10/22/2014

Quote of the Day




Alex Au is now in court to defend his contempt of court charges. One phrase that the AG mentioned in Au’s blog was highlighted. Au was quoted to have said, ‘the courts were as “limp as a flag on a windless day”’.

The AG says that the metaphor of the flag implies that the court needs ‘wind’ from outside the facts of the case to determine an outcome.

I vote this as the most ingenious interpretation of the phrase, “limp as a flag on a windless day” I am impressed.

Kopi Level - Blue, Thank you.

Return My CPF protest rally on 25 Oct cancelled by NPark




Just read from TRE that the protest at Hong Lim Park this Sat has been cancelled on the advice of the Police. The reason, both Roy Ngerng and Han Hui Hui are under investigation for illegal assembly. So they cannot apply for a permit.

Do they need a permit in the first place? Could they and the protesters just go to Hong Lim on Sat and have a party there? Is it illegal to gather at Hong Lim Park, a public park designated for free speech? Must there be a permit to make free speech? If that is the case, then it is no longer free speech.

Is the cancellation for a protest rally against the Constitution? Is NPark acting unconstitutionally?

So far Roy Ngerng and Han Hui Hui have held 3 such protest rallies and the attendance could not be anything near hysterical numbers. Why is there a need to curb this protest rally? Is the rally really something to fear, something like the netizens have been saying, disclosing an unpleasant truth about the CPF money?

By banning the next protest, the govt is sending out many negative signals to the people. There is nothing positive about this banning of a small peaceful protest in a confined park designated for such a specific purpose.

Would this act make the protesters angrier and turn up in full force despite the ban? What would happen this Sat? Would there be a bigger turnout instead at Hong Lim?

What is happening?

Kopi Level - Blue, Thank you.

GE – More intriguing news and development




The dominance of the PAP is waning since the last GE and the two disastrous by elections. Joining as a PAP candidate is no guarantee of a free ticket to Parliament today. There is a new sense of fear among the candidates, ministers included, that suay suay it would be their last election, ala George Yeo and his team in Aljunied.

Aljunied GRC, Punggol East and Hougang would be the tiger’s lair that no candidate would want to be in. The fear is obvious and understandable. Any opposition ward is not a nice place for the ruling party to contest. It took nearly 20 years for the PAP to take back Potong Pasir, but more by default rather than by merit. The SPP made a big blunder by fielding the wrong candidate. Otherwise Potong Pasir would still be safely in the hands of the SPP. Having said that, other than those wards won by the WP, Potong Pasir is still a touch and go thing and a strong opposition candidate would have a very high chance of wrestling it back from the PAP.

The news of Chan Chun Sing appearing in Sembawang and Khaw Boon Wan moving to East Coast is sending out a new signal that both Tanjong Pagar and East Coast GRCs might be vulnerable battle fields. How’s that? Chan Chun Sing is the PM heir apparent and moving him away from the PAP’s stronghold in Tanjong Pagar is as good as saying that it is no longer safe. PAP would not want to risk this PM potential in a risky ward. Putting him in Sembawang must be seen as lifting him up to safety.  They would not be a need to move him from Tanjong Pagar if it is safe. The safer the better to ensure that Chan Chun Sing would still be around after the next GE.

Khaw Boon Wan is still seen as a strong minister in the books of the PAP as there are not many such ministers left. Moving him to East Coast is like confirming the rumour that Lim Swee Say is either resigning or East Coast is at high risk of falling. Of course there are several GRCs that are obviously very weak and highly likely to go the opposition way. And there are also ministers that are highly vulnerable in the eyes of the public and have lost their drawing power. Some ministers are clearly a liability and would not be able to hold on to their forts in the next GE.

This explains the other two fear factors of PAP candidates. Many would be very uncomfortable being fielded in constituencies or GRCs that are seen as weak. Given a chance they would not want to go there. And many would also be worried about being fielded in GRCs helmed by very weak or unpopular ministers that have very high possibility of losing. It is now not that comfortable being a PAP candidate when winning is no longer a given.  To be in a winning team they must be in safe constituencies and in the company of reasonably safe ministers.

In fact in opposition wards it is like fighting a losing battle from the start for PAP candidates. And this same lousy feeling can now be applied, to a lesser degree, to being field in weak wards or with weak ministers, like being sent for the slaughter.

The rules of the game have changed and now it is a matter of how many would not make it in the next GE. Wearing white to do battle is not like it was before. The confidence of sure win or 90% chance of winning would not be the case anymore. In most cases, it is like a 50:50 case. And in high risk or opposition wards it is an uphill task with losing a better certainty.

Kopi Level - Blue, Thank you.

Happy Deepavali

It is quite a nice feeling to see this word Deepavali appearing on the streets again. Most Singaporeans have grown up with this word and it is part of our local culture. Last year it disappeared and a new word Tiwali took its place. I also used it here since it was everywhere.

Reading from some of the sites the word Tiwali is used by northern Indians while Deepavali is a southern Indian word or a Tamil word. Our daft Sinkies have this habit of adopting anything that is new without thinking to replace the old. New is good, old is bad. In Mandarin, many words are now pronounced in the way the new migrants used them as if they are cute or better.

Let's hope that in out imbecile way, we would not rub away our origins and things that have been dear to us and a part of us and embrace everything that is new without thinking. Our National Heritage Board is exactly for such a purpose, to preserve and retain our heritage for posterity and not to destroy everything for things that are new.

Happy Deepavali to all.

Kopi Level - Blue. Thank you.

