Just when u think they have been defeated
By MICHAEL CORKERY
Citigroup’s ad campaign for the Olympics showcases the benefits of large global banks, and other big banks are trying to soften their image.
Just when u think they have been defeated
Citigroup’s ad campaign for the Olympics showcases the benefits of large global banks, and other big banks are trying to soften their image.
In my own opinion, they should have disclosed it. Everyone has their reasons, but in the end there’s always consequences. Daniel Yap of TMG in a FB post when introducing this piece he wrote http://themiddleground.sg/2016/07/07/faulty-trains-tell-not-tell/
Piece is worth a read, explaining why it would have been better for the authorities to have disclosed the cracks and the remedial action: they would then have controlled the news agenda.
But this analysis and other criticisms of the silence miss the point.
PAPpies brains work differentlyL when the public doesn’t know a fact, that fact never exists.
In 2011, I analysed a senior PAPpy’s and his team’s unhappiness with a TOC report.
I wrote, they must believe in an 18th century philosophical theory that is now treated as a forerunner of the concept of “subjective idealism”. One Bishop Berkeley argued that there are no material objects, only minds and ideas in those minds. He summarised his theory with the motto “esse est percipi” (“To be is to be perceived”). In modern PR-speak, this translates into,“Perception is reality”, one of the major tenets of the PR and public communication industry.
This theory of “Perception is reality” is best summarised in the following example he gave. If a tree in a forest falls, but no-one sees or hears it fall, has it fallen? Berkeley argues that it has not fallen. It is still standing.
An example in the S’pore context would be that S’poreans were not aware of how close the voting would be on polling day in 1988 in Eunos GRC and in Cheng San GRC in 1991. The mainstream media did not report the sentiment on the ground in these two GRCs, so S’poreans were not aware that many S’poreans were unhappy with the PAP. The unhappiness did not exist because it was not reported.
Coming back to Traingate. SMRT, the LTA and MoT kept quiet because they like Bishop Berkeley believe that “Perception is reality”. So long as the public did not know that there were cracks in the 26 China-made trains, and that the trains had been returned for repairs, there were no train cracks. There were no cracked trains because If a tree in a forest falls, but no-one sees or hears it fall, has it fallen? Berkeley argues that it has not fallen. It is still standing.
What they still don’t realise that in this age of social media and the internet where many people walk around with smartphone cameras, If a tree in a forest falls, someone will see it or hear it fall. And tell others about the falling tree, after taking a selfie beside the fallen tree.
This being the case, disclosure of problems or cock-ups, not cover-ups or silence should be the best (and default) policy for the authorities and corporations They should assume that news of the cock-up or problem will become public knowledge and that by disclosing, the news agenda can, hopefully, be controlled..
But in one-party states, silence or cover-up are the default options, not disclosure. And this is the weakness of one-party states where people carry smartphone cameras. The one-party state will, in time, be undermined.
Ban smartphone cameras PAP? After all internet access for public servants will soon be restricted in this wired, connected nation.
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.
Maybe it’s a surprise that we don’t have more PTSD victims like Amos Yee given the logic of this ex-headmaster.
The ex-principal (going for further studies, not kanna fired) of Shuqun Secondary recently responded* to
In September of last year, this video of a bullying incident in Shuqun Secondary School surfaced and soon went viral.
In summarry, he blamed new media (and the constructive, nation-building media: the PAPpy friendly ST etc reported the Middle Ground’s story) for blowing up the bullying incident and not telling the truth. The reporting was “deliberate and irresponsible”: this included supposedly “balanced” online and mainstream media who felt right to reproduce the articles choosing to feature sensationalised headlines that gave a wrong impression of the facts.
The problem (i.e. flaw) with his analysis is simple. Until he gave his side of the story, three months after the event, there was only silence from him and the MoE. So how could there be “balance” or “truth” (whatever this is)? Now he and the MOE may have reasonable and legtimate reasons for silence if the decision to keep quiet wasn’t simply an honest mistake**.
Whatever, how can he now blame media (new and constructive, nation-building) of irresponsible behaviour when he was unwilling or unable to say anything at the time the video went viral? If anyone was “deliberate and irresponsible” (I assume he really meant “deliberately irresponsible”) , it was the silence of theprincipal and perhaps MOE**.
Having been freed from the constraints of his job**, he could (and should) have simply told his side of the story without name-calling or labelling: just give the facts as he saw them. But no, he had to indulge in name-calling and labelling like Amos Yee. And he’s an educated man who held a position of trust and responsibility, not a spoiled kid, whose mother thinks he’s “fantastic”.
As he’s going for further studies, one can only hope that the course includes handling the media in an age of 24/7 news coverage. new media and social media. Pigs will fly first.
Seriously MoE must remind officers not to talk cock because talking cock reflects badly on the eduction service. It must also update its manual on the handling media queries. viral videos etc in an age of 24/7 news coverage. new media and social media. Silence is no longer the default option.
Finally, I can’t stop laughing at this comment by Bertna Henson the editor of TMG NOW he talks….three months later. After a deafening silence, a deadening rant. As always, shoot the messenger, after declining to talk to them. And messengers must always deliver “good news” to be considered “responsible””.
Really people who once lived in glass houses should refrain from throwing stones. She was once a general (paper stormtropper) on the Death Star that is ST. ST was during her time (and still is) very good at shooting nessengers of news that the PAP administration rather not hear.
*Text of FB message
I was the principal of #shuqunsecondary from 2012 to 2015.
From 1 Jan 2016, I will be leaving the education service. I am hoping to pursue further studies. Yes, I am doing well. smile emoticon And no, before you ask, I made this decision some time before the “bullying incident” in my school. MOE and the public service is more reasonable and far kinder than most give them credit for.
To assure those of you who are still curious about the follow up to the incident, I thought I would share a picture of the 3 boys involved. The circle time in the picture was taken on the FIRST DAY after all of them returned to school. The “bully” apologised in person and in writing to both victims and to the class. Both victims forgave him and they were friends again within 2 hours. Consequences were meted out to the boy according to our school rules in private and ALL THE PARENTS INVOLVED were satisfied with the actions of the school. The boy will have to face more serious punishment under the law.
More hearteningly, in November, the 3 boys, together with their classmates, initiated and planned their own service learning project during the school’s open house. They baked brownies and made drinks for visitors to showcase the work of our student-run Hideout Cafe. They told me they wanted to make restoration for the bad reputation they had brought to the school. I am very proud of them.
Many ppl who know the truth of the events in my school have asked me why I did not respond more actively to the various reports on the Internet when the incident happened. My answer – I did not want to feed the ongoing media frenzy and help viral irresponsible articles that were being put out by my comments. Sadly, this included supposedly “balanced” online and mainstream media who felt right to reproduce the articles choosing to feature sensationalised headlines that gave a wrong impression of the facts.
Make no mistake – these were deliberate and irresponsible decisions made by the media. For example, an online news website that purports to be a place for “moderate speech and agreeable disagreement” posted an article headlined “the school was aware of the bullying 5 months before the incident”. A close reading of the report itself would have revealed that a single complaint was made to the school and the teacher involved had done the correct thing by warning the aggressor. She was not aware that the bullying resumed a few days later.
The same website chose not to emphasise comments by the mum herself that she appreciated the work that the school had done with her child and the improvements that she had seen in the child over the last 3 years. They ellided over the fact that A FULL WEEKEND separated the incident from the time it was posted on the Internet, during which neither victim mentioned anything to the school nor their parents. The media chose not to mention that both VICTIMS had written to me that they felt sorry for their friend and hoped to see everyone move on. They did not clarify that the online video was NOT posted by any of my school’s students (because we teach them that the correct thing to do if they care for their friends is to raise it to the teachers) but a school leaver from another school who posted it on a gaming site at 9am on a school day. There was no mention that one of the victim’s mum had gone down to the police station ON HER OWN 2 weeks later to withdraw the police report because she felt satisfied with the school’s handling of the incident and that it was a mistake to have gone to the police in the first place.
