8/27/2016

Are the appointments of the EP and PM racist in design?

I have noted some discussions in the TRE and some commentators insisting that the design of the election of the PM and the EP was racist in nature, favouring the Chinese community. Is that so? Where did it say so? To some small minds, it is very clear that it is racist, in favour of the Chinese majority.

Let’s look at the appointment of the PM? How does one become a PM here under the PAP? Where is it written that the PM must be a Chinese, in the Constitution or in the PAP manifesto? Come on, there is no such thing. The PAP has its own system of choosing their PM, by the CEC. The PM is elected by the majority of the PAP CEC members.  The PAP does not have a ruling that the election of a PM must be a Chinese. So, what is the fuzz all about?

What about the EP? Where was it stated that the EP must be from the Chinese majority? The EP was elected by the people in a presidential election. Tony Tan was PAP’s chosen candidate for the EP. The PAP can choose anyone from the minorities to be their nominated candidate, like SR Nathan.

But the other three candidates were also Chinese. So, these candidates applied for the position. They submitted their papers, they nominated themselves. There is no law saying a minority candidates cannot nominate themselves for the EP.  But, but the criteria favour the Chinese majority! Who set the criteria? Who agree to the criteria? If stag horns are found on the head of a stag, why blame the stag and accuse the stag of discrimination because a goat only got little horns?

Actually all the talks about changing the rules to ensure a minority candidate is unnecessary. The PAP had done it before by nominating SR Nathan. There is nothing to stop the PAP from nominating Halimah or Tharman as their candidate. The PAP brand will guarantee a win. In the SR Nathan case, no one dared to contest.

Coming back to the wild accusation that the system is discriminatory in favour of the Chinese majority, is it true?  The PAP is now going to redesign the rules and the system to favour a minority candidate. Is the PAP admitting that the rules and system were discriminatory and therefore must be changed?

Is this change progressive or regressive, good for Singapore in the future? Would LKY be turning in his grave that his ideals and concept of meritocracy is going to be dismantled and thrown into the rubbish bin and race will now become a factor in the determination of the EP?  Should our national pledge be torn away, should we rewrite the national pledge and remove the phrase, ‘regardless of race, language and religion’, and put into the constitution that race is a factor in the election of the EP?

I am waiting for the man to jump up from his grave to right the wrong that is being conceived and going to be enshrined in the Constitution. Meritocracy is no longer the core values of this country, race is. Instead of playing down on race and elevating meritocracy, a race neutral concept, this trend is like an about turn on govt policies. When it happens, then the Constitution will become racist.
The first legacy of LKY, meritocracy, is at risk of being dumped.

PS, there is this mischievous commentator in TRE called Harold claiming this,
‘At Independence, the agreement was reached that since it was always going to be more likely than not that the PM of Singapore will be a Chinese, then the President will be from a minority community.

That’s why all the first Presidents were minorities. (And don’t forget that for all the 51 years of our Independence, PMs have ONLY been Chinese.)

It was the PAP government that violated that agreement and convention with the introduction of the EP, much to the delight of racists, as we can see.’

This is a very mischievous and malicious rumour to spread as it would affect the people’s perception of the truth and the credibility of the govt. Let’s see if the govt would let this rumour to continue to float around.

8/26/2016

Donald Trump the only sensible man in the West

This is a report from Germany calling for its people to stock up food and basic necessities in case of a catastrophe. What catastrophe, war with Russia?  Read below:

Germany is planning to urge its citizens to stockpile food, water and other supplies in the event of a catastrophe or armed attack.

According to a report by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), citing the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper, the move would be the first of its kind since the end of the Cold War.

The proposal is reportedly contained in a government civil-defense-strategy document, which says that people should stock 10 days worth of food and a sufficient supply of water, energy, money and medicine that would allow them to stay put long enough for the government to respond.

The mood in Germany has been unsettled recently following a number of horrific incidents. In the latest violence, on July 24, a Syrian suicide bomber injured 15 people at a music festival in the central German town of Ansbach. The same day, a Syrian refugee killed a woman and injured two others with a machete in Reutlingen. Just days previous, an ISIS-inspired attacker was shot dead after stabbing several people on a train in the south of the country.

