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3/31/2006

ge round 19: flair and individuality

the latest three candidates gave a refreshing turn to the otherwise heard it before or seen it before scenario. first there is this landed property lawyer who wants to return something to society.. alright this tune is what sai siong did not want to hear.. but he was not one who benefitted from government scholarship and trying to repay society.. though he claimed that his father was not rich, well, a landed property in bukit timah cannot be poor either.. presumably he went overseas on his father's scholarship. the best statement from palmer: 'so, i can't see why they say there's no level playing field.' he will probably not be able to see many more things if he can't see the unlevel playing field now. then there is this good looking part time model who could not sleep after being humbled by shanmugam and knew what his calling is, to serve the people.. ain't this script more interesting?.. a young man so awed by a politician that he had to step forward to serve. the third candidate is every inch a pap.. the way she speaks, thinks and talks, gave the impression that she is a pap veteran, fought, grown and contributed to the success story of pap and singapore.. i like the way she put forward her position.. we are good, and if the opposition cannot catch up it's their problem.. there is no need to apologise for being good, or for the opposition to being not good enough.. she is what pap is, frank, honest and straight to the point, no beating around the bush.. we are good and the opposition needs to shape up or be left behind. the election rally is going to be interesting

3/30/2006

the sun rises from the west

i saw in the news last night that singapore power is cutting its rate for 3 months.. never in my life would i believe this is possible. we need to have general elections every year.. then the people will have a better and easier time.

3/29/2006

a half causeway is not a causeway

syed hamid did the sensible thing by asking malaysian politicians not to make comments on the bridge while the negotiation is still on.. this is different from the gagging of non muslims from discussing islam.. the appeal to tone down the heated talks is to help the negotiation process. as for the cutting of the causeway, lets look at it from another angle.. if both parties are owners of a house or bridge, can one party decide unilaterally to cut it into two? a half house or half bridge is neither a house or a bridge.. this is not just breaking down a dividing wall. when a bridge is no longer a bridge, or when a causeway is no longer a causeway, there is a change in its utility.. would the party causing the change and a loss of value to the causeway be made to compensate the other party? would the party who made the bridge or house no longer a house pay for the damage or loss in value? even if the bridge or house is now connected to a new structure, it is no longer the same bridge or house.. the causeway in this case is no longer a causeway but a hybrid, like a liger.

ge round seventeen: a nightmare?

tan sai siong's article in today's paper asks this question - 'whose worst nightmare will it be if the pap makes a clean sweep at the next general election and,...?' in her view it will be the nightmare of chiam and low thia khiang as it will prove that the voters do not appreciate what they have done all these years. in my view it will be the worst nightmare for singaporeans.. the reasons do not need much imagination and i would leave everyone to ponder over the consequences. the gist of sai siong's article is that the singapore system of a one party dominating the political system with a clean sweep is an excellent model that we shall be proud off and can sell to the world that it is an alternative to the western bi polar or multi polar systems. she could not see any flaw in such a virtuous system.. how could anyone see the flaws? i mean how could anyone taking a king's feast everyday see any wrong with having a king's feast everyday? and she added, despite dispelling the need for opposition members, that our system ensures 3 dud ncmps and several appointed nmps as effective voices for opposing views.. they are voices no doubt.. and voices but nothing more. anyway, everyone is entitled to his own opinion of what is the best system for singapore.. matilah would want anarchism.. so sai siong would love to have a 100% one party system.. it is a personal choice.. i am feeling the nightmare creeping up my spine.

3/28/2006

ge round sixteen: carrots, sticks and chaperon

it is all good for sitoh to have choktong to carry him up in parliament, to be seen and to be heard.. the assumption here is that choktong is guaranteed to be in parliament.. i am not doubting that he will not win his grc.. for choktong to win his grc, his chances are hundred times better than tiger woods winning his tournament.. but before the ball goes into the cup, anything can happen.. there are obs that are not part of the game to contend with.. tiger loses last weekend because his heart was with his father. and choktong is encouraging sitoh and eric to speak their minds.. and probably behave a little like opposition candidates.. but just be careful and don't get carried away when they do it.. check with amy first on what to say and what not to say. and the gamemanship of lose i quit is in play again.. first we got steve chia saying he will quit if he loses.. now eric low also say so.. maybe chiam should also tell his voters that this is his last election and if not elected he will not be standing anymore..

3/27/2006

ge round fifteen: lets be gay

after giving up his pmship, choktong is now more relax, and putting on weight as well.. and he is starting to make jokes even in a general election campaign.. that's good for him. his latest is to tell the voters in hougang and potong pasir that eric and sitoh can act as opposition members in parliament if they got voted.. that would give the voters who has nothing to look for in an mp but just want an opposing voice another way of voting for the pap. this reminds me of a gay marriage where one gay will act the part of a woman.. so there is a male and a female.. but would there be a child in the outcome, will there be any fruit? it is a sterile exercise. but what is very telling during the weekend discourse is that no pap candidate, no upgrading.. potong pasir no upgrading after 38 years and will not have any if chiam is reelected.. or maybe tan ku ku.. and hougang can only be beautiful when eric is elected. another comment by charles chong that there would not be many occasions in which pap mps personal convictions differ from the party and if there are then they should resign, is not very good for mps who claimed to have different views of things.. and neither will it make much difference for pap mps to act as opposition mps when the core values are the same.

3/26/2006

tudung compulsory for malaysian policewoman

abdullah badawi confirmed that tudung is compulsory, not optional, for non muslim women in the police force.. and this happens only after a few weeks ago when najib said tudung was not compulsory in schools.. why are the malaysians so obsessed with their women covering up? why is songkok acceptable as an official dress in parliament and official functions? the distinction is that one being a part of the national character and national dress.. tudung is not really a part of the malay culture but a middle east import with religious connotations. it is not only that, compare to the malay scarf that the malay ladies used to wear, one is graceful and feminine, the other is ugly and distasteful.. the tudung is a vestige of the medieval past when women were a sex object of the men, a possession, to be covered up for the private entertainment of the male owner..it is actually quite derogatory to subject women to such a backward practice of male dominance and sexual inequality. in our hot tropical climate, the thick and dark piece of sack is very unhealthy.. couple with the perspiration, it smells.. try following a tudung down a escalator in a hot day.. unless the wearer changes it daily and is not the sweaty type, the 'ba ool' is very unpleasant. wrapping one's head in thick cloth is very unpractical.. even the sikhs are slowly giving up their cultural turban for a short clean cut.. the human specie always adapt things for their betterment, to go forward, not backward. the tudung is not only a step backward in hygiene and practicallity, it is to extend and continue the subjugation of the women by men.. the men takes great pride in imposing their will on their weaker womenfolks.. it is very sad that a modern intellectual like badawi would succumb to such a medieval practice.. and it is sadder to see the modern malay women wearing this badge of inequality with pride. could these women think for themselves and stop allowing the men to dictate what is good for the men and bad for the women?

teachers blogging! should they be doing it?

