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Posts Tagged ‘PAP’

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.

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

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

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

Even if she’s really a Malay. 

Oh what a tanled web we weave …

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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*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.

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*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 silmilar 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 201o, 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.

 

 

 

What if Tharman had been the Grinch, not Santa?

In Political governance on 06/10/2016 at 6:55 am

The Grinch.png

I agree absolutely with long-time Singapore political observer Bridget Welsh who said Tharman’s popularity

“stems from his support of spending for social welfare and services…

My question for those who think the light shines from Tharman’s ass (but who are otherwise rational) is, “Would they want him to be PM if he had been Scrooge? If there had been more GST increases and less welfare spending?

Marley's Ghost-John Leech, 1843.jpg

I mean who was the Finance Minister who raised GST two points from five to seven percent?

He’s been Santa since then because PAP administration decided to be generous. It wasn’t his decision alone.

Rational S’poreans who want Tharman to be PM should take note that even cybernuts want him to be PM. To me this shows that the the wish for Tharman to be PM has irrational foundations.

DPM Tharman should respect the people’s wishes

Aye Tharman, why you like that one, you got clear mandate** from the people but also don’t want be PM. You say you not PM de ‘liao’ and not interested, but how you know when you never even try leh?**

One of the readers of The Idiots — S’pore (or TISG as it likes ro be known), no idiot he wrote in Facebook:

He may b the best amongst them but he certainly is no different from them. When u have been immersed in secretive n know your position cultural environment for so long, there is no way u can avoid these.

I hope his groupies who think the light shines from Tharman’s ass realise that the light from his ass is the light from an in-coming train, not the end of PAP hegemony; and not fantasise about how good life would be under him.

Let me clear, I’m not anti- Tharman. I think Tharman would make a decent PM , but so would Khaw.

I suspect the real reason why the cybernuts and the many rational S’poreans who vote “Anyone but the PAP even if he’s a looney, crook or Goh Meng Seng” want him as PM is because he’s an Indian. To them an Indian PM would be giving the finger to the PAP who still says S’pore is not ready for a non-Chinese PM.

A form of racism as despicable as that of the PAP, methinks.

——————————-

*Bridget Welsh went on:

and management of the economy, as well as his ability to bridge groups as a more liberal and open leader compared to his peers”*.

But “as an elite-orientated party, the PAP categorically rejects selection by popular opinion,” said Welsh, a Southeast Asian politics expert at the National Taiwan University.

“Tharman is too liberal, too popular, and an ethnic minority – all features that do not fit with today’s hardline PAP,” she added.

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2023649/why-popular-ministers-insistence-he-doesnt-want-be-pm-reveals-lot

**What clear mandate? Since when have surveys esp by  The Idiots — S’pore

***The certified cybernut went on

 I remember last time you say when you very young, you didn’t know what is your ambition, now also suka suka become DPM, just one level higher also don’t want. You also not very old, Trump, Clinton and Sanders all older than you but they also want to be USA president. Now only ask you be PM of Singapore also kpkb? Singapore cabinet ageist is it?

Also I see you quite fit leh, confirm can live very long one. But you rather let one of the other not-as-experience people become PM. All of them not as charismatic as you, not as yandao as you and lack much standing internationally. I know alot of opposition also want you become PM. Only you can gel all Singaporeans together.

Imagine you let one of the others become PM, PAP will confirm lose support and Singapore will become more divisive politically. You want that to happen meh? Or you become PM first la, you can still mentor them, then when one of them earn enough respect from the people then you step down also no problem what.

I also dunno why LHL want to have minority president to prove meritocracy, but this will only be tokenism. But if you become PM, this will be the epitome of true meritocracy of Singapore. I think you lan lan must become PM lah!

Frustrated Chinese Singaporean

What Islamic State and the PAP have in common

In Political governance on 03/10/2016 at 6:05 am

Reading this BBC article http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37244146 it struck me that Islamic State  (or ISIS) and the PAP share two leadership problems.

Leaders have to multitask

We know that the PAP;s senior leaders have to multitask because of a lack of trustworthy, competent people (Juz look at the potential successors to PM — more below). PM is the PM, Sec-Gen of the PAP, chairman of GIC and chairman of PA.  Teo and Tharman are DPMs and

— Teo is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service.

— Tharman is the Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Tharman was also covering between May and August Heng Swee Keat’s duties at the Finance Ministry after Heng had a stroke during a Cabinet meeting.

The Minister for Pets is the Law and Home Affairs minister. I mean the welfare of pets and their owners is a full-time job, not like the job of keeping the Indians, Malays and Eurasians happy.

Meanwhile at ISIS

One of the reasons why those leaders held many different roles before their deaths was that the group relied on those it trusted the most to handle its operations.

,,,

Adnani, for example, was the group’s spokesman but also its general emir in Syria and the man in charge of foreign operations orchestrated from Syria, primarily in Western countries.

Another example of IS relying on long-standing leaders to handle several roles was Abu Ali al-Anbari, who blew himself up after US forces ambushed him near the Syria-Iraq border in March.

Before his death, according to a detailed obituary published by the group’s Arabic-language al-Naba newsletter, Anbari had been asked to leave his role as a preacher in his hometown, Tal Afar near Mosul, and take on responsibility for management of IS finances.

At least ISIS has the excuse that finding trustworthy and competent leaders willing to die for the cause is a problem. I mean who doesn’t want be a multi-millionaire?

Both have succession problems

At ISIS, the assassinations by the US have meant

The loss of the old guard is clearly aggravating the group’s problems and might represent the greatest challenge it has faced since the US-enabled uprising against it by Sunni Arabs in Iraq in 2005-6.

Whether the group will survive this transition depends on how far the old guard shaped and defined it.

The transition to the second and third tiers of leadership is already well under way, and the process could affect the overall direction IS takes and the way it operates.

The emerging leaders grew up within the group as it moved from a foreign franchise established by jihadist veterans to a predominantly Iraqi insurgent group, and then back to a hybrid local group with a global agenda.

Many of them also grew up under the US occupation in Iraq and in an environment shaped by sectarian tensions and civil wars.

Meanwhile in the PAP, PM is already talking of the transition to the next generation. Fair enough given his problems with cancer and with his very entitled little sister.

The six candidates to be the next PM are:

1 Heng Swee Keat
2 Chan Chun Sing*
3 Ong Ye Kung
4 Lawrence Wong
5 Ng Chee Meng*
6 Tan Chuan Jin*

(*paper generals three)

Actually the three paper generals should join The Idiots — S’pore (or TISG as it prefers to be known) given their track record. Ong Ye Kung is also a possible candidate for  The Idiots — S’pore. To be fair to The Idiots — S’pore, they’ve had 4 weeks free of major lies or mishaps, a recent record.

Whatever, ISIS would never have recruited these potential PMs if they were Muslim jihadists, even to be suicide bombers. They’d blow up their comrades.

 

 

 

Pay high but get monkeys

In Political governance on 01/10/2016 at 5:43 am

Next time Grace Fu or other PAP ministers bitch about pay praising themselves for the good work they do at below median salaeies, send this graphic from the PAP’s bible, the Economist

http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21707054-how-keep-superstars-their-toes-without-making-them-fall-over-delicate-balance

The chart shows that CEOs who are paid above median, do worse for shareholders than those below median.

Ah Mu’s silence is deafening

In Political governance on 27/09/2016 at 6:25 am

But first, guess which PAPpy said this, “I think race informs culture, informs society, informs our world views.”? Answer at the end of this piece.

Back to Ah Mu. Referring to Ong Yee Kung and his comments that to ensure a minority president given that S’poreans vote along racial lines there must now and then be elections where only ‘minority” candidates can stand, someone posted on Facebook

This idiot should be sacked asap for inciting racial hatred.! How did Ah Mu ( Indian Singaporean) win the Bukit Batok recent by-election against Dr. Chee Soon Juan if the electorates are racially biased.??

My FB avatar posted in reply: PAP should get Ah Mu to come out and say without his Chinese comrades he wouldn’t have won.

To be fair to Murali (Ah Mu) if he opens his mouth, either way the PAP is put in a bad light, and he’ll be in trouble.

If he says he won because of the PAP machine (ie his Chinese comrades got out the Chinese vote), the Indian supremacists in that community would consider him a pariah (“Indians punch above their weight,” they would rightly say and “If S’pore is a meritocracy all the top jobs would be held by Indians: juz look at the judiciary and legal service.” They would also say rightly that Tharman would make a popular PM.).

And the PAP doesn’t look good because a Hard Truth is that it’s the “Song not the singer Stupid!” People vote for the PAP not its candidate. Ah Mu would be disciplined.

If he said he won his seat because he got the Chinese to vote for an Indian and whipped Dr Chee’s ass so hard that he had brain damage, he would be going against the Hard Truth that voters vote on racial lines, all things being equal. Again he’d be disciplined.

So silence is the better of valour.

All this reminds me of the following exchange:

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

————————-

*Well given the PAP’s Hard Truth that voters vote on racial lines and hence the need as Minister Ong Yee Kung put it

for proposed changes to the Elected Presidency that could safeguard minority representation, saying that the primary purpose of the President is to represent Singapore as head of state, and that it is as such important that all races have a chance to be elected.

it’s interesting that Trump’s Alt Right supporters share similar views on race

Richard Spencer invented the term and told me: “The Alt Right stands for a markedly right-wing orientation, and for us, race matters, and race is the foundation for identity.”

I asked him if he was racist.

“The word ‘racist’ is a kind of an insult,” he said.

“It’s like saying, ‘Are you evil?’

“I think race informs culture, informs society, informs our world views.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-37431509

“I think race informs culture, informs society, informs our world views.”

Isn’t this emphasis on race so PAPpish?

But to be fair to the PAP read this: Dr Chee played up race in Bukit Batok.

 

Minister wants his cake and eat it/ PAP doesn’t get the Internet

In Internet, Political governance on 26/09/2016 at 5:24 am

But first what the PAP doesn’t get about the Internet :

In this internet era where many are literate, the government and their ministries are still assuming that people reach out to them to get info, which are already available on the net. It’s time they learn that the public reach out to them to get action, solution not info.

Coming back to the minister, my avatar responded to a post by Daniel Yap of TMG who had responded to a minister’s BS excusing his failure (“We can’t do miracles”) (Btw, my post on Accountability the PAP way posted yesterday)

Nope. A govt that tries to micromanage and social engineer its citizens has to accept that the other side of the coin “is the expectation that the G can make anything happen. LOL”.

Daniel Yap had posted

One of the side effects of big government is the expectation that the G can make anything happen. LOL

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

Tan Chuan-JinLike Page

Some of you ask me about issues we deal with. This is one. We have an ongoing dispute between two neighbours about a tree between their two properties. W asked

See More

Two other good comments were

Our G wants us to think like consumers during elections with “vote us to get…”; but after elections, they want us to think like citizens in term of a civil society? It’s very hard to do so. 🙁

There is an expectation that the G comes in and lay down the law instead of mediate. Instant results over dialogue, understanding, and trade offs.

And
Too bad, PAP founders created the myth, now they can’t keep up.
Then there was this really totful comment about how MND works and how the internet has changed people’s expectations (People want action, solutions, not info):

There are lots of areas that the public assume the authorities are in control but they are not even monitoring at all. That leads to the great disillusion when the public realise their government ineffectiveness.

