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10/31/2012

What is the purpose of paying foreigners to represent Sin?



The govt is still paying a lot of money to foreigners to represent the country in sports. No doubt some have taken up citizenships before donning on the national colours. Would it be better to spend the money to develop and train our own children, our own stocks, to represent the country?

Yes, the table tennis team won two medals for the country at the Olympic Games. So what? Where was the euphoria and the pride of achievement, that we won Olympic medals? The victory seems so hollow. It was as good as forgotten the day after.

When would the govt start to think Singapore, spending money on our own children, giving jobs and opportunities to our own? Or shall we continue down this path of paying good money to foreign sportsmen at the expense of our own kind just to look good, or giving good jobs to foreigners instead of foreigners creating good jobs to jobless PMETs?

How many millions of dollars have the govt spent and will continue to spend on these foreigners, some PRs, some turn new citizens and some still non citizens. Do we need to spend this kind of money, or want to spend this kind of money? What is in it for us? So that we can go to London to cheer them on?

Have you seen a PSLE child cry?



The PSLE results are always met with joyous celebration and recognition for the bright little boys and girls who have done well. The parents will be proud, the schools and teachers will be proud, the community will be proud too of the children’s success. How many people will notice the little boys and girls sobbing in the corners, starring blankly at the result slips which said, failed, or average, no good?

At the tender age of 12, little children must face a devastating blow of knowing that they are NG. When the parents are understanding it may be a consolation. When parents are unreasonable and daft to place all hopes and desires on the poor child’s PSLE result, life can be very miserable. Many children will live in fear when the results are not up to their parents’ expectation.

Is it fair to put the poor young things through such a traumatic experience when many did not really know what is going on? Actually, for those who are less sensitive and a bit dull, it is a blessing. It is those that are aware of the hopes and wishes placed on them by their parents and knowing what the parents want and what it means to fail to achieve that will face the full might of being a failure at such a young age. And they would not know what to do, and who to turn to. The sight of their disappointing parents could be so frighteningly cold and ruthless.

I am no expert in child education and child psychology or schooling. I can only express my feelings for putting little children through such a pressurizing situation and the trauma they must faced, alone, no counseling to ease the pain and fear. As adults, are we being too cruel to the children because we think it is good for them, or because we don’t bother to think and look at how things will affect them emotionally and psychologically from their perspectives? Children can feel hurt and rejected too.

Would it not be better to delay this big cut to a later age when the children are older and stronger mentally to take the blow? The assessment of children at PSLE level and the stakes involved have put a lot of pressure on the parents and children, and many would have their childhood deprived, just to make the mark. Can the system be tweaked to delay this assessment and allow the children to grow up as children and load the pressure when they are in their teens?

No doubt some kind of assessments must come their way to shift out the better from the less academically inclined. Must it be done at so young an age? Would it make any difference to do it later and let parents and children have a more enriching life when the children are growing up, to have a childhood to hold dear to?

Can the PSLE be scrapped and children be allowed to remain in the same schools till Secondary Two when all the streaming can then come in? Admittedly such a major change would affect a whole complex system of education and the infrastructure that is supporting the system. It is a massive task to change and many lives and jobs and systems will be affected. But if it is for the better, no matter how mammoth the task is, how arduous the problems, it is worth the effort to change.

We need to be kinder to the children. Putting so much burden and responsibility on a 12th year old is too much for the child to bear. The adults are simply too ruthless in their expectations from little children. Then again all the talks about kindness and graciousness are mere talks, aspirations, not to mean anything. Let’s talk economics and growth. Children are invisible and cannot feel pain, hurt or suffering.

10/30/2012

All residential properties will be 99 years





Someone commented that the most effective measure to bring down property prices will be to convert all residential properties to 99 year lease. No more freehold, no more 999 years leases. Such a scenario or idea will send shivers down the spines to the landlords, the rich and powerful that have hoarded multiple freehold properties to last till perpetuity. Their ambition was to protect their wealth, to continue to be theirs longer than the life of dynasties that do not last a couple of centuries.



The ground rule has been designed by the rich and powerful to ensure that their family fortunes will last forever, or at least 999 years. That is normal as anyone in a position of power will only think of their own interests first. In many third world countries, the assumption to political power is like owning the right to be rich, to build their family fortunes.



Converting all residential properties from freehold to 99 year lease is unlikely to happen in the near future. No way will the rich and powerful allow this to happen as long as they are in control. Reality will see them consolidating their interests and wealth even more firmly, to the extent of being enshrined in the constitution.



The rich and powerful will continue to amass their fortunes in freehold properties. And with the removal of estate duties, there is nothing to prevent them from keeping their fortunes for many generations to come, forever. The new rich too will be doing the same, acquiring whatever freehold properties they could lay their hands on.



The unfortunate part is that the number of freehold residential properties is limited. A time will come when there will be hardly any left for the newcomers. The other unfortunate development is that the new rich and powerful would likely come from the HDB flat owners or 99 year leasehold owners. The super rich and powerful cannot be blessed with good fortunes forever. It has never been the case. All the good things must come to an end.



When the latecomers find themselves fenced off from the freehold properties they so desired and untouchable, it will be their turn to fiddle with the laws to give them a chance to acquire them. When all the freehold properties are no longer available, and no new freehold properties can be created, the new power brokers are going to do things to get a hold of the freehold properties. If they can’t buy them, they will change the laws to get them.



One possibility is to amend the land/property ownership laws to make all residential properties 99 years. If such a change takes place, no one needs to bother about estate duties anymore. The wealth and fortunes of the old rich will be recycled more regularly and the cycle is shorter. And it will be their own selfish wrong doings, to corner everything for themselves to the point that the new rich and powerful will be left with nothing but force to manipulate the law and the system to get what they want. By then the situation will be so ripe for a property ownership revolution.



It can happen and will happen when the new rich and powerful are shut out from their desires and wants. In human nature, all schemes are designed to self destruct no matter how superficially brilliant they appeared to be. Because of greed and selfishness, all such schemes will breakdown eventually.



What could be used as the excuse is the need for more land with an increasing population. The Land Acquisition Act will be reintroduced to acquire all landed properties in the Bukit Timah and Tanglin areas for redevelopment. The interesting part will be that these properties would by then be worth several hundred millions each and the govt of the day would not be able to compensate them adequately. History would be re-enacted when such properties would be acquired at a pittance to the govt on grounds of national interests. The carefully crafted laws and social political system to protect these properties till kingdom comes will go up in a wisp of smoke. Why not, when empires and dynasties could crumble, why can’t such inequitable laws make ways for a more equitable system? The more intractable is the system, the more unjust it becomes, the faster it would be done away with. The law of natural justice and social justice must prevail. Man proposes, heaven disposes.

10/29/2012

I want to be a cab driver



The glorious reports of cab drivers earning $6k to $7k must be very attractive to many out of job PMETs. This used to be peanuts at one time. But today, with a stock market that is dying and performing worst than a fish market, when the income of many remisiers is less than a fishmonger or butcher or vegetable seller in the wet market, becoming a cab driver is now an attractive option. I am seriously thinking about this and would have jumped in if not of the risk of being beaten up by a drunk or murdered by a desperado. There is no need to risk life and limbs to be a cab driver. Leave it to the younger heroes that could defend themselves when attacked or their youthful bulk will keep the attackers at bay.

How about being a school teacher? Read that there is a great advertisement flying in Australia that our MOE is recruiting experienced teachers from down under. Some commented that with so many PMETs available, and a few thousand remisiers waiting to join the queue, perhaps MOE may want to send its flyer to these professionals who are also armed with quite a few pieces of papers and a mountain of life experiences to share with the young. Would not the MOE pick on our locals to educate our young or prefer to choose from some unknowns who would expect to be paid more than the locals, with housing and relocation allowances added?