10/21/2014

Bambang Yudhoyono - The humble President and a great man


‘Please forgive me if in the 10 years of my leading this beloved country, I have said/done anything that hasn’t pleased you, the people of Indonesia. In truth, with all our flaws, we wanted to do the best for the people and the country. With love.’ SBY
 

This is the final Twitter message by Bambang Yudhoyono to his 5 million twitter followers. The message speaks for itself, a selfless man full of humility, and a perfect gentleman politician. He did not say a word about his achievements or what he has done for the people and his country. But what he has done is for the people to see and judge him. No amount of gloating could make any difference as the people are able to see for themselves.
 

And prior to his departure, he ensured that the incoming President would take over the baton with the full dignity and grace that a President should deserve. And he took the task upon himself to make all the final arrangement for Joko Widodo to assume his post as the 7th President of Indonesia in style.
 

Yudhoyono is a President that would be honoured by the Indonesian people, more so after he has left his office so magnanimously. He left his office in high notes and ensured that his successor will take over without a hitch despite all the challenges placed in the latter’s path.
 

A great man knows when to depart and be loved by his people forever

PS: When a country is on the rise, it will be blessed with great leaders. Yudhoyono is succeeded by another President in Jokowi with great potential to turn Indonesia into a great nation..

Kopi Level - Green

Animal lover joined PAP


ACRES founder Louis Ng, an activist for the protection of animals, has joined the PAP. There is a one page article in the Today paper devoted to him. This could be a sign that he is going to be a candidate for the next GE. It is good news for the animals that now they could have a real champion in Parliament, with voting rights, to look after their interests. Previously what we have were NMPs to represent such interest groups like arts or special needs groups. But they were appointed members and not elected members of Parliament.
It would be good that some dogs and cats lovers are picked to join the PAP. Then the dogs and cats would also have champions looking after them in Parliament.
 

We have many champions looking after the foreigners and foreign talents. Can there be some champions to look after Singaporean PMETs in Parliament? This pathetic group somehow is not represented and no one seems to want to bother with their plight. At the rate it is going, this group can only think of driving taxis and be security guards while their jobs are taken over by the highly rated foreigners.
 

I really hope there will be some activists who care for the Singaporean PMETs be invited to join the PAP to look after the interests of this group of citizens. Their well being cannot be worse off than animals, dogs and cats. And don’t forget, they can vote too. And they have their family and friends who would show sympathy for them and may vote the same way as them.
 

Any activist or champion of Singaporean PMETs out there standing up for them? Any political party wants to recruit them for a good cause?

Kopi Level - Green

Breaking Laws in Bid for Top World Universities Ranking


Did NTU break Laws to win Top Universities Ranking?

The Great Purge of Singaporean Professors and Lecturers was somehow deemed necessary in order to meet a Key Criteria – “International Staff Ratio” - of bogus World Universities Ranking Standards of Dubious Excellence. The Great Purge took place from 2007-2010.

A little Background History will provide some Context for understanding. NTU Global Ranking had plunged 16 places from 61 in 2006 to 77 in 2008, or 29 places from 48 in 2003, to join the ranks of relative unknown and undistinguished Universities.  A study into the Ranking Criteria easily revealed the actions needed to climb to the “Top” (of what?).  Never mind that these Criteria are bogus and invalid factors having no bearing on teaching or research excellence and learning impact on the students.   

The great Purge was conducted under the pretext of Tenure Evaluation from 2007-2010, during which mostly Singaporean Professors and Lecturers, including many already qualified for Tenure previously, were dismissed.  And when the dusts settled in 2010 after the Purge, NTU proudly announced that Singapore citizens including new citizens formed ONLY 44% of the faculty; 56% of NTU faculty are foreigners from 56 countries worldwide including Singapore PRs. Never mind the fact that most Universities in the World actually have a majority of local Professors.

ALL Singaporeans have the SAME inherent and inalienable rights to Non-Discrimination during employment. The violated rights as enjoyed by Singaporean Professors and Lecturers were found in the following Laws, among others:
  1. The Constitution of Singapore
  2. The Retirement Age Act 2006 [Renamed in 2012]
  3. The NTU (Corporatisation) Act 2006
  4. International Labour Conventions – United Nations
The outcomes of the Tenure 2007-2010 Exercises discriminating and separating tenured academic staff into those retiring at 65 years old and 55 years old respectively was illegal, according to Section 4 and 5 [Invalidity of term of contract of service] of the Retirement Act.  

NTU action in setting differential mandatory retirement age of 55 and 65 years old without any job relevance or distinction for tenured academic staff had discriminated arbitrarily and therefore violated the “equal protection” provision of Article 12 of The Singapore Constitution.  It was again Unlawful, and illegal.

NTU also demanded that those staff desiring to continue working beyond 55 years old, if they had not already been selected for the 65 year old retirement age group, MUST accept a Mandatory 50% pay reduction.  This forced a Hobson’s choice especially for Singaporeans rooted here with families and children attending local schools.   

In doing so, NTU contravened the International Labour Conventions of the United Nations of which Singapore is also a signatory. The 50% Mandatory pay reduction was a clear violation of the Core ILO Convention 100 on Equal Remuneration. No staff, whether Singaporean Professors or foreigner, should have been forced to take a 50% paycut just to be able to report the day after “retirement at 55 years old” to teach the SAME subjects to the SAME Classes of students and perform the SAME duties.  That’s the employment abuse addressed by ILO Convention 100, which was ratified by Singapore, was designed to Prevent.

Kopi Level - Green

Read Full Analysis with References here: