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4/30/2011

The debate so far

On the opposition side, it was a time to let out the frustration and disappointment of govt policies. Yes, the govt claimed that all the policies were excellent and good for the people. But do the people buy them? Many issues were about bread and butter, about food on the table and about jobs. What the opposition was saying was simply that the people were unhappy with what was going on, and the people agreed. It was also about problems that multi million dollar ministers are expected to anticipate, to plan for, to nib in the bud by being proactive and not allowing problems to blow up to such a proportion. The people knew what these problems were but unfortunately the govt didn’t or could not understand, could not see. What the ruling party’s position is very simple, don’t rock the boat or Singapore will be in trouble. There are more problems over the horizon, and only they can overcome them, not the opposition. Vote for the ruling party or the island may sink. It is a strategy of threats and spreading fears. Who then is going to carry the votes? There is a political rock star that has risen from the two days of campaigning in the name of Nicole. Yes, it is Nicole all the way. Nicole is holding the torch. And she is supported by a team of respectable and experienced professionals that are no less able than the PAP team. It reminds me of the days of a young LKY tearing down the streets and backed up by an able team of generals. In this case, the generals are all the leaders in the opposition parties. And the ruling govt is getting to look more like the colonial masters. And what the opposition is saying is simply that the dead woods, the has beens, the overpaid, shall be removed. And the crowd loves it. There is nothing new coming from the PAP except more upgrading and more upgrading, and more FTs and more FTs, and of course, higher and higher pays. It is not looking very pretty at the moment for the PAP. And with the disgruntled citizens voicing out at every opportunity they could find, more are likely to feel that they are not alone, that the same frustrations are being felt by other fellow citizens as well. Before internet, no one had a real feel of what the ground feeling was like. And they kept their unhappiness to themselves, thinking that they could be the odd one out, so better keep quiet. Now the feeling is in the open, and everyone who feels the same knows that they are not alone. There is a groundswell. Could this really be translated in votes for the opposition? Still one week before polling day to know what is real and what is just emotion.

4/29/2011

Sorry not enough, must explain!

This statement must be still vivid in many Singaporeans’ mind. Committing a mistake and saying sorry is not enough, and must explain, dunno explain what? But Singaporeans are generally very kind and forgiving. Take Vincent Wijeysingha as an example, after the threats of something bad from a video, he is letting matter to rest without demanding for any explanation. Then there is the Mas Selamat Jalan episode and Kan Seng said he had apologized or accepted responsibility. So it is over. No issue any more. No red faces, no one feel pressurized or cornered. Perhaps our society has matured, and small people who liked to seize on every opportunity to blow things up, the blow job professionals, are long gone. This is good for the people or else we will still have third world ruffians in our first world city.

Time to ask the PAP questions

The PAP has been asking the opposition parties many pertinent questions, like are they ready to form the next govt. Looking at the number of seats contested, this is a reality that can happen. And it is not only patronizing but insulting to the electorate to call it a freak election if it does happened. Freak election can only be held for freaks. So, are the voters freaks? Now is the moment for the opposition to ask the PAP if they will accept the choice of the people if the opposition is elected to power, by a coalition? Would the PAP accept the fate if they were voted out of power? Don’t evade this question by saying it is impossible. Laughing at such a possibility is OK. Laughing has always been a weapon in parliament. I remember someone saying that tanks would be rolling down the streets when there is a freak election or something like that. Can't remember who, I got dementia. Would there really be tanks rolling in the streets? Why is it called freak? Is it because the PAP believes that the people will definitely vote them to power? And if they did not, it is not because the people did not want them but because of a miscalculation. So the election tak pakai, and the army boys and tanks will be rolled out to prevent the opposition from assuming leadership of the country? Is this what a democratic election supposed to be, where a party can claimed that it is the choice of the people, and if not elected, they can quash the election result, calls it freak, and continue to rule? A very convenient argument. Is this a likely scenario? These are very pertinent questions that the opposition parties should ask the PAP, and demand an answer. Would they accept the verdict of the people? Or would they freak out?

4/28/2011

Some pics of the SDP Rally at Commonwealth Ave

Pictures showing sections of the crowd that filled more than half the football field at about 8pm, and growing. SDP also had a store selling souvenirs and the party's election literature.

My affordable housing scheme

Sure affordable, and the lessee can choose the number of years he wishes to repay the lease, or loan, or whatever. Buyers or lessees can choose to pay in 30 years, 60 years or 90 years. The repayment period will be so flexible that the lessee can pay in one generation, two generations or three generations, with two incomes, 4 incomes or 6 incomes as long as the monthly repayment sum is affordable. Now would this be a better way to sell affordable housing? Can raise the price higher some more. I was thinking of extending the repayment period to 200 years, but unfortunately the lease will expire in 99 years. And all lessees can still call themselves property owners. Actually owning a 30 year lease or 99 lease or freehold property is all the same, property owners.

The Good and Bad on Nomination Day

Several controversies on the first day of the GE. There were complaints and protests, some were resolved amicably and gentlemanly, some were questionables. The first complaint raised was the occupational status of Sim Ann, a PAP candidate in the Holland Bukit Timah GRC. She stated in the form that she was unemployed. The SDP quickly pointed out that she was a civil servant. Then there was drama and suspense for about an hour before the Returning Officer made a press statement that she had paid in lieu of notice period, and PSC had confirmed that she was no longer a civil servant. The SDP was gracious enough not to pursue the matter further. One up for sportsmanship to the SDP. The second controversy involved Ng Teck Siong and his independent team of candidates contesting in Tanjong Pagar. They were late but not really late to miss the deadline of 12 noon. Uncle Yap was there to witness the event and has a video circulating in cyberspace. What happened was that the team was held up a bit too long with the Commissioner of Oath and the swearing protocol. Ng Teck Siong was still able to submit his papers to the Returning Officer way before 12 noon while his team mates were still stuck with the Commissioner of Oath. Just a few minutes before 12 noon, the Commissioner of Oath corner shouted for him, probably to clarify on some matters. He asked the Returning Officer for permission to answer to the call and permission was granted. But the few precious minutes passed by quickly and they heard the Returning Officer announced that all nominations were closed, to their horror. He went back to the Returning Officer who duly returned him the papers that he accepted earlier. Get the picture? This is Uncle Yap’s version and he had recommended that the case be brought before the court of law for a hearing and judgement. There are definitely many ambiguities and doubtful areas that Ng Teck Siong’s team could raise. Anyone wanted to be a gentleman and be gracious in this case? Looks like it is a forgone conclusion and already cast in iron. One down on sportsmanship and the technicalities. Heard that there were two cases of irregularities in the forms, one for an opposition party and one on the side of the PAP. Both were rectified and put to rest, gentlemanly. One up for both sides. The pre Nomination hustlings between Vivian and Vincent on the issue of video clips and gay agenda have come to an amicably ending. Both sides agreed to put the issue to rest. One up for each side. Yes, it is possible to raise the conduct of the election to a more respectable manner with all sides playing above board instead of lurking in the corners trying to trip each other. So far so good and looking promising. But the internet mole brigades are still on the loose. Will they be reined in and stop their nonsense? The big guns of the parties are all calling for a fair and clean fight. They better live up to it. And that will be nice. For whatever smear campaign or acts committed, it will be hanged on their necks forever. No way to hide. There is not only the main media to account to, there is a more vicious and brutally forthright new media watching the election like a hawk.

4/27/2011

82 seats to be contested out of 87

LKY is making history again by walking into Parliament as the oldest MP and will serve till 92 years of age. Can you believe it? And his feat was made easy when his opponents led by Ng Teck Siong was late in submitting their nominations paper. Can you believe it? Chia Ti Lik did the right thing. And Sim Ann, President’s scholar and a potential ministerial material, could face disqualification as technically it was reported that she was serving notice and still a civil servant. Looks like another slip, and from the PAP! Can you believe it? Heard that one candidate did not file his papers fully and could have been disqualified. No details of who or which party he is from. Can you believe it? Luckily the main opposition teams are in the race. And hopefully no more disqualifications on some technical grounds. The four big battles to be fought with the two girls in Marine Parade, Tan Jee Say/Ang Yong Guan/Vincent versus Vivian at Bukit Timah, the battle between Goh Meng Seng and Mah Bow Tan in Tampines, and in Aljunid where people are asking if George Yeo will stand a chance against Low Thia Khiang/Sylvia and Chen Show Mao. And the ministers that could bade goodbye are Chok Tong, Hwee Hua, George Yeo, Vivian and Mah Bow Tan. Could there be any other mishaps? Oh, I nearly forgot, Chiam See Tong, the man who was expected to be only standing by, is taking on two ministers in Eng Hen and Kan Seng. And another kamikazi squad of brave young men/woman taking on Hsien Loong in Ang Mo Kio. There is a high possibility that LKY could be the PM once more if there is a freak result and both Chok Tong and Hsien Loong lost. Another wet dream scenario. Singaporeans would be shouting, 'Huat ah!'

