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3/31/2008

What if Singapore?

P N Balji threw up two issues for discussion in the Today paper. He touched on the succession of Hsien Loong after he retires. He also lamented, in fact worried, that there will be no substitute PM in case if we need one today. In his first point, he said that Hsien Loong would probably find a replacement in about 18 years. And assuming the next PM should be about 50 years then, he is likely to be someone in the early thirties. Anyone past 40 today will be too old to fill the shoe. Scouring around the MPs today, looks like Teo Ser Luck is the only possible successor. The other few that are eligible will come from the few young ladies. A replacement for Hsien Loong in 18 years time should not be too big a problem given that more youngsters can be recruited in the next GE. What is perplexing and confusing is Balji's fear that in an emergency at any moment there would not be anyone to front the cabinet. Why? Kan Seng is still around. So is Jayakumar. Both are DPM caliber and cannot be written off as unfit to be an emergency PM. Then there is Eng Hen, the one touted as LKY's lookalike. He should be a good substitute to take over. And don't forget, if there is really an emergency now, LKY and Chok Tong are always available either to fill in temporarily or to mentor the new PM. Where is the problem? It is like setting up a red herring when there is no issue at all.

What has Mas Selamat got to do with Qing Ming?

I wanted to visit Choa Chu Kang cemetry last weekend for QingMing. But on hearing that Selamat would be there, I decided against it. It was a good decision or I would be caught up with the huge jams that came with it. What the shit would Mas Selamat want to do at the cemetry? He is causing a lot of inconvenience to the people paying their respects to their loved ones. Mas, please go some where else ok?

The Veil of Innocence

I have posted an article on mysingaporenews being branded as anti establishment. In fact most of the bloggers posting there are likewise branded. This is what the bunch of doggies that have smuggled themselves into other people's blogs intend to do. They simply stick a name on anyone and that person will be condemned or be seen as someone not to be near with. In the past they have branded people as communist, racist, dangerous, anti govt, anti PAP or quitters. And so the public are made to believe that it is so. That these people are dangerous and will do the country harm. The truth is that more harm will be done by the so called pro establishment people, the people who hide under the veil of innocence, the people who profess that they are the do gooders or saviours, or guardians of the country. If you look at what they are doing, you will know that they are far from being decent or honourable. They will abuse their positions of power, if given a chance, to kill literally, without seeing blood. If at the doggie level, they think it is acceptable to attack people under the guise of anonymity, what will they do if they are in positions of power. Think. Fortunately these people who claimed to be pro establishment, are only seen as good enough to be assigned to attack people in cyberspace. Anyone in position of responsibility will not want to be associated with such scums, and will not allowed them to be in position of authority to abuse the masses. They are good only to be doggies in cyberspace. Reminds me of The Animal Farm. The people who have a view, who criticise or disagree, are honest people who speak the truth. They don't hide behind the veil of innocence. They are speaking their conscience. Without them the country will soon go to the dogs. As for those who hide behind the veil of innocence, they are the pretenders, cheats, shameless sluts, worst than prostitutes. As least the prostitutes earn an honest living.

3/30/2008

$70k for 4 days stay

Not in Shangrila, and not in Mount Elizabeth. It is 4 days stay in a govt restructured hospital, undergoing clinical trial to find out what's wrong with him. It is cheap. It could be more expensive if cost has not been brought down. Some trials, attendance by specialists, and medicine. And of course the attention and care of nurses on 24 hr call. $70k or more than $15k daily. I thought it was some hospital in the US or UK. The family paid the bill of course. He died on the fourth day. When I saw him he was still fully alerted, except for some difficulties in breathing he was looking healthy and still can engage in normal conversation. The death was least expected. And he paid $70k for it. I hope I am wrong in the numbers. That's what I was told.

The Sunday Times editor warns

Do not think 20c is trifling matter. Kopi in the kopitiams is up by 20c or more. Used to be 60c or 70c. Now it is 90c, or at the franchised outlets it is $1.30. Then bread and kaya, and eggs, also up 10c or 20c respectively. In the neighbourhood kopitiams, some may forgo their regular kopi, even the cheaper kopi O. Too expensive. They will opt for plain water at 20c a cup. And these people are going to enjoy their happy lives till 80 or 100 years, drinking 20c plain water and maybe plain roti. What a life!

How does the US system measures up to ours

For one, the US has a President that does not do much except to read scripts written by the thinkers and real policy makers. His main job is to look good and act cool, and make nice quotes for the media. And for such a job, the Americans feel that paying him half a million bucks is definitely more than what he deserves. The Americans are smart enough to pay for what the President is worth. That is the reason why only Hollywood lookalikes are more likely to be elected. The tall dark and handsome lady killers.And these characteristics also apply to all their politicians. As for real talents to run the country, the Americans rely on the bureaucrats, the full time state employees or our equivalent of civil servants. These are the people that remain no matter which party or president is elected to power. There will be some face changes at the top, the Secretaries etc. But the bureaucrats plod on while at the same time giving the impression that the Presidents and Secretaries are running the show. That is the reason why there is no need for super talents to be elected as politicians. Even the nominees to Secretaryship can be a hotpot of peas, beans and turnips. And the American voters play along, support the candidates, wear party colours and turnout to vote. It was all a show, life shows where everyone got a chance to play a part. Money were spent and everyone got to enjoy some of them and the spectacle. Unlike ours, our election is a serious affair and the voters take it very seriously and would not anyhow vote anyone into office. One good thing about the American system is that it will last for a long time. It is just a party. One bad thing about our system is that it relies heavily on one very strong man to pull everything together. And this one man better be good, honest and honourable. If he is crooked, our system will go to the cesspool. Will our system last?

3/29/2008

Damn it, how can they do this?

Singapore’s MobileOne cuts prices of some plans SINGAPORE: MobileOne Ltd, Singapore’s smallest wireless operator, will cut prices by as much as 35% for users with multiple connections to retain customers before a rule change lets people keep their number while switching carriers. Users with at least three mobile-phone or high-speed Internet subscriptions would get discounts of 25% to 35% from today, MobileOne said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange yesterday. Phone operators in the city-state, including Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and StarHub Ltd, have started new services and promotions to attract and retain customers ahead of increased rivalry when mobile number portability begins by June.... The above is posted in the Star. How could they do it with increasing rentals and labour costs? And they are improving on their services as well. Are they trying to mock the system? Low price is possible! Low price also means better services!

American democracy

Will “American democracy” throw up the best leaders?

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 28, 2008

In the blog Beyond Sg, George Yeo, Minister for Foreign Affairs, asks if the United States’ system of “American democracy” will “throw up the best leaders”.

Quote from the blog:

“But will such a system throw up the best leaders? Watching the race between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama, a large part of the contest is about crafting speeches and sound bites, and endless spinning of one’s position. The system of analysing and targeting voters is extremely sophisticated. Out of the cacophony, the American voter is supposed to be able to sense the core of a candidate and then decide in his own best interest. Ordinary people may not understand all the issues debated but, given enough time, they have the instinct to figure out who is the right man or woman to become President. That at least is the hope.”

What are your views about Mr Yeo’s question?

I fully agree with George Yeo's doubt about American democracy throwing up good leader. They had a peanut farmer, an actor, a Clinton and two Bushes as Presidents. Look at what is happening to America now? That tells a lot about American democracy. They should learn or adopt the Singapore model like the Singapore Maths Text Books.

A good pro establishment post

....Our esteemed govt has in the past expressed concern that Singaporeans are being exposed to inaccurate and unfiltered information on the Internet. Unlike the Straits Times which is highly objective, many blogs are out to discredit our outstanding govt. Some like Mr. Brown's notorious blog even resort to satire to poke fun at our govt - I can't imagine what our our govt has done to deserve such ridicule. I consider satirical blogs like Mr. Brown's highly irresponsible as it trivialises the enormous effort by our govt to care for us. Amplifying the few honest mistakes (Mas Selamat, GST, Shin Corp, ....etc etc) will undermine the confidence the people have in our govt. While the Straits Times and the Chinese equivalent is the most widely read material on the island, an increasing number of people are turning to the Internet for information. I think the govt is honestly worried that these people are not getting the best information. Who are the writers of these unedited blogs? ....Our newspapers are written by people the best qualifications .... Looking around in the blogsphere I'm very sad to say that except for my blog, there are very few (almost none) that truly appreciate what our govt has done for us. Our govt may not be able to please everyone but it seems to have displeased every single political blogger (except myself). I say to everyone, lets keep our minds open when we evaluate what the PAP govt is doing for us, there is always a good side to everything they do and if you're not sure how it is good for you, all you need to do is open up the Straits Times ....and all the goodness will enter your mind. posted by LuckySingaporean in Diary of A Singaporean Mind Now no one can accuse me of being anti establishment.

Mysingaporenews anti establishment?

This is the remark posted here in my blog. And Elfred is so afraid on hearing this and is running for his life. What you people think? If any Singaporean who gossips or has something to say about Singapore affairs in a negative manner is anti establishment, I think there will be no pro establishment Singaporeans left. How bigotted can Singaporeans be if you commented on things that you don't agree with and you are branded as anti establishment? If this is the case, and if what Elfred said is the tooth, then we are not much different from totalitarian or authoritarian regimes. Are we? Can Singaporeans talk about Singaporean affairs without being branded as anti Singaporeans? My goodness, what have we become? A third world dictatorship with third world mentality? Do we have an opinion on things concerning us?

No fear for price rise of rice

Price of rice is up by 30%. Now this one is deadly and beyond our control. We can expect all rice and related products to go up accordingly. Good news is that Chok Tong is concerned and has put a lid on all govt fees increases for now. He said, 'Govt fees, although their going up is justified, may be restrained for a few months, postponing the increases to next year or so.' With rentals and salaries going up and more increases on the way, it is difficult to continue with the same quality of services if the fees are not hiked. So they will be hiked, in small increases I presumed, to make them more affordable in the near future. Better late than now. Oh, GST revenue will go up as well as it is pegged at a percentage of all prices. For those who think that GST will be rolled back, Chok Tong gave a definite no. He said, 'Better to...use revenues generated to help Singaporeans in a more targeted way.'

