Nathan’s conscience is clear

Why was his conscience pricked and he has to make it public that his conscience is clear? In my view, Nathan is the most perfect President according to the terms and conditions of the Constitution. He played the role to the T. No one can fault him for not doing his part as the Elected President or overstepping his role to try to do things outside the Constitution.

Next National Day Nathan will be given the highest award of the country. And his place in Kranji has already been reserved.

On the issue of conscience, only those who took too much and did too little should have to think about their conscience. This shall include those who will be doing nothing and taking millions from the people.

Nathan has done a lot of work as the President without crowing about it. He is always under pressure to perform. The most obvious sign of pressure is his weight. The psychiatrists will tell you that people who are under pressure tend to over eat, took to food as an escapism, and put on weight.

Let’s wish Nathan a good retirement and with less pressure in his life. He may start to lose weight and his hair may start turning white too.

PE – 100% endorsement for the govt

Some said the PAP got only 35% of the popular votes, some said 70%. I say 75%. The numbers are very interesting and alive, and can be interpreted anyway one wants to look at them. It may be flattery, self deception, cynicism, foolish thoughts and anything but the truth. So reading numbers and interpreting numbers are not so objective and scientific after all. It is an art for the spin doctors.

Why did I say PAP won 75%? Tony, Cheng Bock and Kin Lian were all PAP before. Have they really left the PAP? Who can vouch to know the absolute truth? And I also say that the govt or establishment won 100% of the votes this time, a complete endorsement. Why not? All of them worked for the govt at one time or another. All has govt blood running in them, and govt thinking, including involvement in govt policy making and execution.

Don’t be surprise if all were invited to a tea party by the PM and all say a big thank you to the voters together. Then those who share this view of mine would say, see, all together with the PM, must be of the same camp.
Feeling cheated? The truth is still out there. And the truth is different in the eyes of everyone. The PAP is being conservative and a little shy to claim that it won only 70%. They could have won 100% for all you know.

Time to call for celebration for the great victory. What wayang? No it is the truth.


Notable quote by Redbean

Half in and half out

We have heard of that before. Now the latest catchphrase is 'One third in, two third out'. Redbean.

Is that the reason why so many people are simply disappointed?

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri

Just came back after a day of outing. Let me wish our Muslim friends a happy Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.


The warnings of the higher self

The GE saw Hsien Loong humbling himself with a public apology for the failed policies and bad decisions of his govt. His apology was heard and he was saved from an embarrassing thrashing in the election. His personal votes went up. This could easily rub the mortals, even higher mortals, the wrong way. In order to register a point that the apology must not be forgotten, a GRC must go and some hot shots would have to be sacrificial lambs in the process. We know what happened.

Subsequently, a few ministers were pruned from the cabinet to atone the mistakes of past years. These were all good and welcomed. The expectation by the people of a govt serving the interests of the people cannot be taken lightly. There were hopes bt the people of a better time.

Then came the Presidential Election. The tail of the fox reappeared and things were looking to take a step back. The first lesson was too easily forgotten and a harsher lesson needed to be handed down.

Tony Tan, the hot favourite of the elite of the elites, was rolled out to ensure a good win. The higher self was not pleased and Tony could only manage to win by a whisker. He could have lost easily if that was intended. The higher self did not want to make it too hard. Imagine if Tony Tan was defeated with only 30% of the votes! It must be the trumping of the year and the biggest defeat of the party.

The higher self was kind and wanted to give the party another chance to redeem itself. The 35% win and a margin of 7,269 votes were too close for comfort. It was a rude reminder that must be taken heed. There will not be another chance if the rulers insist on being rulers and not servants of the people. Five years were all there is to serve and work for the betterment of the people than for self interests and self gratification. The conditions for redemption are demanding. Would anyone still think that the higher self can be trifled with and ignored?

By the next election, PAP could be history, or be given a new lease of life. It all depends on whether the lessons of the last two elections were taken seriously and with all sincerity to be of service to the people and not self.

The graciousness and compassion of the higher self have its limits. Don’t push the luck too far. This is the message of the Presidential Election. Some are still trying to brush everything aside and still deceiving themselves that it was a big victory, and they can go on rubbishing and threatening the people. Fear not, for I know you by your name….

PS. The above was told to me by a ‘tang kee’. I take it as fiction or just a fairy tale. For those who believe that their future is in their own hands and do not believe in any higher self, they may disregard the ‘tang kee’ for his story.

An emotional index with President Tony Tan

Now we have a new President in Tony Tan. I have set up another poll to measure the emotional attachment to our new President in the Istana. This is just a feel good or feel lousy poll that I guarantee you will not affect the results of the Presidential Election.

And your vote is secret!

The silent revolution

Spring is here. I can smell it. No it is not the Arab Spring. This Spring is uniquely Singapore, totally silent. Not a sound. No street demonstrations or looting. No gun shots, no Molotov cocktails, no IED, no suicide squads. The streets are completely peaceful and life goes on as normal.

The battle has begun. The battle for Singapore, where Singaporeans are determined to reclaim their island, their rights, their money, their freedom and dignity, has started. The hit squads are there, the snipers, commandos, the infiltrators, the moles, the sleepers, the provocateurs, the squirrels, all are working furiously to gain more grounds.

The establishment is under attacked. Anyone associated with the establishment will not be spared. The presidential hopefuls could swear to it. All the past has been dug out for display, the wrongs, the ill conceived agenda, indiscretion, transgression, the self serving logics, will be retold by those in the know. Many victims wanted to tell their stories, they wanted justice and a reparation for their wrongful detention. They are fearless and standing up crying for justice. Nothing is going to frighten people who have been locked up for many years and in their twilight years.

The establishment is under attacked in all fronts. The latest, the People’s Association and the HDB, proclaimed to be non partisan, non political, are being hung up for a beating. Anyone from the establishment that talked foolishly will become instant targets.

Some from the establishments have crossed over. More will do so. Would those who have compromised themselves while with the establishment also waiting to cross over, to bear witness with their testimonies of their misguided acts?

The revolution is on going, in all fronts, in the silent world of cyberspace. The weapons are as harmless as a note book, laptop, an iphone or an ipad. The insurgents are taking each other out at every battle site. Some were direct and vicious, some were more discreet, some were smoking and you can’t tell which side they are from.

This is a battle without bullets and bloodshed. It is a battle for the truth, for the hearts and minds of the people. Truth shall prevail and triumph with its believers. The playing field is much level and the combatants are equally committed to wage this war.

This is a silent revolution, a soundless revolution, but just as vigorous and exacting on the wills of the soldiers. Who will emerge the victor in this new warfare of netizens?

TRE still down

When I look at Singapore News Alternative, TRE seems to be working. Whenever I click on it, well, it is under repair. And it has been under repair once too often. Many of you too are facing the same problem. I can only hope that this is just a technical problem and not something sinister.

The EP election is over

The election is over, let’s move on. That’s my thought. Afterall, nothing changes, nothing new can be expected from the EP except more of the same until they change the roles of the EP provided in the Constitutions. We can see more charity shows, more kissing of children and more walking in the Istana Park. Just read in the paper that Tony wanted to lend his expertise in fund management to the govt!

I think everyone is still hot about this election and I shall just add in a few comments. From the beginning this was an interesting election. The candidates, four of them and their eligibilities to even run in the election were full of controversies. Even pushing out Tony Tan from his comfort zones in GIC and SPH must have raised eyebrows.

The results of the election will be carefully studied by the political parties. One corner is claiming great victory as the 70% for Tony and Cheng Bock is now claimed as endorsement for the PAP. Is that so? Isn’t Cheng Bock a reject from the PAP camp, a rebel who shocked the PAP by announcing his candidacy? And the PAP could not risk a George Yeo and had to push out its biggest gun to face Cheng Bock.

The 35% for Tony and the 30% for both Jee Say and Kin Lian could be standard distribution of the hard core supporters of the pro and anti PAP camps. These voters are permanent features in any election and can be counted upon without much effort.

What is important is the middle ground. In this case Cheng Bock was the biggest beneficiary. The middle ground stood their ground and the popular vote for Tony plunged to 35%, much less than Teng Cheong’s, and much lesser than the 60% PAP won during the GE. Would these be telling signs of a slide in support for the PAP camp? No, say the ardent PAP analysts. The PAP got 70%. Sure, and be happy and crow about it.

There are many could be’s and should be’s. Many regretted that without the four corner fights there would see a very different picture and a very different President. No one shall blame any of the candidates. It is the right of every citizen, and an honour, to run for the Presidency. There were also attempts to work out a strategy and preventing a split vote situation. I think Kin Lian knew of his chances early and wanted to withdraw by sending out signals to the other candidates. His gestures were turned down as no one wanted even to talk.

Nothing is lost except that the picture of the future is forming and getting clearer. The future of change is in the GE in 2016 and not in this EP election. If Tony did not win, what could happen is a dud Presidency that will be ignored by the govt. There will be noises generated, heat, but no real progress.

The citizens that are looking for change must look at the GE and make it count this time. The PAP’s strength or weakness is exposed, all 35% of it. The middle ground will not be easily won and if the PAP is going to take them for granted, that the 35% for Cheng Bock is also for PAP, it will be interesting comes 2016. For, if the PAP really believes in this, you can expect what the follow through policies in the next few years will be like.
The battle ground is set and the pieces are being placed. Let’s move on.

PS. Put the ears on the ground. Listen to the oohs and aahs, the rumble and regrets. That is what many of the concerned citizens are saying.


The gambler won

Actually I did not want to make any post today as I was saddened by the results of the polls. While typing this, I was high in spirit of the liquid kind. I voted for checks and balance, but the gambler won. Not I say one hor, I read in the paper and it said Tony’s big gamble pays off.

Come to think of it, it is quite true. No sensible person who is untouchable in SPH and GIC, and probably earning more millions than the Presidency would resign both positions to stand for an election that he may not win. I would not put my money on such a person. And he won by the skin of his teeth. If there were only two candidates, he would have lost badly.

I still cannot get over it. Why would anyone walk into a situation that he could lose so much and win much less? One way to look at it is that he is a great man with great conviction and commitment to the country. That he is willing to make big sacrifices to make sure that the country is in good hands.

The other way of looking at it is that it is a totally silly thing to do. A big gamble for nothing. Only an irrational and silly person would put in such a big stake for lesser returns, and may even lose everything. After this close call, I don’t thing any PAP stalwart would dare to accept such a proposition even with a gun on his head.

Fortunately the gambler won. Or did he? He garnered only 35% of the votes, only a few thousands more than Cheng Bock who had only a softball association to endorse him. Tony has practically the whole machinery on his side, and all the endorsements, and that was all he could get.

Cheng Bock could take away 25% of the votes for PAP to give Tony a fright of his life. And I don’t think the PAP is backing Cheng Bock at all as it would be difficult to explain to Tony for staking his Chairmanship in SPH and GIC and the millions of dollars.

I am not at all comfortable with the outcome and the new President for taking such a big gamble. And I can’t even call him a gambler. A gambler is smarter than this.


Stock market or casino?

The Australian Stock Exchange has made the most innovative decision to appoint the CEO of a casino as its head. They must have come to realise that the stock market has in all counts nothing but a casino. And they need a casino man with his experience in running a gambling den to manage it. Also, for a gambling den, the strong regulations are vital to protect the customers from being cheated.

In the same page of the ST today, the SGX was reported to tightening its enforcement of errant listed companies. It wanted to do more to prevent more failures. It would apply its rules and regulations to the letter and spirit.

Good sayings, and the problems are always with other people. Has the SGX contributed to the problems, or is the SGX the problem itself? Is there a conflict of interest in its pursuit of profitability and thus violating its own rules and regulations to the letter and spirit?

The introduction of high speed trading, programme trading and the plugging of these super computers into the trading system to trade against the small investors, is this fair trading? Is the playing field level as this is the key principle and spirit that the SGX is to uphold? Then there is the Dark Pool which violates the principle of transparency that is also another key responsibility for the SGX to uphold.

Has the SGX been operating under the same principles and rules and regulations that it is legally bound to uphold? If it doesn’t, who is there to ensure that SGX does according to its mission and role as the operator of a profit making body and its own regulator?

This is another case of who is to regulate the regulators and protect the innocent customers?


Polling Day - What are we voting for?

We have an election for a ‘lame duck’ President under the Constitution. Yes, he has veto rights to several important areas. He can only exercise his veto if a piece of paper is placed to his desk. If nothing is placed on his desk, there is nothing to veto at all. Get it?

This does not mean that this election is not important. It is, and every citizen must think about it carefully and use his vote wisely. This election is not about voting against the PAP. This election is not about voting the coolest uncle to take pictures with. This election is not about voting someone to kick butts.

This election is about checks and balance. This election is about being sensible and knowing what is good for you and your children. This election is to tell the world that you are not daft.

And you can confirm your daftness by voting for absolute power. You can double confirm your daftness by voting for checks and balance by ‘ka ki lang’, or in English, voting for the same kind to check on the same kind. And you can triple confirm your daftness by voting for both above reasons. And your daftness will forever be carved in stone.

Go to the polling station tomorrow to redeem yourself, your dignity and self respect, that you are not daft, that you are able to think clearly and logically.

What a mischievious post!

The Online Citizen, 25 Aug 2011
There are rumours circulating online that Presidential candidate Tan Jee Say gatecrashed Singapore People’s Party’s (SPP) National Day dinner last Saturday (see HERE).
A Workers’ Party member Melvin Tan who contested in the 2006 General Election, writing a note on his Facebook said that he has chosen to vote for Dr Tan Cheng Bock over Mr Tan Jee Say because Mr Tan Jee Say seem to have “an air of superiority” around him, and also because he did not like how Mr Tan “heckled Tony Tan” in TOC’s ‘Face to Face 2′ Presidential Forum.
That Facebook note is now being circulated widely online.
In the same note Mr Melvin Tan said:
“The last straw was the SPP National Day Dinner on 20 Aug ’11, where I bought tickets to attend to support Chiam See Tong for all he has done for Singapore. TJS (Tan Jee Say) turned up and in my view gate-crashed the event and stole the limelight. From very reliable sources, that wasn’t pleasant for the Chiams or SPP.”

TOC tried to clarify this with SPP and spoke to Dr David Tan, Central Executive Committee member of SPP.
Dr Tan in speaking to TOC said, “It’s untrue! I invited Tan Jee Say in my personal capacity to the dinner. Mr Tan initially declined because of his prior commitments. But later, because of my insistence, he agreed to drop-by to say hello to the Chiams and myself.”
Dr David Tan was Mr Tan Jee Say’s teacher when Mr Tan was a student in Raffles Institution.
When informed that Mr Tan Jee Say would like to drop-by the party to greet the Chiams, Mr and Mrs Chiam welcomed him, clarified Dr David Tan.

Why would this Melvin Tan come out with such a statement that unwary readers would form a bad impression on Tan Jee Say at a critical moment like this? Why, why. why?

Let me think. A lot of conspiracy theories appeared in my mind. For someone who wanted to be an MP, it can be expected that he would make such statements only if the facts were correct. Why would he make such a statement only to be proven wrong immediately by the organisers?

Fishy eh?

New clothes maketh a new man

Are Singaporeans mortals or higher mortals, or simply robotics? We have a Presidential election tomorrow. From the onset of this election the Singaporeans were told that this is a non political election. The Elected President is non political and is above politics. There is no politics involved here, but the higher national interests. So Singaporeans all went about garbling that the election has nothing to do with Singapore’s politics.

Next came the candidates for the presidency. Three resigned from their political parties only a few days ago, and one resigned several years back. All claimed to be independent of any political parties or association. And all claimed that they are now new men and will not be influenced or affected by their past associations. The apolitical Office of the Presidency is safe. It will not be tarnished by any swine that will be elected to serve the interests of political parties.

And no political party stands out to endorse any of the candidates, to keep politics out of the election. Any politicians that endorsed or spoke well for the candidates were speaking in their own personal capacities, with no political agenda.

This is how clean this Presidential election has become. It is a role model for the world to emulate. Change the clothes and change the man. We have instant trees. Now we have instant apolitical men.

My apologies. Think I have a few glasses too many.

Test for daft Singaporeans

This Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, Singapore will again have an opportunity to sit for a test to prove their daftness once again. For so many years, Singaporeans have not only been told that they are daft, they even agreed that it is true and accepted the fact shamelessly.

After a life time of slogging, when many have become grandfathers and grandmothers, when the normal process of growing up and ageing would have made them wiser, they were told that they cannot be trusted with their hard earned money. And this money will be kept away from them, maybe return to them in drips, and in exchange they will be given a piece of paper every month to tell them how rich they are, and also how daft they are.

They were also told that foreigners are here to help them, to create jobs for them. But before doing that, the foreigners would have to take some of their jobs. And if they lost out to the foreigners, they were told to buck up or that they were lazy, less competitive and must go for retraining, for a lower skill job than before. And also, the foreigners are here to help to increase the value of their properties that they cannot sell. For after selling, they would not be able to afford to buy the next property except by downgrading.

There are many other things that were shafted down their throats to confirm their daftness. This Saturday, they will be put on another test to confirm how daft they are, or whether they are beyond redemption.

The test is about a Justice Bao, a Song magistrate that was legendary for his impartial dispensing of justice, without fear or favour. This time the daft Singaporeans were told that Justice Bao has reincarnated. He is going to stand for election as the next President. And Justice Bao will uphold justice with absolute impartiality. He will not be affected by his relations with anyone in the execution of his duties. Any govt official that is corrupt will be beheaded under the tiger head guillotine. The Singaporeans are told to elect this Justice Bao the reincarnated as their President. And Justice Bao will demolish the myth that absolute power will corrupt. With Justice Bao as the President, there is no such thing as corruption of power. The more absolute the power the better for Singaporeans, when Justice Bao is around. Singaporeans will once again be told to vote for absolute power.

Would Singaporeans again prove themselves to be daft and vote the reincarnation of Justice Bao to be their President? The verdict will be out by 28 Aug 2011.


Latest poll numbers

Less than 12 hours from the election campaign and Tan Jee Say is still in the lead with 69%. Overall his votes have slipped by 5% from the day the polls were set up. The other three candidates have a small share each of the 5% votes from Jee Say. Tan Cheng Bock is now at 18%, Tan Kin Lian at 6% and Tony Tan at 5%.

What do these numbers tell? There are a couple of assumptions that can be used to interpret how they would reflect the actual election. One, assuming that all those voting in this poll are anti PAP votes, which is not the case as some still voted for Tony and Cheng Bock is running in second place, and if the overall votes cast against the PAP is 50%, Tan Jee Say is going to garner 34.5% of popular votes. And this is likely to be the base support for Tan Jee Say.

Tan Kin Lian’s position is looking pretty weak and may lose more grounds on actual voting if the voters choose to throw everything with Tan Jee Say.
The big question now is between Tan Cheng Bock and Tony Tan. Theoretically, with all the endorsements, Tony Tan should carry at least 70% of the pro PAP votes. This will put him neck to neck with Jee Say at 35% against Jee Say’s 34.5%.

Tan Cheng Bock will have the balance of 15% plus the anti PAP votes of 9% (18% x 50) giving him 24%. His only chance to be in the running will be to take away more votes from Tony. To give him a real chance of catching up with Jee Say, he will have to take near to 50% of the pro PAP votes, which will give him 34% (25 + 9). 40% will not be good enough.

However, if Tony’s share of the pro PAP votes goes down to 60%, his total is going to be 30% (60% x 50) which will make him precariously close to losing to Tan Jee Say.

What is quite sure in this election is that 40% will be casting against the PAP camp with a likelihood of 50% this time. The pro PAP camp can count on 30% solid support plus another 20% swing votes. So my conclusion is that it will be Tan Jee Say versus Tony Tan or Tan Cheng Bock. It will be very close and if the anger is strong enough against the PAP, Jee Say is likely to be in with Cheng Bock pulling down Tony’s vote but not enough to lift him over Jee Say.

My take is on Jee Say taking a slight edge, beating Tony and Cheng Bock by a nose. But, if the polls here is representing 70% of all voters, less the 30% of hard core PAP supporters, then Jee Say is going to romp in with a comfortable 49% of votes count.

The arithmetic of the 26 sites

The PA is leasing 26 sites from the HDB for community events. How long is the lease and how much would it cost the PA for the lease? The next question is the number of days that these sites will be used.

If the usage of the sites, averaging once a week for each site, it will mean that the sites will be unused for 365 - 52 days or 313 days. Double the usage to 2 days every week, ie Sat and Sun, it will still be 261 days unused. A long lease in such a case would mean that the PA will be paying the HDB 261 to 313 days for not using them. Ok, the rate of rental for long lease could be lower than daily rate.

The question is whether it is cheaper for PA to pay for rental of the sites on a used basis, or daily rate? I don’t have the numbers but I think it will be much cheaper to pay on use than to pay for long term lease when the sites are not intensively used.

Can someone work out the numbers? One thing good about paying from one pocket to another pocket is that it will look good on economic numbers like GDP. Perhaps the PA could sublet the sites at a higher rate with profits.

What is happening in the stock market?

Hundreds of millions have been lost in the stock market by small investors since programme trading, algo and high computers were attached to the system of the stock market. This development means that the big funds are able to take full advantage of technology by plugging their computers into a system that they were once forbidden to do so, and trade against small investors, and cleaning them up.

Nobody is crying foul, or nobody dares to, or nobody wants to. So everyone pretends like there is nothing wrong, just like the toxic notes and Lehman bond crisis. The money lost in the stock market is many multiples of the previous scam and the number of victims were much more numerous.

One day it is going to explode and as usual, everyone will pretend to be ignorant of it. Everyone will say I dunno. Is there anything wrong with the stock market trading system? Is there a level playing field? Are there any violations to the rules and regulations of stock trading?

I swear to god that there is nothing wrong. I think the system is perfect, and volume is increasing and the stock exchange is making a lot more money than before. Those losers just got to blame themselves. I am sure the SGX and MAS know exactly what they are doing and everything is just fine. We can trust the super talents to do their homework as they are paid very well to do their jobs.

Some people have been complaining to me that something is really foul with the system. I disagree completely. But if they do feel strongly that something is wrong they need to prove it. Or they may want to take advantage of the presidential election and bring their grouses to the presidential hopefuls. These are honourable men who have pledged to safeguard the nation’s reserves with integrity. And if the small investors think that are caught in a scam, and brought to their attention, they will definitely take up their case to protect the small investors. They are men of honour and their positions with regards to the banning of MP Chen Show Mao in Aljunied are testimonies to their principles for fair play and justice.

Bring the problems to them and let them raise the issues with the proper authority. For me, I don’t see anything wrong so I would not know what to say. The SRS, SIAS, the broking houses, too are interested parties and they too did not see anything wrong and are not complaining.

Those people who complain about unfair practices, uneven playing field, unfair advantages, may not have a case, I think. If they think they cannot beat the system, don’t get it. It is caveat emptor.

How a LPPL President can be critical to a power shift?

In my earlier article I explained why the EP is at most a LPPL President. His key role to check on a rogue govt is at best a scarecrow attempt. A rogue govt in all counts will be in control of every instrument of the state and would just rubbish the EP if they have to, and there is nothing the EP can do about it. They could crudely bundle him out of the Istana in a gunny sack.

But under certain conditions, the EP is a source of strength in a contest for power and dominance. A likely scenario where the EP can play a crucial role is during a freak election. Take the last GE for illustration. If the PAP had lost the election they will have to rely on the EP for some semblance of authority and legitimacy if they want to take up a fight with the new govt. My speculation below is just for discussion.

When a new party takes office, what it would face is a whole machinery of govt organizations with heads appointed by the defeated ruling govt. The loyalty of these heads, from the military, civil service, judicial and all the ministries are likely to be still with the past govt. And the new govt would have to make changes to be rubber stamped by the EP. See what the EP can do in such a situation? The retention of all the incumbents in office will mean that the defeated party is still the de facto force to reckon with. And the new govt will have a hard time if these heads refuse to tow the line, and cannot be removed because of a veto by the EP.

Any attempt to break the impasse would only lead to more tension, and raises the importance of the EP office that is backed up by all the incumbent heads. Yes, this will include the military, police and all uniformed groups. Someone said they will be called upon to remove a rogue govt or a new govt. Possible, likely? In such a situation, the authority of the EP can be called upon to march out the troops. That is the only legitimate source of power left for the ex govt.

And yes, the EP can block any attempt to touch the reserves with all the govt agencies behind him. He is not a lame duck or a straw man in such a situation.

The EP is the fall back position. And he is worth every cent paid to him when such a situation arises. Don’t pray, pray with the LPPL President. He has a big role to play when a crisis demands it. Other than this, his role is primarily ceremonial. Nathan lives that role perfectly, to the letter in the Constitution. And Tony Tan knows it too. He will be an excellent EP in the same mould as Nathan.

The other 3 candidates appeared to be eager beavers, wanting to do a lot of things that the EP was not designed to do. A strong PM can completely ignore him or shut him off. Can an EP order a PM or minister to listen to his rants or to have tea with him? All they need to do is to tell him they are busy. Period.


30,000 0r 8,000, who is bluffing?

The media reported that 8,000 people attended Tan Jee Say’s rally last night at Toa Payoh. The social media reported that the crowd was at least 30,000 strong, with pictures to show. Between 30,000 and 8,000, a simple estimate can be made by a quick glance as the difference is vast.

Claiming 8,000 as 30,000 or 30,000 as 8,000 is simply idiotic and unbecoming. Someone’s integrity is at stake.

The Establishment strikes back

The reason for grabbing the 26 sites in Aljunied GRC could be due to the difficulties faced by PA in getting sites for its activities in Hougang. This is the reason reported in the media today. So, to protect its interests, to be able to get sites for its community events, the PA arranged with the HDB to ‘chope’ the sites first.

This has led to an open accusation by the WP that HDB or the PA is abusing their authority. And it looks like WP has all the facts in their favour and may take the next step, to haul the two agencies to court. Unprecedented and unbelieveable. Historically it was always the establishment taking its political opponents to court. Now it is the other way round.

How would this be played out in court and would the WP be victorious in their charges? This may not be that important. It is the publicity in the media of the abuses of authority by govt agencies, if can be proven, that will steal the limelight. And a few heads will roll when they failed in the defence of their actions. And there will be red faces if someone is found to have sanctioned the act or authorized it. Tony Tan said must get to the facts.

This is something that is good coming out of the Presidential race. The pro establishment candidates have to make a stand. And they made their stand for fairness, justice and equality. Tony Tan even called for an investigation to see to it that justice is seen to be done. Cheng Bock said the incident was sad and called for respect for the elected representative of the people. Was there disrespect shown? Who has the audacity to show disrespect to an elected representative of the people? Definitely not any civil servant or community leaders. If there is, then an apology is only appropriate.

Tan Jee Say and Kin Lian too were unhappy that such abuses happened in this way. Both called for a non partisan civil service and to treat all MPs equally and with respect. What is scary is that if there are people who think they can show disrespect to MPs. Hopefully this issue will be put to rest with the PM making a public statement to warn anyone intending to do so. Then there is the possibility of the case going to court and a court punishment, if it can be proven.

Election rivalry and politicking should end after the GE and both sides should close rank to work together, even if their positions are different. Trying to upstage another using unfair tactics is not only unacceptable but a poor reflection of the integrity of any party caught with its pants down.

Would this be the last case of such ugly incident? PA has withdrawn its conditions to prevent opposition MPs from using its leased sites provided the event is non political. As a political student, everything is political, and everything is non political. Would the PA like to clarify on this position? Is a cycling event organized by a political party a political event? Is a seventh moon festival where a MP is invited a political event? When does an event become political?


What is the presidential election about?

Some wanted to vote for a dignified face to show the world. Some wanted a wise looking one. Some wanted one that can carry himself well when in the company of foreign dignitaries. Some wanted a president that they can shake his hand and take photograph with. Some wanted a nice guy. Some wanted a moderate and reasonable guy.

What is the most important issue of this presidential election? Checks and balance. We have a strong govt, in fact a very strong govt. Like in all strong and powerful regimes, sometimes thing may go wrong. And when things go wrong, we want someone to stand up and say ‘Stop.’ We want someone to be there, constantly watching and checking, not someone going around to be a nice guy, a popular guy, shaking hands with everyone, or trying to cosy up to the Prime Minister, to be in his good book, so that he will be more disposed and amiable to suggestions and views.

The check on a rogue govt is not what a nice guy can do. If we are serious, we need to find the right guy with the right temperament and intent, to do the job. The people must not be distracted by all the wishy washy nice to have or nice to be presidential pursuits. Only one thing counts. For the rest, a good looking nice guy president, you only need a ceremonial one. And there is no need to go for an election.

The act of electing a president is to give him the moral and legal rights to stand up to a rogue govt. He is there, elected by the people, with the people behind him, to speak and protect the interest of the country, and the reserves. The people must think very carefully who they think can do this job.

Who can provide the checks and balance in the most objective and impartial way, without fear or favour? With proper decorum of course.

The leopard never changes its spots

Self explanatory.

The PA is a non political organization

The People’s Association is a statutory board and a non political organization. Who dares to challenge its non political and non partisan status in organizing community services? Even the community centres, now called community club, are not called political clubs or associations.

There is no politician in the organizations. Oh the MPs are only advisors of grassroots organizations which are also non political. The Chairman of the PA, someone told me is the Prime Minister. OK, he is the Chairman but not there as a politician. Maybe the Chairman’s position is akin to the President of Singapore, non political, a unifying figure, non partisan.

All of PA’s premises are out of bound to politicians. Even those common areas it leased from the HDB are only for non political community events. MPs cannot attend as they will make the event political. I think, correct me if I am wrong, an MP cannot go to the community club to pee if nature calls. It is strictly non political and does not need the presence of any political animal to tarnish its clean and non political image.

Please feel free to disagree with me. I never say that everything I said is 100% correct. Sure there are things that I said were wrong or wrongly conceived. Sure I must have made many mistakes. Please forgive me. I am just a lesser mortal.

Cowboy country or Rule of Law

The lunatic fringes are lurking in the cowboy country in cyberspace. In the other physical dimension there are all kinds of rules and laws governing the citizens and the lunatic fringes. I am presently surprised that there are more rules than I have thought of that are enforceable by the men in blue.

I read a case of a TOC reporter being hauled to the police station by the transport authority for taking photographs of an accident involving buses. According to the transport official, the organization has rules that forbid the public from taking such photographs. Though the police initially said that there was no case, they eventually took down the particulars of the photographer at the insistence of the transport official. Not sure if the photographer has to submit a report of the incident.

This is especially frightening to me as an avid photographer. Now I am not sure when a private organization is going to drag me to the police station for violating their company rules and regulations. Scary isn’t it? Would the police be kind enough to enlighten the ignorant public of such private rules and regulations and whether the police will apply these private laws to apprehend the public.

We also have a non political organization like the PA with the authority to ban elected representative of the people from public functions because they have ownership of the property by virtue of a lease. I cannot imagine property owners renting their properties to individuals and forbid them from inviting politicians to their premises. The Workers Party is reported in the Today paper for accusing the HDB for abuse of authority by leasing common areas to the PA which then forbids MPs, unless appointed as grassroots advisers, from attending functions held in those properties.

Funny that a non political organization like the HDB ‘is abusing its powers as land owner of common property in HDB estates to help the PA(another non political organization) achieve the political objectives. The part in within inverted commas was quoted from the Today paper.
Very strange developments. Non political organizations somehow seen as playing politics or achieving political objectives. I am sure the HDB and PA are doing everything within their constitutions and rules and regulations as non political organisations, and their actions are all within the principles of rule of law. I am wondering what would happen if an opposition MP invited himself to a community event in a PA leased property that forbids his presence? Would the police be called in to take down the MP’s particular and record a statement from the MP?

Rule of law is good as it makes it very clear what the citizens can or cannot do. What is troubling is that many of these rules and laws are private and not known to the public and many innocent people with no intent to break these rules of private authorities will be caught unguarded. Perhaps organizations like the transport authority could publish all the forbidden rules in the media to help the public to avoid violating their rules and laws. And all organizations with their private rules and laws should also do so.

I will stay indoor for the next 6 months until all the private authorities publish their rules and laws affecting the public. Then only will I feel safe to step out of my flat. And definitely I will not dare to take photographs of public transport vehicles and their activities. Maybe I should hang up my camera for good. I am a law abiding citizen and will obey all laws as long as they are laws. If the karang guni man has his own laws, I will also make sure not to infringe them. Life can be quite scary in a country run by the rule of law.


‘Yao yao ling xian’ Tan Jee Say in the lead

After two and a half days of poll and 207 votes, Tan Jee Say is way ahead of all the other candidates with 74% of the votes. Tan Cheng Bock is maintaining his second position with 15% and Tan Kin Lian taking third place with 5%. Tony Tan is coming from behind at 4%.

I know that this poll is not a true representative of the whole population and would not ensure a Tan Jee Say win. What is pertinent is that among the anti PAP voters, the majority is throwing their votes to Tan Jee Say.

If that be the case, if my earlier estimate holds, that is a split of 50:50 between pro govt and against govt votes, Tan Jee Say is going to garner at 74% of the 50% or 37% of popular vote. This will definitely put tremendous pressure on Tony Tan. If he is going to split 30:20 with Tan Cheng Bock, then Tan Jee Say is in.

A sense of propriety or impropriety

We have heard it all. We know now what the Elected President can or cannot do. We know what he can or cannot say. We even know that for him to say no to a rogue govt wanting to spend the reserves is a lost cause. An EP can only deal with a govt that will play ball and respect the Constitution. A rogue govt will just bundle the EP out of the Istana without any decorum.

We have 4 candidates. One is saying that he will just play his role as prescribed by the Constitution. Period. Another knows of his limitation and will abide by the Constitution but will find other things that are interesting for him to do. Another two are increasingly aware of what they cannot do but will just try to make more noises to be heard. In summary, we have a ceremonial president with a lame duck role to go against a rogue govt. Another Singapore Myth.

In the case of Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say, the awareness of the little things that they can do independently must have dawned on them that they should not be asking for too much pay. What is enough for the kind of jobs that the EP is doing, reading prepared scripts, inviting people and friends for tea, shaking hands and taking pictures and inviting people to his garden? I don’t think the EP could do anything on the most important role he is expected to do. Oh, I forgot that he needs to lend his rubber stamp for the appointments of senior govt officers and a few other things. He can say No!