I may seriously thinking of sharing my blogging experience with the youth in schools if I get an invitation to do so. Oh, I also got history as my background, having done some lecturing in National Education at one time. I may be an old ginger but physically fitter than many 50 year olds. Maybe MOE is specifically looking for the breath of experience that foreign talents can bring to educate our young with a new set of values and outlook in life. I have so many things to impart to our impressionable young, and to teach how not to cross OB markers as well. Or I may apply to go for retraining to be a masseur or a male nurse or to assist as a helper in a nursing home or hospice. Think of it, there are plenty of jobs available for unwanted PMETs. Just go for some training to downgrade the expectations.

Why the obsession for FTs?





Many CEOs are chirping and blowing their trumpets about the virtues of recruiting foreign talents. We need talents from all over the world, with a world view, with diverse views, to grow, to be competitive and innovative. Sure, when your company is an international company competing in the international market and needing an international team of staff with cross country knowledge and information to keep the company in touch with the rapid changes overseas. No body can argue against that. So Citibank has a very international staff, recruiting people from all over the world, as they have branches all over the world.



Why does a local company with local operations and local interests like the SMRT or the NTUC need foreign talents? For what? Why would the ministries, the stats boards or GLCs need foreign talents, to be international in their staff composition, to look international, to show people they are international when they don’t need to? There may be a need, an important need for some companies or institutions to want an international outlook, an international perspective that only foreigners and foreign talents can provide. But many do not need to do so. And this is simply commonsensical in a local operation when the customers are locals. Even banks like Citibank do not need to fill its staff with foreign talents when the branch is serving their own locals, in the cities or counties.



The obsession for foreign talents must not be allowed to become a blind fetish fad, a nice to have thing. Hiring foreigners must have clear and distinct objectives, a comparative advantage. Foolishly hiring foreigners for foreigner’s sake has an economic cost, a social cost and also a political cost. When our citizens are unemployed, especially the qualified, this is going to turn into a serious problem for families and the downfall of a govt.



In the medical industry when there is a shortage of local professionals, there is a need for foreigners to fill the vacancies. The doctors and nurses, preferably local to be able to relate and communicate with their patients could come from foreigners and with acceptable consequences. There are many jobs and professions that don’t need foreigners. Such companies and organisations are pretty obvious and when they do employ foreigners they will stand up like a sore thumb when locals are available. Worst, such institutions may be national in nature and have a national duty and responsibility to its own citizens.



The other big danger of padding the top management with foreigners is that the organisation could be hijacked and turned into their own fiefdom at the expense of the local owners. Citibank and many MNCs are good examples of being hijacked by their international crews and lost their identity and purpose of who they are and whose interests they are serving. The Americans and Europeans are facing this problem when the MNCs uprooted and left America for greener pastures.



The govt should seriously come out with a policy to curb this wanton recruitment of foreigners for the sake of looking international when there is no need to and when the local PMETs are left redundant, left in the lurch. I am referring to local and govt linked companies or govt institutions and ministries. For goodness sake, why do you want a Greek god as your PR man or Jolie Angeline as the receptionist for companies like NTUC or SBS or Pasar Malam Incorporation? Or why would you need a foreign accountant in your backroom? Your domestic operations and businesses do not need foreigners or foreign talents for their world views and perspectives.



There must be a place for the natives and for the natives to be gainfully employed with dignity and pride as citizens of the country. They must not be treated as expendables to be discarded ASAP when a FT is available.

10/28/2012

Taking photography to new heights





40 years ago when I held a SLR it was like holding a precision machine with very accurate engineering to be able to do what it was designed to do. Today, a DSLR is still a very precise machine and more. It comes with a computer inside. This is the kind of power in the hands of a photographer.

40 years ago I was messing around in the dark room all alone, with chemicals and fearing a little ray of light sneaking into the room. And the processing of the negatives and printing were mainly done manually with a lot of guess works. Manipulating them for different effects was tedious and failure rate was extremely high. Today, every thing a dark room processing can do can be done much better and easier, with more control and refinement using a processing software loaded into a computer. No more messy stuff and expensive errors that had to be thrown away at great cost. The software can work practically at anywhere with no fear of sneaky lights. And any error can simply be erased and redo again at practically no cost.

The tools of photography and the nature of photography have taken a qualitative leap to allow photographers to do many things that they could not do before. With such powerful tools and computing power, there are many avenues to explore for the photographer. I was not content with just doing and repeating the same thing all over again, shooting the best portrait, the best bird in flight, night photography, sports photography, travel photography, macro or micro photography. In many of these areas, everything has been done and shot by the professionals.

With two computers, one in the hand, one sitting on the table, and a more power third computer in the head, I started to explore and experiment with the untouchables, the taboos, the things that were frowned upon, striking out into new frontiers, to capitalise on the power of 3 computers. Photographers must do justice to the enormous creative powers their tools are able to perform today.

The first step I took was to embrace refraction, something that was nearly totally disregarded by photographers for the distortion it caused. Conventional photography is all about reflection, shooting an object to get a clear and crisp image. At times blurring and zooming effects were introduced, bokehs etc, but still an act of reflection.

Refraction is about seeing light travelling through more than one medium of different density. The bending of light through a prism to reveal the rainbow colours is a basic example of reflection. Light contains many things that the naked eyes could not see. Light is after all an electromagnetic wave. The signals received on radio or the television, through the phone, are all electromagnetic waves with information of sound and images embedded in them. The decoder in the TV unscrambles the information to make them visible and audible.

Light entering and exiting a medium like water are distorted by refraction and reflection. It also picks up other information that we could not see but exists. If only such information can be translated into something visible, revealing what they were like a TV image through a decoder, the final image can be stunning and unpredictable.

The Art of RAR or Reflection and Refraction is a technique that I have developed exactly to do this function. The images taken in the water will not be seen through the naked eyes or the camera sensor. The water will still appear as an image of water in the sensor. Through processing, the multiple images hidden in the light that came out of water can be seen in all its glories.

The Art of RAR is a key or a decoder to do this job. Many unseen images cannot be obtained from a seemingly non existence object in the water. With this methodology, photography is now able to do something new, something that was impossible and now possible. The images that came out from this technique can still be like a photographic image or an image that looks exactly like a painting with no trace of it being a photograph. It is a new field of photography that modern technology makes possible with the help of the creative and imaginative mind of a photographer. The possibilities are unlimited and photographers, with their creativity and imagination, could move beyond the confines of conventional photography, to explore new frontiers using the camera to produce new art forms.

The Art of RAR is not the only new technique available and more creative usages of the camera and technology would likely to lead to more innovative ways to expand the art of photography and how to use the camera. The art of photography is beginning to see new light.

Chua Chin Leng

Natural selection in Sin





Survival of the fittest is the oldest law of Nature. In the wild, Nature ensures that the fittest survives to continue the existence of specie. There is no exception, survive or perish.

There is a NYT article in the Sunday Times today on the success of Asians in American elite or specialised high schools. Of 14,415 students admitted to New York City High Schools, 59% were Asians. In 1971, Stuyvesant High School was mostly white, with 10 % black and 4% Hispanics. Today, it is 72% Asians and less than 4% black or Hispanics and the rest white.

There were protest that the admission system based on test or academic abilities is unacceptable as it would edge out the blacks and Hispanics. The govt stood its ground. NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, ‘You pass the test,…you get the highest score, you get into the school, no matter what your ethnicity, no matter what your economic background is.’ There is no affirmative action for the less able blacks and Hispanics.

After centuries of practicing racial discriminations against the Asians, the US of today is living up to its Constitution, of equal rights for all. Of course in many areas, this is still far from the truth. In this particular area on education, in New York City, this is the way forward.

Close to home, how far is this meritocracy being practiced? In many ways we are like New York City, the most able academically will be allowed to go to the best schools. Meritocracy in practice by the human beans is closely mirroring survival of the fittest in the wild, a process of natural selection. Of course there are exceptions.

The practice of natural selection has its consequences. The less able will eventually be extinct or elbowed out of the system. In New York City and in Sin, there is this other element that is not recognised or not spoken. The New Yorkers are protesting against meritocracy for their own reasons. They do not want to lose out economically. In Sin, when ‘foreign talents’ are imported in large numbers, as much as 50% of the population, and if they really are more talented than the natives, the outcome would see the natives being discriminated by meritocracy when the foreigners moved in to secure the places in the good schools, the good jobs, the better housing and everything else.

It is only a matter of time when the less able natives will have to move out, to make way for the foreigners, the new citizens, the more meritorious. Is this what we want, is this what nation building is all about? Do the natives think that their country should be inherited by the more talented and they have no place of existence or be around just to serve the new and more deserving citizens? Is this a country, or just a hotel.

10/27/2012

Persistence, perseverance and tenacity





These are the cornerstones of a man with a purpose. Professor Lim Chong Yah is so filled with a mission to do something for the country and people that he is not going to be dismissed and ignored. He is coming back again with his prescription to erase the wrongs in our economic and social system. We need more able and distinguished men like Lim Chong Yah to stand up, and stand up again and again, when pushed down, when ignored or when attacked. It is not only the calibre of the man at stake, it is his ideas, his conviction to do something right that is the powerful force behind such men with a mission.

Those able men out there who believe in the cause, that the country is going down the wrong way and wanted to do something, it is now. Join the likes of Lim Chong Yah, stand up and be counted. Speak the truth, push your ideas, your views of what Singapore needs and should be and could be. We need intellectuals and professionals, people with many years of experience and wisdom, to speak out in the genuine Natcon.

If the Natcon is going to be the stage for the aunties and uncles in the kopitiams to tell us what they want for the future of this country, what do you think you are going to expect? Let’s be serious and get serious people of substance to do the thinking. I am not dismissing the young in institutions of higher learnings to speak up. Unfortunately many are still too inexperience to have a full grasp of the complexity of nationhood, of a people, of a country, and what and where the country should be heading, the good life for the people, not just for a few.

This is the time to stand up for Singapore, by well meaning Singaporeans. You need not be invited to speak. You must have the gumption to speak out without being invited for the show. Your country needs you in such dire times.

When more professionals and people that count stand together, they carry more weight. It is time to tell the boys and girls to go shopping for their branded handbags and sports cars. Let the real thinkers, those who have more wisdom, to do the serious thinking.

Lim Chong Yah is showing the way, the dedication to stick to a worthy cause and not be brushed off as a little noise in wilderness.

10/26/2012

Secrets of Mother Nature Exhibition

 Secrets of Mother Nature Exhibition at NUSS Guild House Kent Ridge 22 Oct -21 Dec.

This is a section of the exhibition and some of the works I put up. Everyone is invited to see the exhibits. Admission is Free.

Redbean

No choice, limited choice, forced choice




Life is a complex odyssey of events and dramatic changes. There are many courses of actions, choices and decisions to make. Many things happen in life that leave one with no choice, limited choice or forced choice. One has no choice as to who his parents are, ministers or cardboard collectors, they just have to live with them. Some things come with limited choice, like choosing a partner. One’s background and makeup will narrow down one’s choice. Some things ended up with forced choice, the parents may force one to take a partner of their choice or because of some handicaps, one can only do certain things or jobs.

There is another dimension of life when one’s choice, no choice, limited choice or forced choice, is dictated by the govt. Yes, the govt has that kind of power on the life of an individual. In many areas, the govt determines your life, decide your life or your way of life and your life choices. Just a few simple illustrations, NS is a no choice event unless one could cook up medical grounds or some extenuating circumstances. The money to be kept in the minimum sums, the money to return on sales of properties, on reaching retirement, the money that can be taken out, all a matter of no choice. The govt decides.

In public housing, most Sinkies are left with limited choice. The very rich have all the choices. The average only have what the HDB decides for them, 2rm, 3rm, 4rm, 5rm and something better. These are the limited choices they will be given, also decided and determined by the govt.

And there are things that ended up with forced choice. The income of a person will determine what kind of public housing he can buy or cannot buy, the kind of hospitalization bill he will have to pay. In the case of money in the CPF, it is a combination of all 3 choices. No choice but must buy annuities. Next there is limited choice because only a few types of annuities are available. And forced choice cause the CPF holders must buy annuities from the govt using his CPF.

What is this thing called the govt that can decide what the people do with their money? Actually in this context, the govt is a handful of people vested with the power to decide the life of the people and their money. How on earth did the people, several millions, ended in such a pathetic and helpless state, that a handful of people could make life very difficult for them if they so choose? And the appalling part, the few people are the few people that would come to the people telling them sweet nothing, to vote them to power and they will be nice to the people, to look after them. And every election the same scenarios would be replayed, and after the election the same sad episodes would be repeated in the lives of everyone.

The people elected the few people to determine their choice, to decide what they have no choice, what they can have a little choice, what they will have forced choice. How daft can the people be?

10/25/2012

Don't lose your moral compass

Below is an article posted in 3in1 Kopitiam by Makapa. The moral of the story applies to everyone in every industry.

Millionaire plastic surgeon dies of cancer at age 40.


Saw this testimonial from this ex Raffles surgeon who made tons of money, bought a Ferrari and kena cancer. It may be a bit skewed towards religion, but he has some notable points on not living to societal and media's bench mark of success. It reminded me of the recent case where the MD died on a overseas working trip (brain aneurism). Worth a read.





Below is the transcript of the talk of Dr. Richard Teo, who is a 40-year-old millionaire and cosmetic surgeon with a stage-4 lung cancer but selflessly came to share with the D1 class his life experience on 19-Jan-2012.



Hi good morning to all of you. My voice is a bit hoarse, so please bear with me. I thought I'll just introduce myself. My name is Richard, I'm a medical doctor. And I thought I'll

just share some thoughts of my life. It's my pleasure to be invited by prof. Hopefully, it can get you thinking about how... as you pursue this.. embarking on your training to become dental surgeons, to think about other things as well.



Since young, I am a typical product of today's society. Relatively successful product that society requires.. From young, I came from a below average family. I was told by the media... and people around me that happiness is about success. And that success is about being wealthy. With this mind-set, I've always be extremely competitive, since I was young.



Not only do I need to go to the top school, I need to have success in all fields. Uniform groups, track, everything. I needed to get trophies, needed to be successful, I needed to have colours award, national colours award, everything. So I was highly competitive since young. I went on to medical school, graduated as a doctor. Some of you may know that within the medical faculty, ophthalmology is one of the most highly sought after specialities. So I went after that as well. I was given a traineeship in ophthalmology, I was also given a research scholarship by NUS to develop lasers to treat the eye.



So in the process, I was given 2 patents, one for the medical devices, and another for the lasers. And you know what, all this academic achievements did not bring me any wealth. So once I completed my bond with MOH, I decided that this is taking too long, the training in eye surgery is just taking too long. And there's lots of money to be made in the private sector. If you're aware, in the last few years, there is this rise in aesthetic medicine. Tons of money to be made there. So I decided, well, enough of staying in institution, it's time to leave. So I quit my training halfway and I went on to set up my aesthetic clinic... in town, together with a day surgery centre.



You know the irony is that people do not make heroes out average GP (general practitioner), family physicians. They don't. They make heroes out of people who are rich and famous. People who are not happy to pay $20 to see a GP, the same person have no qualms paying ten thousand dollars for a liposuction, 15 thousand dollars for a breast augmentation, and so on and so forth. So it's a no brainer isn't? Why do you want to be a gp? Become an aesthetic physician. So instead of healing the sick and ill, I decided that I'll become a glorified beautician. So, business was good, very good. It started off with waiting of one week, then became 3weeks, then one month, then 2 months, then 3 months. I was overwhelmed; there were just too many patients. Vanities are fantastic business. I employed one doctor, the second doctor, the 3rd doctor, the 4th doctor. And within the 1st year, we're already raking in millions. Just the 1st year. But never is enough because I was so obsessed with it. I started to expand into Indonesia to get all the rich Indonesian tai-tais who wouldn't blink an eye to have a procedure done. So life was really good.



So what do I do with the spare cash. How do I spend my weekends? Typically, I'll have car club gatherings. I take out my track car, with spare cash I got myself a track car. We have car club gatherings. We'll go up to Sepang in Malaysia. We'll go for car racing. And it was my life. With other spare cash, what do i do? I get myself a Ferrari. At that time, the 458 wasn't out, it's just a spider convertible, 430. This is a friend of mine, a schoolmate who is a forex trader, a banker. So he got a red one, he was wanting all along a red one, I was getting the silver one.



