‘To cow play harp "对牛弹琴!"

Following SDP’s detailed proposal for a NOM public housing scheme, many well meaning citizens have voluntarily cracked their heads to come up with many meaningful proposals to salvage the mess created by the housing policies. This is a really thankless task, not being paid a single cent, and at their own time and resources, they are passionate enough to do the sums. This is not the kind of thankless task that are paid in the millions and no answers. The thinking, effort and solutions should rightly come from those that are paid in the millions. True or not?

Another thorough proposal was in the Sunday Times yesterday by Chua Mui Hoong, a veteran establishment spokesperson. She was given more than half a page in the paper on her proposal, ‘How to cool the HDB resale market’. This effort is not the free labour type like those of SDP or other citizens but still free in a way as she is not responsible for the housing policies and the mess. Her job is to write for the paper.

What she suggested in her proposal made good sense, and so were the proposals in the SDP paper. All were made with good intentions to help the struggling minister and ministry to do a better job. But I must say again that it would all be in vain as the ministry and minister were thinking that they have done a damn good job. So what is the fuss and all the unnecessary proposals and recommendations for?

There are many reasons why all these proposals will end up in the dustbin. Firstly, they all assumed that there is a big problem that needs to be addressed. Secondly, they assumed that the ministry and minister did not know their stuff or did not know how to solve the problem. Three, accepting the proposals is as good as an admission of incompetence. How could lay people not paid for the job have the audacity to think they know better? And how could the professionals be made to look dumb?

The last point is always a hurdle and a big farce whenever an institution or person asked for suggestions. Accepting other people’s idea is acknowledging one’s own incompetence or shortcomings. And not accepting after opening the mouth to ask is an act of insincerity. Think Natcon.

What I don’t believe is that the highly paid super talents could not think of all the recommendations put up by the laypeople and the public. They are paid humongous salaries not for nothing. They are exceptionally talented and how could the less talented ignoramus think they could think better? Doesn’t make sense right? So, what is happening? To scratch or not to scratch?

The ‘to cow play harp’ is not really a good analogy. This phrase applies to the hopelessness of playing music to one that doesn’t understand music at all. Here the cow is no ordinary cow but a wise cow, a clever cow who knows what is happening and how to solve all the problems. What is holding back the cow or preventing the cow from coming out with a complete and effective solution really beats me. Excuse me for the pun.


Anonymous said...

Only one word "Sad"!!!
And we have 60% who still think
no matter what "I will vote them"

Anonymous said...

The Pro Alien Party's only goal is to increase the value of the Singapore Reserves.
Heck! We even have an Elected President to play the role of "jaga kereta" over the reserves.

Singapore government owns 90% of the land and properties in Singapore.
So rising HDB prices translates to a higher value for Singapore Reserves.

So Khaw is like Mah before him. They have no intention of lowering HDB prices.
Khaw is paid a million dollar salary by PM Lee to maintain high HDB prices AND win the GE 2016 elections.
It's a tough job. And that is why he is paid a million dollar salary.

You think our Pro Alien Government would pay a million dollar salary to a Minister to better the lives of Singaporeans?
What part of Pro Alien Party do you not understand?

agongkia said...

Anyone who want to try to kay khiang must be able to accept rejection and to accept criticism.
Some of those proposal that I read are thinking of a 12 years old.

I appreciate their effort,but I still have to say that.

I would not say they TWEE 牛谈琴" I say they BoThowNow.

patriot said...

Khaw is only like Mah is that Both are similarly business minded. The Former however, is far more shrewd though the Latter is exceedingly shrewd for the good of the people.

One who can schemed means testing for healthcare for the people will have no qualm to sqeeze the people dry.
In any case, Khaw is not different from his Cabinet Colleagues. Even his Medical trained Defence Minister Colleage does not seem to possess the '医者父母心' Value. He is said by many to have treated the lives of our NS men cheaply.
The pro aliens party is filled with heartless people and people with heart problems.

patriot said...



Padaly said...

It shld be "对牛弹琴!" Not "为牛弹琴!"

Padaly said...


Perfectly Arrogant Party (PAP)
Hey, buddy!
Let me tell you truly
I realized lately
That I also dislike PAP
It is really a Perfectly Arrogant Party

They have turned our country
Into their company
Everything is about money
Extraordinary charges aplenty

A tiny dot with 30 ministers drawing the world's highest political salary
Paid millions of dollars annually
Yet they are still greedy
Always chasing after GDP
Making S'poreans live miserably

People say, S'poreans are lucky
For our country is corruption free
But when it is ruled by only one party
Can we really trust there is total honesty?
Remember, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

Kiasu and kiasi, PAP came up with the GRC
So that more MIW can enter by the back door to become MP.
Mistakes after mistakes due to incompetency and complacency
Yet there is no accountability
All because they need not answer to anybody

Only a small country but foreigners there are so many
Government welcomes any Tom, Dick or Harry
And proudly call all of them FT
Giving away PR papers so freely
Hoping they will become citizens and vote for the PAP

Companies happily tell S'poreans to accept low salary
For they have cheap foreigners available readily
FT also took away S'poreans places in the universities
Even in sports we are represented by FT
To win glory for our country shamelessly

Exploiting the government stupidity
Many foreigners become PR just to buy flats by HDB
Resale flats have sky-rocketed due to pro-foreigners policy
So high is the value of COV
That young ordinary S'poreans have delayed starting up a family

S’pore uniquely
A paradise it will be
If you have ‘guan xi’ with the PAP
Never mind you and me or how many are unhappy
Someone already told us we can always go and die in JB.