sunday times lifestyle has a page screaming 'teachers are blogging - should they be doing at all?' the immediate impression is that blogging has the same status as smoking and drinking for the underage, or even teen sex.. why is blogging seen as something so negative? some of the words used to describe bloggings are self explanatory - blogging is a minefield, teachers blogging seen as unprofessional, gripings about personal lives, gossips, flaming, a can of worms, bitching, etc and yes, cursing and swearings.. blogging is a bad influence and has a very bad image, like videoing self performing sex on a handphone.. blogging, including posting in forums should be avoided. but there are teachers who use class blogs very effectively as a channel of communication with the class, students and teachers, disseminating information and exchange notes and views.. blogs and forums are just a convenient tool, like the internet and handphone.. it is the users that bring along the bad image of the tools. look at some of the blogs, especially ypap.. should forums be in that form? are our educated, with tertiary education, that bad, that they think that it is cool or the right way of expressing themselves? the cruder, the more vulgar, the more cool and respectable? isn't education suppose to turn animals into respectable men? sip tea, drink wine, go to concert, fine dinner and fine company? or university education is meant to turn adults into the same mould as those uncles and aunties in the kopitiams? screaming vulgarities and spitting and littering everywhere? why are there people who choose to pay hundreds of thousands to be in exclusive clubs? one thing for sure, a member cannot be a misfit in such surroundings.. there will be a bit of decorum and respectability, social grace and good manners. blogs and forums too can be a cool place in all the right notes and colours. i need decent bloggers and forumers to help me develop www.redbeanforum.com into a decent and cool place for a chat.

3/25/2006

we need a decent forum

why must an uncontrolled forum ended up in a mess? i have seen many forums and found that everyone eventually became a place for forumers to hurl expletives at each other.. profanity seems to be the end result even with highly educated and knowledgeable people. the only forum where forumers chat without ending in a vulgar and personal combat will be those that are controlled.. the channelnewsasia forum is one of such.. and it has quite a good bunch of forumers there, all implicitly accepting the control and living with it.. and they chose for their posts to be vetted and clear by the moderators. this simply proves that a totally unrestrained forum is not the cup of tea for everyone.. and also, a totally free and unrestrained forum cannot exist.. the natural tendency is that it will either turn bad or need to be controlled to remain decent. i am experimenting here to have a forum without rules and that freedom of speech can exist with people chatting together, and not being abused or attacked wildly by other forumers. can such a thing be a reality? can anarchy exist or that it is an idealistic dream? i need all forumers who cherish their freedom of expression to support me in this quest.. to be able to post in a forum that does not need control or to approve postings. is this such a difficult thing to do? all i am asking is a little self restrain by not attacking another person, and not to use expletives and think it is cool.. and not to avoid it and think that it is decent not to do so.. just be natural and expressive and let others be comfortable while chatting with you. lets be a friendly community, disagree and still be on good terms. can there be a safe haven for freedom of expression? i want redbeanforum to be one such place.

bear not allowed on the street

a guy dressed up in a bear suit with a placard saying 'god save the bear' was hauled away. i can't believe that a bear would require the attention of our police and be hauled away.. is a bear as dangerous as the white elephants in buangkok or school girls selling white elephant t shirts? is this what irene ng meant when she said, 'all singaporeans are free to voice their opinions and form associations and, indeed, are encouraged to engage actively in politics if they feel so inclined..' what she meant actually is - no white elephants or bears or t shirts, but... for singaporeans to 'put forward his suggestions, and get either the pap or opposition politicians to raise them in parliament, or contest elections...' irene was responding to a writer, david cai, who claimed that the 'image problem' of singapore is due the ruling party's "hardline management of political dissent," that speaking out against the govt is like treading on a minefield - one miscalculated step and one would be like jbj or chee soon juan. apparently the freedom of expression, or the way freedom of expression can be conducted, are perceived differently. irene could actually point to the ypap forum and said singapore has the freeist forum in the world.. but a martyn see will be a problem.

3/24/2006

an honest survey in malaysia

an independent merdeka centre for opinion research survey found negative stereotyping of race was deeply entrenched.. among the findings were: malays were lazy, chinese were greedy and indians cannot be trusted. reading the other way round, malays were not greedy and can be trusted.. chinese were not lazy and can also be trusted.. indians were not lazy and also not greedy.. mind you, this is an honest survey.. i am not sure how much money spent and how much effort put in to produce such an enlightening survey and reports that the little kids knew all the time. the survey also found that the policies of favouring malays have resulted in envy and resentment.. thanks for the survey.. otherwise nobody will know that there are envy and resentment.. but then the honest survey describes the malay as honest, not greedy but lazy.. and if there is no malay favouring policies, then the malays will be cheated, and will be poor as they are not greedy and also lazy.. the survey actually confirms that the malays must be helped by govt policies forever.

ge round fourteen

pap introduces 3 new candidates.. very impressive young people with very strong credentials..31 year old zaqy appeared to be someone the malay community can look forward to for something big.. he comes out as a very confident young professional.. the new breed of malay professionals that the country is producing. wee kiat also came out very well and so did denise, just a little ah so. let's hope the opposition parties could introduce similar calibre candidates.. going by the trend it is unlikely as the cream will be creamed off by the pap.. or those who consider themselves good enough would rather join the winning bandwagon. professional qualifications and a squeaky clean image are what pap candidates will have.. first impression is always very good. and they repeated what sai siong did not want to hear.. that they want to contribute to society.. now sai siong is being unfair to want to hear something different when the mould is the same.. you will only see the flair of wildness or maverick in the opposition parties.. like yaw shin leong having a heated argument with his party chief low thia khiang.. you cannot possibly have such a thing happening in the pap right? the pecking order is so clear cut.. the best are at the top.. and authority has to be respected.

3/23/2006

human husbandry

singapore is strategically positioned to be a leading player in the human husbandry industry.. we have everything that is needed to have a flying start.. the infrastructure, the high tech laboratories, the state of the art equipment, the molecular scientists and engineers, research scientists, and an excellent base of talents to provide the semen. we have foreign talents, either from europe, india or china.. we have local talents, all straight A materials.. after farming them, there is a ready market in some neighbouring countries that did not have too many of such talents.. they want engineers, scientists, mathematicians, civil servants, scholars, and even politicians, just name them and we have the stocks.. all pedigree material. i think this is going to be the industry of the future.. and many countries would want to secure the best talents for their future.. actually singapore can also harvest these for its own needs and can be self sufficient in the long run for talents.. then no need to depend on import foreign talents : )

a new containment strategy

in the days of the cold war, the americans were relatively able to contain the soviet union and china for a while.. and in that effort they built a perimeter wall consisting of nato, cento and seato countries.. these include european, middle eastern and south east asian countries, and also taiwan, south korea and japan. it was a fairly tight ring of allies that prevented the ussr and china from operating outside of their national boundaries.. but eventually it also failed.. with the collapse of south vietnam, it was all over. and now a new containment strategy is developed just to contain a rising china.. its members will be nato, nothing left of cento or seato, but possibly india and indonesia and a reluctant australia.. then taiwan and japan but no south korea, who is still fuming mad with the americans for not allowing them to reunite with their northern brothers. now what do we have of this new chain of allies? no, there is no hole in the containment ring, but huge gaps of empty space.. so much of a containment strategy from a brilliant team headed by a brilliant anti communist ideologist in the name of rice and a brilliant president in bush.. and they believe it will succeed in containing china.. they still believe the asians are still as stupid as when they were colonies of western powers to be manipulated to serve big power interests. give it another couple of decades the ring will expand further. by then it will be japan, mexico, england and iceland.. this will be a tighter loop that will effectively keep the americans very safe inside the ring : )