The game of spamming and gutter politics

The spammers are getting a field day as the GE heat gets hotter. The application of technology to affect blogs and sites that are on opposing camps can only get worst. Getting spammed, flooded with phantom visitors and hits to slow down and incapacitate sites will be the order of the day. Are these healthy activities or do they fall into the category of dirty and unclean? Would Chok Tong’s call for a clean and gentlemanly contest be just a wet dream? There are bound to be supporter and opponents for all parties in the election. Some are zealous, over zealous in the support of their parties and idols. Some are paid to do the dirty job of attacking the opponents and undermine their activities. For the latter, nothing can be done as their masters will write the paychecks for them to do what the paymasters want. For the supporters, it would be good if they did not go overboard and tarnish the reputation of their parties and candidates. I happened to see a photo of a gangster like woman staring fiercely at Sebastian Teo during his walkabout at a kopitiam. To me, the look of that woman reminds me of the Animal Farm, thinking that she could bit off anyone. And it reflected very badly on her master. To all supporters, do support your respective parties and candidates, but do have a little self respect for the candidates and their supporters too. They are all fellow citizens, not your enemies. This is a general election where all Singaporeans elect their representatives to Parliament, not a gang fight, not a war. And don’t forget to show a little self respect to yourself as well. Misbehaving is bad for whatever cause. So does sneaking around to do harm to others.

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.

4/26/2011

Trading jobs for profits

Ralph Gomory, research professor at New York University's Stern business school, said, "...What we have seen, he said, is "a massive shift in capability from the U.S. to China. What we have done is traded jobs for profit. The jobs have moved to China. The capability erodes in the U.S. and grows in China. That's very destructive. That is a big reason why the U.S. is becoming more and more polarized between a small, very rich class and an eroding middle class. The people who get the profits are very different from the people who lost the wages." The above is an extract of an IMF article forcasting that the Chinese economy overtaking the American's by year 2016. But what is interesting is the uncanny similarities in the pathetic situation the Americans are facing and those of Singaporeans. By substituting the words Singapore/Singaporeans for US and FTs for China, it can simply apply to the situation here. "...What we have seen, he said, is "a massive shift in capability from the Singaporeans to FTs. What we have done is traded jobs for profit. The jobs have moved to FTs. The capability erodes in the Singaporeans and grows in FTs. That's very destructive. That is a big reason why Singapore is becoming more and more polarized between a small, very rich class and an eroding middle class. The people who get the profits are very different from the people who lost the wages."

PAP fears WP will block constitutional amendments

Shanmugam said, ‘…what the WP wants is the power in Parliament to block constitutional amendments and money Bills, as an interim step. The ultimate goal is of taking over the govt.’ Is there anything wrong with both objectives? It is exactly for the first objective that the people must support the WP and the opposition. Many constitutional changes have been made which were questionable and should not be allowed to go through. One major one involves the conditions to qualify to stand for the elected President. If the President is a ceremonial position, appointed to honour someone’s contribution to the country, and paid a pittance, oops, an honorarium, it is acceptable and likely that only the elites will be appointed. As an elected President, elected by the people with some executive power, no ordinary citizen shall be deprived from the privilege of standing out for the people to decide if they are good enough to serve in that office. All the elitist criteria and condition is bull. What if the constitution is amended again to state that only people who have served as a minister can qualify to be an elected President? Possible, if there is no opposition MP to vote against it. The GRC system was created out of necessity to protect minority representation. It is now a different animal with 4,5,6 or maybe more MPs in one GRC. You need to block such things from getting out of hand. The high remuneration for political office is another questionable bill. It is going out of tune and going terribly wild. It is exactly for such reasons that we need a strong opposition representation in Parliament to block constitutional amendments and money bills, to keep the system in check and in balance. For those who agreed to all the constitutional amendments, please continue to vote for a one party dominant Parliament. For those who believe that there must be checks on the what is acceptable and what is not, they must vote for more opposition representation in Parliament, to deprive any ruling party of a 2/3 majority.

I angry with Mah Bow Tan

I am not only angry with Mah Bow Tan, but also very disappointed with him. He is so confusing. Doesn’t he believe in his asset enhancement policy? I believe in him and am depending on him to push up HDB resale price so that I can sell my flat for a million bucks and retire in Lijiang. Look at what he is doing? He is ramming up the building programme for BTO flats. And he is building so many in so short a time, just like the way they brought in the foreigners. The damn thing is that at that time he was not building, or building very few flats. Now, with the inflow of foreigners slowing down, he is building more flats frantically. What is the meaning of this? What is he trying to do? Pushing down HDB resale prices? Pushing down COV prices? Hey, what are you doing man, I was so happy supporting your asset enhancement policy and eagering waiting for the resale price to hit the roof, and now you are reversing everything that you have done? Are you losing faith in your asset enhancement policy? Are you losing faith in believing what you were doing was right? I am really disappointed and confused by what you said and what you do now. Are you for asset enhancement or not? Look at the other ministers, they are fully committed to the foreign talent policies and not wavering with what they think is right and good for Singapore. They are telling the Singaporeans daily that more foreigner’s policy is good. They are acting like deaf frog and will continue with the foreign talent policies, charging ahead when they think is right. They believe they have something good for Singaporeans. And after the election if they continue to ram up the influx of foreigners, no one can call them hypocrites. For they have never regretted what they were doing. In the case of housing and asset enhancement, if the policy changes again after the GE, what would people think? Before GE say and do one thing, after GE say and do different thing. But don’t worry, I will support you, and many people will be happy if the asset enhancement policy is resumed in full force. Don’t take too long as many are waiting for the price of their flats to shoot to the sky again. Please go back to your asset enhancement policy. Don’t be disturbed by a few kpkb in cyberspace. They are just noises.

4/25/2011

Zulu chief, mama chief and baby

A Zulu chief standing beside mama chief holding a baby wrapped in cloth. The chief is wearing a pair of long white moustache. In front of them are several village elders. Click Art of RAR Gallery image on top right for more photo paintings.

Are words an indication of what could come next?

The first strong word used is ‘irresponsible’. How can we have irresponsible people running the country. Agree. Next, ‘strange bedfellows’. What does this word mean or imply? There is a bed and a fellow. Can be pretty sexy. Would it lead to pornography? Now a more powerful and serious word just came out, ‘mischievous’. This word alone can get people into deep trouble, even be sued in the court of law. Wait, there are other words that may be equally frightening. One is insanity. This word is closely associated with IMH. But a more scary word is ‘dangerous’. If anyone is being tagged as insane or dangerous, the person better be very, very frighten. Run road is an option to consider. Pray these words would not be heard or used. Oh, another word, ‘fundamentalist’. Depending on what context it is being applied to, it can be very dangerous as well.

From greed to fear

Going back to fundamentals, one man one vote and one MP for one constituency. That was what was all about in a democratic election. But there were weak candidates that would not survive in such a system. All political parties have strong and weak candidates. And when a strong candidate is pitted against a weak one, the result is obvious. There was also a genuine need to ensure minority representation. A GRC of 3 of which one must be a minority member was invented. It worked. All GRCs were mostly walkovers. The opposition were struggling and panting to recruit good candidates and to find the money for deposits. With the GRCs, it was a miracle formula to ensure victory in the GE. The advantages to a big and strong party were obvious. How could the opposition parties find that numerous good candidates to stand in a GRC? How could they raise the money, at $16k for a 6 member GRC it comes to $96k, to lose. The barrier to entry is raised higher and higher with each election. The strongest point of a GRC is that it can be easily carried by a minister. Just send in a minister and the GRC will be in the pocket. Some jokers still think so. So we have 3 member GRCs to 4, 5 and 6 member GRCs. Why not, it is a sure win formula. But things are not working out as they were supposed to. The trump card of a GRC, a minister, is turning from an advantage to an Achilles’ heel. Several ministers will not only be unable to helm a GRC, they will become a liability and guarantee its defeat. That is how bad it has become. I may be wrong if you see how confident they are in their walkabouts, like they are definitely going to be elected. And despite the high monetary cost to put up a GRC of 5 or 6 members, the opposition not only could raise the money, they could attract enough quality candidates to stand in the GRCs. This is unprecedented and totally unexpected. With stronger candidates from the opposition parties and badly weakened ministers leading the GRC teams, suddenly the odds of winning a GRC are more in favour of the opposition. Or at least the chances are more equal. What does this mean? With GRCs, clean sweep is so easy and effortless then. Walkovers were the order of the day. The PAP could win big when the odds are in its favour. Now the odds have changed and the fear of losing big is so real. The spectre of a freak election result is going to haunt the PAP in this election. But why called it a freak result when it is just what the people decided who they want to vote for? An election result is an election result. What is so freakish about it? If GRC is going to cost the PAP big losses this time, you can bet that the GRC game will be over in the next GE. It will all be back to square one, one man one vote and one MP for one constituency. All the great reasons and arguments for GRC will be passé. GRC will be seen as gambling in big stake. One either wins all or loses all. Can be quite dramatic, traumatic, and quite irresponsible in a way to stake all for a show hand. Some may be counting how many ministers will be packing their bags after this GE. A freakish election is going to happen, and can happen.

