not have a Dr Goh Keng Swee on their team.

 

Not uniquely PAP

In Political governance on 26/02/2017 at 4:33 pm

The following could be said of Harry Lee and others of the PAP Old Guard

When Britain dismantled its empire it left behind crude carbon copies of its own form of government …

Yet in the early days of independence most African leaders swiftly imposed their own stamp on the fragile states they had inherited, reshaping institutions they often condemned as colonial impositions. New ideas such as “African socialism” swept the region, along with the notion of a specifically African form of democracy. Leaders such as Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana led the way in arguing that new states needed to put national unity ahead of multi-party democracy, often imposing one-party systems of government that swiftly turned into bullying autocracies. In many cases—witness Ghana and Nigeria—unity was supposedly saved by military coups that were easily mounted.

And even where states embrace the outward forms of democracy, holding regular elections, few enjoy the checks and balances provided by strong institutions and independent courts and civil services.

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21705355-threats-democratic-rule-africa-are-growing-time-and-demography-are

 

Paying peanuts pays-off for college

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 20/02/2017 at 1:57 pm

Houghton College uses low-cost index funds and mutual funds and its returns beat Harvard with its millionaire in-house managers and external filthy rich hedgies. Btw, after ten years of lagging investment returns, Harvard’s US$35.7 billion endowment is planning to cut its current staff of 230 in half by the end of 2017.

From NYT Dealbook

COMMON SENSE
By JAMES B. STEWART

Houghton College outperformed colleges with the biggest endowments by getting out of hedge funds and moving to a mix of low-cost index funds and mutual funds.

Think of our PAP ministers’ pretentions on why they deserve their millions in salaries.

Don’t get distracted by what the ministers say, focus on what they don’t

In Uncategorized on 26/01/2017 at 4:14 pm

Achtung Terry, and other citizen journalists. Useful ideas from a brave Russian journalist:

But in order to hold Putin – or Trump – accountable, you don’t need access to the Kremlin or the White House. Quite the opposite – having such access is a liability, because it’s a privilege you can be threatened with losing, or you can succumb to access bias. Investigations into corruption and mismanagement don’t require close relationships with state officials – quite the opposite. And even though Russian independent reporters can’t unseat Putin (nothing can, that’s not how elections work in Russia) defining public policy is one advantage their American colleagues have. So my message for covering President Trump’s administration is this: don’t get distracted by what they say, focus on what they don’t.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/23/reported-putin-journalists-trump-media

Don’t get distracted by what they say, focus on what they don’t.

TerrexGate: Lest we forget

In China, Political governance on 25/01/2017 at 6:51 am

So our APCs have been released just ahead of Chinese New Year.

But let’s not let our PM and his cabinet of illionaires (Bet u they looking with envy at Trump’s cabinet of billionaires with envy: and wondering how to become that rich?. Remember it was a PAPpy MP who said he couldn’t respect people not well paid?) off the hook.

They were on auto pilot when it came to using Taiwan as a training area. I wrote this in December:

If this true, why are we still training in Taiwan?

In China on 01/12/2016 at 4:31 am

Singapore … has gradually reduced the number of Starlight personnel sent to Taiwan for training in recent years to as few as 3,000, but there are still at least three military bases in Taiwan for use by the project.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2050097/singapores-refusal-halt-military-ties-taiwan-prompted

At one time, in any given year 20,000 S’poreans were training in Taiwan.

——————————————

Starlight Project dates back to early 1974, when LKY signed a secret deal with his Taiwanese counterpart Chiang Ching-kuo during a visit to Taiwan.

Based on that confidential agreement, Singapore has sent nearly 20,000 troops to Taiwan for training on a yearly basis. Joint military exercises went on even after Singapore shifted its formal diplomatic relations from Taiwan to mainland China in 1990.

SCMP

———————————————

The SCMP also says that according to Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong,
Beijing had years ago tried to convince Singapore to replace its military training bases in Taiwan with alternatives on Hainan.

“The mainland side promised to provide the Singaporean military with a closer and larger place in Hainan [than that used in Taiwan] for military exercises, but Singapore rejected the offer,” Wong said.

Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong says S’pore rejected the offer because of strong opposition from the US. The US was (and is) concerned because US military secrets could be leaked because S’pore uses American weapon systems.

If only 3,000 are sent to Taiwan a tear, why continue especially as we are now training in Oz in a big way. We are expansing the facilities there.

Auto-pilot at work isit, while millionaire minsters looking at their daily bank statements and monthly CPF statements?

PAP’s Talk Cock King

In Uncategorized on 24/01/2017 at 6:00 am

Seems the PAP has a Talk Cock King where once it only had Queen Jos: the Talk Cock Queen

The world as we know it is at an inflection point, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Friday (Jan 13) – and as such, the ability to change and adapt is especially relevant today as fundamental rules will change; and with it, the fate of nations.

Err why say this when Ownself not willing to be flexible Ownself?

Think of the many Hard Truths that have become obsolete if not outright dangerous. Examples: Forced savings of 36%, minimal welfare sprnding to prevent “welfarism”, reserves must keep growing, Mindef’s 25% share of the Budget is sacrosanct and not subject to outside scrutiny.

Then there was this whopper late last year just after US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter made it clear that the US was out to “contain” China.

“It is neither possible nor strategically necessary to contain China’s rise … China is now an integral leader of global systems of trade, finance and security. It is clear that China needs the world as much as the world needs China, and I think this interdependence will grow, not diminish,” he said at the forum in Simi Valley, California, attended by US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, foreign defence ministers and members of the US Congress.

CNA — early December

Just before the speech to the Americans, it seems he was removed from the party’s CEC, its highest decision-making body. Reports say he was not even on the ballot. Parliamentary speaker Halimah Yacob was elected in his place.

Maybe he’s on the way out? Tot he was one of PM’s inner team alongside Teo, Tharman and Shan.

Davos elite and PAP ministers are related?

In Uncategorized on 20/01/2017 at 5:16 am

They talk the same way because they share the same world view?

This u/m from NYT’s Dealbook shows what the Davos elite thinks of the 99%: the plight of the plebs (poor and the middle class) is no fault of the elite, it’s their own fault.


Who defines meritocracy? Those who made it.

—————————————-         ————————————————

And the remedy? Emulate the Davos elite.