At the same time, some of the online reports seem to suggest that after one or two meetings with one of the victims in question, the journalist somehow understood and COULD SPEAK FOR the boy’s psychological state, better than the school. By reducing the children to spokespeople for “the broader problem of bullying in schools”, the reports cared nothing for them as people. They mention nothing about how one of the boys dreams of being a top chef, another speaks to his mum in sign language, the last has improved significantly in his reading despite suffering from dyslexia, and all three find EBS difficult. And all this which I know as a Principal is nothing compared to what my teachers know of them, working daily for 9+ hours each day with the boys over the last 3 years and sharing with them the heartache and struggles of their growth.
It is not difficult to see how these biased reports might have fed some of the extreme online vitriol. These included many threats by netizens such as “if i see the boy, I will bash his skull in”, “let me give him a taste of his own medicine.” Instead of trusting the school and the police to investigate and take the right actions, many suggested taking things into their own hands. There were false accusations of gang connections and that the boy was a compulsive bully. Unhappily, there were also derisory comments about the school by people who did not know the first thing about Shuqun Secondary. This was unfair to the 1200 other students, their parents, the committed staff, and the alumni and stakeholders of the school.
As a teachable moment following the incident, my teachers conducted a bully-free lesson with all the students. This is material which we repeat every year as part of our bully-free week where we teach our students about the different forms of bullying including physical, verbal and psycho-social. In her reflection, one of my students mentioned the way that adults were behaving online, that was causing my students being afraid to go out in public in their uniforms after school and to participate in social media. She ended her reflection by asking ” how is this not bullying?” I had no answer for her.
(The same media website compared this case with another case of bullying in a prestigious all-girls’ school that was recently resolved in court and suggested that there was a difference between physical and verbal/psychosocial bullying. We teach our students that these are all forms of bullying that cause suffering in others, and that it does not matter what was the intent behind the action but the act itself).
(An Auckland school principal gave a similar response to cyber-bullies after a similar incident happened in his schoolhttp://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm…)
In ending, my wishes for the new year are –
1) To the media friends especially (some of whom are my relatives, ex-classmates and former students), I would like to urge you to take greater care in your reporting. For each irresponsible journalist and dubious media website, I have met many more considered and enlightened ones, some of whom reported on the many achievements and good stories from my students and staff in the past. While I understand the pressure to attract more views and comments in this age of social media through increasingly sensational reporting, you too have a DUTY OF CARE to your subjects, especially children. You have the power to report the full truth and shape opinion, not just pander to the lowest denominator in the hopes of representing yourself as the mouthpiece of the public. Be mindful of the innocent parties that you might be unintentionally hurting, and the feelings of hatred you might be stoking online. In some cases, it can spill over to real cases of vigilantism, as several cases of adults taking the law into their own hands against children or teenagers have shown in 2015. Sometimes the best thing we can do for the people we care about is to stay quiet and do the deep work to support and help them learn and grow.
2) To the wider and largely well meaning public, be mindful of what u “like” or comment on the Internet. Be aware that what u see or read online often does not constitute the whole truth, and choosing even to click on links (without needing to share) can help to viral these falsehoods. Trust the institutions that we have put in place to do the right things; that is the mark of a civil society.
And if we speak about allowing our children to learn from their mistakes in education, to give the academically weaker students a chance to catch up and succeed, the same grace and patience should be extended to our students when teaching them good character. We can do better as adults to be kinder to one another in real life and on the Internet. Remember, OUR CHILDREN ARE WATCHING AND LEARNING.
3) To my fellow colleagues in Shuqun and elsewhere in the teaching fraternity, those in social services and the police who work daily with these kids – strive on! I have had the privilege of meeting many of you in my years of service. Some have given up higher paying jobs. Others, like me, have studied and taught in “top” schools but chose to work in schools like Shuqun because you want to go to the places of greatest need and believe in the potential of every child of Singapore, not just some. And we live the mission every day, and don’t just talk or write about it.
To encourage you, let me share something that another parent sent me, during those difficult days of September. He was the father of the boy that was hit by one of the victims, in another video that surfaced subsequently. This time the student who had taken the video did the right thing, and brought it to my attention before it went viral so that we could address the matter with those involved. When I met the father, he had complete trust in the school’s handling of the matter. More importantly, because of the close relationship he had with his son, he was confident that his boy would have raised the matter to him if it had affected him. 2 days later, when the video became viral, it was HE who sent me a message of encouragement through my school counsellor – “Tell Mr Chia to take care. I am very impressed by his dedication to the students.”
Thank you Mr Hong , and the many other parents and partners, for renewing our faith and for supporting our teachers as they do the hard work of believing in and helping your children.
Happy New Year.
Chia Hai Siang
P.S. Pls SHARE if you think this will encourage a teacher or a parent.
**MoE officers like all civil servants are not authorised to talk to the media unless expressly authorised.
Related post on why the PAP administration’s PR is so bad
I was wondering if Health Minister Gan Kim Yong had gone AWOL leaving his press secretary Ms Lee Bee Khim to say really bitchy things about ST and the WP when defending MoH’s actions in the Hepatitis C outbreak at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH)
Well it seems he has finally found the courage to emerge from behind Ms Lee Bee Khim’s skirt. (Or to be fair, maybe, he had a sour throat and couldn’t speak, writing down the bitchy words for Ms Lee to parrot in public) and said some sensible things that Ms Lee should have said in the first place, instead of the very bitchy things she said on his behalf*.
But MoH’s response to WP’s call for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) was so petulant, aggressive, defensive and so misrepresentative of what the WP said that I’m wondering if there is an email or two somewhere in the system that could be perceived as a “smoking gun” that MoH wants to hide?
Mr Gan said that since the review committee’s task is to look into the processes of SGH and MOH, and identify gaps, as well as the cause of the cluster, “I think we should wait for the committee to finish its task, to finish its review, study its reports and recommend its findings very carefully, because the findings will be made public.
‘So all of us can look at the findings, and then we can decide what are the next steps. I think it is best for us to wait for the outcome of the review and the police investigations, and then we can look at the findings, and then we can decide what will be the next steps.”
Fair enough**. But this should have been said a long time ago.
**Reasonable people can agree or disagree on whether a COI should be held, skipping an internal investigation. I for one tot that waiting for the internal report was a reasonable, responsible position to take but could understand if others tot that a COT was necessary. But Ms Lee’s very aggressive, defensive, “take no prisoners” stance on behalf on her minister and MOH me wondering if there is really something that needs to be hidden from, us, the rabble.
The use of language has consequences, affecting perceptions. Ms Lee as a PR practitioner should be aware of this.
PM says the PAP must change. Obviously MoH thinks otherwise. Is the MoH (minister included) saboing the efforts of the PAP administration to project a PAP administration that does the right thing in the right way, always explaining its actions.
Seriously like in transport where the PM said the minister in charge must be able to communicate to the public, MOH needs a minister who can communicate to ,we, the rabble.
When the “noise” whacked the MoH on the Heptais C tragedy, my sympathies were with the MoH. It was trying to fix a problem while dealing with the noise from the usual suspects like parachutist extraordinaire Goh Meng Seng (three GEs, three GRC and three different parties: and getting less votes eeach time). “Stuff happens. So why the chattering? 30% ng kum guan isit? So KPKB?”
But MoH’s response to WP’s call* for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) was so petulant, aggressive, defensive and so misrepresentative of what the WP said** that I’m wondering if there is an email or two somewhere in the system that could be perceived as a “smoking gun” that MoH wants to hide?
Seriously MOH needs to stop playing word games and being so ultra-defensive yet so aggressive.
As a member of the conservative FB group I belong to put it
I think that the final question that needs to be asked is:
1) Does a COI incur much greater cost than an independent committee? Is there a disadvantage? Why not just do the COI, if there is nothing to hide?
2) If a cluster of deaths do not meet the threshold for implementing a COI, then this raises the question: What would be a serious enough incident? Accidental black hole? Heat death of universe?
3) Why is MOH protesting so defensively? Not once, but twice (once against Rachel Chang, and once against WP)?
It would have been so simple, reasonable and appropriate to say that a COI is not necessary at the moment. because a COI can still be convened after the initial investigations by the police and review committee. The call is premature and the juz WP wayang, trying to show that its not the Worthless Party.