Checking golf bags

A letter by Chua Hou Thye in the ST today related his experience at the causeway check. In his mind, the intensive security checks were made to look out for Mas Selamat. But when he was asked to unload his golf bags and the bags were checked, he was not amused. According to Chua Hou Thye, they could not possibly find Mas Selamat in his golf bag. But the officers could be looking for other things as well. So it is not right to blame the officers. And the long jam is expected and should be tolerated in view of the high security threats. Just bear with it for the good of the nation.

Chok Tong's take on ministers

Chok Tong talked about the qualities expected of a good minister, able to anticipate problems and provide a solution. Three ministers fit this description, Boon Wan, Eng Hen and Raymond. They have been anticipating problems and working out solutions. What Chok Tong should add is that the solutions must be workable, meaningful and effective in solving the problems. There is no point pushing solutions that the people do not believe are appropriate or what they want and ended being compelled to accept the solutions. This last part is also related to what Chok Tong said, be connected with the people. Compelling the people to accept solutions they do not need or want is not connecting with the people.

3/28/2008

Cheaters and the women behind them

Cheaters and the women behind them by Chitra Rajaram, Deputy Editorial Director of Today ....Look around us in Singapore. Do our male political leaders engage in such behaviour? I don't think they do. . This is because when people are elected and hold important positions in Government, they have a moral obligation and responsibility to society — to not just deliver as politicians but also as individuals within accepted moral and ethical considerations. . To me, these individuals have a strong moral fibre, and I trust them to run the country because they have earned my trust as individuals. . Our leaders may not have a dapper appearance, nor do they dazzle with colourful speech — you could even say some of them come across as fuddy-duddies. But their heads and hearts are in the right place.... The above is an extract of an article published in the Today paper today. I am sure the factually accurate article will win an award at the Annual best paper or best journalist award presentation.

I don't need your approval

Isn't that nice? The cyberspace is providing a platform for everyone, young and old, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, to say what they want, to say what they think is important, without requiring the approval of the msm or their editors. This is the greatest development since the practice of universal suffrage. The voice has returned to the people. And the people must use this voice wisely and to put it to good use in their own interest. Speak for yourself. Speak your own truth. The people now do not have to accept other people's agenda and other people's truth. Welcome to the brave new world of Cyberspace.

New govt in 2015?

Today I will do a little crystal ball gazing of what the govt will look like in the future. There is always a possibility of a new party taking over from the present govt. Maybe a LP Party wins the election by 2015. No one can be certain of the future. What will happen then? The LP Party may elevate the position of the President higher and raise his pay to $10m. Equally, without saying, the PM, SMM, MM, 3 SSM, SM will be paid near to $10m. And Ministers could easily be paid $8m. And more ministerial posts will be created to reward party stalwarts. There will be Minister for the Poor, Minister for Protection of the Environment, Casino Minister, F1 Minister, Minister for Women, Minister for Charity, Minister for Private Schools, Minister for Private Hospitals, Minister for Hospices, Minister for GST, and possibly more. But the good thing is that the people are all happy. Salaries have all gone up sky high because money is flowing out from the Casinos. Why not? And we own 5 of the world's top banking and financial institutions. We also bought over Harvard and Yale Universities and thinking of buying more. Long live the LP Party!

3/27/2008

Paranoid or Mean

We are a rich nation, call ourselves first world, pride ourselves for being compassionate, sophisticated and blah blah blah. But we are very disturbed by the fact that some richer people would not want to pay higher hospital bills and do not mind opting for lower class wards with lower quality services. And we feel aggrieved on the ground that these people are sponging on the system or depriving the not so rich from govt subsidies. So, the solution is to set up a system of machinery and people to mean test these people. Wonder whether the objective justifies the cost and trouble to implement it. And with the rising cost of living, NTUC is thinking of setting up a low cost store to sell food and essential items to the people worst hit by this change. And I think the same fear or paranoia will be creeping into the decision makers' mind. What to do if the richer people also come and buy from such a store? Can't let them take advantage of this too. Perhaps mean testing again. I would propose a simpler and cheaper idea. Just use the power of the word. In hospitals, called the C Wards, Cheapskate Wards. That would be a deterrent to shame the cheapskates. And as for the low price store, called it Low Class Store or Hard Time Store. Some mean sounding names to keep the free loaders away. Just by renaming, I think it will keep a lot of them away from taking advantage of the systems to help the poor buggers. No need to sweat the big stuff and the small stuff. No need to waste so much energy and resources too.

There is passion in the Medical Profession

While we chat about the recent furore on snake oil and aesthetic medicine, many kinds of views were expressed for and against the professional conduct or business of medicine, we must not lose sight of the fact that there is passion in the medical profession. There are many selfless men and women still living on ideals and goodness and dishing our goodness to help fellow human beans. And for those who have ventured into the world of vanity products and medicine, it is not a bad thing either. It is far more better to have medically qualified professionals handling such procedures than Ah Lian and Ah Huay claiming to be experts and treating the customers. What is important are professional conduct and ethics. While doing a business, if the end result is customer satisfaction and good value for money, the practitioners would have fully discharged their professional conduct. It is only when they push the services or products like mlms or snake oil salesmen, then rightfully eyebrows need to be raised. I still salute those selfless men and women who live out their ideals to help fellow beans. They find satisfaction and meaning in life in their own happy ways. Some may sneer at them as being silly. But it is through such silly men and women that the world becomes a better and more liveable place where human compassion exists and make living meaningful.

Notable quotes - Khir Toyo

'We must go back to the people and take ti to them. Our weakness has often been out top-down approach.' Khir Toyo, Former Selangor Mentri Besar I think this top down approach is the strength of the Singapore Govt. And it works here because we have the best talents in govt. It fails in Malaysia for exactly the opposite reason.

Asian media are part of the conspiracy

Yes, Asian media are part of the conspiracy to discredit China and to support the boycott of the Olympic Games. The indiscriminate airing of distorted information or misinformation on the Tibetan riotings is the clearest evidence that these media are in cahoot with the western subversive movement. It is unacceptable and unforgiveable to take the excuse that it was an over exaggeration and the editors were idiots that do not know what were happening and what they were publishing. It is their job, their livelihood and profession to edit and provide news and information that are true and accurate, not half truth or mischievious news.

It was a good exercise

Teo Xuanwei reported on a Today poll that found Singaporeans are more concerned about security threat. The Mas Selamat Escape is doing a lot of good to the people and country. Prior to the exercise, Singaporeans took security for granted. Now 1 in 2 are concerned. This is 50%. Before the exercise maybe 1 in 100. No hue is the word. And the exercise continues. The approach now will be more targeted unlike the earlier part when searches were launched to cover every inch of the ground, with or without lead.

3/26/2008

Doctors selling snake oil

Are our doctors selling snake oil? What is happening to this honourable profession when every doctor is the creme ala creme of each cohort of students? It is so difficult to be admitted into the Medicine Faculty even with a string of straigtht As. Why are they resorting to selling snake oil? Maybe money not enough. Ok, raise their fees and make sure they make millions. Or they can join politics too. That will ensure a decent living instead of peddling snake oil. Our straight As students must be allowed to earn millions. That is the expectation. After all the course fee for a medical degree is not cheap. What is sad and embarrassing is that our top brains are looking at money more than ethics and patients' safety. Reading medicine is to save lives and treat illnesses. Not the other way round, practising trades that may cause harm instead.

Back peddling - Never in our history

I am not sure whether to place this issue in the sign of decline or progess column. What we have been seeing recently are back peddling of decisions, and getting more frequent. The latest is the NTU change of mind about putting 3 students into one bunk. Never in our history has back peddling been an issue. All decisions made are carefully thought out before implementing. Some were tough but necessary decisions. It was always go and no U turn. The recent phenomenon can be seen in three ways. One, decisions are not well thought through and implemented hastily. Two, decision makers do not have the gumptions to stay the course. Three, decision makers are flexible, have their ears on the ground and willing to listen to the people and make changes to accommodate the people. Given the quality of our super talents, it is too presumptuous to think think that they cannot think out solutions and came up with half baked decisions that need to go back to the drawing board. And knowing how thorough was the selection process, these must be men and women of steel and would not falter just because their solutions or decisions met with resistance or objections. It is likely the third reason. The decision makers are now more responsive to the people's unhappiness and are willing to listen and act accordingly.

My biggest mistake

That was what Abdullah said about underestimating the internet. 'We thought the newspapers and television were suppoosed to be important, but young people were looking st SMSes and blogs.' Abdullah forgot to add that he thought with all the control and skewed reporting in the official media people will lap them up and believe them. He underestimated the intelligence of the people. The people are like sesame seed, given up reading the official mouth pieces. If sesame seed is an indication of what the younger readers are like, the msm is losing ground and a grip on them. While Abdullah has turned on the charm offensive to win the bloggers in cyberspace instead of clamping down on them, what would happen to paradise when the next GE comes? Perhaps they will be stomping away confidently and happily.

High business cost is good

There was a time when there were calls for reducing business cost to stay competitive and relevant I think that was an old broken record and had been thrown away. Today, high cost means high quality, value for money. So high cost is good. High rental, high wages, high communication and transportation cost, high food and services costs, high education and medical cost etc. This is what a great first world city is all about. The higher we charge, the more people will flock here. Why are the hotels worrying that their rates are getting too high and tourists may not be able to afford them? Would medical tourists also go somewhere? Would the high spending shopping tourists go as well? Foreign students, foreign workers, businesses, would they stay and keep coming? What happens when one day we work up and all the factories are gone, hotels empty, hospital beds under utilised, shops without tourists, hawkers unable to pay for food court rentals? Never. It will not happen to us.