The Davao elite talk of more “entrepreneurialism … and education focused on the modern ways of technology” but not wealth distribution or paying workers more.

At least they don’t talk of welfarism, or sneer openly at the elderly poor for wanting slightly better food like a PAP minister once did.

Seriously, doesn’t this emphasis on “entrepreneurialism … and education focused on the modern ways of technology” sound like PM or a PAP minister talking (think the recent comments by an education minister). And isn’t the silence on wealth distribution and higher wages equally true here?

So it’s very appropriate that the sneerer-in-chief is attending Davos.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth and Trade and Industry Sim Ann will attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, from Tuesday (Jan 17) to Friday.

CNA

Dealbook’s take on the WEF

By Amie Tsang
People are angry at the economic elite.
So the economic elite have gathered in the Swiss Alps to discuss this.
And what do they suggest? People who have not benefited from globalization need to try harder to emulate those who have succeeded.
“People have to take more ownership of upgrading themselves on a continuous basis,” Abidali Neemuchwala, the chief executive of the information technology and consulting company Wipro, said at one event.
Little discussed ideas: bolstering the power of workers to bargain for better wages and redistributing wealth from the top to the bottom.
“That agenda is anathema to a lot of Davos men and women,” said Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate economist and author of numerous books on globalization and economic inequality.
If that remains the case, the global populism insurrection may continue apace.

Ong Ye Kung: A study in failure

In Political governance on 17/01/2017 at 4:48 am

If his appointment as minister, and rise and rise since 2012,  is the PAP’s idea of meritocracy, give me nepotism any day (See last para of article in link).

He was Executive Secretary of NTWU (Nation Transport Workers’ Union) and a non-executive director of SMRT when SMRT’s S’porean and FT drivers had problems with salaries or working conditions. Even Zorro Lim (his ex boss) seemed to criticise him.

Here’s something I wrote after he resigned from NTUC in 2012. Slightly edited.

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Our nation-building constructive media are ignoring the white elephant in the space where of the circles of TLCs/GLCs, PAP, NTUC and the civil service meet: sometimes also known as S’pore Inc.

Once upon a time, Ong Ye Kung, was S’pore Inc’s poster boy of meritocracy.

Just in April 2011, before the May GE, our nation-building constructive media praised him as an example of meritocracy at work. Son of a Barisan Socialist MP (and no friend of one LKY), he was a scholar* who rose to a senior civil service post**, then became a senior NTUC leader, and then a PAP MP candidate. It was whispered that he was Zorro Lim’s anointed successor as NTUC chief; and was tipped by ST as a future candidate for ministerial office. He did became the NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General in June 2011.

But by then his slave worker drawn chariot had gotten stuck in the mud . He was a member of George Yeo’s losing Aljunied GRC team. Worse was to follow in 2012: the wheels came off his chariot of gold and ivory and he was thrown-off, and cast into the darkness and mud and became a person that the constructive, nation-building media knew not.

Earlier this year, SMRT’s S’porean drivers made known publicly their unhappiness over pay proposals that had his endorsement as Executive Secretary of NTWU (Nation Transport Workers’ Union). As he was also a non-executive director of SMRT, if he were an investment banker, a US judge would have rebuked and censured him for his multiple, conflicting roles.

Then he resigned, effective last month, from NTUC to “join the private sector”.

In perhaps a farewell, good-riddance gesture, FT PRC workers went on strike (illegally) and we learnt:

— they lived in sub-standard accommodation (SMRT admitted this);

— unlike most SBS FT PRC drivers, most of SMRT’s PRC drivers were not union members; and

— Ministry of Manpower reprimanded SMRT for its HR practices.

All this reflects badly on Ong: NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General, Executive-Secretary of NTWU and SMRT non-executive director. And on the system that allowed him to rise to the top. After all his ex-boss said the following reported on Friday, which given Ong’s multiple roles in SMRT, can reasonably be interpreted as criticism of Ong:

In his first comments on the illegal strike, which saw 171 workers protesting over salary increases and living conditions, the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said the labour dispute “shouldn’t have happened” and “could have been avoided”. [So where was Ong: looking at his monthly CPF statements and being happy?]

NTUC is thus reaching out to SMRT’s management to persuade them “to adopt a more enlightened approach to embrace the union as a partner”, he added. [Hello, NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General was on SMRT’s board, so what waz he doing?]

Mr Lim, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Labour Movement Workplan Seminar, cited the example of SMRT’s rival SBS Transit where nine in 10 of its China bus drivers are union members. Only one in 10 of SMRT’s China bus drivers are union members, according to union sources. [So, why didn’t Ong advise SMRT to help unionise these FTs, and if he did, why didn’t NTUC push harder ehen SMRT refused?]

SBS Transit’s management “recognised the constructive role of the union”, while union leaders “played the role of looking after the interests of the drivers”, said Mr Lim.

“And as a result … they work very closely as one team, it’s a win-win outcome. In terms of how workers are being treated and respected, how management are responsive, how they work together, I think it’s a kind of model that we ought to see more and more in Singapore.” (Today)

Apparently, Ong is supposed to join his father-in-law’s property development business: but with this revelations, it should come as no surprise if his in-law’s family has reservations about him: he might mismanage and upset the workers. Property development companies are fragile because of their leverage: they can’t afford executives who can’t execute***.


————————————————————————————–

And here’s another post (Links to TRE outdated):

TRE says it all about Ong Ye Kung, NTUC & SMRT

In Humour on 10/04/2013 at 6:54 am

TRE posted these articles in the following order on its front page.
NTUC claims credit for unionising SMRT PRC bus drivers

NTUC claims credit for unionising SMRT PRC bus drivers

In a recent hour-long phone interview with 2 journalists from Yahoo! Singapore, former SMRT bus driver…
185 SMRT PRC bus drivers had petitioned MOM in 2010

185 SMRT PRC bus drivers had petitioned MOM in 2010

 

Ong Ye Kung as a director of SMRT should have known about the plight of the bus drivers. But as union leader of the bus driver, he did nothing. And NTUC is now claiming credit for unionisg PRC drivers? Why now only after a strike? But let’s be fair, maybe NTUC leaders are like the many readers of TRE who “hate” all things PRC. See all the negative stories TRE carries from the Western media about China which pander to these readers.