4/24/2011

Just a little musing

Read it in the 3in1kopitiam and posted by a blogger as a comment in the thread about Malay is our national language. He was responding to Wong Wee Nam’s article on the historical importance of Malay as our national language and teaching it as a second language or whatever may not be right. The funny blogger was telling his story of his command of the national language and he was glad that he learnt some of it at least. So he tried it out at a nasi padang stall by asking the stall owner how much it cost. ‘"sumau buat apa ringgit" (all how much )?. But the macik corrected me saying encik abdul rahman dah mati,sekarang dollars,bukan riggit!’ The macik had a wonderful sense of humour. She knew this guy was not trying to pay in ringgit here. He thought ringgit was the Malay word for dollar. Well almost, when ringgit and the S$ were trading on par then. Now we know it is not the same anymore. So macik told him that we don’t use ringgit here anymore, but Sing dollar. The younger generation have mostly lost this skill except for the Malays. The orang tua may still make do with some pasar Melayu like aku pun boleh : )

My A Team

The election fault lines

There are several major issues that will be tested in the GE. Among them will be the cost of living, the cost of housing, foreign talents, casinos, high ministerial salary, public transportation, medical fees, the political system, cronyism, corruption etc etc. All these issues will generate a lot of heat during the campaigning. Some of them will develop into fault lines that will divide the people into taking sides. One of the hottest fault lines must be housing, the owners and the young people waiting to buy their first homes. The owners will be more comfortable with a policy that will keep the price of their properties intact or growing. The non owners will be rooting for a party that could hold down the runaway prices to make their first purchase more affordable. In the ring will be the 80% HDB owners against all the young people that are queuing up or are waiting to grow up. Technically, it is a forgone conclusion that the home owners will have an upper hand. But going deeper into the issue, it may not be that straight forward. The other fault line is the divide between foreigners and locals. The govt is still taking a stand that they are all for more foreigners here and are heaping praises on the importance of foreigners to the well being of the locals. This will definitely piss off the locals who have one way or another affected adversely by the presence of too many foreigners, competition for jobs, housing and space. In this divide it is clear that it will be the govt and the foreigners versus the opposition parties and the locals. The govt will still have an upper hand with their die hard loyal local supporters and the new citizens behind them. The devil hiding in the shadow is when the foreign talent issue is linked to new citizens and old citizens in politics. We can see the anger brewing and the divide gaining momentum. The third major fault line is likely to be the pro PAP versus the anti PAP groups. There will be many who will stay on to support the PAP as the govt because of its track record. There will be a new emerging force that sees the track record, especially those of recent years, as being less than satisfactory. The old records will be played over and over again. But the new records with its new funky beat and off beat may not be acceptable to some voters. The old records were good, the new records bad. So going down the road it could be more of bad new records than more of good old records. There could be a shift in the followers, especially when the opposition are presenting the voters with a new wave of new talents. And the new idols are looking quite attractive. The alternative is at least seen to be better than the new records which are being rejected for all its flaws. The danger here is that the ruling party is lumping the old record and new record together and the people could be confused and think that they are the same, or they could only look at the new record and reject it completely. The fourth fault line which is seething in the under current and not fully exploited is the casinos. This is not only an emotional issue, an issue of values, a social ills, it could be tainted with religion and morality. This could become a full blown issue to divide the electorate during the campaigning. For the moralists, it is a clear cut right or wrong issue and can be very uncompromising. The election battle line could be drawn along these fault lines which will make voters taking sides much simpler.

4/23/2011

Geisha and companions

A geisha and her companions. Both companions are partially hidden by her body, on the further side. Click the Art of RAR image on top right for more photo paintings.

As good as god speaks

‘As Finance Minister, I have made that very clear in Parliament that at least for the next five years …. there is absolutely no reason to raise the GST….’ Tharman Shanmugaratnam The citizens can now rest assured that in the next 5 years the GST will not be raised. Tharman has said that ‘there is absolutely no reason to raise the GST.’ He must know what he is talking about to be so confident about no reason to raise GST. Some sceptics are suggesting that if GST is not increased, then he can raise other taxes. Some were reminded of Boon Wan saying that mean testing would not be introduced but was introduced. What I am glad is that we have a minister that has that kind of confidence to commit himself for 5 years that nothing will happen. He must be super brilliant or is probably omniprescient. Whichever, it is good for the people and country for such ability. Our future is in good hands.

Impressive!

I am impressed. First we have the Tony Tan and Hazel Poa, then Benjamin Pwee, Vincent Wijesingha. And then standing ovation when Chen Show Mao appeared. And look who's entering the arena, Tan Jee Say and Ang Yong Guan. And all these, not discounting the pathfinders like Sylvia Lim, Goh Meng Seng, Gerald Giam, they all add up to quite a bit of weight to the pioneer and veteran fighters of Chiam, Low and the other opposition leaders. One thing that stands out, the new candidates are standing head to head with the PAP slate. But the most startling of all is Nicole Seah. At 24 she seems young, but not when she speaks. She is every inch a mature and able politician in the way she carries herself and how she handles the press. I am impressed. When you have a good candidate, it shows. No one is questioning her on her maturity though she is only 24. It is not just age. You have it or you don't.

The timing of heaven

When a big storm is brewing, or when a natural disaster is about to hit the shore, all the creatures in the wild, big and small, will get the first signal to evacuate. The timing of heaven is obvious to those recipients who are meant to receive the signal of a major change. Throughout our 40 odd years of existence, other than the founding years, never has there been a time when so many talents are standing up as if someone has blown a whistle. They came from thousands of miles away, they sprouted out from under the carpet, sprang out of cupboards, they came out of retirement, from the most unexpected quarters, all heeding a call for change. They are not the only one that is answering to this call, everyone can sense that change is coming and many are standing up to make the change. Everyone in cyberspace is contributing in his little way towards this change. Even the often reticent and fearful aunties and uncles in the kopitiams and markets are making the change. They are stretching their hands out to greet the opposition party candidates. The days of fear and shunning the opposition parties were gone. There is a new kind of exuberance. The recent barrage of failures after failures, against all the big talks about being pro active, about thinking and planning ahead and about preventing problems from taking root seem so defeating. Can the high cost of living be arrested earlier, can the high influx of foreigners be prevented, can the high housing prices and housing problems be foreseen? Can more be done to make public transportation more efficient, can the escalating medical cost be prevented? The answer is either one in 50 years or due to external forces. Nothing can be prevented or anticipated even by supertalents with super salary. The worst part is that many of the problems created are claimed to be good for the people. The influx of foreigners are good, the high property prices are good, the high medical fees are good, after all you can’t get world class medical services for free. High GST is also good. Is there anything that is not good? High population density? High salary in public offices? If these problems are regarded as good, don’t expect them to go away. They will be fed to become bigger. The heaven has signal for change. The timing is just about right. And the forces for change are all ready to effect the change. Even the ruling party is contributing positively to the impending change either intentionally or unintentionally.

4/22/2011

Grotto Art 2

Another of my cave paintings with the figurines of children and women sketched on the cave walls. The texture of the wall is also very interesting. Click the Art of RAR image on top right of page for more photo paintings.

Can we survive without huge influx of FTs?

The FT is good mantra is being sung daily. FT good, FT is indispensable, FT is our saviour. If we keep on singing this mantra, soon we will have nightmares on FTs. We are not talking about the natural movement of people across borders to work and play. This trend has been going on for ages without much of a hiccup except in racist countries when some people of different colours are barred. Today we are faced with a different kind of problem, a conscious and meticulous design to flood the country with foreigners, claiming that without them the country will not be able to continue to grow at a rapid pace. This calling for more and more foreigners is getting to a point of madness. Of course the madmen would not admit that it is madness. With all due respect to all the super great FTs in our shores and those who were appointed to high offices due to their merits, I would like to ask a simple question, ‘Can an organisation be run just as efficiently with a Singaporean in charge instead of a FT?’ Take the case of the Health Ministry, would the health services collapse, or all systems failed to work if a Singaporean is made the Health Minister? Or would DBS do less well if it was not managed by FTs? Stretch this further, will those govt ministries or GLCs be worst than what they are today if Singaporeans were to be in charge instead of FTs? If the answer is yes, then we better bring in more foreigners quickly. If the answer is no, that these organisations will just run as before, could be better, then someone must be lying through the skin of his teeth. I bet there are many Singaporeans that are worthy to feel these positions. These are high value positions need not necessarily go to FTs if Singaporeans can do the job equally well. If Singaporeans cannot do them, we have a very serious problem in paying super salary to super local talents. They must be all overpaid, all rubbish, that they can’t do these jobs and only foreigners can. Am I talking rubbish or the people are being fed with rubbish? We have thousands of our best talents trained locally and in the best universities overseas, and all proven to be duds. Believe me, it is true. That is why the panic button is pressed for more FTs.

