6/06/2009

Notable quotes; Vladimir Putin on greed and hostage

'You have made thousands of people hostage to your ambitions, your lack of professionalism - or maybe simply your trivial greed.' Vladimir Putin Putin used these words to humiliate a top oligarch for causing a crisis in a town all because of greed. Take a moment to ponder over this statement and ask how relevant it is to our context. How many people have been made hostages by greed in paradise? How many policies could fall into the same category? I think we all know what they are. No point mentioning as people will not be happy to be told the truth. This year we will be celebrating 50 years of self rule, not independence. Is there a difference? Definitely, but I have dealt with this earlier. Let's look at the 50 years of success and 50 years to go full circle and probably going backwards. When PAP came to power in 1959, there were great promises of independence and a better life. And PAP delivered. And still delivering, except that some roads were leading to paradise and some to little chicken coops. Singaporeans have gone through living in little cubicles, attap and zinc roof wooden houses. We progressed to modern housing. There was a time when everyone was looking forward to better housing, 3 rm to 4 rm, to 5 rm, executive flats, condos and private housing. The govt even promised a future of a Swiss standard of living. There were high expectations and an air of confidence. The govt delivered. Many have attained Swiss standard of living and better. It is distressing to see that instead of continuing on that same path, the promises of tomorrow is no longer the Swiss standard of living but smaller housing, 2 rm and 3rm flats, at exorbitant prices. Are we promising a new standard, the Hongkong standard of living when a 50 sq m flat is considered a luxury apartment? The hard fact now is that people cannot afford the expensive public flats. So instead of bringing down the prices, they bring down the size of the flats, plus extended repayment terms. Why exorbitant prices? Why would people have to pay a life time, held at ransom for a life time, for a 2 rm or 3 rm flat, or any public flat, 4 rm or 5m? In today's paper, the Americans are buying landed properties costing only US$100k or less. Some in not so good condition could be had for US$10k and could be repaid in 2-3 years. Ok, different country, different conditions. They have big land, more choices and big problems. But these do not escape the fact that average Singaporeans still got to pay a life time for a small little space which they don't even own. I am not referring to the 20% who are living in paradise like lifestyle. We are a country, a nation. The people were with the govt for the last 50 years and prospered. What would be the future when the people, I mean the hardlanders, the majority of the people, feel that they have been left out of the prosperity boom? The basics, like decent housing, which I believe is a 4rm flat, not getting smaller, should be the standard for the average Singaporeans, to be affordable and not having to pay a life time for it. Now we are regressing, going down and smaller, while the other end is going up and bigger. If the govt is all calculative in the dollar sense, in housing policies, why shouldn't the people be calculative in sacrificing for the country, eg National Service. Can the value of NS be quantified in monetary terms, or should it be quantified in monetary terms? The people must see that their sacrifice is worth it, that there is a better tomorrow to look forward to. Are we heading that way? Would the next slogan of the govt be like, we will build more affordable 2 rm and 3 rm flats for the people? Or will it still be the dream of a Swiss standard of living?

24 comments:

Wally Buffet said...

In most households, the husband and wife would have to work leaving the maid and the kids so it's not logical to have such a big apartment. The Hong Kongers already understand this logic so their apartments are pretty small. It's time we catch up in order to house the 6 plus million target population. Blame it on the foreign T(?)that our abodes are getting smaller.

The thing is, a nice cozy home doesn't depend on its size alone. Go see how Ikea does it with only 35 m square space.

Small is beautiful !

Anonymous said...

elle
"These Qur'anic verses apply to ALL Muslims and not only to Jihadist Muslim Martyrs. Either Obama has conveniently overlooked these verses or he is using Taqiyya (dissimulations.) Or he is ignorant of Islam."

just... manipulation

"So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end."

want to be so loved...

"Be conscious of God (Allah) and speak always the truth."


Suspicion :
Quran 3:199 " And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in Allah, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to Allah: They will not sell the Signs of Allah for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and Allah is swift in account."

Quran 3:200 "O you who believe! be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, that you may be successful."

nothing in the speech really good just massaging Arab ego and not Muslim world ... yawn... only thing I find good in the speech is for my mothers ,sisters and daughters.

Anonymous said...

btw Obama pratices principle of Ash-Shura(council, consultation),(wise or weak ) this keep me wondering about his presidency.

Anonymous said...

Every Singaporean has a home and that is more than in most SE Asia countries. Redbean, you complain too much. Can you not see that Singaporeans, without the PAP would still be in kampongs and attap hut? Be thankful and be grateful. You do not want your mother or daughter or sister to be maid in a foreign land, do you?? So just kuai kuai say thank you and be very quiet.

Wally Buffet said...

