After the relentless attack on Gomez, he came out and apologised. But that was not to be the end of the episode. In Low Thia Khiang's view it was an honest mistake. In the eyes of the PAP, it is not only a Gomez issue. It is about the credibility of WP, about transparency, about the quality of all WP candidates. This is the same kind of reasoning that people will use in politiking. Once a mistake is made, when there is doubt on one of its members, then the whole organisation will be questioned. It is lucky that Durai is not a PAP member or candidate. Or he and PAP will be grilled like how Gomez and WP are being grilled. Scoring political points!
On the wee hours of 7 May 06 half of the Singaporeans were soundly asleep. Another half was griped by a state of shock that swept through the island. The youth of Singapore have spoken. And their disillusioned parents have joined forces with them to deliver a crippling blow to the ruling PAP govt. A totally unexpected result was frozen on the tv screen. PAP lost 3 GRCs, East Coast, Aljunied and Ang Mo Kio. Lee Hsien Loong was voted out by a team of young upstarts, all still wet behind their ears, inexperienced and with school text books still left around their tables. Jayakumar, the deputy Prime Minister, lost his stronghold in East Coast. And together with Aljunied, two of the most promising young ministers, George Yeo and Raymond Lim were also sent packing. And all the single ward seats were won by the opposition candidates! It was a crisis beyond imagination and of a scale that shook the whole nation. What now? The worst nightmare had started. It is a bad dream on a Sunday morning. No it can't happen. The election now in its third day is only a formality, a cake walk to another 5 years of PAP rule. Time for breakfast.
What I would consider a better strategy to win one GRC is for WP to borrow Abdul Rahman Mohamad from SDA to join Sylvia Lim's team instead of Gomez. And Mohammed Rahizan Yaacob be replaced by either Chia Ti Lik or Perry Tong. Then field the team in Hong Kah or West Coast. The second WP team can take on one of these two PAP team. In this way, the likelihood of scoring a goal is much better than the current strategy of diluting their strength and competing fairly strong PAP teams. I am still puzzled why they think Aljunied and East Coast are easier to take. The slate of opposition teams indicate very clearly that they were unable to attract good professional candidates from the minority communities. Until they are able to bring in a few good minority candidates, theirs is an uphill task.
The PAP is not going to let this blunder get away without scoring political points. And they delivered some heavy blows last night, hitting at the incompetence and the non admittance of an error as an attempt to distort a mistake. This is what WP is going to pay for dearly. Sylvia Lim is perhaps the strongest of all the oppositon candidates. Probably much stronger than Low Thia Khiang and Chaim. But her GRC team is now a three legged horse. Even before the first round is over her team is already limping around. What a shame to lose a fight this way.
For the sake of logistic convenience, the opposition alliance has concentrated their effort to battle in the north east sector. Superficially this looks clever and convenient. But strategically it is a very simplistic approach to a serious battle like a general election. They have missed taking on the weaker GRCs in the process and instead taken on more formidable opponents in East Coast and even Aljunid and left a few weaker GRCs in the west completely untouched. This may prove very costly as this election could be a watershed and provides a golden opportunity for the opposition to make a dent. But this strategy of convenience may allow this chance to slip away.
A summary of the features that we are first world standard. 1. Education standard and facilities 2. Medical services and facilities 3. Country infrastructure. 4. Per capita income 5. Economy and GDP 6. Quality of govt 7. Standard of living 8. Cost of living 9. Litigation to solve personal differences 10. Political system Features that are short of first world standard or even third world standard 1. Politics and political process a. over dominance of one party b. exaggerated uneven playing field c. engaging political opponents 2. Quality of opposition parties 3. 250,000 families struggling and need financial assistance. 4. Political immaturity of the people, apathy etc 5. Sense of fear Features that are out of this world 1. Remuneration of politicians 2. Prices of cars 3. Govt control over people's savings
One slip people will raise an eyebrow, even if it happens in a serious election paper when everyone knows that no mistake is allowed. But it did happened. And everyone got to bend backward to treat it as a genuine honest mistake, though many questions were raised. Yesterday another slip. Now why again? Another Gomez slip? This is one slip too many. Even the most dumb candidate in the whole election will not do it twice. Maybe it is providence. God says Gomez is not destined to run for election. He can only show his face around and appear to be a very keen candidate. But he can never be successful even in the submission of paper stage. That is life. Or perhaps Gomez should switch party. Join one that is meticulous and so efficient that such things will never be allowed to happen. Then he will have a better chance of getting through the first hurdle of the nomination process.
PAP MANIFESTO 1954 Quote: Freedom First However we cannot change the economic structure until we have freedom of political action. Such freedom can be achieved only through an organised mass movement. Independence will not be conferred on the Malayan nation as a gift. It will only be ours when we are organised and united in our fight for independence. What do they mean ? Was it only ideally valid for that era ? Why they seek freedom when it was deprieved of them at that time, and now deprived us when we seek now ! What freedom are we talking about ? Is it not like a freedom fighter after winning change Principle & Belief ! The above was posted by Grunt in redbeanforum and below is my reply to the post. Can I attempt to answer for the change in the manifesto? And if I am wrong, please take it as my biased interpretation. During the fight for freedom from colonial rule, freedom to express, to demonstrate, to fight against the colonialists is paramount. Without the freedom to fight for our own right, then there is no way to achieve independence. Now that independence is achieved, the priorities are bread and butter and nation building. It is unhealthy for the people to have too much freedom to challenge the govt. And the govt is a good govt that is working for the best interest of the nation and people. And the people know that too. So freedom is no longer important. And this is vindicated by the continuous support for the govt despite more and more restrictions over the years on freedom to express or demonstrate. The govt is reading the people correctly. The people is all behind the govt and know that the govt is doing a good job. And they elected the govt to let the govt rule them in the best way the govt thinks fit. The people are happy and not complaining. In this coming election the people will again elect the same govt with a stronger mandate to tell the govt that it can do whatever it thinks is good for the people. Singaporeans will always have the govt of their choice. And this is what Singaporeans want. Only a small group of dissidents think otherwise. Now did I make myself clear? Or are my reasoning reasonable? All the empirical proofs are there. Otherwise the ruling party would have been voted out of office long ago.
Part time MPs are good, full time MPs are not good. It is good to have part time MPs. Personally I rather have good people to be full time MPs. Having part time MPs is like saying that the MP's job is not that important to deserve full time attention. The MPs need only be present when he is free, like in the evening or on weekends. Is the MP's job important enough and deserving enough to have a full time MP? The $13k may be small change to some but very big money to others who reckon it is more than enough to serve the people full time. Given an option, a full time MP must be a better option.
The political parties are telling the people what they stand for and how they are going to serve the people. It is about time the people tell the politicians what they really want to see and what they want the parties to do for them. And I think telling them what the people want is not meddling with party politics and the general elections. Let the politicians fight their battle for the ballot box. And while they are at it, we can tell them what we really want. I hope forumers can contribute to this thread and the message can get across to the politicians. We are just ordinary people and we want things that will benefit us. We do not support any political parties but just want our interests to be taken of. For a start, the retention of CPF money must be minimal, enough to buy an insurance to cover the remaining years from 55 to 75 perhaps and for an annual claim of not more than 20K. My assumption here is that if one is past 60, and cannot afford more than 20K medical bill, it is more pleasant to let nature do the necessary. And the rest be returned to the rightful owner. And anyone still working, employee or employed, should not be made to contribute to CPF except to top up to cover for the above insurance. Let the senior citizens pampered themselves with their hard earn money over a life time. It gets very ridiculous to keep forcing people to save at the ripe age of 55 and above only to be left with a little fortune when their time is up. And they have no chance to be a little extravagant on themselves. Living a lifetime of hands to mouth existence while a nest egg is wasted in the CPF.
The govt is loosening its grip on political discussion and freedom of expression. Singaporeans are so lucky that this is happening. They better thank the govt for being so kind and generous, that they can now feel freer. Today, many of the ruling elite are asking Singaporeans to speak up, especially on issues during the general elections. But they cannot speak and discuss anywhere. They are only allowed to do so in specific domains and media. Or in forums or blogs that are registered with the MDA. This is like putting up a few fish tanks and allow Singaporeans to go in and swim, under watchful eyes. This is freedom of expression that is uniquely Singapore. And the best thing is that Singaporeans are quite happy with this arrangement. My personal assessment is that Singaporeans love to be controlled. They love rules and regulations and a strong govt to tell them what they can do and what they cannot rule. Otherwise they will feel so lost, so insecure. Security and predictability are very important to Singaporeans. They cannot tahan grey areas when they are forced to make judgement for themselves. Such uncertainties are bad for health. Sapping too much energy to think and to make decisions. And they will be voting strongly for a strong govt. The PAP will be getting a stronger mandate in this election. The Singaporeans will vote the PAP to power for more rules and restrictions.
The legal position of blogs during the election period has been clarified, but intriguing questions remain about how these alternative media might behave, and what the government's response might be. There are certainly loopholes that enterprising media activists can exploit. First, they can use the web until they are asked to register as political sites. The above is posted in Cherian George's blog and his assessment on postings in blogs and forums is similar to mine. People can continue to post until the authority deems that they are too political and need to be registered with MDA. But, huh, Singaporeans are Singaporeans. The triple SSS, pronounced triple ass, for Smart, Stupid Singaporeans, will do the smart and stupid thing. Just stay far far away from danger zone. Don't post and be safe.