Instead, the MoH’s reply to the WP to produce evidence came across as dismissive, defensive, aggressive and arrogant. This should not be the way if the MoH is not trying to hide anything.
The WP says rightly that it’s “inappropriate” to call for the WP to present evidence before the COI) into a Hepatitis C cluster at the Singapore General Hospital can be convened.
Finally, I note the health minister wasn’t good in MoM too. Maybe he’s scare to get moved on out like Lui, Paymond Lim? Juz wondering.
*The Workers’ Party welcomes the broadening of the remit of the independent review committee to include review of MOH’s procedures and actions.Drawing the right lessons from the outbreak of the Hepatitis C virus infections at the renal ward of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) is critical for Singapore. It is tragic that four individuals may have lost their lives as a result of these infections in one of our leading healthcare institutions, and one more person may have died for reasons possibly related to the infections.
The outbreak and the government’s response to it have exposed potential gaps in our public health protection protocols. Aside from the risk to human life, the matter has considerable implications for Singapore’s status as an international business and tourism hub.
The work of the review committee is critical not just to rectify any lapses to prevent future recurrences, but to maintain and bolster public confidence in our healthcare system and review processes. To this end, not only must the review be rigorous, transparent, independent and fair in terms of its outcomes. It must also be seen to be so.
With these ends in mind, we call on the government to pursue the following actions in respect of the committee’s work.
The Workers’ Party regrets the degree of delay between the discovery of a probable cluster of infections in April/May and the initiation of public notification and screening in October. We note that the Press Secretary to the Minister for Health stated, in a letter to The Straits Times Forum published on 20 October 2015:
“Medical professionals and public officers in MOH and SGH sought to perform their duties professionally and objectively. They acted in the interest of patient safety and to minimise risks to patients. Political calculations played no role in their consideration of the proper course of action. To suggest otherwise impugns the professional integrity of these public servants, who are unable to reply to defend themselves.”
We hold that a responsible and transparent government should explain in detail how the delays in public notification and screening from April/May to October represent actions that were taken in the best interests of patient safety and risk minimisation to patients.
Calls on the government to explain the delays in detail should not be met by calls to provide evidence of any inappropriate motivation.
Now that the review committee’s remit has been broadened to cover MOH’s workflow, we also call on the government to take action in regards to the committee’s composition and procedures in the following two regards:
In this grave matter, the review committee bears a huge responsibility. We offer these suggestions so as to strengthen the review committee’s ability to do its job well and to be seen to be doing so.
NON-CONSTITUENCY MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-ELECT
THE WORKERS’ PARTY
25 October 2015
++In response to media queries on the Workers’ Party’s statement today, the following can be attributed to the Press Secretary to the Minister for Health:
The Workers’ Party (WP) has called for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the cluster of Hepatitis C cases at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
An Independent Review Committee has been appointed to review the cause of the incident and surrounding circumstances. To facilitate its work, the Review Committee has engaged additional resource persons, including international advisers, to ensure that it has access to all the necessary expertise to do its review thoroughly.
The Committee’s findings and recommendations will be made public. A Police report has also been filed and the Police are conducting investigations.
The WP statement is careful not to make any suggestion that SGH or MOH officers acted with improper motives. Yet it has asked for a COI ahead of the Committee’s report and the conclusion of Police investigations. If the WP believes that there are questions that the Committee cannot answer, or that any officer acted with improper motives, it should state so directly. The Government will convene a COI provided the WP is prepared to lead evidence before the COI, to substantiate whatever allegations it might have.
25 OCTOBER 2015
My eyes rolled when I read the CEOs of above two cos recently said that their cos follow the accounting rules. (Remember, credible doubts have arisen over whether their accouting reflects their financial position.)
The best riposte to “We follow the accouting rules” came recently when an ex-convict recently addressed a FT conference.
“There may be a fundamental difference between a company following the rules and a company presenting a true picture of its financial position,” said Andrew Fastow, the infamous treasurer of the even more infamous Enron, to a FT conference.
Or as he puts in another way, that it’s possible for a company to comply with accounting standards while at the same time painting a misleading picture of its real financials.
I tot it tragically funny when he said he went to prison partly for doing things that got him a best CFO award: innovative off-book entities.
TRE should be commended for telling us that Victor Lye who is really work hard for PAP in Aljunied
is the Chief Executive of Shenton Insurance Pte Ltd [Link].
He must be a very lucky CEO to be given 1.5 years leave by his company, so as to enable him to “focus on his grassroots work”.
According to information from ACRA, Shenton Insurance is owned by Parkway Holdings. In other words, it is a subsidiary of Parkway Holdings:
If Mr Lye were to be an opposition member, would he have been given 1.5 years leave to do “grassroots work” by Shenton Insurance too?
What do you think?
And telling us that
While Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee is busy trying to “fix” opposition town council AHPETC, his own Jurong Town Council appears to be clueless in stopping rats running wild in his GRC.
A Facebook user uploaded videos and photos on his page yesterday (16 Dec) of what appeared to be rats scurrying around a grass patch:
Gd investigative work using Google. If only TOC would do this too rather than behaving like the WP’s version of the PAP’s ST. But then TRE’s public face is an IT scholar, and elite school-boy that does credit to Catholic High (unlike a certain blur drum major)..
This is what they said:
“Despite all our precautions, we can never completely rule out such an incident here. If it ever happens, we need the cohesion and resilience to deal with it calmly and as one united people, and not let it divide or destroy our society,” PM wrote in a Facebook post.
“This incident teaches us to keep up our guard.”
In a Facebook post on early Tuesday morning (Dec 16), Mr Teo said the incident shows that terrorist attacks by individuals can take place even when there is heightened security.
Err, how come they no say he was FT that became Oz citizen because of very liberal immigration policies? Or that he professed to be a Muslim.
Let me be very clear, I’m not saying or implying that
— the less FTs, the less the chances of terrorist attacks; or
— every killed or apprehended “terrorist” recently in the West professes to be a Muslim.
I’m ranting about the PAP’s administration very lazy attempt to communicate (or is it miscommunicate) Hard Truths by using inappropriate or “unright” examples. The classic case was GCT telling us to learn lessons from the Japanese earthquake of a few yrs ago, when he should have addressed his comments to the elites, not us peasants.
This is a tragedy, leave it at that. Don’t try to draw inappropriate, insensitive lessons from the tragedy.
(Or “The govt is its own worst enemy: it can’t communicate the right facts”)
Recently I blogged on why
Scrooge the Grinch government can do more, a lot more to help the manual workers who gift us S$2.5bn++ a year.
But on the use of the deportation law on alleged “rioters”; I’m on the govt’s side with one important caveat. The cavaet is: What the hell were the police commissioner and DPM Teo talking about?
— [The Police Commissioner] explained that this group is less “culpable” than those who were charged, as the latter were “active participants” in the riot, “violent” and “had attacked uniformed personnel and vehicles, damaged property, and had incited others to do so”. So what did they actually do?
— Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean noted that those who were to be repatriated had “impeded the riot control and emergency rescue operations” and that “their actions and conduct had threatened public order, Did they or did not riot?
I looked up what the official statement and only then I understood why there were deportations, not charges for most of those detained: they were alleged rioters that the police considered should be treated more leniently (those charged can be jailed and caned if convicted).
Group Two consists of 53 persons whom Police has identified to have participated in the riot and who failed to disperse despite Police’s orders to do so. They had knowingly joined or continued to participate in the riot, after being ordered to disperse, impeding the riot control and emergency rescue operations. Their actions and conduct had threatened public order, thus making their continued presence in Singapore undesirable. They were all rounded up in a Police operation in the early hours of this morning. They will be repatriated after being issued a stern warning. They will be prohibited from returning to Singapore.
The Police Commissioner and DPM Teo, scholars both, should be ashamed of their explanations which only made it easier for the activists to attack the govt. And s/o of Devan Nair is not doing doing his job as the govt’s PR man.
Coming back to the deportees, fair enough that they are deported without judicial “due process” as far as I’m concerned for two reasons.
Firstly, as someone posted on Facebook, ” Rightly or wrongly, deportation is more lenient than jail and caning.” A lot more, so is it fair to insist as the kay pohs do that the courts must be involved in “due process”? One could even argue that the govt is being easy on “alleged” rioters.