3/25/2008

Low income section or store by NTUC

NTUC is exploring the idea of setting up another store or section to cater to low income folks. All the while I thought NTUC Fairprice is meant for low income folks. Or there is now a lower low income group to service? Would someone be suggesting that mean testing be put in place so that the low income and middle income groups cannot visit this new section/store? Would those who can afford to pay more should continue to pay more and only those who pass the mean testing test can buy from the new store? It must be this way. If not everyone will be patronising the new store and deprive the lower low income group from the benefits.

What kind of media we have

They claimed to be professionals, well trained, well qualified and paid to do the job as a profession. They claimed to report factually, the truth. They claimed to do a lot of fact checking to ensure accuracy, and very well researched pieces too. They also thumbed down the bloggers and cyberspace forumers as gossipers of no substance. They are the chosen and respectable ones. And they have the msm to prove that they are pristine professionals with their works in print and paid for, every letter and words published. They are valued for money. Ngiam Tong Dow thinks that they should just fall back on straight factual reporting. No need to think or think too hard. After all their opinions are unlikely to be of any value or not wanted unless.... What you people think of the media?

Brewing of a perfect storm

The political crisis is not over yet, just beginning. And Trengganu may be the state that is going to tip the scale and send Abdullah and UMNO into the oblivion. The royalties, led by the Agong, are standing up after being silenced by Mahathir for many years. And Abdullah is unlikely to be in the same league as Mahathir to keep them in the closet. The Agong, who is also the Sultan of Trengganu, is not going to appoint Abdullah's nominee as the MB and has appointed Ahmad Said instead. Any contest by Abdullah that this is unconstitutional could see a constitutional crisis and a fallout with the Palace. The very likely consequence is that Ahmad Said will take with him 12 UMNO MPs and may join PAS or PKR to form an opposition state govt. That would put Abdullah's govt in jeopardy, literally hanging on a string. And if the speculation of a cross over by East Malaysian MPs, Anwar is going to be the next PM in a few months' time. And UMNO will be irrelevant. So will MCA, MIC and Gerakan.

Untold secrets of our success

One of the greatest achievements of the ruling govt is to come out with decisions and policies that please the elite, including those from the academia. The latter are the thinkers, the critics and the people who can see the flaws of any bad policy or decision. And they can be expected to speak out on them or write critical analysis in msm or academic journals. The very fact that the elite and scholar thinkers are not saying anything or not saying much proves beyond any doubt that all our policies are very well conceived and implemented. It is a silent consensus that speaks louder that voicing loud approvals.

Electronic parking guides are up

Electronic panels showing the number of parking spaces available in the Marina centre area are up. Nice. Wonder how much they cost and who is paying for it, plus maintenance. They forgot to provide a viewing area on the side of the road for motorist to park and check which car park has available lots. This would be more convenient and avert any slowing down of traffic or accident when drivers have to look at them.

The poor must be rejoicing

Today I am feeling damn good. Inflation is hitting the rich harder by 3.9% while the bottom earners like me is hit only by 2.8%. Time to celebrate the good news. I am still wondering about those whose income is just sufficient for food and transport and how are they hit? 2.8% also? Now one plate of mee is up from $3 to $3.50, how many percent is that? A loaf of bread is up by how much? How much have vegetables gone up? I think for these buggers, the extra that they would have to pay just for food alone will be somewhere in the region of 20%. But officially or statistically they should also feel good. It is only 2.8%.

3/24/2008

We are so obnoxious and intolerant

Someone asked me how was Gayle Goh's blog doing. I thought she was doing fine. For those who have forgotten about her, she was the junior college girl who caused a sensation when a civil servant, Bilahari, replied in her blog. So I went back to her blog and was disappointed. She has stopped blogging. In her last few posts she revealed vaguely, that she was kind of being attacked personally by the obnoxious and insensible people of paradise. She felt so hurt that she found it better to stop blogging, or if she were to do it again, she would do it under a pseudonym. Couldn't our society accept the views and existence of a young school girl? Is it fair to attack her and destroy her self confidence and make her feel so disappointed with the adult world? Some have encouraged her to keep on posting. I would too. But given her youth, it is not easy for her to take all the insinuations bravely. She would not be as thick skin as me nor to confront her attackers headon. She does not know how to brandish her knuckle duster to fend for herself. We have just lost the views and contribution of a young and promising blogger.

ERP coming to MRT? Huat ah!

Some times back I wrote a tongue in cheek piece on ERP in MRT. Now looks like this is going to be a possibility. This time it is to stagger people using MRT instead of cars using expressways. As a money making concept, this is simply brilliant. Yes there are many ways to skin a cat. Let me quote a few phrases from the New Paper. 'In Adelaide, too, public transport fares are 25 to 45 per cent cheaper between 9am and 3pm, compared to earlier and later peak periods. Ms Tammy Tan, spokesman for SBS Transit, which operates the North-East line, said a staggered-fare system is possible in Singapore. She declined to elaborate. But SMRT, which operates the North-South Line, said it prefers to cut congestion by increasing the frequency of train runs.' Maybe we are safe with SMRT for the time being. As for the North east line, pray hard.

Mas Selamat has done it

No, he has not blown up any air planes or buildings. But for just hiding in the unknown, Mas Selamat has created havoc to the lives of many on both sides of the causeway. The security forces, the lorry and bus drivers, the school children and the shopkeepers in Woodland, plus the suppliers of our food and vegetables across the causeway, are all suffering. Their businesses and livelihood are all hanging in the balance until Mas Selamat is caught. Then, with the delays and slowdown in goods vehicles coming through, the prices of basic items are also shooting up. Now who is paying for these and being badly affected by the higher prices? Practically every hardlanders. It is very costly, I must say.

Mas Selamat mugshot on sale

Our new celebrity is getting a lot of followers. Thanks or no thanks to the well meaning people for the publicity he is getting. You can get his famous look on mugs, T shirts, posters etc at a small fee. Mas Selamat has been elevated to cult status similar to the greats of Che Guevera, Castro and Mao Tse Tung. The family of Mas Selamat should send to these entrepreneurs who are selling his mugshots a bill for royalties.

The Mean Western Media - What a shame!

The myth that western media were objective, unbiased, truthful and fair reporting were clearly exposed in a report in the China Daily/Ann, REUTERS. The report is supported by evidence, pictures and writeups of western media, supposedly very reputable ones, of distorting truth and creating misleading news to attack the Chinese authorities in Tibet. When all the violence and killings were done by the rioters, the reporting and pictures were doctored to show that it was the Chinese authorities that were the bad guys. Among the culprits mentioned were CNN, BBC, Washington Post, Germany's Bild, N-TV and RTL TV and Berliner Morgenpost. It is really disgusting and distasteful for such organisations to stoop so low in their reporting of untruth and misinformation. Where is the credibility, where is the ethics, the moral standing for these ass organisations to do such disgraceful acts? It is an abuse of freedom of expression and freedom of the media when such misinformation are published as truth. What tooth? These organisations have destroyed whatever credibility they have and drag down whatever little credibility the western media has in general. The full article can be found in MyPaper today.

Professionals to self regulate

Boon Wan has stepped in to the new buzz and decided that it is too much work for the ministry to regulate aesthetic medicine. It is now left to the professionals to regulate themselves. After the taxi bus implementation when the users rose in arms against the new regulations LTA also responded to modify the well thought out plans. It took quite a while though, and after many complaints before LTA relented to change. Kudos must be given to the MOH for changing their interventionist position to one of self regulation within a week of the announcement. And the professionals better to a good job to regulate themselves and not allow money to get in the way at the expense of professional ethics and the interest of the customers.

3/23/2008

Time to go after the fakes

Fakes are increasingly common in this cosmopolitan city. We are being inundated with fake degrees, fake institutions of higher learnings and also fake physical attributes. If we are not going to accept fake qualifications, shall we also reject fake physical assets? Aesthetic medicine is now the fad. Anyone standing in front of you may be a fake, at least in some parts. If we allow the faking of one's look, why not the faking of one's qualifications? Even the food that we eat are fakes, genetically modified. And whether they will harm us in the future is yet to be proven. Should then be banned too? There are calls in this direction. Shall we accept or reject the fakes? : )

Buying foreign banks a bad deal?

With US$22 b spent on the buying spree for troubled international banks, and with crumbling values as more misdeeds or debt were revealed, many were chuckling in glee. See, supertalents messing up our reserves. Many are waiting at the sidelines hoping for such opportunities to take potshots at the highly paid and highly acclaimed supertalents in our midst. Are the criticisms justified? I was in favour of these acquisitions from the start. And I am still hopefully optimistic that these were good decisions and will bring in good returns in the long run. It is only in difficult times like this that these top banks have to go down on their knees to beg for fund injections. Without such a window of opportunities, we can wait till the cow comes home for them to divest their interests to a sovereign wealth fund like ours. The recent developments seeing these risky investments plunged in their values in the billions surely will bring up the questions of due diligence. Did we go in with eyes wide open or eyes wide shut? Were we told of the full story before parting with our billions? And did we protect ourselves from such an eventuality, or did we know how much risk we are exposing ourselves to? If the decision makers went in fully aware of the possible pitfalls and consequences, and the decision made based on acceptable calculated risk, then the public should not take issues with the short term fluctuation. We only need to fear if we are conned into parting with our billions by the banks that did not fully disclose their full liabilities and debt to us. And if that be the case, hopefully legal actions can recover some of the damages. And rightfully too, the decision makers need to be kicked in the arse. When all due diligence have been taken, and the losses were due to developments that were difficult to foresee, then the public should not be too harsh on their criticisms. We can now hope that everything is within our control and expectations, and in the long run we shall reap the fruits of risk taking and opportunism.

