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10/31/2006

plenty of charity money, still not enough

It is reported that 18 IPCs, Institute of Public Characters, or charitable organisations, have at least $10 mil in their reserves. Another 18 have less than $5 mil in reserves. These work out to be $180 mil plus about $90 mil or $270 mil in their savings. There are also hundreds of smaller charitable organisations. There are many govt or quasi govt charitable organisations with lots of funds. Comcare alone has $600 mil. Not sure how much savings the NKf still have. But together, there is a huge sum of money to help the needy and can do a lot of wonders. There is no reason for people to jump down from flats or onto MRT tracks. Why are these money not reaching the people who badly needed them? Is it because they are savings for another day just like our CPF? Don't spend first. Save for tomorrow. Must be prudent. Are we more concern about tomorrow than the plight of people who cannot feed themselves today, that today is the people's problem and tomorrow is the fund managers problem? For a rich country like ours, to have so much money for charity, and still not enough, looks like the problem of the needy is really a very big one. I think we should be more circumscribe in trying to raise money to send students overseas to have a smell of foreign air when they return only to be less desirable than the genuine foreign talents. They will still not be regarded as foreign talents.

more novel ideas to save water

For the hardlanders it is very important that they should save on everything. Every single cent counts and it is good that there are campaigns to help and teach them to save, including 1 litre of water a day. Actually there are many novel ways of saving waters and money. They can delay flushing their toilets if they urinate. Flush only when they shit. After all saving money is more important than a little cleanliness and a little personal hygiene. The pigstys were cleaned maybe once a week. So should be ok if people don't flush their toilet so often. Another way is to visit the neighbourhood kopitiams or MRT stations to use their toilets. That would save more water. What else can they save? When they take MRT or buses, try to alight one or two stations before the destination and walk the last leg. Walking is good too and can be regarded as an exercise. They can skip a meal a day. Now that will be big savings. About $3 a meal can be saved. If that is not enough, eat instant noodles. For 60c a pack a meal, 3 meals a day or $1.80 daily, wow, who says living in Singapore is expensive. But please don't look down on them or tell them to get out of your elite faces. They are trying very hard to live within their means. And they need to or else the next transport increase or charges on essential services will not be affordable. Please contribute your ideas to help them save more. A few cents are also important.

10/30/2006

effective ways of saving water

The most effective way to save water. I used to bathe twice a day. Now I bathe once a day. But to get extra savings, instead of taking a 5 minute bath, I have reduced it to 3 minutes. If the water fee is going to go up further, I will make do with bathing once in 3 days. Now that should be great savings. And all my washing, crockery, clothing etc shall use lesser water. One pail of water for the whole house and wash once a month. One pail of water to wash all the clothing. Now where shall I go for my $200 dinner with all the savings?

NUS alumni

Only 1% of NUS Alumni donated about $960k to a fund set up to provide bursaries to undergraduates for enriching programmes. Presumably the bursaries will only be given to local students. The main reason given for the poor response is that it is the Govt's responsibility. Now we have the elite taking a stand against another elite organisation, ie the graduates against the graduate's alumni. Both are supposed to be thinking people. Now who is more thinking? Should the graduates donate to help undergraduates? Or should the govt do it? Or is this another duplication of charitable work, a bursary created because someone thinks that it is a good idea or they need to do something like a charity? It seems like a fad here that everyone given an opportunity would like to raise fund to do charity. Isn't it strange that a first world affluent nation needs so many charities to help so many people and still some falling through the cracks and like someone phrased it, into the track? Is charity or bursary about helping the needy to cope with basic needs and tuition fees? Or is it meant for some luxuries like overseas attachments or enriching programmes which are now regarded as a necessity while the products are always below par compare to foreign talents? Why waste all these money or ask for donations to pursue something that is good to have, but the past times of rich kids? Does the Alumni thinks that they have a good and reasonable cause to ask for donation? I would like to start a charity for our primary school children to have attachment programmes in American Schools in the US. Anyone want to donate? It will give them a very enriching experience. Why can't the govt provide these if it can provide for so many foreign students here?

I want my blue dolphin fountain.

I want my blue dolphin fountain. There is this resident by the name of Lucky Tan who voted for a blue dolphin fountain to be built in his estate. He got it and is so happy with it. Whenever he is down and unhappy, all he needs to do is to spend 10 minutes beside the blue dolphin fountain. And all his worries will disappear. In the next election I think all the residents will want a blue dolphin fountain in their estates. And whichever party offers this magical fountain will definitely win the election. It is a pity that the estate of Tan Jee Suan did not have a blue dolphin fountain. Otherwise all his worries will be gone. Well it is all gone now. If only Tan Jee Suan's estate has an upgrading programme. If only 75% of the constituents voted for upgrading, Tan Jee Suan will have his blue dolphin fountain. Never mind if he had only $16 in his pocket. They will make it so affordable and so easy to pay. 10 years or 20 years instalments using his CPF. And if he does not have sufficient CPF, they will send him a gentle reminder every month in the form of a pink letter and gently telling him about the consequences if he does not pay. For people like Tan Jee Suan, their letter boxes must be stuffed regularly with pink letters from HDB, PUB, Telecom, Schools, and what not. But they must have got use to them. Lets vote for a blue dolphin fountain so that it can take all their worries away.

10/29/2006

2011 election slogan

Get out of my elite uncaring face This should be an interesting general election slogan for 2011. Any takers?

tough ride hard landing

Singapore tough ride and hard landing. Singapore's relation with Thailand, especially the Thai Palace, is in for a tough ride. The Thaksin coup can be directly linked to the Shin Corp acquisition. And Singapore is seen as the cause of his downfall. Even a quick congratulatory message to the coup Prime Minister did not appease the displeasure in Thailand. We were the first to send the message in spite of the fact that we don't approve of military coups. And in his quick tour of Asean countries, Singapore, the largest trading partner, and once seen as the closest ally of Thailand, was bluntly left out. They do not want to talk to us. Then Temasek wanted to appoint a 'private secretary to the crown prince' as a corporate advisor for its Thailand office. This again backfired and the appointment was called off. Then the palace issued a statement calling the would be advisor, Tongnoi, as 'cunning and immoral.' Or is that a message to tell Temasek but taken out as against Tongnoi? A kingdom is a kingdom and thinks and behaves like a kingdom. A king and crown prince think like a king and a crown prince. Modern leadership from a modern state, a republic, will find it difficult to fathom or relate to them. The values and interests are different, I supposed.

dream team for survival

My dream team for survival in Singapore With the strong competition Singaporeans are facing today from foreign talents, it would require very exceptional skills, talents and characters to survive and do well in Singapore. Morality has to give at times. And there is no room for the bleeding hearts and compassion. It is all about survival and being the fittest to get all. If I were to run a corporation, the key marketing man must definitely be Durai. His charisma and ability to raise funds, lots of funds, and to run a tight and professional company are great assets in a competitive dog eats dog environment. Next in line must be Chia Teck Leng. His consumate skills in gambling and fund transfer are legendary. Whatever money raised by Durai can be invested by Chia in the casinos and transfer to anywhere without any traces. Hmmm, tax evasion. And there is another legend, a foreign talent in the name of Nick Leeson. Just place him in another bank that is targetted for takeover and he will deliver the bank with all its cash and assets. It is so easy. We need people who are highly motivated, by greed. Greed is a very strong driving force. The greedier they are the better. And once in the team, they will gel and help each other to do well. They must be smart to know that they are all in the same boat and should not rock the boat. If there is any legal issues to settle, there are many great legal counsels to call on. For a small island we really have many great legal brains to choose from. Davinder, no, I think Francis will be better. More international and senior in the hierarchy. For the next generation, look for some of those heartless young talents from a rich background. The richer the better. Then they can think big and be ruthless as well. You need tough and dedicated people to run the ship. And with so many young monsters to choose from, there is great future for such a corporation.

myth 84

'The Kiasi Singaporeans' The remarkable Singaporean traits of Kiasi and Kiasu are best exemplified in their willingness to obey all the rules and regulations, law abiding and follow whatever campaigns that the govt throws at them. Everything the govt says, goes. And we end up with a world class workforce and a very discipline people. If only the Singaporeans were really that sheepish or obedient, Singapore will be a much better place. And the govt will have lesser headache persuading the people to do all kinds of things. Singaporeans don't really listen to the govt or follow govt policies. If they do, all our problems will be solved. There will be no litters on the road, no smokers, no opposition in parliament, etc The most painful campaign that the govt is pushing and not getting any success is the population growth. If Singaporeans were to listen to the govt, every family would have 4 or 5 children. And given that there is 1 million households, our 6 to 8 million population target will be reached overnight. Imagine what a socially and economically vibrant city state we will be. Hospital beds all taken up to full capacity. Retail business doubles or triples because of the doubling or tripling of the population. All the excess HDB flats will also be taken up and more flats need to be built. And all the property prices will go up too when demand is growing. And no need for foreign talents since we can produce more of our own talents. Ok, maybe this is not true since our local breed may not be good enough and we need fresh genes to add to the ageing pool of old genes. And the Ministry of Defence will be most happy with all the NS men, 100k a year or more. We can have soldiers everywhere. What else, the IRs, the shopping centres, Sentosa, etc will be doing roaring businesses. The trains and buses and taxis will be chalking up threefold profits and fun at full capacity, all packed with commuters. And ERP collection will automatically shoot sky high. All happy problems. And socially the impact will be greater. We will have bubbly and happy little faces running around the estates and playgrounds instead of grumpy slow moving oldies waiting for their days to be over. If only Singaporeans listen to the govt and do as they are told.