The Ten Commandments of Sin

1. Thou shalt believe in one god 2. Thou shalt believe in one party 3. Thou shalt not steal when being paid very well 4. Thou shalt not begrudge other people’s big salary 5. Thou shalt not kill but anything else ok 6. Thou shalt believe that some are more equal than others 7. Thou shalt believe that what you saved is not your money 8. Thou shalt not have doubts in god's words. 9. Thou shalt believe that your country is a hotel 10. Thou shalt believe that foreigners are your saviour

4/21/2011

What is my motive?

I have proven myself to be one of the top legal eagles in the world. I am well regarded in the USA and in China, Hongkong and Taiwan. I have made my millions and I could go on making millions as a foreign talent in the US, China or any where in the world. I am following the advice of our MM, to venture abroad when our talents are well appreciated and in demand. I can consider myself as a successful Singaporeans in every way. I have made my money. Money is no longer important to me. I am looking for a higher calling. I am coming home to serve my country and my people, on my own volition. I am coming home, to give back to society, to my country who have given me so much in my younger days, good schools, good education and a good place where I grew up and made many friends. For what I am going to do, I have no chance of making the kind of money I am getting if I were to stay overseas. And I may not even be given a chance to serve the people if they do not want me. There is not only no guarantee that I will be given a chance to serve, I may face a lot of obstacles in my path. For a start, people may question my motivation, as if I am eyeing for the multi million dollar income. I can tell to go to hell. I have all the money that I need and I have proven that I can make more. And if money is all I wanted, it will be better for me to continue to do what I am doing in Shanghai or in New York or London. But home is where I choose to be. I am bringing my family home, to grow my family and serve my people. Serving my people is a higher calling than just making more money. What I will be getting as an allowance is really peanuts, without being rude. Some of my friends think I am crazy, a successful world class lawyer, and I give up all that to come home to be questioned on my integrity, my sense of duty, with my family and private life being displayed in the open for people to rubbish. I also know how brutal and unforgiving the politics of my country is from the experience of my predecessors. I must say that I am a bit disappointed. But I also believe that the people will understand what I can do for them, to work for them and the country. I believe the people have the wisdom to know what is real and what is unreal. I will let the people judge me for what I am. If the people want me, I am willing to serve them at the best of my ability. I am offering my service to the people and the country. I shall let the people decide. PS. This is just what I would like to hear from Chen Show Mao. He comes forward without the need to be invited. He has the passion to want to serve. And he knows that losing can mean total destruction of his life and career, even his family. No secure and comforting coat tail to hang on. The risk is just unacceptable to many good people to want to come forward. What more do we want from him? And what is the motive of people asking for his motive?

Who is raiding our reserves?

Worker’s Party wants to reduce the cost of public housing and is accused of trying to raid the reserves. When Chiam See Tong asked for a chicken wing for the people he was accused of trying to kill the golden goose. Now the people not only have a chicken wing, some have two chicken wings, and some two chicken wings plus two drumsticks. Who is feeding our reserves and who is raiding the reserves?

Political self gratification

What is political self gratification? It is not much different from masturbation. Just imagine whatever that is pleasurable and masturbate on it, work on it I mean. One way is to think that you are the best talent in the world and the people must pay you whatever is your price, be it $3m, $5m or $10m. The thought of it is enough to get wet. And to really be paid that kind of money, now that is political self gratification at its best. Then you tell the people that what you have done is the best in their interest, like enhancing the value of their assets. Disregard those that have to pay more and more to chase the asset balloon. If they cannot afford it, just ask them to lower their expectations, from 4 rm to 3 rm to 2 rm. And you know the people just cannot do anything about it. Damn gratifying. They still have to come begging for more. It can be better by telling the people that they have to live with your logic, like it or not. Tell them that you are not going to build flats like cars in the show room for sale. They have to put in their orders, then only will you throw a tender and let the developers sweat it out in the next 3 or 4 years. Then tell the dumb asses that it is their fault for not planning when to get married and when to want to buy a flat. If this is not gratifying what else is? Comes election, throw them a slate of candidates and tell them these are the best talents you can find even if the talents are no better than their next door neighbours. And if the opposition comes up with candidates that are as qualified as yours or better, just question their motives. Your candidates did not have any motives. Or tell them the motives of your candidates are all honourable, to serve the people. Oh yes, tell the peasants that you are their servants, to serve them. After the election you can continue to rule them for the next 4 or 5 years. Screwing peasants must be great fun. Tell them to work hard, be cheap, be better and faster, tighten their belts when things are not looking good, and threaten them that without you their standard of living will go down, their property values will drop, and they may end up as maids in foreign countries. Isn’t that gratifying telling them that you are their servant? I must confess that I have no motive writing this. I am just getting a little self gratification. I am wet already.

4/20/2011

Brazillian Road Festival

A procession of colourfully dressed performers on a road festival in Brazil. Click on Art of RAR image on top right for more paintings.

One casualty before the GE

Temasek Review has been down for a couple of days. It announced that it will not be in business in July. We are now still in April. Does anyone know the reason why Temasek Review is down and out? It can’t be the GE and that someone thinks that it is a threat and blocks it from broadcasting. It will be a sad day for the internet if it is so. Maybe the fear of the internet is true. Is this the beginning of a clamp down prior to the GE? How many will still be broadcasting throughout the GE? The humble internet is growing in importance to compete against the main media in the coverage of socio political news. And in the GE, its role is all cut out, to ensure a more level playing field for all parties. The opposition parties do not have the privilege of a friendly media covering and presenting their side of the story in a better light. With the internet, they practically have their own reporters and broadcasters to say what they really want to say. Then there is this dirty tactic that some like to used to attack their opponents, peeping into candidate’s key hole, sneaking in to find juicy news, digging out candidates history or things like candidates digging their noses and wearing pink panties. When candidates run foul, play foul, the internet could make it into an issue to embarrass the trespassers, to shame them for hitting below the belt, even to question their integrity and suitability to run for political office. This is the least the alternative media can do, to be the watchdog for fair play. The dirty game is just starting and more can happen without the internet to check such abuses. Let this game be a fairer game, a decent game and the better and more deserving man or woman be elected to Parliament. And let the punks be made known as punks. This is what citizen journalism is all about.

A bad feeling

Chen Show Mao spent 40 of his 50 years out of Singapore. There is this rumour that he may be disqualified to stand for election under the 10 year residency condition. The public data that I have gathered is that he came to Singapore in 1972, completed his primary, secondary and A level in 1979. This is followed by 2 ½ years of NS. He graduated from Harvard in 1986. From these data, the number is scary. Assuming that he continued to work outside of Singapore after graduation, and he started in Harvard in 1983, probably he will be safe. But if one is to take a fine comb and go through the days he was out of Singapore on holidays etc, it can be very dicey. This case his passport will be a key document, to count the number of days he spent in Singapore to make up for the 10 years requirement. And the number of days he returned to see his parents will be very crucial. Who will be tasked to do the checking? The WP better starts the checking to provide all supporting documents for this case. Will he be disqualified? Let’s hope that this is a false alarm.

Three tsunamis after the GE

Someone said the Worker's Party did not know that the tsunami is coming. Would there really be a tsunami? For the moment there is a calm before the storm. For 13 GEs, there were no storms to talk about after the GE. There were a couple of afternoon showers that were regarded as bad and shocking, like a little flooding in Orchard Road. The coming GE is the 14th GE. 14 is never a good number to those who believe in fengshui. Could there be a storm after the GE? What could be worst than a storm, more like a tsunami? As in all democratic elections, the people, the 'masters' of the country, shall decide. Three frightening results can actually happen. No one can really throw them out as rubbish, impossible. The first shock could be Chok Tong losing his Marine Parade GRC. The second shock, LKY and Tanjong Pagar go down. And the shock of all shocks, Hsien Loong loses Ang Mo Kio to a team of young turks. If any of these three events were to happen, it could rightly be called a political tsunami. And if all three were to happen, it will be a triple whammy. The falling of a few ministers and their GRCs is now more of a reality and can be expected. Nothing earth shattering. Are the people prepared for such a tsunami? No way, impossible! Is there such a thing as impossible in a free and open democratic election?

4/19/2011

For goodness sake!

LKY just announced that he is standing for the next GE. Unbelieveable, but what to do? It is either both he and Chok Tong retire or both should stand. They have become inseparable twins. That is the political situation today. For if both were to retire, the supremacy of the PAP will be greatly compromised. The opposition will score when there is no goalkeeper between the poles. He is still needed to keep the party together I supposed.

Singaporean FT no good, foreign FTs betterer

Chen Show Mao was and is a Singaporean, studied here, served his NS before venturing abroad to make his mark. He is the role model for Singaporeans who want to make it good in the international scene, to compete with the best in the world and to be recognized as one of the best. He has returned home to want to serve the country in Parliament. His absence from the country is now frowned upon as a misgiving. Instead, foreign talents that took up citizenships here, did not do NS, are preferred as more desirable candidates to assume political office. Is this how we should treat our very own citizens, our very own talents vis a vis foreign talents? If this is the mentality, Singaporean talents better think twice before taking up that offer to work overseas. When you return home to roost, you will be watched with suspicion, that you are a lesser Singaporean than a new citizen. Your motives will be questioned. On the other hand the motives of new citizens are honourable or must be honourable. When we question our own sons for their motives for returning home, something is seriously wrong, insanity. When we don’t trust our own children but someone who just walked in and be easily convinced by this Ginny comes lately, what are we telling our children? Yes, foreign talents are better than our own children. Instead of challenging him on what or how he could contribute to the country, his integrity and ‘motives’ are now the subject of scrutiny. Basically, it becomes an assault on his character, and all because he went to find his fortune as a Singapore foreign talent.

4/18/2011

National Service being insulted

In a brief few days, the national institution of NS has been insulted over and over again by people who are pleasantly disposed to FTs and new citizens. And this hurts, it hurts very badly to all NS men and ex NS men. The years of sacrifice that they gave to the country now seems meaningless. In just a few days, NS is no longer as important as it was. The rite of passage for all young Singaporeans is being brushed aside as something lesser, as little as any economic activity. For a start, a doctor claimed that his role as a doctor to treat his patients is as good as doing national service. This has infuriated many Singaporeans, especially the doctors that served as MOs. They must be wondering why are they so stupid when by the nature of their job, they are now doing national service. So what the heck, to don on the uniform for 2 to 3 years, and with reservist liabilities for another 20 plus years, when they don’t really need to? And for new citizens who have not don on the uniform, they can be found to be more deserving to be political masters of the country. Is that insulting? Now another one is saying that all kinds of activities in the country that benefits the country is as good as doing NS. Foreigners/PRs/new citizens who are contributing to the economy of the country, never mind if they did or did not serve NS, also can. I think he got a point. Our forefathers were immigrants and did not do NS also. So new talents, do or no do NS, same as our forefathers, immigrants. Immigrants have privileges too. Citizens? As an ex NS man, I am pissed off by the degrading of National Service as something as common as any economic activity. The amount of trouble and inconveniences to the NS men and their families, and their careers, are now being pooh pooh as just another mundane economic activity.

The proof in black and white

The main media is facing another challenge, its credibility to tell the truth. Forumers used to send in their letters to the main media, which often will be edited for clarity, grammar, correctness, errors or statistics accuracy, or whatever agenda the editor wants to push through. Whatever that is done to their article, there is nothing much that the letter writer can do. They can complain for inaccuracies and sometimes these could be righted at the pleasure of the editor. There could be many cases where the edited letter could come out differently and that’s it, printed as the view of the letter writer. This kind of things is going to change for good. Letter writers can now post their original letters in cyberspace forums to redeem the integrity of their letters. They can post both letters, original and edited copies, in the internet. This means that if the editor is having a different perspective or with a different intent, it will be captured in black and white. If such examples are repeated often enough, the editor or the media it represents is going to have its credibility and integrity aired in public. The power of the new media is unstoppable, and in good hands, can bring about a more truthful picture of events around the world. Old media beware. The days of tyranny of the old media is over. Their monopoly of news and information is compromised and news presented to the public cannot be the same again.

Two pleasant developments over the weekend

The PAP unveiled its manifesto. The only big change actually was what Hsien Loong said. The govt is the servant of the people and not the master of the people. I know that many people must have fell off their chairs hearing this. I know that many would not believe a wee bit by what was said and what was real. It is still a major change, or at worst, an aspiration, and idealistic state that will never exist in realpolitik. How could rulers who have been behaving like masters change overnight to act like servants? ‘Peasants Sir, please tell us what you need or what you want, Sir. We are at your service and at your command, Sir.’ Some have been gloating how great were their policies and what a great job they have done despite the people spitting behind their back. Actually the people are spitting at them openly, in cyberspace. Then there are the deaf frogs who think they know best and will not listen to the peasants and will do what they think are best for the peasants. Then there are those that carry a cane around. Is the cane meant for the peasants to cane them or the other way? The only two servants have gone. They have been serving the people but never got the chance to be masters. They tried very hard in Potong Pasir and Hougang. Good bye servants. The other pleasant development came from the opposition camp. One by one they are withdrawing from 3 corner fights. Finally they have woken up from their silly ideas. What would the electorate think if they insist in 3 corner fights among themselves? A bunch of crazy, unthinking and conceited fools? Why would the electorate vote for lunatics who just want to stand for election, to fight among themselves and knowing very well that by doing so they will simply lose? It only shows how silly they are, and why would the electorate want to give the vote to them? Well, at least over the weekend they are standing up to tell the electorate that they are not that silly after all. And they will plan and coordinate their positions rationally, logically, objectively and not indulge in naïve adventurism. If they can do that, their chances will be much better. At least the people will have more confidence in them. I am crossing my fingers that this election is different and ethos has changed for the better. But the truth will only be seen when the battle begins.

4/17/2011

Going to school

Papa and mama sending their son off to school. The boy, wearing a baseball head and with head looking down, looks very dejected. And he carries a big school bag on his back. More pics click www.artofrar.blogspot.com on the right.

The real cause of high HDB prices

Lucky Tan in his article in Diary of a Singaporean Mind pointed to the land price as the heart of the housing issue. There are some truths to that. But the real cost of high housing price is simply the cost of 2 plates of char kway teow. Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the char kway teow argument. In fact, the high cost of living in this island is caused by the 2 additional plates of char kway teow. How many more plates of char kway teow are needed to pay for the President, the ministers and the whole cohort of politicians? They add up my friends. And to justify the grotesques income of the politicians, they have to make it seems palatable and reasonable by inflating the whole civil service salaries. And these are justified by the high salaries of GLCs which are further justified by the top earners in the private sectors. Suddenly the 2 plates of char kway teow are not enough. Down the line many many mouths need more than 2 plates of char kway teow. The bottom line is that many thousands of millions of char kway teow are needed now. And where to find such money to pay for all the char kway teow? Char Kway teow don’t come free too. Who is paying for the char kway teow? And for every 2 plates of char kway teow added to one key appointment holders, millions of additional char kway teow are needed. Please, no more 2 plates of char kway teow only.

Cages for MRT stations

The recent tragic case of a promising Thai student falling into the MRT track and losing both her legs must have made many people thinking. How to prevent such accidents from happening in an area that apparently is having an unusual number of such accidents. They are preventable of course, or could be greatly reduced. The artistically attractive and high tech barriers that have been erected in some stations seem to be the solution to such problems. They are expensive and require high technical and engineering skills to instal them, and the poor commuters will eventually have to pay for them. The costs could come in tens or hundreds of millions if maintenance and service and replacement are included. Funny thing is that many must have seen railways running through the centre of a market, or people living a few feet from operational railway lines and nothing of such happens to the residents. Is it a miracle, that there is an invisible hand preventing accidents from happening in such a dangerous situation? There are many kinds of people who will end up in the tracks, intentionally, by mischief or by accident. There are the suicide squad that comes with one purpose, to jump when the train is approaching. There are the real suicide bombers that will blow themselves up and the trains in the same time. Then the mischievious kids and their pranks, and the normal accidents like the school girl, falling for some unexpected reasons. The high tech barriers cannot do the job properly against people who are bent on jumping on the tracks, even with CCTV cameras. You would need to put all the commuters into a cage if absolute safety is needed. Also, the expensive high tech system is superfluous, overkilled, and a big waste of money. It is like, since the commuters are crying for safety, give it to them at whatever cost, and make them happy, and make them pay. To prevent simple accidents like people falling into the tracks without intending so, a simpler barrier could do the job just as effective as the high tech barrier. A railing like those in high rise flats, maybe double layer of railings could do the job just as fine. Low cost, easy to instal and minimal maintenance. What is it so difficult to put up simple railings, couple with a few measures of a pair of watchful eyes through CCTVs, alert staff and alert drivers?

4/15/2011

Please give her a chance to prove herself

This seems to be the battle cry for a poor little girl trying to learn her ropes in politics. And we have all the adults trying to their best to help her along. Would the electorate give the opposition candidates a chance to prove themselves? After all, the ruling party already has 82 candidates in a Parliament of 84? After all, the ruling party has been ruling the country for more than 40 years? After all, Singaporeans do not have a chance to know what it is like to have a credible opposition in Parliament? No, the electorate is not taking a risk of a new govt, but giving a chance to a few good opposition candidates to test it out in Parliament, as real opposition candidates with real alternative views. Most important of all is for Singaporeans to give themselves a chance to choose the best from all parties to serve them, not to rule them. Would Singaporeans be enterprising enough, be more adventurous, be less kiasu and less kiasi, and give themselves a chance that they did not have for a long time? Squandering this chance is like sending a message to all potential politicians that they do not want to change the system, that they are happy with the system and that they are not going to give the opposition a chance. So beat it, don’t rock the boat.

Asset enhancement is good policy

Yes, yes, belly good. Every time I smile when I see the price of my flat goes up. Please do not do anything to stop property prices from going up. If you do that, then I no happy. How can the govt stop something that is good? It is like telling the workers high pay is good, but it is better not to have high pay, CBF is betterer. And the govt is putting in measures to prevent their pay from going up too fast. This kind of logic clever or not? I listen until blur blur and dunno what to say.

Who did her in, little Tommy Tin

One interesting point about the tape on Tin Pei Ling stomping her feet is that it was taken in a friendly environment by friends. The stage was more of a friendly chats among friends with Tin Pei Ling being herself and letting down all her guards. And this video is presented as the ‘I dunno what to say’ tape circulating in the internet. It does not do credit to Tin Pei Ling of course. Quite damaging to her career as a national leader to be. The question is how did this tape get out when it was probably taken by friendly forces? Interesting? Friendly fire!

Singaporeans got beaten up by FTs

Hawker FTs in Clementi Hawker Centre, Food Loft, beat up Singaporean family of 3 over additional helpings of anchovies. This is clearly a sign of contempt for the locals, and the FTs must think that locals are trash to be beaten at will. How often can one witness foreigners working or visiting a foreign country feel so audacious and at liberty to beat up the locals? Only in Sin will this thing happen. Now the locals got to fear foreigners instead of the other way. Better be more polite to them. It would not be surprising if this happens in the crowded MRT trains as the proximity and the shoving could easily turn ugly. I think it is better that the stupid Singaporeans migrate to nearby JB, Batam or Bintan for their own safety. This is the price they have to pay for having so many FTs coming here to help them and provide jobs for them. Be grateful and make the FTs feel welcome. Maybe by being nice to the FTs they will be nicer to the Singaporeans and would not be too hasty to beat them up. The family should count themselves lucky. The man got two blue black eyes, the wife’s back was hurt. The son also got a black eye. Nevermind, they can pay a lawyer to sue the hawker and his wife. I don’t think this is a seizable offence and the hawker will continue his business as usual as if nothing has happened. I always feel very disgusted to hear of Singaporeans being scolded, chided and now beaten by FTs, our guests, the people we welcomed with open arms into our home. And Singaporeans deserved to be beaten or trashed as they did not have any sense of belonging. This cannot be a country when the citizens do not feel that they are citizens, nor feel proud to be citizens. And when they got beaten up or chided by foreigners, it is so embarrassing to see them walk away lan lan, with no one to turn to. Singaporeans are just shameless, but what to do? Lee Ao is right. Singaporeans are stupid. The rapid bastardisation of its citizenship is starting to have its ill effects when Singaporeans no longer feel that this is their home and foreigners feel that this is their playground with the presence of Singaporeans an irritant.

4 more to go?

The PAP has announced its last batch of candidates for this GE. All in all these 24 are the brightest and the best from the bottom of the barrel. From my recollection, 15 MPs have been named to have call it a day. I could have missed out a couple perhaps. Taking the number of 15, plus two ex MPs who have passed away and their seats left vacant, and the additional 3 seats in Parliament, there is still a shortfall of 4 seats waiting to be vacated. I think the announcement of the last few to retire will come at the very last minute. Among this group could be some big catch waiting to be released to the twilight of time. And I think for such an announcement to be made, it would likely be made by the founder of the PAP himself. I can expect the announcement to send a shock wave through the political canvas and it would wipe out the smile on Mona Lisa’s face. Waiting for this exciting moment to come. I could be wrong and nothing dramatic could happen if it turns out to be an uneventful event. Or the numbers already added up to 24. Correct me if I am wrong.

4/14/2011

Beijing Opera

Two actors in full warrior robes. A female warrior on the left and a male warrior, with black beards, on the right.

Deaf frogs demanding Chen Show Mao to tell them his motives

After being interviewed by the media and all the reasons for running for election, for returning home, for joining the WP, some deaf frogs are asking for him to tell them why? I will tell Chen Show Mao not to bother. Deaf frogs will always be deaf and will not listen nor bother to listen. Why don’t deaf frogs ask all the candidates from all the parties, especially new citizens and children, for their motives in standing for election? Everyone has a motive and for some it is all about ‘Shen Guan Fa Cai’. Let’s be honest lah, don’t pretend pretend that there are more noble motives like sacrificing for the country and losing out in paychecks. But of course there will be genuine honourable people who will serve for peanuts, or at least will want to serve the country and people for their idealistic beliefs in goodness. To some, these are idealistic fools. Fortunately the world is a better place with such fools. For the masses, one should dig deeper and ask who is running for what, and don’t pretend to be like deaf frogs, never hear anything and keep demanding people to repeat and repeat. There are those that have eyes but not see, and those have ears but not hear, and they can have paradise on earth all for themselves.

Fools, gamblers or strategists?

I can't believe my ears when I heard in the news that some single seat wards will be facing 3 corner fights and some even 4 corner fights. The first impression that comes to mind is that the opposition parties are made up of fools or just opportunists trying their luck. For years, it has been proven that on a one to one contest, the ruling party will win hands down. And here the oppositions are going in to contest in 3 and 4 corner fights. What are they up to? What are they thinking? Nothing to lose? Not really huh. There is a deposit to be forfeited. Other than spoiling everyone's chances, there is a monetary price to pay. Maybe the parties cannot say no to the many adventurers who die die want to try. Maybe the parties should ask the adventurers to pay for the deposits themselves. The other thing to be mindful is the perception of the electorate. What will the electorate be thinking when a motley bunch tries to fight against the ruling party and among themselves? Credibility is at stake. I just hope that it is just a wayang, a strategy to confuse the enemy. Comes nomination day it will be a one against one contest. The opposition parties need to show to the electorate that they are serious in wanting to win the election and not mucking around for fun. And a 3 or 4 corner fight simply says that they are not worthy to be elected. Or some jokers is out to spoil the chances of other better candidates. In this case I am for a higher deposit for whoever to lose, to make it painful in the pocket so that they would not dare to tikam tikam. But higher deposit is a bad idea as it will give undue advantage to those with the money to throw.

Please cry for me

I just renewed my car insurance. Who were the jokers who were supposed to look into this matter and prevent the motorists from being robbed? I do not have any claims and my insurance premium is higher than when the car was new! And the value of the car is going lower, the NCB going higher, and the premium going higher and higher. Would any politician cry for the motorists being robbed in broad daylight?

Worker’s Party wants to abolish PA

Worker’s Party has made the abolishing of the PA as one of their key objectives if they win the election. I would like them to add another, the abolishing of all the elitist conditions for the office of the elected President. The highest office of the land must be open to every citizen of the country, other than criminals. It must not be kept only for a special select few based on criteria other than the goodness, integrity and honour of the candidate. So what if someone is rich, clever, earns a lot of money, runs a big company or organization? These do not make the person a better man. These cannot be the criteria to bar other citizens from wanting to stand for election to be the President of the country. If every ordinary citizen can serve the country as a national service man, to fight and die for the country, he has every right to stand for election as the President of the country. It is a flawed argument that the President can only be chosen from the elite. Every citizen in the country shall have equal opportunity to serve at the highest office of the land. No one shall be discriminated because of his station in life, or he does not have the opportunity to earn big money or work in a big organization. Under the flag of the nation every citizen is equal. No one shall be more equal than others by virtue of wealth or any other criteria. No one or party shall deprive the citizens of this right to run for the office of the Presidency. If every citizen can stand for election for the more important positions of Prime Ministers and Ministers, there is no reason why there should be so many barriers for the Presidency.

