4/27/2011

Another fearsome tool

The youtube and video are formidable weapons to use in this election. They can be very powerful tools to destroy an opponent. Tin Pei Ling can attest to that while Nicole Seah will be asking for more. Vivian seems to have something in hand to deal with the SDP and the target looks like Vincent. And someone in 3in1kopitiam is claiming to have a handle on Vivian and making threatening noises to dare Vivian releasing his video. It could be a tit for tat scenario. We will all have to wait to see if they were just hoaxes. There is another powerful weapon that can be used. One resident has disclosed a letter written by an MP to him which was not too flattering. MPs must have written a lot of letters and if some of them were not well written and exposed, the MPs got a lot of work to defend what they wrote. The way the internet can be used to score points is still multiplying. Got to be very careful writing those replies, and one thing, better not to be rude and haughty.

8 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hard Truths Redux
[½]

Wow, we've just had a 5 day weekend here in Oz. I spent most of yesterday going through Lee Kuan Yew's 'Hard Truths', and watched the DVD again for the n-th time -- the video on interviews on the 'hot button' topics.

I did this with my 'emotion radar' turned on -- i.e. listen to the man, let him make his point, and try as best I can to look on his claims objectively, instead of allowing the emotions to run amuck. To ensure the right state of mind, I laid out the wine, fruit, nuts and cheese and made sure I was 'neutral'.

You know what? I found myself agreeing with the man more than I disagree. OK, I think that there are better methods of achieving most of the 'national objectives' -- more freedom and free-market based.

For e.g. I believe in a citizen militia. However I disapprove of forced conscription. I also approve of a frugal govt, however I think the govt could be more parsimonious and encourage more private enterprise in infrastructure.

I also approve of the govt 'paying back' money to the citizens, because it has taken tax. It is moral to 'pay back' some of the surpluses. Yes, it could be seen as 'vote buying', but the alternative is the govt keeping the money.

I definitely approve of his hard stance against organised religion -- be it Islam or Christianity -- fuck those assholes. And his non-discriminatory attitude to anyone who 'wants to join us' -- referring to welcoming capable foreigners gets my 110% approval.

We both share a deep suspicion about untethered democracy being no 'guarantee to prosperity', and the necessity for S'pore to have an 'open economy'. He explains the moral hazards and de-motivating effects of state welfarism -- another point I concur with.

I think voting S'poreans -- especially those who have 'written off' the PAP should have a good look at Hard Truths.

Looking at the opposition's policies -- for the most part they seem to be rooted in welfare, and slamming the gate shut to immigration -- definite self-sabotaging platforms which will have negative economic and social results.

The problem with the PAP is that they've failed in the area of communication -- and applied too much of the direct iron-fist political kung-fu. Those methods might have been effective during post-Merdeka S'pore, but it old and the people are sick of it.

One thing's for sure: there is no viable alternative to an open economy for a tiny city state which can't even feed itself or power itself without imports. And in order to import to live and prosper, you'd better be able to pay for the food and energy, which means you have to produce and sell or everyone dies.

To be able to do this, you'd better have a thriving economy and that is only possible if you have booming private enterprise creating wealth and a wide open, globalised economy.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Hard Truths Redux[
2/2]

Democracy is a nice idea -- however I get the feeling that too many S'poreans have been lulled into believing that democracy is some kind of 'holy grail' -- we have to have it because all the developed cuntries have it. This is neurotic reasoning pure and simple. It is about time people got over this romantic notion and concentrated on hard-core Constitutional Republicanism based on individual achievement and self-motivated attitude to be the best that they can be -- i.e. a meritocracy where one has to EARN from sheer hard work and intelligence -- instead of looking to the govt for 'freebies' and 'handouts'.

I am convinced that if meritocracy was substituted by 'egalitarianism', Singapore is broker than broke in a generation or two.

No, I haven't drunk the Kool Aid, I haven't been inflicted with PAP-itis -- the sickness of those true-believer PAP supporters who are likely to deify Mr Lee snr after his demise. I'm looking at this from the objectivity of hard-core material, real world economics and capital structures.

No govt can 'deliver prosperity'. What they can do is get out of the way and allow the private sector to do its job in a business-like friendly, peaceful, politically stable environment, where the courts uphold private property rights and contract law.

PAP govt aside -- Hotel Singapore does that exceedingly well. Much better than most of the so-called Furst Wurld Demo-Crazies -- who are all quasi centrally planned welfare states which tax and regulate their citizens excessively.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Matilah Singapura saying eulogy here.

He said free market and enterprise; in Singapore, businesses are in the hands of cartels, monopolies and state enterprises.

Staying away too long does make some Singaporeans disconnected somewhat.

Matilah_Singapura said...

anon 207

Yes, unfortunately the state enterprises still occupy too much of the economic space.

However it is my understanding that they have been given 5 or so year 'ultimatums' -- i.e. the govt will 'protect' them from competition but they have 5 yeras to reform and after that they stand or die or get aquired on their own -- govt will not interfere.

If you are suggesting that I'm disconnected, I would suggest that you are wrong. It is in my best interest to be connected - and I do have excellent connections -- all good, reliable, trustworthy people. I dissociate and protect myself from the political madness, although I will comment on it.

It has always been my intention to take full advantage of the entrepreneurial opportunities in S'pore, based purely on my own self-interest in accordance with Adam Smith's Wealth Of Nations – which essentially means I mind my own business.

To mind one's own business, one has to pay close attention to what is happening in the political space – which I do. You could call it a dispassionate vigilance. If the 'wrong' govt gets in, you can kiss all your materialistic goodies goodbye, and I am, unashamedly a hard-core, reductionist, materialist. If you want to know more, read Ayn Rand :-)

Anonymous said...

"Yes, unfortunately the state enterprises still occupy too much of the economic space".

Above Quote is self explanatory.
And
"However it is my understanding that they have been given 5 or so year 'ultimatums' -- i.e. the govt will 'protect' them from competition but they have 5 yeras to reform and after that they stand or die or get aquired on their own -- govt will not interfere". Unquote. This is nonsense, all the essential goods and services in Sin are TOP MONEY SPINNERS especially when pricings are up to the good and service providers. There is absolutely not protection needed. What's needed are regulations to rein them in from profiteering from the end users, namely the people.

Singaporeans living abroad don't feel the pinch.

Matilah_Singapura said...

anon 845

Maybe they don't feel the pinch so much, but if they still retain financial interests in S'pore, they are affected.

Also to be able to immigrate, you'd better have the financial means to do so in the first place. Therefore any policy which affects you ability to 'form and retain capital' is of fundamental importance.

For straight up wage earners, to accumulate capital as fast as you can, which you have to be able to spend less than you earn and retain the balance. To increase this balance, you need to pay less tax...and CPF is a tax – on both employer and employee.

I make a reasonable assumption that if there was no CPF, the average worker will have about 20% more (give or take) in his pay.

It is unconscionable to allow govt commercial corporations to use citizens (CPF and tax) money – forcibly taken under law – to use on their privatized enterprise, socialising their losses, and individualising their gains.

To slap you again, GLCs are listed on the SGX.

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