10/28/2006

Quote of the Century

Quote of the Century "This country doesn't torture, we're not going to torture," George Bush was quoted by the Associated Press news agency during a photo session in Washington DC.

we should thank wee shu min

Someone posted in YPAP forum about thanking Shumin. I thought it was a joke. On second thought, I think he had a point. Without Shumin telling the brutal truth, Singaporeans would still be living in a state of ignorant bliss. Hopefully Shumin's frank talk could jolt them up and face the ugly reality of life. The earlier they know the truth, the earlier they can take actions to look after their pathetic life. It is the same as the peanut story. Otherwise we still would not understand what a peanut cost and what people meant by peanuts. It is another brutal truth that Singaporeans must live with. You people must be grateful to Shumin. That's why they always said that an innocent child will tell the most enlighten truth. You cannot lie to a child.

how real are american professors?

Professor Susan Shirk from the University of California and Director of the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation wrote an article reprinted in the Straits Times today. She was US dep asst secretary of state responsible for China from 1997 to 2000. 'N.Korea nuke crisis: China's tough stance may help fix Japan ties.' Her article reveals the standard kind of western bias and understanding of Asia and Asian politics, and this is how Rice and the Bush made all those decisions based on the same kind of thinking and assumptions. Let me point out those that I don't agree. 1. That China is willing to take a tough stand against North Korea and would choose to ally with Japan and the US against its tradition ally, North Korea. How foolish can this be? Has China or Russia raise a whimper that North Korea's nuclear test is a threat to them? China may have to worry over the long term if North Korea falls out and join the US camp. But as long as North Korea is on its side, it will do anything it can to keep it that way. North Korea is the strongest Chinese card against the US and Japan. Without North Korea, the Bush administration and Japan will be playing monkey tricks against China and prodding Taiwan to go independence. And there will be many nonsensical human rights issues and trade issues to pressure China. 2. It is China's intention to keep North and South Korea separated as China fear a united Korea led by the South and under the influence of the Americans. Or is it the other way? The truth is that the Americans are twisting the South Korean's arm and refuse to let them reunite as a single Korea. The Americans fear that a reunited and independent Korea will mean no more American bases in Korea. Didn't Susan Shirk know this or is she pretending that she did not? 3. China voted for a stronger sanction against North Korea? China and Russia stubbornly resisted the US proposal to do a regime change in the North. And they would not allow the US to use the military option. It was forced by the US to accept some kind of sanction unwillingly and had to compromise half way. 4. China compromised its North Korean ally for the reason of pride? The North Korean trump card is so valuable to the Chinese that should the US dares take the military option they can expect the Chinese troops to be there facing them. 5. The perception or impression that all the Americans and western media try to tell the world that North Korea is suffering from food epidemic and its people are dying of hunger as the conventional truth. How true is that? Why are the North Koreans not revolting? And the pictures of hungry babies were of chubby faces with rosy cheeks. Compare them with the skin and bone children of Africa and some third world countries. These children looked so well fed and far from dying of hunger. And those are the worst pictures that they can find and put on air. 6. China is worried about its position in the elite nuclear club being diluted. Horseshit! Did China complain about North Korea, Pakistan or Iran being nuclear powers? The country that fears this dilution of its nuclear power status is the country that makes the most noise and threatening military intervention. Now which country is that? Difficult to guess? 7. China will join Japan and the US against a common enemy in North Korea? She must be mad! How could a professor have such a simplistic view? 8. Chinese politicians didn't dare invite Koizumi to China or meet him outside China? It was China who refused to talk to Koizumi despite his many attempts to visit China and talk to the Chinese leaders. Our poor professor is still reading History 101? 9. Many Chinese political elite blame the dangerous deterioration of relations with Japan on former Jiang Zemin? Where is she from? Venus? 10. Hu Jintao was eager to patch up with Japan and work out a pragmatic understanding with Abe? Partly truth but mainly because Abe has to promise not to visit Yasukuni shrine. At least if Abe wants to keep China Japan relationship on an even keel and if he wants the Chinese leadership to talk to him. My goodness! What kind of history and political science are they teaching or being taught?

we have more than 800 unique readers daily

As we progress up the social and economic ladder, as we become more well read and informed, as we become more aware of the our role and responsibilities to ourselves and our people, we no longer want to sit still and be fed with whatever news people think are fit for our consumption. We want to decide and judge for ourselves what is good or bad, right or wrong. News reporting is no longer a one way street where the reporters and journalists regard all readers as captive peking ducks to be force fed with whatever they deem fit. News reporting has to change. It is interactive and responsive to the needs of the readers. The readers now demands what they want to hear and know. This is where Cyberspace comes in. Only Cyberspace can play this kind of role of news as there are and not news as the MSM want them to be. And when the news are biased, not up to expectation, the readers are there to change them, correct them, rebut them and present their own version of the the news. Everyone here can and should play a part in this new development. The fact that you are all in Cyberspace is enough evidence to show that this is the trend. The only thing that is holding many people back is the apprehension, the self doubt that people may disagree with your views. It is time to remove the apprehension. As for self doubt, this is a natural expectation and there will be people who agree with you and those who disagree. We are all different and see things differently. No one is absolutely right or wrong. There is a growing trend for the young and restive to want to say their peace. This trend is unstoppable.

new trend in news reporting

As we progress up the social and economic ladder, as we become more well read and informed, as we become more aware of the our role and responsibilities to ourselves and our people, we no longer want to sit still and be fed with whatever news people think are fit for our consumption. We want to decide and judge for ourselves what is good or bad, right or wrong. News reporting is no longer a one way street where the reporters and journalists regard all readers as captive peking ducks to be force fed with whatever they deem fit. News reporting has to change. It is interactive and responsive to the needs of the readers. The readers now demands what they want to hear and know. This is where Cyberspace comes in. Only Cyberspace can play this kind of role of news as there are and not news as the MSM want them to be. And when the news are biased, not up to expectation, the readers are there to change them, correct them, rebut them and present their own version of the the news. Everyone here can and should play a part in this new development. The fact that you are all in Cyberspace is enough evidence to show that this is the trend. The only thing that is holding many people back is the apprehension, the self doubt that people may disagree with your views. It is time to remove the apprehension. As for self doubt, this is a natural expectation and there will be people who agree with you and those who disagree. We are all different and see things differently. No one is absolutely right or wrong. There is a growing trend for the young and restive to want to say their peace. This trend is unstoppable.

10/27/2006

join me to give MSM a run for their money

Cyberspace is more than just a venue for venting frustrations. It has a very vital role to provide an alternative view, a citizen's view of what is important to the people. The things that netizens discussed are matters that they choose to discuss, spontaneous and unfettered, not imposed by anyone or subject to anyone's approval. It is the people's platform. We have seen how MSM present their news, very selective and with a high dosage of self censorship. The way MSM are going about their roles, they are, yes, many of you have said it, losing their credibility and influence on their readers. In redbeanforum and mysingaporenews, there are hundreds of you fellas out there, all very well educated, concerned, opinionated, articulate and well read. All of you have your own interests and your own views of things. If we can share all these in Cyberspace, we will be a very important platform for people, Singaporeans and international readers, to come here to hear us out. Our strength is our free spirit and freedom of expression. We decide what we want to say or discuss. This will put us well ahead of all MSMs. And we are the pioneers in Cyberspace. We should not miss this opportunity to craft out a niche of what Cyberspace and citizen reporting are all about. Our time is precious. Our effort is precious. We should use these constructively and meaningfully. We can be as creative as we want. Say whatever we want. But we need to develop our own netiquette and professional conduct to be respectable and taken seriously. All of us have different views and opposing views. But as long as we respect each other and discuss on issues, we cannot get too far wrong. Just stay away from attacking people personally or libels and scandals. This is our country, our space. Make it counts. Make our views heard and be taken seriously. For those who are posting in mysingaporenews blog, there is a limitation in that you cannot initiate new topics. Use the forum to tell your story. Talk about things that are close to your heart. We can talk about them passionately, sensibly and sincerely. If we can do that, our effort will not be in vain. The fact that all of you are here is that we share some common values and approaches to what posting and discussion in cyberspace should be like. Let us be the beacon for others who will come after us. Let us show our way. As a first world nation, we must be confident of ourselves and our voice, and be prepared to take a stand on domestic or international issues. Redbean

child prank or cold sore?