3/22/2008

Singapore news will never be the same again

With Cyberspace gaining more readership and acceptance, news reporting and opinions on Singapore news will never be the same again. We are now seeing a community of blogs and forums growing and contributing to the local scene, providing alternative news in increasing regularity. Thanks for forum/blogs like Littlespeck, Mr Brown, Mr Wang, Mollymeek, TheOneLineCitizen, Yawningbread, and even Talkingcock, and many others, there is now a platform for readers hungry for what is not spoken or cannot be spoken in the msm. And don't forget the little contribution from MySingaporeNews and Redbeanforum as well. With everyday passing, cyberspace can only grow in stature and in gaining a bigger share of the readership.

Welfare for the rich

Why are we bitching over a few hundred dollars for the poor when we readily spend millions for the rich who don't need them? Got such things? Just open your eyes and see through the veneer of respectability. Oh, as for the poor, we need to be very careful. Giving them too much welfare will erode our strong work ethics and personal responsibility. 'Sui ah.' Very well said. In reality, our system is paying millions to redundant old hags to keep them employed by creating many redundant positions and with handsome payouts. Many of these old hags have outlived their usefulness and are either working at half capacity or not at all. But with their millions in wealth that can let them live comfortably for another century, they continue to enjoy welfare in the millions. I read this statement from Ravi Menon, Second Permanent Secretary in Trade and Industry when he spoke at the Asia Research Institute Seminar, 'What does it mean for a person's sense of self worth and dignity? What does it mean for the work ethics? What does it mean for the family?' I have touched on the first question in my post yesterday. For a person who is receiving more than he is worth or contributing to an organisation, and he unashamingly stretches out his arms to collect the gold, what does it say to his self worth and dignity? And if one does not even work and proudly receives his gold, what does it say of his work ethics? As for his family, he might just tell them he deserves the gold. Or he might just say, with a wide smile, 'Take it and enjoy it while it lasts.' If a small amount of these money were to be given to the poor, it will make them feel very rich. But giving to the rich, it will only make them richer and regard the extra money as peanuts. And some will even complain that it is too little, and not having to work for it. But as a kind of welfare benefit, work for it is not necessary.

3/21/2008

Notable quotes - Koh Kian Beng

The last thing we want is for a woman to be made the PM by riding on the coat tails of her husband or father, and not on her own merit. Koh Kian Beng While reporting on a public forum discussing the possibility of a woman PM, Koh Kian Beng, a SPH journalist or reporter, inserted the above quote into his article in the ST today. I find this an amusing and interesting quote. Why should such an idea of a woman becoming a PM because of her husband or father be a concern in the first place? Are we expecting such a woman PM in the foreseeable future? Or why must a woman become a PM only through her connection and not her ability? A bit of sexist chauvinism and quite patronising to the women. The other point to amuse ourselves is that it is ok if a man becomes a PM because of his father or wife. So it is acceptable for a man but not acceptable for a woman to ride on his connection. This will be a good cocktail party gossiping topic. Hentail parties can dispute this judgemental view as well.

Myth 176 - Sorry wrong call

We have heard that many top CEOs in the west are being paid in hundreds of millions as wages. And they justified their grand pay schemes by strutting their great talents and ability to make more money for the organisations. At first glance it looks very fair. How to reject someone who makes a billion by not paying a hundred million to him? The argument holds well only when this turkey is making his billions. What happens when he loses in billions? Sack him or give him a pay cut? When the turkey turns donkey and bankrupt the organisation, at best he will say, oops, sorry, wrong call. But when he is making billions he will trumpet as how clever he is. How equitable is such a compensation formula? Many are bought by it, especially the supertalents. For they know that they are the one that cannot lose. They gamble on other people's money and reward themselves handsomely when they made the right decision or guess it right. If they lose or make a huge mistake, they only lose other people's money. And they could get another equally well paying job by selling their experience somewhere else.

Clamping down on aesthetic medicine and practices

The MOH is putting a stop to all the questionable procedures being marketed by medical and non medical professionals to make every living bean who wants to look more beautiful happy. It claims that many of the procedures are not even approved by advanced western countries and some are probably still under clinical tests. I can't blame the medical professionals for switching from saving lives and helping the sick to this more lucrative trade and objective. At the end of it, what is important is money. Greed is good. Greed is our culture. And people are getting realistic and think first of lining their pockets with money than silly idealism about helping the people. Long live greed and money.

Myth 175 - New Welfarism

Chua Mui Hoong wrote an article about a new disease which she called New Welfarism in town. Essentially she is talking about the subsidies and handouts which the govt is giving to the poor and expectations of handouts is now creeping up to the middle class. Singaporeans are taking these handouts as an annual giveaways from the govt. And she said that 'The PAP has been right in fearing a "crutch mentality" among the low income.' So while giving, there is this constant fear and reminder not to turn the country into a welfare state and erode the work ethics of the people. My observation is that she is barking up the wrong tree. Welfarism starts at the highest level where giveaways are disguised as just rewards. In the name of talent and high positions, people are demanding to be paid in gold and getting it. And no one is calling this welfarism but paying for according to market worth. And it is this bunch of leeches that are sneering at the few dollars thrown to the low income earners and claiming that these low down scums of society are developing a crutch mentality. The biggest recipients of the biggest handouts are all laughing to the bank and are blind to the handouts they are getting. They are even blind to the fact that they are victims of the crutch mentality and are demanding for more without knowing it. This is the New Welfarism that people are blind to it. Remove the handouts and you will immediately see the withdrawal symptoms. They may get delirious. And what kind of work ethics are we encouraging when people are being paid exorbitant sums not commensurate with the petty works they are doing?

3/20/2008

Learning from India's Civil Service

Singapore wants to learn lessons from India’s ‘growth story’ March 20th, 2008 By Prashant K. Nanda New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) National University of Singapore (NUS) is inviting Indian civil servants to teach the ‘growth story’ to other Asian counterparts and in turn learn the best practices in public administration from global experts, all for free. “Many countries in the world want to know about India’s growth and we wish Indian civil servants to teach the developing countries. We are inviting them to do a course in our institute for free,” said Kenneth Paul Tan, assistant dean of NUS’ Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP). When I read the above I thought it was a joke. No it is serious. And nothing personal against the Indian Civil Service, I thought we should be teaching the world our brand of world class civil service? Without being prejudicial, I still believe we have the best civil service among all the ex British colonies. Some may argue that Hongkong's is the best now, but it is a touch and go and you would need a set of criteria to compare them objectively.

Looking for Mr Happy

This is surely the clearest sign of things are becoming bad. All the while I know that Singaporeans are all very happy. High paying jobs, govt angpows, full employment, world class services, staying in hospital also damn happy and don't want to go home. And the PRs and locals lagi happy. And their happiness are so infectious that all the FTs and foreign workers are also happy. The happiest of course are in the cabinet, I mean kitchen cabinet. They should instead be looking for Mr Unhappy. Now that will be a difficult task normally. Luckily with the recent turn of event you may find someone very unhappy. What I am not sure is how much would be spent on this happy exercise. Who is paying for such a creative idea? We are first world and the citizens are very mature to welcome such a wonderful idea.

Golden Years are here

With the news of price hike hitting the people almost every other day, we will soon be paying everything in gold. Just heard that PUB rate for power will be up next month. When oil is up, practically everything will be up. Power and transportation are all dependent on oil/petrol price. Welcome to the golden years.

Time to say a few good words

For three weeks he stood alone to face the wrath of the people, specifically those in cyberspace. Many have written asking Kan Seng to take responsibility and to resign. While everyone is taking potshots at him, he stood firm. And while being attacked, he still got time to say a few soothing words for the Home Team, to boost up their sagging morale. Indeed Kan Seng is a brave man. He fought like a lone warrior. No one has yet to speak out on his behalf. He must be feeling very lonely at this moment. Let's hope his terrain mapping tool will quickly map out where Mas Selamat is and bring him back to Mount Pleasant. Then we can all sing him praises and said we can all sleep well with him in charge again. It is a tough job and many would have crumbled. It needs a steely man to stand up in a moment like this, and to continue with the search despite all the criticism. Kan Seng is the man.

Tsk tsk tsk

When I wrote the article 'Do we need change,' I expect people to rebut my points vigorously and point out all the flaws in my arguments. I would like forumers and bloggers to challenge the conventional truth or the accepted truth. And it is very easy to tear away at the positions I took. Our system is far from perfect. It is like a story in Disneyland. It is based on many assumptions that normally do not happen in the real world. And if they do, it is a temporary phenomenon, like a rainbow. It will not last. The first assumption is that we will always be blessed with wise, honourable and selfless men who will be in position of power to keep the lid on. And these wise men will be able to select equally honourable and selfless men to carry on with the job of good governance. Even now we are seeing the cracks and the peelings are coming off. And do we really believe that an elected President can check on a rogue govt? The evidence has proven otherwise. A rogue govt could simply bundle the President out of the Istana. Or they could simply ignore him, don't provide him with the information to work on. Just shut him out. And the President will not be able to protest outside the Parliament without a permit. He will be arrested. Where is the check and balance? Who is to check the guards or guardians? The Mas Selamat case is a good example. Who is to check the wise and honourable men if they turn bad? Our system cannot last after LKY. It needs a very strong man to pull all the strings to get everyone in line. Once this is not present, everything will be scattered all over the place. There is a saying, 'tree falls monkeys scatter.'

3/19/2008

Dying is a natural way to say good bye

The Lien Foundation is funding a research on palliative care to adopt a different approach to those who are chronically ill or who are dying and beyond the scope of medical help. It is high time that such an approach be adopted than blindly trying to keep everyone alive and incurring a bomb in medical expenses. A lot of education is needed to educate the ignorant masses that dying is not a bad thing when the time has come. Prolonging life and suffering are. At the same time the education should also go on to tell the people that living to 80 or 90 is not necessary a blessing but could be a punishment, a life sentence in pain and suffering, in lonely, in despair. People should not be envious of those who live too long and clamouring to want to do the same.