Next, given that he has shown himself as a most compassionate chap, I’m sure the Pet minister is ensuring that the ministerial discretion of banishing people from S’pore is fairly exercised, and with appropriate regard for non-judical due process. I’ll go on to assert that he has ensured that the police behave fairly, and with appropriate regard for due process (non-judical), when investigating the cases which result in banishment orders.
Though I must admit charging a few people, then not proceeding with the cases and then allowing them to be given “discharges not amounting to acquittals, then deporting them look slip-shod. They shouldn’t have been charged, juz deportrd. And if, as happened, they were charged, and the police then realised that officers had made “honest mistakes”, the police should have asked for “discharges not amounting to acquittals”, and then deported them. That would have prevented the usual anti-govt activists from shouting “acquitted but still deported”. Technically, the kay pohs are right, though the govt has a point when it says the “acquittals” did not result from trials, but by the police withdrawing charges. I suspect the police tot, “Heck these guys are not coming back here, so might as well allow discharges amounting to acquittals”: little knowing that the kay pohs would seize on this technicality to agitate against the govt.
Given his track record on looking after the interests of dogs even where a possible dog killer is a FT (example), the HR kay pohs should cut him a lot of slack. Now if the minister was the ACS boy who sneered at elderly, poor S’poreans, I’d agree that the kay pohs have a point about the need of ensuring that justice is done. Hey but this is a most compassionate minister (he loves dogs and, even cats) from RI, not an ACS rich kid. What more do they want?
And there is still the possibility of judicial review, shumething that kick ass, take-no-prisoners superhero M Ravi is pursuing in several cases. So kay pohs should sit down and shut up.
No trust police and Pet Minister is it? AG should think of suing said activists for making defamatory innuendos about the minister and the police.
By now I’m sure you know that I’m no supporter of using a bit of billions the manual workers gift us to pay for “due process” for the deportees. We have to do right by the manual workers, but there are limits, something the kay pohs seem to refuse to acknowledge. I’m sure in their heart of hearts, they want the detainees to be detained in a 5-star hotel with access to the best lawyers, all at the expense of us tax-payers. Their ang Moh
masters mentors would expect no less.
If the anti-govt kay pohs really cared about the migrant workers they should have been advocating and campaigning from yrs ago that some spare change from the S$2.4 bn++ that the govt gets from the manual workers goes to helping them: without them S’pore would have to pay more, a lot more, for labour intensive jobs. Instead, the said activists want the spare change to be used on judicial “due process”. Some thing is not right about their priorities?
As I pointed out in the earlier piece, there could be a medical insurance fund, and a general welfare fund. BTW, a SDP doctor tells me that the SDP healthcare plan (involving an insurance fund and comprehensive coverage) would cover manual FTs (all FTs in fact) too. Before GG and friends, and TRE readers get upset with the SDP, they should remember that the SDP has also called for a policy of putting locals first and tightening the use of FTs by businesses.
Let me end by returning to said kay pohs: substitute the term “activists” for “management” in the following quote from a famous American psychologist* and you will know why I’m uneasy about their motives and actions: “This is what I get vaguely uneasy about in the reading on management, namely a certain piety, certain semireligious attitudes, an unthinking, unreasoning, a priori kind of ‘liberalism’ which frequently takes over as a determinant, thereby to some extent destroying the possibility of maintaining the sensitivity to the objective requirements of the actual, realistic situation.”
*Update at 8.43 am on # January 2014:
Think I’m unfair on the activists? Yesterday, I wrote: Here’s an interesting piece from a TRE reader on the appropriateness of the original venue of its seminar on “the struggle for workers’rights”. . I agree with the sentiments expressed within it, though to be fair to Maruah the date of said seminar was on 23 December. Somehow I don’t think that there would be many FTs in the area on a Monday. One of these days I’ll blog on why Maruah and the police deserve each other: both have lousy public communication skills, though the police’s skills iare a lot better than Yaacob’s finest, who only know how to slime.
They may be anti-govt, but we shouldn’t be on their side juz ’cause they got the balls to take on the govt publicly. Their actions and motives have to be analysed and scrutinised, juz like the govt’s, even though we should not hold them to the standards we expect of the govt. They don’t have the resources of the govt.
*Abraham Harold Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. Wikipedia
My X’mas, New Yr pressie to readers: 2 quotes that will serve them well as investors in 2014. The second one will also serve the Oppo and kay pohs well.
… fairly conservative investor, strongly believing in the combination of traditional valuation methods and charts – always looking at the balance sheet first and then analyzing the charts over 20, 50, 100, and 200 days.
“The only way that individual investors can be heard in a situation like this* is to collaborate and try to get attention. There are so many other interested parties trying to get their points across that it’s the only way they can have a voice, ” says Mark Taber, a British individual investor, who has led three successful campaigns against banks.
(But I doubt asking SIAS to get involved amounts to collaboration.)
And collaboration applies to the Opposition and kay pohs too, though sadly the WP is very clear that it’s the PAP’s co-driver not part of any coalition against the PAP govt. Though I am willing to give Low, Ah Lian and Muhamad Faisal bin Abdul Manap that they don’t have ministerial ambitions unlike PritamS. As to Auntie and Show Mao, one senses they think they are meant for better things than juz MPs.
As for attention, the kay pohs should think again of their attention-seeking attempts. I often feel that there is too much aping of Western PR techniques. I plan to go into detail later this yr, but here’s the essence: Western HR PR tactics are premised on the assumptions that:
— the public knows and cares about the causes of the PR effort. In S’pore this may not be the case. Take the case of migrant workers arrested for “rioting”: while the kay pohs focus on “due process” and poor working conditions; the posters on TRE focus on being anti-PAP even while supporting deportation for alleged rioters, and low wages for manual workers.
— changing opinion (esp among the chattering classes) can have an effect: govts do listen. In S’pore govt hasn’t ever listened, even when votes are at stake (OK, this is a bit of an exaggeration). NatCon double confirms this view of an unlistening govt.
Yaacob the Info minister wrote on Facebook a few days ago that many agencies have worked hard in the past weeks to strengthen the security of Singapore’s computer systems and websites*, and those responsible for the recent hacking incidents have been arrested or are being investigated**.
Taz gd, but what about making sure that IDA works hard and competently to give the public info on cyber security accurately, and in a timely manner? Rather than inaccurately, and only after cyber leaks and DRUMS.
Going by its recent ingloriously track record, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) should be renamed Inforomm Dysfunctional Authority because it’s so dysfunctional in communicating info on cyber security and ICT matters.
It can’t even explain to our constructive, nation-building local journalists that the PMO’s website was not hacked. Granted that our well-paid hacks are not the most intelligent people in S’pore, but surely Yaacob’s finest could have told them in simple English, “PMO’s website was not hacked into”?
Singapore ICT regulator Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) was cited by local media reports to blame a vulnerability in Google’s search bar, embedded in the two websites, as the cause of the breach. In a media briefing to which only local media were invited …
… a Google spokesperson told ZDNet in an e-mail Wednesday: “It has come to our attention that the PMO’s website recently experienced an attack in the search functionality of the site run by Google’s Custom Search Engine site-search widget.
“After investigation, it appears that the code in the Google custom search engine is safe and the vulnerability lies with the coding on the webpage.”
While IDA declined to comment further on this issue as it is currently under police investigation, ZDNet understands the regulator was misquoted in local news reports. Rather than Google’s search bar, it had instead pointed to a vulnerability in the search function which the hackers were able to exploit and redirect visitors to the external webpages.
At the very least, IDA gave the impression that our cybersecurity machinery was the equivalent of the flood prevention team when Yaacob was “flooder-in-chief”.
Now onto an earlier, and more major, failure to communicate. Remember the Saturday a few weeks ago when govt websites suddenly closed for “routine maintenance’? Although they were soon up, netizens suspicions were aroused and they started playing DRUMS in the absence of authoritative info.
And they were correct to think that there problems, only not hacking but cock-ups.