Wee Shu Min's case is but a child prank. In many cases of such nature this will be treated like a child prank and be ignored completely by the general public. It may at most deserves a little comment and will be forgotten. But this issue now has generated so much heat in cyberspace that it appears to become a political crisis of sort. Many of the bloggers and forumers are seeing things that are more than meet the eyes. Just like the Durai case, it is not an issue of a young girl making an off the cuff statement in the heat of the moment. Many are questioning the thinking, values and philosophy of the elite which is symbolised by the ruling party. Anyway, such perceptions only appear in cyberspace and appear serious for those who are reading the fierce comments posted. But is it really deserving of such attention in MSM? Obviously not. The general public will probably see this as a little disturbance, a little annoyance. And rightly the professional journalists in the MSM will not be bothered to spend time reporting on such a small issue. If it is that important and affecting the ruling elite or the party, you can expect some comments coming out from the highest places. The silence tells us that it is not important and no need to sweat over it. It is more like a cold sore. It will appear for a short while and will disappear by itself and the skin will be as smooth as before. Not a little blemish will be left behind. Whether it will disrupt again in the future will depend on the nature of the cold sore. If it is syphillis, it will surely rear its ugly self once again at the most uncomfortable moment. But it could be just a normal cold sore that will just come and go and will not affect the person having it. The elite have made their assessments like the MSM journalists and they are right. The forumers and bloggers are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Whichever party is right in their assessment, only time will tell.

10/26/2006

what would i do?

What would I do if I were to give some fatherly advice. Option 1. Make an earnest apology that she had spoken wrong. Even if she is young, at 18, she must show more care and compassion for the less fortunate and less able in society. She has been counselled and hope she will be wiser and be more caring and more thoughtful in the future. Option 2. She is a 18 year old young adult. She must be responsible for what she said. If she has done or said things that are wrong, she must stand up to face the music. She should not close down her blog but to reply and explain her position and apologise for her erroneous views. She has her right to have a view which I don't agree in this case. It is good that other forumers correct her wrongful thoughts and lack of compassion and humility. Hopefully she will learn a good lesson from this episode. As a father I can support her and correct her to become a better person. She has erred like many other young persons. The important thing is to pick herself up, admit her erroneous views, apologise to Derek Wee and whoever she has offended and move on.

the hsienloong dilemma

The HsienLoong Dilemma Now what shall Hsienloong do? To side with his soldier/MP or to side with the people?

duck can sing and cock can swim

Wee Siew Kim has formally apologised today after his earlier reply was deemed unacceptable in cyberspace. Not sure how MSM would interpret his reply, but if we take the lack of reports or forum letters as an indicator, maybe we can assume that MSM has let the matter rest. Only in Cyberspace, the modern day Liangshan that the mood is different, and the protest vehement. Talking about two different worlds, indeed there are two worlds apart. And one is speaking like chicken and another like ducks. Some would want to let the matter rest but some will still be angry. What I think needs to be reviewed is the policy of inducting or co copting successful supertalents into politics. These are able men and women for sure. They have done well in their chosen fields. Politics is a different ball game. There are many reasons why these able people should not be in politics. One of which is interest. Are they really interested and have the people's interest at heart? Or are they coerced to join, or just jump into the bandwagon for a little ride and fame, and fortune? Or they are in for a totally different agenda? Whatever, these people have very little time given their tight schedules in their professions and family. People may want to believe that they are superhumans and can work 25 hours. But remove the facade of their achievements, they are basically another human being who needs to eat, sleep and rest and a little time for themselves. It would be more merciful to let them enjoy their success in what they are doing than to bring them into politics to suffer, and if not being careful, be disgraced in front of everyone. By so doing, we are doing injustice to them and to the people. Wee Siew Kim will now be very bitter for having accepted the call to be in politics. Why did he mess up his life, his family's life, to go into politics when he could be very happy as a CEO in the corporate world. We must be fair to our people, especially the highly valued few supertalents that we have. Do not abuse them by forcing them to be supermen and superwomen. A duck can swim but not run. A cock can crow but not sing. Lets not assume that a duck can sing and a cock can also swim.

the insensitive americans

The insensitive Americans still living with the 19th Century colonial mentality. 'The US military would have to rely more on 'brute force' if faced with another war, such as on the Korean peninsula.' Genera Peter Pace said. He added that war against North Korea will cost greater lives than if the US were not already fighting in Afgan and Iraq. He was commenting about a potential war with the North Koreans and regard the South Koreans as transparent. He could not think how the South Koreans would feel if the US go ahead and kill their North Korean brothers and sisters. I doubt the West Germans would take it too kindly if the Americans commented about killing the East Germans during the days of two Germanys. The Americans simply assume that the South Koreans hated the North Koreans as much as the US hated them and would do anything to them without any qualms. The best reflection of how the South Koreans feel is best described by the criticism of the US's war like ways by Song Min Soon, chief presidential secretary of security of South Korea. Song was quoted as saying, 'The US has probably been in the largest number of wars in the history of mankind. If we leave our fate in the hands of the US just for the sake of falling in step with the international community, it would amount to giving up our own destiny.' Would such an open statement of disapproval mean anything to the Americans? Or would they still want to kid themselves that this is only an isolated comment by a small minority and the South Koreans are still a compliant colonised people that do not think for themselves as a people and as Koreans? That they will still kill Koreans because their colonial master said so?

myth 83

'Govt does not take care of pensioners' In the past many pensioners had complained that their pensions were all eaten up by inflation and the unceasing rise in the cost of living. Within a few years these pensioners will find that they cannot make ends meet with the little pension that they are receiving. Having experience such mistakes in the computation and implementation of the pension schemes, the new pension scheme will make sure that pensioners will be very comfortable for many years of their twilight years, drinking wine on their rocking chairs. Their pension will be enough not to be affected by any inflation and high cost of living. This will be a great incentive and motivation for talented people to serve the govt.

how to work for a fatter paycheque

The Enron Case Rachel Beck's subheading of her article in the Today paper simply said, 'Pushing for a fatter paycheque can be plain wrong.' Is this familiar, or would it be a timely reminder of what can go wrong or already gone wrong? What brought down Enron was greed, the need to maintain an appearance of solid growth, soaring profits and a climbing stock price which will directly be translated to a fatter paycheque for the executives. And looking at the cases that are appearing in our courts, it seems that Enron is a role model for many Singapore companies. Some were unfortunate to be caught. Some were still out there, thanking their lucky stars that they are not discovered. Professor Peter Henning of Wayne State University Law School sum it up by saying 'Most executives don't say, let's go and loot the company today.' It starts by small increments, not very noticeable. Something like affordable increases bit by bit. It is so lucky for Singapore that no corporation went out to recruit such a foreign talent and pay through their noses. Wee Cho Yaw is quite right to retain the money to pay local talents and keep the money circulating in our economy. Otherwise he will end up as another laughing stock.

10/25/2006

myth 82

'The uncaring Singaporeans' The latest incident of the MRT jumper shows that Singaporeans are really a caring lot. When the plight of the family was made know, spontaneous donations hit $500k within a few days without anyone asking for help. And more caring Singaporeans stepped forward volunteering to help the family to manage the $500k. Some suggest creating a trust, some to put in FD, some worried that the money will be carelessly spent by the mother. Some wanted some of the donations to be given to others who also need help. Doesn't matter if the money was given by wellwishers and helpful Singaporeans who wanted to do their bit for the poor family, others think they can make the money more useful by spreading around.

myth 81

'MSM will not post unpleasant comments from Cyberspace' This myth has just been debunked by Tor Ching Li's article in Today paper this morning. She quoted how WP supporters were attacked for mudslinging and name calling. She also reported on the complaints to Sylvia Lim and Low Thia Khiang about Goh Meng Seng. 'In general, WP members were accused of being 'argumentative', attempting to 'sow discord' between various party supporters and even of taking the guise of online 'clones' or posting replies under alternative usernames - to 'influence perceptions'. I think she has done the right thing to report such underhand tactics of political party supporters masquerading in Cyberspace. She should make herself a champion and expose all political party supporters who stoop so low to do such acts. It reflects very badly on themselves as a human, losing all respects from any who knows them, as well as the political party, if this is what they are doing or told to do. This kind of tactics or acts is nothing different from third world countries.