A bad PR exercise

The Home Team has received a lot of bashing recently and Kan Seng may think it is time to do some morale boosting to keep their spirit high. There was a long news clip last night on Kan Seng's speech to the Home Team and another front page news in the msm. Many may have mocked the Home Team in cyberspace and it is natural for the Home Team to feel that the comments were unfair and unhelpful. But to think that it is time to air their grouses now may be a bit too premature if only they know what were said and not printed anywhere. The mistake was not only unacceptable, but approaches incredulity. It is hard for the people to accept it as a complacency or a lapse. It is also natural for the people to want to air their disappointment. No doubt some of the ridiculing may have gone overboard, but it is best that the Home Team accept the blame, continue with their good work and move on. The last thing the Home Team should do now is to take on public opinion or even to tell the public how sophisticated they are, how able are they to find a few hundred empty houses etc etc. What for when Mas Selamat is still on the loose? The morale boosting pep talk is best done in house as many officers have sweated and sacrificed their time that they could well spend with their loved ones. I think the majority of the people still have high regards for the Home Team and they should take the criticisms and praises as and when deserved.

3/18/2008

Petrol price hike again

Oil price hits US$111. A good and justifiable reason to hike petrol prices. Is it? If I am not mistaken, oil prices are traded using US$. We are paying in S$. S$ is appreciating against US$. The petrol price hike is in S$. Are the price hike justifiable? Is CASE looking into this to make sure consumers are not taken for a ride and petrol companies are not profiteering? Can any thing be done to absorb the price hike? With a higher base price for petrol, revenue from petrol tax and GST will go up proportionally. Can this be adjusted to absorb the hike? Oil price cannot be controlled by us, external factors. But taxes are within our control. Or are we looking forward to another pleasant surprise of budget surpluses next year?

Hospital Resort concept

We are now seeing more people refusing to be discharged from our hospitals. Now why? Are our hospitals so comfortable, like hotels and resorts, that people are having a good time recuperating there than getting themselves discharged? Or is the hospital cost still too low and the patients find them still affordable? I think relatively the hospitals must be giving good value for money vis a vis the hotels. Otherwise these patients would have move out to stay in the hotels instead. Or is it because they have some savings in the Medisave which they might as well spend them or else it would be left untouched? I think Boon Wan must rethink his idea of making hospitals more comfortable and affordable. The latter is a contradiction. Make it cheap they do not want to leave. Die die want to stay in the hospitals. Boon Wan may want to reintroduce the natural selector concept in the hospitals. This may be a way to discharge patients and provide more bed space for those who really need them.

3-4 passengers per sq metre

Is this an acceptable standard in our MRT? No doubt many countries even use a higher figure than us. Just because there are people being sardined, does not mean that it is acceptable. We need to define what is our own acceptable standard. We have been encouraging our people to drink sewer water, or put it bluntly, shit water, urine water. Hmmm, is this really our standard of well being? 3-4 passenger per sq metre, if one is to include space taken by seats, that could reduce the capacity, the density is much higher. Maybe we are ok if we consider the fact that we are smaller and more petite. What is important is to find our own standard of comfort and not blindly quote other people's standard to determine what is good for us.

Do we need change?

Come to think of it, we don't need any change. We have the best political system in the world. We have proven to the world that ours is a system that works. Our people are paid among the highest in the world in every profession. Even our cleaners and sweepers are being paid more than managers and professionals in many countries. This is not simple boasting. It is real. We have defied all the philosophers and even the founding fathers of America. We have a system that is better than democracy or communism. It is our unique brand. We have ensured that only the best and talented and incorruptibles are selected to lead the countries. We don't even need a strong opposition to act as the nations's conscience. We don't need to build an infrastructure of checks and balances. With upright and honest people in charge, nothing can go wrong. And if come to the worst, we have vested powers in a strong elected President to check the abuses of a rogue govt. It is time the world comes to learn from us. This is our greatest contrirbution to mankind. A near perfect system that will check itself from any wrong doings or falling into the hands of a rogue dictator or a bunch of crooks in the future. Who says our system is fallible? If it is, it will have been tweaked long ago. We don't leave such things to chance.

Chee Soon Juan's great injustice

Chee Soon Juan has done a great injustice to all Singaporeans. He has destroyed our image as a happy and peaceful country where people are so contented that there is no protest against the govt. Now this image has been shattered and if we tell people in other countries that we have no people protesting in the street, no one is going to believe us. It will take many years for us to restore this blessed image of a protest free country. The bad boy must be caned in the public square.

3/17/2008

The ingenuity of it all

The protest at Parliament House can best be remembered for its ingenuity. The protestors all in red and dragging children along with them must have looked very fierce and violent. But top marks go to the law enforcers. In the face of militant protestors, the face off was with female police officers in civilian clothes and unarmed. It was a gentle feminine touch that should win the hearts of all the media present. They would have no reasons to brutalise the police for using excessive force. For if they did, the reply will be fighting militancy with love. No violent suppression. No bloody nose.

Celebrating Colonial Governors

While we are celebrating the old greats of old Singapore, maybe we should also be celebrating all the great colonial masters that once ruled this little island. I have read a very interesting and detailed write up of Farquhar in TheOnLineCitizen forum. It is a great piece of write up that would put all other write ups of Singaporeans to shame. The contribution by Farquhar and Raffles were truly great. And with the definition of citizen a little changed, with PRs regarded as locals, all the ex governors should easily fit the bill. I can recall names like Shenton Way, Cecil Street, Robinson Road, Nicol Highway, Smith Street, Stanley Road, Cavenagh Bridge, Anderson Bridge, Fullerton Building, Collyer Quay etc etc. I would like to suggest building a series of bronze statues of them to line the new museum in City Hall. That would give a nice touch to our colonial past. Don't agree? OK, OK, never mind. Take it that I have not said anything. Pass.

Grrrrrrl...I bite you!

Police are investigating Chee Siok Chin for attempting to bite police officers when they were arresting her. Whether she did bite or not, she was arrested. We will have to wait for the investigation to know what happened. And the protesters, all 20 of them, locked arms to resist arrest. This is a clear sign of growing militancy. Next time wonder what they will do? Will they start to riot, burn down Parliament house? Anything is possible in the city of possibilities.

Mean Testing - The beginning

Brenda Tan Dun Lin wrote to MyPaper on how mean testing is affecting her. She said she belonged to a category that 'doesn't look that bad' yet the hardest hit. With the high cost of medical treatment, only the very rich will be spared. No amount of mean testing can help the 'doesn't look that bad' group. There must be a serious effort to bring down exorbitant hospital bills in hospitals funded by public money. Can't call them govt or public hospitals anymore as they are privatised, I think. With hospital bills in the thousands of dollars a month, my god, how many got such a fat bank account to pay for them? And mean testing is to make the 'doesn't look that bad' group to pay more. What will be the consequences? Ok good, everyone will have the chance to empty their Medisave account.

Tower of Babel crashing down

God said, 'With one mighty stroke I shall bring you down.' According to the Bible, God detests the arrogance of man. When man started to declare how able he was, God stood up. When man demanded gold from his fellowmen for his talent which was a gift of God, God cringed. The Tower of Babel must come down. Cracks are showing on every wall that it has built. This is God's answer to humble the arrogant man. Will man take note of the wrath of God? No way. Tomorrow, after a night of good sleep, man shall awake and be as arrogant as yesterday. The fall of man will be repeated over and over again.

3/16/2008

The SDP protest took place

I thought it was another joke. But it did took place on Saturday at Parliament House led by Chee Soon Juan and his SDP comrades. And 15 of them wearing red T shirt with the words 'Tak Boleh Tahan' on their chests to protest against the rising cost of living. It was reported that 15 were arrested subsequently. Chee Juan Soon has taken over as the 'bu tao ong', the infallible toy. He has taken over the position of JB Jeyaratnam. You can whip him, jail him, bankrupt him, he will be back. This is another sad story of how opposition politicians could end up. Very pathetic for a first world democracy.

The taxi bus fumble

Say what you like, claim whatever you like, the taxi bus concept is another bungling concept that needs to go back to the drawing board. Why are we getting this kind of half baked solution from super talents? I better not say too much or people will be very angry.

Ignore Cyberspace at your own peril

Recently we have seen the enormous power of internet in the Malaysian GE. It has now established itself as an alternative source of news freely available to the masses. Thanks to the msm for specialising in the types of news they chose to report. Picking up a piece of msm is picking up predictability. What will be reported, how the news will be reported, the slants and the skews are like commercial advertisements. I think the people are tired of such reportings. And the assumption that people are still ignorant and gullible and will take all the news in the msm, including opinions, as the correct view and popular view is disgusting. Reading msm without reading blogs and internet forums is like putting blinkers on oneself. Many things will not be reported in the msm. That is a fact. One will be deprived of looking at the different angles and sides of an issue. And this is vital and unacceptable to an increasingly well educated and aware populace. Politicians who think that reading the msm is enough, or whatever feedback by their runners are good enough, will gravitate to their own ivory tower of half truth or accepting the tooth.