So what do I do after getting a car? It's time to buy a house, to build our own bungalows. So we go around looking for a land to build our own bungalows, we went around hunting. So how do i live my life? Well, we all think we have to mix around with the rich and famous. This is one of the Miss Universe. So we hang around with the beautiful, rich and famous. This by the way is an internet founder. So this is how we spend our lives, with dining and all the restaurants and Michelin Chefs you know.



So I reach a point in life that I got everything for my life. I was at the pinnacle of my career and all. That's me one year ago in the gym and I thought I was like, having everything under control and reaching the pinnacle.



Well, I was wrong. I didn't have everything under control. About last year March, I started to develop backache in the middle of nowhere. I thought maybe it was all the heavy squats I was doing. So I went to SGH, saw my classmate to do an MRI, to make sure it's not a slipped disc or anything. And that evening, he called me up and said that we found bone marrow replacement in your spine. I said, sorry what does that mean? I mean I know what it means, but I couldn't accept that. I was like “Are you serious?” I was still running around going to the gym you know. But we had more scans the next day, PET scans - positrons emission scans, they found that actually I have stage 4 terminal lung cancer. I was like "Whoa where did that come from?” It has already spread to the brain, the spine, the liver and the adrenals. And you know one moment I was there, totally thinking that I have everything under control, thinking that I've reached the pinnacle of my life. But the next moment, I have just lost it.



This is a CT scan of the lungs itself. If you look at it, every single dot there is a tumour. We call this miliaries tumour. And in fact, I have tens of thousands of them in the lungs. So, I was told that even with chemotherapy, that I'll have about 3-4months at most. Did my life come crushing on, of course it did, who wouldn't? I went into depression, of course, severe depression and I thought I had everything.



See the irony is that all these things that I have, the success, the trophies, my cars, my house and all. I thought that brought me happiness. But i was feeling really down, having severe depression. Having all these thoughts of my possessions, they brought me no joy. The thought of... You know, I can hug my Ferrari to sleep, no... No, it is not going to happen. It brought not a single comfort during my last ten months. And I thought they were, but they were not true happiness. But it wasn't. What really brought me joy in the last ten months was interaction with people, my loved ones, friends, people who genuinely care about me, they laugh and cry with me, and they are able to identify the pain and suffering I was going through. That brought joy to me, happiness. None of the things I have, all the possessions, and I thought those were supposed to bring me happiness. But it didn't, because if it did, I would have felt happy think about it, when I was feeling most down..



You know the classical Chinese New Year that is coming up. In the past, what do I do? Well, I will usually drive my flashy car to do my rounds, visit my relatives, to show it off to my friends. And I thought that was joy, you know. I thought that was really joy. But do you really think that my relatives and friends, whom some of them have difficulty trying to make ends meet, that will truly share the joy with me? Seeing me driving my flashy car and showing off to them? No, no way. They won’t be sharing joy with me. They were having problems trying to make ends meet, taking public transport. In fact i think, what I have done is more like you know, making them envious, jealous of all I have. In fact, sometimes even hatred.



Those are what we call objects of envy. I have them, I show them off to them and I feel it can fill my own pride and ego. That didn't bring any joy to these people, to my friends and relatives, and I thought they were real joy.



Well, let me just share another story with you. You know when I was about your age, I stayed in king Edward VII hall. I had this friend whom I thought was strange. Her name is Jennifer, we're still good friends. And as I walk along the path, she would, if she sees a snail, she would actually pick up the snail and put it along the grass patch. I was like why do you need to do that? Why dirty your hands? It’s just a snail. The truth is she could feel for the snail. The thought of being crushed to death is real to her, but to me it's just a snail. If you can't get out of the pathway of humans then you deserve to be crushed, it’s part of evolution isn't it? What an irony isn't it?



There I was being trained as a doctor, to be compassionate, to be able to empathise; but I couldn't. As a house officer, I graduated from medical school, posted to the oncology department at NUH. And, every day, every other day I witness death in the cancer department. When I see how they suffered, I see all the pain they went through. I see all the morphine they have to press every few minutes just to relieve their pain. I see them struggling with their oxygen breathing their last breath and all. But it was just a job. When I went to clinic every day, to the wards every day, take blood, give the medication but was the patient real to me? They weren't real to me. It was just a job, I do it, I get out of the ward, I can't wait to get home, I do my own stuff.



Was the pain, was the suffering the patients went through real? No. Of course I know all the medical terms to describe how they feel, all the suffering they went through. But in truth, I did not know how they feel, not until I became a patient. It is until now; I truly understand how they feel. And, if you ask me, would I have been a very different doctor if I were to re-live my life now, I can tell you yes I will. Because I truly understand how the patients feel now. And sometimes, you have to learn it the hard way.



Even as you start just your first year, and you embark this journey to become dental surgeons, let me just challenge you on two fronts.



Inevitably, all of you here will start to go into private practice. You will start to accumulate wealth. I can guarantee you. Just doing an implant can bring you thousands of dollars, it's fantastic money. And actually there is nothing wrong with being successful, with being rich or wealthy, absolutely nothing wrong. The only trouble is that a lot of us like myself couldn't handle it.



Why do I say that? Because when I start to accumulate, the more I have, the more I want. The more I wanted, the more obsessed I became. Like what I showed you earlier on, all I can was basically to get more possessions, to reach the pinnacle of what society did to us, of what society wants us to be. I became so obsessed that nothing else really mattered to me. Patients were just a source of income, and I tried to squeeze every single cent out of these patients.



A lot of times we forget, whom we are supposed to be serving. We become so lost that we serve nobody else but just ourselves. That was what happened to me. Whether it is in the medical, the dental fraternity, I can tell you, right now in the private practice, sometimes we just advise patients on treatment that is not indicated. Grey areas. And even though it is not necessary, we kind of advocate it. Even at this point, I know who are my friends and who genuinely cared for me and who are the ones who try to make money out of me by selling me "hope". We kind of lose our moral compass along the way. Because we just want to make money.



Worse, I can tell you, over the last few years, we bad mouth our fellow colleagues, our fellow competitors in the industry. We have no qualms about it. So if we can put them down to give ourselves an advantage, we do it. And that's what happening right now, medical, dental everywhere. My challenge to you is not to lose that moral compass. I learnt it the hard way, I hope you don't ever have to do it.



Secondly, a lot of us will start to get numb to our patients as we start to practise. Whether is it government hospitals, private practice, I can tell you when I was in the hospital, with stacks of patient folders, I can't wait to get rid of those folders as soon as possible; I can't wait to get patients out of my consultation room as soon as possible because there is just so many, and that's a reality. Because it becomes a job, a very routine job. And this is just part of it. Do I truly know how the patient feels back then? No, I don't. The fears and anxiety and all, do I truly understand what they are going through? I don't, not until when this happens to me and I think that is one of the biggest flaws in our system.



We’re being trained to be healthcare providers, professional, and all and yet we don't know how exactly they feel. I'm not asking you to get involved emotionally, I don't think that is professional but do we actually make a real effort to understand their pain and all? Most of us won’t, alright, I can assure you. So don't lose it, my challenge to you is to always be able to put yourself in your patient's shoes.



Because the pain, the anxiety, the fear are very real even though it's not real to you, it's real to them. So don't lose it and you know, right now I'm in the midst of my 5th cycle of my chemotherapy. I can tell you it’s a terrible feeling. Chemotherapy is one of those things that you don't wish even your enemies to go through because it's just suffering, lousy feeling, throwing out, you don't even know if you can retain your meals or not. Terrible feeling! And even with whatever little energy now I have, I try to reach out to other cancer patients because I truly understand what pain and suffering is like. But it's kind of little too late and too little.



You guys have a bright future ahead of you with all the resource and energy, so I’m going to challenge you to go beyond your immediate patients. To understand that there are people out there who are truly in pain, truly in hardship. Don’t get the idea that only poor people suffer. It is not true. A lot of these poor people do not have much in the first place, they are easily contented. for all you know they are happier than you and me but there are out there, people who are suffering mentally, physically, hardship, emotionally, financially and so on and so forth, and they are real. We choose to ignore them or we just don't want to know that they exist.



So do think about it alright, even as you go on to become professionals and dental surgeons and all. That you can reach out to these people who are in need. Whatever you do can make a large difference to them. I'm now at the receiving end so I know how it feels, someone who genuinely care for you, encourage and all. It makes a lot of difference to me. That’s what happens after treatment. I had a treatment recently, but I’ll leave this for another day. A lot of things happened along the way, that's why I am still able to talk to you today.



I'll just end of with this quote here, it's from this book called Tuesdays with Morris, and some of you may have read it. Everyone knows that they are going to die; every one of us knows that. The truth is, none of us believe it because if we did, we will do things differently. When I faced death, when I had to, I stripped myself off all stuff totally and I focused only on what is essential. The irony is that a lot of times, only when we learn how to die then we learn how to live. I know it sounds very morbid for this morning but it's the truth, this is what I’m going through.



Don’t let society tell you how to live. Don’t let the media tell you what you're supposed to do. Those things happened to me. And I led this life thinking that these are going to bring me happiness. I hope that you will think about it and decide for yourself how you want to live your own life. Not according to what other people tell you to do, and you have to decide whether you want to serve yourself, whether you are going to make a difference in somebody else's life. Because true happiness doesn't come from serving yourself. I thought it was but it didn't turn out that way. With that I thank you, if you have any questions you have for me, please feel free. Thank you.

Volte face in nuclear ambition



After spending some little money to retain some nuclear experts to explore the possibilities of building a nuclear power plant in the island the govt has officially stated its position that given the current technology, nuclear is NG. The main consideration is safety of the people and no one in the world except a nuclear snake oil seller will tell you that nuclear is safe to use in a little island with a radius of not more than 20km. Really, you don’t need a nuclear expert to tell you this. An intelligent schoolboy or layman would have seen this through and through.

And the Fukushima Incident only confirmed that the risk is for too high to take. An incident would make the island out of bound, and if serious, for decades or centuries. The govt insists that the Fukushima Incident has nothing to do with its decision to put the nuclear option in the back burner. It must have been seriously thought through and recommended by the experts who were still bragging about how safe nuclear power stations were quite recently and suddenly decided that it is not safe for this island.

It definitely has no relationship with the new target of a population of 6m that makes going nuclear less critical. A 10m or more population will mean that nuclear is the only option as the power consumption would have tip the scale over safety consideration. It will become a necessity, a no option, no choice must have source of energy.

It definitely has nothing to do with the outcry in the media, main and social media, about the big gamble of death if the island were to go nuclear. Would the govt listen to unintelligent people writing to the press to change its mind on such a technical issue? Definitely not the noises from the wilderness of the cyber world.

The people must be thankful that the govt is made up of hard thinking, logical and objective super talents that could see the danger of going nuclear and intelligently decided to say no. If the govt is made up of less intelligent people, it would be nuclear with all the great advantages of clean fuel and cheaper cost.

Thank God that the people need not have to live above a nuclear radiator that could be cooking them without them knowing and be safe from a future generation of mutants.

10/24/2012

Alvin Tan is a good example to showcase to Yale



The liberalism and freedom of expression exhibited by Alvin Tan must surely be a pleasant surprise to many in Sin. It is a great buzz that we are expecting and not coming. Now Alvin has delivered. We can now showcase him to Yale University that Sin is more liberal than America and our students are free to express their opinions and even hold very strong views against the govt. The freedom of expression includes whatever they do in the bedroom. And nothing will happen to them. Where got censorship or prudish discipline enforced by autocratic regime? So stop making false accusation that Sin and NUS are very restrictive and very stifling to the free spirits that Yale is famous for.

NUS must retain Alvin as a mascot, even if he pissed everyone in the govt and NUS, telling them that he did not want to practice law after graduation. Nevermind if another more deserving student could have benefitted if the place was not given to Alvin. Nevermind if a lot of money has been spent on him that could be given to a needy child of another citizen.

Think like Alvin, honest, frank and upfront, that he would apologise to NUS because of the money. We can’t find such honesty here anymore. And Alvin has put NUS in the world stage, giving it free and cheap publicity without having to pay another cent. Alvin is great value, and worth every cent spent on him. Please keep him in NUS. He is a role model for our students. A really talented foreign student. Only drawback is that he does not want to stay and work in Sin. He could even be ministerial material, pragmatic, money minded, flexible if it is to his advantage.

Now I fear that we may lose him and got nothing to show to Yale.

Force to take drastic measures



Mr Tan’s monthly income is $8k and his wife is $7k. Pretty comfortable income for a young couple. They also have a nice saving of a few hundred thousands which they will need for raising a family, the unplanned hospital bills, children’s education and retirement. They are thrifty and very careful with their money.

They could cough out everything to buy a cheap private apartment. But it will mean that they will have to start saving again, and it is going to be slower as the mortgage repayment is going to be substantial. Being prudent and prepared for the vagaries of life and how misfortune can strike, the Tans are not comfortable to squander all their nest eggs at a go for a private property as they are barred from buying HDB. They are still renting a small room from a PR.

Mr Tan has decided that they should get a HDB flat to start a family of their own. In order to qualify, Mrs Tan would have to quit her job temporarily to be eligible to buy HDB based on just one income. The difference in savings from buying a HDB instead of a private apartment is so huge that it makes economic sense to do so. Mrs Tan could do some private tuition for the time being or some part time jobs.

This is the only logical and legitimate way to beat a silly system. The Tans and many other professionals would have to take such drastic measures because the system is so unyielding and dead set to rob them of their hard earned savings. Why should these people be forced into such a situation?

10/23/2012

What about me...your citizen?

Below is a comment posted in the thread, 'The Govt should set the example in jobs for citizens'.


Every time I read a letter about our own citizens, qualified professionals with working experience but unable to find a job here, I feel really disgusted. We cannot ignore and disregard our own citizens while providing all the good jobs and opportunities to foreigners. This kind of situation is getting worst and lip service from the govt is not good enough and will be taken very badly by the citizens, affected or bystanders. We must love our citizens, take care of our citizens. If not, it is nonsensical to call ourselves a country and all the pledges we made, and the NS to fight and die for this country.

A govt that cannot get this basic right does not deserve to rule.

"Thanks for this article. I penned my comment in TRE as follows. For your reading pleasure:

I am 42 now, I was retrenched in late 2008 and found a job in HK only 1.5 years later – so I was around 38 then. When I am back from HK in early 2011 I was scounting for a job locally for almost 6 months. Recently I left my current employment because I have strategic differences with my boss, we mutually agree to part and now I am third time on the job market. I am in finance, senior management level, getting between $150 – $200k a year. I am stating this becasue in some (not all instances) I actually quoted a lower expectation hoping to get an interview.

I have on all 3 occassions wrote in to GLC, Stat Board and what have you -all the government related entities and I shall name them here:

MAS, GIC, Temasek, Spring Singapore, EDB, Energy Market Authority, HDB, Health Science Authority, IRAS, IE Singapore, JTC, LTA, Ministry of Finance, MOM, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore Workforce Development Agency,

Plus a few other quasi-government departments. I even wrote in to CPIB.

The role are mostly advertise via jobstreet / jobdb or careers@gov website and typically would be where my relevant experience and skill sets lies such as account & finance, corporate strategy, management, research & analysis, investment, fund management even administration etc.

In all, I figure I could easily wrote in between one hundred to two hundred applications. Obviously careers@gov has my profile.

My point is as follows:

I HAVE NOT GOT EVEN ONE INTERVIEW FROM ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY – NOT EVEN ONE INTERVIEW DURING THESE 3 PERIOD OF UNEMPLOYMENT. WHY ???

I am not blaming the government that I lost my job.

I would not blame the government if I am not selected for the job: –

BUT I AM NOT EVEN SELECTED FOR 1 INTERVIEW??? Not One.

I paid my tax, I voted for the government even during the last election – (yes I am that stupid 60.1% , Yes I confess I am that stupid) becasue when I work in HK and I travel frequently to Thailand / China I felt in totality this place compared to the many places I have been to is still a decently governed country – little corruption, clean street, good quality health care, well run public school etc. But tell me why should I vote for you again come 2016. When you get my vote but give jobs to foreigners. I know for a fact, GIC / Temasek hire largely foreigners. I know you are reading this, feel free to approach me for a discussion if you think I am not telling the truth, I am happy to meet."

Another token of appreciation for NSmen?



A small hongbao of recognition for a life time of service to the nation, risking lives and limbs, NSmen will receive vouchers of $50 to $100 exchangeable for food, recreation, petrol or dining. Is that all to die for?

Ask not what the NSmen can do for the country. Ask what the govt can do for the NSmen. This statement is gaining relevance and a pain among the people. Treat the sacrifice of the NSmen seriously and give them a stake in the country, give them something to fight and die for, give them a reason to be proud to be NSmen.

In the past, the most important consideration of the govt is to provide every citizen with a roof over their heads. And they were not thinking about NS, just every ordinary citizens. And uniformed officers were either provided with govt quarters or given priority for housing.

Today, NSmen can be expected to defend and die for this country and without the right to buy a public flat. And they are not asking the govt for handouts, for $50! They have all the right to demand that they be given priority to buy a house as any other citizen, as any new citizen as any PR. Can this be done? Is this too much to ask for, to die for?

The rest of the tokens of appreciation are all simply craps. Not worth a single cent. Give the NSmen a roof, through priority housing. Cut out all the crappy rules that disqualify NSmen from buying a HDB flat. Enough said to deaf frogs. They don’t listen, they don’t care. You can keep your token of appreciation. They are not worth it, meaningless and an insult to the sacrifice NSmen made for the country. They can never appreciate or understand what it means to be an NSman as many did not really go through the whole shit like any ordinary NSman, roughing out in the fields, reservist trainings and job and family disruptions.

10/22/2012

Looking at Sin 10 years down the road



The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) is coming up with a more serious discussion on the future of Sin, in year 2012. This is something that is worth looking at instead of conning youth to talk about graciousness and kindness. Issues like kinder society are much nicer to discuss than influx of foreigners, high cost of living, high property prices.

The IPS studies, headed by Gillian Koh and a team of professionals will be looking at 3 scenarios. 1. A pro business govt focusing on economic growth and ensuring better paying jobs for Singaporeans. 2. A govt formed by a splinter group of the PAP providing cheap and heavily subsidized healthcare, education and housing. 3. A weak coalition govt running a country whose citizens have little trust in it but where there is high venture capitalism and much community driven effort.

These are the possibilities in the near future. I thought a better topic would be to look at the realities today and the problems that will surface when the world financial system goes into a tail spin. The case is like a pro foreigner govt that provides good jobs to foreigners and losing the confidence and support of the people and is bundled out in the next GE. A new coalition govt is formed with many inexperienced politicians taking the helm and with the people taking a big gamble to place hope on a completely new team. No ex PAP or splintered PAP group will do as the distrust in the PAP is so total that anyone associated with the PAP will not be favoured by the people.

How would such a scenario play out in 5 years time? This is a more immediate problem, very likely and deserve more attention than something in 10 years or 20 years or in 100 years in the future. When the crisis can happen any time, there is no luxury to look beyond but to tackle the immediate problems. Forget about once upon a time. It is now, the moment has come to look seriously at immediate problems and issues. Funny that people rather ignore them and wanting them to be sweep under the carpet and to spend them gazing at the crystal ball of yore when they will be history.

Affordable healthcare in Sin





Singapore healthcare, like public housing is affordable. A meningitis case in KK Hospital ended with a $130k bill for the boys’s parents. But they are not complaining. They were too happy with the bill as it was affordable. They only need to pay $250 pm for the next 42 years, interest free some more. The hospital is so compassionate and generous by not charging them any interest.



Welcome to the all inclusive and richest nation in the world when a truck driver would not bat an eyelid having to pay $130k hospital bill incurred by his son. He is happy and the hospital is happy, for the next 42 years.



The paper millionaires in Sin are living precariously with their $1m property and feeling very secure and pleased with themselves. They did not know that all it needs is a family member to be down with cancer and his wealth will be down by half a million immediately, to be paid in cash. And the monthly check up is going to cost him $10k for the next 2 to 3 years at least. Such millionaires will be in debt in no time even after selling off his only paper asset.



As for the retirees, the system is designed to finish his savings in double quick time with inflation devouring away everything he got. Retirement is a very dangerous state of existence unless one is drawing a million bucks in retirement pay. They have counted why they needed $1m a year on retirement.

10/21/2012

Paintings of god 神画

The painting above is one of 39 pieces of works in the exhibition held at NUSS Guild House, Kent Ridge from 22 Oct  to 21 Dec.



Paintings of god 神画

What is 神画 or paintings of god? The Secrets of Mother Nature Exhibition now at NUSS Guild House at Kent Ridge(22 Oct – 21 Dec) is about a new photopainting art form.  I have developed this technique after many years of experimentation. It is called the Art of RAR or Reflection and Refraction. It involves the taking of invisible images in the water and turning them into paintings.

Such paintings have never been done or seen before. It is about a photograph but not a photograph, a painting but not a painting, an original but not. It is not computer graphic art or animation. It is a hybrid of a photograph and a painting created not by a human artist but by Mother Nature, or god in a liberal sense. It is painted by a human artist but it is not. Let me explain this new art form before I confuse everyone.

Why is it a photograph but not a photograph?

A photograph is the product of an image taken by a camera of an object. There is a direct object image relationship. In this art form an object is photographed using the camera. But the image captured is not that of the object. The object is simply water in a pond and nothing else. The image can be anything, looking anything other than water. The image is inherent in the water but is not visible to the naked eye and needed some processing to reveal what it really is, and definitely not the water that it originally appeared when being photographed.

It is a painting but not a painting

A conventional painting is normally painted by an artist onto paper or canvas with ink, pigment, water colour, oil, crayon etc. The painting in this case is printed by a printer and can be pigment, ink or oil. It has some similarities with a conventional painting in the sense that it came from an artist’s idea or thought. The difference is that this idea or concept comes from the thought of Mother Nature and can only be captured by a camera before being translated into a visible form.

It is the original but not the original.

The real original of a painting created by this method is invisible, is fluid and is in the water, and vanishes the moment it is photographed and would never be seen again. This original concept exists in a different plane, like a human thought. Thus the painting in print form can be called the original as it is the only available arising from the first thought in the water.

It is not computer graphic art or animation

The painting comes from a digital image of a camera. It only goes through some processing that are similar to darkroom processes, eg brightness, contrast, colour, sharpness, intensity, brilliance etc. There may be some touching up of spots or removal of minor blemishes. No major alteration of the image is done. The authenticity of the digital image is preserved and can be easily returned to the original form with the hitting of the reset button.

It is painted by a human artist but it is not

The conceptualizing of the painting is done by Mother Nature. Everything is already there and the contribution of the human artist, the photopainter, is to assist in bringing out the details of the painting that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. The photopainter, the human artist, can only do what is already present in the original image and does not introduce new or additional elements into the paintings. As the possibilities of each image are quite varied, the photopainter could interpret it in many ways and there is no certainty that the image in print is exactly what Mother Nature intended. This is the part played by the human photopainter, introducing some subjectivity into the final form.

In summary, every painting created by this technique is conceived and designed by god or Mother Nature, photographed and fine tuned by a photopainter. It is a photograph turned into a painting with Nature doing the bulk of the creative part of the work. The photopainter just collaborates with Mother Nature and the final work is the effort of both parties with Mother Nature playing the bigger role.



This art form or technique is intrinsically a Singaporean creation.
 

Chua Chin Leng - Photopainter

Erotica - A case of mindless defiance





The case of Alvin Tan and his girl friend’s demonstration of how creative they were in bed is not simply a lifestyle choice. It was, until he followed up with several defiance statements regarding his benefactor country and institutions. His tuition fees and living expenses in Singapore were all paid for by Singapore taxpayers. The scholarship includes $50,000 in tuition fees and $6,000 in living expenses yearly and could have be given to children of Sinkies.

I do not have to pay a single cent in Singapore, bond free.
‘When asked if he is worried he may get expelled from NUS for his ‘exploits’, Alvin Tan said:
I don’t really care if NUS take action against me. I am prepared to be expelled. Anyway, I have set up my own company here (in Malaysia) and is financially secure.

When it was suggested that he will need to pay back his tuition fees if he is expelled, Alvin Tan retorted:
I will not pay a single cent to NUS if I am expelled and what can they do to me?’ Quoted from TRE.

This is the kind of retort from an ingrate. He is totally unappreciative of the money and hospitality showered on him by the Singapore Govt. He is as good as telling the Singapore Govt go fuck off, I don’t need your money and I don’t care a hoot who you are. What is more sickening is that he could be sneering at the Sinkie Govt all the while for its silliness in offering him the scholarship. This is the ugly truth about the sincerity of foreign scholarship holders. Are our super talents so daft not to see this?

His attitude not only antagonises the Sinkie taxpayers, it will make them blooming mad with their Govt for wasting their money on such fools. There will not be more calls for the withdrawal of scholarships to foreigners. The money will be better spent on the children of Sinkies. The Govt must take note that the people are unhappy with them throwing money away to ungrateful and unappreciative foreigners. This is not an isolated cases. Only unqualified fools will keep repeating the same mistakes.

It is about time the govt rethinks its policies of throwing away taxpayer’s money to foreigners and depriving the children of the taxpayers from them. I can sense the anger boiling.

And the collateral damages will be those deserving foreign students that need such scholarships and are appreciative of them. On hindsight not many will be appreciative of our Govt’s generosity. I support the cancellation of all scholarships to foreigners and to throw the money to our children.

No one should waste his time trying to argue for the merits of such scholarships to foreigners.

10/20/2012

The Govt should set the example in jobs for citizens





Would the Govt heed the angry voices of the PMETs who have been displaced by foreigners in their own beloved country? Many are losing good jobs with good income, from $5k to $10k pm to foreigners and no longer able to find an equivalent. And they ended up as self employed agents or taxi drivers. Not doing anything to protect the better educated citizens that are professionally qualified will spell doom to the ruling party for sure. You cannot bluff the people all the time.

The main reason for opening the flood gate for foreigners is to create more and better jobs for the citizens, not cleaners, not downgrading to lesser paying jobs. This is a betrayal of the whole mission. More foreigners mean more good jobs for Singaporeans, NOT, more foreigners mean lesser good jobs for Singaporeans but more good jobs for them.

There are many jobs in the govt, in the stats boards, in GLCs that need not go to foreigners. The Amy Cheong case will stand up like a sore thumb. So would the PR of SMRT. Are Sinkies that dull that these jobs must go to foreigners? The govt must adopt a Sinkie first policy when jobs are concerned. The civil service, the stats boards, the GLCs, must recruit Sinkies first. Only specialised jobs that no Sinkies can do or qualify to do should they go to foreigners. There is no reason why such jobs should go to foreigners in the first place. It is not the responsibility of the Govt to provide jobs for foreigners, even public housing. And foreigners should include PRs.

Let the foreign companies provide jobs for foreigners and for Sinkies. And make sure they are good jobs. This is what it is all about in opening the gate to foreigners. It must not be the other way round, providing good jobs to foreigners and bad and lowly paid jobs to Sinkies. And the deception of printing pink ICs to foreigners to call them citizens would not be tahan for long. The slew of hands has been exposed.

Can the Govt get its priorities right?  The votes for the govt come from the citizens. The Govt has a social contract and responsibility to its citizens, not to foreigners, not to PRs.

10/19/2012

The emancipation of the oppressed Sinkies



The recent social development has seen a great change in the Sinkies, both in the head and at the bottom. The once dull, opinionless, unexpressive, fearful and unthinking mind created over the years by a govt that values conformity and Confucius teachings of blind obedience to authority is breaking down. Thanks a great deal to the internet, a tool that the govt does not know how to deal with without incurring the wrath of the developed world should it resort to the old practice of controlling all avenues to international news and freedom of speech.

The people are now much more outspoken, and voluntarily express themselves, and willing to show their unhappiness at the rampant social ills arising from bad govt policies. They were forthright in showing their displeasures, at times a bit abusive. The only problem is that no one in the govt is listening or bothers to listen. It is still a top down approach, a talk down approach.

The Natcon is supposed to be about what the people want and not what the govt wants. But it is very clear that it is all about what the govt wants and trying very hard to convince the people that what the govt wants is what the people wants. This is likely to be the findings after the Natcon ends, when the govt announces that the people have spoken and what the people want are exactly what the govt wants, high population, more FTs, high property prices, high inflation etc etc.

The other half of the emancipation of the dull Sinkies is associated with the highly desired buzz, which turns out to be sexual liberation. Sinkies are letting themselves loose and indulging in all forms of self gratification and fornification. Unfortunately the prudes were not amused and many are being hauled to court to pay the price for being frivolous. Having sex, buying sex with underage prostitute is a great game. Having sex on the job is a great bonus activity. The institutions of learning were not spared. MOE scholars have a fetish desire for children. Lecturers frolicking with students in exchange for sex and grades. Now female teacher is found lusting over underage boy.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. The pent up feelings after years of oppressive rule, maybe I should change this to years of prudish policies, with govt leaders acting as matrons and priests quickly breaks down when the heavy hand is lifted. And out they go to paint the town red. The FTs would be envious of the activities and the indulgence of the natives. It is great party time, with everyone a millionaire or half a millionaire, it is time to be themselves, to enjoy life.

Sin City is living up to its name, a new kind of renaissance

10/18/2012

The Americans call them war games




The Americans are conducting ‘military exercises’ at the doorstep of their self assigned enemies like North Korea, Iran and even China. The nature of the so called ‘military exercises’ or war games is anything but benign or friendly. The war games around the Korean peninsula are always about simulating an assault or invasion into North Korea. The war games with the Philippines are about retaking islands in the South China Sea that belong to China. And the latest with the Japanese is about retaking islands like the Diaoyu Islands that belonged to China. It is sabre rattling in the most belligerent and arrogant manner. They are not games but game of death.

Do the Americans ever consider the views, feelings and interests of the countries they are conducting war games against? Would these countries see them as friendly exercises or acts of provocations? Could a deliberate ‘stray’ bullet or missile be fired into these countries like the attack on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade? The Americans must known in no uncertain terms that another such crazy and irresponsible act will mean war with China. Who is the provocateur or angel of death?

Back to the American war games. Would the Americans tolerate the Russians or Chinese conducting similar games with Cuba or Mexico or any Latin American country, simulating an attack on American soil or the retaking of Hawaii or Guam? Would the Americans be as good manner as the Chinese and North Koreans and the Iranians, standing at their front doors and watching hostile and potential enemies sending their weapons of war to their doorstep, waving their fists at them?

The provocative and irresponsible military posturings of the Americans and its semi colonies must be condemned by the world communities. The UN should impose a sanction against the Americans or any countries conducting hostile military war games within the territorial limits of another country. The gangsters of the world must be stopped before they create more wars and more serious wars with other countries.

The future of Very Indecently Prosperous People VIPP



2016 is only 4 years away. 2020 is 9 years and 2030 only 19 years away. These dates are in the future and could see dramatic changes to our social and political scenes. The day when the ruling party looses its support from the people and an alternative power forms the govt cannot be ruled out. It is only a matter of time, sooner or later.

When that day arrives, they will be many VIPPs among the upper crust of society. They will be laden with so much money and riches but not knowing what to do for a while. There will be no ‘Yes Minister’ ringing in the ears. There will be no full list of daily appointments to meet, no meetings and meetings, no dignitaries or visitors, no gracing events and opening ceremonies.

There will be no more fanciful titles of advisers, chairman, or whatever. The name card will no longer be as big as A4 size paper with 30 directorships, chairmanships or advisers. Just an ordinary name card will do, with the designation VIPP, Very Indecently Prosperous People.

Life will be great, full of time in hand to enjoy the wealth accumulated over the years in office. It will be a life of leisure and pleasure, parties all over the world. There is no need to work unless back side itchy. For those who have been indoctrinated with the mantra of work till death, they could use their wealth to buy over big companies and give themselves fanciful titles once all over again.

Applying for a job in GLCs will be a no go. The new govt will see to it that it will not happen. Being invited as consultants or advisers to private organizations too will not be coming, as the access to the new govt will not be there. The private organizations will not want to be in the bad book of the new govt to invite these VIPPs into their folds.

There will still be the past time of speculating properties with their wealth. Property prices will soar even higher unless the new govt put a stop to it by doing away with the current policies…and reintroduce estate duties. Whatever, the life of VIPPs can only be fun and fun and plenty of time to enjoy the fun. It is a deserving reward for a lifetime of sacrifice to the nation.

10/17/2012

Slash and burn for a better tomorrow




The haze seems to have subsided. Is it because there were less slash and burn activities or because of wind and rain? Slash and burn is a very cheap way of clearing away unwanted stuff. No need much planning, no need heavy capital expenditure. Just look at the weather, wind direction, and light a match, and a whole jungle can go in no time. And new crops or towns can be built over them, looking modern instead of wasteful vegetation.

I was listening to Boon Wan in Parliament last night. He was talking about the future new towns, all nicer and modern, to be built over the old towns. Old towns will give way to new towns, and better Punggols will take their places. This is like a different variation of the slash and burn method of farming.

The way we scrap a half a million dollar Mercedes after 10 years and replace it with another $1 million brand new Mercedes is also another form of slash and burn. Get rid of the old and pay for a better new. Only one condition must be satisfied for this modern Sinkie slash and burn economy, money. The people and govt must have all the money to get rid of good working condition cars and houses and pay for new ones every 10 years for cars and maybe 40 years for housing. For a super rich and affluent country where money just flows in naturally, this is never an issue. The people need not even have to work as long as they have the money to churn properties.

Some told me that this slash and burn policy is also applicable to population. The old that are no longer contributing to the economy should make way for the new, from overseas. Every inch of land in this little island is worth its weight in gold and you cannot have unproductive people sitting on them. Too wasteful. This utilitarian approach to all things has served the island well and has turned it into the richest country in the world on a per capita income basis. Just ignore the existence of the oldies.

Old and oldies have no value to a strictly utilitarian state that sees progress in terms of monetary value. It is time that they bulldoze away that piece of real estate called Chinatown and build a new city for another million people.

10/16/2012

Asia will resist U.S. efforts to contain China, says Singapore diplomat


By Ashish Kumar Sen
The Washington Times


Sunday, October 14, 2012
“We don’t want another Cold War. The United States should not ask

Asian nations will resist any U.S. attempts to block the rise of China, as Washington pursues a new strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Singapore’s former ambassador in Washington.

“I think if the United States re-engages Asia to contain China it won’t work because countries in Asia won’t sign on to containment,” Chan Heng Chee said in a phone interview from Singapore.

“We don’t want another Cold War. The United States should not ask Asian countries to choose. You may not like the results if you ask countries to choose.”

Ms. Chan returned to Singapore in July after 16 years as Singapore’s ambassador to the U.S….President Obama has adopted a rebalancing stance toward the Asia-Pacific region…Much of the commentary in Washington has described this policy as a “pivot” and framed it in the context of a military containment of China.



The above article is more than meets the eyes. It is unusual for an ambassador to speak so frankly about the USA and its intent and policies towards another country. While the official US position is all about peace, about anything except containment of China, and so many countries and observers have wool pulled over their eyes that this is a benign power, full of peaceful intent and purposes, the truth is not usually spoken publicly. And Chan Heng Chee has spoken the unpleasant truth.

In her long association with American policy makers and the intrigues behind the façade of civility and pompous feel good motherhood statements, the US must be peddling its schemes and plots to contain China to her allies. While in the US, Chan Heng Chee would have to be polite not to spill the naked truth, but now that she is an ambassador at large, it is opportune for her to tell things as they are with respect to the real USA. And this has to be done to prevent the innocent and naïve to think otherwise and not to be coerced by the Americans to tow the line and be lined up on one side against another superpower.

It is in Asia’s interest not to be pawns in another cold war when they have nothing to gain and risk an open conflict in the region. The US has thus been told, as direct as it can be, not to fool the Asian countries into doing its dirty work and be embroiled in its devious schemes to contain and destabilize China.

The Ambassador must have many first hand experience of what the true Americans are and what they are trying to do in this so called pivot to Asia.

The Americans cannot go on to deceive the world that they are all angels. Time to look at the devil as it is.

Home sales soar! See it coming?



When I read the papers today about the climbing sales of properties, private and public, and the rising prices, I thought of asking whether the govt has seen it coming? I can’t blame Boon Wan as he is still new on the job. The pent up demand is not just due to the Ghosts in the seventh moon. The demand has been brewing and kept under pressurized lid to prevent it from exploding for too long. All the ramping up of building public housing would still be not enough.

Then I read another headline, ‘Govt ready to stabilize market if needed: Khaw’. Read this carefully, between the lines, it would appear that the govt is pretty comfortable with what is happening, with the situation as it is now. Apparently there is no need to stabilize the market now and not needed. So things will just go on as it is.

Boon Wan also said that the market should be stabilizing. This means that once the market stabilized, the people should expect that this is the normal state of affair, the high prices are normal though demand could be lowered if not because of this new doctrine that the govt has to build homes for the singles as well.

So that’s it. The govt saw it coming and this is what it is to be, acceptable, bearable, sustainable....and definitely affordable!

10/15/2012

The people did not understand Natcon



This is about what Grace Foo was saying. The Natcon is to talk about the future, about how Sinkies want this paradise to be, with millionaires and a great cosmopolitan city with gracious living for all. Instead, the people have totally misunderstood the conversation and went complaining about bread and butter issues, about big population, about foreign talents, about job losses, high cost of living etc etc. These things are non issues and are not about the future we want.

Let’s talk about our dreams, about beautiful dreams we can built for our children in 20 years time. The problems of today, put them aside. These are unpleasant things and would only make everyone work up and feeling angry. No wonder the ministers are not listening to what the people were talking about and neither the people understood what the ministers were talking about.

Can we restart by redefining the agenda so that our aunties and uncles in the markets and hawker centres know what to say and to express their dreams of the kind of Singapore they want in 20 years time? I am very sure if this is explained to them they will come up with a decent blue print of the future Singapore, Made by Uncles and Aunties from the Hawker Centres and Void Decks. And Parliament can then debate over it and put it into action like the new Punggol Town of the future.

In the meantime please be patient as the uncles and aunties are not super talents and it may take them a little longer to gaze at their crystal balls on how to plan for a futuristic city. Many may not even have gone pass O level. So the task must be pretty daunting on them.

10/14/2012

Natcon fizzling out or taken a new life





I was thinking of revisiting the issue of reinstating estate duty as it is now a major cause of high property prices with the rich, both local and foreign, finding this as a way of tax evasion. And with the rich amassing more and more properties, knowing that it is very safe, it will only add to the mounting pressure on sky high property prices. But it is also a sad reality that the rich would have vested interest not to change this situation at all. I thought one or two properties of unlimited value would be very generous to the dead.

So far this subject has not been brooded anywhere, and not in the Natcon. But where is the Natcon heading? Things are getting clearer now, that the Natcon is just a conversation. It is a dialogue of sort. You talk I talk. The people talk, the govt talks.

When grave issues of immigration and population were raised by the angry citizens, when high property prices elicited serious concerns by the average sinkies, they were just that. Just raised and nothing seems to be done to ameliorate the Sinkies’ worries.

The govt will continue to sing its song of praises for high population, more immigrants and high property prices. Things will just be the same. The people will talk, the govt will talk, but both not listening. Both talk and talk. This is about sums up what Natcon is all about. Happy Natconning, or happy talking.