ge: round thirteen..competition is good

this is the new slogan of the opposition parties.. chiam has sang this song and low thia khiang is also singing the same song.. the opposition wards are no longer neglected like in the past.. there could be a rethink on the tactic of not giving the opposition wards preferential services like upgradings.. to give opposition wards the cold shoulder.. this could be a thing of the past.. a misjudgement that led to the entrenchment in the thoughts of opposition ward residents that they were being punished.. this probably did not go down well and the stick has been withdrawn and carrots offered.. the opposition mps are now saying it is beneficial to be in the opposition wards, being served by two mps, a de jure mp and a de facto mp.. and better still, both trying to outdo each other.. if one provides sharksfin soup, the other will counter with abalone porrridge.. you cannot have anything better.. we can now tell the world that singapore mps feted their voters with gourmet food. and during the election, the opposition voters will not only be wooed by two candidates, but by senior ministers, prime ministers and very very senior ministers.. the children of the kept mistress has turned into children of a favoured concubine. :wink: if the opposition keeps on singing this song, will the pap retreat back to their previous step mother tactics?

3/22/2006

china stands up to the number 1 rogue nation

china has blasted the usa for their reports and irresponsible comments about china becoming a negative force.. it is high time china and other nations stand up to this rogue nation for thinking that it has the right to call other countries names and branding others as rogue nations.. this is the american strategy of name calling.. and after some time people forgot why and subconsciously think that it is true.. the west has used this tactic so successfully over the years that most asians and english educated asians believe everything they said.. one specific example is a blogger in soc.cul.com screaming that the chinese stole the land in malaysia from the malays when the fact is that the british stole everything by colonising malaysia, and put the blame on the chinese. but idiotic people like that forumer have forgotten who actually raped malaysia and made them and their sultans british subjects. the world needs a country to stand up to the bullying by the americans.. and china together with russia and other asian countries should do it.. they will have a lot of supporters for calling the number one rogue nation what it is.. so far the americans have got away with murders as no country or the western media would want to tell the truth.. the world must hear the truth.

crooked bridge and kampung boys

temperature is rising over the crooked bridge.. and this kampung mp from sabah even said he is warning george yeo for interfering in malaysia's domestic affair.. how idiotic could he be? does he know that singapore does not see the need for a bridge? can he understand that? and if the malaysian wants singapore to cough out $500 mil to build a bridge, then it becomes a business transaction.. and if singapore is going to pay that kind of money, then it must get something in return.. negotiating to buy sand for malaysia or using malaysian airspace is interfering with malaysian affairs? he better stick to running his plantation or his kampung.. kampung boys must not try to act smart and talk about international relations and commerce when they have not a clue what they were talking about. if negotiating for the construction of a full bridge is interfering in malaysia's internal affair, then singapore better stop talking to the malaysians and let them build the crooked bridge.. but before they cut the causeway and the water pipes, let's talk or go to the international court.

new gag order in malaysia

non muslims were told by the minister in pmo office, mohd nazri, that they should not talk about islam and muslim matters.. what if islam and muslim matters violated the rights of the non muslims? shut up as well? what if islamic laws and way of life are imposed on the non muslims? shut up as well? in any issues, whether religion or politics or race, when there is a gag order, there is something smelly.. the harder the order comes down, the more the people must beware.. truth shall not be afraid to be aired.. goodness has nothing to hide. i am sure the non muslims must be celebrating their latest new found status.. being less equal by another level.. and they will keep quiet just like the other issues affecting their livelihood and way of life, their jobs etc. they have grown to accept that they are second class citizens and be quietly happy about it.. they are so blessed.

3/21/2006

ge round twelve

the high stakes involved in pledging the reputation of choktong to win back potong pasir and hougang is seen as a brilliant strategy.. a well thought out plan, to win all.. and the pap is not apologising for winning all 84 seats. the assumption here is that people will vote for choktong in potong pasir and hougang, and the pap candidates of sitoh and eric are inconsequential.. so it is a contest between choktong pitting against low thia khiang and chiam see tong.. would the electorate really vote for a proxy, or someone who is not going to represent them in parliament? that is quite a strange logic.. anyway it is all a great strategy. if pap win a clean sweep, all 84 seats, personally i think that is bad, very bad for the country.. it would mean a unanimous endorsement of all the govt policies. we have seen something like 6 or 7 billion dollars being dished out during this period, as handouts and upgrading programmes. gosh, that is helluva lot of money.. didn't we hear bad times and the need to increase this and that fees? if all these monies were from profits overseas and not from profits made from the people, higher fares, fee etc then there will be a compelling case to support a clean sweep for the pap.

3/20/2006

ge: round eleven

the stakes get higher.. choktong is now putting his weight behind two grcs and also to help eric and seetoh to win back hougang and potong pasir.. fortunately he did not commit to resign if he did not achieve what he sets out to do. unlike choktong, steve chia said he will quit politics if he did not win.. what happens if all politicians adopt the same approach, quit if lose? we would not have many politicians left. maybe i will volunteer when all quits and no one else is left standing : )

crooked bridge: how easy to raise tension

what can really happen if things are allowed to go wrong? no agreement after several rounds of negotiation on the bridge.. malaysia continues to build the bridge and went ahead with the u shape crooked bridge, and its end is reaching the causeway. increasing noises to cut causeway to join up with the bridge. tension rises. strong words were said. malaysia awarded contract to cut causeway.. singapore side protests and bring matter to the international court. malaysia ignores and claims that they are cutting causeway inside their territory.. it is their right to do what they want to their part of the causeway. contractors sighted at the causeway. singapore protested strongly.. more heated words on what actions singapore will take to defend the causeway. contractors seen cutting the causeway.. singapore send police to chase away contractors. contractors reappear with police protection and continue to work.. singapore send soldiers to the causeway.. tension builds up. malaysia also sends troops to the causeway.. contractors continue to work and warning shots were fired. both sides mobilised troops and state of emergency declared. could all these happen? a potential for war, all because of a crooked bridge to benefit a few people.. has anyone asked how much it will cost the commuters once the bridge is operational? $10 ringgit on the malaysian side and $5 on the singapore side per trip?