People's Elected Representatives or Walkovers

In a democracy like Singapore, we have a system to elect people's representatives as Members of Parliament. We even have an elected President. How many elected MPs are there in Parliament? We have 1 Non Constituency MP, a handful of Nominated MPs, some, yes, some elected MPs and a lot of Walkover MPs. Walkover MPs are supposedly elected MPs but walked into Parliament for lack of contest, no one contesting against them. In some countries, an elected MP must be an elected MP and walkover is a no no. How can a walkover MP claimed to be elected when the people did not elect him? We have been tinkering with many system to ensure that Singapore continues to exist into the future. Maybe it is time to tinker the electoral system to ensure that elected MPs are elected MPs and not Walkovers. When the system accepts only elected MPs, then the rules and regulations will have to be redesigned to facilitate more people coming forward to be elected. The punishing election fee, the unfriendly culture and intimidating system where political candidates faced have to be made more friendly to encourage participation. Or we will have to cry crocodile tears for lack of political talents. We cannot go on with an electoral system where the candidates are waiting to be recruited for good behavior and found to the likings of political parties. Such a system does not breed politicians but employees out looking for a job. Politicians and political leaders are a different kind of people. They use to call them 'people with a fire in their belly.' Now that fire is simulated like computer games. We need true politicians to step forward to serve the people. We need a system that can ensure that and not one that inhibits or frightens away would be politicians. Some may make cocky remarks that if one does not have the guts to go into the arena, then they are not made of the right substance to be political leaders. But any reasonable and a little wiser man will not step into a cul de sac and slip on his knucker duster when he knew that the odds are extremely unfavourable. We need elected representatives with the mandate from the people and a system that will ensure that every MP is elected by the people. Walking into Parliament by default is not a healthy system. We need more credibility to believe that elected representatives are really the people's choice. Likewise, if we want an elected President, then he must be elected and not another Walkover.

Celebrating Singaporean - David Marshall

David Marshall, Singapore's First Chief Minister Many good things have been written about David Marshall in the Straits Times today. Kishore Mahbubani summed it up in a few words, 'a remarkably good and decent human being.' He came into politics and fought like a gentleman. When he lost and became the opposition, he formed his party and accepted the rules of the game, the change of political power graciously. He did not manipulate the system or amend the constitution to make it difficult for opposition parties to challenge him. Or maybe he did not stay long enough. He quit his post, he resigned when he failed to deliver his promise. Some have called him naive politically, but that is why he is still regarded as a good and decent man. A respectable politician is hardly a term that people used but is being applied to David Marshall very appropriately. How many politicians could leave a legacy of respectability when they lost power? Maybe it is all history. It was a time when goodness, honour, selflessness, serving people and country were virtues that people truly believe in. Today many of these so called virtues are uttered freely without any sincerity nor intention to uphold them. Some even sneer at such naive concepts or ideals. David Marshall will be remembered in our history as a good man.

3/15/2008

For UMNO, volunteerism is long gone

This statement came from Zainon Ahmad, political editor of the English daily The Sun. He added that UMNO candidates lost the election simply because the supporters were clamouring for their share of the loot. If the money is not coming down to them, they stopped working. The UMNO supporters have viewed the candidates as all for themselves and struggling to amass wealth. It is all money politics for personal wealth. And this kind of culture will bring down any party in any country. It is all a matter of timing. Are we heading in the same direction? Some will say no with eyes wide shut. Some will argue that we have good honest men that came out to serve the country for noble reasons. And the people know that and can see that, and are indebted to our honest and honourable leaders. Of course there are others who stubbornly disagree. And of course many do not know which is which.

Close ranks to catch Mas Selamat

Paul Jacob in today's Straits Times talked about all the noises in cyberspace and the call for heads to roll. Then he concluded by saying that all must close ranks to capture Mas Selamat. He failed to understand why there are so much noise in the first place. And many also failed to understand or refused to understand why people are angry. It all boils down to the two opposing principles and the polarisation of the super talents on one side and the general masses on the other. I think people are really pissed off by all the harping of how great super talents were and how much money they must get for them to work and be committed to serve the country. And many are just saying quietly, prove me your worth, that they deserve the money paid. And any fiasco will be waved around as a mockery of the super talent and super pay ideology. The more people praised the great super talents, and the bigger is their insatiable appetite to be paid more, the more intolerant will be of their mistakes. And outrageous mistakes will naturally receive the full attention of the disgrunted. The cyberspace will bury them with all their mockeries and innuendoes.

3/14/2008

Singapore delegates visit US to learn about poverty

Singapore delegation visits Marshall to discuss poverty issues Thursday, March 13, 2008 By RACHEL HARPER/Staff writer Nine representatives from Singapore visited Missouri Valley Community Action Agency in Marshall Tuesday, March 11, to learn new and creative ways to address poverty. "We are extremely pleased you decided to come to Missouri, we are still flabbergasted," said Missouri Association for Community Action (MACA) Executive Director Elaine West. "We hope this will be a beneficial experience for you and us." I copy the above from Sammyboy.com. Singapore is really going places. We went to Japan to learn how to look after our aged. Now we are in America to learn how to look after our poor. We will definitely be better off in looking after these two groups of people.

Improving public transport - Taxi bus

The bus and MRT system will now be boosted with a taxi-bus system. Taxis will now operate more like buses and MRT with designated stops to pick up and unload passengers. Maybe the next step is to charge taxi fares according to the number of taxi stops and have regulated taxi routes. I hope the little convenience which used to differentiate taxis from buses and MRT, like bringing passengers to their doorstep, will not be missed. And for the lost of such a convenience, taxi fare can be lowered to meet the new level of service.

Abolish NEP?!

There seems to be a tacit agreement among the opposition parties to abolish the NEP. The new Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim of PKR said he will abolish the NEP. DAP Lim Guan Eng, CM of Penang also said so. Guan Eng was strongly attacked and warned by Abdullah not to stir racial feelings. Khalid was not touched. It is thus a case of who said it and also how it was spoken. I believe the opposition coalition agreed that the NEP breeds corruption, croynism and nepotism and should be replaced by a fairer and more equitable formula. The issue now is how to go about it without affecting the special position of the bumiputras. And this I believe the coalition also shares a common ground. Now they will have to articulate to the people that they will help all the races and still recognise the special position of the bumiputras. This assurance is vital. Wish them well.

Keep people informed with timely information

Li Xueying calls for more timely and correct information to keep the public informed and avoid wild speculations. In her article in the Straits Times she referred to Mas Selamat case as an example. So was the NTU lecturer's article that more jobs were going to foreigners and being attacked for being 'irresponsible an unprofessionable.' And strangely, the recent MOM reports actually vindicated what the NTU lecturer had said. Poor bugger. The public deserves to be informed as they are not illiterates or idiots that can't handle information.

The temporary nature of being

Temasek has sold Tuas Power to China's Huaneng Group. It is a pure business transaction like Temasek buying other foreign commercial institutions. We buy and we sell for profits. We sell our core assets and buy other country's assets. Now, what else are we going to sell? DBS, SIA, Keppel or PSA? I think as long as there is profit and makes commercial sense, we will likely sell them. How about Sentosa? Things are getting very temporal, and decisions are made based on practical and functional considerations. I think we should seriously think of selling citizenship. Our citizenship is highly priced and valued and should not be given away cheaply. All things are temporary and transient. Nothing to cry about if we sell them away. We can buy other things too. Time to think of buying Australia.

Guided by different principles

More than two weeks have passed. They are still trying to catch him. A few thousand uniformed men and several thousands running around doing it for free. Would these freelancers really be motivated to do it? We have long been championing the principle of paying for talent and contribution. We pay very well for talents as their work are talented work and cannot be for free. Else we will cheapen their self worth. Now we are expecting people to run around to catch the most wanted man for free. And mind you, their time and effort, food and transportation all costs money. They have out of the pocket expenses while running all over the place. I think some will do it zealously for the stupid idealism of duty and nation. But this is a dying breed. Many that go along could be just wayanging. It is time to live by the true principle and pay the talents for the capture of Mas Selamat. And the price should be at least a couple of millions after so many failed to catch him. Time to put up a $3 million reward for the most wanted man if we want him badly. We cannot live by two separate principles, one demanding high rewards for work done and one demanding people to slog for free on idealistic principles.

3/13/2008

Story of woman seeing Mas Selamat

The msm reported that a woman saw Mas Selemat crossing Thomson Road and looking lost. And Mas Selamat was taking a stroll, unhurried and without fear of being discovered. How credible is this story? If that was Mas Selamat, it means that he either sneaked out or walked out of the detention centre on his own, unassisted. And he had all the time in the world to walk all the way to Thomson Road without a search party breathing down his neck. The journey must have taken him half an hour or so. This also implies that till the time he was seen at Thomson Road, no one was aware that he was missing or had escaped. Could this be when his escape from the toilet could easily be discovered in a few minutes and a search party must be all over the place. The story is highly improbable.

Pertinent lessons from Malaysia

Below are 3 lessons which I fully agree with PN Balji of the Today paper. Lesson 1: A good leader must lead from the front, especially when it comes to important issues. Lesson 2: Be discerning when listening to views and trust the right people. Finally ownership. It is now 5 days since the electoral hammering....It is time for Abdullah to own up to the damage inflicted on his party and the people who had pinned their hopes on him. Lesson 3: Accept responsibility, assess the mood of the people and decide how to move on. What a good piece of lesson and what a nice timing.

Lim Guan Eng better be careful

The DAP is going to abolish NEP in Penang! PAS is saying they are not agreeing to it. Lim Guan Eng better not be another cock and plunge Penang and Malaysia into another nightmare. The ultras are licking their wounds and are looking for an excuse to let loose their anger. And blood tasting is what they may be looking for. The position of PAS is more sensible. PAS also did not totally agree with the NEP. What they want is to modify the NEP to benefit all races, especially the poor. That should be the way to go for DAP. Review the NEP, keep the good and discard the bad, change a little here and there to benefit all Malaysians. Throwing it out into the bin without a second look is inviting for trouble. In a time like this, a lot of good common sense is needed to take in the sensibilities of all the races. Lim Kit Siang better quickly whisper to him a few pieces of good advice along this line.

