New hope for opposition parties

The performance of the opposition parties was anything but pathetic in the last GE. And the sad thing, they are running out of ideas. So I am here to give them a piece of good advice to win the next GE. They must be innovative, creative and think out of the box, what else can I add to make it sound even more ludicrous?

Ok, the plan is very simple. Prepare to bring in the foreign talents. Go West, go to the land that we admire most, the USA. Speak to Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Bush and a few more of the prominent American leaders. Tell them don’t waste time running for Presidency there. Invite them to Singapore, help them to apply for citizenship. This part sure no problem, sure pass one.

The next step, when they have become citizens, make them join the political parties, WP, SDP, or whatever Ps.  Promise them that at least they will become ministers, and promise them you will double, triple or quadruple their pay. And tell them, no need to work so hard. Singapore is not even a fraction of their smallest state, so the work is not that big. And if they still don’t bite, tell them they will be assisted by ministers of states and if not happy, appoint more ministers for the same ministry. I am sure they will find it attractive to become ministers here.

With such a line up of foreign talents making up of presidents, secretaries of states, can add some of the UK also, the opposition parties will be in the game. They will have the talents and experience to take on the formidable PAP political machine and stand a chance to win and to form the next govt.

There is still plenty of time before the next GE. Go for it. Don’t sleep. Bring in the best from the world to contest in the next GE before they tweaked the system to stop foreign talents to stand for election and become ministers.

Quick, quick, go West to go East. Just imagine a GRC with Obama anchoring it or Hillary Clinton as the anchor woman. No need to be frighten by PAP chut pattern anymore. But don’t bother with Donald Trump. He has too much money and money would not attract him here. And you even have Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, a husband and wife team anchoring a GRC. Sure makan one.

Be creative man! Ma Ing-Jeou is also available. Oh, not to forget Modi also. The opposition camp can be very strong with the strongest candidates from the whole world coming here to represent the Ang Mo Kia, Punggolites, Queenstownians, Woodlanders, Pasirians….It would be so exhilarating to field Obama against Hsien Loong in Ang Mo Kio.

What do you think?

Lee Li Lian made the right choice

She was elected in a by election by the people of Punggol East to serve them. She served them well, with all her heart and soul. She was devoted to the people and wanted to do everything she could for them.

In the GE the people chose to vote for a PAP candidate instead of her. The people decided that they wanted Charles Chong and not Lee Li Lian. She got the message. She was not wanted. Without the people voting for her, what credibility has she to go to parliament? This is democracy, the people’s choice. What credibility does a defeated candidate rejected by the people has to represent them, to put on a show that he/she is the people’s candidate by choice? The people had spoken and it is best for the loser to step aside and let the elected representative to speak for them in Parliament, to represent them in the constituency.

Lee Li Lian is not going to pretend that she is elected by the people and go strutting around as the people’s elected representative. A reject is a reject. A NCMP is a reject by the people. The loser of an election is the reject of the people.

There is still some dignity and self respect in Lee Li Lian to say no to the offer. This does not imply that the other NCMPs do not have dignity or self respect for accepting the NCMP offer. It is part of an inordinary system to tell the rejects that they can still be in Parliament to show that there are opposition voices in Parliament. It is an acceptance of reluctance, to live with a contrived system of democracy when the rejects of the people can still speak in Parliament, like representing them but not representing anyone, cannot go cut ribbons, give scholarships to students using public funds, not invited to grace govt organized functions, no proper place to meet the people, no everything except to be in Parliament to give a semblance of opposition presence. They are just trying to make the best out of a bad situation.

This neither here nor there NCMP system must be abolished when the right time comes. It is an anomaly. It should not be there in the first place. It is not democracy, it is not elected by the people, of the people and for the people.

Lee Li Lian said something so loud that many people missed totally.


Strange things will happen to our property owners

The 99 year lease, be it for private properties or HDB flats, would morph into a snow man when the time comes. When the lease expires or about to expire, someone who owns a 2 rm or 3rm flat with a balance of 50 year or 70 year lease would be richer than one owning a 5 rm flat or executive flat or even a private property with a 5 year lease or lesser. For at the end of the lease, the value of the no life lease property technically becomes 0. The land plus the property would go back to the owner of the land.

What this means is that 99 year leasehold owners are sitting on a time bomb, a vanishing asset. SG100 will see many properties go up in smokes and the rich owners, if their sole asset is the 99 year leasehold property that is slipping from their grips, be it $3m or $1m, will go pooh pooh.

Maybe this is a good thing, when wealth of one generation will not be passed down to the third generation to continue to be wealthy without having to work, just living on the value of a piece of appreciating property. The diminishing lease and value of 99 year leasehold properties will be like a reset every 2 or 3 generation. And that will be a time when 2 or 3 roomers still with a substantial lease remaining, will become richer than those whose lease expired. They would be looking at the new poor neighbours whose private properties or big HDB flats just become no more, homeless.

SG100 will be a time of reckoning, when the poor becomes rich and rich becomes poor. Things will turn upside down.

Good system for the average Singaporeans. Only those with freehold properties and not subject to estate duties will be rich forever and live happily ever after. The rich have it all thought out, the system will protect them and their wealth for generations to come.