Not to mention that every Singaporean has a mobile phone, broad band to post little ditties, at least a china made cherry car, decent health care, good transportation, GSS and aha, this is my favourite, at least four computer shows a year with bargains galore.

I am totally satisfied and at peace. No complaints? Oh yes, there is one. I don't like the heat and the humidity.

Anonymous said...

¨If the govt is all calculative in the dollar sense, in housing policies....¨
t
While your blog post is talking about the govt policies, I would also like to point out that Singapore society is not all sugar and honey.

Just this morning, I saw a poor woman, who is obviously a welfare case being turned away from the bus ticket office when she is short of a mere $5 to buy a train ticket card. All these while, some rich members of our society are travelling and dining in luxurious comfort. No one speak up for her, except myself.

The second case is when a cleaner told me that he is constantly being look down upon by well-dressed property agents. Look, who crash the property markets.

This is to show that our society and companies can be hypocritical too. On the one hand expecting the govt to do most of the work while not willing to lift a finger to help fellow poor, and still expecting the poor to pay for the food and lifestyle of the rich businesspersons.

While it is fashionable to take potshots at the govt, I suggest looking at ourselves from time to time before doing so.

This is simple rotten to the core.

Francis Chua

Anonymous said...

All these ranting in Blogoland are nonsense.

If foreigners, some from 'under developed' nations like Nyanmar, Nepal, are willing to come here TO SETTLE despite your so-called high cost of living, what is stopping Singaporeans from going to the United States to buy the 'cheap' or reasonably priced properties You mentioned ? Afterall, the US is known to be very welcoming to all and sundry.

It is high time for Singaporeans to stop blaming this World Renowned and Clean Government. If Singaporeans do not have the gut to go and search for their ideals elsewhere, at least do not blame our respected leaders who do not stop anyone from their pursuits.

It is very unfair and even SINful to blame our leaders, who are busy taking cares of the people all the time. Did any of You see them enjoy their days in pubs, cruising with beautiful gals in their sports car and luxury yatch, enjoying music with super expensive high fidelity systems at home ? They are flying here and there, working their asses off to look for businesses for You.

Our leaders seem to love the people more than they love themselves and their families. They carry others babies, keep others companies and are almost occupy with the affairs of the people 7/24. Anyone with eyes are able to see how much our leaders sacrifice for the people.

Anonymous said...

Anyone still remember the story of Oliver Twist in the orphanage asking for more soup and was glared at by his master simply for the audacity of asking for more?

Please, life is not always an either or situation. Leaders are not always good or bad. Citizens are not always good or bad. Take some and give some back. Not take, take, take all the time. And not giving anything back. This apply to our society and companies.

Francis Chua

Anonymous said...

i fully agree with you.
Singapore Inc. is one greedy bunch of ministers, civil serpents & mp cum businessmen.

It is fully capable of lowering cost of living at least 20% any time they want with all the glc/hdb/lta they control but they won't do it.

instead at this time, u get all sorts of lame excuses to continue to increase price. for what? to top up the temasick/gslick gambling fund?

Anonymous said...

We should not complain but just "Shut Up and Sit Down!" Our leaders are so good and excellent and caring and sacrifice their time flying here and there just for YOU!

This is the kind of subservient behaviour the balls-carriers want us to be all the time; or otherwise, they will simply tell us to migrate to another country.

These are standard stereo-type replies in the cyberspace I have come across ever so often. Now, it is just sick.

I am sick to the core of "hearing" these kind of Fxxking Replies!

redbean said...

there are different ways of looking at complaints and grouses. some complaints for the sake of complainings, some complain because this is home, and they want it to be better, not getting worse.

you only want to wash the car that is yours, do it up, and take good care of it. it is yours, this is your country. singaporeans must be involved, complain, criticise, for it to be better. we have seen mistakes, grave mistakes made along the way. not saying anything is irresponsible. the govt also knows that they do not have all the answers and need to be jolted to reality.

Wally Buffet said...

We have a lot in common with the Hong Kongers. But the one area where we differ significantly is that we whine a lot and do very little. If the Hong Kongers are really unhappy, they take to the streets, else, they just roll up their sleeves and strive to make their own lives better. A truly resilient people beating us hands down in terms of competitiveness no matter what the rankings say.

Anonymous said...

There seem to be some truths in Anon 3.19PM Post.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew tirelessly travelled overseas despite his spouse's sickly condition.

His Son, PM Lee Hsien Loong got back to duty soon after he was diagnosed to have medical condition.

President Nathan and SM Goh Chok Tong could shake legs and enjoy life with their offsprings, but they too were busy with diplomatic missions.

Singapore is blessed with dedicated leaders.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wally Buffet, please don't pretend that you know about Hong Kong. I think you know nuts...