3/19/2006

the english media's world view

reading any english newspaper, locally or overseas, one cannot run away from the fact that all the reportings, or the majority of the reportings on international issues involving the superpowers, were written by europeans and americans.. not that there were no asian writers or asian views.. but either these views were not considered worthy, or they were consciously not reported to avoid giving them an airing.. another reason is that the english media, including many asian local english media, are more comfortable with views articulated in english by westerners.. mentally most of them are western biased as many have been bred in a western intellectual environment. then there is also the reason of paying to be published, for certain official views to be heard.. and you need a rich agency to do that. so what happens in the english media world today is the same song being sang by the same group of writers, journalists, reporters and editors.. some editors just borrow or buy articles that are readily available and for convenience. but they would not borrow or buy articles from other asian news agencies.. the favourites are of course nyt, washington post, reuters, afp, and all the broadcasters. and the english reading world is led to believe that the usa is the ultimate model and the paragon of goodness. it can never do wrong and nothing it does is wrong.. or simply no western writers or news generator would want to talk negative things about it.. it is a one way process, a whole propaganda machinery in support of the american empire. there were a few voices in the wilderness that were heard once a while.. but not often enough, and not many to present a fairer and more balance treatment of the evils of empires.. how could it be fair and balance when many of the writers were paid just to do what they are doing.

the crooked bridge can be a flash point

now najib and a johore mp shahrir samad were heard saying that they would do it their way and the causeway must go.. this is a very serious statement.. cutting the causeway as a unilateral move is a very hostile act as it would also affect the water supply. what could happen is that after a year or two of negotiation and when no agreement is reached, the malaysian may just send in their contractors and start hacking at the causeway.. now what? when is a trigger point reached when actions take precedence over negotiation and a drastic act such as the cutting of the causeway is no longer tolerable? what should the singapore govt do? by then singapore cannot keep trying to contact kl and asking for more talks while the contractors keep hacking at the causeway.. it would not take more than a day when the causeway is cut. it is very important that an understanding be reached at this point for both sides to agree that nothing shall be done to the causeway without the agreement of both parties.. and should it need be, go to an international court to settle the issue.. and that a unilateral act of cutting the causeway is a hostile act and never to be attempted. let's hope no one is push to this point to attempt such a rash act.

3/18/2006

workfare and neglected housewives (cont)

there was an official reply from the ministry to the issue of neglected housewives in the workfare bonus scheme.. and the reply was standard and contributed to nothing new.. it is as good as 'we heard you, we know you are grumbling.. this is what has been decided and nothing can be done.' the explanation that housewives will get all the other top ups is like telling every citizen that they will get their top ups.. but it fails or refuse to deal with the issue of workfare bonus and the inequality of it.. neither does it want to talk about it.. the real issue is why are those men, who work half heartedly in odd jobs or part time jobs, be considered working and productive while full time housewives were not considered productive or interested in becoming economically independent and not relying on the charity of family or state.. and why are these men considered more worthy of a workfare bonus and not the housewives whose full time commitment and chores are more noble and with a real economic value? if no workfare bonus is declared for the menfolk, then there is no issue.. now there is a demeaning of the contribution of housewives to the economy.. and a kind of sneering that housewives are not worthy or less worthy than men who contributed half heartedly to the economy. what could have happened is that during the preliminary process of forumulating the workfare bonus, the whole issue of housewives was either forgotten or written off.. if it is the latter, and now with the outcry from many quarters, they cannot simply brush it aside and refuse to acknowledge a bad judgement on their part. if it is a case of being overlooked, there is still time to make some corrective recommendations to lessen the impact on a very angry housewife workforce.. unless it is considered that there is no need for damage control. all viewers are invited to www.redbeanforum.com to post their views.

usa declares itself as the number 1 imperial power

the official release of the report on american national security strategy of the bush administration marks the beginning of a hardline policy towards china.. the stage for confrontation has been set...by the americans. what the policies amounted to are as follows: 1. it is the right of the americans to meddle in the national affairs of another country, ie interference in a nation's domestic affair. 2. it is the right of the americans to strike first at any nation if, in its own thinking and definition, decided that the other nation is hostile to the americans. 3. it is the right of the americans to maintain its world dominance by maintaining the largest armed cache, and its sole right to spend as much as it wants on its military.. and no country can challenge that or allow to spend a little fraction more than what they are currently spending without the approval of the americans.. otherwise these countries must explain to the satisfaction of the americans what they are spending on, to divlulge all their military expenses to the americans. (what a joke.) 4. that the usa is the number imperial power and it shall rule the world. all viewers are invited to my forum, www.redbeanforum.com to post your views.

3/17/2006

the number 1 rogue nation

what are the conditions that the world shall ascribe to the world's number 1 rogue nation? bullying small nations, readiness to use force to invade another country, amassing weapons of mass destruction, sending out their military forces to engage in wars all over the world..etc which country fits these descriptions best? iran, north korea? no, they have none of the above. only the usa fits the description like a glove. and today, the usa has declared that it will use pre emptive strike to hit any country it considers a threat. how hostile and belligerent can a country be when its policy is to strike first at its will? shall all the peace loving countries of the world also adopt such a policy? strike first if it so describes another country as a threat to them? how long can the usa fool the world by claiming itself to be the most peace loving nation? it is anything but the number 1 rogue nation of the world.

internet, levelling the field

for once, the internet has levelled the field in the generation of ideas, views and opinions.. till today, the media has been monopolising the thoughts of man.. they dictate what should be published, what should be said, who can say and when to allow it to be said. the public has virtually no say in what is to be printed in the press. whatever letters or views allowed to be printed are approved by the editors, after having been vetted and seen as acceptable to be printed.. the misconception that the press is free is best highlighted by their control and choice of the information in them. then there are the journalists, reporters, columnists, editors who run roughshod over other people using the media, knowing that others will not have access to them. they can tell anyone off knowing that there is no right of reply unless they permit it. they talk down to the masses. and they know very well that their rubbish views will be rubbished when the people is given a chance to rubbish them. maybe that is the reason why they stay clear from cyberspace.. for in cyberspace, if they dare to venture, they will be torn to pieces if they utter nonsense.. no forumer will give them a chance to have a monologue, appearing very clever and witty.. there will be instantaneous replies and corrections or rebuttals. no longer can people use the press to lambast others and get away with it thinking that others have no means to throw it back at them. the internet has to an extent level the playing field a little. the media view is still the monopoly of the media mafia who would only hide in the comfort of their turf. where are the intelligentsia of the media to be found wandering in blogosphere? where have the arrogance of righteousness and smugness gone? fear of being rebutted?

3/16/2006

ge: round ten

the experienced and knowledgeable mp irene ng shot at sylvia lim for having no clear vision when entering the political arena.. or to be exact, her words are 'i'm not sure about her stand on issues.' she said sylvia lim's position was only to act as a check against the govt.. that did not count as a vision.. on the other hand she(irene) had a great vision.. she wanted more women to be in politics. irene lim's reply was that she stood for everything in the wp's manifesto.. maybe she should invite irene to read the wp manifesto to understand what sylvia stands for. actually i only read a few lines of the wp manifesto.. and without reading the whole manifesto, i also think sylvia lim did not have any vision.. sorry sylvia, it is my fault for not reading the wp manifesto and not knowing what you stood for.. i will make it a point to read your manifesto before saying that you have no vision.

god save the queen

some section of the population are in high spirits, all gearing up to sing 'god save the queen.' they might even raise a union jack in their compound.. is it old loyalty, nostalgia or acknowledging the good times of the colonial days? we shall welcome the majesty, the queen of england, and give her the courtesy accorded to a head of state.. it is only the correct and proper thing to do. curtsy, oh yes. the girls must cutsy even if they did not know what cutsy means.. just like kowtow did not mean anything to the europeans when they first set foot in cathay. it is a good time to revel and reminisce the yesteryears, and sing god save the queen with gusto.. the colonial mentality of asians is so cute.. i really love asians if i were an european.. they have such a great sense of humility:lol:

3/15/2006

be rewarded for everything you do

this is actually an advert by hsbc on the front page of today paper.. what is interesting is that a big article on teachers leaving the service has this headline 'look beyond pay and career issues.' the article by victor ng beng li has an equally interesting starting paragraph..'the moe is planning to pay consultants good money to review teachers' pay and career structures...those who choose to leave or avoid the teaching profession are influenced not only by lacklustre remuneration or unpromising career prospects.' is victor suggesting that the good money should go to the teachers instead? but then again the headline said teachers should look beyond pay.. that explains it.. no need to pay teachers more.. just pay the consultants will solve the problem. unfortunately the teaching service is not noted for corruption. otherwise that would be a good reason to pay them more.. the only reason for paying them more now is to pay them enough not to leave. victor then provided 9 areas for the moe to look into.. i agree with doing away with assessments of senior teachers annually. i also agree with the quota of 5% D graders.. how could this be introduced in the first place? by having this quota, 5% of teachers, no matter how good, are already condemned before the assessment starts. but i think it is a bit exaggerated to suggest that it is too much of a chore for teachers to collect fees, forms, donation money etc.. the donation money part should be seen as an education in its own right. then the presumption that the teaching service is a demanding and stressful profession which implies that other professions are not demanding and stressful, is not really a good argument. quite a confusing article.. a simple solution to the problem, perhaps, tongue in cheek, is to create a myth that teachers too can be corrupt.. i say creating a myth, so teachers don't be angry with me.. that would provide a very good reason to jack up the salary of teachers to a level where they will beg to stay in the service. then there will be no problem of stress, unattractive career prospect, no prestige or self esteem etc.

3/14/2006

the andrew kuan sorry

derrick paulo reported in the today paper, 'it all began when someone leaked a story to the media that mr andrew kuan had been 'ousted' from his condominium's management council in may 2001.' all because andrew kuan offered himself as a presidential candidate. and the story ended with andrew kuan saying sorry, paying damages, and all the negative things being said about him. that is the price andrew kuan paid for wanting to stand for public office. 'mr chia, a partner with khattar wong and a people's action party member, dismissed any notion that his actions were politically motivated.. "its absolutely nothing to do with politics. it's my reputation."' this is a great victory for justice, for telling the truth.. and andrew kuan apologised unreservedly to chia for the embarrassment and distress the statements had caused him. it is also a lesson for people with skeletons in their cupboard not to offer themselves for political office. our political system is for squeaky clean people.. absolutely no blemishes.

cyberspace forumers all sound and fury

tan sai siong took a dig at forumers in blogosphere for so much sound and fury but hiding behind a pseudonym or remaining anonymous.. she lambasted all the forumers for not taking their cries to the real stage, to stand for election.. she presumed that forumers all are eager to stand. actually any forumer here would be able to write a stronger piece to hit out at cyberspace forumers.. i would be able to write a more interesting and teasing piece in the same vein.. it is so easy to take pot shots at forumers and even getting frontpage coverage in the local media. but for forumers to lash out at the establishment is a different thing.. forumers, like i say, also have a voice now to tell their stories.. but this is a naked voice.. unprotected voice.. and forumers hitting out unjustifiably better be very careful.. for you do not know when the wall will come crumbling down. no forumers can expect any coverage from the media for being too gungho.. their posts will simply be ignored.. maybe i shall write a piece to ridicule cyberspace forumers.. in that way it will have a chance to be on print. forumers must always understand that they are on their own.. whatever they post, they are soley responsible.. and alone, when ask to face the music. three cheers to sai siong for such an enlightened piece. or maybe she was trying to encourage cyberspace forumers to step forward, to get into the ring.. a woman's way of saying things.

3/13/2006

local talents can do well

look at mardan mamat! look at him! how much did we as a nation supported him financially to this big success? i think panwest paid him more. thank you panwest. this is the homegrown talent that we should be supporting and put our money in. even if mardan be as big as vijay, wherever he goes, he will call himself singaporean. those bought talents, unless they are from countries with traditional and cultural links with us, many will throw away our passports once they move out. an african will go back to call himself african again. we need to save all the precious money to nurture our own talents and in sports where we stand a chance of winning. football and athletics are two sports that we can forget about. we are physically not build to compete internationally in these sports. spend some money for the sports, but don't put too much hope in them. the football and footballers shall be an industry on its own, a commercial enterprise and supported by the money it can generate. let them have their fun. but be more careful on spending taxpayer's money on this sport.

3/11/2006

tudungs not compulsory in malaysian schools

hishamuddin, the malaysian education minister, a potential pm, said muslim girls should not be forced to wear tudungs in schools. 'according to education ministry rules and regulations, it is very clear there is no compulsion for students to wear tudung.' in the same article reported in the straits times, marina mahathir even said that 'muslim women here are only going backwards...only in malaysia are muslim women regressing...it is all politics. there's a kind of race to see who is more islamic. it is unfortunate because the more conservative voice has become louder while the progressive ones find it harder to speak. it's scary.' it is scary indeed. a fatwah might be issued against her, just like against muslim madonna for stripping her veil to reveil her bikini. the threat against conservative muslim is very serious. what perhaps can be done is for the muslim leaders to form a body to outlaw extreme groups as non muslim or anti muslim. this will turn the table and allow them to point their fingers instead of being pointed at.

3/10/2006

education in transformation

we are seeing rapid changes in the way we educate our children. in fact the change process had started at least a decade or two ago. the progressive changes accumulated over the years and the recent bout of changes have resulted in a transformation of the whole education system and process. we have changed the quality of the teachers. we have changed the infrastructure/equipment of the schools. and we have changed the teaching content as well. our kindergarten children are learning things the children of the past were learning in primary schools. our primary schools are teaching things that we used to teach secondary schools. and secondary school students are now being taught things that polytechnics students are learning. and jc students are doing things that university students are doing. and in certain schools, when L1R5 would be more than sufficient, students were made to take not 8 subjects, but 10, and some 12 or 13 subjects. and we ask ourselves why are our students so stressed out. are we killing our children without knowing it? but one fundamental mindset has not been changed. we still stick to the belief that at 16, students must sit for o level and 18, for a level. with the amount of information and knowledge being taught, why can't we shave off one or two years off the education system for the very bright students instead. why do 10 or 12 subjects for o level and remain at o level when they could do higher level subjects with the extra time and effort? the extras that the students put in should be translated into something more tangible. the bright students should do their primary/secondary education in 10 instead of twelve years and proceed to university at 16. this could compensate the time loss for ns. we are spending too long, too many years, educating our children. those who can take a shorter route should be allowed to.

when prs are locals or de facto citizens

with prs being regarded or treated like singaporeans, and even treasured more, would the govt consider allowing singaporeans to opt to become prs? as the difference in the two categories is mainly an issue of how much obligations and liabilities one has towards the country, there will be singaporeans who would readily opt to become prs than citizens. why be a citizen when all the privileges are given to the prs and still be burdened and be subjected to all the laws and restrictions of a citizen? sigh....