—————————————————————————————————

And if anyone is wondering about the origins and meaning of the term “feet of clay”:

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. (Daniel 2:31-33)

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. (Daniel 2:41-43)

————————————————————————————-

*From 1993 to 1999, he was in the then Ministry of Communications, where he helped develop the Land Transport White Paper and was part of the team which established Singapore’s Land Transport Authority. Taz right, he was there at the beginning of the great SMRT cock-up.

**He was the Principal Private Secretary to one Lee Hsien Loong, then became the CEO of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency.

***He joined Keppel. And as a shareholder, I’m very glad he took a big salary but did nothing. He’s the fourth kind of guy described below.

General Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord, a chief of the German Army between the two world wars, is reoted to have said “I divide my officers into four classes as follows: The clever, the industrious, the lazy, and the stupid. Each officer always possesses two of these qualities.

Those who are clever and industrious I appoint to the General Staff. Use can under certain circumstances be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy qualifies for the highest leadership posts. He has the requisite nerves and the mental clarity for difficult decisions. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be got rid of, for he is too dangerous.”

 

Meritocratic hubris/ Who defines “meritocracy”

In Uncategorized on 09/01/2017 at 7:13 am

Michael J Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. He recently wrote something perceptive:

The relentless emphasis on seeking a fair meritocracy, in which social positions reflect effort and talent, has a morally corrosive effect on the way we interpret our success (or lack thereof). The belief that the system rewards talent and hard work encourages the winners to regard their success as their own doing, a measure of their virtue – and to look down upon the less fortunate.

Those who lose out may complain that the system is rigged or be demoralised by the belief that they alone are responsible for their failure. When combined, these sentiments yield a volatile brew of anger and resentment, which Trump, though a billionaire, understands and exploits. Where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speak constantly of opportunity, Trump offers blunt talk of winners and losers. Democrats such as Obama and Clinton have difficulty understanding the hubris a meritocracy can generate and the harsh judgment it renders on those without a college degree. This is why one of the deepest divides in American politics today is between those with and without post-secondary education.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/01/themes-of-2016-progressive-parties-address-peoples-anger-in-2017

He’s right but even he doesn’t get it (Heh, he’s from Harvard): merit is defined by those who “made it”. Is that “fair”?

The meritocratic elites define the attributes and qualifications that allows one into the magical citcle: in S’pore, the British or French civil service, Harvard or other leading universities, or investment banks. And it always means: People like us.

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

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

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

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

My posts on meritocracy the PAP way

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

Huh? PAP admits it’s practicising dishonest politics?

In Humour, Media on 07/01/2017 at 3:12 pm

Wah lan!

I tot the above when I read

To tackle social and political issues, return to ‘honest politics’: DPM Tharman

CNA: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/to-tackle-social-and-political-issues-return-to-honest-politics/3420624.html

A reasonable reading of what the headline implies is that Tharman is saying that the PAP has to return to “honest politics” to “tackle social and political issues”, which in turn implies that the PAP is practising dishonest politics?

Bet u there will another “edit” like in the case of “You are not going to get angels in power all the time”.

MediaCorp, why liddat? Why so sotong?

Memo to PAP

In Political governance on 07/01/2017 at 10:28 am

Repression aside, political power flows from providing and maintaining economic prosperity, not following Harry’s Hard Truths

The

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which has held power since independence in 1966, is facing its first real challenge at the ballot box. The BDP’s share of the vote dipped below 50% for the first time in the 2014 general election, amid frustration with unemployment and with water and power shortages.

(The Economist)

The economy took a turn for the worse before 2014.

At 8.38 pm January 8, PM’s pay would pass Ah Beng’s yearly salary

In Political governance on 05/01/2017 at 7:56 am

(Amended at 1 00 pm to reflect Chris K revised assumptions. Original title was: Tom morning, PM’s pay would pass Ah Beng’s yearly salary)
Earlier this morning I reported that

 I read that really tua kee bosses in the UK will have earned more by midday on Wednesday than typical workers earn in the entire year, the High Pay Centre think tank said.

I asked Chris K or Uncle Leong to compute something similar for PM and Ah Beng. (OK I wasn’t being PC, I should have said “Ah Beng, Mat, Ar Neh or Grego” even though us ethic Chinese are 70% of the population.)

Chris K replied:

Assuming Ah Loong earned $3.2m a year and Ah Beng’s monthly salary is $3,800 a month, then by 5 am first Friday of the month, Ah Loong would have passed Ah Beng’s annual salary.

Ah Loong was reported last year to make $2.2m and Singstats reported monthly median income is $3,949. So Ah Loong pass Ah Beng on Sunday 8th January at 2038 hours.

Thanks Chris. Lunch on me when we meet.

PM’s v Ah Beng’s pay: Calling Uncle Leong or Chris K

In Political governance on 05/01/2017 at 5:45 am

It would be good if Chris K or Uncle Leong (his form has returned after a long period of really sub-standard stuff that almost had me classify him as a cybernut alongside Tan Jee Say) could calculate something similar (see below) based on PM’s pay and the median pay of S’poreans.

And also calculate something similar for Nathan for flipping pratas for being chief jaga.

(And yes I’m being really lazy asking others to do what I should be doing. In my defence, trying to peddle, promote some software. Really doing work is hard.)

I read that really tua kee bosses in the UK will have earned more by midday on Wednesday than typical workers earn in the entire year, the High Pay Centre think tank said. BBC goes on to say

Branding it “Fat Cat Wednesday”, it says that is the time executives will pass the average UK salary of £28,200.

High Pay Centre director Stefan Stern said it was an important reminder of the unfair pay gap in the UK.

‘…

The think-tank has made the calculation for the the past three years, but this year it is comparing the top bosses’ median salary of about £4m a year with the median UK employees’ salary of £28,200.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38498003

 

Here’s more from the

Daily Mirror front page headline is “The fattest of cats”.

The paper says that, by lunchtime on Wednesday, the bosses of Britain’s biggest corporations will have already earned as much as the average person will be paid all year.

In its opinion column, the paper says “inflated rewards for the overpaid elite aren’t even linked to ability or performance while most of the country grafts hard for a relative pittance”.

BBC also

Trump nominee puts PAPpies Hen and Fu to shame

In Political governance on 15/12/2016 at 6:52 am

The president of Goldman Sachs is joining Team Trump. Mr Cohn earned US$21m last year. His new job pays around US$180,000: peanuts.