The huge influx of refugees — Germany accepted more than a million last year — has sparked fears among many Germans that terrorists have entered the country under the guise of seeking asylum.

And they are calling for European govts to take in more refugees knowing what could happen if only a small percentage of the refugees are terrorists in disguise. And many would even call for more refugees to prove that they are not afraid, to prove that they are doing the right thing, to prove that they are simply stupid beyond redemption. This is an inevitable trend of event that would lead to the destruction and an end to the European civilization, the destruction of Europe as a modern, orderly and peaceful place to live and to work in.

Only Donald Trump is sensible enough to know what the hell is going on and how to stop it, to save America.

8/25/2016

Bukit Batok does not want to go away

Remember the rats incident? Remember the by election? Now it is about TB and how children in a kindergarten were exposed when a FT teacher has active TB. Active hor, infectious. Now the children had to be screened and for a few to be infected is very likely.

How many more children will be exposed to this almost non existent disease in this island? How widespread or serious is TB in this island today?

With more than 2 million foreigners here, with many now citizens or PRs, what kind of risk are we exposed to? TB is only one such risk. How many other kinds of biological and non biological risks that would have a long term health effect on the population and is this a fair price to pay for the large presence of foreigners from third world countries being invited here?

There is a price to pay for everything. It is not always free for the benefits we are deriving from them. How to vet the 2 million foreigners here? Were they vetted before entry?

Singapore more united in August

The month of August has been good for nation building and bringing Singaporeans closer as one united people. Thanks to Joseph Schooling and his Olympic Gold Medal. The Singaporeans of all races cheered when this hero returned from Rio and all felt very proud to be a part of his achievement.

Today we have another occasion for the people to be united as one people to mourn the passing away of SR Nathan and a state funeral for people to come together to show their respect for the past president.

Singapore needs more of such occasions to give a boost to the spirit of nationhood after the battering by the influx of foreigners that diluted the core built up over 40 long years of nation building. Schooling can be expected to bring in more gold medals in the near future. Oops, cannot wish for more state funerals. No more past presidents available. All our past presidents are dead. Maybe state funerals for past PMs but this will be a long wait if the expected lifespan of the elite is above 90.

Would there be other occasions to gel the people together? A terrorist attack, a war?

8/24/2016

Elected President – What is the truth?

Hsien Loong has said it many times. I did not say the govt said it many times because no one else seems to be saying anything about the impending changes to the process of electing the President. Hsien Loong gave three reasons for the changes to the rules. 1. The EP is not just ceremonial but has a very important function to guard the reserves and to approve senior appointments in the Civil Service and uniformed services. 2. The person qualified to be the President must be able to make difficult decisions on financial matters and a stringent set of criteria must be met like managing a multi million organization to the tune of $200m, top civil servants or ministers. 3. The system must be changed to allow minority Presidents to be elected.

The above are the official reasons for this big constitutional change to enshrine racial considerations and elements into the office of the EP when race will be a factor in choosing the EP. Racial politics enshrined into the constitution a good thing, a progressive or regressive thing?

The unofficial version or reasons for the changes to the EP process in everyone’s lips is about keeping Tan Cheng Bock out of the race. Whether one subscribe to this view, whether one believes this is the real reason, this is what everyone is talking about. True or not, depends on who you want to believe.  If the govt is to amend the rules to bar the majority Chinese from the next EP election, saying that it is recommended by the Constitutional Commission, and applies this, then Cheng Bock would be locked out from the race and it would only confirm what the people feared and believed in.

And to add another barrier to people like Cheng Bock, the bar was raised higher, that the person must have managed an organization of more than $200m instead of $100m to take in inflation and the increasing value of the reserves.  So Cheng Bock’s previous organization would not be big enough and thus not eligible. This reason may be too flimsy to hold water as the inflation should also applies to the value of organizations at different times. Thus Cheng Bock’s $100m organization then would be revalued to $200m at today’s value, if there is no nitpicking. He was eligible then and should be now.

So, what is the real reason for the changes to the EP process? It depends on who you are and who you want to believe. Oops, please ignore those jesters recommending that there should be more than one EP at one time. They think Singapore is their grandfather’s company and money is no problem, can anyhow pay. And they may also be thinking Singapore is the biggest country in the whole world, bigger than USA and China combined, so need a few flower vases in the Istana, and pay them by the millions because their jobs are more important and difficult than the PM and ministers running ministries.