3/09/2006

55% of new jobs went to singaporeans! really?

this is the headline that screams out of the today paper. then below it, a sub headline states 'more than 55% of th 110,800 jobs last year went to citizens and prs, says minister.' so, how many actually went to singaporeans? how many of the 55% went to singaporeans? are prs singaporeans? can singaporeans be angry about being treated less favourably than prs? can singaporeans feel that they are second class citizens in their home land? when prs, without the responsibilities and obligations are regarded in every way, like a citizen?

3/08/2006

soft launch of redbeanforum

hi everyone, you are all welcome to register at my new setup 'redbeanforum' at www.redbeanforum.com or using the link provided at my link column. this blog is a bit difficult to negotiate and to view threads. i hope you will find the forum easier to use. it is using the same programme as the ypap forum, so you will all be very familiar with it. i have transferred about 70 percent of the posts from here over and you will initially see all the postings as if posted by redbean. your user names are all in bold inside the threads. once you start to post in the forum it will quickly replace the redbean username in the forum index. also, you are now free to initiate your own topics. for the time being i have only three forums, singapore current affairs, world affairs and a stock forum. for the latter i will give my input in terms of trading methodologies, rumours and analyst recommendations. i will also provide links to broking house websites. please feel free to go there. this blog will continue as it is though on a lower key. see you there guys and gals.

boon wan the tireless worker

boon wan is amazing not so much in his being a tireless worker. but more in his relentless pursuit to improve the medical services and reducing cost. as a minister, he sets the goals, demanding the civil servants to find the solutions. and that is what a politician should be. tell the administrators what you want that is good for the people. not the other way round. many politicians ended up as administrators and behave like one. some ended up like a businessman running a business and only think about profits. they either allow the business or the administrators to set the goals for them. and they then went about defending the business and the administrators. that is a big failure as a politician, a political leader who is there to serve the people who voted for him. the other point about boon wan is his sincerity and setting himself as an example. he demands or calls for the private hospitals to be transparent in their billings. but before doing that, he makes sure that the hospitals under his charge are transparent first. he will look ridiculous if he demands for transparency of private hospitals but keeping his own public hospitals opague. kudos to boon wan. hey i am praising a minister.

3/07/2006

education: listen, ask, think and speak

the formal school education can be broken down into 4 phases. the first is when the children are absorbing knowledge which requires them to listen a lot. with a little knowledge, with their curiosity stirred, they will start to ask questions. both phases are complementary in acquiring and building up knowledge and information. the next phase is processing, the thinking phase. children at high school level are expected to start to think for themselves, think about what they have been taught and form their ideas and find their own truths. the final phase is when they are expected to stand up and take their positions about things, issues etc. this is the maturing phase when they must confidently say this is what i think, what i think is right, what i want things to be. transfer these four phases into parliament, and we at best are only seeing the second phase in play. parliament is still in an infant, only asking questions with very little input, very little thinking and very few taking a stand to say their piece. only rarely would an mp stand up and say this is not right, not good for the people. this is what should be done, what the people want, what is good for the people. the history of parliament is 40 years. and we are not seeing any sign of a breaking away from this asking mode. mps think that they have executed their duties if they ask questions. and they are very happy with that. when will mps take a stand for their views on things? or is this the weakness of having mps from only the ruling party who are not expected to take different stand, and thus unable to speak up for the people? and unfortunately, opposition parties too think that their role is just to ask question. they have learnt the wrong thing i suppose. shouldn't they be speaking up and say this is what we think the people want or is good for the people?

ge round 9: opposition muted

we have heard several rounds of salvos from the pap but practically nothing from the opposition. they could have been very busy mapping out their strategies and the avoidance of a 3 corner fight. there is also this view that they are keeping their cards close to their chest, like what steve chia said. what we hope is that when they start firing, they would not resort to any wild and unfair allegations. let the pap set the tone. so far the pap are banging on their comparative advantage of being the incumbent, the ruling party and with their huge resources to comb the ground. and they are trying to pin the image of a opposition that appears only during election. the second point about sincerity of the opposition is very subjective and can also be asked in their direction. we will have to wait to see how the opposition take their stand.

3/06/2006

attacking thaksin developing into attacking singapore

the strongest anti singapore attack came from a prof phuwado songprasert of kasetsart university. he led the attack on singapore/temasek's investments in thailand as if singapore is out to manipulate thai politics, and the politics of asean. such is the possibility of how some groups of anti singapore activists in other countries could do to achieve their private agenda. like it or not, there are always such elements who for whatever reasons, will attack singapore given an opportunity. we have friends, but also enemies hiding in little corners. phuwado even asserted that singaporean investors were disliked in malaysia and indonesia, trying to inflame more hatred towards singaporeans as if it is a norm. if the demonstration does not end swiftly, there is always a high probability that singapore will end up as a dart board. and all the goodwill developed will go to waste and we have to start all over again. we have counted on other countries that could be riled by the slightest reasons, but not thailand. a land of smiles and lesser historical baggages. and so far no one in thailand is trying to douse this flame and incense. would all these turn into a popular backlash against singapore, with demonstrators stoning or storming our embassy and investments? the potential for volatility is always there, and waiting to be fanned into a firestorm.

chua lee hoong, chua mui hoong, related?

i quoted chua lee hoong a few days back on the dignity of politics in the past. today chua mui hoong is questioning the cynicism in the redrawing of political boundaries. often i must say that i mistook one from the other. both political editors in the straits times. and both are quite similar in their perceptions and analysis of local politics. are they sisters, or twins?

warren buffett punching again

the excesses of the american corporate world, which is widely repeated here, is getting another punch from warren buffett. the craziness in the pay to ceos has gone on for too long. it is daylight robbery against the interest of shareholders. ceos are paying themselves ridiculous salaries without producing the results. and the rationale is that other ceos are getting them, so they shall have it too. many public companies would have been profitable or have bigger profits if not because of the ethereal compensation packages paid to ceos. so far, buffett has been the lone voice in the wilderness. no one is going to hear him as everyone is having a party and enjoying it. and there are many companies that made hefty losses of several hundred millions over the years. but all it needs is for one year to make a 20 or 30 million profits and the ceos will be asking for blood, demanding big bonuses and bonus shares and increments. and the meagre profit multiply over 10 years may not even recover the losses incurred earlier. the shareholders must have a bigger voice to check the excesses of corporate ceos. and not be duped repeatedly, and be robbed of the value of their shares.

braless students: discipline or outrage of modesty?