Remember when the Hen boasted that he was doing S’poreans a favour, giving them a discount because he took a pay cut from $7m to $1m.

And this from Grace Fu on her ministerial pay cut?

Related post: Hen, JosT, GraceF: Money, money, money.

Seriously why do senior PAPpies look down on the next generation PAP leaders? One Harry said that high salaries were needed to attract future leaders because only his generation were unselfish and Queen Fu said that while she accepted her pay cut, future leaders might not be like her.

 

“How has the pie been shared during the PAP years”?

In Economy, Property on 09/12/2016 at 4:47 am

Answer: The pie has grown but PAPpies are gorging themselves while ordinary S’poreans get thinner slices of a bigger pie.

In a response to a very negative analysis (sometimes sounding like something a TRELand nut would write*) https://www.breakingviews.com/considered-view/singapore-stresses-under-a-wealth-of-worries/, a Brad Bowyer responded:

As we head in to strong economic headwinds it would be good to reflect on how the pie has been shared during the PAP years.

In the 1970s a 4 room flat in Marine Parade was approx $20k to buy at a time when the median monthly wage was $300 and the PM averaged $3500 a month

In the 1990s a Marine Parade 4 room flat had roughly doubled to $40k , the median monthly wage was growing fast and at around $1200 had quadrupled and the PM averaged $70,000 a month a 20 times increase.

Today that 4 room flat equivalent is over 800k, a more than 40 times increase in 45 years, the PM get $230,000 a month a 50 times increase over the same time but the median monthly wage hovering around $4000 is only a 13 times increase in 45 years.

The PM has done well relative to the HDB pricing as his income has outstripped all increases in costs and he is nett much better off. For the average Singaporean however even though their nominal monthly income has increased in real terms their purchasing power has decreased and they are now 3 times worse of than their 1970’s bretheren in terms of an HDB housing purchase.

Where before you could pay off an HDB in a few years, have a single working parent family with several children and a reasonable life now a 2 income family would struggle to pay off their flat in their lifetimes and having even 1 child is a major challenge.

Singapore may have had economic success in the past in terms of dollars of GDP and be a great place for the top few % who take care of themselves but it has all been done at the expense of everyone else.

This trend of all the benefit only going to the few will continue unless the government changes to one that wants the best for all its people and not one that is focused on wealth for itself and only doing the minimum possible to keep its captive labor force fed and working and not much more.

As times get tougher and even those nearer the top start feeling more pain I wonder will we finally reach a tipping point where true change can finally be considered and made a reality?


 

*Is she seriously trying to compare a US$55,182 GDP per capita country against a US$2765 per capita one? The Philippines is growing , but a weak economy (partly due to a weal global economy) does not mean S’pore has become the Sick Man of Asia? And how come Peenoys still trying to find work here?

Economic restructuring: This time, it’s really different

In Economy on 07/12/2016 at 4:44 am

Speaking to a group of students at the Singapore Institute of Technology, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on 24 Oct that he is confident S’pore is taking the right growth strategies to move forward.

“We are feeling the pains of restructuring, but not yet seeing the dividends of our hard work. But we are pursuing all the right strategies, and I am confident that given time these strategies will work for us.”

————-

The Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) will soon issue a report addressing  five key themes: future growth industries and markets; corporate capabilities and innovation; jobs and skills; urban development and infrastructure; and connectivity.
Indeed, in updating the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) report headed by Tharman), the 30-member CFE will have to take into account new global and domestic realities. Chaired by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, the panel has been tasked with developing economic strategies to keep Singapore competitive; it aims to complete its work by the end of 2016.

As part of this effort, a working group has been formed under CFE to study how to better help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) “restructure and tide through challenging times”.


I’m sorry but

“We are feeling the pains of restructuring, but not yet seeing the dividends of our hard work. But we are pursuing all the right strategies, and I am confident that given time these strategies will work for us.”

smacks of “Jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day”*

Pardon my cynicism.

We’ve been here before. How many times has economy been “restructured” since the 80s? And how many times have SMEs been helped to  “restructure and tide through challenging times”?

——————————–

Another decade, another restructuring report?

In the 80s, one Lee Hsien Loong as trade and industry minister headed a committee to recommend changes in the economy. In the early noughties when DPM he headed another committee on the same issue.

 In 201o, one Tharman and his committee produced the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC). And now there’s the CFE. It’s a bit early, but then there wasn’t a report in the 90s: so maybe making up for lost time?
——————————-
But this time, it’s different, really

In the past the spin before the release of a report was always that it was going to be game-changer, this time to my surprise the constructive, nation-building BT** said don’t expect much from the report (Something that could and should have been said about the other reports too).

First there’s the question that looms large is whether or not the CFE report will contain anything “large and decisive enough to make an impact”, as an economist put it.

What don’t trust PAP isit? See Heng no ak? Why liddat?

And then

private-sector economists caution against hopes for a big bang outcome that will significantly address Singapore’s immediate challenges.

That’s largely because technological disruption and the rapidly-changing global environment make earlier strategies – such as the tactic of picking winning sectors to boost economic growth – tougher to execute.

Other domestic factors weigh heavily as well.

It quotes Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) economist Chua Hak Bin on why restructuring will be difficult.

“It’s that much harder now to retool the economy. Singapore has already reached such an afluent stage, and there’s the sense that there are a lot more constraints now – such as ageing demographics and the inability to tap on talent as freely as before.”


Err what about secular global trends?

[T]wo interconnected secular trends that will affect S’pore’s growth prospects: slower global trade caused in part by onshoring (companies making more products locally).

————————————

He talks about

— most find it difficult to imagine how the panel can match past watershed moves – including the decision to create a private wealth management industry from scratch, or the introduction of casinos to boost tourism, or the slashing of income and corporate tax rates.

— the likelihood of a “tinkering at the margins” is high. “I don’t think the policy flexibility is as wide as it was previously, despite the 2015 election result (in favour of the ruling People’s Action Party). It’s no longer just about reviving growth – a lot of social and political constraints have now come into play.”

BT also surprised by quoting CIMB Private Banking economist Song Seng Wun who said the govt had to restructure itself: the government must also think about how it can restructure itself, so as to support the needs of the future economy.