Very sadly, this is no longer my once beloved country
It is now no more than just a money making company.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Thanks Padaly and Patriot. Amended to "对牛弹琴!"

Padaly said...

That is the correct Chinese idiom. It's proven thru the ages! Wise words make ppl think deeply.

Anonymous said...

If what happened during GE 2012 is still not heard loud and clear, then I agree Singaporeans are just "serenading the cow on the harp", which literally means the message has not gotten through yet.

The same old arguments like HDB is affordable and foreigners are needed to create good jobs (for 'foreigners' without a doubt) are still being trotted out, just like playing an old broken record that is irritating to the ear. Singaporeans do not buy that anymore.

Like the population policy, such arguments will never reverse public opinion about procreation in any way.

And may I still say that the population problem is directly linked to housing and jobs going down the years and affecting the next generation, nothing more nothing less.

They can twist and swerve by bringing in other distractive issues and arguments, but parents are more concern with what is in store for their kids by bringing them into this little rock where cost of living is almost prohitable for the poor.

Anonymous said...

And this is why PAP have to pay million dollar salary to attract talents to come forward to 'serve" as Ministers.

It's not an easy job to promote lousy public policies for 5 years. And then at the end of 5 years, win the General Elections to serve another 5 years.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Aiyah. These morons don't understand human nature lah.

At the moment, it is a healthy sellers market. You try and "cool" the resale market, the sellers will get pissed as they are in it for MAXIMUM profit...i.e. who can bid the selling price higher and higher.

If you impose "barriers" on the sale side, you are going to incentivise "self protection" and "self interest" behaviour on the part of sellers. For e.g. they could demand more cash up front. Or only sell to foreigners for more hard cash in the deal.

In other words, regulating the seller will only make matters worse.

If MAS can be "persuaded", they should contract the money supply and drive interest rates up, say to double digits (10-15%). Then the prices of housing will collapse.

However business will also die cock standing at those interest rates, and probably people will lose their jobs.

You cannot do one thing and not create unintended consequences, externalities or moral hazards elsewhere in the economy.

Matilah_Singapura said...

P.S. Don't take my word for it. I am but a mabok randy farang living in fantasy-land here in Bang-Cock.

Please check and get a second or third opinion from the guys who understand money supply shenanigans - people like Jim Rogers and Marc Faber.

patriot said...

Hi Padaly:

Your Rythme Above is a beauty.
Composing it to tally with facts cant be easy.
And the Facts fit to the T
just as everyone can feel and see.

Now that You have inform the Sinkies.
let's see how much faith they have in the Papies.


Anonymous said...

They simply have to milk the cows before the interest rates turned against them which I think will be in the next two years.

Anonymous said...

The stage has been set for the sheep to be slaughtered. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The European and American financial collapse are round the corner. Interest rate is going to bounce back.

patriot said...


Chin Leng:

me actually prefers 为 over 对, 为 shows an intent, a purposity to act.
对 on the other hand does not signify the strong intention and purpose, more like a casual and leisurely participation.

Saying something about the use of the Chinese Language here, hoping that we can be less '食古不化'. Reason is when the intended meaning is appropriately expressed, one should not insist on using template or the traditional expression.

Once, a Chinese educated person insisted that i should not have used '央至池鱼', must have used '遭池鱼之央'. It was a storm in a tea cup incident due to inflexibility in the use of words(of any language).


Anonymous said...

The cow in Health Ministry is the same cow in National Development. If that cow does not respond to music in one Ministry, it is not going to respond to music in National Development either.

That is why all the talk now about changes in HDB is just talk, followed by some tweaking and tingling and tickling to fool the daft Singaporeans, or at least 60% of them.

Those who think HDB pricing will come down, just wait until that cow goes home after taking his pension. Still nothing of substance will happen in HDB besides the usual assurances of more building scheduled to come onstream with drastically increased pricing to boot. It really amazes me that hey think they can fool all the people all the time.

patriot said...

Listening to the Cow is worse than believing the Bull.


Anonymous said...

Only the PAP can say Singaporeans are no talent only FT !

Look at Padaly's poem, so talented to compose such beautiful poem to shame the PAP ...

can you put up a poem column ? After the downfall of PAP, we should consolidate these poems because they are part of history of Singapore.