GE 2015 – 2 confirmations

Let me revisit this shocking GE that knocked everyone out of his comfort zones. The results were not expected by all quarters. There were shocking disappointments and shocking disbeliefs in the camps of the losers and winners. The results of GE2015 confirmed two broad issues. The first is a near total rejection of the opposition camp. The mucking around of standing for election for the sake of standing for election is not going to be treated kindly by the electorate. Be serious, the electorate is not going to elect one or two persons to parliament to satisfy their egos. The electorate is looking for a serious contender, a real alternative party that can form the next govt should the time comes when the ruling party is no longer wanted. Getting one or two persons to parliament is meaningless. Getting a few people to parliament is useless. Come up with a strong party with a slate of good candidates that can mean business. No more merrymakers and party poopers.

The electorate is not writing off the opposition parties but wanting something that is real and effective, to present a real alternative to the ruling party. I have written about this and calling all serious minded politicians of all camps that want to see Singapore well and to serve the interests of the Singaporeans to get their acts together, discard all their inhibitions and historical baggages and party idiosyncrasies, personal pride and egos, come together on a new slate, with the best men and women available to form a new party or coalition for the next GE.

The second confirmation, if you want to agree with me, is the endorsement of the PAP, what the PAP has been doing and its policies. The GE was in a way saying that they were all or at least 69.8% were in support of the PAP and its policies. So the PAP can continue to do what it thinks is good for the people and country. The PAP can continue with the influx of more immigrants, towards 6.9m or more. The PAP can continue with the foreign talents are best to replace the lazy and no talent citizens. The PMETs can be trained to become taxi drivers, security guards or go overseas to earn their livings. The policies on the CPF, housing, high ministerial pay, high cost of living etc etc are all good and should continue.  The GE 2015 results said the electorate supported the PAP’s policies.

This is the second confirmation. More and more of the same, more scholarships for foreigners, more top jobs for foreigners, the people are happy with what is happening, the people are happy with the ruling govt.  We are heading in the right direction towards more good years till SG100. Just do what you think is right.


Benjamin Lim: A boy died, a father’s cry

I reproduce part of Benjamin’s father’s open letter posted in the TOC here. It broke my heart. I don’t care how many people are happily celebrating their CNY. Benjamin’s family are going through hell now reflecting on the agonizing and harrowing moments poor Benjamin had to go through it, all alone, trembling in fear, in the hands of strangers that have full authority over his freedom and the fate of his life. Let this never happened again to any child in this country.

There are now reports and statements from the relevant authorities that procedure will be subjected to review in regard to police questioning of minors without the presence of an adult. As Benjamin’s father, I felt this is necessary, but it came too late. It is necessary because we pray that the same treatment my son received from the police, will never ever happen again to another child.

The school, in my opinion, should never have handed over my son to five police officers during recess hours without having to wait for the arrival of family members. I hate to think of the amount of fear he had at that moment, how helpless he was then. To be escorted to the car park from the principle’s office, one student in uniform accompanied by a few adults in civilian clothes with police ID cards, how discreet this could be? I felt the embarrassment and the shame my son was subjected to.

As Benjamin’s father, it broke my heart when I later found out that my son was brought to the principle’s office with one bun on his hand; and a drink on the other from the school canteen.

I cannot understand why the teacher; or office staff did not allow my son to at least finish his food at the canteen before s/he brought him to the principle’s office. It was reported that my son was allowed to finish his breakfast before being taken to the police station. But that was after the interview. My boy had his last meal in the school, a cold bun.

Those adults that were with him at that moment, the police officers and staffs of Northview Secondary School, may I take this opportunity to tell you that my son would prefer to have his meal when it is hot.

When Benjamin finally left the police station at 2.50pm, he told his mother and sister that he was not given anything to eat, nothing to drink throughout the 3 or more hours of engagement with police investigators in the police station. At his age, my son gets hungry very fast after one meal. Just a cold bun and a drink, and we cannot be sure if he did finish the bun because he was under pressure then. Benjamin must be feeling hungry, thirsty, throughout the few hours he was with the police investigator. I can imagine the anxiety felt by my son throughout the ordeal.

As Benjamin’s father, it is now my duty to seek justice for my son. We do not know if he has indeed committed the alleged offence of “outrage of modesty” of the 11-year-old girl. Until the coroner hearing, we do not want to speculate whether the offence has indeed taken place.

That said, as parents we cannot forget and we cannot forgive the way my son was treated, from the school to the time he was in police custody. I have this to say to the school authorities. We as parents we entrusted our children to you. You have a duty to ensure that our children are appropriately taken care of, reasonably protected and have their interest in your priority.

To the police, I have to tell you that by sending 5 plainclothes officers to one secondary school in 2 unmarked police vehicles are never discreet. You are there to look for one secondary 3 student. You are not there to apprehend an adult suspect with full ability to escape or capable in single combat.

To Benjamin’s friends and team mates from the National Police Cadet Corps, thank you for the lovely cards and your encouraging words to SGT (NPCC) Benjamin Lim. To his colleagues from McDonald’s, he loved his job and he was grateful to be part of the team. If the branch manager would allow, please give your consent for him to keep his staff’s ID card.