“Rather than point the finger, the government should maybe take a look back at itself … For example, everything is so intertwined now, so rather than having the EDB (Economic Development Board), IE (International Enterprise Singapore), and Spring Singapore existing as separate entities with different functions, why not regroup them into one again? Singapore is a small economy; it can be done,”.

Ownself reform ownself?

But BT being BT has to have a constructive, nation-building bit to show it isn’t TOC:

Still, even as the country looks ahead to seek sustainable growth and opportunities for all, economists stressed the need for Singapore to hold fast to its existing strengths.

“Alongside these new and higher aspirations, we’ll need to be careful that our policies don’t threaten our existing strengths,” said Dr Chua, citing Singapore’s port and financial services sectors as strategic leads to retain.

And then as if on cue it quotes Mizuho economist Vishnu Varathan who thinks there is scope for Singapore to reinvent its hub status – especially with Asean’s ambition of creating a single market and production base (obstacles to that lofty goal notwithstanding) …”I think Singapore has actually underrated itself in areas of competency like regional law and intellectual property law. We already have a nice network of finance marrying up with legal and accounting standards that we can leverage on … That’s where Singapore will have to position itself – as a premier services producer that will enhance the rest of Asean as manufacturing base. In essence, we become the finance department, the legal department, and the front office of this entire (AEC) institution … Even if I can’t get my finger in that pie my neighbour is having, I want to be the one providing him with the silverware to eat off that pie.”

Evidently, the reporting and analysis of the constructive, nation-building media is not really supposed to be “based purely on facts”, as a CCP document said it should be. It’s all about praising the PAP administration after pointing out its flaws?

Maybe taz why the PAP has forgotten what is economic restructurings are supposed to do?

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

*“The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”

Jam tomorrow or jam to-morrow (older spelling) is an expression for a never-fulfilled promise. It originates from Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.[1] In the book the White Queen offers Alice “jam every other day” as an inducement to work for her:
“I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!” the Queen said. “Two pence a week, and jam every other day.”
Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire me – and I don’t care for jam.”
“It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.
“Well, I don’t want any to-day, at any rate.”
“You couldn’t have it if you did want it,” the Queen said. “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day’,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t any other day, you know.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”

Wikipedia

**http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/singapores-future-economy/harder-now-to-retool-singapore-economy

 

Two global secular trends that will adversely affect us and PAP’s legitimacy

In Economy, Political governance, Property on 06/12/2016 at 4:36 am

The problem has been for the last eight years, there’s been no economic growth. What we saw travelling with the president-elect, at all these rallies, is that for the average American worker they’ve gone nowhere.

The Donald’s nominee tor Treasury Sec Steven Mnuchin

Well that nightmare for American workers, the Obama and Hilary mafia, their liberal supporters and the US MSM will be coming here soon for S’poreans and the PAP.

S’poreans know that the economy is slowing but most expect a rebound to normal times: hence property prices are holding up pretty well.

But there are two interconnected secular trends that will affect S’pore’s growth prospects: slower global trade caused in part by onshoring (companies making more products locally).

Until the 2008 global financial crisis, trade growth outpaced economic expansion in most years. But since 2012, the two growth rates have been roughly similar. The World Trade Organization forecast in September that global trade volumes in 2016 will increase by 1.7% on the year, compared with projected global economic growth of 2.2%.

Improved manufacturing technologies and rising income levels in emerging economies have reinforced this trend. Companies have become better able and more inclined to make products locally. Narrowing wage gaps between developing and industrialized countries have made the conventional system of producing goods in countries with cheap labor and exporting them to richer nations less attractive. Economies have also become more dependent on online services, for which shipping capacity is irrelevant.

 http://asia.nikkei.com/magazine/20161124-S.O.S/On-the-Cover/Shipping-lines-plunge-into-a-war-of-attrition

And The Donald’s warning to US companies to manufacture in the US will only help these trends.

The PAP has what is called “output legitimacy”. S’pore is a de-facto state in large part because of the PAP’s reputation (albeit waning what with cock-ups in public transport, public housing and PR) for competence, particularly in its handling of the economy and its ability to raise living standards.

Coming back to Steven Mnuchin

Wage increases and good jobs. Taz what the PAP needs to do to keep its share of the popular vote closer to 70% than to 60%. The two interconnected secular trends that will affect S’pore’s growth prospects (slower global trade caused in part by onshoring) will not help.

Temasek and GIC had better step up their game so that the PAP administration can make up (via welfare) for the fall in living standards if these trends persist (or worse strengthen): loss of jobs, low or non-existent wage increases (if not pay cuts) and the fall in property values.

Hopefully, the Oppo and others opposed to the PAP’s hegemony speak up to point that it’s S’poreans money that is being spent on welfare, so no need to be grateful to the PAP.

We paid for these PAP goodies in advance via forced savings: CPF contributions and Budget surpluses.

Keeping power in a one-party state

In China, Political governance on 28/11/2016 at 10:26 am

(Or “Why CCP’s fears are PAP’s fears”)

More on why S’pore should be analysed from the perspective that it’s a one-party state like China and N Korea rather than as an authoritarian mutant version of a democratic state.

BBC’s Carrie Gracie( http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-37724839) wrote recently

China’s “consultative democracy” has one glaring challenge of its own: the paranoia of the ruling party.

It never ceases to amaze me how afraid the Chinese Communist Party is of its own people, and how fear clouds its judgment and skews its decision making.

Fear of street protest ties its hands in tackling pension reform or state-owned enterprises. Fear of a punishing assessment of its mistakes makes it manipulate history in a way that distorts not only the past but also the future. Fear of competing narratives makes it drive some of China’s brightest and best into exile or jail. Fear has become a huge overhead and a great brake on China’s progress.

While this is not quite true of S’pore in a literal sense

Fear of street protest ties its hands in tackling pension reform or state-owned enterprises.

because the sheep of Animal Farm S’poreans (Like BG Yeo’s Christians) don’t riot let alone protest, the PAP is kiasu of providing evidence that it’s not true that the “PAP is always right”. This ties its hands in radically reforming the CPF system, GLCs, immigration and in general the economy. After all it can’t blame another party for the problems.


Every decade, another restructuring master plan?

The PAP keeps saying the economy must be restructured.

In the 80s, one Lee Hsien Loong as trade and industry minister headed a committee to recommend changes in the economy. In the early noughties when DPM he headed another committee on the same issue.

In 2010, one Tharman and his committee produced the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC).