Only on Monday evening (after a memo surfaced on the internet), IDA admitted the problems in accessing several Singapore government websites over the weekend were due to technical problems that arose during maintenance on Saturday afternoon. While the glitches have been rectified, people accessing these websites may continue to face intermittent access as maintenance was still ongoing.
In this day and age, IDA should communicate openly with the public. After all, this is not North Korea, even if our media ratings are close to that of the North Koreans than that to the US or UK.
I leave it to this blogger who wrote before IDA admitted that there were cock-ups, not juz “routine maintenance” to explain what I mean:
Ironically, the IDA can look at the way SingTel updated its customers in the hours after a fire at a telephone exchange just weeks ago. Though the damage was way bigger, angering a lot more customers, at least they knew what was going on.
That itself reflects badly on the nation’s cyber security efforts. “Self pwn” is the phrase that comes to mind when you bring down your own networks inadvertently.”
Recently, CNA reported, Singapore’s Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Lawrence Wong, has said that countries in Asia need to adapt to emerging trends in social media, in order to get the new generation more engaged in literature and the arts.
Maybe he sould have a talk with Yaacob and s/o Devan Nair who seem clueless about the effect of social media and the internet on public communications and PR in general. Strange this cluelessness, given their roles in govt as public communicators and PR. or they juz there for wayang.
One final tot. I’m surprised that neither GG nor TRE nor TOC tot it fit to ask if the people responsible for website security in general or the maintenance cock-ups, in particular, were FTs or true-blue S’poreans.
This blogger has argued we need a S’porean core in cyber security.
One “career path” often joked about, but taken somewhat seriously, is to get into an IT management role in a bank then outsource the dirty work to vendors, sit back and enjoy a Dilbert moment every day.
Now, when that dirty work is cyber security, there is a problem. It’s an area where you can’t be an expert without getting your hands dirty. Yes, there are security solutions out there to tap on, but it is important to know your own servers well. How can you secure your home if you don’t know where the holes are in your fences?
Similarly, when it comes to defending national infrastructure, it pays to have a ready pool of experts, with actual hands-on experience.
This work cannot be easily outsourced, since it may involve getting access to sensitive information, say, military secrets. A Singaporean core, to borrow the government’s term, may be needed in such as an operation.
But will our FT-loving govt listen? Worse it seems the govt’s model of “Talent is two-timing new citizen Raj or Tammy’s killer or the FTs that beat up S’poreans and then fled S’pore (one was even given PR after the beating), or a violent, cheating PRC shop assistant, or PRC hawkers or a looney, violent bank director.
*“A quote from a decade and a half ago: ‘Secure web servers are the equivalent of heavy armoured cars. The problem is, the roads are subject to random detours, anyone with a screwdriver can control the traffic lights and there are no police.’”
—Richard Guy Briggs on “Besieged”, Nov 9th 2013
**Taz before the latest reported hack of schools’ sites and a local museum’s mailing list was made public in NZ. Don’t know if you notice, but the local media is downplaying the security implications of the hacks by making them sound trivial.The schools’ hack is “defacement” and the mailing list was described as being on the website. The Hard Truth is that in these cases, servers were broken into.
This is in contrast to the “hack”of PMO’s site which was over-sensationalised. (There was no hack there as reported above. In the PMO’s case, at no time was there any server intrusion. The server was secure.) One wonders if IDA has finally educated the hacks on the basics of cyber security or did it order them to downplay the hacks as the hacks would imply that contrary to Yaacob’s comments about working hard to fix security issues, the cyber security teams are not working hard, or worse, working hard incompetently.
The irony is the opposition made gains where there is almost full employment, the country peaceful and prosperous.
(http://www.pressrun.net/weblog/2013/08/singapore-prime-ministers-and-election-results.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rana+%28pressrun.net%29 I commend this blogger who usually has interesting, unpredectible perspectives. Not one of the usual suspects, whose rants can be surmised even without reading their articles: juz scan the titles.)
The govt in Norway is expected to lose an election on 9th September, even though eonomic growth was at 2.6% year-on-year in the second quarter and unemployment at just 3.4%, while the current-account surplus is huge: nearly 14% of GDP.
One could argue that because things are so gd, people are willing to take risks, experiment.
When times are bad, if the ones suffering badly are a smallish minority, and the majority, while unhappy, are fearful of what can happen, the majority of voters will opt for “Better the devil we know” We saw that in 2001 when an election was called after 9/11. If Islamic terrorists could successfully attack Metropolis, which place was safe? And if there was a resulting global recession, who better than the PAP to handle it for S’pore? Certainly better than JBJ’s lot, even though the WP had juz kicked JBJ out as leader.
But the classic example was UK during the early yrs of Thatcher’s tenure. Despite massive unemployment she won a second term (helped by winning a war). The unemployed voted against her, but those with jobs trusted her govt more than they did the opposition Labour party, which was seen as incompetent economically (strikes, IMF loan when it was governing).
Connected with the issue of experimentation when times are gd, is that people get tired of the same govt. The present Norwegian govt has been in power since 2005. As the PAP has been in power since 1959 (UMNO and allies in M’sia since 1957), it’s a testament to their tenacity and public goodwill that the PAP and UMNO are still in power. Even the LDP in Japan has lost power for two spells before regaining it.
The author of the above quote puts the unpopularity of the S’pore govt to the internet:
The internet seems to have been a game-changer. In the first post-Twitter general election, in 2011, the People’s Action Party (PAP) won only 60.1 per cent of the vote, its lowest share since independence, while the opposition secured six seats, more than ever before. (Twitter was launched only in 2006.)
He has a point because the internet
… proved a real pest,
Critics online all the time,
How do you make ‘em toe the line?
But let’s not forget. In the last GE 60% voted for the PAP. Taz a gd majority by any standard except that of the PAP itself and S’poreans. Remember, we used to give it 70-over % of the popular vote, and all the seats in parliament in the 70s.
True the PAP’s “preferred” candidate won the PE by a very short nose. But the man that nearly became president was someone that for many S’poreans (self included) exemplified what many S’poreans liked about the PAP Old Guard: principled, meritocratic, technocratic, smart (academically and street-wise), no wayang, no pretensions and compassionate: not sneering, complacent, privileged, incompetent and self-serving snob. Even the PAP’s preferred candidate belonged to the Old Guard, even if he had a privileged background: in fact many of the Old Guard had privileged backgrounds, they juz didn’t behave like a certain sneerer. Tony Tan juz didn’t get my vote because he was the “preferred” candidate. But if it had been between him, TJS and TKL (ex-PAP too), I’d voted for Tony Tan.
The next candidate, TJS, had only 25% of the vote. This is in line with the hard core opposition vote that emerges in any constituency an opposition candidate appears, even a looney one.
What the internet has allowed, is to give amplification to the voices of the hard core opposition supporters. They were never silent but the exclusion of their voices from the constructive, nation-building local media meant that they could only communicate in a less than effective way most of the time to other die-hards and ordinary S’poreans.
Ordinary S’poreans now realise that these voices are not demon voices because like the hard core opposition voters, they too have grievances, doubts etc. They now know, they are not alone.
The power of the internet and the govt’s concern that it is losing the commanding heights of public communications are best illustrated by P Ravi’s reposting on Facebook about the availability of the masks: that the public were not going to get it despite repeated govt assurances to the contrary, and the govt’s heavy-handed reaction. This reposting was enough to get him accused of spreading misinformation.
P Ravi’s defence when the govt accused him spreading misinformation about the distribution of masks, was that he sharing with his Facebook friends (1000 over if you must know), giving the govt feedback, and seeking clarification from the govt: rather contradictory assertions. Why the govt didn’t ridicule these contradictions is beyond me. Instead, Yaacob, a civil servant and the constructive, nation-building media beat the drums to the tune of RAVII*, making him a hero and martyr to the hostiles on the internet and, in particular on social media. My posts on this
So nope, the desire to experiment when things are gd, isn’t unique to S’pore. Nor is the internet the cause of the unpopularity. Even when the PAP had 70ish % of the popular vote, the balance voted for the opposition.
And 35% of the population like the values of the PAP Old Guard, they juz don’t like the way the PAP has developed in the 1990s and noughties. All this means that those who want change cannot afford to be complacent esp as there is going to be a party that’s going to be gd for the Party i.e. the PAP.