Worse, recently i heard MND’s intention to decentralise control and the joke is they delegate the jobs to those not qualified… nearly fainted when i heard their rationale. It’s incredible, their assumption and naivety.

MND should set up its own “police team” to manage all building related disputes, be it involving developers, contractors, owners, tenants etc. Many people are resorting to MPS and SPF that cant do a thing, wasting MP resources, reducing the SPF to mere scouts, trying to pacify and take notes and exasperating the affected residents.

In this internet era where many are literate, the government and their ministries are still assuming that people reach out to them to get info, which are already available on the net. It’s time they learn that the public reach out to them to get action, solution not info. TCJ needs to feedback to MND to get its house in order, all the loopholes covered and manage all these issues proactively. It’s meaningless to go through these again and again. Imagine 81 MPs handle 10 such cases each, thats 810 weekly…

“People are unsatisfied, but we’re afraid of change”

In Political governance on 25/09/2016 at 5:33 am

True here too? Especially the bits about “Power and the state … are one and the same,” and “And any citizens’ participation in politics is not expected.”

Think of waz happening to the post of elected president here? The voters use a presidential election when there is one to cock a snook at the PAP administration. In return, the PAP has drawn up more convoluted fixes (think Nathan) rules, and tied itself in knots or avoiding the issues raised when arguing the case for changes in the qualifications to be a candidate.*

MARINA, a middle-aged Muscovite with dark hair and piercing eyes, is unhappy—about rising prices, rampant corruption and even Russia’s confrontation with the West. But she is not ready for a change of course. “People are unsatisfied, but we’re afraid of change,” she declares. “Gorbachev had some nice ideas, but see how that turned out? I don’t want Russia to be destroyed.” So it comes as no surprise that Marina, and most of her compatriots, voted for more of the same when they took to the polls on September 18th for elections to the Duma, the national parliament.

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21707388-reshuffle-russias-security-services-may-follow-parliamentary-elections-vladimir-putins

And

Many complain of rising prices and falling wages. “You go into the store and your money gets you nothing,” says Marina (who declined to state her last name, quipping, “Tomorrow they’ll burn my car”). 

Doesn’t this reflect what many S’poreans in the 70% that voted for the PAP feel?

And

The new ministry and United Russia’s dominance of the Duma ought to end any illusion that the Russian system could allow resistance from within, argues Oleg Kashin, a prominent columnist. “Power and the state in Russia are one and the same,” he writes. “And any citizens’ participation in politics is not expected.”

Think of waz happening to the post of elected president here?

——————————————————————————–

*U/m quotes from the constructive, nation-building MediaCorp whose website suspiciously looks similar to N Korea’s internet: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37426725

The Minister for Pets said:

The commission highlighted the “tension” between the President’s two roles and suggested that an appointed body of experts could take over the custodial functions, while Parliament could appoint a President to serve as a unifying symbolic figure. But Mr Shanmugam pointed out: “If you look at the commission’s report, the commission recognise that if a person or body is not elected then they cannot really say no and block the Government.”

Among other recommendations, the commission recommended that the President be obliged to consult the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) before exercising his discretion on all fiscal matters. Nevertheless, the Parliament can override the President’s decision, with the level of CPA support making a difference to the Parliament majority needed. Referring to the CPA, Mr Shanmugam reiterated that the commission recognised that “this body of experts, because they are unelected, the best (they) can (do is) only delay (the decision) and Parliament can still override”. He added: “If you want to give real power then they have to be elected as the commission itself recognise”.

In his letter to the commission, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said he appreciated the commission’s reasons for making the suggestion to consider reverting to a President elected by Parliament. But he stressed that “it would be difficult for a President to exercise custodial powers over the reserves and public service appointments, and veto proposals by the Government, without an electoral mandate”.

… also responded to critics who claimed that the EP changes were politically motivated. “All sorts of statements can be made but (I think they should) get back to basics and look at logic,” he said …

He said that people can disagree with the report, including whether elections are needed to choose a President. If there is a need for elections, it would be sensible to put in requirements for the candidates because the President will have to make important decisions that involve huge sums of money, for instance, he noted. “If you agree that there should be qualifications, I think most people will agree (the Government) should also review the criteria, so the debate and discussion will become better if we deal with the specific issues and questions that I have asked,”..,

Ong Yee Kung said:

“In the end, I think whether the president is (considered to be chosen based on merit) and seen to (have done a) good job has to be judged after he has done the job – and not before he is elected.”

Huh? What cock is this?

Queen Jos said

that the President plays a “hugely important role” in being a custodian of the reserves. “He needs to have the financial oversight and decision-making ability, That is the basic criteria he must fulfill,” she said. His ability to command respect still depends on the people’s mandate, she said. She noted the role of former President S R Nathan – who died last month – during the 2008 global financial crisis. Mr Nathan agreed to the Government’s request to draw funds from the reserves to help companies. The decision ultimately helped “save many rice bowls”, she noted. “When it comes to crucial times like this, he has to make a critical decision, and to answer to the people.

What has this to do the changes, Jos never said.

 

 

Cyber Jedi’s dark night of the soul

In Uncategorized on 23/09/2016 at 4:49 am

Zodiac symbols in the night sky

The night isn’t really that dark.

But seriously, my Friend Terry Xu of TOC (The Online Citizen not Terry’s Online Channel despite attempts by some at TISG or The Idiots — S’pore to slime him.) posted this on FB last weekend.

Do read it, as in some ways, it’s the opposite of what I say here, here, here and here about trying to persuade the swing voter.


Terry would seem to say this about the voters

File photo: Pigs sleeping

Some would say any insult is better than this one. “Hong Kong pig” refers to people who don’t care about politics at all, and only eat and sleep.

BBC Online

——————————————–

It’s a very pessimistic analysis and conclusion from a cyber Jedi who has been fighting the good fight with his cyber sabre. So why does he bother fighting given his pessimism about changing the minds of those who vote PAP?

Question of

Mind must be the stronger, heart the bolder, courage must be the greater, as our might lessens.?

“Battle of Maldon Hill”: A warrior chants as he and his companions face defeat and death*. They didn’t do surrender, and their foes didn’t go mercy or compassion.

Or is Terry thinking like Joe Slovo who said that being a revolutionary was being optimistic that change was coming but realising it might take longer than one’s life-time.

————————————————-

Joe Slovo (23 May 1926 – 6 January 1995, full name Yossel Mashel Slovo) was aSouth African politician, an opponent of the apartheid system. He was a long-time leader of theSouth African Communist Party(SACP), a leading member of theAfrican National Congress (ANC), and a commander of the ANC’s military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Wikipedia


Or maybe he’s realised like certified cybernut Oxygen that

SO I SAY CHANGE FROM WITHIN IS WISHFUL THINKING – it won’t happen

and is preparing to move on?

If I were SAF, I’d check the armoury of the unit where Terry’s does his reservist training. It’s an elite almost operational unit. So plenty of arms and explosives lying around.

Whatever here’s something to keep Terry going if he decides to remain a cyber Jedi

“In the last days of December 1916, a small group of Swiss university students had an evening meeting and an exiled Russian politician living in Switzerland gave them a talk on the coming revolution. He said, ‘The revolution’s bound to come. You younger people will live to see it. We older people (he was in his forties at the time), we shan’t see it.’ Ten months later this same man, his name was Lenin, was dictator of one of the greatest empires in the world,”

AJP Taylor, historian, in a lecture on Btritish tv many yrs ago.

—————–

*”Courage shall be the more resolute, heart shall be the braver, spirit shall be the greater, as our strength grows less.”, is another translation of the Old English verse.

 

“CHANGE FROM WITHIN IS WISHFUL THINKING – it won’t happen”

In Political governance on 22/09/2016 at 4:52 am

The above from a certified cybernut could sadly be prophetic.

The way the PAPpies are behaving (Think the changes to the contempt of court laws and the proposed changes to the elected presidency. Think of the Pet minister’s, Queen Jos’s and Ong Ye Kung’s comments on the latter. They make “Lying Hilary’s” untrustworthy and shifty explanations of emailgate sound pretty straight forward and simple to understand.), Oxygen, a certified cybernut may be a looney who just happens to have a prophetic insight.


Oxygen is a Nantah grad who fled to Oz in the 70s or early 80s  but because he regrets not getting a cheap HDB flat (he can’t get over the injustice), he still has S’pore in his mind despite becoming a New Citizen in Oz many yrs ago. He’s not poor and he’s no cheap skate. He donated $10,000 to keep TRE going before GE 2015.

If he really believes that change from within is impossible, why did he donate money to keep TRE alive? He should have used the money to buying arms and bombs for the S’pore Liberation Army.

He had a Pauline conversion since then? Before the GE, he believed that change was possible.

Opps I forgot, cybernuts are like M Ravi, moods always changing.

——————————————

In response to this, he wrote

oxygen:
September 18, 2016 at 9:16 pm (Quote)
CI, FOR ALL YOUR DECEPTIVE DANCES OF THE WOLF is great when you agrees with this call from Dr Ang Yong Guan

Dr Ang Yong Guan:You spoke about building a compassionate and inclusive nation in your speech. Make it happen. Bring the 30% on board not by pushing them to a corner and create an “us” versus “them” mentality. Embrace their diverse views, engage them in robust debates and create an even-playing political field. Win them over. As I have said before: “People are patriotic, keep that patriotic flame going strong by including them and NOT excluding them.”

The only problem of inevitable trapped dilemma for the PAPpys must be if they grudgingly relent to robust debates and even-playing political field in the public space is this quagmire and quicksands

– their rubber tyre of lies, fantasy and propaganda wear out faster on the road of truth faster than they can change their wheel of meandering river of endless lies, scams and deception

– even secondary school kids can trap them into embarrassed corner of no reply or disingenuous response of “what do you think”

– each can of worms unveiled opens up more cans of worms

– no political saints in their own tribe will sacrifice his paychecks on the altar of their own catcalls of hara kiri demands for unacceptable momumental policy design and implementation disaster

– voters lose respect for the whole tribe such that they may find it uncomfortable to wear the hypocritical virginity white in future election walkabouts and replace that with vibrant red of change advocacy instead (SDP needs to register for copyright protection now)

History needs to be re-written and legacy shamed and

finally of course, entrenched corrupt interest of “meritocratic” cronies of super mortals cultivation within the same tribe will revolt of change necessary for progress – some even think peasants “bo tua bo soy” (no big no small) almost sounding like scolding soya sauce.

SO I SAY CHANGE FROM WITHIN IS WISHFUL THINKING – it won’t happen

 

 

 

Why access to the truth has not set S’poreans free

In Internet on 20/09/2016 at 5:12 am

Knowledge is supposed to be power in one-party states and the internet gives people access to knowledge. But the internet has not done much to change S’poreans’ views of the PAP and its manifold, snarky machinations.

It was thought that the PAP administration’s control of the mainstream media was an important element in preventing S’poreans from understanding the reality of PAP rule here. The constructive, nation-building media helped shape the perception of reality by, among other things, filtering out inconvenient facts and framing the issues in a way that put the best spin on PAP policies.