 

Now in 2016 (to make up for no plan in the early noughties?)

Indeed, in updating the 2010 Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) report headed by Tharman), the 30-member CFE will have to take into account new global and domestic realities. Chaired by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, the panel has been tasked with developing economic strategies to keep Singapore competitive; it aims to complete its work by the end of 2016.
More on the latest plan anon.
————————————————————————–

Again, while not exactly true here “Fear of competing narratives makes it drive some of China’s brightest and best into exile or jail” the PAP’s fear of competing narratives has stifled society here largely thru self censorship and self blinkered minds.

Hence, this fear and the resulting self censorship and self blinkered minds have become a huge problem for S’pore’s economy and body politick. It can’t be the creative, open society that the PAP says it wants and it says is needed because there are limits to creativity and open society: BG Yeo’s infamous OB markers.

“Control of information and thinking and systems is central to the government, and they genuinely want to harvest the economic advantages provided by a populace that is creative and independently minded, but they want to do it without surrendering control. It is their dilemma,” said Michael Barr, associate professor of international relations at Flinders University in Adelaide.

FT. (Btw, Barr can be classified as anti-PAP. But he’s right on this point)

True, S’poreans enjoy Western-style consumption (fuelled by debt) and personal freedoms (tell that to the ang moh tua kees and their anti-PAP cybernut allies). But S’pore is also a complex place with contradictions (think the contradiction between 377A and the relaxed official and civil attitude towards the gay community), and inequalities (think Gini and the elderly poor). “It needs a pluralistic, flexible and modern political system.” (Economist view of Russia, which applies here.)

This modern system doesn’t look like happening any time soon. The PAP has imposed an archaic authoritarian political system (de-facto one party rule) softened by more welfare spending using S’poreans’ forced savings (CPF and btdger surpluses). These can temporarily suppress economic, social and political problems but are unable to resolve them.

The ongoing public transport problems is a good example of what can go wrong with the PAP’s way of doing things.

So as I wrote here: “[T]he level of authoritariansm  is so extreme that a good strong dose of liberal values would do the body politick, and economy no harm.” The problem is with the ang moh tua kees who prefer to ape Western liberals rather adapt liberalism to suit S’poreans. They want us to eat potatoes like them.

Real meritocracy at work, not the PAP version

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

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

This is Wall Street’s new tech meritocracy.

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

From NYT’s Dealbook

Contrast this with the PAP way.

My posts on meritocracy the PAP way

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

Meritocracy’s feet of clay: Ong Ye Kung

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

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

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

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

Sounds like the PAP way doesn’t it?

Comparing WP “failures” to PAP “failures”

In Political governance on 17/11/2016 at 5:23 am

I agree with this fair, impartial Facebook post that compared the “failures” of the PAP with that of the WP and judged them by the same standards. I’d add that unlike the PAP, the WP did not have the machinery of the state on its side. If truth be told there were many instances where govt depts or agencies were perceived to be carrying on a witch hunt against the WP town council. Yes, I’m thinking of the NEA.

Luke Wong
16 hrs ·
Had been thinking what a ‘government’ supporter had said on Singapore’s ‘lost decade’.
Lagging infrastructure development (HDB flats, hospital beds), incompetence (over allocation of COE for an entire decade, ponding), indiscriminate and loose foreign worker policy and no accomodation planned for them. These were called “individual cases”, “policy miss-steps” and not “failures”, and had “no major impact” on the people. Singapore is not perfect, system by and large works.
By this yardstick, how can the PAP and its IB label the WP as incompetent and a failure over their alleged TC mismanagement. Has the TC finances and daily operations been affected? Have the people in the GRC suffered? (Have their wages stagnated and they lost their jobs like some did under PAP’s policy miss-steps?)
When do policy miss-steps finally cross the threshold into failures? When systemic cracks appear in a system that “by-and-large works” and lay the foundation for more “miss-steps”, failure is just round the corner. Recall their “learning” culture, “no-blame” culture (“staff confidentiality” and “industry norm”).
Venezuela was “ok” until the depressed oil prices turned their economy upside down and the country into a “failure” right?

Today the presidency, tomorrow yr CPF

In Political governance on 16/11/2016 at 7:49 am

This is what happens when voters keep on giving the PAP a two-thirds (and counting) majority in Parly: PM said in Parliament on 8 Nov that the government is intending to amend the Presidential Elections Act next January to ensure that the next President would come from a minority race:

“Every citizen, Chinese, Malay, Indian, or some other race, should know that someone of his community can become President, and in fact from time to time, does become President.”

He could say that government is intending to amend the legistation because the governing party has a two-thirds majority.

Today the presidency: tomorrow the age of CPF withdrawal goes up to 75 and then the lease of the pigeon loft in sky is cut to 55 yrs from 99? Yes, yes I know that CPF and HDB leases are not in the constitution, so there’s no need for a two-thirds majority.

My point is that allowing any party the power to suka suka amend the constitution is asking for trouble, serious trouble because with a two-thirds majority (and more) can give the government the confidence that really unpopular and unfair measures can be rammed through because come the next general election, with a GRC system and the PM in charge of the redrawing of electoral boundaries, the damage to the governing party can be contained, if the voters hadn’t been bribed off in the mean time, or if memories are short.

 

PAP never sleeps, Fintech shows why

In Economy on 11/11/2016 at 1:52 pm

Recently I reported that the authorities seem to understand what fintech is about and I quoted the FT in support of my point.

Here’s another quote from the same FT article which shows why the PAP is so formidable an opponent on the political arena:

In Singapore, Mr Galligan’s colleague, Christopher Wood, refers to “the threat of disruption from government-prompted efforts to promote a new digital economy — be it in fintech, ecommerce, data technologies, transport, cleantech or the so-called sharing economy in general”. Still, Singapore appears to realise that a government that defines its mission as protecting the interests of the establishment will merely accelerate the decline of that establishment. So far, its stance is paying off. “Supportive government policies and the strongest ecosystem in Asia have already spawned the early stages of a new economy,” Mr Galligan says.

Anti-PAPpists are wasting their time?

 

PM contradicts himself: Strategies were wrong? Tailored messages?

In Economy on 02/11/2016 at 6:08 am

Is PM growing old, forgetting what he said a week ago? Or is he really saying that the old policies have failed? Or BSing to different audiences, telling them what he thinks they want to hear?