Russians and the Chinese threw out Rice

The intention of Rice's recent visit to East Asia is now getting clearer. She was adamant about starting a fire in somebody's backyard and then return to far away US to fan the fire. The Chinese and Russians were initially planning for a genuine discussion and a diplomatic effort to bring North Korea away from its brinkmanship. They laid out their red carpets and put on their best to receive Rice. The Chinese even went further by sending a very senior envoy, Tang Jiaxuan, to North Korea and extracted an apology and an assurance that there will be no more nuclear test. And China also pledged to enforce the UN sanctions fully. These news greeted Rice on her arrival in Beijing. But the Chinese soon found what the evil intent of Rice. And so did the Russians. Rice departed both capitals with no announcements of reaching any agreement or breakthrough on the nuclear crisis. And within days after the Chinese and North Koreans exchanged notes, their positions changed. China now announced that there was no apology from North Korea. And that it will continue to provide massive aid to the North Koreans. The North Koreans also said that though there was no plans for a second test, it would take further actions if the US continues to put undue pressure on her. Apparently the US insisted and wanted all the parties to intercept and board North Korean ships and thus interrupting all its shipping activities and trade. This could easily provoke the North Koreans to retaliate and ignite a conflict in high seas, and could escalate further. All very good to the US and according to their plans to raise tension in East Asia. The Japanese and South Koreans were concerned but have to go along as they were virtually semi colonies of the US. But they extracted from the Americans a pledge to flatten North Korea should they be provoked to attack these two conspirators. The Chinese and the Russians will not fall into this American trap and have a war at their door step. As it is, they are able to keep peace in the region and work with North Korea and keeping it in line. If they go along with the American plan, they will have to pay a heavy price. Now both the Russians and the Chinese have virtually told Rice to get lost and they will set their own agendas and how to handle the North Koreans in their own diplomatic ways.

tor ching li's article about netiquette

I am wondering whether I should feel amused by Tor Ching Li's article this morning in Today about the activities of cyberspace and netiquette? I have submitted an article on the same topic over the weekend and has yet to see the light. Anyway, I am also wondering how ChingLi's article will be viewed by the readers. She has quoted some interesting and some unflattering comments of opposition party members. Does this mean that it is acceptable to write to the MSM on the unflattering comments of ruling party members in cyberspace as well? Or writing negative stuff about opposition members is ok and not the other way round? But a more unexpected consequence of this article is that it will divert a lot of attention to Sammyboy's site and all the gory postings of hate and disgusts about ruling party politicians will now be read by more people. It is like laying a trail of sugar towards a pool of shit. By shit I am not referring to Sammyboy but to some of the very offensive postings. Interesting indeed.

10/24/2006

i am looking for publishers

I will be looking for a publisher when my Myths reach 100. I think it will be good reading in the pubs or substations in addition to just reading poetry. It can be an interesting topic for discussion after some beer. And I think there is also opportunity for a second book here, called Thoughts of Redbean and Friends. This can include all the posts of bloggers and forumers in redbeanforum and mysingaporenews blog. I think Jack Neo could adapt them into some comedy sketches on his shows.

are there more tan jee suan out there?

The whole transport system is under reviewed and people will be pushed to take public transport. The Transport Minister also 'pledged that the general public would be able to afford public transport fares, while those who couldn't would continue to get help. Would Tan Jee Suan, the MRT jumper, have died in vain? Would there be many more Tan Jee Suan who could not afford public transport, and who could not get help from the pool of money that the govt has set up to help them and continue jumping onto the track?

wee shu min counselled by father for being insensitive

The father, Wee Siew Kim, has spoken. And Wee Shu Min has been counselled for being insensitive. The father apologised for her insensitivity in the brutal truth she posted in her blog. The truth is still the truth and people are expected to live with it. No one can run away from the truth even if it is painful to the ears. And the only thing people need to take note is to be more sensitive when telling the truth. No one shall tell a poor bugger that he/she is filthy rich and the poor bugger should just get lost. Just tell the poor bugger nicely to go away. That will do. The paper reported that the RJC principal, Winston Hodge said: 'We have counselled Shu Min and have conveyed to her the importance of sensitivity and empathy, qualities that she should have exercised in her response to Mr Wee.' I would suggest the college starts a programme to educate its students to be more compassionate, more feeling and more kind to the less able and hardlanders of our society. Pity them a little and don't throw the brutal truth into their shameless faces lined with pain and hardship. And if possible, educate all the fine future leaders of our nation to be more caring, and that they should bear the responsibility to help these poor buggers to improve their pathetic lives instead of telling them to lump it. Maybe the college is already doing these.

will kalteng be haze infamous?

It has been weeks since Yudhoyono made his famous apology to ASEAN countries affected by the haze. And the haze only gets worst by the days. Maybe only after a thousand apologies will the haze budge. This morning, a Straits Times journalist, Edwin Khoo, posted an article about his site visit to his hometown in central Kalimantan, Kalteng, and his first hand experience of what it is like to live in haze. He posted a pic which showed that visibility was less than 50 metres. Now that is a small living space. The seriousness of the haze envelope can never be felt by the decision makers in Jakarta unless they are forced to live in such an inhospitable condition. Otherwise corrective measures will just take its own time to be discussed in the comfort of aircon meeting rooms with more coffee and tea. With such an intensity of haze affecting the Indonesian villages and the villagers having no one to stand up for them, it is not unimaginable that one day people will stumble across villages in some parts of Kalimantan and Sumatra strewn with corpses. Many villages can be wiped out by poisonous haze, or maybe some have already been gone without traces. The haze can be more deadly than the tsunami and more widespread if nothing is being done immediately to stop it. Is the Indonesian govt waiting to see dead bodies before actions can be taken? Further, the Indonesian villagers may start falling dead slowly over a longer period of time after the haze has disappeared. How serious is the damage to the people's health is still unknown as the worst affected areas are not reported or visited by modern civilisation. Would the next report from Edwin Khoo be about Kalteng, a province totally wiped out by haze. Will Kalteng become infamous as the cemetry to mark the begining of the fight against the firestarters?

10/23/2006

first MP to resign?

Cyberspace suddenly came to life because of this little girl's blog. Even after it has been shut down, the storm continues to blow. And some of the anger are now directed against her father and the party. Looks like she is becoming a liability. Are we going to see the first MP to resign because of a controversial post in Cyberspace? Bet against anyone that this will be a hot potato in the next election.

myth 80

Myth 80 'Your money is not your money' When you think that your money is your money, think again. The people have just donated $500k to the family of Tan Jee Suan, the MRT jumper. Would this money go to the family? Are people having ideas on how to manage the money which is not theirs but rightly belong to the family? Can anyone direct this money to other charities? Can anyone tell the family that they have a right to do what they think is best for the family and start to make all kinds of plans and arrangements even if the family objects? Whose money is that?

fear of copycat of mrt jumpers

A forumer wrote to the MSM, can't remember his name, about the possibility of a deadly trend coming our way. His fear was based on the $500k donations that the public donated to the family of the MRT jumper, Tan Jee Suan. It is like striking lottery, but paying with one's life. The big heart of the average Singaporeans must be commended for their immediate and sponstaneous response to the plight of the jumper's family. The average Singaporeans are still very caring. There was a hawker who donated $10k. This is probably twice his monthly income. Back to the fear. The possibility of imitation jumpers cannot be ruled out. In the midst of all the prosperity, there are still many hardluck cases that no one knows. Desperate people will act differently under a different kind of logic. Whatever it is, lets hope no smart alec will come out with more rules and regulations to regulate the hearts, feelings, emotions and compassion of the people. The area to look at is to reduce such painful stories. How to make sure the less fortunate and less able are not caught in a crunch of ever increasing cost of living that are affordable. Obviously all the increases is not affordable to everyone. Giving money and asking people to come forward to beg is not a good suggestion.

my new paper article is here

Below is my original article for The New Paper. The emphasis was slightly different. The main drift is that a couple with a $2000 monthly income, net $1,600 after CPF, cannot afford to have children. The cost is just too much for them to bear. The latest case on the MRT jumper, Tan Jee Suan, vindicated what I was driving at. With two school going kids, and a less than $2000 income, they are dead meat. Many Singaporeans are in this trap, unfortunately still in blissful ignorance of the road ahead. They are going to bring a lot of pain to themselves and their innocent children. The children will be deprived no matter how much love and care the parents can give. They will have to depend on charity to get by. Can you afford to have children? The older generation used to have ten or a dozen children running around. And the children still grew up like any children would. Some even made it to be successful entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors and even Prime Ministers. Is this a formula to emulate for the new generation when there is a dearth of babies? Some say so. Go, go forth and multiply. It is nonsensical to think that the affluent new generation cannot afford to bring up half a dozen children when their poor parents could handle twice that amount. What were the motivations for the earlier generation to do what the present generation think is irresponsible or a thoughtless thing to do? With their lack of education or ignorance, clueless may be a better word, they did what they did the nature’s way. Many just did not know what they were in for or just did not bother. Tomorrow was not their problem. The children, they would grow up and that’s the way things were then. Some were thoughtless, that is for sure. Then some were very thoughtful. They were planning for their retirement. They needed someone to take care of them when they were no longer able to. What better ways than scores of children to ensure that at least one would make it, like tikam tikam. There are of course many other reasons for having or not having babies. The considerations today are more practical. For discussion purposes I will treat this from a single dimension perspective, the issue of affordability. How much? That is the key question. Figures of $277,000 or $400,000 have been quoted to bring up a baby to a graduate adult. Maybe these figures were just too comfortable. Go for the bare minimum, say a ball park figure of $150,000 for 25 years to include all expenses, food, clothing, allowance, tuition, medical etc. The four years in a local university could easily cost $50,000 with $24,000 going to tuition fees alone. Forget about overseas education. Ok, I agree that some can get by with just TLC and fresh air. For simplicity, divide this sum into 3 distinct phases, pre natal and birth to 12 years old, 13 to 21(including NS) and 4 years in university, with $50,000 each. This works out to an average of $300, $400 and $500 per month for the respective phases. Now who can afford this kind of money? Any couple thinking of having a child must be able to fork out $150,000 or a multiple of that for more children. Assuming a couple needs about $1,600 nett income a month, or $2,000 before CPF deduction, to live decently, they will need another $300 to $500 for a child. Simply put, if the family’s take home pay is less than $1,600, they cannot afford a child. Unless they are prepared to bring up a child who is always envious of the normal things that other children have. Isn’t that mean? And to be content with a life depending on charities, handouts, grants, or applying for subsidies all the time. What kind of existence is that? A child is meant to be a bundle of joy and not a burden of 25 years? And the thought of having more than one, 4 or 5, is honestly, thoughtless and totally irresponsible for those earning less than $2,000. Shall we encourage couples with less than $1,600 take home income to have children? Or shall we say ‘Go forth and multiply, Mr Rich!’ Let’s not burden the poor unnecessarily by asking them to bring more financial problems to themselves and a pathetic life for their children, unless help is provided in a dignified manner.

10/22/2006

myth 79

'US has less time for Asia' Derwin Pereira, US Bureau Chief reported this from Dallas during LKY's recent visit to the US. 'He(LKY) also noted that with the Bush administration focused on Iraq, Afganistan, Iran and Islamic terrorism, Washington has less time for Asia now.' I have to disagree with this statement after seeing Rice's East Asian tour on the North Korean crisis and her conviction and dedication to take the war to the North Koreans. She is devoting one whole week to put pressure on all the East Asia states to provoke the North Koreans. Is that not time for Asia? The preparation and number of state officials involved in this trip must be enormous. Thanks to the North Koreans, East Asia is getting some of the US attention. Would the US bite off more than they can chew? Looking at Iraq itself, it seems that Iraq alone is too hard to swallow.

more problems for muslim jobseekers

I copy the below article from http://www.littlespeck.com./ Bombers use airport workers. British bombers had a Muslim plant at Heathrow who once worked for global security firm that serviced SIA and other majors. WorldNetDaily Oct 21, 2006 One of the suspects who helped terrorists case security at London’s Heathrow was an airport employee who once worked for a security firm that serviced major airlines, including SIA, British Airways and Thai Airways. However when Asmin Amin Tariq, a Muslim convert of Asian descent, was arrested for helping British bombers in the transatlantic sky terror plot, he was working for Jet Airways, India’s leading private airline in India. He was a security guard at Heathrow. His employer, Jet Airways, has suspended him. As an airport employee in Heathrow, he was believed to have helped the terrorists to test the airport’s security. Before that he was working at Group 4 Securicor, one of the largest global networks of security operations worldwide, with 400,000 full and part-time employees. It operates in 100 countries in four continents. The United States authorities are now concerned that Al Qaeda might be using airport employees to help blow up commercial airliners. They have stepped up security checks on airport personnel G4S (earlier called Securicor) is believed to be Singapore Airline’s handler in India. Investigators say 23-year-old Tariq, who studied biochemistry, allegedly provided information about airport security procedures to bombers in the foiled plot. It's not clear if he also planned to hand off explosives materials to them in the sterile area of the airport, or perhaps plant them on board targeted aircraft. Tariq holds a British passport, investigators say. "This is precisely why you don't want so many Muslims working in airports," says former FAA special agent Steve Elson, who tested airport security as a member of the elite Red Team.....

killing in the name of god or peace and security

Haven't the Americans done even destruction and killings in Iraq? Apparently not. Rice is on another cake walk mission in East Asia, trying her very best to impose American wills on Russia, China and South Korea to take punitive actions against North Korea. And she said America was trying to descalate the tension but it was the North Koreans who were the one raising the tension. She is insisting that the other few countries would be accomplice when she plunged the knife into the North Koreans. She demanded that the other countries must join the Americans in intercepting North Korean ships in the high seas or in foreign ports. What would such provocative actions lead to? The North Koreans could station a section of soldiers who will defend the ship at all cost. Shoot at anyone who dares land on the ship to the last man. Not only that they will die for their country, the sailors and the attackers too will go down. How many ships and soldiers and innocent people will have to die before the tension flares up into a war? The Americans are for peace? Lets hope that the Russians, Chinese and South Koreans have some sense not to be dragged into another conflict and have their soldiers die for the American Empire Dream. The world is now being run by evil men and woman who are committed to start fires everywhere for their evil schemes of grandeur. America will be dragged down to become an international bandit, and all the good works and reputation of past American presidents will go to waste. The religious fanatics killed in the name of god. The Americans are killing in the name of peace and security.

the brilliance of youth

The Derek Wee's article may not be acceptable for print in the MSM. In cyberspace it has created a storm, at least for a poor rich girl. Her reply to Derek's article was expected given the new philosphy of life in this island. And someone has the good sense of shutting down her blog immediately before the truth gets too frightening to be heard. Before I proceed further, please forgive her. She is a child. She knows not what she was speaking. I will be really angry if that kind of views come from an adult or someone making policies and decisions affecting the people. What we see in her is the tip of a smelly iceberg. It transcends from the little spoilt brat that demands the maid to do everything for 'it' to the peanut people among the elite. Not all elite are in the same shitty mindset. Thank god. How would such people view the man who jumped the MRT? No need to guess. To them that man is a burden to society and does not deserve to live. He is simply useless, incapable, and of no talent. Anyone who cannot command an income of a peanut is subhuman, belonging to a specie that better not be around. You are only human, or a talented man if you are successful financially, with all the trappings of the super rich. It is a different world out there, and the people are a happy lot. To the hardlanders, these are the monsters that our society has created. A self serving group of people who have a lot of problems of their own, grimacing on why the $200 a piece abalone tasted not as good as before, or why the $10k gown did not arrive in time for the next party. Our society has indeed stratified into two separate worlds, not so much in material wealth, but in the value of life and life philosophy. On one end, money is not enough. On the other, money is never enough. And for the latter, the world owes them a living because of their talents. I would like to say my two big balls. If the big ATM stops giving out the money, where would they find another ATM to feed them? Compassion and empathy are only good for printing in the MSM. Are we getting more caring and forgiving?

10/21/2006

we have arrived differently

We are not that much different from Malaysia. We have taken different route to economic development and organising our societies. Both countries have done quite well economically. Wealth were created and distributed but in different ways. Malaysia distributes wealth using the policy of bumiputra first. Singapore distributes wealth using meritocracy as the guiding principle. In a way, wealth is distributed in a fairly similar pattern. Within the last 3 decades, both countries have a cohort of elite, according to their own definition and interpretations, that are benefitting immensely in this wealth distribution game. Wealth goes to a group of elite while many at the lower end are still living a hand to mouth existence. The apologists of the Singapore system will argue that more wealth have been spread across the board and downwards. That is true. And the bottom line of our bell curve starts at a much higher level. That is also true. But poverty is not simply measured by the physical dollar value. A $500 income may still be bearable in Malaysia but abject poverty in Singapore. For those who would want to argue about poverty in countries where income can be down to a few dollars, that is stretching the argument tangentially off. The latest victim who jumped at the MRT speaks volume of the plight of the bottom feeders in our society. And mind you, this is not going to be an isolated case. Despite the wealth of our nation, if the bottom feeders are left to fight for every piece of crumbs that fell off the table, then we cannot claim to have succeeded in giving the people a better life. There must be empathy for the hardlanders and conscious policies to uplift their meagre existence. The more funds are allocated to provide handouts to these hardup cases, the more serious is the problem. And such funds will never solve their problems. It is like passing $1000 to the widow of the MRT jumper. How good is that and how long is it going to last. We have failed many of these hardlanders. We have left them behind while feeding ourselves crazy with abalone and sharksfin. It is difficult to find empathy in our post 65ers when they were brought up in a life of luxury. Yes some may have gone through a bit of hardship. But they have short memories, after having arrived. They are likely to belong to the peanut generations.

lets talk religion

We talk religion. That is what the Straits Times did today. Several pages were devoted entirely on the topic of religion and how it will affect social cohesion in a multi religious society like ours. And from some of the comments made by religious leaders of the different sects, they came out quite sensible and reasonable. Religion will always be a pricky thing given what it is and what were written in the scriptures of different faiths. I have read some of them, and unless the religious leaders are revolutionary enough to take a tough stand to expunge the divisive and racist contents in them, religion will always be a dangerous instrument that will drive men to kill each other. Read the various scriptures honestly and find out for yourself what is in there. What we see today are the sanitised versions of religion in practice while the ugly and offensive doctrines have been quitely swept under the carpet, not spoken and pretend not to exist. As long as these doctrines remain in the scriptures, they will be used as a weapon by the unscrupulous at the right moment to divide and destroy each other. What I think is important is for everyone to ask himself/herself on what is being preached to them. Are they sensible and reasonable? Or are they divisive and destructive? One easy gauge is to check on the intellectual level of the preacher. How wise is he/she? Never believe in anyone that is intellectually inferior to yourself and who is teaching you things that you are uncomfortable with. If one is intellectually superior to the preacher, there is no reason not to find your own answers in the scriptures and interpret the scriptures using your own intellect and wisdom instead of relying on the doubtful interpretation of an unwise and intellectually inferior character. The sickening part is that many are fakes or hypocrites.