*Recriminations, Accusations, Vilifications, Insinuations & Insults. Minister Shan talks of criticising ministers n the “right” way (E-Jay’s take). Well, what Yaacob and a civil servant did to Ravi, and what VivianB did to various people including the elderly poor doesn’t set gd examples for the public, do they?
Regular readers will know that in a piece about the “right politics” that the PAP plays:.
Penultimately, in case anyone is wondering, I don’t think it was “dirty” politics … for Yaacob to rough up P* Ravi. Those who live by the sword like … P Ravi must accept that they can kanna cut or die too. Fair is fair. Cannot expect to use keyboard or mouth to attack others, and not not expect others to respond. And they should remember that bullies in real life often don’t back off but instead respond disproportionately.
These were gd “clean” politics.
Recently, I met someone in corporate communications who didn’t like what the govt is doing to P Ravi. He, as a social activist and a believer in human rights advocacy, disagreed that the govt’s response was proportionate, especially the forum letter that appeared after my above remarks. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, why are you reading my blog?)
He said that after P Ravi had posted his comments on his Facebook wall, and the govt was alerted to it by worried S’poreans, it should have posted a reply to his reposting on his wall, setting out the facts, and asking him to correct or remove his posting. Putting its reply on a govt website was not the best response.He said he didn’t know about that response, until I told him about it. He had been going on about the unfairness of Ravi being singled out in parliament by a minister before I pointed out that the govt had issued a rebuttal on a govt website.
I think this gd-hearted kay poh, who incidentally wants convicted drug dealers treated humanely, has a very valid point on the govt not answering directly to Ravi’s comments (He reposted, so he owns the comments, so pls no “Reposting only” BS) on his Facebook wall.
This is something that should be included in Yaacob’s SOP on handling haze public communications: responding in a timely manner on the same platform as the query or allegation, not via another platform. In fact, this should be in the SOP on the handling of any query or allegation, whether well-intended, plain kay poh or malicious. Anyway, the intention is another issue that can and should be handled separately. It is of secondary importance.
Responding in a timely manner on the same platform as the query or allegation, not via another platform, is a very good way of coping with, “A lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”, something any government or corporation is rightly paranoid about. Incidentally this remark was said in the late 60s, or in the 70s by James Callahan who was British PM in the late 70s: pre-internet age.
Now a lie can be round the world a hundred fold, before the truth has got its Christian Louboutinhigh heels on.
I hope that both the govt and P Ravi have learnt lessons from this balls-up and move on. Fortunately, no-one died and it turned out to be a Tweedledum and Tweedledee row:
Sadly I think the govt is planning to extract its “pound of flesh”. Hopefully, I’m wrong ’cause I know P Ravi personally. He is a decent, well meaning guy who means nobody any harm. I don’t think rumour-mongering was on his mind when he reposted the said comments.
Update on 17 December: I am wrong, as at time of writing, on the govt extracting its “pound of flesh”. May I continue to be wrong. Merry Christmas to all, PAPpies included.
No not taking public transport*: the Pope used to do so when he was the Argie cardinal, but the importance of public communication:
The Jesuits, missionaries and educators, are trained to be expert communicators and it is significant that among the first people summoned to meet the new Pope at his hotel suite this morning was fellow Jesuit Father Lombardi – official Vatican spokesperson, head of Vatican Radio (run for many years by the Jesuits) and of the Vatican Press Office.
Under Pope Benedict, Father Lombardi was a mere functionary who had no direct access to the pontiff.
He could not pick up the phone and talk things through quickly with Benedict himself. He received orders from the Vatican Secretariat of State and briefed the press accordingly. All that has changed overnight.
Pope Francis has already decided he will meet the world’s media who have arrived in their thousands to cover the papal election at a special audience on Saturday morning.
This shows a vivid awareness that prayer may not be enough to deal with the situation facing the Catholic Church at this critical moment in its long history. Public relations will be a priority at a particularly sensitive moment of papal transition. Extract from BBC Online.
So when I read the article “Govt will need to be more open, says PM”. (Sunday Times, Mar 17),which went on: “the Government will become more transparent to adapt to society today, even if politics becomes untidy and its outcomes less predictable”; I thought maybe a good step would be to bring in a Jesuit FT** as the govt’s public communications adviser? Local talent s/o Devan Nair, once a very senior keyboard-wielding Imperial Storm Trooper, the chief of govt communications, seems to have gone AWOL.
Witness the bad PR our SPF is having to face in its investigations of the death of Shane Todd. No-one to blame except the PR people in govt or the SPF: witness a mealy-mouthly letter that is so ambiguous that it can be used as evidence of incompetency:
“In the course of its investigation, the Police had examined the deceased’s computers and a hard disk drive. This disk drive was subsequently handed over, with acknowledgement, to the next-of-kin. Should the next-of-kin be in possession of other evidence, they should provide it to the Police to assist in their investigations.”
This was written to the FT which reported the parents allegation that they had found a hard drive lying around (implying police incompetency or worse). There seems in this letter to be an insinuation that it is the same hard drive, and that the parents are lying. But didn’t dare not say so because it could be a different hard drive: the police just don’t know.
A well written letter would have said the police now want to establish if this is the same hard drive that was handed to the parents, and offer to provide the FT with details of the hard drive it (the police) handed over so that the FT could establish whether it was the same or different hard drive.
*But if PM had taken public tpt, he would have realised that Ms Saw and Raymond Lim were making misleading statements on the state of public transport: blaming commuters for having unreasonable expectations. Turned out commuters were right to complain of overcrowded public transport, especially of trains. Our money that the govt is throwing at the problem is proof that us commuters were right, and Saw and Raymond Lim were misrepresenting the situation.
**I don’t think there any any S’porean Jesuits. Any S’porean capable of becoming a Jesuit ends up as a scholar.
Until the US told S’pore to,”wake up yr ideas”?
Oh the shame of being a S’porean. Our
SPG SPF investigators are negligent, blind as bats, not trained to recognise PC peripherals or just plain dumb. And this is after the failure to put a terrorist fugitive’s close relative’s home under surveillance (he dropped in to hide), after a senior police man tot nothing of having an affair that he publicly admitted, and where an investigator is undergoing disciplinary proceedings for a possible ang moh kaw tua kee attitude.
A few weeks ago, I was reading my Saturday FT. There was a long story on a death by hanging of a young American scientist here. As I was reading the story, it was clear that his parents were kicking up a fuss, saying that the S’pore police was not doing a good job investigating the death (they still do). Well they were in grief, that was to be expected, and given what they were alleging, some really wacko stuff, that their allegations of police failures had to be discounted. This is S’pore, not Hicksville USA or some third world country. I was going to give up reading the piece and complain to FT about the trash they were reporting.
Then I read that our police investigators did not secure a hard drive. The dead American’s parents said it was lying on a table in full view of anyone in the room, that they didn’t know what it was, but took it away anyway, then found out that it was a hard drive that contained files from his office PC (and which now our police want access to).
The fact that our police failed to secure a hard drive made me understand his parents apprehensions and anger: we were Hicksville USA or some third world country, and the FT was right to report the story. The police had secured his PC and mobile phone but not a hard drive that was allegedly in full view on a table. If the police could be so sloppy, or worse, anything is possible. As the Population White Paper shows, a sloppy, slip-shod, careless mistake can undermine any attempt to be authoritative https://atans1.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/population-white-paper-2030-will-resemble-1959/.
We S’poreans have been told by govt ministers, PAP MPs and an NMP (who was a PAPpie once) that bitching too loud about the policy of letting in FTs by the cattle-truck load, was not good for S’pores image, and could jeopardise economic growth because FTs will be scared away.
How come the same people don’t complain that incompetent police investigation could jeopardise our economy? I mean Foreign Talents may not want to live in a place where the police can’t secure a hard drive (which they now say could contain important evidence).
Now the SPF has invited the FBI to help it, something that it had earlier resisted. In a statement, our embassy in the U.S said that the investigation that began with the Todd death in June is “still ongoing and the Singapore Police will pursue every lead and examine examine the different angles thoroughly.” Not done before? An “honest mistake”? More likely, an avoidable mistake.