Despite slowing economic growth, Singapore is “not in a crisis”, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (Nov 1), calling instead for a longer-term strategy to continue growing and creating good jobs.

Mr Lee outlined the strategy in his speech at a dialogue with labour movement leaders, noting that Singapore’s growth is still positive despite difficult external conditions like slowing trade and sinking oil prices.

(CNA last night)

Speaking to a group of students at the Singapore Institute of Technology, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on 24 Oct that he is confident the country is taking the right growth strategies to move forward.

“We are feeling the pains of restructuring, but not yet seeing the dividends of our hard work. But we are pursuing all the right strategies, and I am confident that given time these strategies will work for us.”

(CNA a week ago)

I’m sure regular readers can spot the contradiction, but for the cybernuts who will read this piece if TRE uses it, here’s the contradiction.

A week ago he said that he is confident the country is taking the right growth strategies to move forward, but last night when talking to his NTUC running dogs he talked about a longer-term strategy to continue growing and creating good jobs.

The 24 Oct remarks stated that the PAP administration had the right strategies in place, but the latest by talking about a new strategy implies that the right strategies were not in place.

Cybernuts beng pek mah?

The constructive, nation building media will not point out the contradictions. And neither will the mainstream anti-PAP alternative media because they cut and paste unintelligently from ST. More on the latter, later in the week.

 

What monkeys, bears and squirrels do differently

In Financial competency, Financial planning on 31/10/2016 at 5:44 am

The squirrels are natural PAP supporters, the bears are the swing voters and natural WP voters, and the monkeys are the cybernuts and SDP supporters.

Let me explain:

The monkeys eat up all the bananas they possess.

The bears eat most of their berries, and store up those left over.

But the squirrels do something different entirely. Before eating any of their acorns, they save 20% of them, and learn to live on those that remain.

Those saved acorns grow into oak trees, with more acorns.

Seriously, the story is about saving voting PAP.

“The point is that saving doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy things in life,” says Mr Gardner.

“But it’s about budgeting. You get 10 and bank two. That two is what will help you in the future.”

So how does this acorn philosophy work in practice?

Stop buying, for example, one cup of takeaway coffee every day, he recommends.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37798513

Sounds like PAP’s idea of democracy

In China, Political governance on 26/10/2016 at 6:05 am

Consultative Democracy

BBC reporter Carrie Gracie (husband’s an aging Chinese rock singer):

At a conference this month to deepen the Communist Party’s so called “dialogue with the world”, senior party members explained the benefits of the Party’s brand of consultative democracy.

Yang Rui for example, a well-known anchor on China’s state television, told me it was a mistake to use the ballot box to decide everything “because you have to suppose every voter is rational and reasonable”. He pointed to the American election campaign as an example of debased populism that threatens to entrench division and triviality.

“People seem to forget serious issues. They talk about sex, locker room conversation, men and lousy behaviour. Debates are getting nasty and that undermines the strength of Western democracy.” [Could PAP apologist Kishore talking.]

Fang Xinghai, another senior Party member and vice chair of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said the strength of China’s consultative system is the intense deliberation which takes place behind closed doors inside the Party itself. [Could VivianB or Tharman talking.]

“This has allowed China forty years of uninterrupted growth within a stable system. Quiet deliberation is a more effective form of policy than a public shouting match, because policy making is complicated.” [Could LKY, GCT, PM or Tharman talking.]

These are people with enormous exposure to western political culture who believe China’s one party system can compete on the delivery of public goods.

In an echo of the mandarin class who ruled China for centuries through the imperial civil service, they defend the legitimacy of a policy making elite. And they don’t want for ambition.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-37724839

Note I’ll be posting extracts from the above BBC article that are relevant to S’pore. So stay tuned.

Are PAPpies and cybernuts related?/ Andrew Loh’s bill dissected

In Uncategorized on 16/10/2016 at 2:31 pm

Maybe the u/m from FT will explain why Queen Jos and Andrew Loh sound so alike in their whackiness? The former appears to believe that sex is meant for procreation only and the other seems to swallow, hook ‘line and sinker the PAP spin that public healthcare is cheap*. On the latter as I’ve wriiteh here

Going by what Andrew Loh has written, anti-PAPpies repent and say “Vote PAP” when they see that their medical bills are peanuts? LOL

David Dunning and Justin Kruger received an Ig Nobel prize in psychology for their discovery that incompetent people rarely realise they are incompetent; the Dunning-Kruger effect is now widely cited. FT

(More on this effect.)

*When TRE republished this, a cybernut asked a rational question: was there over-priced billing in the first instance.

oxygen:

ANDREW LOH IS DEFINITELY NOT WRONG OF HIS FINANCIAL STATISTICS – it is his actual billing. But what he didn’t ask of obvious is this – was there over-priced billing in the first instance.

I saw a scanned copy of SGH’s colonoscopy bill of another – there was TWO facilities charges for one surgical procedure done – that is, there is a facilities charge for waiting area and another facilities charge for procedural surgery. The latter is comprehensible but the former (facilities charges sitting in the waiting room waiting to be call in for actual procedures) is mind-boggling. Why not also charge “facilities charge” for the patient’s relative sitting there waiting as well?

So the issue is the total billing and its details – the discount is rubbery fantasy of illusion -and of course the final billing. If Andrew Loh has expired all his Medisave account, HE WOULD STILL HAVE TO PAY THE AMOUNT OUTSTANDING OUT OF HIS POCKET.

Draining the balances of his CPF Medisave account must mean he has to top that up soon or sometime in the future. IT IS SEMANTIC OF ADVANTAGE ILLUSION – a bill is a bill and needs to be settled – one way or another unless it is free of universal health care like Medicare in Down Under.

Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

There was another nut who also had a fit of sanity:

N.Jungne:

What was in the Bill is true, the devil is in the detail. It (the bill) does not reflect the detail of how they come about (summarized).
1). The maximum daily deduction per day in “C-class” X 7 days
2). The deductible for “C-class.
3). The half of 15% co-payment.
Now there is another NEW category (I can’t remember), even a few $$$ can be deducted from our Medisave.
Andrew is not WRONG, they change and change until we are confused.
The QUESTION is WHY (they change).

 Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)

MOS Josephine Teo was misquoted

In Uncategorized on 14/10/2016 at 4:36 am

Readers of this blog don’t usually read TRE except for laughs so I reproduce a piece from there because it’s a good piece that could have been written by rational, fair-minded cyber-warriors.

The piece reads:

Yesterday, many of you shared a statement by Minister of State Josephine Teo which said that couples did not need much space for sex and many of your readers threw shade at her. I am not sure if you read her full interview but your websites and readers have misunderstood and misquoted her statement. Most likely you have not even seen her interview and the context in which she said the phrase. Editors, you are malicious or grossly playful and did not bother with context.

Photo: Mr Brown

MOS Josephine Teo’s statement was in response to a question “Why couples with children were given priority to flats while couples without kids weren’t?”

It is because of this question that MOS Josephine Teo responded that couples with children should be given flats first and not those who were still deciding if they were going to have kids. It is precisely because those with children really need the space to raise their kids as opposed to couples who need space before procreating.

For goodness sakes Editors, get your context right before jumping to conclusions and sensationalising her statement. What she said made sense and it still does not, despite all your attempts to put her down. It is you who refuse to understand the context and tried to misle your readers into thinking that MOS Josephine spoke without thinking.

I know as alternative media you will surely censor my contribution. I hope you prove me wrong.

 

Selvam Raj

* The above was sent to another alternative media and is reproduced here for discussion. Ms Teo’s original interview with the Straits Times is available on Facebook (if it has not been deleted or amended yet).

BBC piece http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37627269

 

 

Meritocracy? No leh Cosiness

In Political governance on 10/10/2016 at 5:43 am

General Paper question in the year 2065:

In S’pore in 2016, there was “cosiness”, not the meritocracy claimed by the bourgeois fascist dictatorship led by bureaucrat monopolist capitalists. The system rewarded mediocrity or even failure if one happened to be in the “right” circle.

Discuss.

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

The FT reported in October 2016 that a group of neo-Maaoists held a secret meeting recently and denounced the present system in China. Their manifesto was a call for revolution to overthrow the current system, which they claimed had evolved into a “bourgeois fascist dictatorship led by bureaucrat monopolist capitalists”.

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

A student wrote the following essay that won the Mad Dog Chee prize that the first non-PAP PM, Dr Paul Anantharajah Tambyah, set up to commemorate Dr Chee.

Text of essay:

A columnist from the capitalist supporting Financial Times, Janan Ganesh, in 2016. wrote:

“Britain is not corrupt, as such. Laws on bribery and embezzlement are not routinely broken. The country does well in transparency rankings.

But what it lacks in venality, it makes up for in cosiness. Insiders look after each other and mediocrities fail upward, or at least sideways. The elite is only half-porous: it is possible to get in but not to fall out. There are plenty of second acts in these British lives. There is always a commission to chair, a university to head, a seat to take in a second chamber that now has almost 800 members keeping London’s livery tailors in profit. This is public service as a parallel welfare state for good eggs.”

Sounded like S’pore in 2016, it seemed to S’poreans who read the FT article. This cosiness wasn’t just a figment of the imagination of the anti-PAP cybernuts who helped the ruling Peoples’ Action Party’s maintain its grip on power (With enemies like them to alienate the swing voters, the PAP didn’t need friends).

The then PAP PM said that ministers who failed cannot be chucked out just like that. Their exits had to be “managed”.  He said this after two ministers (the transport and public housing ministers) resigned after the PAP’s GE 2011 “defeat”. The “defeat” (only 60% of the popular vote voted PAP) was attributed to  voters’ unhappiness with public housing prices and public treansport deficiencies.

In 2016, an ex-CEO of NOL, a shipping company (scholar, paper general and a Temasek MD) after losing his job when NOL was taken over got a cushy sinecure as a director of SPH, the owner of the media outlets that parroted thr PAP administration’s line.

And then there was Desmond Kwek the CEO of SMRT, a public transport company, another paper general, who kept his job despite failing to make the trains run on time.

I’ll let an alternative media outlet of the time, TRE, describe what happened to someone in the “right” circle who really failed in 2016

Cock-ups after Cock-ups

Mr Chew, who was previously with the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and Navy, joined LTA barely 2 years ago in October 2014.

During his two year term at LTA, Mr Chew presided over multiple cock-ups including the collapse of a temporary structure at the Bugis DTL work site which killed two workers, the discovery of extensive defective trains from China and attempt to secretly ship them back to their manufacturer, and the failure to resolve the perennial problem of taxi shortages on the roads.

http://www.tremeritus.com/2016/08/06/ltas-ceo-chew-men-leong-commits-harakiri/

TRE speculated:

In what appears to be a move to appease increasing public anger over the record-breaking failures of the public transport system, especially the SMRT, the Chief Executive Officer of the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has tendered his resignation yesterday (5th Aug).

Coffee shop gossips have it that the CEO has been ‘fingered’ as the ‘fall guy’ to take the blame for the countless failures in the public transport system and did not resigned voluntarily as Mr Chew claims.

“Who in his right state of mind would want to resign from a lucrative paying job that comes with so much authority?”, some uncles and aunties commented.

Some however, speculated that he has voluntarily committed ‘harakiri’ out of his own conscious [“conscience” is what he must have meant], following the foot steps of former Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew.

TRE went on to describe “cosiness” S’pore style:

Members of ‘men-in-white’ club never go jobless

The 48-year-old did not mention where he was heading for, but it is a known fact that members of the ‘men-in-white’ club will never go jobless and arrangement will be made for an alternate posting to some GLCs. It is believed that Mr Chew might join Singapore Technologies. [Chew had said he was going into the private sector.]

Only in a bourgeois fascist dictatorship led by bureaucrat monopolist capitalists would ST qualify as a private sector co. It was owned by the state.

Thankfully in 2026, Mad Dog Chee and Harry’s daughter (she was the chief priestess of the cult of worshippers of Harry Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of the PAP) brought the edifice of a bourgeois fascist dictatorship led by bureaucrat monopolist capitalists down, albeit at the cost of their own lives.

The subsequent general election brought Dr Paul Anantharajah Tambyah’s PAP Bahru (Slogan: “Whiter than White and a Lot More Compassionate”) remade S’pore into the compassionate place it is, with admittedly a standard of living today that is below of of London and NY (OK closer to that of Calcutta and Bombay) than today’s global cities of Rangoon, Shanghai and Hong Kong.