Singaporeans will be going to the polls to elect a new govt to rule over them. What are the choices available for to the Singaporeans? And are there good choices or is it between the devil and the deep blue sea? On one corner of the arena is a bunch of third world parties. All have not won a general election. A bit ruffle, don't look so professional, did not have the services of PR agencies to have them to dress and groom to look good, and fighting for anything that appears in the horizon. They do not forsee themselves as the govt for a long time to come as the number of candidates willing to stand, and good candidates, are still very small. So they will contend to check on the ruling party as their main function. On the other corner is a well managed political machine with all the resources to outdo the pretender for political office. They have all the track records of economic achievements and the expertise to manage the country and all the big organisations for profits. And they are unashamingly telling the people that they can expect more goodies, more jobs and security but more rules and restrictions on their freedom of expression. Their thinking is that with economic prosperity, the people do not need or want freedom of speech, human rights or related things which are superficial and superfluous. And from the way the people is behaving, it seems that the ruling party's reading of what the people really want is correct. The people are just so happy with the situation they are in and are contented to be apolitical and apathetic to whoever is running the country. The people will just go to vote on polling day to endorse the spectacular records of the ruling party and vote it to power with a bigger mandate. And this is going to happen on polling day. Actually my earlier above description of between the devil and deep blue sea is errorneous. It is between disorder and an orderly paradise.
In third world politics one can expect certain features and tactics and strategies. For instance party membership is the more the merrier and quality may be compromised. The leadership are those who rose from the ranks and are all fighters in their own right. Some have fought until nothing else to fight about. Taking to the streets, throwing stones and even coup de'tat are quite common in third world politics. It is fortunate that we have laws against unauthorised assembly of more than 4 people or we will have a lot of road demonstrations and stone throwing. And they lack the resources for all the pomps and pageantry. Meet the people sessions will be make shift tables and chairs in the void decks. Funds is always lacking and some may pinch papers, pencils and paper clips from the offices and open themselves to accusation of corruption. Over claiming taxi fares can also happen. And anyone who has the gut and dare to stand for election will be presented as their candidates. In contrast, First world politics is the politics of the rich and powerful and with a lot of resources, especially money. Money is everywhere to do many things. Particularly sueing opponents in the courts of law. Legally, working the system is a standard practice. And there is no chance of being accused of corruption as everything is properly approved. Oppositions thinking of using corruption as a tactic will be disappointed. First world politics operates within the law, knows the law and are able to pay the best legal services money can afford to serve their cause. And with the financial muscle and organisation power, they are able to afford or attract the best qualified candidates to join them. Everyone well groomed and all high achievers. All look so professional, and look so good in the newspapers. First world political parties may accept everyone as party members like third world political parties, but only the best will be chosen to stand for election. First world politics frowns on demonstration to win votes. They work the system to take advantage of the system to win votes. And all done aboveboards. Between First and Third world politics, it is like pitching professional footballers against amateurs.
"There is nothing to prevent you from pushing your propaganda, to push your programme out either to the students or with the public at large... and if you can carry the ground, if you are right, you win. That's democracy. We're not preventing anybody" ~ Lee Kuan Yew, 31 January 2005 The above was what LKY challenged a Jamie Han, a student if I can remember, to set up his own website. Why is the MDA taking a position that makes postings in forums a touchy issue? Or is it that when LKY said it, it was meant only for normal off peak seasons only. Not during a general election. So many key people saying so many different things. Is it intentional or random shooting off the hips? Knowing PAP well, everything is planned and every move calculated to bear maximum impact. So what is real, or what to believe?
A first world govt must be accompanied by a first world population. It would be strange for a first world govt leading a third world people. What is a first world people? Using the same criteria of qualifications and money, I think many Singaporeans are first world people. Many live in expensive landed properties, driving expensive cars and travelling around the world is a way of life. And many also went to the best universities and have first class honours and earned hundreds or millions of dollars. Indeed Singaporeans belong to the first world and befitted to be ruled by a first world govt. They both come hand in hand. They deserve each other. What about those Singaporeans who don't fit the above descriptions? Don't worry. With a first world govt, these Singaporeans will soon be first world citizens. The nation will stay together and move ahead together. That is what a first world country with a first world govt will eventually be. And the people will also enjoy the lifestyle of a first world country.
What is a first world govt? It is easy to brush aside a third world govt as it is simply regarded as third grade, unworthy and basically no good. But what is first world govt? Is the US or UK govt a first world govt, or the European and Japanese govt a first world govt? Superficially they are or should be as their countries are regarded as first world countries. So govt of first world countries must be first world govt. When the question of first world govt is raised, it implies something more. It suggests that being in the first world does not mean that one is a first world kind of people. So does the govt. How can one define what is a first world govt? The academics will definitely have a whole list of criteria to apply to their formula. But for the layman, a simple and easily recognisable definition should suffice. Lets use something quantifiable. Lets use the all familiar criteria of money and perhaps qualifications. Everyone is free to disagree with this formula. It is used here for convenience. In a way, our govt is first world when qualifications is concerned. Our govt is an elected govt and I would consider only the elected representatives. So it is a limited definition. All these people now in govt are not only people with tertiary education, but from the best universities around the world, and scoring first class honours too. Unlike those who went to Yale but with an average grade. So academically our govt must be first world. The other criteria is money. In terms of income, our govt must also be indisputably first world as they are all high earners, easily half a million a year each, matching or exceeding those in the first world countries. And this is not their real worth. Everyone of them actually worth more. They are hotshots that will readily be grabbed by MNCs and paid more, much more than what they are currently getting. We are so lucky that they volunteered and accepted public office and getting a discount in their income. And their lifestyle must definitely be first world too. With all the loose change to see the world, driving the finest cars in the most expensive car market, living in the most expensive homes and a life of plenty. I conclude that indeed we have a first world govt. I am not looking at the intangibles or things that are unquantifiable. Those will be easily questioned and are very subjectives. One can argue till the cow comes home about how good is decision making, the morality, the values, the compassion, how the people's life are affected. These are very cumbersome things to discuss in a forum like this. Yes, we have a first world govt.
I just read an article in the New Paper about the plight of a divorced woman and her three grown up children. She had owned two HDB flats and sold them for a profit and now squatting in her mother's one room rental flat. She is not allowed to buy another subsidised HDB flat, which is obvious. Everyone knows about this rule. But then it was reported that she could not even buy a resale HDB flat where the element of subsidy is no longer an issue. And she cannot squat in her mother's place because she is taking advantage of the system. Her income does not qualify her for a rental flat, so cannot also squat in another rental flat belonging to her mother. Now what's the issue? There were two reasons given for why she is not allowed to buy a resale HDB flat. One is because of her previous ownership of two HDB flats. The other is that her income is not sufficient for her to buy/afford one. Now, which is the real reason? Her unsound financial position or her ownership of HDB flats? If it is the latter it is very puzzling. When buying a resale flat, there is no issue of subsidy. Why then can't a citizen buy and sell a resale flat as often as he needs to? I thought the two cherry principle applies to only subsidised flats. But if this is true, then many HDB flat owners will only be allowed to live in two HDB flats in their life time, resale or subsidised. But if it is the reason of financing, she has 3 children, and their combined income may be sufficient to buy a smaller 2 room flats. From her sales of two HDB flats and with profits, the CPF part of the proceeds must have gone back to CPF with interests. Strange that this is still not enough for a small HDB flat. Then the issue of squatting with her mother in a rental flat. And because of that she is deemed to deprive others of the privilege of a rental flat. How? I am still scratching my head. Why can't daughter and grandchildren squeezed into the mother's flat if they are prepared for the inconvenience? Fostering familial ties, living together in a 3 tier family? The biggest puzzle or problem, cannot buy HDB flat, insufficient income. Cannot stay in rental flat of mother, not registered as a tenant and income not eligible to rent another flat. With all the disqualifications, nowhere else to go. They are now allowed to squat with the mother temporarily and must vacate soon. This is the efficient application and administration of rules in Singapore. All the rules and regulations covered. Now the problem is with her. It is a private problem and not the problem of HDB. And the paper asked the question, 'Did she created her own problem?' Even if she did, so, throw her into the streets? Would anyone want to offer her a solution? How could she beat the system and get a roof over her head, and her children's head?
who ever goes to vote, if he/she thinks in terms of what is good for singapore, i think they should be the correct guideline to decide how to vote. vote for the well being of singapore, which is like voting for yourself. what is good for singapore must be good for the people.
Anything that we do, if we do it often enough, it becomes a habit, it becomes second nature to us. And by then we would not know what's the difference or how we get to have such habits. Just observe the disorganised and messy desk in an office. It all started clean and tidy. But if left on its own, the messiness becomes natural and acceptable. Look at some of the construction workers in the mrt. After a hard sweating day of work, they will plonk into the train, all sweat and smell. But they would not know that they were smelling. Only the non smelly one will know. A drug addict, after a few more doses and sessions, will not see anything wrong with their habits. So, just get use to it. It also applies to spending habit. If one is earning $1k a month, one soon get use to it and live a $1k lifestyle. One who earns $10k will live a $10k lifestyle. Spending on a $100 lunch is normal. Nothing excessive. Nothing extravagant or sinful. And look at those high flyers in New York with an annual income of $100mil. To them there is nothing wrong. They deserve it. And give them another $100 mil, they will just put in into their pockets. It becomes normal or second habit to pocket that kind of money. When it becomes second habit, how can it be wrong? Nay, it is wrong to earn $1k a month. Never wrong to earn $1 mil a month.
Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) says Rafidah Abdul Aziz should be removed as the international trade and industry minister if she remains stubborn and refuses to attend Parliament on behalf of her ministry. "In the 21 days of sitting, she has only attended Parliament twice - the official opening of the session.. and the tabling of the 9th Malaysia Plan by the prime minister," he added in a statement issued in Parliament last week. A little extract from littlespeck.com Talking about Malaysia should be more interesting. Lim Kit Siang tabling a motion to fire Rafidah for not attending parliament session. That is how serious he viewed this as a duty of all politicians. These are people's representatives and elected by the people to represent them. How can they play truant and spend time on other personal matters or their own businesses? If they think representing the people in parliament is not important, then they better resigned. But Kit Siang probably did not know what is happening or going to happen. Maybe Rafidah has already been given the marching order and there is no point for her to be present anymore.
throwing challenges, pushing your opponents, punching and breaking jaws, biting ears, etc are often encountered in a contest. at the end of it people regretted what they did. some pretend to regret though. but it is so refreshing to hear nice words being said about your opponents. a bit of levelling down to see eye to eye instead of shouting down from heaven. looking down from that level, everything is so imperfect. no wonder some schools did not want to play ball with neighbourhood schools. yeah, i am talking about schools and sports.
politics aside, and ignoring who is right and wrong, there is this little woman that i feel so sorry for, and so deserving of my admiration. all her stories and pain are deeply etched all over her face. Reticent, hardened, determined, and not breathing a word, and no time for tears. she is fighting bravely, quietly and losing everyday, in a battle that was lost from the very first day. but she plods on, she marches on. she is not going to give up. she rather loses everything fighting. a lonely fighter standing loyally and stoically beside her broken brother. she is an admirable little woman.
i had a dream last time. i was in this happy place, a paradise of sort. but eventually i realised it was heaven. everything was white, gleaming beautiful white. white is like a uniform. i too was wearing white too. then i met this grand old man, white hair and white beard. i trembled. there was this feeling of fear. but the old man said, 'fear not, for i am your god, i know you by your name, and you are mine.' and that's god himself. and he said fear not. hey, why am i taught my whole life to fear him? he is such an effable and friendly old man, all full of love. and he showed me a big expanse of high rise buildings. he said i have been allocated a unit there, high up in the sky. wow, that's great. and he handed me a key and pointed to a brand new toyota camry and said 'that's yours.' somehow i knew it was a dream. but never mind, it was a pleasant dream to enjoy even for a moment. then came a fleet of mercedes benz 300e series. and out trooped a bunch of handsome and smart looking young men and women with happy faces. so i wondered to myself that it would be good if i can have one of those benzes. god knew. and he said, they are the rabbis. i asked, 'what rabbis, or rubbish?' 'oh, they are the chosen people. they helped me to manage this place. they are the high priests.' i was getting envious. chosen people, high priests, driving big mercedes benzes. can i also be chosen? god smiled. no, many will come but few were chosen. just then a white Rolls Royce rolled in. and god said, 'ah, that' s my one and begotten son. he had suffered to save mankind. he had done my will. and anyone who done my will shall be rewarded.' i also want to be chosen, to do god's will. then i rose and returned to face life on earth, still cherishing the dream of paradise.
On the front page of today's Sunday Times, Hsien Loong is quoted to say this: 'The signal we want to send to the electorate is we want you to speak and debate, we want a good election in which the issues are raised and joined and we discuss the serious matters which face Singapore, and we also discuss who is fit to govern Singapore. But this has to be discussion based on facts, based on logic, based on responsibility and if you say something, you answer for it.' Isn't this is what we have been doing or intending to do? Isn't the blogs and internet forums the most logical, effective and efficient way for such a discussion? You can't have a discussion on the phone, the newspaper or in the coffee shops. On tv, you would not be allocated the time. But sadly the blogs and forums are deserted. The Singaporeans are just too smart and too safe to want to walk around with their pants down. To the ordinary citizens, concerned citizens, what is there for them except to make their views heard. And for that, the sword of Damocles is dangling above their heads, waiting to do its deadly descent. With the Elections Act forbidding discussion on politics during the election period, unless registered, which many rightly refused, the next best thing is to stay away. Why court trouble? Would Li Ao say Singaporeans are smart or stupid now? The internet is techonology at its best for freedom of discussion for a big group of people, in the same platform at the same time. No interruption, no restriction, no censorship. WYSIWYG. Would the dearth of internet discussion on the general election be a testimony of what Singapore is or what Singaporean is? My reading may be right, if you read what Hsien Loong said in the above quote. He wants Singaporeans to speak up, exchange your views and thoughts, but seriously and responsibly. When the intention is not to be destructive, the discussion can be very useful and meaningful. But knowing the Singaporean mentality, for a sensible and robust discussion in cyberspace to take off, Boon Yang needs to come out and say it categorically that it is alright and no need to register. Singaporeans are not dumb and want to invite troubles to themselves. But in so doing, Singapore politics will never grow up and the people will forever be accused of being apathetic and apolitical. Which they are not. But what they are thinking and saying will now be confined to behind closed doors. And the ostrich will feel very safe as it sees nothing and hear nothing.
Hu Jintao went ahead with his visit to the USA and was expectedly snub. Anything that can go wrong did go wrong, from the official name of China, allowing Falungong supporter a full 5 minutes of air time to be broadcast around the world, to pictures showing Bush pinching his sleeve, and a visit that was short of a state visit that the Chinese wanted. To the Bush Administration, it was a great show, a victory of sort. They did not have to accord the Chinese leader the proper protocol he deserved, and injected a few irritations along the way. Hu Jintao went home quietly without any agreement or accord to be jointly announced with Bush. Did he bring any big gifts to the US to deliver to Bush but held back because of the lack of courtesy and protocol from the Bush Administration? Did America gain or did not gain anything from the visit? They gained in some boyish antics and one upmanship. But they could have wrangled something more substantial from the Chinese if they behave better. It could be a wasted opportunity, for the Chinese did not give anything away. Now, when Bush makes his return visit he can expect the protocol to be similar to how he treated Hu Jintao, but minus the hiccups. But he should not expect to gain anything from the Chinese either. He too will return home empty handed. When men behave like children...
During the last few days there were a lot of visitors to this blog and redbeanforum. But postings were negligible. Today is the third day after the announcement of polling day. I remember that on the third day he shall rise. I waited in vain. Are Singaporeans smart or just law abiding? The Elections Act prohibits campaigning in the internet, blogs or forums, unless registered. So when Singaporeans avoided commenting in the internet, is it an act of obedience, law abiding, or is it an act of fear? I think if you ask anyone of them, they will definitely said that it is not an act of fear but just being smart. And when the law says no, just comply loh. As a typical Singaporean, I too shall behave like another Singaporean. Be law abiding and abstain from commenting on the political issues and events till polling is over. This blog shall be another example of a good and smart Singaporean. It will just discuss non politically related issues for the next couple of weeks. I am wondering if there are issues that are not politically related. Maybe I shall talk about my dreams. That should be safe enough, I think.
In his first comments on the controversial programme, Mr Lee Hsien Loong felt that the forum got Singaporeans to talk about significant issues, although he would have liked a broader range of subjects covered. Mr Lee also defended the 10 panellists, who have come under attack for the views they held and for the tone they used in the discussion. He said that they had nothing to be ashamed of and that Singaporeans who watched the forum should separate theatre from reality. "This is theatre. It's a programme. It's meant to achieve a particular objective. The form of it, the style of argument, the confrontation, the sparks – these are contrived," he said. The only character really playing himself that night, he said, was Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. As for the young panellists, Mr Lee felt that they were only reflecting a particular viewpoint. "What you see on stage of MM, that's his persona. That is him. But what you see of the panellists, I don't think that's all of them. That's not them. Their private views, the style in which they engage, the opinions that they hold – I don't think those completely came out. They were reflecting a particular view point which they highlighted, exaggerated and maybe slightly caricatured in order to prompt a response and have a good theatre," said Mr Lee. Echoing a point raised by MM Lee, Mr Lee was also of the view that the liveliness of the discussion was the essence of the forum. "I think it's better to have people who are speaking up than people who just sit there and say, oh yes, thank you very much, and I agree with everything you say. Then, I think there's no point in this." The above was reported in CNA. Now, if that is a theatre, the views contrived and stage managed, what a fabulous show! It's a good show to get Singaporeans all excited. And please don't scold the panellists for being rude. That was their programmed role.
i was driven to geylang to sample some of the best cuisines on offer there. geylang is transforming itself into a paradise. and many of the operators were from china. now what were you thinking? the range of food on offer is simply fascinating. but not cheap though. and i had this expensive t shirt on, with its famous brand loudly embossed on the back, FCUK. i hope i am not doing a disservice to the product brand.
Heard over the news last night that Sue is back. And she is after Chee Soon Juan and all the guys in SDP. And the Straits Times has this heading, The Glove is Off. After several weeks of civility and friendly gestures, the heat of an election hustlings is now on. Will it be a case of no holds bar or will composure, maturity and calmness restrain the contenders and allow a more subdue approach to the political contest? Or will it return to the days of fiery speeches? Both sides would want to sway the voters to win. But how far would each party go to push their cause? The straw poll was seriously wrong to say that NKF will not be an issue. It has started the ball rolling as a super heated hot potato. And the opposition has to tread very carefully if they intend to pass it around. Any mishandling will get themselves burnt.