For start, Singapore ever since the British left has on it own. While on the other hand, Hong Kong was only returned to China in 1997. Two countries are totally different from each other. One build the nation on it own (Singapore) where hard working plus Good government (In the past) bring Singapore to what it is today.

Hong Kong is more like a children staying with her step father. British just trying to dig as much as possible before they leave in 1997. Two different environment had created two different behaviour people.

Your understanding of Hong Kong housing is a joke! Hong Kong properties are control by private sector. While Singapore public housing is created to ensure everyone in Singapore own a decent house.

Hong Kong although double the size of Singapore but land surrounded by too many highland. Thus actual land mass that can build house is limited. However, their population is double the size of Singapore. Thus, there is a demand for house and so justifiable for the properties to be expensive.

In Singapore, do you see your relative who do not own a HDB? So tell me.... WHere is the demand? If no demand, what make the house jump from 1970 $20K to 2009 $280K in average?

RED-man

Anonymous said...

Referring to "There seem to be some truths in Anon 3.19PM Post".

You are joking right? I have a lot of staffs doing OT everyday. Most of the time, I see them sit in the cafeteria drinking coffee and smoking.

Lee and his gangs holding on to such a big fat payroll, they should be hanged if they can't even pretend to be busy!

RED-man

Anonymous said...

Dear Francis Chua

Please look around you..... Who own the bus company and SMRT?

Dear Anonymous

"Every Singaporean has a home and that is more than in most SE Asia countries".

Some people build a hut for his/her dog. Does that make the dog a human?

RED-man

Anonymous said...

Referring to:
"If foreigners, some from 'under developed' nations like Nyanmar, Nepal, are willing to come here TO SETTLE despite your so-called high cost of living"

Please show us fact, how many foreigners really stay in Singapore? How many foreigner serve the army in Singapore? How many foreigner bring their parent here to settle in Singapore?

So far, I don't see any figures disclosed by the government on this. Are you the government?

RED-man

Anonymous said...

Dear Red-Bean

Please keep up the good work. You are doing fine in this little space of yours. Don't let other tell you otherwise.

Most of these people are just Shit Head.

RED-man

redbean said...

hi Redman and all,

everyone must have a view or opinion, and very likely to be different. we are all different.

oh, one think that HK did not have till 1997 is a good govt that will plan everything for its people, help its people, even when the people want to live and manage their own lives. the govt insisted, legislated, to nanny the people's lives.

now you know why singaporeans are living a better life? we have a good and caring govt.

Wally Buffet said...

Redman, calm down. This is just a friendly discussion. No need to get uptight and raise your own BP.

Hong Kong, whether under the British or the PRC will never be where it is today if the population were less hardworking, creative or competitively inclined. Similarly, Singapore whether under the British or the present government will not attain its present status if it were not for the hardworking and motivated population. It's all about the culture of achievement. But whereas we have been too spoon fed and nanny minded, the Hong Kongers have largely been left on their own to fend for themselves with very little interference from the state. Hence, they are more independent, whine less, do more.

The government of the day do not denote a nation's progress. The culture and motivation of its people does. Compare Hong Kong, Singapore and other third world countries that were at one time or another under colonial rule.

To set the record straight. We don't really own our HDB apartments. It is leased for 99 years and we are legally leasehold tenants. It's fair because of the limited land resources here vis a vis the population. The Hong Kongers, being the creative people they are, are building skyscrapers on hillsides because as you say, their territory is hilly. As a matter of fact, staying in the mid levels overlooking Victoria harbour is a sign that you have arrived.

redbean said...

hi Redman and Wally,

it's good that we have someone to chat with. we should build on our fellowship despite differences in views. let's welcome and make everyone feel at home here.

cheers.

Wally Buffet said...

I'll second that.

Yam Seng!

:-))

Anonymous said...

There are some Nyanmar Families staying at the HDB Estate where I stay. There are also some Indians(Fr India) and plenty of Pinoys and Chinese(Fr China), mostly nurses.

Anonymous said...

Rite! a great man will sacrifice his loved ones, even himself and this exactly what MM Lee Kuan Yew have done and is doing.

It is not easy to move around at his age, much more so when travelling long distances, yet he is going far and frequent. His spouse is said to be in poor health and due to her age is probably on the last leg of her journey on earth. If it is not for the wellbeing of Singapore, will MM Lee Kuan Yew be so heartless as not to be at her side ? Will the son and daughter-in-law go abroad to look for business opportunities, leaving a mother(mother-in-law) to the care of others ? Love for the country appears to be stronger than the love for one's spouse and parent. This is the greatest sacrifice that we have ever seen.

No word can express the greatness and sacrifice of the Lee Family Members. Apparently and clearly, the country comes before their love ones as far as our MM and PM are concerned.