Why PAP keeps a tight grip on the MSM

only suggestive, the study is cause for concern. The media can set the agenda, but also distort it. There is some countervailing evidence, that relative rankings of corruption do have some validity: diplomats from countries where corruption is seen as more pervasive are less likely to pay parking fines, for example. But if perceptions are heavily influenced by the media buzz, then levels of corruption might be exaggerated. In other words, measures of corruption could themselves be corrupted.

http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21696162-perceptions-corruption-seem-be-more-sensitive-claims-facts-bad-press

Also read this article about how media owners in Eastern Europe’s use the media they own to manipulate public opinion and to help friendly politicians and u can understand why the PAP controls the MSM the way it does here. http://www.economist.com/…/21707125-politics-central-and-ea…

———————————————————-

So those opposed to the PAP’s hegemony (self included) had thought that the internet (in particular social media and new or alternative media) would make it easier for S’poreans to be aware of or learn of or ferret out inconvenient facts, learn the truth, and draw the “right” conclusions.

It’s now easier to be aware of or learn of or ferret out inconvenient facts, and learn the truth, but sadly many S’poreans still  are incapable of or resist drawing  the “right” conclusions.

Partly this is the fault of alternative media outlets like The Idiots — S’pore (Or TISG as it prefers to be known which at times seems to be trying to imitate fake news websites ), the antics of the anti-PAP cynernut rats, and pro -PAP outlets like Mothership and FATPAP. Their disinformation and loudhailing services for the PAP causes problems when trying to establish the facts or the truth. (In fact TISG is proud that it is a “useful loudhailer” for the govt and its agencies.)

But a lot has to do with human nature (emphasis mine):

[H]umans do not naturally seek truth. In fact, as plenty of research shows, they tend to avoid it. People instinctively accept information to which they are exposed and must work actively to resist believing falsehoods; they tend to think that familiar information is true; and they cherry-pick data to support their existing views. At the root of all these biases seems to be what Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel-prizewinning psychologist and author of a bestselling book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, calls “cognitive ease”: humans have a tendency to steer clear of facts that would force their brains to work harder.

In some cases confronting people with correcting facts even strengthens their beliefs, a phenomenon Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, now of Dartmouth College and the University of Exeter, respectively, call the “backfire effect”. In a study in 2010 they randomly presented participants either with newspaper articles which supported widespread misconceptions about certain issues, such as the “fact” that America had found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or articles including a correction. Subjects in both groups were then asked how strongly they agreed with the misperception that Saddam Hussein had such weapons immediately before the war, but was able to hide or destroy them before American forces arrived.

As might be expected, liberals who had seen the correction were more likely to disagree than liberals who had not seen the correction. But conservatives who had seen the correction were even more convinced that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Further studies are needed, Mr Nyhan and Mr Reifler say, to see whether conservatives are indeed more prone to the backfire effect.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21706498-dishonesty-politics-nothing-new-manner-which-some-politicians-now-lie-and?fsrc=permar|image3

The good news is that so long as there are sites like TOC (Its 10th anniversary fell in August this year), TMG and SgDaily (I got posting rights on its FB page); bloggers and commenters like Alex Au, Chris K, Wandering Vagabond, P Ravi, Uncle Leong, Donald Low and Yeoh Lum Keong; and cyber Jedis like Terry Xu and Andrew of TRE, inconvenient facts and inconvenient truths cannot be kept out of the public domain.

So I’m optimistic. Slowly but surely more S’poreans will draw the “right” conclusions after learning the “right” facts. And with a bit of luck by 2033 or 2055, at the latest, Harry will only be a bad dream.

But as S’poreans are exposed to more info, we (including the PAP) face a problem in this brave new world

Given such biases, it is somewhat surprising that people can ever agree on facts, particularly in politics. But many societies have developed institutions which allow some level of consensus over what is true: schools, science, the legal system, the media. This truth-producing infrastructure, though, is never close to perfect: it can establish as truth things for which there is little or no evidence; it is constantly prey to abuse by those to whom it grants privileges; and, crucially, it is slow to build but may be quick to break.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21706498-dishonesty-politics-nothing-new-manner-which-some-politicians-now-lie-and?fsrc=permar|image3

Remember that given the dominance of the PAP, we don’t have the institutions which allow some level of consensus, absent the hegemony of the PAP. It’s going to be an anarchic jungle when S’poreans break the mind fetters.

But not to worry, the ang mohs who S’poreans (including the PAP) use to validate their actions will still be pontificating and BSing, and sometimes getting the facts and truth right. And S’poreans will listen to them, as they always have. Ang mohs will take the place of local institutions in the building of consensus of what are the facts and the truth.

Still better than consensus based on the PAP’s hegemony. At least liberal, socialistic and conservative ang mohs hold different views.

Cut the BS about being resource poor

In Uncategorized on 18/09/2016 at 1:12 pm

But first, the cubernuts keep harping that when the PAP took power, S’pore was the second most important port in Asia so what happened next was no big deal. Well Rangoon was pretty big then but look at it today. It’s the place that the PAPpies should send kids to to show what life would have been without the PAP.*


A WALK AROUND battered, ramshackle Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city and former capital, quickly makes it clear how far the country has fallen behind the rest of Asia over the past half-century. In large part the place is but a ghostly reminder of former glories. Under British colonial rule, before independence in 1948, Rangoon (as it was then) was a thriving, cosmopolitan entrepot, the capital of Burma, one of the region’s wealthiest countries. All that came to an abrupt end in 1962 after a junta of army officers, led by the brutal General Ne Win, seized power and launched the country on the quasi-Marxist “Burmese Way to Socialism”. Private foreign-owned businesses were nationalised, prompting the exodus of hundreds of thousands of people, many of Indian origin. https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/why-young-sporeans-should-be-sent-to-yangon/

http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/01/yangons-heritage


The nutters would be better-off focusing on the PAP’s claim that it made S’pore into a first world state despite S’pore being resource poor.

“In the modern world,” wrote Keynes in the Manchester Guardian in the autumn of 1922, “organisation is worth more in the long run than material resources.”

As Mr Norberg a Swesiah economic historian puts it, “The most important resource is the human brain…which is pleasantly reproducible.”

He bases his commen on the performance of places like London NY and Silicon Valley.


*Such a visit would be better than revising the upper secondary social studies syllabus with the proclaimed objective of promoting “active citizenship and critical thinking”.

A good critique:

The MOE has revised the upper secondary social studies syllabus with the proclaimed objective of promoting “active citizenship and critical thinking”.

Part of the updated content include a case study of the Little India Riot in 2013.

As the account conjured up by MOE goes, within minutes of the outbreak of the riot, the police was informed and the Civil Defence Force was activated. Subsequently, Special Ops Command was deployed and the crowd dispersed.

The authorities’ swift action, according to MOE, shows the importance the PAP Government places on maintaining internal order in Singapore.

Anyone who has followed the COI in the aftermath of the riot would have noticed that a large chunk of the events is missing in MOE’s account.

This chain of events revolves around how the initial police response team had failed to act resolutely when it arrived at the scene despite threats among the onlookers to kill the timekeeper whom they blamed for causing the death of their fellow countrymen.

Their lack of action emboldened the crowd causing it to spiral out of control with the scene of some of the officers fleeing the scene an indictment of the deficiencies of the Home Team.

The result?

25 emergency vehicles damaged, 5 set on fire, 39 police, four civil defence and auxiliary officers injured.

The above glaring gap in MOE’s account begs the questions: is it more interested in brainwashing than encouraging active citizenry and critical thinking?

If it is sincere about promoting critical thinking, shouldn’t it lay out all the facts and let students question and think about what went wrong?

Source: The Alternative View

(January 2016)

 

 

 

Hard Truths still relevant in 2033 and 2055?

In Uncategorized on 18/09/2016 at 4:13 am

Eaelier this month, China marked 40 years since Mao Zedong’s death on September 9 1976.Mao Zedong’s greatest worry was that a capitalist revival would take hold in China and wipe away his utopian vision of communism. Well it happened hasn’t it?

And

A mere 18 years after the death of Mao Zedong, it was possible for a notable Sinologist to give his book on Chinese reforms the title of “Burying Mao”.

So hang in there those who hate Harry and his legacy. Eighteen and 40 yrs is not too long to wait to have the last laugh.

But there’ll still be prople will who worship him, like they still worship Mao.

Image result for shrine to Mao

Image result for shrine to Mao

Wonder what his daughter, his chief devotee will think if she’s still alive in 2055?

Btw, in 2025, the PAP will unveil Harry’s Great Wall https://atans1.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/2025-lkys-memorial-unveiled/

DSC_0029

 

 

 

 

Why the PAP fears Dr Tan Cheng Bock

In Political governance on 11/09/2016 at 1:12 pm

The guy is shrewd, classy with a great sense of PR: see below.

Ada standard as a natural aristocrat and as a president.

With him as an elected president, the PAP administration will have to take account of his views, no matter what the legal position is on the powers of the president. He’ll signal his unhappiness or displeasure even when he has to follow the advice of the cabinet.

Well those who voted for Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian, I hope you are repenting for doing the PAP’s dirty work for them. Each of you didn’t even get yr thirty pieces of silver.

And Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian were the rewards of preventing him from becoming president worth it?

This appeared on Facebook

Message to my friends and supporters

Many Singaporeans including Netizens, have expressed their concern that the Constitutional Commission’s report has excluded me from the 2017 Presidential Election.

I have been kept busy assuring them that the Constitutional Commission Report will be tabled in Parliament in the form of a White Paper on 15th Sept.

Parliament will debate it, make amendments, support it, or even reject it.

We should not jump into conclusion that the whole exercise was to prevent me from running.
After all, the people in charge are men of virtue and integrity and would not resort to doing this.

Let us wait for the coming debate before jumping into conclusion. 

 

Antidote to PAP scaremongering/ How elites see us

In Uncategorized on 04/09/2016 at 12:07 pm

Next time any PAPpy tries to scaremonger us by saying that without PAP hegemony, the economy will collapse remember this extract from BBC Online on Brexit.

‘Booming economy’

“The economy is booming following the vote to leave the EU,” declares the Daily Express lead story about what it describes as “startling new figures” showing a record rise in manufacturing.

It says the “respected” Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing index unveiled the biggest month-on-month jump in its 25-year history.

The paper says it has “dealt a blow to the Remain campaigners Project Fear doom and gloom predictions”.

The Financial Times also carries the story, with the headline: “Busy factories fuel pro-Brexit MPs’ claims of Treasury scaremongering.”

“The figures showed activity in Britain’s factories hit a 10-month high in August, the latest sign that the economy may be recovering its poise after the initial shock of June’s Brexit vote.”

According to the paper, Barclays analysts say business nerves have been settled by the “speedy formation” of Theresa May’s government, the interest rates cut and a signal that the chancellor will ease austerity.

However, the FT adds that Philip Hammond told colleagues it was “too early” to say whether the economy had emerged in good shape after the Brexit vote and he was awaiting further economic data.

Remember this letter to the Economist

Peggy Noonan summed up nicely the situation behind the rise of populism in America and Europe in her recent essay, “How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen”. For Ms Noonan, “Those in power see people at the bottom as aliens whose bizarre emotions they must try to manage”.

DON POWELL
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Zika shows alternative media at its best and worst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

(Wikipedia)

———————–

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


Cover-up? What cover-up?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Here is my evidence.