Then CNA reported Singapore’s Foreign Minister K Shanmugam said authorities are “committed to getting to the bottom” of the death of an American researcher in Singapore last year … Speaking in Washington, Mr Shanmugam said Singapore has invited the United States to audit the relationship between Todd’s employer, the Institute of Microelectronics, and the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.
This is total abject surrender by S’pore of its sovereign rights. Might as well accede to the parents’ demand that the FBI supervise our SPF’s investigation? Surprised that these country folk, didn’t demand that the SEALs, Delta Force and the Marines invade S’pore to forcibly secure their son’s body and possessions?
Sorry, I forgot that our boys in blue really goofed up, and added unnecessary mental anguish to the grieving parents. Death of a child is hard to take: the possibility that he may have committed suicide is even harder to take. Best to go into denial and blame it on a conspiracy.
— Don’t any how fire & volvo
The PAP,made flesh in Dr Teo Ho Pin, and the constructive, nation-building media are “throwing smoke”, trying to confuse S’poreans on the issues around AIM.
The sad thing is all the noise about AIM being a $2 co, or not having the expertise etc that is coming from many of us “cowboys”, is distracting S’poreans from the four issues that matter:
— As Aljunied GRC seems to be one of the GRCs that paid for the development costs of the software that was transferred to AIM, how come AIM can cancel contract if a GRC moves on to the Jedi (OK, OK, I exaggerate) from the Dark Side of the Men in White? Sure it’s in contract, but is this ethically or morally correct? Didn’t LKY say we are a Confucian society? Ethically behaviour is expected.
— Is the WP being fixed by being deprived of AIM’s services? And what are the implications if there is a change of govt? Will the civil service, armed forces, police and government agencies cancel contracts with the new govt? From what happened with AIM’s contract, sounds reasonable to assume this.
— What is the service level agreement (SLA) in the leasing? This includes questions such as what levels of help desk and technical support, how many staff will be providing support, or is AIM outsourcing the support to another company?
[Update: Straits Times reported today that service was ‘outsourced’ from AIM back to NCS, and the TCs must know this intention when awarding the contract. So the questions are why would they allow that having terminated NCS’s services themselves, and what value does AIM add as the middleman. They have to come clean or face accusations of some sort of ’round-tripping’.]
— Can a contract between PAP town councils and a company 100%-owned by former PAP MPs be considered arm’s length? Should it be allowed at all to avoid even the slightest appearance of any potential conflict of interest?
The points in Italics are from Void Decker who has a great piece on this matter: he is on target.
The WP never made allegations about whether AIM was a $2 co or its competency. It tried to focus (in its unfocused, dysfunctional way*), I think, on the first two issues that shld concern us.
Sadly netizens are not focusing on the substantive issues. Partly it’s because of the hols and because CNY is coming in February.
But the WP is at fault too: its public communications team is a clone of that of Team PAP. Maybe Team Wayang Wankers should ask help from the real Opposition: Team SDP; Ravi the do-gooder (even if he from NSP); TOC (even if it’s undergoing editor change again*); or TRE. Or even TJS.
These are people who know how to communicate effectively with the public. BTW, only KennethJ*** is worse at communicating with the public than Team PAP and the Wayang Wankers.
“Target 50m ahead. At own time and pace, open fire. Make every shot count. Beng Pek mah?
*Show Mao is not pulling his weight, not being allowed to, or maybe he not that savvy? Will explore this later in yr, in “The AWOL, MIA of Show Mao”. Maybe Low and Sylvia were playing bait and switch, like investment bankers, and time-sharing salesmen?
As to the other two lawyers in Team Wankers Wayang, Sylvia got only so-so NUS law degree while PritamS got his from a crappy place, SMU Law School.
**New chief editor soon. It will by then have run through two Indian chiefs (they are actually Tamils, not Native Americans, or Aryans) in less than 11 months. Then there is the disappearance from TOC’s establishment, in 2011, of two ex-WP cadres and activists, Goh Meng Seng**** (Head of the Chinese Section) and Eric Tan (Managing Editor and then investigative editor). AWOL, MIA, or posts abolished: who knows?
But one of the co-founders is still active in editorially. So there is continuity.
****But then he speak in ang moh accent, don’t know the Pledge and was from Saint Andrews: the school where boys have two rugby props on each of their of shoulders. But despite having cips on his shoulders, a Saints rugby captain says on Facebook that KennethJ is not a Saints. More on this later in the year.
****Also ex-NSP member. Anything else he was member of?
“I’ve seen their property values going up, five times, 10 times, 15 times, 20 times,” our MSM reported him as saying recently.
This is what the SDP said in response, “Yes, and what for? To feel rich? Under the SDP Plan, Singaporeans don’t just have to feel rich. They can have their NOM flats and not be indebted for the rest of their lives. They can have financial security and lead fulfilling lives.” http://yoursdp.org/news/sdp_responds_to_lee_kuan_yew_on_housing/2012-11-07-5435
No comment about about SDP’s plans (this is what ST reported “experts” say): thinking about it. But it sure got great PR people team. Maybe PAP or govt should offer them jobs? MP Baey should recruit them for his firm? Can’t be good for H&R’s local and Asean practice that SDP is running rings round PAP and govt? The Dark Side can offer serious money, unlike the SDP. Unless of course, the rumours of CIA funding are not true. An SDP groupie assures me that CIA funding rumours are juz rumours. SDP as poor as Anglican church mice. Catholic church mice got serious money, what with Tony Tan (the president, not Hazel Poa’s hubbie) and George Yeo as members. Goes without saying that Methodist mice got $. Think Ng Eng Hen and wife (SingHeath CEO), and TJS’s in-laws.
Talk of bad PR.
When I read that the Thai gal sued SMRT, I didn’t think much of her case. I tot that she should have accepted reasonable compensation and moved on.
But when I read that SMRT says that its $15,000 offer was “unprecedented”, I tot what a dumb, mean company.
I don’t know waz a fair amount would be taking into account her injuries and that it isn’t SMRT’s fault. But $15,000 is not it. Its legal costs would easily exceed $100,000.
I had been looking to buy shares in SMRT, but I’ll give it a miss for the time being. Want to see if mgt changes are working.
Anyway, hopefully the FT brought in to replace an ex-SAF officer will do something to change SMRT’s bad record in public communications. The SAF officer said once “Better you die, than damage SMRT property”. Ya I exaggerate, but that was the message he gave when a commuter smashed a glass panel to let air into a train stuck in a tunnel.
If anyone thinks that SPH’s publications have lost their clout because of new media, citing the bad reception that Pay Wayang, SMRTgate and PondingGate got from the public despite these publications spinning all the way for the White Side, the way that they covered DBS’s CloneGate shows their clout, even in the age of new media.
Customers were reassured, and the usual moaners were ignored by the public even though DBS is part of the Temasek Group (that S’poreans love to hate partly because its CEO is the wife of the PM), and the public and its customers often view DBS as dysfunctional.
SPH’s publications when combined with an effective public communications strategy is a fearsome tool.
DBS got its strategy right, moving “quickly to assure customers that their losses will be covered and investigations are underway. Experts were immediately put on air not to put a spin on why it’s not a big deal, but rather explain concisely how the scam probably occurred and is being carried out,” Words of the Cze. (If it had tried to weasel its way out, I for one would have asked how come the data theft could have occured at two high traffic ATMs, and why OCBC or UOB were not hit first? Why was DBS so dysfunctional?)
Don’t believe me? Reading ST (and MediaCorp’s freesheet) even I tot DBS was being generous in quickly compensating its customers until I read this in ST’s Forum. It reminded me (a trained lawyer who did a lot of banking legal work) that it was DBS that lost money, not the affected customers, “When someone deposits money with a bank, he is in effect lending money to it. Property rights to the money pass to the bank. In return, the bank owes its customer a debt. At that point, any money stolen or pilfered from the bank is its money, not its customer’s,” SMU academic. (BTW, I get the impression that a very impt KPI for SMU academics is how often they are quoted in the local MSM. One wonders if they have time to do other things.)