The general election is here. Though we have been talking about the election and election issues the last few weeks, we have not been organised or focussed in our discussion. This is the first election that the power of the internet can be put to full use to benefit all the parties and voters, to act as a communication tool to bridge the gap between what the parties wanted to do for the people and what the people want. In the past, communication tools, speed and method of transmission made it impossible to have a proper two way dialogue between the people and the parties. Today, internet has made this possible in a very convenient and expedient way. Now not only the political parties can tell the people what they stand and how they are going to serve the people. The people can now also reach out to the political parties to tell them what they really want to see and what they want the parties to do for them. We now have blogs and forums and we can either make ourselves useful to everyone or just waste our time talking aimlessly. In the first role, we can help to provide information for the people to make a considered choice on who and why they want to vote for a particular party. And we can help to forward the people's wishes and wants to the parties to consider. For these roles I am assuming that the parties are reading our postings and on our part we could gather objective and reasonable feedbacks for the parties to take note. And it is important that we remain as neutral and sensible facilitators and commentators posting views and information that are meaningful and useful to all concerned.
One day Li Ao said Singaporeans are stupid and another day he said they are smart. In my view Singaporeans are the smartest cocks around. They know when to stay out of trouble when they smell one. Low Thia Khiang is asking for NKF case to be delayed to avoid trouble. And when I scan around the various forums, there is this unfamiliar quietness. Singaporeans are smart to the extend of being kiasu and kiasi. They know that there is an Elections Act that can be used against them. The best way is to stay far far away. But then again, they are so stupid. Just because of an Elections Act, they gagged themselves. They did not want to know anything more, whether what they say or do will contravene the Act. And worst, what the Act forbids is simply no campaigning like a political party, not no talking. Just like Hsien Loong telling the oppositions, they can talk about the NKF but not on things specifically about the charges. In an election, the political parties are selling themselves to the people. And the people must ask questions, talk about it and then make a considered decision to vote. If the people cannot talk about election issues, how then are they going to vote? Just by a one way process of listening? And this time the authorities have been quite explicit about people discussing election issues in the internet. They have made it known that they will use the light touch. And Boon Yang is also on record to say that when a blog or forum needs to register, a letter will be sent to them. See, the govt has given the people so many leeways to do things and still be on the right side of the law. But many smart and stupid Singaporeans will just disappear to no man's land. Not saying or doing anything is the safest thing to do in a situation like this : )
anthony green taught in singapore before. he wrote an article today in the straits times about the difficulties in getting the chinese and korean names right, in the right order. he knew what he was talking about after spending years here. his point is that the west seems so comfortable when rearranging the names of chinese or koreans or other asians. they didn't bother if lee kuan yew is written as kuan yew lee. even anwar ibrahim is mr anwar or mr ibrahim, he ponders, and wonders if it does matter at all. of course he feels that it should be put right, in the right order. but some chinese think it is better to rearrange their names to be in the right order to fit the western world, and thus added to the confusion.
It is reported in Zaobao that Li Ao's new tact on Singaporeans is that Singaporeans are smart. For an entertainer, it is very convenient for him to change his position to gain attention. What's so big deal about an entertainer's word that could make Singaporeans stand up in arms. Quite stupid indeed. Whether one is smart or stupid is not determined by what people said, and it varies according to circumstances too. One can be smart in one thing and stupid in another. Or one can be smart in the eyes of one person but stupid to another. Just look at the election alone, will Singaporeans be smart and elect a party that will look after their well being? Or will Singaporeans vote a party that will mess up their lives? However, whatever decision they make on 6 May, they will not know until things unfold in the following years. A smart or right decision will mean that their lives will be better as a result of their choice. If they screw it up, then only themselves to blame. Then even if Li Ao said they are smart will only be good as a ridicule.
There are still a lot of comments on this dialogue, criticisms of the youth and how useful this is for the future. However, most of the criticism were more about form than substance, about respect for LKY than about the issues raised. For the traditional and conservatives, they would have to accept that the world is changing and respect for the elders not only cannot be taken for granted, the forms will also have to change. In the corporate world, many western MNCs adopted the first name basis even when addressing the CEOs. This is quite a cultural shock to some Asians brought up to address any senior as uncles and aunties, and soldiers who have to address everyone senior as sirs and students to teachers as sir and madam. Many cannot stomach a 20 year old assistant calling his 60 year old CEO John or Mike. It just don't sound right to them, but it is a way of life in many MNCs. The way people are addressed, or the way people talk to one another, may not be an indicator of disrespectful or rudeness. Respecting someone does not mean that one must speak meekly and keep calling sir in the beginning and at the end. In a public forum people are expected to speak and argue over issues. It is not a lecture or a family dressing down session or a grandfather passing words of wisdom to the young. What the shit. Why am I wasting time on forms than substance.
The NKF issue looks like an anti climax with Low Thia Khiang asking it to be postponed to allow debate during the election. Would it make any difference to postpone it now that it is a court case? To postpone or not, it is still a case pending trial and discussing it will still be seen as influencing court judgement. It will now be interesting to see how far would the opposition push the boundary of this issue during the election and what comes after.
After Badawi dumped his crooked bridge Mahathir is now aiming his loose cannon at him. If Mahathir is not careful, Badawi will invite Anwar back to UMNO and let Anwar have a go at him. Imagine how things will be if Anwar has the backing of UMNO and the law behind him. Mahathir better keep quiet or he is going to be getting his own medicine forced into his throat, in triple doses. When in power he had the whole UMNO and govt machinery behind him to take on anyone. He might have to live the day when the whole UMNO and the govt machinery are aimed at him. Instead of fading away in dignity, he might be carried out in a stretcher, with two blue black eyes.
Standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand. "Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document which my secretary has left. Can you make this thing work?" "Certainly," said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the 'START' button. "Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the shredder machine. "I just need one copy." *MORAL : NEVER, NEVER ASSUME THAT YOUR BOSS KNOWS EVERYTHING*
ASEAN was conceived at a time when the cold war was at its peak and the western powers were competing with the soviet bloc for influence around the world. The communist powers were also very active supporting local communist insurgencies. And America was doing all it can to wrestle control and influence in all the governments in Southeast Asia. One of the key pillars of ASEAN then was neutrality and non interference in the national affairs of other countries, and stood strongly against the big powers from interfering in their domestic politics. In recent weeks we are hearing the voices of ASEAN in another form. ASEAN now sees it as proper to interfere in Myanmar's domestic politics, insisting that Myanmar must take the democratic road, more political freedom and human rights. I am not in favour of the tight military control of the Myanmar govt on its people. Pushing Myanmar towards democracy and more political freedom is a good thing for the people of Myanmar. But this persistence call for the Myanmar govt to change, this call for China and India to squeeze Myanmar to change, demanding the military junta to take concrete steps towards democratic process, are they not interfering with another country's domestic politics? For ASEAN to adopt this course of action, does it mean that ASEAN now accepts that it is alright for other countries to interfere in their domestic politics? This is a principle that applies both ways. Once this is recognised, ASEAN must accept it if other big powers start to meddle with their own political systems. It is only a matter of time before the brick that ASEAN is hurling at Myanmar will come back and smack them right in the middle of their faces. And when it happens, Myanmar will be laughing and say, what goes round will come around. At the moment, the Eminent Persons Group is gathering in Bali 'to remake and reposition the grouping to face the challenges ahead.' Change is in the air as Prof Jayakumar said, 'We can't just do more of the same of what we've been doing. We've been doing fine but projecting the next few decades, we have to rethink and remake ASEAN.' And one of the key pillars of ASEAN, non interference in other countries domestic affairs is slated to go. And the founding fathers of ASEAN must be turning in their graves.
Someone emailed to me a post which I thought would be useful for the forum. But he was so shy to post it even after I suggested to him. I might as well put it here to encourage him and let him know that his view is quite sensible. What he said is that PAP has two of its best warrior in Sitoh and Eric Low. These two have stood their grounds and not runaway after being defeated in the last election. And they are coming back to fight another day. They could seek the comfort of a GRC and get themselves into parliament in a much easier way than to take on the undaunting task of facing their victorious opponent and risking another defeat. That's a very good fighting spirit coming from the two. This kind of spirit can only be found, so far, from the opposition camp. All 'pah si buay chow' type of politician wannabes. Losing one battle after another and keep coming back asking for more. But actually no opposition candidate has the luxury of Sitoh and Eric. PAP candidate never loses in any election. They may not be the elected MP. But they ended up as the defacto MP wielding more influence and authority, with more funds and people under their charge. And they are actually more effective than elected opposition MPs. This is a big advantage that helps them to go on and stood the ground. The whole party machinery is at their disposal. In the case of opposition MPs, after a defeat, many would have to go back to work to earn a living. And hopefully save enough for the deposit in the next election.
Why is NKF a hot issue to the opposition? NKF represents many things. And to the opposition, NKF represents super talents, high pay, corruption, transparency, accountability, amassing of public money for the future instead of current needs, mismanagement and poor corporate governance, using the judiciary system to silent whistle blowers etc. For the opposition to raise the NKF issue, they are attacking everything negative that NKF now stands for. Indirectly they are using NKF as a proxy to attack the establishment and the system.
LKY is absolutely right to comment that opposition candidates are not up to par. Well, not all. But it seems that some need to take political lessons and understand what politics is all about and how the system works, at least. Being honest and commited to serve the people is one thing. But being honest, simple minded and naive have no place for anyone who aspire to be a leader of the people. We all understand why nominated MPs were introduced. PAP has explained this many times over. It would be so ridiculous for PAP to nominate their defeated candidates as a NMP. Doing that will immediately make PAP's position so slippery. Suggesting that will be too much to stomach even as a joke. And to suggest that ministers who lost their elections can be nominated as a minister...my gosh! I do not know how to react to such a plain stupid idea. Why don't people propose that if Hsien Loong loses his election the PAP can nominate him as a nominated Prime Minister? I have sleepless night and a nightmare after what I have heard.