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

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

WRONG!!! stupid again.

 

 

 

Animal Farm: What if the pigs were public-spirited?

In Political governance on 24/08/2016 at 4:58 am

‘It needs more public-spirited pigs’: TS Eliot’s rejection of Orwell’s Animal Farm

This was the title of https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/may/26/ts-eliot-rejection-george-orwell-animal-farm-british-library-online

Eliot, one of the 20th century’s greatest poets and literary figures (his critics said he had fascist tendencies), said: “And after all, your pigs are far more intelligent than the other animals, and therefore the best qualified to run the farm – in fact, there couldn’t have been an Animal Farm at all without them: so that what was needed (someone might argue), was not more communism but more public-spirited pigs.”

Thinking about it maybe LKY, Dr Goh, Lim Kim San, Toh Chin Chye etc would be role-models for such public-spirited pigs.

So if the pigs had been as public-spirited as Harry Lee, Dr Goh etc:

— there would be a Pigs’ Action Party (Don’t worry, the comments get better);

— a sheep would always be elected president but the colour of the fleece mattered (while yellow was the preferred colour, sometimes the president’s fleece must be brown, black or white):;

— the leader of the pigs would always be a yellow coloured one;

— the other animals would have a share (albeit not as much as the pigs) of the “brain food”, apples and milk;

— but much of their apples and milk would be locked up (and waste away)  like our CPF monies;

— Boxer would have been treated a lot better: he’d have Pioneer benefits to supplement his meagre share of stored apples and milk;

— but if Boxer had cancer he’s have to return to the UK (like Alex Josey, LKY’s devoted follower) to get treated on the NHS;

— Squealer, like Rajaratnam, would have Alzheimer’s disease, as a consequence of having to practice doublespeak;

—  Snowball, like Lim Chin Siong would be allowed to return from exile

— the farmhouse, like the Istana, would be open to the other animals on public holidays;

— the windmill would be built right the first time, providing Animal Farm with electricity and the animals would get a share of the benefits;

— Tan Wah Piow would be happy outside S’pore instead of being bitter in self-exile (Daisy the mare fled Animal Farm because she was unhappy and lived happily ever after);

— the animals that plotted against the pigs would not be killed but be arrested under the ISA and made to confess, like Teo Soh Lung and friends, their misdeeds on tv;and

— there would be free but unfair elections every few years that would serve as referendums on the pigs’ performance with 60% approval ratings being the passing mark;

— there would be a population of about 26% that would always vote against the public-spirited pigs, screaming ‘The pigs are always wrong”;

— “To each what he deserves” and “Work sets you free” would be prominent slogans at the Pigs’ Annual Rally.;

— some of the castrated pigs would form the Wankers’ Party to oppose the Pigs’ Action Party; and

— one of the dogs would go mad.

———————–

But some sheep are always unhappy

PAP gave you one drum stick, now collecting two chickens

After every GE, the first 3-4 years, you see massive hikes of various fees to recoup the drum stick they gave during GE. With the greedy Minister, you see car-park charges raised and proposed SnCC charges soon to be raised to better service lifts. To his  hypocritical stand to keep Singapore car-lite, more COEs are being released.

In the recent weeks, you see so many charges and fees being raised despite massive profits. From Medishield Life, taxi licenses, fares, basic necessities, levies et cetera, everything seems to be on auto-pilot going up.

The only year that Singaporean will have a breather will be the year before GE. Then suddenly, you will see all the ministers and politicians becoming your best friends over night, back by media and advertisements in addition social media. Remember all the nice ads at train stations telling you not to worry about CPF and Medishield Life?

Even Facebook and Chinese Wechat will promote these policies then. Question is why don’t you see them now? They seem to have disappeared right after the GE.

Look at the shopping centres, few are buying, pay has largely remain stagnant for years and there is no job security, high possibility of being replaced by fake talents imported. Despite massive profits, why is the government continue to squeeze poor Singaporeans dry? If Temasek and GIC are supposed to make good money, so why are they milking locals high and dry? Isn’t this puzzling at all? So why so many changes to entrap and restrict the use of CPF? Without any visibility, we can only assume that the funds are not doing well!!!

I hear Singaporeans complain and complain about the hikes and increased charges and fee. But isn’t this repeated every five years. After GE, they will fleece us right until the year before GE that they will suddenly be generous. WP did say, they will give you a drum stick and take one chicken, isn’t that correct?

My take is they have been very greedy, it is no longer one chicken, its two chicken, thanks to you giving them landslide. And for those who voted for the greedy party, stop complaining la, don’t be a gu niang!

DuGu QiuBai

He and his kind should realise that the PAP did things a left-wing US senator wants done in the US.

Elizabeth Warren named in some quarters as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton.

First, she wants to make it easier for all workers to pay social security contributions and buy insurance against disability or illness, as well as to accrue credits for at least some paid leave. Second, she argues that health and pension benefits should belong to workers and should follow them no matter what their employment status. Third, she underlines the need to streamline and enforce existing labour laws to stop employers exploiting loopholes. Finally, she stresses the need for collective bargaining for all workers — unions, historically intent on protecting insiders, need to bear some responsibility.

FT extract


Finally a related post: Life on a real animal farm: animals are well-looked after to benefit the farmer. Something the successors (the natural aristocrats)  to the PAP Old Guard forgot but quickly relearnt after the double 2011 debacles. Now they are spending more of our more on ourselves. And trying to fix the presidential elections so that a compassionate, humble ex-PAPpy, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, can never be elected president,

What a load of BS from PM

In Uncategorized on 23/08/2016 at 6:51 am

And PM’s  behind the curve again. And Harry was right. These were my tots on reading his NDR speech.

But first, PM should reflect on whether talking BS is good for his health,

On Sunday night, he delivered two real hard turds in the usual truckload of watery cow dung that included why “Adak must make sure ababg becomes president, otherwise abang will never make it” and “Own race vote for own race”(Hello forgot that his Murali, black in white, whipped a charismatic Chinese dialect speaker’s ass? So hard that the latter was punch-drunk for a while. Yup his brain was in his ass.).

I mean

“We are… a nation where a young Singapore boy can achieve his dream,” he said. “Spurred by his parents’ and coaches’ unwavering belief; dedicating himself to his goal persevering through ups and downs; cheered on by the whole nation – And that’s how we produced an Olympic champion in Rio.”

“Joseph will inspire many more, younger and older, to chase their dreams, to make the impossible come true.” CNA

Ever since the Swimming Association’s Centre of Excellence closed in 2008 and until he won a University of Texas scholarship, Joseph was on his parents’ scholarship. He was lucky to have supportive parents rich enough to fund his (and their and Sporeans’) dream.

And along the way, Mum had to take on Mindef, (Doubtless, Colin was too busy?  Or horses for courses? M’sians braver than S’poreans. They dare protest on the streets,)

Is this “a nation where a young Singapore boy can achieve his dream?”. Come on, only if the parents are rich and reckless enough. While I salute the parents, let’s face it: they were big time gamblers. The odds were against them and Joseph: The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.

PM delivered another hard turd by propagating the world-view according to Disney, saying, “[Young S’poreans] chase their dreams, to make the impossible come true”. Another way of putting this would be “If you trust in yourself…and believe in your dreams…and follow your star…”

S’poreans should remember one of Harry’s Hard Truths: Live in the real world. As Terry Pratchett puts it, “If you trust in yourself…and believe in your dreams…and follow your star…you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy”.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/07/books-film.

I’m sure our Harry would agree with him and not number one son.

It gets even funnier because the Economist (see above link) says Disney has been moving away from the theme of “If you trust in yourself…and believe in your dreams…and follow your star…” in its latest films (think Freeze) and edging towards the darker views of Terry (and Harry). PM (and PAP) behind the curve again? Like in GE 2006 and 2011?

Most of us (including the PAP’s natural aristocrats are not Olympians in sports, academia, commerce, finance or politics. At best, we are journeymen and women.

———————-

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

————————

The truth is that most of us are juz mediocre; accept this reality and be content.

How to be mediocre and be happy with yourself http://www.bbc.com/news/business-37108240

Can explain away this Dr Chee?/ Where PAP has failed us

In Uncategorized on 09/08/2016 at 1:08 pm

The Misery Index, computed by adding inflation to the unemployment rate, gives S’pore a score of 1.40, which is the 2nd best – or second least miserable – for all 74 economies surveyed by Bloomberg. Thailand is first with 1.11%. Japan, is third, with 2.70%.

If Dr Chee or any other sane anti-PAPpy cannot explain this away, doesn’t this show that the PAP deserves its “Ownself salute ownself” party once a year on 9 August?

So keep on feeling miserable, anti-PAPpies. Likewise the ang moh tua kees. None of these countries can be called a democracy. Thailand has a ruling military junta, S’pore is a defacto one-party state, and in Japan, the Liberal Democtatic Party has been the ruling party for all but two and a half years since the LDP was founded in 1955.

All three are sceptical about putting human rights on a pedestral to be worshipped.

But anti-PAPpies and the ang moh tua kees can console themselves. Chris K is absolutely right in the following analysis that the PAP has failed us:

Thoughts on PAP’s political domination on Singapore’s 51st Birthday

Singapore sees its 51st year of independence and 48th year of PAP’s total political domination. Do we get to 100th year of independence and beyond? For that we have to consider whether the PAP’s 48th year of total political domination is the right path to get there.

In the 2015 General Election, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned the voters that Singapore’s future was at stake in that if PAP failed, the nation was in trouble. This narrative has always been effective for many Singaporeans who are uncertain of life without the PAP. But in it, lies the danger on the path to 100 years and beyond for the narrative implies that without the PAP, there is no viable alternative to govern Singapore.

That is to say, we as a nation has no back-up, no double, triple redundancy, no recovery plans to ensure the continued prosperity and relevance of Singapore, should the PAP failed. How safe is such a company in coping with human failure let alone a nation state?

The PAP may not have failed but that is not the same as saying it has not failed in certain areas nor has not failed certain segments of the population. It always maintained that it must have a super majority, better still no opposition in order to focus on the long term. And yet this did not stop the PAP from indulging in short term fixes that have long term consequences. Neither did this ensure the PAP understand and therefore mitigate the trade-offs in its policy choices.

These are the consequences of the PAP’s single minded maintenance of total political domination. It stymies the opposition parties and repress the legal and political environment so that there can be no policy alternatives than its own. The much bigger potentially catastrophic consequences is that the nation will be in trouble should the PAP failed because there is no other alternatives to govern the nation. Think of it as making sure the nation fail together with the PAP if the party should fail. That should be how we read Mr Lee’s warning.

So while you may not like to contemplate life without the PAP, you are also putting the nation at long term risk if you do not aim for political plurality in our nation, the sort of plurality in which nations survive centuries without having to depend on one party. Besides, who is to say the PAP will not benefit from a period out of government.

Majullah Singapura and Happy NDP!

*Facebook post by Chris Kuan

 

 

PAP: Keeps on Walking

In Political governance on 09/08/2016 at 5:45 am

Today, is the PAP’s annual celebration of “S’pore the one-party state”. To show its power over S’poreans, it gets the kids, NS men and others it can coerce to participate in a spectacle that would do the North Koreans, Chinese patriots, Soviets, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Franco and Mussolini proud. Even couch potatoes have to participate by watching it on their screens. OK, OK, they are persuaded to watch it because it is a spectacle made for tv.