10/20/2006

please don't make people beg for help

The man who jumped the MRT track was jobless for a few months. His wife was earning about $500. He left behind two sons age 13 and 15. Before he left, he probably had only $9 left and he gave it to his younger son to top up his EZ link card. That was the last gesture of a father to his son. And he told them to take care of their mother. 'last night, west coast GRC (boon lay) MP and grassroot leaders went to mr tan's funeral wake, and pass $1000 cheque to his family. MP said if the tan family had look for help from the grassroot organisations, the tradegy would have been avoided. she said actually govt provide a lot of assistance schemes for the people, but people are unwilling or don't know how to get help.' I hope all MPs and the govt understand these words. Many people are unwilling to come forward to beg for help. Also many people may not know where to go for help. It is not an easy thing even for a desperate man to go knocking doors looking for help. It is thus better to reduce the cost of living instead than to keep raising the cost of essential goods services and expect people to come begging.

myth 78

'When age is wisdom' The 21st century is seeing a dramatic change in the belief that maturity and wisdom come with age. And age is, or was, important in how human's manage their lives, societies and countries. This pillar of age old wisdom is crumbling down since the dying years of the 20th century. During that period we have seen the rise and success of many young entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs, Bill Gate, home grown Sim Wong Hoo, the Yahoo, Google, Hotmail and now Youtube, all pointing to the power of youth. The youth has arrived. Youth signifies dynamism, vitality, creativity, freshness, impulse, derring do, spontaneity, adverturism, hip, cool, and the future. Even in the corporate scene we have seen the youth elbowing all the oldies out of their cushy jobs. And once entrenched in power, they made sure that no oldies are allowed to intrude into their newly conquered space. Senior managements are now dominated by the 40s. Soon the 30s will be knocking at their doors. Even in politics, we are seeing more brilliant young people stepping forward to run the nation. And they will run the nation and elbow out the oldies just like they have done in corporations. It is time to can the oldies. Any oldies passing 40 should give up, and forget about looking for a job. Where is there a need for people who cannot run, dance, or stand? The 21st century is the century of youth, of fun and laughters, of merriment, of living life to the fullest. There is no need for the conservative oldies to be around. Life is for living. Everyday is a celebration.

10/19/2006

my article in the new paper

haha, it has seen the light...today oct 19.

high medical cost or how to pay?

Khaw Boon Wan in front page news again, in the limelight as the fighter to bring down medical cost. Or maybe I should rephrase it, to make medical cost affordable, or maybe more precise, how to make payment in a way that is easier on the pocket throught extended payments instead of at one go. Am I confusing? I just got this feeling that everyone is barking at the wrong tree, missing the problem or avoiding the real cause of the problem and going around offering solutions which they think are really solving the problem. It is very similar to the problem of traffic congestion. If the road users are constant, if the roads available are the same, no matter how much one increases the ERP charges, there will be congestion if not at point A or road A, it will be at point B or road B, or hopefully, the drivers give up and take public transport. The real problem with medical cost is medical cost. If the cost of medical care is high, no matter how much insurance, how much co payment, how many types of medishield, someone must pay. It is either you pay first or pay later. Or it could be the majority of non users subsidising the minority of big users. Or worst, it could be the poorer group subsidising the richer groups who used private hospitals or A wards. Though they may contribute higher premiums, but their claims are that much more in relation to what they put in. That's what insurance is all about. Pooling of funds. So whoever uses more is being subsidised by those who don't use. Now, do we understand where is the real problem?

10/18/2006

A starts fire, B puts out fire

The haze just get worst everyday. And as all the affected nations are thinking of ways to douse the forest on fire, the firestarters are planning when and where they are going to start another fire. To the plantation owners, it is so cheap to burn and clear the forest for their use. Why spend the money to cut or bulldoze the jungle and taking months to do it? Burning is the cheapest and most economical way and effective way of doing the job. So we are going to see the firestarters starting fire while the neighbouring govt spending money trying to douse the fire. How silly can things really get? And who is paying for the effort?

how to provoke a nuclear war?

And the spin doctors are now hard at work spinning more stories about how evil the North Koreans are and how many more detections of radioactivity and more tests. North Korea, you are doomed. North Korea 'will pay a very, very high price for its reckless behaviour,' said Christopher Hill. The world shall learn a lesson from the Americans on how to provoke a nuclear power with punitive actions and avoid having a nuclear war. The way the Japanese and Americans are pushing the North Koreans, war is only a matter of time. That is the only sure thing to happen when nations think that it can bully another nation to dance to their tune. Just keep at upping the ante.

oh america, welcome to the world of terrorism

Oh America, how low can you go? George Bush signed a bill to legalise harsh interrogation practices and military trials against suspected terrorists. Are we going to see water torture and electrical shocks applied onto all the vital parts of the human body as acceptable and legal, beating, and all kinds of torture as ok now? How far will America slide down the road to ignominy? It is legal, it is alright. Everything legal is above the law.

10/17/2006

we are safe from north korean missiles

For those who think that Singapore is so important that we deserved to be targetted by the North Korean missiles with nuclear warheads they should sit back and relax with a Tiger. And don't forget to thank the Indonesians. We are invisible from the sky now and the missile guidance system will not be able to break through the thick haze.

foreign talent, dual citizenship and globalisation

The issues of foreign talent and double citizenship are still hot topics and there were several letters in the Straits Times forum on these. And ICA has replied pointing to the concerns of identity and loyalty. And forum writers argued about the inconsistency of wanting to go global, wanting foreign talents and still clinging onto identity and loyalty. There are real problems of loyalty and identity which may not be vital in other countries. Take the example of our closest neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia. How are we going to rationalise loyalty to these countries and Singapore? Being close neighbours and deep historical relationships, the loyalty and identity of the people are quite confusing and blur. From the individual point of views, many with be able to tell clearly where their loyalties lie. But it is not the case to many others. Too close for comfort. And the issue for relaxing on citizenship laws especially for returning Singaporeans. We have this albatross called National Service to reckon with. A too free policy will mean that some will take advantage and stay overseas during NS years and return again. For those who have served their NS, it is good that the country welcomes them back whenever they feel like coming home. This is home, surely. The issues are not as simple, and not confined to these few points raised. Looking at them from one or two factors could make one to offer a simplistic solution. Whatever the policies, some will not be happy.

nep is about giving

'The NEP is about giving wealth to the whole country.' By Mahathir. This is only half truth. Half lies and half truth. The truth is about giving. The lies is giving to the bumiputras and not the whole country. Though the enlightened and more progressive Malay leaders knew that the NEP and its task of giving without having to work for it is undermining the bumis drive and competitiveness, they have no answer to this sickness. It is like a drug. If it is withdrawn there will be riots and back to May 13. Even Mahathir said so. Mahathir also commented, 'They are still after easy money....I have appealed to them, I've cried and I have done everything possible, but they won't change.' The only way forward is to keep giving.

better selfish neigbours than generous neighbours

Your neighbour can mess up your life. When going flat or house hunting, many people forget to take a closer look at the neighbours until it is too late. Bad or uncivil neighbours will share with you everything that you find offensive. Some may have a little civility to apologise for the shit and smell they sent into your living room or your bedroom, but that is as far as it goes. Look at the haze that our neighbour is sharing with us. Does it matter to them how we are suffering and bearing it? During the earlier days of more arrogant leaders, they even showed you a dirty look if you dare complained. Today, at least they apologised and promised to do something about it, that is if you foot the bill. No matter what, living in a rich neighbourhood with civilised neighbours is anytime better than living with poor and generous neighbours. The haze would not be allowed to happen in Europe. They have reached a level of civility and civic consciousness that they will not do such things to themselves or to their neighbours. It is just not the right thing to do. We have a very long way to catch up with the civilised west, at least in ensuring that our environment is healthy for our own good.