STUDENTS of a secondary school in Singapore, who were recently found to be wearing coloured bras to school, were forced to go braless, reported China Press. According to the daily, the school only allowed students to wear white, beige and light grey bras. The daily said most of the affected students were caught wearing coloured bras during a Physical Education class They were forced to remove the bras in the bathroom, which were then confiscated. Describing the action as “too much”, the daily quoted the students as saying they were mortified, more so as male teachers were present. the teachers, the honoured profession of people trusted with the education and care of our young, are highly regarded and are expected to exercise good judgement and wisdom in the handling of children. maintaining school discipline is expected and welcomed by parents. but when doing so, and crossing the ob markers, stripping adolescents of their bras, making them parading around braless, is unbecoming. it shows a total lack of propriety, poor judgement, callous and behaviour that is disgusting. a braless lass walking around, showing whatever beneath the blouse, is like a cat 3 movie in life. can these teachers, obviously a whole bunch of them, be disciplined, for outraging the modesty of their school girls? it is unthinkable that educators can resort to such stupid acts of discipline.

ge: round 8. potshots and snide remarks

the pap has taken the first shot at the opposition. 'they were not around but suddenly appeared all over the places.' another shot, 'are they sincere in wanting to serve.' no reply yet from the opposition, probably busy finding lost ground and time to reconnect with the people again. actually, if the opposition candidates in waiting were paid $13,000 and all the perks, i am sure they will be around every day of the year. and they would be able to do just as much with all the funds and resources available to pap mps. even chiam and low who are around everyday are unable to promise any upgrading or extravagant plans. is it their faults? as for sincerity, the similar explanation can be applied. one is an elected mp who is paid handsomely to do the job. the other has lost the election and not paid anything to do anything. how much can the people expect from opposition candidates after an election? the question then, would an elected mp, without the pay, be as sincere in his commitment to the people? yes there are sitoh and low. but are we comparing apple with apple? other than the big organisation and machinery at their disposal, what else do they have to be able to do what they were doing over the last 4 years? it is interesting to listen and observe how the parties attacked each other and whether there is any substance from the punches they threw. or are they good for a laugh.

3/05/2006

boundary got change or no change?

“The coming election won’t change anything, anyway. The government will still be controlling as it had done” seems to be a popular sentiment. All these frequent boundary changes simply contribute to the cynicism among young and old. I must say it is quite prevalent in the estate where I live. At a coffee shop breakfast this morning, an elderly gentleman asked me why was I surprised. “You should know better. Next time Serangoon Gardens may well move to Ang Moh Kio!” seah chiang nee posted the above in littlespeck.com. and i have just quoted a few mps dismissing the cynicism about boundary changes. nobody will know about the changes unless you are affected personally. i think chiang nee should be grateful for the changes as he is given a chance to elect a pap candidate of his choice. very probably he has not found a pap candidate of his liking in serangoon garden, braddell height and marine parade. now he is given a chance to vote for george yeo. and why not, george is the few good men that you can find.

ge: a sense of fair play

hsien loong is calling the opposition to field all 84 candidates. this is the first time where the call comes out genuine. and he meant it, for all the good reasons. the pap is confident, but is also feeling the pressure from all the gossips about how the game is being played. in the past it was simply ignored, talked away. but today, there is this intent to really test their support without being accused of all the things that they have done in the past. it seems that hsien loong really want to put to test where he stands, where the party stands. with minimal changes to the election boundaries, this has elicited many responses from both the party and the opposition. all welcomes this. ong kian min said, 'i think this increases the sense of fair play, and suggests the boundaries have not been redrawn for whimsical reasons. in the past, people complained that radical changes were made to suit the ruling party.' zulkifli baharudin said that it avoids criticism previously levelled against the system. how true were the criticism, it is just a perception. only time will tell the truth for the drastic changes in the past. like it or not, when one is holding a knife in the scene of a murder, it is difficult for people not to suspect anything. would the status quo in election boundaries really be a test of the strength of the pap? i doubt so. the system still favours the ruling party with its organisation and huge resources. it will be a fairer contest if there are more single wards and the huge grcs be reduced to 3 or 4 candidates. then the playing field will be more level. then only will we see a genuine contest, and where lies the heart of the voters.

mindless idolation of talents

i thought the nkf episode would have taught singaporeans an embarrassing lesson in behaving like little girls idolising their favourite celebrities. talents were blindly appreciated and praised and ended up with red faces. but at least there is now an attempt to correct the silliness of the whole episode, to right the wrongs and uphold values that are considered worthy. now the agu case is anything but stupidity. why would people entrusted with public money threw them at a rotten apple. everything is wrong. give him another chance, but not the way the events unfolded and the truth emerged. apparently agu returned only when he found out that he was not good enough in russia, uk and canada. during his absence, he was in these places for trial. otherwise he would be gone and with all our money, faith, trust and laughing at our idiocy. agu exemplified everything that is wrong, untrusthworthy, deceitful, greed, taking advantage of his naive benefactors, cheating, and what else. and he is going to don our national colours as one of us, and we pay him dearly. where is the sense of righteousness, uprightness, honesty, honour, trust...is a little thrash talent worth so much that we give up all the virtues that we live by and wanted our people to live by? the whole issue is not only a case of children playing their little pranks, but shame. we can forgive him, but not the way he is welcomed back to have a chance to repeat the whole damn thing once again. if he is not ask to go now, and if he does a repeat, all those who put the money and trust in him must go. this is a case of poor judgement, bad judgement, and a compromise of our simple decent values.

3/04/2006

hdb: 5 equals 4

the latest announcement that hdb is converting its unsold 5 room flats into 2 x 2 room flats is another funny figure crunching. 5 rooms become 2 rooms. the only thing good is that the converted 2 roomers must be technically having 2 and a half room of a 5 room flats. so these flats must be bigger. just like a 5 room flat must be bigger than a 4 room flat. good buy. provided there are buyers. apparently so as the number of buyers for big flats have mostly disappeared and many are downgrading to smaller and smaller flats. so much for prosperity and a booming economy and good times. during good times people are all downgrading. what happens during bad times, all upgrading?

ge: politics has to regain its former dignity

this is a statement by chua lee hoong, the review editor of the straits times. she added that it is not so much about winning an election but about how votes were garnered. both comments were in her article today which started with the changing of political boundaries as the butt of singaporean jokes. why the cynicism? why must politics return to its former dignity? has it be degraded to such an extent that it has lost all sense of being dignified? the scepticism and cynicism, if traced backwards, did tell a story about something not exactly right. but the changing of political boundaries were all done above board, by indepedent civil servants. why should that be subject to ridicule? it is all in the perception. it is all in how people think that it is done for reasons that put some in an advantageous position while some in a disadvantageous position. it is seen as a changing of the known factors, changing things that ought not to be changed. but we have all the valid reasons to change political boundaries for our uniquely singaporean reasons. everything is done with a sound reason. only whether people believe in them, or who believe in them.

ge: number of voters

earlier i posted a set of figures stating that the number of voters increase from 2001 to 2005 was 45,000, or an annual increase of only 9,000. these are official figures. and today we are seeing another set of official figures showing an increase of 121,000 over the same period. this gives an annual increase of about 24,000. hey, what is happening? what are all the numbers jumping around and all different? the first set of figures was frightening in the sense that it shows a big disappearing act. many singaporeans are disappearing from our voting list. today the figure is more comforting, though still registering an annual shortfall of about 6,000 from an average growth rate of 30,000, assuming that new citizens just about enough to offset death rate. there is still a net loss, and mainly of better trained and qualified people who are good enough to depart for greener pasture. it is not easy to nail a number that is unchanging. but this official set today must be the final figure and no changes should be expected from them.