I got this funny feeling when I think of these extraordinary criteria for a non executive president. Should not these criteria or more stringent criteria be applied to people wanting to be PMs and ministers, the people that really wield great powers in managing the affairs of the state? Or are the PM and minister’s jobs easier than the EP so anyone can become a PM or minister without having to run a $200m company, just manage a town council will do? Make sense?

Oops, I digress. How many of you believe in the Hsien Loong’s version for the need to change the constitution on EP? How many of you believe the talk of the town, that the changes are rushed to keep Tan Cheng Bock out of the Istana? This one not I say one, everyone is saying this is the real reason.

At this moment, one thing is looking quite certain. The new conditions would mean that Tan Cheng Bock would not be qualified to stand in the next EP. What are the bookies stand on this? 1000 to 1 that Tan Cheng Bock would not qualify?

I think the bookies would even chicken out on such a bet.

8/23/2016

SR Nathan – Another stalwart passes away

Singapore will have another state funeral with the passing of SR Nathan at the age of 92. There are not many of such ancients of a passing era left in Singapore. This is another man that had lived a very good life and passed away peacefully leaving behind a big family and family wealth that would last for generations.

Nathan is a typical relic of a time when life was tough and hard. Many of his generations starting life with nothing and tried all means to survive, to make a living. Nathan has made it good, very good, from the time he was a runaway, homeless and squatting in the attap house of his aunt. Now he lived in Ceylon Road, some said the whole or nearly the whole of Ceylon Road belongs to him.

Singaporeans would be lining the streets on Friday to send this man away in his last journey on mother earth.

RIP.

The Presidency Myth

Recently Singaporeans have been bombarded with the information that minorities are not well represented in the position of the President of Singapore and there is an urgent need to put a minority candidate to represent the minorities, and that the majority Chinese has over represented themselves in the Presidency. Is this true or a contorted myth?

Let’s look at the facts and numbers. The followings were the Presidents of Singapore.

Yusof Ishak 1965-70 (Yang di pertuan Negara or Head of State 1959 to 65)

Benjamin Sheares 1971-81

Devan Nair 1981-85

Wee Kim Wee 1985-93

Ong Teng Cheong 1993-99

SR Nathan 1999-11

Tony Tan  2011 to present

What did the above said? There were 4 minority presidents and 3 Chinese presidents.  Minorities underrepresented or over represented? This only tells part of the story. If we consider the period 1965 to 2016, a total of 51 years, the minorities were presidents for 31 years while the Chinese were presidents for only 19 years. If one is to include the period from 1959, Yusof Ishak was the Head of State, this would mean another 6 years going to minorities. That would mean the minorities were Head of State/President for 37 years against the Chinese’s 19 years.

Yusof Ishak, Sheares and Nathan all served more than one term.  Of the Chinese presidents, only Wee Kim Wee served 2 terms, Ong Teng Cheong served 1 ½ terms, and Tony Tan is still in his first term.

The big question, are the minorities under represented as Head of State/President of the country? If one is using the formula of proportional representation, with a 75% majority the Chinese should proportionally occupied 75% of the 51/57 years of statehood or 36/42 years of the position of Head of State/Presidency.

The truth is that the minorities are occupying the Head of State/President office by more than 70% while the Chinese are occupying only 30% of the duration.

Now you see the myth? The majority Chinese is under represented in the office of the Head of State/Presidency, and the minorities have been over represented. So, what is the fish? Why the urgency and desperation to amend the Constitution to protect minority representation?

With the way immigration is changing the demography of this island, with the low productivity of the Chinese, mathematically, the Chinese can become a minority in the future. Then what?

Now there is this idea floating around that the Presidency would be something like a GRC with several presidents. Is Singapore so rich to pay for so many presidents doing mainly ceremonial roles? If a president gets $4m a year basic, it will mean $48m for a 12 year term. If you add 12 months bonus, that would be $96m, and if it is 24 months bonus, that would triple to $132m! And if we have 3 or 4 presidents at one time, just imagine how much public money would spend on this office?

A wrongly conceived idea, contrived, smells no matter how many layers of scrap paper are wrapped around it.