Taz why the anti-PAPpies go overseas on the day, if they got the money.

And the PAP should be congratulated, even if it’s  through gritted teeth. The  PAP keeps on winning majorities of over 60% since the 1968 general elections.

Compare S’pore and the PAP with another defacto one party state, South Africa and its ruling party, the ANC. For the first time since the ANC first came into power in South Aftica’s first democratic election in 1994, support for the party that led the struggle against apartheid has, last, week fallen below 60% (to 52%) in recent nation-wide municipal elections. A mere 22 years.

Compare that to the PAP’s 48 years. The PAP “Keeps on walking” like Johnnie Walker

So why shouldn’t the PAP wrap S’pore’s national flag around itself? The national flag was unveiled by the PAP govt in 1959, the year the people of S’pore gave it a mandate of 54% (but 43 out of 51 seats). Btw this was the second lowest majority for the PAP. The lowest was in 1963: 47%.

Taz how important Coldstore and the detentions of one Lim Chin Seong, and his friends and allies were for the PAP.

Bet you National Day 2018 will be a really special occasion: 50 yrs of PAP’s domination of the voting share.

 

 

Err so why the silence on Calvin, minister?

In Humour on 02/08/2016 at 5:13 am

Or to be more precise, why the official pussy-footing  on Calvin Cheng’s call to kill children? And the silence on real atrocities?

(Not sure who did this. Saw it on Facebook. I’ll gladly attribute this if I know who did this.)

And is it not strange that this minster who has de facto responsibility for pets and their owners doesn’t speak up against vivisection?

Don’t juz talk cock sing song: walk the talk.

Minister snatches defeat from the jaws of victory

In Uncategorized on 21/07/2016 at 7:08 am

Hougang Member of Parliament Png Eng Huat in a Facebook post grumbled about how Minister Tan Chuan Jin and his entourage were given expedited clearance at the immigration checkpoint at Tuas.

On Sunday, Mr Tan and a group of residents and volunteers returning from a durian trip to Johor Bahru were able to skip the immigration queue. In a Facebook post on Monday, Mr Png wrote that he too, had been at the checkpoint with his residents after a trip to Desaru, and that they were among other travellers at who had had “to wait patiently for hours for their turn”. Mr Png added that one of his residents was 89 years old and another had been injured during the tour. 

Since, It is the normal practice for ministers on both sides of the Causeway, as well as members of the Malaysian royalty, to be given expedited clearance at the land checkpoints, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on Tuesday (Jul 19), really Png was barking up (Or is it peeing against) the wrong tree, especially as the minister was in M’sia on official business see below), and not eating durians.
Given the ICA statement, Tan should have taken the high moral ground and asked if Png expected that only he the minister be given expedited clearance, while the rest of the passengers on the bus he was on, cleared the check point like other plebs?
He also had the high moral ground that he was in M’sia on an official visit to the M’sian Deputy Home Affairs Minister’s Hari Raya open house. As a minister on official duty, he would be entitled to a govt car etc, But he took a bus. That also cannot itis?
Png could only sit down and shut up showing that the W in WP stands for “Wankers’ or Worthless.
But the Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan Jin said on Tuesday (Jul 19) that Hougang Member of Parliament Png Eng Huat was “stirring hate and anger” in a Facebook post about how Mr Tan and his entourage were given expedited clearance at the immigration checkpoint at Tuas.

Mana ada standard? m=Mud wrestling with a Wanker? It isn’t even plausible that Png was “stirring hate and anger”e. He’s a Wanker, not a mad dog. And Tan’s an RI boy. Sigh.

Get well soon Heng. The PAP needs you as prime minister. Tan is proving himself as worthless as Kee Chui, another RI boy (OK not a real RI boy: only two yrs, unlike Tan and me).

Seriously, “political success requires mastery of the age’s leading medium”: Reagan knew how to use tv, Trump knows how to use Twitter, but Tan and other PAPpies don’t know how to use social media*.

For that fact alone, those of us, who want an end to the PAP’s hegemony, should be grateful, very grateful.  Likewise we should grateful at the antics of the PAP’s IB in slimimg Png. With friends like Jason chua, the PAP doesn’t need enemies.

Maybe the wheel of fortune is turning against the PAP? I used to say that the PAP was lucky in its enemies. Now even the MPs of the Wankers’ Party are doing more than wanking while smiling at their bank accounts. They are growling.


*No SOP written yet isit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good reason to ban smartphones

In Internet on 17/07/2016 at 1:05 pm

Here I suggested that the PAP administration should ban the use of smartphone cameras because they are a clear and present danger to the PAP’s paternal instinct to ensure that we only get the “right” info (So that, among other things, we are not panicked.)

Here’s a good reason why the PAP administration should go further and ban smartphones.

Indian newspaper The Telegraph ran a fascinating exclusive on its front page yesterday.

It obtained a copy of an investigation into Kashmiri militancy written by a top police officer in the state.

The report, which has been presented to officials at the home Ministry, argues that growing access to social media is the key to understanding the current upsurge in militancy in the region.

[I]n the last few years the security forces in Kashmir have noticed that the public is now far more likely to intervene in their operations.

He reports that when they go to make an arrest or get involved in even a minor confrontation with militants, very quickly members of the public come out to protest against their action and, on occasion, even attack them.

One factor has to be that smartphone messages go out alerting people to what is going on.

As far as security personnel are concerned this represents a very serious increase in the risks they face.

Just like during the Arab Spring and indeed in the unfolding race crisis in America, it seems the contours of the conflict in Kashmir are increasingly being shaped and defined by technology.

What BoJo can teach the PAP

In Humour on 05/07/2016 at 5:27 am

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Johnson says the government was wrong to offer the EU referendum without being willing – if the public voted Leave – to “explain how this can be made to work in the interests of the UK and Europe”. BBC

Hoz this for gratitude and gall? Before the referendum result was known, he (and others) thanked the PM for calling a referendum. After his side won, he is blaming the UK govt for calling a referendum that he wanted.

Either BoJo is a joke-cracking clown like Bozo, or he is just an unprincipled and shameless rascal. Or both.

No wonder the grandees of the Tory party don’t want as leader and PM.

Whatever, he can teach Tharman and other PAP ministers how to tell good jokes.


Tharman is the Joker

Isn’t his comments on govt acting quickly on property prices, bit like his jokes on inflation, wages?

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/will-hougang-make-the-pap-moan-the-inflation-blues-not-joke-abt-it/

https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/tharman-trying-to-tell-jokes-again/

But there are other wannabe jokers too:

Hng Kiang on inflation

A Lee on inflation

And even PM and DPM Teo try their hand:

CoC needed on ministers telling jokes

Where is Batman when S’pore needs him?

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Brexit: Lesson for the PAP?/ Eternal truths

In Political economy, Political governance on 04/07/2016 at 7:09 am

Here’s an interesting comment from a FT reader commenting on (What else?) Brexit.  He’s saying that Brexit (and the Eurozone  crisis) should be blamed on cuts to the benefits of what conservatives, the PAP (including Tharman) and the majority of S’poreans (self-included) would call the “undeserving poor”. (They (and me) would be in favour of helping the “deserving poor”.)

The UK is a federation of sorts. On 23 June, it essentially failed. It failed because London had allowed (over a period of ca 30 years) swathes of the country to become impoverished. The transfer union which once existed had been rolled back so much that living standards of the majority of voters had fallen.

London has been rolling back this transfer union because “the elite” has been making the argument that a transfer union makes people lazy. “We must cut benefits (transfers) to encourage people to get on their bikes!” – sounds familiar?

So here’s the problem: … the eurozone will fail if it cannot improve the living standards of its citizens BUT the observation about the dependency transfers induce also holds. The challenge for the eurozone (as much as all our social democracies) is how to square this particular circle?

The Roman emperors got it right. Bread and circuses for the Roman mob, whether deserving or not. Preserving the peace and maintaining power, were more important than rewarding the “deserving” and punishing the “undeserving”. Now that’s an eternal truth.

And here’s another eternal truth: it’s more efficient to help everyone in need whether they deserve it or not http://gladwell.com/million-dollar-murray/.

Trying to differentiate between the “deserving” and ‘undeserving” ends up costing more.

Post said that the man had been sober for several months. But he could relapse at some point and perhaps trash another apartment, and they’d have to figure out what to do with him next. Post had just been on a conference call with some people in New York City who run a similar program, and they talked about whether giving clients so many chances simply encourages them to behave irresponsibly. For some people, it probably does. But what was the alternative? If this young man was put back on the streets, he would cost the system even more money. The current philosophy of welfare holds that government assistance should be temporary and conditional, to avoid creating dependency. But someone who blows .49 on a Breathalyzer and has cirrhosis of the liver at the age of twenty-seven doesn’t respond to incentives and sanctions in the usual way. “The most complicated people to work with are those who have been homeless for so long that going back to the streets just isn’t scary to them,” Post said. “The summer comes along and they say, ‘I don’t need to follow your rules.’ ” Power-law homelessness policy has to do the opposite of normal-distribution social policy. It should create dependency: you want people who have been outside the system to come inside and rebuild their lives under the supervision of those ten caseworkers in the basement of the Y.M.C.A.

That is what is so perplexing about power-law homeless policy. From an economic perspective the approach makes perfect sense. But from a moral perspective it doesn’t seem fair. Thousands of people in the Denver area no doubt live day to day, work two or three jobs, and are eminently deserving of a helping hand—and no one offers them the key to a new apartment. Yet that’s just what the guy screaming obscenities and swigging Dr. Tich gets. When the welfare mom’s time on public assistance runs out, we cut her off. Yet when the homeless man trashes his apartment we give him another. Social benefits are supposed to have some kind of moral justification. We give them to widows and disabled veterans and poor mothers with small children. Giving the homeless guy passed out on the sidewalk an apartment has a different rationale. It’s simply about efficiency.

Funny that the PAP administration’s cost-benefit analysis don’t show this? Not really, because “costs” and “benefits” are in the eye of the beholder i.e. figures can always be fudged. Now that’s another eternal truth.

Meanwhile at a real animal farm

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

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

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

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

Sounds like our tpt and public housing systems

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

But first

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pink Dot: Why was govt spooked?/ Pastor Khong try matching the numbers

In Political governance on 27/06/2016 at 6:23 am

28,000 people at a Pink Dot event is the equivalent of a crowd of 330,000 in the UK. or 1.7m in the US. Pretty impressive number then.


FT columnist does the sums:

Singapore’s annual Pink Dot gay pride gathering attracts big crowds. There were 28,000 people there last year.

That is a large turnout in a country with a population of 5.5m. An equivalent gathering in the UK would be 330,000. In the US, it would be 1.7m.

Note that he had to use last year’s numbers because the organiser’s refused to provide a number for this year, claiming that it wasn’t about numbers any more. Didn’t cut any ice with the govt this show of modesty, did it?


This shows what foreign sponsorship money and good local event management can do.

No wonder the PAP administration told foreign sponsors that funding Pink Dot is a no-no area. And they are sitting down and shutting up. Money talks, BS walks. The probability of making serious money, outweighs the BS talk of values.