Last but not least, on behalf of the family, I thank everyone for coming forward to show their support to Benjamin. We have created an email account dedicated to Benjamin, benjamin26012016@yahoo.com.sg. Friends and members of public are welcome to write to us.’

It is so painful to read the letter and to imagine what went through the mind of a 14 year old boy, alone, helpless, no one to turn to, gripped in fear, at the mercy of strangers in the name of the law of the country. Benjamin must be hoping that papa or mama was there with him, or at least a caring teacher to hold his hands, to support and comfort him during the harrowing hours in the police station.

This traumatic ordeal is going to haunt many people through the lunar New Year festivities.


Why so much deference to the PAP?

I quote this comment from Low Thia Khiang from the Statestimes Review, ‘“I have seen how the PAP works. And of course the rejection is because we don’t allow political parties to use common areas. You use the PA – the People’s Association, you use grassroots advisers – come on, let’s be honest about that.

…We understand the political reality. We understand that the struggle for functional democracy by a loyal opposition must be fought from within the existing system, under the law legislated by Parliament, even though we disagree with them.”

says Workers’ Party Low Thia Kiang, who lamented about the state of Singapore politics in Parliament today (Jan 29).’

I am not sure if this was the exact words of Low Thia Khiang quoted verbatim. I find the phrase ‘loyal opposition’ so creepy. What is there to be loyal or not loyal to be in the opposition? Opposition parties should only be loyal to Singaporeans, and that includes the PAP.  There is no need to be loyal to a ruling party. What does Low Thia Khiang meant by calling himself ‘loyal opposition’? What if he is not a ‘loyal opposition’? Should the opposition parties by ‘loyal opposition’ ie loyal to the ruling party or loyal to the state?

Is this phrase superfluous, unnecessary, a sign of weakness, meek? An opposition is an opposition and should disagree when it disagrees with the ruling party. The disagreement should be based on the national good, national interest and the people’s interest. It could be just a different way of looking at things and wanting to do things differently, no one knows which is the right way or wrong way except to look at it from the interest of the people as first principle.

So, when oppose just oppose lah. There is no necessity to claim to be ‘loyal opposition’.  What do you think? Tiok boh? No need to be ‘khek kee’ mah, as long as one is not saying or doing anything wrong to the country and citizens.

SGX: What is the elephant?

I will borrow a favorite question from a blogger here, ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ To find out what is an elephant. I have several questions that I would like to ask, not expecting an answer from the SGX, so better address them to MAS and to Heng Swee Kiat better still. Hopefully then people will see the light.

How much does it cost a fund to set up an operation here to trade using super computers? Initial cost of $50m to $100m and an annual overhead of $30m? How much would be the returns for such an operation to be profitable and sustainable? I reckon a return of $50m per annum would be the bottom line. Could such an operation deriving profits from skimming arbitrages and front running on inefficiencies in the market make this kind of money and be worth the high set up and operating cost? Why would computer traders invest so much capital and overheads to make a few dollars? Cannot be right? How many of such computer traders are here with their super computers plugged into the SGX system to feed on live data to trade against the rest of the innocent investors?

Assuming there are 10 such computer operators, could be 20 or more, with each expecting a return of $50m annually to justify the cost of investment, it would mean they would have to scoop up $500m from the market. This cannot be achieved by just arbitraging or front running. What other advantages did the computer traders have over the other traders to be able to rake in millions in guaranteed profits and not reveal to the public? What about information like keying into the system to tell the super computers that someone is shorting? Would the supercomputers be computing on how to take advantage of such information to make profits?

The computers are having price sensitive information, like who buys what or sells what at what price and at what volumes that ordinary investors did not have. Isn’t this insider trading? Isn’t this front running? Aren’t these a violation of SGX’s principle of providing a level playing field for fair trading? Are these acttivities criminal?

Now what would I like to ask Heng Swee Kiat and the MAS?

1.     How many super computers are plugged into the SGX trading system?

2.     What are they doing, what price sensitive information the computer traders would have that other investors did not have?

3.     Are computer traders, with their access to the SGX system and data and trading to profit from such information a violation of SGX trading rules and regulations and a crime?

4.     What are the records of the profits of the computer traders

5.     Would MAS/Heng Swee Kiat ask SGX to explain to the public/investors how the super computers work, the live data they are mining from the SGX system and how are these used to profit from the system? If the computers are not plugged into the SGX system, if the computers are operating independently within the premises of computer traders, they have all the rights to confidentiality of their computers. But the computers are now plugged into the SGX to take advantage of the system, their operations cannot be confidential anymore. There is a need for more transparency to see if there are cheating the system and the investors. The public/investors have all the rights to know what they are up against. It is only fair.

I hope these questions can be brought to the Remisiers Society and to the attention of MAS and Heng Swee Kiat. Make these questions public, get the media to raise it for public awareness and to educate the public on what is going on and whether there is any violation of the SGX’s trading rules and regulation, whether it is criminal to begin with.

Get the elephant out of the system if you want a fair system, a level playing field.