4/13/2011

A hungry man versus a well fed man

We are know that a hungry can be a hardworking man, also dangerous when he is really hungry. But given enough motivation and the promise of reward, to feed his hunger pangs, a hungry man can be a dependable worker. Feed him 50% full and he wants more. Feed him 70% full and he will become more efficient and wanting more, but safer. A 70% full man will not want to risk his good fortune. At 80% or 90% full, he starts to get groggy. He thinks well of himself and does not want to take risk anymore. He knows that good times are here and he only needs to keep going without rocking the boat. He is happy and contented. At 100% full, he is not only full in the stomach, he is also full of himself. And he can be very lazy and also very dangerous. He wants everything and wants to protect his everything. Now he does not think of working. He only thinks of protecting his wealth and his good life. And he will do everything to achieve that and anyone trying to cross his path will be in trouble. In my humble opinion, a 70% full man, or maybe a little more, 80% full man, is the best. Anything more is inefficiency and extravagant, wasteful. A 70% full man can be as effective if not more effective than a 80% or 90% full man. Forget about the 100% full man. In politics, I think a 70% majority is better than a 100% majority in parliament. I know who will tell you that 100% is the best. Between these two, there can be many views. I would want a govt that is run by a 70% majority party than a 100% majority. Just an opinion and personal preference from the wisdom of history. The wisdom of the rulers will tell you that this is bullshit. Only 100% and nothing else can do. You want a good and effective govt, you must vote for a 100% majority govt. You better decide what is best for you instead of someone telling you so.

A frightening and dangerous thought

In a ‘democrazy’, political parties and politicians take sides to outbid or run down the opposing camps during an election. In a fair and equitable system, the people will choose who they believe or want to lead them, and their policies. After the election a victor will be announced and a new govt will be installed, and a new phase of leadership will take over the country. In a mature first world country, all the bickering ends, all the name calling ends, and opposing politicians and parties shake hands and agree to work together. The hatchet is buried. In third world countries, the animosities continue, and political enemies become personal enemies. Some will be detained, imprisoned or fixed up for good. In a mature first world polity, life starts anew for all citizens and all are equal under the law and under the govt. Govt policies do not discriminate the people according to who they supported or voted for. Can we accept a govt that says it will treat its supporters better than those who did not support them? If this kind of thinking is to be institutionalized, then all the supporters of a ruling party will be getting more or better treatment from the ruling party. Would they get more contracts, get promoted, give better jobs etc etc? Would they get priority for car parks, housing or whatever? And if one is to stretch this further, it can become very frightening. What this amounts to is a voting of a govt by a group of citizens to look after them first and those that don’t will be second class, or be treated as lesser citizens. Is this ‘democrazy’? Can the citizens accept this kind of logic and mindset? Or can the citizens that don’t support the ruling party or pay lesser taxes, spare from doing national services or exempted from contributing to the govt’s call for national integration and serving the nation? Or can they serve lesser? A govt that favours only it supporters is against the notion of an all inclusive policy. A govt must be for all and every citizen must be treated fairly and equitably under the law and under the govt. It is the right of every citizen to cast his vote for whoever he prefers in an election. This must not be used to discriminate against him in subsequent govt policies if his choice is not the elected the govt. This kind of thought is not only divisive, it is extremely Third World. The people who support the govt will be taken care off better by the govt. Can you believe it? Can you accept that this is the way to go?

4/12/2011

Please tell Boon Heng not to cry

What the heck is he crying for? This is time for celebration man! His life has just begun. With the amount of money he has, he can join Wally in Lijiang and become a bigger emperor. But if Lijiang is too crowded, he can always buy a small island in the Pacific Ocean and called himself King. I am sure there are many financial advisers who can help him to spend his money in the more glamorous way. If not, Matilah’s service can be had for a small fee as long as he also shares in the happy times. He has earned himself a well deserving retirement from the party and it is party time. Go celebrate and enjoy. The world is a paradise for him.

What a loaded question?

Are the opposition parties ready to form the next govt? The answer is yes and no. Yes if they are elected by the people. No if they are not elected. What is the real situation on the ground? None of the opposition parties will field enough candidates to even smell a majority. Singly, therefore, none is ready just by sheer numbers of candidates standing for election. So what kind of stupid question is that? The possibility of a meltdown is always there, when there is a sudden big swing of votes for the opposition. A coalition govt comprising the opposition parties cannot be ruled out. Can this happen? Some are laughing, but only God knows. Gods must be laughing also. There is nothing wrong with the opposition parties saying that they are not ready now. They are contesting for a bridgehead and to keep chipping at the PAP fortress for the time being. I think they are being realistic. No point uttering foolish thing like they are ready when they don’t even have enough candidates to be counted, individually. Now, what is the purpose of asking if they are ready to form the next govt when they are obviously not? Your guess. This is the same as asking Indonesia and Malaysia if they are ready to build a nuclear plant now. There is a time and place for everything to happen. When they are elected to be a majority they will be ready. The electorate says so. And if they can be the majority, it will mean also that they have enough good men and women to take over the govt. With enough talents, there is no reason why they will not be ready. In the meantime they will just want to grow. Asking this question is superfluous. It is like asking a young couple if they are ready to be parents when they have not even got married or bear a child. When the time to cross the bridge, they will.

4/11/2011

Congo Legend

This is a painting that tells the story of Congo, its warriors, womenfolk, animals, beasts, social activities etc etc. It weaves a story waiting to be told.

Chen Show Mao, is one of us

He was born in Taiwan but came here when he was a kid. He went through our local schools like any Singaporean kid, not in one of those international schools. He served his National Service and did not twang. He served diligently to become an officer. Chen Show Mao is truly one of us. And he was a foreign talent of sort but chose to be a Singaporean and did what every male Singaporean will do, to serve the country in uniform. At a young age, before aspiring to be a politician, he has already made his choice. This is the biggest test of his commitment to this country. He has done everything that is expected of him as a Singaporean. I had a glimpse of him and I am impressed. He is sincere and nothing pretentious. He has proven that he can achieve and do well professionally, on his very own in an MNC. And he has a presence. I wish him and WP well. I pray that no injustice will before him. Singapore can be better with more talents like him standing up to serve. He has a presence. Show Mao, Vincent and Benjamin should be given a fair chance to be in Parliament. The electorate owes a duty to send them to Parliament. Failing to do so will be doing an injustice to themselves(the people) and the country. This is not only a good choice from the opposition camp. They are excellent choices for the future and the well being of the country.

Some can speak more and some can speak less

The United Nation is an organization where every country, big or small, is treated as an equal member and treated with the same protocol. Of course still a few big powers are accorded some special privileges to sit in the Security Council as permanent members and with veto rights. Other than this, every country is equal and can speak as much as they like or for as long as they like in the UN. What if the big powers decide to adopt a system whereby the big powers who contributed more in membership fees are given time to speak proportional to their strength in financial or military clout? I know, some of you are still blur like sotong as to what I am saying. Ok, let’s say in the UNGA, the USA and China will be given 3 hours and 2 hours to speak respectively, and the G8 members be given 1 hour while the rest of the third world countries be given only 15 minutes each to address the assembly, would that be fair? And when there is a forum, meet the press or whatever, the same allocation of time will apply also. At the same time the UN Charter can still be written that all countries big or small shall be treated as equal in the UN. Is this acceptable? Is there any hypocrisy?

Which oldies to go next?

Who's next among the biggies and oldies that will follow Boon Heng and Jayakumar? My guess, the only last two biggies will follow suit. Yes there will be a new team this time. No more oldies left other than Charles Chong. Even then, he too may be taking a break from Joo Chiat after the election. So I am seeing a younger party with Hsien Loong as the oldest left in the team. Just my take.

Two fine young men leaving PAP

Sin Boon Ann and Ong Kian Min are probably two of the finest young men in the PAP team. It is a pity that they have to retired so early when their political careers have just started. Are they finding the political climate too stifling, or the route of advancement too slow given that senior ministers are chopping their seats and ‘pah si buay chow’ no matter how thankless the job is? The latter could be the reason why Chok Tong is flying the kite that future ministers may only stay for two terms. This position is quite conflicting given the official position that there is a dearth of talents. How could the party dispense with their precious talents after only two terms? Or is it that really, deep down, there are plenty of talents available to make renewal a non issue. What is probably more controversial is that in other countries, the limitation to two terms is often on the top job, the President or PM, to avoid a President or PM becoming too comfortable for the job. But Chok Tong’s kite is that the ministers should change every two terms while the top job can stay longer. Uniquely a Singapore phenomenon. Yet I digress. Could the leaving of two fine young men from the Tampines GRC be more than what is reported? Personally my feeling is that Tampines is the number one hot potato to fall. I could be grossly wrong as the reading is that housing is no longer a problem, fully solved and well. Heng Swee Kiat may find his ministerial dream taking a longer time should this happen. And he might have to move to another GRC in a future GE to enter Parliament.

4/10/2011

My Manifarceto

I was dreaming of forming an A Team Party, the best party that money can buy. But first I will need a manifesto. Let me try to list down a few of my thoughts. 1. Housing. Make it affordable for three generations to pay. Only families with 3 generations need apply. 2. Public Health. Make it affordable that no cash is needed. Just make sure that the Medisave is raised to whatever it takes. 3. Education. Every child shall have a place in tertiary education at affordable fees which they can take 20 years to pay. 4. Immigration. All talents welcome. 5. Population. 20 million shall be a good start. 6. Public transport. As affordable as Tokyo and with Tokyo’s world class comfort. 7. Politics. Proportional representation by race, age group, gender, sexual preference and housing type, and also age of citizenship. 8. Remuneration for politicians. Pay only for the best and have a salary formula that has no caps. 9. GST. Raise to 20%. Any extras can be used to help the poor. 10. Sports. Use only the best foreign talents money can buy. 11. CPF. Change to Compulsory Protection Fund, to protect the people’s saving. Guaranteed 10% annual interest but cannot withdraw. 12. Law and Order. The govt is the people’s govt, so no need for protest. I think these 12 policies will do for the time being.