In a de-facto one party state, like a de-jure party state, the ruling party cannot have any other organisation capable of getting people out on the streets for an alternative view that the party is uncomfortable with. Think the CCP and Falun Gong.

———————-

When China banned Falun Gong, the PA here cancelled Falun Gong classes it was conducting immediately before the movement was banned here. In HK, the movement is not banned. We more PRC than HK isit? why liddat?

————–

Finally, Pastor Khong and allies talk of a moral  majority opposed to LGBT rights. Prove it please. Get 30,000 people to a do at Hong Lim Green. After all if God is really on their side, the crowd will be there.

Scared isit? Why liddat? After all got Allah and the three-in-one version.

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————————

Delinking cicil servants from the internet

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

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

————————————————————-

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

 

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

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

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

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


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

Not uniquely S’porean/ Don’t shout at S’poreans

In Economy on 07/06/2016 at 4:44 pm

Wages, that don’t compensate for rising property prices  and higher cost of living i are not unique to S’pore.

Taiwan, a place where many paper warriors approve of (rightly in my view), because it has successfully made the transition to democracy, also faces a situation where graduate starting salaries, and wages generally, having stagnated for years despite sharp rises in housing and other living costs.

Likewise South Korea.

As the Economist (from a developed world perspective) put it: While the long period of sluggish growth and low rates has been good for investors, it hasn’t been that great for voters; real wages have struggled to rise.

So those trying to stir the plebs against the PAP should realise that the plebs are not stupid. Yes the PAP administration is repressing wages through the FT policy and NTUC, while keep the price of public housing higher than it should be, but

Real wages in Singapore rose 5.4 per cent last year amid negative inflation, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in its annual report on wage practices on Thursday (Jun 2).

In the private sector, nominal wages grew 4 per cent in 2015, down from the 4.9 per cent increase the year before. When employer Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions are factored in, growth in total wages remained stable at 4.9 per cent, due to the increase in employer CPF contributions last year.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/real-wages-in-singapore/2838448.html

No point shouting at swing voters, try to convince them that the PAP’s trade-offs are the wrong ones.  As much as we might disagree with the PAP’s policies, the voters don’t. Ok only 70% agree with the PAP’s position. But that doesn’t mean the 30% must prevail, does it?

As the Guardian talking about Jeremy Corbyn (UK’s very own Mad Dog Chee) and Donald Trump said, both are popular phenomena poorly understood – and in both cases, just shouting at people that they’re wrong has proved spectacularly useless. Asking them why they think what they think may not change anything much. But the conversation is sure as hell overdue.

The govt had its NatCon, and look what happened.  Dr Chee wayanged his way around S’pore after GE 2015 but otherwise the oppo parties have as usual avoided talking to swing voters: in between GEs or by-elections. They leave it to the cybernuts to shout at S’poreans.


*I admit I was one of those who mocked NatCon. But it worked for the PAP didn’t it?

Impotent fury and arrogance/ Roy and Teo: the chosen

In Political governance on 05/06/2016 at 1:18 pm

The ang moh tua kees are KPKBng* that the persecution of Roy and Teo Soh Lung (two of the “usual suspects”) should stop. And if the persecution doesn’t stop, what will they do? Bugger all. Juz sit down and shut up and wait for a new “event” to come along to KPKB about and denounce the govt that 70% of voters noted for. As much as they might disagree with the PAP’s position on human rights and media freedom, the voters don’t. Ok to be fair,  only 70% agree with the PAP’s position. But that doesn’t mean the 30% must prevail, does it? I mean the ang moh tua kees believe in democracy, don’t they?

Meanwhile, the swing voters think, “We  aren’t concerned with the right to talk cock once in a blue moon.” Let’s face it, is it really necessary to talk cock, sing song on cooling-off day? How often does that day come along? Exactly, once every 4-5 years and once in a blue moon in between grneral elections. Cannot close mouth for one day isit? Why liddat?

The voters who vote PAP just want to know if our streets are safe, will the trash be collected, can we drink the public water, will our children be educated, can we afford to live in our houses?

(Letter to FT on what voters in the UK want)

Returning to the “persecution” of Teo and Roy, juz think of it like this: killing two monkeys to frighten the sheep. Note that monkeys are chosen, not respectable and intelligent people who disagree with the policies of the PAP administration. PAP not that stupid lor. Neither are the respectable, intelligent people. They don’t get themselves “persecuted”. Only the likes of Roy and Teo do.

——-

*We, the undersigned are gravely concerned by the ongoing police investigations into alleged breaches by Roy Ngerng and Teo Soh Lung of the Cooling Off Day rules.

We are disquieted by the seizure of their property from their homes, in particular without warrant, and the wholesale and indiscriminate archiving of broad swathes of their personal data.  These excessive and intimidating measures are completely disproportionate to any harm alleged to have been caused by the actions of Ngerng and Teo.

To openly express a political view – including and especially views on party politics – is the fundamental right of every member of society.  If we are to achieve a democratic society where legislators and the government are truly representative of the values and wishes of citizens, every individual must be free to fearlessly express their views of politicians, parties and electoral processes.

For an individual seeking to understand the Cooling Off Day regulations, the application of the prohibitions on individual conduct is not clear.  Someone relying on the wording on the Elections Department website, which indicates an exemption for “the transmission of personal political views by individuals to other individuals, on a non-commercial basis, using the Internet, telephone or electronic means”, might reasonably conclude that their posts were exempt.

Given this ambiguity and the great importance of freedom of expression for individual citizens, it is wholly inappropriate for police investigations of such an intimidating and intrusive nature to take place.  The main effect of this police action is to intensify a climate of fear that deters the frank discussion of political issues by all individuals – a discussion that our society both needs and deserves.

We note that there have been previous allegations of breaches of the Cooling Off Day rules by electoral candidates.  Such conduct is far more likely to cause the harm to the electoral process which Cooling Off Day is designed to avert.  Yet we are not aware of such draconian investigations made in those circumstances.  A society which values the free exchange of political ideas must not apply more restrictive standards to ordinary citizens than to electoral candidates.

We call upon the state to ensure the immediate return of all confiscated property to Ngerng and Teo, the removal of any data obtained from them from state and police possession, and an immediate and total cessation of the investigative process.

Signed by:

  1. Abdul Salim Harun
  2. Adrian Heok
  3. Alex Sng
  4. Alexander Luciano Roberto
  5. Alfian Sa’at
  6. Alvina Khoo
  7. Ana Abdullah
  8. Ananth Tambyah
  9. Andre Goh
  10. Ang Chong Leong
  11. Annie Jael Kwan
  12. Ariffin Sha
  13. Ashukumar Veerapan
  14. Ashura Chia
  15. Azmi Monday
  16. Benjamin Matchap
  17. Benjamin Seet
  18. Bhavan Jaipragas
  19. Brendan Goh
  20. Brenton Wong
  21. Brian Yang
  22. Bryan Choong
  23. Cecilia Joven Ong
  24. Celine Lim
  25. Chang May Lian
  26. Chan Wai Han
  27. Chew Keng Chuan
  28. Chng Nai Rui
  29. Christine Sng Mechtler
  30. Chui Yong Jian
  31. Dan Koh
  32. Dana Lam
  33. Darius Zee
  34. Daryl Yang
  35. David Lee
  36. Dinah Sim
  37. Dolly Peh
  38. Edmund Wee
  39. Edward Eng
  40. Edwina Shaddick
  41. Elisa Kang
  42. Emily Lim
  43. Erica Chung
  44. Esther Kong
  45. Fadli Bin Fawzi
  46. Fadly Razali
  47. Farhan C. Idris
  48. Fenwick Melville
  49. Fong Hoe Fang
  50. Gina Lim
  51. Godwin Koay
  52. Goh Chok Chai Ricky
  53. Ho Choon Hiong
  54. Hong Weizhong
  55. Irene Oh
  56. Ivan Heng
  57. Jackie Heng Lim
  58. Jamal Ismail
  59. James Weng Hong Lam
  60. Jason Soo
  61. Jeremy Tiang
  62. Jocelyn Teo
  63. Johannes Hadi
  64. Jolene Tan
  65. Jolovan Wham
  66. Jony Ling
  67. Joo Hymn Tan
  68. Joshua Chiang
  69. Keith Tan
  70. Kenneth Lin
  71. Kokila Annamalai
  72. Kuan Wee
  73. Lee Yi Ting
  74. Li Xie
  75. Lim Jialiang
  76. Lim Kay Siu
  77. Lim Xiuhui
  78. Linda Ong
  79. Lionel Deng
  80. Lisa Li
  81. Lita Patricio
  82. Loo Zihan
  83. Low Yit Leng
  84. Lucas Ho
  85. Lynn Lee
  86. Mansura Sajahan
  87. Mark Wong De Yi
  88. Matilda Gabrielpillai
  89. Megan Boey Sean Ching
  90. Melvin Wong
  91. Merv Tan
  92. Miak Siew
  93. Morgan Awyong
  94. M Ravi
  95. Muhammad Faliqh Rahman
  96. Muhd Firdaus
  97. Nathanael Tan
  98. Neo Swee Lin
  99. Ng Guohui Nigel
  100. Ng Yi-Sheng
  101. Niki Ng
  102. Nina Chabra
  103. Ong Sooi Eng
  104. Pak Geok Choo
  105. Robyn Yzelman
  106. Roy Tan
  107. Sam Lim
  108. Sam Ong
  109. Sathiya Moorthy
  110. Sean Francis Han
  111. Semangeline Teo
  112. Sha Jumani Basari
  113. Shelley Thio
  114. Shimin Wong
  115. Shirleen Chong
  116. Siauw Chong
  117. Siew Kum Hong
  118. Smith Adrian Jude
  119. Sonny Liew
  120. Stephanie Chok
  121. Stephen Baldy Ho
  122. Tan Elice
  123. Tan Tee Seng
  124. Tan Zong Xuan
  125. Tay Kheng Soon
  126. Teng Yong Ping Daryl
  127. Terry Xu
  128. Thum Ping Tjin
  129. Timothy Todd
  130. Trevor Chan
  131. Valence Sim
  132. Vanessa Ho
  133. Vivian Wang
  134. Wendy Chan
  135. Wong Souk Yee
  136. Yap Ching Wi
  137. Yap Hon Ngian
  138. Yee Kai
  139. Zee Wong
  140. Zulkarnain Hassan

How to solve the longevity problem. the Hard Truths way

In CPF on 02/06/2016 at 2:46 pm

The PAP administration is always warning us that CPF funds will not be enough for retirement because we are living longer. Its solution is to mahe CPF “not our money” while pretending that “it’s our money”: taz CPF Life esp the standard plan and Our money but CPF Life solvency is our problem .

S’poreans, except the die-die must vote for any PAP monkey Think Eunice Chia-lom and Ashok Shamar), see thru the smoke.

Here are two (connected) constructive, nation-building suggestions on the longevity problem hat the PAP may want to implement that are logical and reasonable in that they flow from the logic of Harry’s Hard Truths.

cartoon

From FT

Connected with the above is the solution in  the movie Soylent Green. Us plebs are encouraged to move on and our bodies then made into food for the other plebs.