3 months or after the general election whichever comes later. Brace up fellas, the govt will be looking at ways to lower the cost of living. But I think transport fare sure to go up. Even Amy Khor says that PTC's reasons were acceptable. I think I would have to agree since everyone is getting the progress package. So can afford to pay a little hike in transport fare. Dunno how long can it last?
I have nothing against Durai. I do not know him and I try to avoid discussing about him if I can. He is just a straightforward case of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. A case of power getting into his head, and he erred like anyone else. The only difference is that he tripped and he was exposed. Then why is NKF a hot election issue? Isn't it just about some failure in corporate governance of a charitable organisation? The opposition do not see it as such. To them, it is a system failure. They see Durai as part of the establishment. Durai was more or less recommended by the establishment, supported, endorsed and praised by the establishment. He was a role model that was exhibited as a pride of the system. Even when things were starting to go wrong, many from the establishment still came out to support him, to say everything is fine. And if the establishment did not come down hard on Durai, it will give them more bullets to fire. They could use it to bolster their case that he is being protected. That is their trend of thought and election strategy. And it is going to be very effective. It is like taking penalty kicks. All their strikers are lined up and Boon Wan is going to be the goal keeper. We all know what penalty kick is all about. If lucky, the goal keeper may make one or two saves. But most of the kicks will turn into goals. The question is how many goals will get through. Taking spot kicks in front of the goal posts is always a nightmare to the goal keeper and his team.
"My personal view is, our land is expensive. But we have nearby neighbours in Johore, Batam and Bintan. The elderly want to reach their doctors within half to one hour. So retirement villages in neighbouring countries is possible, barring the cross-border hassle. It is best to find cheap land on short leases," said Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan. I must say that this is a good concept for the well heeled, rich and famous Singaporeans who want a little paradise before they go to the real paradise. The only reservation I have is the location. We need a place that is really safe for these retirees. We do not want to put them in jeopardy in the hands of unknown strangers that could run them like a Nazi prison camp. Be very careful with the choice of paradise. Indonesian islands are cheap and good provided we have our own people manning the security. Otherwise, don't play play.
After my last article when I did a few mugshots on some of the interesting PAP members I thought I could do a follow up on the opposition candidates. But I have waited for so long as the motivation to write about them is not there. Not only that there are so few of them, but they are so ordinary to the point of boring. If they were to act like some smart alecs maybe I can tickle them a little. Or if they come out and flash a whole string of academic excellence maybe I can praise them a little. I need some material to write about them. But let me try and start with Desmond Lim. I have seen him on tv almost every night as if media corp is trying to market him as the next best candidate after Steve Chia. I used to comment that Khaw Boon Wan has a serene face of a buddha, so honest and calm. Then I look at this Desmond Lim...I can't believe that people can have such a face. How could someone have such an honest looking face? He is so mild and unpretentious and he speaks so innocently. Every time I see him on tv the only thought that came to my mind is how could such an honest looking fellow got himself involved in politics? Steve Chia is quite a different character. I think he likes law a lot and is trying to learn as much as he can by testing the limits of the law. And despite his wide varieties of interests, he makes sure that he mixes them with the law. After all these exposures he should make a very good lawyer. He is another opposition candidate who is well liked by media corp. Maybe the praises he got from LKY still did not rub off yet. Hmmm, he looks like what a PAP candidate should look like. Clean cut, young and suave. Low Thia Khiang, the Hougang Kia. That everyone knows. And very quick witted too. Immediately after LKY threw him a challenge to lead a GRC he replied that he could team up with Chiam if the boundaries are redrawn, knowing very well that it can't be. A clever challenge met with an equally clever answer. And Chiam. He still walks around like a school teacher. Or maybe a schoolmaster. He is anything, but doesn't look like a lawyer at all. He doesn't appear to be one who can twist and turn his arguments around. The honest Chiam. Dye his hair white and get David Gan to give him a LKY hairdo he will look like LKY's younger brother. Sylvia Lim, a very admirable lady. She did not wait to be invited for tea. She invited herself. Probably if there is going to be a female PM, she is the most likely candidate. Better don't praise her too much or the rest of the female politicians will turn green. Her credential is quite formidable. Someone that I would stay way clear of. LkY was only a lawyer. She is a lawyer and a police officer. So scary. Oh the famous Chee. He is famous fighting the PAP as an opposition candidate and also fighting other opposition candidates. Better leave him alone. He has nothing to lose anymore. He still has his strong supporters from the 30% diehard anti PAP voters. He would need to improve on this number to think of a real chance to win a GRC. Not easy for him to stand alone. Who else? Let me ponder for a while before I add on a few more interesting ones. Just a little distraction from the gruelling election.
Issues of Contention The PAP is of the view that there is no issues or the opposition has run out of issues in this election. The opposition is keeping mum and not saying much, keeping the PAP guessing. Allow me to state what would be the likely issues of contention in this election. PAP's version. 1. To attack WP's manifesto on abolition of the presidency, abolition of grassroot organisations, abolition of HDB racial quota. 2. Poor quality of opposition candidates compare to their high achiever candidates. 3. Their track records of achievements. 4. A brighter future by staying together and moving ahead. 5. More upgradings and more handouts. Opposition version. 1. NKF as a reflection of the failure of the system, accountability, transparency and high pay against corruption. 2. High Minister's pay 3. Upgrading is public money and should not be used as a ransom against the people. 4. High cost of livings. High education fees, high transport fares, high medical fees, etc 5. Foreign talents, retrenchment and jobs for Singaporeans. 6. Casinos 7. One party rule is dangerous for Singapore 8. Need for opposition to check the govt. 9. Attack PAP's manifesto as all sound and no substance. 10. CPF money is the people's money, Medisave etc
It was revealed that the contract with Gerbang Perdana also stipulated that the government would pay M$1m for each day that the project was delayed. I am amazed that this clause was in the crooked bridge contract. Now who in his right mind would allow such a clause to be included knowing very well that it is not going to be smooth sailing when it is decided by Malaysia without the consent of Singapore? Would the Malaysian govt dig into this and find out why? They can't be that stupid to sign a contract that technically can bankrupt Malaysia. The contractor can simply take it slow, no rush, and got paid by M$1m a day! A normal contract is for the contractor to pay the user/govt compensation for delay.
Khaw Boon Wan said Singaporeans should not be unduly worried about medical cost as long as they have medisave and medishield. So for those who did not have any of these, they better be worried. And for those who have, he said that as long as they are prudent in the choice of wards, they should be ok. Now, is there a change in the govt's position on this? In the past we have heard that only the poor can choose lower class wards. For those who can afford to pay more and want to be prudent, they will not be allowed to. There will be a means test to make sure that those who have money in their medisave will have to pay for more expensive wards. I really hope that there is real change. Otherwise it does not make any difference. Anyone can be hit by a chronic life threatening disease and it could empty all his savings in the medisave at one go. It is thus prudent for people to choose a ward that will not cost them a bomb even if they can afford it. It is unacceptable, knowing that medical cost can be very expensive to force people to go for more expensive wards just because they have some money to pay. We will see whether the manifesto is only an election gimmick or the PAP really has changed its position on this issue. There are only two ways for people to feel a bit more at ease. One is to see a reduction in medical cost. And second for the people to choose and determine whether they should go to C wards. If this is not available, then the manifesto rings quite hollow.
Have we been staying together and moving ahead...together? If we have, then it is a continuity and people must be very happy, moving ahead together. Have we, did we? If we haven't? What's wrong? Why now then we are saying this? The people have been staying together all these 40 years. There is no doubt on this one. Moving ahead? The nation has been moving ahead despite a few years of consolidation and standing still during the financial crisis. But the other question is whether the people are moving ahead. Some do. Some ran far far ahead. But many were left behind. Why were people been left behind? Was the govt conscious of it, or they have forgotten along the way that they need to bring the people along? Or Rip Van Winkle just woke up and discovers that many of the people are still struggling to get by. And now it is necessary to tell the people that we will move ahead together...during a general election. Would the govt forget again? I would suggest a better motto, less people forget their mission again. The pioneering leaders were very clear in what they want. Build the nation and serve the people. The later leaders did not forget to build the nation. But serving the people? The new motto shall be Serve the People. Not squeeze the People.
Chok Tong said: - "It is important that he gets a strong mandate because, despite all that he has done, if the mandate is weak, what signals are we giving him? "What signals are we giving to our friends outside of Singapore and what signals are we giving to investors? So it is important that we give him a strong mandate." However, Mr Goh declined to be drawn into setting a winning margin for the ruling People's Action Party (PAP). 'If there's a mandate, I would know whether it was strong or weak, but at this stage, I'm not in the business of measuring the support level for him,' he said. The above is lifted from littlespeck.com. What is this thing about a strong mandate? 84/84? Why is 70/84 not a strong mandate, or a popular vote of 60% not good enough? This is a serious problem affecting the thinking of Singaporeans. We are obsessed by abundance. And while some corners of the population are crying money not enough, there are some corners that cannot appreciate what is more than enough or having too much. I can foresee that they will suffer from indigestion one of these days. Our society is suffering from excesses which we are blind to see and pretending to understand that money not enough is a problem to some people. And we need a strong mandate to tell our foreign friends, to pass them a signal? What do our foreign friends want? What the American and Europeans want to see is obvious. I kind of getting use to this word obvious. They want to see multi party representation in parliament. They want to see more opposition members being elected. Now what signal do we want to pass to our foreign friends?