10/16/2006

how to spend your cpf savings without your consent

How other people can spend your CPF savings without your consent, even your cash? Is it possible? Yes it is possible. And I don't mean your parents or immediate family member. I mean total strangers that have no blood relations to you. When you live in a block of flats and the majority, not sure if it is 70% or something like, voted to upgrade, sorry mate, you have to contribute like it or not. See, it is so easy to spend your money. And this is on top of all the regulations or new regulations that can hold on to your CPF money for your own old good.

a mischievious hate article

Below is an article I copied from www.littlespeck.com. I do not know the background of this WorldNetDaily and the people behind it. But the article revealed very clearly what it sets out to do, very similar to Epoch Times that is being circulated here for free. This is the kind of propaganda that Asian minds are being fed regularly and over time the subconscious begin to accept this as truth and the hatred becomes instinctive. North Korea's Ethnic cult Kim Jing-il kills off the 'racially impure' and disabled, refugess say. WorldNetDaily Oct 15, 2006 Refugees are reporting the killing of disabled infants and forced abortions of babies believed fathered by Chinese men in North Korea in an obsessive notion of Korean racial superiority. At a forum in Seoul, South Korea, several refugees from the north described a policy of state eugenics carried out with extreme repression. "There are no people with physical defects in North Korea," said Ri Kwang-chol, a North Korean doctor who escaped last year. Babies with defects are killed by medical staff and quickly buried, he told the London Times. Among the "physical defects" that will get a baby killed – even one in the womb – is being half-Chinese. Han Myong-suk, a 30-year-old woman who escaped twice and who was helped to find sanctuary in a third country by Helping Hands Korea, an American Christian group, had her baby forcibly aborted following her return to North Korea after being sold by traffickers to a Chinese farmer. Five months pregnant when the Beijing government deported her, Han was interned in a detention camp for women. "I defied the order to abort the fetus the prison authorities contemptuously called a 'Chinese Chink' and was badly beaten and kicked in my belly by a guard," Han said. She still remembers the guard's name. After a week of resistance, Han said she was taken to the prison clinic and "in a most blunt manner they extracted the dead child from my body." Other witnesses described pregnant women being returned from China and taken to a clinic where labour was induced and the infant suffocated or left to die in a box with other infants in front of their mothers. "Guards would say the mothers had to see and hear their babies die because they were Chinese," a report by the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea said, noting that the murdered infants were known as "children of betrayers." These most recent reports confirm findings of the Korean Bar Association which reports that 58 percent of defectors its lawyers have interviewed claim knowledge of forced abortions in Kim's prisons. Experts caution against seeing the North Korean regime's cruelty as merely a relict of its proclaimed Marxist ideology while missing its cultish dimensions. Kim Jong-il "It's vital to recognise that 'juche' - the dogma of self-reliance - is not a theory but a cult and that Kim is worshipped as the leader of a religion," a veteran western diplomat who negotiated with the North Koreans on 19 visits told the Times. "These Koreans genuinely believe they are a master race and that the peninsula will be united under the rule of the Kim dynasty." Despite the organisational trappings of a communist state - a Supreme People's Assembly, a presidium, a cabinet and the Korean Workers' party - North Korea is a one-man military dictatorship founded on clan rule, blood ties, mystical ideas of racial superiority and deification of Kim, the diplomat said. This reality explains Kim's deepening estrangement from it's Marxist neighbour, China. The juxtaposition of Kim's mysticism and North Korea's apparent testing of a nuclear device this week has it's parallel in Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's belief that he has been chosen as the person designated to prepare the way for the Islamic messiah's second coming and Tehran's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Before the Mahdi, who supposedly disappeared down a well as a child in A.D. 941, can return, there must be chaos and a world apocalypse. WorldNetDaily.com See the trademark of where it originates?

hedonist culture is in vogue

The 1990s were the golden years for Singapore. Money were abundant and were splashed everywhere. Property prices rocketed, and so were prices of cars, country clubs etc. Everyone was having a holiday every weekend. It was a time of spend, spend and spend. Then the party popped. As we enter the 21st century and recovering from the financial crisis of the late 1990s, all the signs of happy times are here. We are seeing the culture of hedonism everywhere. Everyone is happy and enjoying themselves. Wealth and opulent accessories are in full display and paraded to as signs of having arrived. All kinds of clubs are sprouting out everywhere to make people happy. We even have a new Ministry of Sound!!? People are spending again, and clubbing is now a way of life. We are all encouraged to be happy. And two IRs are coming, with probably Disneyland as well. And Sentosa Island is going to be the paradise island of the rich and famous. By 2015, we will look back at the happy times of these years that we are going through today, and the memories of happy people everywhere.

the firestarters busy at work

The firestarter is busy as work, scrambling and concocting all kinds of stuff just to prove that Kim Jong Il is not a liar. The US wanted desperately to prove that the detonation last monday was definitely a nuclear device and aggressive actions can be taken against North Korea. And yes, it is confirmed that traces of radioactive particles were detected, sufficient proof that the North Koreans had done it. By who? The US of course. But The Russians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the South Koreans, all eager to known and must know for their national interests, did not find any radioactivity around the site of the test. And it is very likely that the next country to come out with another confirmation of radioactivity will be the UK even if it has not been monitoring the situation or has not been in the area for the last 6 months. Why is the US so adamant to want to prove that the test was nuclear? Any tension is good for the arms industry in the US, that is for sure. And after starting the fire, the countries that are going to pay for the tension and possible carnage will be the two Koreas, Japan and possibly China and Russia. It is so beneficial to start a fire in somebody's backyard and let everyone else get burnt. Japan is going to pay a heavy price when the North Koreans retaliate. And it is to its interest to make sure that if there is any sanction, it is proper and not unprovoked or conceived somewhere else. Any over reaction from Japan it will have to pay dearly. And rightly the North Korean ambassador in the UN walked out after telling the parties in the meeting that the UN is no longer partial and is being led by the nose by the Americans. The UN is going to impose sanctions on North Korea without confirming if the test is a bluff or genuinely nuclear. The UN is a joke. Or more appropriately the 'statesmen' handling the Korean issue.

10/15/2006

be successful at my mercy

Badawi has again said that the Malaysian Chinese and non bumis are doing well in Malaysia because they were given the opportunities to do well. His exact words, 'They were successful because we give them opportunities to be successful.' This sounded like Khairy speaking. Or in fact many of the bumi politicians are also saying the same thing. What does this mean? Simple. The non bumis are there at the grace of the bumis. No matter how long they have lived in Malaysia or been citizens, they are guests and nothing more. And the privileges to be successful can be removed. Now compare this to the concept of citizenship in other countries eg the Afro Asians in the US? If they do well, must they always be grateful that the govt, or the natives have given them the opportunities? In Malaysia there is the divide between the bumis and non bumis regardless of the status of citizenship. Would the minorities in Singapore have to be grateful to the majority for giving them the opportunities to be successful? They are successful not because they worked for it. It was given! I would like to imagine a Malaysia without the non bumis. It will become corruption free for sure as there will be no successful non bumis to line the pockets of the bumis. And all the companies will be run by the bumis, no need for the 30% quota. This can be applied across the country and industries and society. And by god, they will have to work damn hard to earn their keeps without the non bumis to do it for them. Looking at all the bumi companies that are failing one by one, I would not think that it is going to be a good thing. All the politicians will either be bankrupt or the people ie the bumis, will be bankrupt as there will be no profitable companies to distribute the wealth. And when oil stop flowing from Petronas oil fields, what will Malaysia become?

singapore year 2015

This is a fantasy trip, based on a hypothetical scenario of what the political map of Singapore can be like in Year 2015. The ruling party has won a decisive election in 6.6.06. They have done their post mortems and came to the conclusion that year 2011 and 2015 will see the post 65ers calling the shot. They must engage this new generation of voters and win them over. A completely clean slate of young and untarnished professionals were brought in as the next good thing for Singapore. Young, vibrant, active, fresh ideas and free to do whatever they think will win the young voters over. We are already seeing signs of what things will be in politics of the future. It is going to be fun politics, disco dancing, hip hoping, blogging, cyberspace, all new liftstyle things of a new world. We even have futuristic schools to give it further depth in reaching out to the population. A whole futuristic city will be built in Marina South, a name that they spent a lot of money to retain. The older politicians have made their pile and are contented to sing their karaoke and cutting CDs for sale. Some even became showbiz celebrities. The future is in the young things and these senior politicians have done what needed to be done and deserve a tranquil and bountiful life as they sail into the twilight zone. While everything is beautifully planned and executed, the unpreditable young are forever difficult to satisfy and they send in 30 opposition candidates to Parliament in 2011. Alarm signals everywhere. The leaders were fuming. More post mortems and found that they have done not enough dancing and hip hopping. So more campaigns and young things to embrace the young. All the politicians in their goldern years were retired happily to enjoy their pensions, though not quite enough in view of the rising cost of living and swiss standard lifestyle. But they made do with whatever they have. And to bring in better and more talented men, foreign talents were allowed to run for political office. Fresh faces from India, China and even Europeans were handpicked to give Singapore a new look as a global city run by global citizens. Singapore declared itself as the first modern international state. On the opposition camp, seeing that the wall had been breached, recruitment soared and many like minded professionals filled their ranks. Many of them were hungry and with a fire in their belly, not very hip but willing to fight for country and nation above self. Their slogan, Singapore for Singaporeans, became their war cry. 2015 was the turning point when the opposition won a majority and formed a new govt. Many good policies were changed. And foreigners no longer can contest in a general election. More pro Singaporean policies were re introduced. What were right and wise decisions in the past 50 years were all thrown out and belt tightening measures were necessary. Prudence and thrift were the new wisdom. Many of the super rich Singaporeans were worried that the new govt will turn to seize their hard earned wealth and many fled to India and China, the two new and prosperous democratic states. 2015 was recesion year for Singapore and the need to tighten the purse string and dig into the reserves became urgent. While the new ruling govt were spending time opening the vault to get to the nations reserves, the military men made their moves. The new govt is going to bankrupt the nation by spending the reserves and they have no choice but to step in to save the country from destruction. Martial law was declared and a new Prime Minister was appointed from the former ruling party. The military men retired to their barracks but remain as the power broker to safeguard the nation. Singapore never return to democracy till the next century like all ASEAN nations.