See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/synopsis

Pearl of Wisdom Dr Chee and other activists should heed, but don;t

In Uncategorized on 31/05/2016 at 6:14 am

I came across this morning in FT: GK Chesterton, “a few men talked of freedom, while England talked of ale”

When translated into Singlish this means, “A few ang moh tua kees talk of human rights and social justice, while 70%+ talk of EPL footie over kopi or beer.”

A reader of this on why PM will not follow the Japanese PM’s suggestion about focusing on the quality of life, not economic growth, put it thus

Sometimes you get the feeling the real problem is that guys like Chris K are not prominent enough. They don’t run for election, and leave it to the likes of s/o JBJ, GMS and Roy to do so. They are also not prominent enough in online commentary, and instead it is the likes of P Ravi, The Indies, Andrew Loh and the other Ang Moh Tua Kees who hog all the limelight over issues like Amos and Kho Jabing.

A pity really. Even on TRE, Chris’s comments will not doubt be drowned by the incessant useless noise of the cybernuts.

The trick for Dr Chee and friends is to connect with the swing voters, not the TRE nuts and otherb anti-PAP paper warriors. Happily for the PAP, they keep on playing to the rabble that will always vote against the PAP, ignoring the swing voters. They reach out to the swing voters only at election time. They should learn from the WP: ignore the loonies because they’ll always vote against the PAP.

Why PM won’t heed Jap PM’s tots

In Economy, Japan, Property on 29/05/2016 at 1:05 pm

Foreword: Chris K (A S’porean FT living in Japan) commented on Facebook on this piece. I’ve worked his comments into the original piece and added some background info. Hence this retitled piece which is an expanded and reworked version of the earlier piece.

…  ….

Prime Minister Abe … in his latest op-ed in the WSJ says that if developed countries are facing a future of low or no growth, and shrinking populations, then perhaps governments should focus on improving living standards and not simply chase high economic growth rates.

Well as S’pore is now facing a future of low growth and a shrinking population, unless FTs are let in by the cattle-truck load, the PAP administration should focus on improving living standards and not simply chase high economic growth rates?

After all Goh Chok Tong said we should be like the Japanese. And PM and ministers cite Japanese practices: here, here and here.

But then the PAP can’t let in its beloved FTs to eat S’porans’ breakfast, lunch and dinner and all snacks in between. FTs are needed to spur S’poreans to be as cheap to hire as FTs are, despite the higher cost of housing etc here. Hard Truths are more important than the well-being of S’poreans?

Here’s what Chris K says about life in a stagnant, past its prime Japan

Lived in Japan 1990-1995 and then again from 2006, the difference between the 2 periods in my view is that it is more livable today than before despite all the “bad news” of stagnation and deflation. Working hours have steadily declined despite shortage of labour. Total Fertility Rate has gone up.

(Btw, a few yrs ago I reported that HSBC showed that Japan was doing pretty well)

Life can be good in a country with a shrinking population and deflation. The PAP juz doesn’t like stagnation, deflation and a shrinking population.

Chris K then goes on to criticise the PAP’s administration policies here. Pay attention to (and think hard about) the section beginning the entire pension and healthcare proposition have under LHL been tied to ever-increasing real estate prices …

But I completely agree with Cynical Investor, the PM won’t be heeding Abe’s advice. Why? Just 2 simple things.

First the government salaries are marked to GDP growth despite the factthat in today’s digital economy GDP is a terrible measure of progress since many improvements and convenience in life comes free (think on-line shopping vs going to shops) or below cost, thus understating the impact on GDP growth. So nuts and bolts, brick and mortar still rule their head even if they have to accept the digital challenge.


Harry and Dr Goh has things easy when  running S’pore. They grew the economy and jobs and wage rises followed.

Nowadays GDP is decoupled from jobs and wages. I wish someone would do a similar chart for S’pore.

——————————

Second, far more importantly, the entire pension and healthcare proposition have under LHL been tied to ever-increasing real estate prices (think downgrades and LBS to finance you and your parent’s healthcare and pensions). That means forget about quality of GDP growth, quantity is the game where large increases in population are required not just for those nuts and bolts, brick and mortar but with the benefit of keeping real estate prices elevated.

If you think we have a real estate bubble that may or may not be deflating, then equally we then must have a bubble in the government’s projections for our retirement and healthcare. Both are inexorably linked, one cannot exist without the other because of the use of CPF for housing. So 6.9m is a done deal, 10m a very likely eventual outcome. More foreign labour supply to hold down wages, a more crowded country, more stresses and greater wealth disparity. At some point this will stop and then this country will have an almighty day of reckoning.

Long term, anything can happen

In Uncategorized on 29/05/2016 at 5:12 am

The PAP administration likes to boast that the PAP’s hegemony in local politics  enables them to plan for the long-term.

Some three-and-a-half centuries ago the Dutch shook hands on what is possibly the most misguided trade deal in history. Pursuing a monopoly in the spice trade, Amsterdam agreed to take one small island in eastern Maluku province from the British in return for another small island in the US — Manhattan.

(FT I think)

But in the short-term the Dutch were right.

Maybe PM should heed Jap PM’s tots?

In Economy on 28/05/2016 at 12:25 pm

Prime Minister Abe … in his latest op-ed in the WSJ says that if developed countries are facing a future of low or no growth, and shrinking populations, then perhaps governments should focus on improving living standards and not simply chase high economic growth rates.

Well as S’pore is now facing a future of low growth and a shrinking population, unless FTs are let in by the cattle-truck load, the PAP administration should focus on improving living standards and not simply chase high economic growth rates?

After all Goh Chok Tong said we should be like the Japanese. And PM and ministers cite Japanese practices: here, here and here.

But then the PAP can’t let in its beloved FTs to eat S’porans’ breakfast, linch and dinner and all snacks in between. FTs are needed to spur S’poreans to be as cheap to hire as FTs are, despite the higher cost of housing etc here. Hard Truths are more important than the well-being of S’poreans?

Making victims of cybercrime pay: So PAPish

In Banks, Humour on 26/05/2016 at 5:08 pm

But it’s the UK, not S’pore.

The FT reports that UK bank customers may have to cover cost of fraud under new proposals. Under the plans, individuals or companies with lax online security could find themselves  without banking services or even excluded from the system under which banks compensate customers whose accounts are hacked.

Bet u this will happen here first. It’s so PAPish. It’s a Hard Truth to favour big biz over the little people, is it  not? Harry must be turning in his metaphorical grave.

Big breasts like triple A status and budget surpluses have a downside

In Financial competency on 25/05/2016 at 1:53 pm

(I’ve juz binned the piece I did this morning and rewritten it.)

When a PAPpy boasts about S’pore’s Triple A rating, e-mail to that PAPpy or post a comment asking: “What benefits do the issuer get for a triple A rating versus a double A and what benefits do they give up?”. A bond strategist at BlackRock quoted by the FT asked this question in the another context. He was talking about corporations issuing bonds, but the reasoning applies to countries too.

Triple A status is a virility symbol like extra-big breasts or muscles. Btw, a UK celebrity (She was the partner of Dwight Yorke — Remember him?) with extra-large breasts had to undergo surgery to make them smaller. She was suffering from backache from her frontal heavy load.

Here’s two FB posts from Chris K who was a capital markets man, and self-confessed geek on the impacts of macroeconomic policies on capital markets that explain why triple A status and budget surpluses are not good for S’poreans. (Emphasis mine)

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Chan Chun Sing also said at the rally that Dr Chee wanted to give the impression that “we are cheating Singaporeans”. But the market was not stupid, he said.

“Why is Singapore one of 11 countries in world that has triple-A ratings from all three credit rating agencies?” he pointed out.

I’ll answer it for Chan Chun Sing even if he avoided the essential truths of the triple-A rating. That rating is mainly based on

1. The constitution rule that forbids the government from running deficits over the parliamentary term.

2. The massive year-on-year budget surpluses ran by the government, amounting to an average of nearly 10% of GDP per year over the past 15 years alone.

Those budget surpluses that underpins the government finances do not appear out of the blue and they certainly do not result from some magical fiscal policy formula. Those surpluses results from selling land at ever increasing prices, excess returns from investing debt proceeds which includes CPF and low social expenditures.

In other words, those triple-A ratings are paid for by the people and by denying them financial security in retirement and healthcare.

And just to be clear, Norway and Singapore are the only ones among the 11 triple-A rated countries that have long term budget surpluses. That means countries do not need to have budget surpluses to be rated triple-A, sustainable deficits will be enough. Norway’s long term surpluses are from natural endowments, Singapore’s…… let’s put it this way, a transfer of wealth from households to the state.

And

Despite being backed by the nearly 10% of GDP a year long term budget surpluses, the triple A ratings have little direct to benefit to households. The surpluses are not without consequences to households since they are derived from land sales at increasing prices and denial of social benefits both leading to inadequate retirement and healthcare funding, and to an acceptance of high levels of inequality.

Do read the full post

https://www.facebook.com/notes/chris-kuan/tax-benefits-and-singapores-barely-useful-triple-a-rating/481998245323602

To conclude,  triple A status and budget surpluses, like big breasts can be a problem.

MU’s woes foreshadow S’pore’s woes post PAP

In Footie, Political governance on 24/05/2016 at 4:54 pm

José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix will according to a FT reader, based in his track record, do the following

year 1, build the team and squad that you want and get the players to bend to your will; year 2, win lots of trophies and years 3 or 4, move on. With the possible exception of Madrid, it’s worked every time.

I bet it won’t work for MU too. MU. like Barcelona, Bayern, Real and Milan, are in a different universe From Chelsea, Porto and Inter. The fotmer are clubs that have a history of success since year zero or thereabouts. Mourinho is a great manager of clubs with lesser traditions of success. Real shows he can’t manage the really great clubs.

Interestingly the FT just carried an interview with Munich-bound Carlo Ancelotti. He likes working in “family” footie clubs like Milan (where he won honours — Champions League, Serie A — as a player and manager) and Bayern. Surely that term fits MU?

I always tot he’d be good for MU.  But would MU be good for him? That I doubt because MU is rebuilding after a long period where one man dominated.

In MU. we can see what will happen to S’pore post PAP rule. A real hard slog for S’poreans with lots of trips down blind alleys, and lots of u-turns. And a lot of heart ache and loss of prosperity.

But keeping the status quo (i.e. PAP hegemony based on LKY’s Hard Truths as modified by the natural aristocrats to keep the S’porean rabble contented which is what is happening already what with the increases in spending of the rabble’s own money to keep them from voting for the Oppo) which Ferguson tried with Moysie is not a solution.

Everything has its shelf-life. Ask the USSR communist party or the US Republican Party. Even LKY expressed doubts that the PAP could like Old Man River keep on rolling.

He knows his history. The only party that has survived and thrived for centuries is the Conservative Party of the UK. It had been in power for long periods in the 19th and 20th centuries, and returned to government in 2010. It is successful partly because it had, time and time again, to reinvent itself or become irrelevant. Liberal democracy forced it to change. We know don’t we that the Hard Truths and liberal democracy are incompatible?

 

No need tea parties to recruit top PAPpies

In Uncategorized on 21/05/2016 at 2:21 pm

 

 

Can data crunching tell you the best candidate for a job vacancy?

Any established organisation will have a group of very successful people in it – employees who fit and perform outstandingly well.