Woke up this morning, still sleepy eyes and was immediately slammed by the Straits Times with 6 full pages of coverage on the general election. The 7th page don't count. Looks like anything worthy to be mentioned were in the 6 brightly coloured pages with happy people and smiling faces. I flipped onto the next section. Wow, pretty faces again. And only half a page. My inner self said that is all he will give me before going back to snooze. Ya, I thought, how to read 6 full pages of hard solid stuff on a Sunday morning? This reminds me of what Seah Chiang Nee told me. Keep your post short and sweet. Nobody bothers when it is too long. I visited the world of the livings, enjoyed their pursuit of the good life. High living, low thinking. Oops, my apologies. Just tickling. These are the real people whose main concern in life is whether they are invited to the next party, where to order their next designer tog. All the togs flew in first class by SIA from Paris, London and New York. Any where else is an embarassment. And the god they worship is not LKY but a Dr Woffles. Reminds me of hobbits and wizards. And their crown prince is a Dick. Now why are people so obsessed about a 20c increase in bus fare? There is a beautiful life to live. Maybe it is time to forget about all the walking zombies who can't even make ends meet. And everyday complaining about money not enough. I know what I want to do. Visit some remote regions in Tibet or China to find the secret recipe or herbal concoction to stay young and beautiful forever. Then I can make all these blessed people beautiful even for a night. And I will be their new god. Be invited to all the parties and celebrated, with everyone trying to take a picture with me. Good morning Sunday.
A KL viewpoint From Khiary Jamaluddin, influential son-in-law of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. New Straits Times.Apr 15, 2006 GOVERNMENTS the world over will only consider a volte-face in policy as a last option. The one thing that political leaders want to avoid is a U-turn, a track back, a change of mind.... Why the about-turn, especially after some very strong and categorical statements from senior government leaders that work on a curved half-bridge would commence shortly? We knew the Singapore Government was not keen on a bridge replacing the Causeway. The last thing they want is easier access across the Johor Strait for Singaporeans to spend their money in Malaysia. They know that a new bridge combined with the new Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex would considerably alleviate traffic woes for the 70 million users of the Causeway every year and make the trip up north all the more palatable. A bridge would have also been a catalyst in promoting Johor as a cargo, logistics and transshipment gateway. They have also been aware for some months that the Prime Minister has earmarked southern Johor as a new growth centre for services, strategically positioning it as a competitor to Singapore which has natural limits to growth and a richly valued property market. With this in mind, they could not allow any project — like the bridge — that would accelerate the development of southern Johor. But obviously they couldn’t afford to be so obvious in showing their hand.... When dealing with slippery opponents, hardheadedness is the worst strategy. Call their bluff, change your mind, walk away, even float like a butterfly. Now they know it’s game on. * The writer is an investment banker and deputy head of BarisanNasional Youth. the above full article can be viewed from littlespeck.com. though khairy brought out many objective points, but the slant of the article is very obvious. that singapore is a slippery opponent with other objectives, and misleading the malaysians. his key argument is that singapore does not want to have a convenient access for singaporeans to visit jb or malaysia. putting aside arguments like the higher cost and toll fees and lesser relatively cheaper goods and services as reasons for singaporeans rushing over to malaysia, lets put his argument to the test. i would suggest that the malaysian govt, with all its sincere effort to build a wider and more convenient road of access to malaysia, propose to the singapore govt to widen the existing causeway to a 20 lane causeway. i am sure that will greatly reduce the jam and facilitate two way travel for the people. and to make it more attractive, do not increase the toll fees or maintain it at a reasonable level. then we will see whether the singapore govt will still object to extending the causeway. and that will prove that khairy is right, or wrong, if the singapore govt says go ahead with few demands.
This is a major article in the paper celebrating the riots of colours in the spring of Singapore. Yes, yes, plentiful of colours everywhere. But it could be much better if more carefully conceptualised to maximise the impact of the blooms. What has happened is that in the process of trying to do too many things at one go in a small plot of land, we created a jungle in the garden or mini park. There are simply too many varities of plants and too small in numbers of any specific plant to create that whoomp and ahhs feelings. The sakura park, or a pine forest, is sensational and dramatic because of its sheer size and expanse of uniformity. One specie or one bloom that stretches as far as the eyes can see. This induces or extracts a sense of beauty and awe among the viewers. In the local context, an example is the 5 km drive from Changi Airport to town, and if both sides and the centre divider were lined with just bougainvillas. Nothing but blooming bougainvillas of a particular colour. The sight will be permanently etched in the memory. Or we can designate some roads just for frangipani, some parks only tristellatia, some ixora or allamanda. Lantanas, if well trimmed, are very compact and colourful. Imagine a long stretch of roads of red from the flame of the forest or yellow from cassia or yellow flame? We don't need sakura parks. We can have our own local floral parks. Not little jungles of uncoordinated themes. It is simply a mess. It could have been better if carefully thought out. Diversity in landscaping in this sense is bad. Simplicity and less is actually good.
We have waited for the clarification after Balaji spoke. And MDA or Boon Yang has explained. In his measured email to a journalist Sue Ann Chia, he carefully laid out the rules and the rationale behind MDA. What amounts to is that all the U turn signs have been taken down and new No U turn signs will be put up. Blogs or forums that are deemed to have been clearly political would be notified to register. That makes the situation so much clearer. That also speaks well of the govt's willingness to engage the people, explain its policies and be transparent about them. Maybe we were expecting too much for Balaji or any govt official to respond directly in the forum or in YPAP forum when posed the question. The official media has been an unlevel playing field with advantage strongly in favour of the govt. I hope they don't waste time trying to defend this position. In the case of forums and blogs, it is also unlevel, but strongly against the govt if it intends to. There are several good reasons for this. First, the forumers and bloggers can be anonymous. Now, no govt official is going to respond to an anonymous writer. Two, forumers and bloggers can inflame, scandalise, make sweeping statements without justifications. And three, they can use the full vocabulary of vulgarities and throw them at whoever they pleased. So, agreed, it is not fair and one cannot expect govt officials to engage in an anonymous forum or blog. But they can come in using terms like MDA officer or its equivalent. What is good now is that we can continue to post, and seriously, until such time when we receive a notification to register. Let me quote Boon Yang: 'We encourage the free flow of information and exchange of views within our political system. However, for political debates and discourse to be constructive and taken seriously, people have to take responsibility for what they say and should not remain anonymous. Facts must be ascertainable and arguments examined.' On the part of anonymity, I disagree. The forumers here, though anonymous, are mostly responsible. And their views are serious. It is not a truth to claim that a forumer who uses a name will be truthful and responsible. If there is a need to, many of us here will readily furnish our names to MDA without hesitation. We are using a nick for convenience as this is after all cyberspace.
The Americans have had enough of the Klan in the White House and Pentagon. The first high priest to go is Rumsfeld. Several retired generals have spoken openly for his removal for causing the fiasco in Iraq. Who's next, Cheney, Bush or Rice? The bleeding of American boys' blood in the barren desert is getting to be too painful. And the saddest thing is that, it was all because of a bluff. American boys dying for a lie, not a national cause. How stupid can the americans be?
Bad boy (Singapore) PM Abdullah decides the causeway will not go. With this simple decision, he has removed three issues that plagued relationship between Malaysia and Singapore. There is now no need to fight over the supply of sand, the use of airspace over Johore, the building of a bridge at JB. Malaysia saved over M$500M, maintained sovereignty over its airspace and will not fear the enlargement of the island of Singapore. Now, it has only to deal with the issue of water supply to Singapore. Malaysia holds all the aces as Singapore need to buy water from Malaysia. media_junkie (Malaysian) Pucat in the face! Muka kena sapu arang! What kind of a PM is this? How to take him seriously on anything. He calls you to take arms against an enemy and you do it, half way through pulling the trigger he will say pull back. You think your enemy going to listen to him? Mati la kita? Gozie Trust me, end of the day we will sell our air space and sand to Singapore! First we lose our demand to increase water price, we lose on mycard, we lose on the bridge, we lose everything, dude the above are just some views i extracted from littlespeck.com. the comments were anything but the economic benefits of building the bridge. it is all about tic for tac, winning and losing, national pride and historical animosities. why would selling sand be seen as a losing proposition? isn't sand a commodity like oil? if malaysia or any country can sell oil, why is selling sand so disturbing? malaysia will be paid for the market value of the sand. and other countries are also selling sand. it is commerce and trade. one point raised concerning selling sand is not to see singapore growing bigger geographically. now that is a very naive way of looking at things. sand is not a rare commodity that only malaysia possesses. if the price is right, singapore will get the sand from wherever and whoever. singapore is trying to buy sand from malaysia and indonesia as it is only economically sound to do so. why can't the malaysians see it from another angle, that singapore is willing to spend its money buying malaysian sand and malaysia also earns foreign exchange? it is so idiotic. pardon my expression. the other key issue is that malaysia and badawi are seen as weak and giving in to singapore and singapore won! why don't they say, hey, malaysia is blessed to have a professional and rational leader who can make tough decisions based on facts and not on emotions? and singapore will see in badawi a wise and reasonable man and will do its best to support badawi and may even feel that they owe one to badawi. the latter may seen singapore bending backwards to accommodate badawi in the next round of negotiation on other issues. why must the relationship be always so contentious and one upmanship?