The PAP, SMRT and PUB did not get their public communications strategy right (see the above link on what PUB and SMRT did wrong) and SPH could not play its traditional constructive, nation-building role in helping out the White Side.
Coming back to DBS. When its CEO early last week ( his second anniversary at DBS) came out boasting of his achievements, I tot, “Nemesis” and “What bad news is he foreshadowing?”. Well Nemesis has struck and DBS has reacted very, very well to what could have been a major public relations fiasco. As to the bad news, “Watch and wait”.
But DBS is no longer dysfunctional. Could it be a turnaround situation, worth investing in? In Q3 2011, DBS’s return on equity was ahead of OCBC and UOB. BTW I own Haw Par shares which is a play on UOB.
Well Grace Fu’s actions have confirmed that the PAP still has problems using social media, showing that Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad (he is on PAP committee tasked to tame the Internet) was talking rubbish late last year when he boasted, “The first few years were about the PAP sensing the platforms and understanding how to use it. Now it’s really (about) how to use these platforms for political mileage and political advantage.” (Emphasis mine)
Grace Fu’s use of Facebook to bitch* abt her pay cut effective destroyed the PM’s attempt to use a deep ministerial salary cut to rebuild political capital and reclaim the moral high ground for the PAP. Before her outburst, which to be fair, from which she repented rather quickly, or rather claimed that we “misunderstood” her (Like we misunderstood Han or Han misunderstood SMRT’s SVP? Wah PAP sure got great miscommunicators? Or we “Lesser Mortals” are daft?), the critics could only rail in the abstract against the quantum, principles and methodology adopted by Gerald Ee and friends. S’poreans would soon have got bored with the abstractions. All the PAP needed to do was to sit tight for a while, until the critics bored S’poreans with hot air, and exhausted themselves.
(With all due respect to the critics, they have nothing new to say. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”: Ecclesiastes 1:9)
After Grace Fu’s outburst, the critics had an alleged PAP princess** to beat up and abuse. And that they did, inflicting seriously collateral damage on the PM, cabinet and PAP.
This is not the first time that a female PAPy’s use (misuse?) of social media backfired on the PAP and PM.It has happened before.
Tin Pei Ling was earmarked to be Young PAPpies’ superstar and celebrity, showing that one could be young, fun-loving, brainless, parrot-like, wooden in public, marry well and have a career, and be a PAPpy on the make. The narrative didn’t work because the script did not tell her to privatise her Facebook page, making her pixs etc hostages to fortune. She compounded her initial mistake by appointing “Fat Fingered” Denise as her Facebook administrator. Denise He promptly broke the law, getting a serious warning from the police. Netizens wanted Denise and Tin to be hung, drawn and quartered, which was never going to happen. I mean even drug mules only get hung if convicted.
So should the PAP appoint a social media commissar to clear all messages before they are made public? Take out the spontaneity rather than allow bird brains or air heads to destroy “The best laid plans o’ mice an’ men”?
Or tell ministers and MPs to be like MP Zaqy? A Malaysian Malay told me that his S’pore relations noticed that he (Zaqy) is never a leader, always a follower on Facebook. He allowed Halimah (ladies first?) to come out guns a’blazing at Han before he added his stab wounds. Wait for a cue, then action, is the message he would have told Ms Fu? Read the rest of this entry »
(Or “Why Han stopped digging a grave for himself and the PAP”)
Almost two weeks since Han came up with a new excuse every five minutes for his remarks that had racist overtones. Looks like he left the last word to Indian buddy Shanmugam (Where’s his Malay buddy?). Maybe he realised what he was up against?
Here’s what MediaCorp says SVP Goh Kong Chee of SMRT said on radio that is the “source” of Seng Han Thong’s problems, “And that’s because our staff of different races, it could be Malay, Chinese, or Indians or any other race, they sometimes find it difficult to speak in English.”
Han said on his Facebook page:
I notice that the PR mention that, some of the staff, because they are Malay, they are Indian, they can’t converse in English good, well enough, so that also deters them, from but I think we accept broken English.”*
Big difference in emphasis. SVP Goh said that there could be language problems, SMRT being a multi-racial workforce. Han’s emphasis is on two specific races, not on a multiracial workforce.
His latest turn in a letter to transport union, “I made the mistake of only mentioning our “Malay” and “Indian” workers where the original quote in the radio interview I was commenting on had cited MRT staff of different races, “Malay, Chinese, or Indians or any other race”.
So he longer claims that he misheard as ST reported, but that he left out “Chinese” is my understanding of what he is now saying. Was there a need to mention any race at all? Inadvertently or not?
He said he was defending the use of “broken English” in an emergency. Was there a need to defend this when this wasn’t an issue that SVP Goh of SMRT raised or used as an excuse? He was making a point about SMRT encouraging staff to speak**
Doesn’t this make nonsense of what the Law Minister said when defending Han and “whacking” TOC.*** This I must commend about Shanmugam. He, unlike other MPs, has the courage to make a fool of himself, defending Han. He got balls unlike Zaqy, etc. I’d like to have him (Shanmugam, not Zaqy) beside me if Quan Yifeng went wacko and tried to assault me. Hey Zaqy, being a PAPpie means the balls to be unpopular in yr community. Pandring to yr community is not a gd career move.
The problem that Han (and his apologists like Shanmugam) has is trying to explain why he singled out the “broken English” of two minority races, but omitted that of the Chinese. That is a hard truth. No amount of twisting and turning, or blaming TOC can explain or excuse the singling out by a PAP MP and a unionist of the “Malay” and “Indian” races.
Maybe a more fruitful line for him would be to blame SVP Goh of mentioning race in the first place, and that he (Han) was trying to rebuke him, but his (Han’s) bad English let him down.
And doesn’t this show, to misquote Mr Shanmugam, that “A significant part of what has been attributed to SMRT is false, to be quite blunt about it.” Any this can be said too of the transcription put up on Han’s site. Listen to cooments (link below).
Oh and let’s not forget Han misquoted SMRT’s PR person. He is the originator of the remarks. He owns them, and cannot disown them.
So a reasonable interpretation of the minister’s comments below are that the inflation numbers as far as they affect HDB residents and non-car owners are a lot of rubbish because they are not affected. So why not construct an additional index that excludes these costs? The reason that this is not done could be that then other costs have to be included, such as a great weightage for public transport costs, and the cost of public housing. And this could outweigh the costs of rentals and car ownership? Better to talk in general terms, than create a rod to break the PAPpies back?
While Singapore’s economy is headed for a slowdown, Mr Lim noted that inflation is somewhat “persistent” due to factors such as global commodity prices, “particularly fuel and oil prices”. Other causes include the Government’s domestic policies on housing and car ownership, he added.
Reiterating that core inflation is “not unusually high”, Mr Lim said: “So if you are an owner of a HDB flat, the housing prices don’t affect you, and if you are not buying a car, the car prices also don’t affect you.”
To show a better comparison between the electricity tariff and the fuel oil price, I suggest the tariff axis to range up to 35, to just cover the maximum tariff (30.45 in Oct 08). This will show the fluctuations of the electricity tariff vis-a-vis those of the fuel oil price better, graphically.
Must read: The ugly reality is that anyone in the know can present statistics so as to create the desired impression, rather than the truth. As usual, you need to know whether the source is credible and honest or not. Recommendations, double checking, second opinions and if necessary, hiring an expert, can all be helpful. One is never totally safe from this kind of falsification, but viable controls are possible. And the more you learn and are aware of the dangers, the safer you are. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-theory/11/lie-with-financial-statistics.asp?partner=ntu11#axzz1fElSc8tZ
Two fridays ago, ST has a whole page devoted to an interview with CapitaLand’s CEO. He was trying to explain to CapitaLand was not a China play, and that it was not a financial engineer pretending to be a property developer. It had been until recently playing up that it was a China play, and that it was asset light, using financial egineering, rather than owning assets.
I tot, “Wow, co must be worried abt share price.” Still I was that surprised when late last week, it announced a year-on-yearn 83% drop in its third quarter net profit to S$80.2 million.
Moral of story: Whenever a usually publicity-shy CEO “opens up”, be wary, very wary.