10/14/2006

anyone still claiming that all is well? read this

i have copied this article posted at www.littlespeck.com. this is the kind of feedback that is needed to be heard. but will it disappear into the blackhole? this article was sent to the straits times but rejected. so lesser people can hear this story. see not evil, hear no evil, do no evil?

Future of Singapore This is a subject of rising concern despite the media's glowing employment figures. By Derek Wee Oct 12, 2006

When I read the Straits Times article (dated 24 Sep) on PM Lee calling the young to be committed and make a difference to Singapore, I have so much thought about the issue.

I am 35 years old, graduated from University and gainfully employed in a multinational company. But I cannot help but feel insecure over the future of Singapore. Lets face it, it's not uncommon to hear, "when you are above 40, you are over the hill".

The government has been stressing on re-training, skills upgrading and re-adapt. The fact is, no matter how well qualified or adaptable one is, once you hit the magical 40, employers will say, "you are simply too old".

We have been focusing our resources and problem solving on low unskilled labour. But in reality, our managerial positions and skilled labour force are actually fast losing its competitiveness.

I travel around the region frequently for the past 10 years. It didn't take me long to realise how far our neighbours have come over the past decade.

They have quality skilled workers, and are less expensive. When I work with them, their analytical skills are equally good, if not better than us.

It's not new anymore. Taxi drivers are fast becoming "too early to retire, too old to work" segment of the society. I like to talk to taxi drivers whenever I am heading for the airport.

There was this driver. Eloquent and well read. He was an export manager for 12 years with an MNC. Retrenched at 40 years old. He had been searching for a job since his retrenchment.

Although he was willing to lower his pay expectations, employers were not willing to lower their prejudice. He was deemed too old. I wouldn't be surprised if we have another No. 1; having the most highly educated taxi drivers in the world.

On PM Lee calling the young to be committed and make a difference. Look around us. How dedicated can we be to Singapore when we can visualise what's in store for us after we turned 40? Then again, how committed are employers to us? But we can't blame them. They have bottom lines & shareholders' gain to answer to.

Onus is really on the government to revamp the society. A society that is not a pressure cooker. A society that does not mirror so perfectly, what survival of the fittest is.

But a society, where it's people can be committed, do their best and not having to fear whether they will still wake up employed tomorrow. Sadly, Singapore does not offer such luxuries and security anymore.

On the issue of babies. The government encourages us to pro-create. The next generation is essential in sustaining our competitive edge. Then again, the current market condition is such that our future has become uncertain. There is no more joy in having babies anymore; they have become more of a liability. It's really a chicken and egg issue.

Many of my peers, bright and well educated have packed up and left. It's what MM Goh called "quitters". It's sad but true, Singapore no longer is a place where one can hope to work hard their lives and retire graciously. It's really the push factor.

A future is something we sweat it out, build and call our own. Unfortunately, people like me, mid 30's going on 40's, staying put by choice or otherwise, we can't help but feel what lies ahead is really a gamble.

To PM Lee and the Ministers, we are on a different platform. Until you truly understand our insecurity, the future of Singapore to me remains a question mark. (SPH rejected this letter - From: LocalSin)

Comments Richard Sim said, Good article. keep it up

KC said, True to every word. I am in my 40s, and I experienced the same sentiment in the job market.

Anonymous said, that was a great blog!! kinda make mi worry abt my future...

Anonymous said, Honestly, you echo my sentiments, It's true. Those that got their fate in their hands are self-employed ones. Yes, keep it up!

Anonymous said, well written! You know what, I share the same sentiment, except that I do not pen my thoughts down..... This is especially true to the reality, if not cruelty of this world. Despite the tripartite guidelines on non-discriminatory recruitment, if we look around us, the fact speaks for itself....... At the end of the day, the ones that suffer the most are those from the middle class as well as those that are heading for their sunset... 40s & above.

Anonymous said... Great, welcome to the real world.... It's creepy but real that Singapore's future is so uncertain and bleak. Definitely something needs to be done for the future of Singapore and our next generation.

Anonymous said, Keep it up..man..You say it all...U hit the G spot of our life in Singapore.. Excellent writeout.. Should bring it up to our Government Feedback Section to tell them how hard our life is in S'pore if you reach 40....sigh..

Anonymous said, Hey!!! You write VERY WELL, but I´m surprised reading it, I didn´t know it was so difficult for you to work here when you are 40. In Europe to be in your 40´s mean to be in the perfect age - for business, for teaching, for EVERYTHING… also 50´s coz your experience! Well, you can always have the possibility of moving, right? Although I don´t think a company would tell you to leave if you are doing good. AND YOU LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, YES? So… fight for being the best in your company and you´ll have the support of all your bosses. You are a good writer… (from Spain)

anonymous said, This is a pro-biz government. No use blaming them when voters did not sent the right signals. The people deserve the government.

Anonymous said, Sad that this country has regressed so much! While we worry about the bleak and uncertain future, we open our arms to welcome so called FT talent/foreigners to seek greener pasture here! Goddamn! What a revelation!

Anonymous said, Not only are babies a liability, but any thinking parent would be concerned about putting their kids through the same shitty system and let them suffer the same fate in the future. The pink IC isn't worth much any more. It's sad. It didn't have to be that way. Many people are voting with their feet. The government is only too pleased when it happens - more cheap foreign workers can be imported as replacements. Notice employment stats use the term 'residents' instead of 'citizens', and 'residents' includes the PRs and even certain categories of work visa holders. Simply amazing.

Anonymous said... I am just over 50. I lost my job arround 50. There is no job available for the last few years searching despite my extensive experience/qualification. Some recruiters even told me I should retire and asked why should I bother to find a job. When I was around 30/40, I was always headhunted for well-paid jobs. But, now there is hardly any call from headhunters. Most companies do not respond to your write-in for job. It seems my skill/experience was highly sought in past years whereas it has suddenly become useless in recent years. Why? If you are still in your 30s or 40s, plan for your future NOW! It may be too late when you are at 50s. Migrating to Europe may be an option according to our friend in spain. Cheers

Anonymous said... That happens when you have 140th reporting news here! Truly Global city of residents not citizens?

duracell said... Good blog. And the implication of this trend is not lost on the young. Already we are seeing rising trends where people just want to make their pot of gold as fast as possible, and by any means necessary. The hit and run mentality, no more morals and ethics. This country treats its people like batteries with short lifespan. Use em, squeeze em and chuck em!

http://www.derekwee.blogspot.com/

house of cards crumbling in iraq

The coalition of the willing's invasion and occupation of Iraq is on its third year. Quietly the party is getting thinner with the willing quietly slipping away. The two main protagonists are now left holding the fort and the weight gets heavier. In the last few days we have seen more or less a rebellion by the British. The new army chief, General Richard Dannatt, openly declared that the presence of British troop is now more a problem than a solution. They are no longer welcome and have over stayed in Iraq. Get out now or face the wrath of an increasingly hostile resistance. Next to follow was the British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, openly slammed the Americans for holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without trial. The British conscience is creeping to life. With Blair fading away, the true British feelings and righteousness are now given some space to breathe and air their objections to this ill conceived war based on deception and misinformation. As Richard Dannatt said, '...we weren't invited by those in Iraq at the time....Let's face it. The military campaign we fought in 2003 effectively kicked the door in. That is a fact.' It may have taken all three years to know the truth. But it is better late than never. And if the British troops are out, the American's presence is that much less tenable and it will be America against the Arab/Muslim world. And the Iraq Episode II shall be screened live to all the households in the world.

myth 77

'Thrift and Prudence are virtues we cherish' Being thrifty and prudent in our finances and our spending habits are age old wisdoms that can do us a lot of good. And many people have made glowing speeches about such virtues and how and why we should all not be philanderers and spendthrifts. Were these speeches made with a genuine intent or a publicity gimmick not to be believed? I must say that I am pleasantly surprised that the HDB finally caught up with such virtues and chewed on the ideas of prudence and thrift. If one cannot afford to buy a bigger or more expensive flat than one's income, one must not be encouraged to do so. Is there a change in mindset or philosophy? How many policies are conceived with thrift and prudence in mind? Is the $3k ceiling to demand people whose family income is above this sum to buy bigger flat in line with such thinking? Are the means testing to determine why certain people must spend more in more expensive hospital wards in the same mould? What about the practice of scrapping cars that are in good working conditions to buy another new car? Is this kind of habit prudent and thrifty? The most prudent and thrifty policy is perhaps the measures or pricing and taxes imposed on water usage. To encourage people to be mindful of the water they used and be thrifty, they are made to pay very much more for their water through higher tariffs, taxes and pricing. The people will all end up very thrifty in water conservation, even taking lesser bath and in double quick time. But their water bill tells a different story about thrift. What about asking the poorer hardlanders to have more babies?