They are already there, and every day they generate hundreds of bits of data about the way they go about performing so well – productive salespeople, for example.

So one way of recruiting is to use number-crunching computer power to assess the traits of the outstanding people a company already employs… and then shortlist potential new recruits by comparing them with established corporate high performers.

But doesn’t that lead to companies hiring only people who most resemble what the company is like here and now? Doesn’t the use of Big Data tend to drive out vital diversity?

Not necessarily, says Bill Nowacki, because of the subtlety of the analysis process. At KPMG they’ve built a model which incorporates 10,000 different data points generated by a single individual. That’s millions of bits of data about a group of individuals in a big firm.

Number crunch those intelligently, and important signals may emerge. Bill Nowaki calls that “training” the algorithm by reviewing the data generated by previous recruits and comparing that with the current results – who stayed, who was promoted, who performed well.

You see what’s emerging here? A new complex model of an organisation viewed through the Big Data prism that the people who work for it generate every day. The very practical aspects of their working life, obviously, but also the relationships and interests they mention in their social networking.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36129046

Chipping away at PAP hegemony

In Political governance on 15/05/2016 at 1:59 pm

But first, a truism: if the public are not buying the product politicians are selling, no end of stunts and clever tricks or lies will convince voters to change their minds. Tan Kin Lian, Goh Meng Seng, s/o JBJ, Roy Ngerng, Tan Jee Say, M Ravi, New Citizen Han Hui Hui. Lina Chiam and, of course, Dr Chee, can testify to this fact. Sadly so too can Dr Paul Thamby, Dr Ang Yong Guan, the WP teams in Marine Parade and East Coast and P Ravi.

Now, having reminded that voters are like consumers of beer or soap in that they have to be persuaded, here’s my constructive, nation-building solution on how to chip away at the PAP’s hegemony. Those challenged for time can skip the next three paras and start at “Cherian George …”

Here I said: My serious point is that Oppo and social activists must realise that Brand PAP is very strong* with easily 60- 70%% of the voting market; and that their own base is, at best 30%, of the voters, with a core but passive base of about 20% of all the voters. The good news is that only 35% of the voters are hard-core PAP supporters like Eunice Chia-Lim and Jason Chua. There is the 35% of the voters that are prepared to listen to the right message delivered by the right person (not any mad dog or Chee): remember they voted for Dr Tan Cheng Bock. And in GE 2011, up to 10 points of them voted for the Oppo, allowing the WP to win Aljunied (which had two cabinet ministers, and one junior minister).

Until the Oppo and social activists realise how the numbers stack up, the PAP’s hegemony is assured so long as the PAP doesn’t mess up too badly.

So being willing to accept reality waz to be done?

Cherian George had an insight that he never developed. In a piece last year he grumbled that the PAP had succeeded in persuading S’poreans that freedom of expression was not a good thing. Actually the list is a lot longer. The PAP has made  Western constitutional democracy, universal values, civil society, neoliberalism and “the West’s idea of journalism”*, progressives ideas allbad products, not suitable for sheep us.

Well if a brand is toxic, what do good marketeers do? Detoxify and repackage i.e, rebrand. Example: In the USA  shareholder [a]ctivism has gone from being frowned upon, something that marks you out as a rogue or a maverick, to almost socially responsible. The shareholder activists rebranded themselves as good responsible corporate citizens, not greedy corporate raiders.

But who can do the rebranding of progressive ideas here? Certainly not the two leading Oppo parties. The WP is too timid and its elected MPs only interested in protecting their sinecures, while the SDP is toxic, so long as Mad Dog Chee leads it. And the minor parties are also useless, the

— Chiams’ Party is only interested in slimimg Dr Chee;

— NSP is discredited so long as it has a president who never told voters of his criminal record and bankruptcy;

— SDA is asleep between election;

— RP, PPP and DPP are one-man shows and

— SingFirst is run by retirees for retirees.

—————————————————-

The French economy minister is ambitious but has no political base Mr Macron has never been elected—he was economic adviser at the Elysée before being appointed economy minister in 2014—and is not even a member of the Socialist Party. He has only a handful of parliamentary deputies behind him, and no local, grass-roots network.

And his party is way behind in the polls.So what does he do? He has started a movement: He insists that, for now, his movement is about ideas, not politics. The plan is to build a virtual network online and through social media, using public opinion to construct support outside traditional structures. Mr Macron, though, is known to harbour his own political ambitions, and France will hold a presidential election in 2017. There is a giant leap between a one-man thinking outfit, however refreshing, and a political movement that can gather sustained electoral momentum.

(Quote from Economist blog)

———————————————————

In S’pore, those who want political change have no representation in parly except for Leon the Lion and his fellow NCMPs and no local, grass-roots network. So they –I’m thinking of people like Richard Wan, Dr Ang Yong Guan**, Yeoh Lam Keong (the ex-GIC economist), Siew Kum Hong, P Ravi***, Dr Pauk Thamby****, Eric Tan (Remember him?), Peter Teo (WP’s go-to lawyer, Remy Choo (co-founder of TOC and now a lawyer) and Affin Sha — should get together and start a movement … about ideas, not politics. The plan is to build a virtual network online and through social media, using public opinion to construct support outside traditional structures. 

This movement’s big idea should be to market progressive ideas like Western constitutional democracy, universal values, civil society, neoliberalism and “the West’s idea of journalism” professionally and responsibly.  They should also market these values as a package that can promote material well-being not juz human rights.

This package should be marketed like an existing European heritage beer that is popular around the world but reviled here (bad marketing in the past and dirty tricks by the dominant players).

———————————————

Here’s an alternative marketing strategy — using a campaign based on shock tactics

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36024782

But remember, its been tried here before by Dr Chee and JBJ. Remember Dr Chee’s civil disobedience activities? Remember JBJ’s allegations of PAP corruption? And the rabid stuff put up by TOC and TRE regularly?

——————————–

The main platforms will be social media and the internet which in S’pore are friendly to progressive ideas. TOC and TRE can play a big part but keep the sabo-king the Indian away. Remember how it fixed Dr Chee with the story about “a Dr Lee Wei Ling” supporting a petition in favour of Dr Chee, plastering a big picture of Harry’s daughter for better effect? She reacted by dissing Dr Chee. The PAP could not have asked for more from Balji, a shareholder of the Indi and an editorial adviser.

This marketing of progressive ideas campaign will be a peaceful form of the guerilla warfare practiced by Mao, Fidel and Che.

The best insurgency strategy is to win the propaganda war, erode your opponents’ support base and offer an alternative that keeps your supporters onside: taz how I interpret what Mao, Fidel Che as saying about successful guerilla warfare.

They won didn’t they?


*Like the CCP, the PAP is worried about progressive ideas:Western constitutional democracy, universal values, civil society, neoliberalism and “the West’s idea of journalism”

In  China, the CCP’s concerns were made clear in a document that began circulating in secret in April 2013 and was later leaked. Document Number Nine, as it is called, describes “the current state of the ideological sphere” and identifies seven challenges to it. They include Western constitutional democracy, universal values, civil society, neoliberalism and “the West’s idea of journalism”

**I’m assuming he resigns from SingFirst.

***I’m assuming the Chiams kick him out of SPP for giving his backing to Dr Chee in the Bukit Batok by-election when it was clear that Lina Chiam was trying to destroy Chee’s credibility: Oppo sabo Oppo.

****I’m assuming Chee does what he usual does to those than threaten his power. Think Jeremy Chen and Danny the SDP Bear.

Reasonable to mistrust Pinoys?

In Uncategorized on 14/05/2016 at 5:22 am

After S’pore said that a Facebook post showing Lee Hsien Loong appearing to endorse Mr Duterte was false, he talked about burning a S’porean flag.

Still 77% of the Pinoys working here voted for him.

So many hate us meh? Despite many stealing S’poreans’ breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper and in-between snacks.

Seriously, can we trust the Pinoys whenever they say anything nice about us?

The Pinoys say they adore Pope Francis and the late Corazon Aquino.

Yet Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte said, “Pope, son of a whore, go home. Do not visit us again.”. And in a row with the outgoing president, son of Corazon, he called the president, “son of a prostitute”.

Yet 39% of Pinpys voted for him (an overwhelming number, given there were five presidential candidates).

Reasonable to mistrust Pinoys? Be wary of them? Cut immigration of Pinoys here?

What do you think?

60-70% of the voters happy with trade-off?

In Humour, Political governance on 11/05/2016 at 1:40 pm

But first did you know the ratio of milk produced to manure produced?

2,500 prolific pedigree bovines were producing 30,000 litres of milk a day, as well as a staggering 100,000 kilograms of manure.

(Economist blog)

Translated into Singlish: Want PAP, got to put up with the BS: a lot of it.

But obviously most voters think the deal worth it.

Taz also my summary of  a chim, long-winded piece by a strategist for the M’sian DAP on why S’poreans vote for the PAP.

http://www.academia.edu/22666466/James_Chin_The_2015_Singapore_Swing_Depoliticised_polity_and_the_Kiasi_Kiasu_voter

S/o JBJ is absolutely right

Kenneth J: Stop Complaining, Singaporeans, You Get the Government You Deserve

But he forgot that most S’poreans are matured. They know that there is trade-off, just like between milk and turd.

 

Would this happen in a one-party state?

In Political governance on 10/05/2016 at 1:51 pm

Even in a country like the UK with its long tradition of fair play, an active and usually liberal civil society, and independent institutions, it took almost three decades to uncover a cover-up and a perversion of justice about 96 men, women and children who died in the Hillsborough stadium disaster in April 1989.

The cover-up has taken almost three decades to be torn down. A government inquiry, the Taylor Report, concluded that the disaster was caused primarily by a failure of police control. The inquest into the deaths of the victims was completed in 1991 and recorded a verdict of accidental death. The refusal of the families to accept the inquest’s findings led to a campaign to have the evidence re-examined. This eventually led to the formation of independent panel, which in turn resulted in a High Court decision in 2012 to order a new inquest. That investigation concluded on April 26th with the very different verdict of unlawful killing.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/04/economist-explains-18

The critics of the PAP administration would point to the SGH tragedy, the deaths during NS training, the frequent MRT breakdowns as examples of our Hillsboroughs that need exposing.

Even without going so far, the official response to the SGH tragedy “no one is really responsible” (my interpretation of what the Health Minister said in parly leaves a bad taste in the mouth. As does the failure of accountability in SMRT and other TLCs and GLCs when goof-ups occur (think NO and, SGX for starters).

In a one party-state, the party must be protected against the people.

In  China, a de jure one-party state the CCP’s concerns were made clear in a document that began circulating in secret in April 2013 and was later leaked. Document Number Nine, as it is called, describes “the current state of the ideological sphere” and identifies seven challenges to it. They include Western constitutional democracy, universal values, civil society, neoliberalism and “the West’s idea of journalism”

Now isn’t our very own PAP worried about Western constitutional democracy, universal values, civil society, neoliberalism and “the West’s idea of journalism”. 

To end, only in a de facto one party state,

— can the loser in a by-election who lost by 22 points can say “[I]t doesn’t feel like [a] loss”.

— and for anti-PAP cyberwarriots (more likely to be nutty than rational) to proclaim that the PAP should be afraid, very afraid because it only won by 22 points.