Myth 174 - No Estate Duty

We have just scrapped Estate Duty and the super rich are all popping their champagne. I am going to argue that this is another Singapore myth. What is Estate Duty? In brief it is a tax on a citizen's life long accummulation of wealth, his properties and money. With the scrapping of the Estate Duty, this is gone. For the average Singaporean, his life long accummulated wealth is his HDB flat and the money in his CPF. These are his material assets. All he has. HDB flat is safe, but not his CPF. In a way the Estate Duty now comes in another form. It has transformed to tax the estate of a citizen in advance. You guess it, the Minimum Sum and the Medisave are Estate Duty taxed in advance. No they will tell you that they are different and for different objectives. And they will be returned to you at the appropriate time when they decide to. So for 40, 50 or 60 years, maybe more, the citizens will be dumping real money into the CPF and in return they will get an IOU chit from the CPF saying how much it owes the citizen. And only the CPF has the authority to decide when to give it back to the citizen and at its terms. Still not really like Estate Duty leh. True. Let's take an extreme case where a citizen only has a little Minimum Sum and his Medisave. And he dies without any surviving relations. Where does the money go to? This is as good as it gets to being an Estate Duty Tax. And it is 100% tax! Whether this is equivalent or far from what Estate Duty is, it all depends on one's perception and definition. (Check with Matilah) Now who does not pay this transformed Estate Duty? Those on pension scheme and the super rich who are able to work around the CPF ruling and not contributing to it. Even they do so, it is less than the smallest peanuts in relations to their wealth.

3/12/2008

The magic of Malaysian politics

It is unbelieveable that the only person that has all the cards to play is someone that is not even an elected MP. Anwar is now calling the shots, manouvring and shuffling the cards. Abdullah the PM is the captain of a sinking ship and watching perilously at the possibility of his crews jumping over board. And it takes only one GE with the ruling party still the majority govt to shake the political landscape. It is simply amazing. Everyone gravitating towards Anwar and watching what he is going to do next and when he is going to be the next PM.

Increasing relevance of Cyberspace

The Malaysian GE has shot cyberspace into the limelight. Many claimed credit should go to cyberspace for breaking the govt's stranglehold on one sided reporting in favour of the BN. And cyberspace came to the rescue to provide an alternative view that the people had been deprived of. Below are some comments which I extracted from The Straits Times by Jeremy Au Yong. Said the site's owner Raja Petra Kamarudin: 'Traffic went up so high that I could not get on to update the site.' The massive visitor numbers put up by both websites, gave one of the clearest indications yet, of just how much the Malaysian public have been turning to alternative media for its political news. With opposition parties feeling shut out of traditional news media, they turned to the Internet to air their views. And it seems many Malaysians follow them there. Said Mr Premesh: 'The alternative media has broken the monopoly of the government on the media and provided a platform for information distribution. It gave a platform for people not in power.' And some now say, cyberspace was where the recent election was lost. Mr Tony Pua, a Democratic Action Party candidate who made his name as a blogger, said the Internet played a pivotal role in informing people about the issues. Although he admitted that he was surprised at how effective it turned out to be. 'The Internet may be more instrumental than people thought it would be. This was not expected by anyone,' he said. And no one was caught more off-guard than the government, said Mr Premesh: 'They thought it wouldn't reach beyond the segment of the community that had Internet access. They didn't consider the spillover effect. 'If you had gone to a rally, you would have seen that the people are well aware of the issues, issues that were only broadcast on alternative media. The Internet fed the information into a certain part of the community, and it spread from there.' He referred to stories like the alleged links between murdered Mongolian model Altantunya Shaariibuu and Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, as well as the judiciary scandal involving Datuk VK Lingam. Raja Petra felt that the Internet's biggest contribution was in getting the middle class to the ballot booths. 'Alternative media cured the apathy the middle class has. They were no longer saying: 'Let's not bother.' Suddenly, it was let's go and give the opposition a chance,' he said.

The goodness coming from the GE

The Malaysians have two men to thank for the results of the GE and a new Malaysia. Credit must go to Anwar for bringing about two unlikely bedfellows together to share a common dream, a Malaysian Malaysia. And credit must also go to Abdullah for allowing this to happen. Today, Abdullah is talking about a Malaysia for all Malaysians, a fair and level playing field, uniting all Malaysians and prosperity for all. This is a stark contrast from the pre election days when he allowed UMNO to be more extremist than PAS. UMNO was then trying to be more Islamic and more Malay than whatever PAS stood for. UMNO was trying to outdo PAS! Now PAS has moderated its position, and this caught UMNO with its pants down. Now a new tune is being sung by all parties, in the govt and the alternative govt. Everyone is talking about a Malaysian Malaysia. The challenge to the future is whether Anwar is strong and dynamic enough to keep PAS under check and not going the extreme Islamic path. And on Abdullah's part, whether he can rein in the ultras in his party and return UMNO to be a party for all Malaysians. His problems are more difficult as there is also the big issue of corruption among his close aides and ministers. UMNO needs a thorough clean up and many of his corrupt gangs must go. To think that Samy Vello is still thinking of leading MIC as a component member of the BN speaks a lot about where UMNO is.

Of ethics, pride and shame

Singapore is the second least corrupt country in Asia after Hongkong. Not a bad medal to wear. But is this tooth or truth? A CEO running a huge organisation may be stripped of all his responsibilities and kicked upstair and given a grand title like Master CEO or Grand Master... and continue to receive his obscene pay. His new job description could be in charge of the welfare of the tea lady and the toilet cleaners. And he continues happily going to office looking after the tea lady and cleaners, and with great pride and a lot of pay. Is this corruption? A board director who does not do anything material, who may not even attend board meetings, and continues to collect his fat director's fee happily. Is this corruption? In the strict sense of the definition, these are not corruption. The things that border people are ethics, pride and shame. Do these people have any ethical values to talk about? Are they proud of what they are doing? Do they have any sense of guilt or shame? Are they the role models in our society?

No words from Mas Selamat's family

I have been trying to hear from Mas Selamat's family and see what they have to say on his escape. After two weeks, still nothing heard. Neither was there any report on them. I think they must have given up on Mas Selamat. Or the journalists have all given up on them too. They are not news worthy, falling in the same category like how Mas Selamat escape. There may be people who want to know. But no one thinks it is important to follow up and do a write up about them. Would the family want to know where Mas Selamat is, or is he dead or alive?

3/11/2008

Call for govt to take over public transport

Ng E Jay wrote to the ST calling for the govt to take over public transport as privatisation does not lead to more competition and efficiency. Has Ng E Jay forgotten that only through privatisation can organisations become more efficient? Taking over by the govt, according to our conventional wisdom, is a step backward, and public transport will become less efficient. Only through privatisation can public transport become efficient. And that is the tooth. Are Singaporean gullible or unthinking?

Malaysia's rite of passage

Below is a comment by Shad Saleem Faruqi in the Mypaper which I find very relevant. New Politics 'The electorate is not, any more, swayed exclusively by racial and religious appeal. The old technique of appealing to people's fear and insecurities did not work. The feudal hold of party overlords seems to have weakened. The Malay electorate seems to have cast off traditional loyalties. A maturing electorate saw through all the political rhetoric, the issues of corruption, arrogance of power and price rises.... The voting population has demonstrated that there are limits to its gullibility.' Shad is a Professor of Law at Universiti Teknologi Mara.

A city for dogs

I wrote earlier about dogs competing for space with human beans. I just come a cross an article in the Today paper reminding readers that it is an offence to abandon dogs. And the fine is $10k. Not a small sum to commit such a crime. I am wondering whether there is a similar act for abandoning parents or children. Just wondering. While we are going all out to protect the dogs, spare a thought for the human beans that are abandoned.

Malaysians have shown the way

It is possible to bring down an over confident ruling party. The Malaysians have done it, though the ruling party was not brought down yet, but the writing is on the wall. The facade of infallibility has been breached. All it needs is a confluence of many factors, big and small. Together they will tip the scale. The situation and conditions in Malaysia are quite similar except appearing in different hues. Removing the distractions, they are the same kinds of problem facing the people. And they have a few foolish ministers and some good for nothing ministers to help the people made up their minds. In our past elections, our ministers were the pillars of strength to lift or carry an entire GRC based on their reputation and weight. Would this assumption still holds true? In my observation, some are becoming a liability to the GRCs. They will bring down the GRCs instead. That is how bad things have changed. The momentum and direction have been set by the Malaysians. There is a high probability that they will be emulated here, in the next GE.

Paradise contracts terminal illness

Not possible? Paradise is like a rich fat man, well fed, overdosed of too much goodness, and full of bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, and contracting a terminal illness like what some rich man could. Given proper treatment, its life can be extended for quite sometime, or at worst hooked onto some tubes. What kind of treatment is paradise receiving? In most instances what paradise is getting is morphine jab. Not enough workers, inject foreign workers. Roads jammed, erect ERPs. Rising cost of living, throw them some money. Lack of talent, throw them some money. Taxi problems, raised fare. Public transport problems, raised fares. Education standard not high enough, raised fees. Feed the service providers and all will be well. And if morphine does not work, which it often the case as the effect is temporary, try chemotherapy. Chemo will work. But if the illness does not kill the patient, chemo will, or the many side effects will. Paradise cannot survive on morphine and chemo alone. We need more brilliant solutions. If a couple of millions would not do, then go for 10 or 20 million solutions, or a hundred million dollar solutions if there is such a thing. Actually a 2 million or 10 million or hundred million solution may be the same solution. We may be paying for the hype.

3/10/2008

A creepy silence

Two days have passed without any incidents. The silence of Khairy and Hishammuddin and their likes is quiet creepy. Let's hope they take the decision of the people in their stride and reflect on why UMNO lost. They have contributed a great part to this debacle. They got corrupted with power in their head. Mahathir is happily blaming Abdullah for his ineffectiveness. Actually the person that needs to be blamed, the one who seeded all the nonsense in Malaysian politics is Mahathir himself. He orchestrated everything and set the tone for what was Malaysian politics during his reign. He allowed all kinds of excesses to run wild, and this is the result of his bad management. The politicians have had a ball of a time lining their pockets. The judiciary was in his pocket and beholden to him. The whole govt machinery were run by UMNO for the interests of the politicians. Corruption was rampant but accepted as the way of things. The irony now is that the stone he cast away, will now be seen as the possible saviour of Malaysia. In Anwar Ibrahim there is hope that there will be a new Malaysia for all Malaysians. No, it was not Abdullah's fault. He inherited the mess and all the cronies. UMNO is doomed and need to be cut down to size, minus the opportunists of course. Are we going to see a run on UMNO, MIC, MCA and Gerakan? Will the defection becomes a runaway avalanche? The party is over for UMNO.

The Bigger Test

Mas Selamat is a good test of our security system and Total Defence. Every element of the govt machinery and people were put into action without a hitch. They forgot to test the island wide siren though. But that might not be necessary by the nature of things. The bigger test is the test of leadership, or absence of leadership. We were, to borrow the analogy of an orchestra, without a conductor, without the lead violinist and without the manager. The orchestra kept on playing for 12 days with perfect coordination. The same score was played over and over again in different venues to the approval of the spectators. After 12 gruelling days, the tune sounded a bit jaded. But it was a good score and approval was given for the orchestra to continue playing. And we passed the bigger test, that we can continue to function normally in the absence of leadership. We were on auto pilot for 12 crisis days and everything went on smoothly. That is what we called an effective system managed by an effective team. With or without leadership, the system keeps on grinding. We survive the test.

3/09/2008

Why so many charities and help schemes?

We are doing very very well economically. Full employment, huge national reserves, money pasting everywhere, money throwing everywhere, our banks have so much money that they have problems lending them out. Then our favourite past time is charity, setting up charitable organisations, organising charity events to raise funds, begging on the streets, setting up public help shemes and schemes and organisations. And officially hundreds of millions are spent to help the poor, if there is any, and unofficially millions and millions were collected from the public, also to help the poor. Why should a super rich little island with only 3 million citizens so obsessed about helping the poor? It is a strange phenomenon indeed. Where are the poor, 3,000 of them I heard, or where are the money? Oops, better clarify on this point. Are the money reaching the poor? Or if there are so few poor, why the need for so much money? Really what is causing the hardship to those who are struggling?

Selamat fooled his captors?

Did Selamat fool his captors? Or are his captors so easily fooled? Under normal circumstances we can laugh it off as another kopitiam talk. If our people in authority are so easily fooled, my god, what else can happen? Come to think of it, this is nothing new in the little red dot. Are the people being fooled everyday, I mean look at the money they have been giving away to hot shot charities? A little gimmicks here and there, a little promotion, a few luminaries sit in the board of directors or acting as chairpersons, and all the guards becomes non existence. We are easily fooled, that is a fact.

A higher level of political maturity

A glance at the winners in yesterday's election quickly reminds one of the numerous political prisoners among them. Lim Kit Siang, Lim Eng Guan, Tian Chua, and the currently in prison M Manoharan who won while in captivity. Then the indestructible Anwar Ibrahim, so corruption and sodomy stuck on his face, stood triumphantly on the rostrum with his wife and daughter, both convincingly won their wards. And there were many other ex political detainees who were and are going into Parliament. What does all these say to the Malaysian political system or to the credibility of drum up charges of political detainees? The people were simply pissed off by such wild accusations, even if some are true, and chose to denounce the regime in power and their excesses to abuse power. Political criminals are no criminals. Fictitious political crimes are no crimes. The Malaysian political system is much more mature than ours. The Malaysian electorate are much more mature than ours. The Malaysian ruling party, on this occasion, is also more mature than ours. At least they did not say their electorate is stupid to vote for the opposition. I will retract this if they start to kiss the kris and threaten violence.

2008 GE in Malaysia

The results say it all. The Malaysians are not going to be dragged along by a corrupt coalition that is sinking deeper into cronyism and racism. In brief these are what the voters have said. 1. No more corruption 2. Down with race politics 3. Down with threats and violations of minority rights 4. Down with Barisan National 5. Return of Anwar Ibrahim 6. A new justice and a new Malaysia Losing 5 states to the opposition is a big defeat of the BN. The Malays, Chinese and Indians have started to abandon a sinking BN that is bankrupt of ideas. They have lost faith in what BN can bring to the people and to bring Malaysia forward to the next century. Would anyone be kissing his kris again? Would there be more war cries in UMNO convention? The toll of bullying the component parties of BN and threats of blood letting is for all to see. UMNO has not only discreditted their component parties but also lost credibility among the Malays. The BN coalition is habis. Gerakan, MCA, MIC and the east Malaysian parties may reflect on their role and value to the people and may find it best to leave the Barisan. It has long been a UMNO Barisan than a Barisan National. Staying on will further erode their support from the electorate. They have been totally ineffective, and humiliated by their inaction or fear of UMNO that they have been living in shame in recent years. Would we see a mass defection of these parties to a New Barisan led by Kedilan and DAP? What would happen if the MCA, Gerakan, MIC and other component candidates just defect to join the New Barisan, if that is possible? Or they could resign and stand for the opposition in by elections. If that be the case, the next by election, with Anwar standing, will be a mini general election. And the death nail in the UMNO/BN will be complete if more UMNO candidates also join the cause and defect to the opposition parties. Having said all these, the Malaysians should give a standing ovation to Pak Lah for allowing democracy to flourish and run its own course, for allowing the people the freedom to choose their national leaders. Abdullah has allowed a more freer Malaysia to take place, more breathing space for the opposition and has also laid the foundation of a new era for Malaysia and Malaysians. There is hope that Malaysia will become truly Malaysia under the current ethos and political climate. There is hope that the judiciary, the civil service and uniformed services will be allowed to act independently and professionally, to serve the people than the interests of a few individual politicians. Well done Malaysia! Well done Pak Lah. And good wishes to all the opposition parties.

3/08/2008

We are the centre of the Universe

We have for several years been meddling, or they called it innovating, with our education system. We introduced an Integrated Programme, a 6-year through train where students need not sit for the 'O' level examination. We also introduced the more intellectually challenged subject, Knowledge and Inquiry, to our A level students. After six years, the first batch of IP students are applying for university places overseas. Also the students taking KI in place of GP are also doing the same. And they came to a road block. The overseas universities are not ready to accept the changes. Probably some may not even heard of our IP programme. We are ahead of our time in education creativity. Those moribund universities in the US and UK have been sleeping and failed to keep up with us. They are still so backward that they are not going to admit our aced students without an O level result or without the GP. So far the msm has reported that Imperial College, King's College London, Cambridge and Oxford have affirmed their recognition of our advanced and higher standard of education. London School of Economics don't and so are many others. Our students are now in a bind. Their choice for overseas universities may now be very limited. To avoid such problems we should can our IP and KI options for now until we notify all the backward universities that they have to keep up with our changes or else. A good thing to ponder at is to look more than 2 steps ahead before making such innovative changes. It is difficult for the whole world to keep up with the pace of our change.

The most incredible story ever told

After more than a week of msm reporting, the official version of Mas Selamat Kastari's escape is still by walking through the toilet and presumably walking out of the detention centre free from any obtructions, checks or guards. It makes the detention centre looks like a shopping centre. Well we have to believe that this is the story, the most incredible story ever told in the City of Possibilities.

3/07/2008

What kind of tooth?

It is a fact that msm have limited space and have to be very selective on what to print, including forum letters. They is also the editor's choice or agenda. Thus many issues seem to die off after a few days of reporting. This gives the impression that no one is interested in them any more. And some jokers conveniently may conclude that it is all over, issue accepted and even supported by the people. So if the msm stop printing criticisms about an issue, the issue is now acceptable or supported by the people. Is that truth or tooth? The good thing about cyberspace is that issues can be repeated and continued, postings over and over again to keep them alive.

Get rid of Samy Vellu

After getting rid of Anwar Ibrahim, after calling the people to get rid of Abdullah Badawi, now it is Samy Vellu's turn. Mathathir has spoken. Strange, all three were his choice ministers. Anwar supposely his successor until the sodomy charge. Abdullah, his choice as the current PM. And Samy was his right hand man, the man to lead MIC. Now all three are not worthy when left alone. Probably they are only worthy working under Mahathir and he could teach or lead them to do the right things.

Mean Testing: The human touch

This is the heading of Tan Hui Leng's article in the Today paper. Her position is that mean testing is necessary to make the rich pay more. What she hopes for is for the system or the administrator to show a little human touch. Can this happen? The idea or thought of mean testing has already lost that human touch. Like it or not, it is subjecting another human bean to testing his means, asking him/her how much he has in his pocket and whether to let him through. To test another human bean is to embarrass the bean. Only those who know that they would not be subject to such testings will come out with such an idea. The embarrassment is on the other party. They are safe. They even think that it is cute. Forget about being human or the human touch once one accepts the principle of mean testing. Oh, Hui Leng also mentioned that nowadays people no longer kpkb about meant testing. So perhaps some may even say that the idea is now acceptable.

Which is worst?

Corruption is a clear cut case of wrong doing. Those who benefitted from corruption, no matter who well off, still walk around with a sense of guilt or guilt hanging over their head. They is shame, immorality, fear that justice will catch up with them. What about those who are collect largesses legally through proper or legitimate appointments to high offices, and collecting millions? In such cases there is no guilt and no sense of wrong doings. There is even a false sense of pride and self serving logics. Some may even demand to be paid more even when they know that they are doing sweet nothing or doing things that rightfully should only be paid a fraction of what they are getting. And the people superficially accept the above two forms at face value. One despised and the other with dignity. Which is worst? The tooth or the truth?