Oh it’s Sunday morning

It is one of those mornings when one gets up and having nothing better to do. So it is good to use the creative juice for something that is eye catching and maybe grab a little attention. Call it silly if you like, but Sunday morning is a time exactly for that. Who cares about GE or fighting to be the next govt, to be leaders of the country for the next 4 or 5 years, or to get rich? What do I want to do when life is so boring? Ah, get my name etched somewhere, in the Book of Records or something like that. Wow, my name in the Guiness Book of Records in perpetuity. Then some day some little kids who too have nothing better to do will go and read the book and say oh this fella name is in the book too. And not only that, maybe I can get my name in the front page of the newspaper. Now that must be something to feel important about. Now I got a brilliant idea, no, not about designing a fan that has no blades or a vacuum cleaner that does not need a bag. I want to get 100,000 people to bust 100,000 plastic bags at the same time. I think no one has done that yet. Can someone check the Book of Records for me please. If I don’t hear from anyone then it means go. 4 pm at Hong Lim Park, each one bring a plastic bag and at the exact moment when the clock at Hong Lim Park strikes 5, bang! Then everyone can cheer and declare that he has achieved something great. But make sure the reporters and some officials are there to witness this great event. Oh, please don’t complain that I am wasting time, energy, resources and the precious plastic bags that I am not supposed to waste. Just one time and 100,000 pieces only! I already feel so good, setting a record! PS. I will print 100,000 pieces of T shirts with the words, ‘100,000 Bangs In One Go!’ and sell it at $10 each. Maybe I can make a profit of $5 each.

4/09/2011

Orchard Rd Fashion Show Apr 2011

More pics at https://picasaweb.google.com/redbeansg/OrchardRdFashionShowApr2011#

More good signs

I just found time to glance through the ST. My immediate impression is that the ST is playing pretty fair in its coverage of the opposition candidates. Chen Show Mao and Benjamin Pwee were featured generously. This is the best sign that the govt is maturing and showing a willingness to accept the presence of good opposition candidates. These two candidates are as good as they can get for a truly engaging parliament when issues are tested and debated instead of unhealthy personal attacks. The presence of genuine and quality candidates in Parliament is both good to the people and the ruling party. At least they know that they are dealing with respectable people with similar dreams and aspiration and not thugs and mobsters. This is a golden opportunity for the ruling party to raise the level of politicking to a higher level and let the best men win and represent the people. Anything else is sinful and any underhand tactics could ruin the reputation of whichever party that indulges in them. The people are waiting for this moment when good and capable men and women stand up to represent both the ruling party and the opposition camp. There is now an alternative, till this moment I am hitting the keyboard. Pray that no more gutter politics appear as the GE gets nearer. Please no more silly boy behaviours. Adults and respectable people needs to behave like adults and respectfully. Peeping into the key holes or that sort of antics, best left to silly and low down people to do. Let the people condemn whoever resorts to dirty politics. Let the people spit at those jokers who failed to play the game in an honourable manner. Decent and honourable men should compete in a respectable manner with equally decent and honourable men. The people are watching to see who is the first to stand up to show how dishonourable he is by playing the dirty game. The electorate is not stupid and knows very well who is an asshole. They are also watching how the media conducts itself. So far so good. Will it last?

Can Chok Tong deliver?

The apparent difference in the political thinking of Chok Tong and the other leaders in the PAP is shining through the crevices. This is not a right or wrong thing but a difference in the vision or what one would like things to be. This is what political leaders should do, aspirations for the country and the people. What they want the country to be and what they deem is good for the people. No need super talents to have such visions. Just get the super talents to do the work to achieve the dreams and goals. In other words, political leaders can be dreamers, but more importantly, the heart in the right place. And the super talents can be the doers to get to the right place. It is good if the super talents have good visions and hearts in the right place as well. It will be bad, very bad, if the super talents have wrong visions and hearts in the wrong place. So, Hsien Loong said cannot have two parties, not enough political talents. Chok Tong said enough talents. Can Chok Tong prove to the people that there are enough talents by leading another party to contest the election? I am sure no one can fault the quality and character of members of either party. The people will then have the privilege of being served by two known elements, all tested and proven. It must be good for Singapore and Singaporeans. Can Chok Tong deliver on this?

4/08/2011

Nitcharee’s family has a $13k bill

The Thai girl who had her leg crushed and amputated after falling into the tracks of the MRT now faces a big bill of $13k for her 3 days stay in a public hospital in paradise. The bill includes doctor’s fee, stay in emergency ward, amputation and all the works. And to cremate her amputated legs would cost her family another $650, not counting the expenses to fly here to be by her side. This is a case of one tragedy after another. Some may not believe that there can be so many tragedies happening to one person in paradise in a few days. Is she covered by insurance as a private student? Or does the SMRT have an insurance to cover for commuters hurt inside the station? The last resort to pay for this tragedy is for Singaporeans to open up their hearts, if there is any. I think there should be, after all this is paradise and the residents are all saintly. Poor girl.

What is a Singaporean?

"Even those who are anti-PAP, who are critical, when they travel they feel so proud of being Singaporeans... When they come home, the moment they get the SIA boarding pass, there's a flutter in their hearts...yes, I'm on my way home." George Yeo I fully agree with him on the flutter in the heart. I experienced it every time I came home. It feels so good just to be back on home soil. The sense of safety, security, belonging, and the feeling of home. I believe every true blue Singaporean will feel it the same way. I am just wondering, just wondering, would the new citizens feel the same way as we do. Or they will feel the flutter when they return to their former countries/homes? Maybe they have flutters here and there and everywhere, at both homes. That is really a bonus. We Singaporeans only got one flutter, nothing more, nothing less. To many Singaporeans, this is really home. Nothing is more precious than this. And they better make sure that they don’t lose this home to anyone who wants to claim it as theirs. Make noise if necessary. Kpkb when they see things are not right. The home is something worth defending and fighting for. Never end up one day when the home is gone. Our forefathers came here when they lost their homes. They have built this home for us and the future generations. It is our duty to keep it that way, not to be given away freely and easily. National Service is in vain if we lose our home or forfeit it by inaction or apathy.

Black Day for Netizens

Just when the internet news is getting more readership, and with George Yeo and a few ministers feeling more comfortable about communicating with netizens, today I heard that Temasek Review will be closing down in July. As of today, though TR is still young, so is cyberspace and internet news, TR is one of a few group based internet forums devoted to Singapore and Singaporeans. It is a waste to see it go. And with the GE around the corner, netizens will have on choice less to read on what is happening here. It is a sad thing to happen when alternative voices are now sought after by news hungry citizens who want to hear what others have to say other than the stereo typed main media version of news. One RIP memorial for internet news.

The people crunchers

One train broke down in the morning peak hour and 17,500 commuters were stranded. In the same time many were enjoying an orgy or a sauna bath in the packed trains. These will be the things to come as we happily plod along mindlessly to allow the population to grow irresponsibly. We are 5 m and going to 6m and more. Heh heh. And it will not stop and cannot be stopped as any attempt to do so will slow down our economic growth. The numbers will keep going up and the rock will become more vibrant. And everyone can look forward to 10% or 15% economic growth and big bonuses. One man will be extremely happy. The trains and buses will eventually turn into people crunchers as we continue to progress down the road. It will be a happy adventure to all the rich citizens, travelling in style and comfort, with a sauna or orgy thrown in every now and then. We are progressing nicely to the future of graceful living and lifestyle.

Whorehouse for sale

Someone told me the story of a prostitute who wanted to go big time. Her plan was to marry someone big time. And her method was simple, just pay a big dowry. But who would want to marry a prostitute just for the money? The prostitute was not worried, as long as she put the money on the table, someone would come along. She tried very hard. But it was obvious that no decent fella would want to marry a prostitute. Then someone suggested to the prostitute to sell the whorehouse since business was still good. The better price, without having to pay a ransom for dowry, would mean that the owners could get a bigger return and may be happier, at least, instead of being sold out for the interest of the prostitute. I think it makes good business sense. A prostitute is in for the money. So why not just sell the whole whorehouse if the owners cannot object? And I am sure the prostitute will still get the lion’s share. As for the owners of the whorehouse, that is all they got. What’s next is their problem. They can never acquire another whorehouse with the pittance they will be getting. So what? It makes business sense, right? And the whorehouse can continue operating under different owners and making money as usual.