Johor's Bridge fiasco by Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) Apr 14, 2006 Media Statement Petaling Jaya - The cancellation of the scenic bridge is an expensive billion ringgit lesson for the BN government not to engage in reckless commercial adventurism that is contrary to professional and comprehensive planning and costing.... Finally Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had no choice but to back down and cancel the scenic bridge due to legal complications and implications as well as negative response of Malaysians towards the trade-off in sand and air-space concessions demanded by Singapore to agree to the construction of the bridge. The question on every Malaysian’s mind is why were these legal complications and implications not considered before the government undertook construction of the CIQ for nearly M$1.3B. As the New Straits Times reported that even if Malaysia were to build the crooked bridge on our side, we would have to get Singapore’s consent before we even touch one brick of the Causeway to link it to the bridge. What is the use of paying so much money to appoint legal experts if they fail to give the proper legal advice?... However there should be proper planning, discussions and costing. Amongst the main objections, were that the Singapore government that upholds transparency did not know the cost of the bridge nor comfortable with the opaque nature of the contract that is estimated at billions of Singapore dollars. The above quote is only a small part of Lim Eng Guan's question on the crooked bridge saga. His first point about wasting expensive legal fees for poor legal advice is valid but looking for answers to a commonsensical problem that do not even need legal advice. Any layman would be able to tell him that if you want to build a bridge into another person's land, you will need his persmission. A bridge has two ends, not one end hanging in the air. His other criticism about Singapore not knowing the actual cost of the bridge is a little naive. If I have no need for a bridge and no intention to build it, why would I spend millions of dollars asking for quotes and paying engineering and professional fees? All Singapore needs is a ballpark figure just for discussion. This is the key difference between the Malaysian and Singaporean approach to an objective issues. Singaporeans plan first and do later. And also pay later. The Malaysians in this case chose to do first and pay first, then think later.
The whole slate of new PAP candidates have been put up for display. The line up is indeed formidable. Some of the best men and women available in the island. Who would dare say we need foreign talents? When we are prepared to look among ourselves, there are many diamonds to be found. But all it needs is for someone influential to say that they are not up to mark, and people would panic and run in circles looking for foreign talents to replace them. If we do not give our locals a chance, they will never stand out to show their best. This is best manifested in our tv and media circles. If all our artistes and media people were not given a chance, then people may ask, who is Zoe Tay or who is Sun Yanzi? The most impressive of yesterday's product is Tan Chin Siong. He recalled the racial riots when he was only 5. His memory is first class. No wonder LKY said the opposition is not up to mark. It all depends on what LKY was expecting. Is he thinking that one of the opposition candidates would be a PM and use himself as the yardstick? If that is the case, none of the opposition will be up to mark. Also, none of the PAP candidates, including Choktong and Hsienloong is up to mark. His shoes are too big for anyone. No country is blessed with such a leader in succession. Even when we compared the academic brilliance and personal achievements of the candidates, the opposition is still lagging quite far behind except for a few. But to parade such a pristine list of candidates has its own problems. As I have mentioned earlier, these people are not multi millionaires yet, not at the peak of their career, and still quite hungry. Pushing them into politics would mean either they will lose out making the millions and honing their professional skills, or they must be fed the millions to satisfy their hunger. It is costly to them, to the system and to the nation. You really can't pay these people peanuts. Oops! We have to assume that they are all humans and want to have all the good things in life, including the multi million dollar bank accounts. They can't be serving the people for free or for too little. And many of them are ministerial material. The other issue is the competition for a few high positions by a large group of equally good candidates and some must be left behind. This is not good for morale of the candidates. The next question is that if some of them are to be MPs only, do we need so high calibre material to serve just as MPs? At the MP level, many of them will be over qualified. And many of the opposition candidates will be good enough. The Chinese saying, you can't have two tigers in a mountain. Now we have several dozens, including existing ones in a small parliament house.
The Malaysians have finally come to terms with their arguments for the bridge. They have eventually accepted that it was started based on wrong premises and unsound facts and cannot continue further without causing more harm to themselves and their own people and economy. What is important is the signalling by Badawi that the period of excesses and extravagance of mega projects of Mahathir is finally over. The bridge over trouble water is the last vestige of an era of wasteful policies. The scrapping of the bridge would probably strengthen Badawi's position and mark an end to all the crony companies and their projects to fleece the people and nation of their limited resources. It is good that all the shit on the table is wiped away together with the crooked bridge.
The engaging forum between LKY and the 10 young people from the media reflects the importance of the new generation in the politics of Singapore. There were 10 young people, opinionated, aware and informed of the political issues in the country, unlike the school kids that were featured before. Now, this group of people know what they were talking about. And for LKY to take them on in an open forum shows how serious he and the PAP is about the votes of the young. They are going make an impact in this general election, like it or not. And LKY was there to convince these young people and to convert and win them over to the PAP camp. Did he succeed in what he sets out to do? In the first place the 10 people were all of the same mind. That's what I perceived from their questions, body language and expression. They all have similar thoughts of what was wrong with the present systems and where the fault lies. Their questions were direct and unrestrained. Unlevel playing field, no mandate, restriction of expression, unfair upgrading, relevance of GRCs, a bullying govt, arrogance etc. LKY's response was to play hardball. Nobody plays fair in politics. These are the realities. The ruling party will not help the opposition. And when one of them made a general statement, he was mowed down by a clinical and precise argument on facts. It was a clever argument that will destroy and win a judgement in court. The young man could not substantiate his statement with empirical facts about the fear factor. He misquoted. But does winning that argument on technical ground win the ground? It will win a legal case or an argument. period. The listeners were not convinced, from their expression and rumbling. In fact that kind of statements, that people vote out of fear, can never be substantiated even if a proper survey is done. Not many will tell the truth, especially when they perceived the stakes were high. What ended up is the winning of an argument but losing the audience. This is politics. The explanations by LKY on the necessity for GRC did not address the question that GRC can be smaller. Neither was it convincing to say that GRCs were set up to test the ability of the opposition to run the country. The argument that because the opposition was weak or the walkovers, so the people are contented and there was a mandate for the PAP to rule did not cut any ice. It came across as winning by default, and supported the young people's point that it was due to the uneven playing field, apathy and restrictions placed on the opposition. As for the lack of good opposition, LKY said that all the good candidates were with the PAP. It is true that the opposition could not attract good quality candidates. But there are many excellent candidates that are not contesting for many reasons. What was not answered is why are good people not joining the opposition? But the answer was there. Did LKY manage to wind over the young people to his side? There were some reverence shown. But as to winning them over with hardball politics, the answer was obvious.
'Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.' -Ralph Waldo Emerson- the above is quoted in a NUS business school advertisement. In no time this will be adapted to fit the singapore context and change to: 'do not find your own path, go instead and follow the trail we have laid for you.' -redbean-
Li Ao was reported to have asked Singaporeans to invite him here to explain why he called them stupid. Let's see whether there is any stupid Singaporean who will go ahead and invite him just to do that. Then Li Ao will come here, fully paid for his air tickets, food and lodging and all the publicity, only to confirm that Singaporeans are really stupid.
At long last some light is coming through the tunnel. A civil lawsuit is in the pipeline for the board of directors of NKF. Just wonder why it takes so long to come to this stage when the neglect to exercise responsibilities is so overwhelming? And to quote the paper, 'the KPMG report had unveiled outrageous excesses of the old Durai administration.' But the public who are expecting justice may be advised to be less enthusiastic of the outcome when you have comments from the legal professions like 'no point' or 'hard for the authorities to pin down criminal wrongdoings based on the KPMG report.' With so much evidence and so much public money being misappropriated, and the case still looks so weak, it is really puzzling. Now, it would be so much easier to sue someone to bankruptcy over a comment that one chooses to interpret whichever way one chooses than this great saga. The law is indeed intriguing for the layman.
Kan Seng said this GE is a watershed election as it is again witnessing the passing of the baton to a new pm. Indeed this is a new milestone. But there are many more things that will make this a historical moment. First there is the ballooning of the younger voters coming into the scene and the fading away of the first generation senior citizens. Then there is the internet that changes the way information reaches out to the people. Political views and issues are exchanged and no longer a one way process as in the past. The people talk back. Never have so much money been placed on the table in a GE, eg upgrading and progress package. The total amount probably exceeds $10 billion. For the first time the opposition parties are getting much better quality candidates than in the past. Young professionals are stepping forward to offer themselves as opposition candidates. The ruling party is seeing the changing of the guards and a third generation of leaders taking over the helm. According to Chinese traditional belief the third generation presents a lot of uncertainties. It either marks the beginning to an end or is an end in itself. But given the strength of the PAP, it is likely to see at most a big dent. Lets see how dramatic is this watershed. Would the people give a rousing support to the new PAP team and clean up the opposition? Or will the people's wish for a strong opposition be granted with the opposition taking a couple of GRCs? Either way it will be a watershed indeed.
The americans are not showing any sign of sincerity to host the visit by Hu Jintao. In fact in every aspect they are trying to tell Hu Jintao that he is second rate and does not deserve the full honour of a head of state. For Hu Jintao to proceed to visit the US is as a good as turning his face to be slapped. He will be an embarrassment to the Chinese people when the host country is showing all the signs to treat him less than what he is. It is better for Hu Jintao to call off the visit and saves the embarrassment not only to him but to his country and people. This visit is now a joke in cyberspace.