3/03/2006

better service? please pay

if the services of public transports are to be improved, please pay up. i thought the transport operators were talking. when has the transport minister become synonymous with transport operators? anyway he speaks as if he is one. the lesson for all singaporeans is to shut up. do not ask or demand for any improvement in any services, including better govt. you pay. you want anything better, it will be given, real or imagined improvement. but one thing for sure, you will have to pay for it. that is the first principle, or the first thing that the service provider will think of. let me get behind the thinking. so you people think it is so easy to ask for this and that. it is equally easy to reply and comply with your request. no need second thought. what ever you ask it shall be given. you pay for it. brilliant.

thailand: tyranny killing democracy

no, it is not the tyranny of thaksin that is threatening democracy in thailand. it is the group of activists, probably the minority, that is trying to kill democracy in thailand. because they are able to run up a few thousand demonstrators, they think they could decide what is best for thailand. and they are afraid of the people's will. they do not want an election. they have assumed the role of decision maker. and they decide who the prime minister shall be. thaksin must go. this is what tyranny of the minority is all about. thaksin has done the right thing for democracy. let the people decide. actually the people had decided for him to be prime minister. but the minority group is challenging him. so it is best to let the people confirm who they want. would the thais allow democracy to be what it is? or would the tyranny of the minority rule thailand?

soo khoon the consumate politician

soo khoon is punching myanmar yesterday, after telling off the aussies. he is now more the consumate politician that we have not seen for ages. and that is what politicians should be, confident and outspoken and with a view. not the 'err, no comment' or just wave and faded away. we need politicians to stand up to push an issue, hold their grounds and not simply give up when being pushed or encounter opposition to their cause. we need a little more aggressiveness in debates in parliament. not cackles. more clashing of the swords. otherwise either the mps will fall asleep or find other more important things to do and leave parliament with empty seats. parliament should not be just a rubble stamp, every bill put up just to hear aye aye. no wonder parliament is so boring. and better to skip parliament then to bear through the routine of a boring speech.

3/02/2006

minister's salary benchmark

as a hr professional, i am very impressed by the formula used to benchmark the minister's salary. it is conservatively 'pegged to two thirds of the income of the 24th highest earner(median) among a group comprising the top eight earners from six professions(bankers, accountants, engineers, mncs and local manufacturers.' hypothetically if in one bad year all these professionals are hit by a slump and the 24th highest earner earns only $50,000 pa, then our ministers will be paid 2/3 of $50,000 pa. but if there is an extraordinary year when there is a boom and the 24th earner earns $20 million, our ministers will also be paid 2/3 of $20 million. this is very fair. it is like a gambler going into a casino. when lucky, can make a few million. when unlucky can lose a few million. i like the formula. no need for a salary scale. no upper limit nor starting salary.

lucky singaporeans: delusion of wealth

most singaporeans are asset rich in their hdb flats. own a flashy brand new car, and earning a salary that is big when exchange rate is factored in. and now the govt is going to give them more money. wow, what a life as a singaporean. but the wealth of singaporeans is fleeting. the hdb flat is worthless once the lease expired. the flashy car is technically worthless after coe expires. the income and handouts from the govt will quickly go to paying all the bills, children's education, tuition and school fees, medical bills, conservancy charges, fines, erps, gst etc are the average or lower middle class singaporeans really well off? compare to their technically poorer malaysian cousins up north, i think the malaysians are very much better off, their worth in real assets and value of their cheaper currency. everything they are getting is cheaper except for imported luxury stuff which they can choose not to pay for them. by the time a singaporean wakes up from his delusory dream his assets would have been worthless, and he will be penniless and still a lot of unpaid bills waiting to be paid, and an expensive medical bill waiting for him to sign. he will be in debt forever. any economist willing to do a real comparison, apple against apple?

hsien loong: minister's pay below benchmark

hsien loong said that the minister's pay is still below the year 2000 benchmark. i will be very happy if i were a minister. can expect another pay rise to keep up with the benchmark. even if there is no pay rise, can go around telling people that ministers are under paid. either way it is good news. ministers sacrificed for lower pay! this type of noble thing can talk loudly. steve chia asked for transparency, for disclosure of minister's pay. but this was rejected. this always reminds me of means testing when the poor bugger is expected to come clean and tell everything about his shoddy financial status. whatever, i am never comfortable whenever there is no disclosure or transparency. at least the president's pay is transparent.

3/01/2006

not many mps courting the housewives for votes

in parliament, several mps or only two mps spoke up for housewives. only irene ng made a decent plea to recognise the works of housewives. what the housewives are doing would have to be done if they stop doing it. and the works need to be paid. steve chia's explanation about national service is rather less tangible. the housewives are working and performing a job that has economic value. just so simple. but maybe the housewives are too busy staying home and will not go to the voting centres. so no need to take them seriously. if they do, make sure they vote for irene and steve chia. and where is that organisation called aware. probably they did not know that housewives worked. ya, tai tais don't work. tai tais in aware don't work. only ah sohs in the heartlands work as housewives.

ah bian and american deceit

the americans have all the reasons to want an independent taiwan. and that suits ah bian very well. behind the facade of trying to rein in ah bian, the american's hand behind ah bian's every move is very clear. and there is also the billions of dollars of military hardware that the americans wanted to sell to him. this immediate need is more urgent as it means money in the pocket for a lot of people. so ah bian will be allowed to play around a little while longer with the tacit support of the americans. and the chinese are seeing the whole picture simple and clear. they are not pushing the americans and ah bian very hard to avoid a flare up. but if things are allowed to go on this way, with the americans thinking that they could dupe the chinese by their neither here nor there comments on ah bian, they are just as foolish as george bush is. probably only george bush believes that the chinese believes in what he is saying. the strangling and hanging of ah bian is a matter of time. and time is running out. the kmt will not allow ah bian to throw money at the americans and provoke a conflict that will eclipse their growing economy. we should be seeing some actions from the chinese side very soon, though not in the nature of aggravating into an arms conflict, but at least some firm actions to tell ah bian and the americans that they mean business. this time ah bian has stepped too close to the red line and the chinese cannot afford not to do something. they would also want to remove the mask of deceit of the americans. maybe the chinese are waiting for georgie to put a foot into iran before raising the temperature a little. that will keep the americans busy and georgie crazy.

mrt lines having problems?

our mrt lines, northsouth and eastwest seem to be having problems for the last two mornings. people are complaining about the slowing down and the repeated announcements of technical faults. just when they think everything is going satisfactorily, it is getting its hitch, and during peak morning traffic. two days in a row. let's not make it three. would tomorrow be normal, without hitch?

soo khoon bangging the kangaroos

i am not sure if tan soo khoon is in the sia board, but so far he is the only mp to speak up against the aussies. we have been cut off because of protectionism. the mightly australian is shivering at the sight of sia. i hope the barrier was raised throught genuine fear that the qantas is incompetent and unable to fight against the giant of sia. what a grandiose thought from a little red dot. but the aussies have never been known to be competitive anyway, with the unions tying a knot around the management. but then this rejection of sia, could it be linked to what howard had warned after the hanging of the australian national hero, the drug trafficker, that they will do something as a result of their displeasure? let's hope the aussies will not stoop that low. again the protection of qantas is unacceptable when free trade and open sky policies are what western democracies have been harping about. shall we send our warships to open up australia? just joking. don't be serious on this. maybe an organised demo outside australian embassy will be a good show. we deserve something after helping to grease their way into asean.