There seems to be a hot debate on whether the film Da Vinci Code shall be allowed to be screened here. Those who were against complained that the film is a heresy, undermining some of the sacred beliefs of Christianity. And they claimed that the filmmakers and those who allowed the screening of the film are insensitive to Christians and their beliefs. Those who want the film to be shown said that the film is just an entertainment and people are smart enough to know that it is fiction. Something like Lord of the Ring or Harry Potter. Shall we screen the film or no? Can a religious group, not necessary on this issue, or the Christians, any group, insist that because of sensitive grounds, dictate what can be screened or what cannot be screened? Or do we have a body to mediate on such issues?
Why did Singaporeans rush to Malaysia in hoards over the weekend? 1. Big open space and leisure resorts. 2. Cheaper golf courses. 3. Cheaper food. including oil, sugar, milk powder, flour etc 4. Cheap petrol. 5. Safe and friendly environment. With the recent developments, with Singaporeans being easy targets for criminals, what else is left to attract Singaporeans to go across when all the things are no longer cheap. Even all the MNCs are moving out of Singapore and Malaysia to China and India. Does this ring a bell? That they have to be cheap to be attractive? Who would want to go to Malaysia when all things are equal and they did not have anything else to attract Singaporeans. Who would want to go to Genting when our own IRs are operational?
I once wrote about the participation of GLCs in the domestic economy, competing with the SMEs and little individuals for business, flexing their financial muscles, contacts and expertise. All these will only drive the small businesses out of business. I advocated that GLCs, because of their size and finances, and govt links, should compete in areas where barriers to entry are high and difficult for SMEs. When Temasek starts to expand overseas buying up other big companies, I thought that is what they should be doing. And when they compete in a different market with the biggies, the domestic markets can be left for the SMEs and little individuals whom they want to encourage to be entrepreneurs, to have a go at them. Looks like this is not going to be the case. From the way things are moving, all the agents and agencies will be driven out of business. The provider of services or product agencies cannot compete with the big boys when they are unleashed to wipe out all the small businesses. With the latest rulings on commission for housing agents, where only one side needs to pay, housing agent's income will be half. And if this is extended further, when buyer and seller are encouraged to do it themselves, or go online, that will be the end of the housing agent industry. The stockbroking agents are struggling to make ends meet. The drop in business and commission is already wiping out any growth in their income. Now the banks are allowed to trade stocks for their clients. This is already bad enough. Taking more clients out of the market from the small stockbroking agents as if the banks will go broke for lack of business. The worst to come is for the banks to compete by slashing commission rates. That will kill an industry that is struggling to be alive. So with the banks going upstream and downstream for more businesses, is there any room for the small individuals? Isn't it the govt's intention to limit the banks to just do banking and divest all their assets and businesses in non core areas? And for small product agencies, don't be too happy. Soon all the agencies too will be usurped by the bigger GLCs. But for all those who will be driven out of their agent and agency businesses, do not despair. The govt will be more than willing to help. Many jobs are created specially for them. Go for retraining, and clean tables at foodcourts. Or become environment specialists, cut and water plants or sweep floors. And with mechanisation, the jobs are quite comfortable. And for those who still can't make it, or can't bring themselves down to these professional levels of their new jobs, they can queue up for Comcare handouts. The whole game plan has been carefully planned as part of the restructuring that the country is going through. And it is good for everyone. Majulah Singapura!
Saw a brief moment when Hsienloong was on tv when he met a delegation of the opposition at a food court. Both exchanged greetings, big smiles and handshakes and a little loose chat. If only such friendliness can be maintained during the election without anyone going after the jugular. Competing candidates should treat each other with respect and civility and challenge each other on issues and programmes and not hitting under the belt. They should remain on friendly terms during and after the election campaign. Then we can say our political system is maturing, and politicians also maturing. Hooliganism and gangsterism must not surface during the campaigning for the good of future Singapore.
North Korea has emerged as the world's second most peace loving nation after the USA. This is in accordance to the new definition for peace loving and friendly nation that the world is now led to believe in. The USA is the number one peace loving nation. And to qualify to be peace loving, the country must threaten to invade another nation, or even invade another country, or threaten to launch pre emptive strike against another nation. The USA has done all that. Invaded Iraq, fighting in Afganistan, threatening to launch an attack against Iran, threatening to launch a pre emptive strike against North Korea. And yesterday North Korea did just that. It threatens to launch a pre emptive strike against the USA and will not sit idly by to wait for the USA to strike first. It also has the capability, though not able to launch so many ICBMs, to attack the US. For once the most friendly and peace loving nation is being threatened by the second most friendly and peace loving nation with a pre emptive strike. Now we will see how the US reacts to such a threat.
Technically and legally if the MDA said that any blog or forum talks politics must register with them, then we have to register. And technically this applies to blogs/forums by Singaporeans or non Singaporeans. Only difference is whether they are able to enforce them when non citizens are concerned. For Singaporeans, this is our law and they can throw the book at us. It is up to them whether to do it or not. What is interesting and I would like to quote Hsienloong's statement over the weekend: "But when we have Opposition parties which avoid the issues, which refuse to answer questions, which publish a manifesto and...(which) say, well, the manifesto speaks for itself - and refuse to explain, defend, elaborate and persuade - then I think it's a very strange sort of competition," Let me substitute the above with a few words and hopefully Balaji reads it. I saw him together with Hsienloong when the above was mentioned. "But when we have Government which avoid the issues, which refuse to answer questions, which publish a regulation and...(which) say, well, the regulation speaks for itself - and refuse to explain, defend, elaborate and persuade - then I think it's a very strange sort of government, Ever since Balaji came out with his regulation on controlling free speech in blogs and forums, he has been very reticent about it, without any further explanation though many people are asking for clarifications. Maybe grassroot or peasants are too unimportant for him to reply. There is no need to engage grassroot in any discussion.
i know many of you have very interesting views and ways of expressing them. i have set up www.redbeanforum.com so that you can all share your views with other well meaning and concerned singaporeans. you are all invited to post there as a blog is a bit restrictive and limited. remember, you are all welcome. use it as an opportunity to share your ways of looking at things and sharpen your journalistic skills in the cyberworld. this is a new frontier and we are the pioneers in this area. we need to beat a path for others to follow suit. regards.
The mob democracy in Thailand is just going too far and is irritating the powers and even the King. They have abused the power of democracy to throw out a popularly elected prime minister. And now they are demanding his exile from Thailand, to ensure that he has no more influence on Thai politics. Is this too much to ask for? To force a Thai citizen out of Thailand? And now they are even telling their revered king what to do. This is how power corrupts and got crazy in the heads of crazy people. They did not know how much damages they have done to the Thai economy, Thai tourism and trade and investment. And the military is losing its patience on a mob that has gone crazy with power. Would they demand the removal of the king if the king turns down their request to appoint an undemocratically elected prime minister?
This thread is reserved for honourable and generous people who, for their own reasons, donate the progress package money back to the public coffer. I would like to post the names of such people here. Please let me know if you come across any. The first name is David Gan
I am angry on a Sunday morning. Shit, why should I be angry on a Sunday morning on a topic like stupid Singaporeans? I just read in the papers that David Gan, the famous hair stylist, also received the progress package. And this generous man, with a big heart, is going to donate whatever he gets back to the public coffer. Now, that is a very nice gesture. No, I am not angry with David or his receiving the package. I am angry with stupid Singaporeans who decided to give him the progress package. Andy is a new citizen. He is probably a new citizen for less than 3 years. I welcome him, and many Singaporeans welcome this talented man as one of us. He is a genuine talent in his field, among the best of the best. Not some cheap half baked foreign talents. Now what is my problem? Many foreigners were given the citizenship, and without having to serve national service. And now, just because they are citizens, they are entitled to a share of the nation's wealth immediately, because they are citizens. The national wealth was built over many years by generations of Singaporeans. And if they are to be given to new citizens, at least make sure that they serve national service as well, or be qualified for it after a certain time criteria, to be fair to the rest of the stupid Singaporeans who have to serve national service for 30 years of their lives. This is another way to degrade the meaning of national service and the value of citizenship to a born Singaporeans.
Actually I wanted to start a new topic on what I am going to say below but find them all inter related. Let me start off by referring to an article in the Straits Times today reporting that Badawi wanted his critics on the Ninth Malaysia Plan 'to hold their tongues and to stop spreading negative stories about the plan.' Basically Badawi is experiencing the heat and cannot take the heat. In this new century of internet and virtual reporting, politicians cannot afford to talk rubbish and propose craps and think they can get away with it. Not that in the past there were no criticisms about those silly policies they dished out. They were articulated but not heard. The people have no means to be heard. Today everything is heard and immediately heard. There is no way the politcians can pretend to be an ostrich and refuse to see or hear the feedback. And the internet, the blogs and forums, are the real feedback which they can only refuse to hear. They chose to set up a fictitious feedback unit and only consider those things there as feedback. Anything comments outside of the feedback unit is considered destructive criticism and not to be taken seriously. And they are going to behave like Badawi, when the criticisms are strong and they do not want to hear, gag them. Don't let people speak or air their views, so they can feel good and believe that everything is good, the ground is sweet. And their 'yak' proposals can then be pushed through happily because they did not hear any criticism. Is that what intelligent people want to do? Get only the feedback they want to hear and the rest must not be allowed to say anything? If there is no immediate feedback, the PAP will be happily singing the song of no upgrading to opposition wards and go into Potong Pasir and Hougang with their legs wide open. Now they can reword their positions and hopefully can undo the damage caused. Would they say a big thank you to internet, to the bloggers and forumers for exposing how badly that position was received?