So Tan Kin Lian feels ‘peh seh’ and say he will take only 50% of his pay if elected. The other 50% can go to charity. Tan Jee Say gone one step further by saying only $500k is enough. They must be feeling quite embarrassed to receive the multi million dollars on the table. They must have looked at the job and feeling very uneasy with the money, maybe feeling shameful too.

It is good that they have some sense of propriety, to know that it is wrong to accept more than what they have contributed. For all the misgivings, I like them for such a sense of honesty and reality.


Paya Lebar CCC banned MP Chen Show Mao

The news that MP Chen Show Mao has been banned from attending a Seventh Moon Celebration is circulating in the internet and social media. Or is it the People’s Association that is banning him from the event? It was reported that the piece of land for the celebration is under the jurisdiction of the PA which is a non political organisation. So like the community clubs, all activities on its land or premises must not be political. MPs are seen as political. Advisors to CCCs or MCs are not political as they are not wearing the MP hat. Whatever, I am embarrass trying to understand the logic and reasoning.

Coming back to the issue, does the CCC or the PA has the right or authority to ban any citizen from attending a function, be it social, cultural, religious or private functions like wedding or birthday celebrations? If anyone is to ban any person from an event, it must be the organisers and their private functions.

The second point to ask is whether such organisations can ban an elected MP from anything at all? Are they the law, the police or the govt? Is such an act a challenge to institution of the Parliament?

One thing I am still confused in this country that is ruled by law. Does the presence of a MP make an event political? Does a wedding become a political event when an MP is invited? Can an MP enter a community club in his capacity as the MP regardless of his political affiliation? Or is an MP a disease, cannot go about interacting with the citizens?

An MP is good enough to sit in the Parliament, the highest legal body of the country, but can an MP be forbidden to enter a community club or attend a community event in any place in the island, a public place or a private home? As a reminder, the community clubs are built by the people’s money, and not somebody’s grandfather’s money. An MP is also a citizen and an elected representative in Parliament.

I think the Presidential hopefuls may want to have a view on this matter. Those attending their public forums may want to pose this question to them. The MP is part of the legislature that makes law for the country. No one or organisation should do anything to insult the office of an MP.

Would our honourable and learned friends try to interpret the law to see if there is any violation in this regard? I think many would rather play it self, so safe that today, the presidential hopefuls seem to be seeing many things that out to be put right in the run up to the election, from who has the right to be sitting in the Istana to what the President should be doing.

PS. It was quite a joke that the MPs of west Malaysia can be banned from entering east Malaysia. Very third world thuggish behaviour.

The Tan Dilemma

The Hainanese Clan has invited Tan Jee Say for tea. And someone asked me if the Hainanese Clan be accused of participating in politics? My answer is simply no. The election of the President is a non political event. I know many political science students are covering their mouths to hide the cheeky smiles on their faces. It is not a political event, or the candidates are independent, and have no political affiliations. So be it.

And no one can point a finger at the Hainanese Clan to register as a political party if they want to be involved in politics. Such childish innocence is passé. Who ever dare to utter such a remark today will make himself looking quite foolish.

With the Tan Clan being the first clan to step forward to endorse Tony Tan, the door is left wide open for any clan or association, union or trade organisation to endorse any candidate, and not be accused of dabbling in politics.

This reminds me of the Tan Clan decision to endorse one Tan against the other three Tans. I am sure the other Tans must be feeling very let down by their own clan. They are all Tans and share the same ancestors. Why the favouritism for one against three.

This must be what I called the Tan Dilemma. How did they get caught in such a tricky situation to hurt the feelings of three for the good of one? Have they not heard of the slogan, one for all and all for one, staying united?

Their decision to support one Tan is very divisive. I thought it would be a wiser decision to support all four Tans and let the rest of the Tans vote for whoever they want. An even hand would look more pleasant for all the Tans. Have they compromised their position to treat all fairly and equally?

Can the other three Tans approach the Tan Clan for an explanation and endorsement?


Tan Jee Say taking a big lead in Polls

My straw poll is up for 24 hours and 146 have voted with106 for Tan Jee Say, 24 for Tan Cheng Bock, 9 for Tan Kin Lian and 7 for Tony Tan.

Yes, if this was done by any media, they will blow it as their front page news as if Tan Jee Say is going to win the Presidency. But as many of you have pointed out, a poll conducted here, in the ST, in Reach or in TRE will reflect certain kinds of results reflecting the inclination of the participants. This is only natural and, I don’t have to remind any of you here as you are very rational and thinking people, I would like those who tend to take media reports at face value to be careful about such biases in polls and news.

The result of this poll so far is quite a true reflection of the kind of people visiting cyberspace looking for alternative news. They are informed and wanted to be more informed and would not allow anyone to pull wool over their eyes. For the moment, we can assume that the voters in the poll are quite genuine and this is what they truly wanted. This does not rule out a big block of voters coming in to vote for any one of the candidates here to swing the poll to their favour.

What is clear is that though Tony Tan is claiming endorsements from unions, clans and associations, these too may not say much as to who the members of these organisations will vote eventually. This poll shows that there are other corners of the population that have a mind of their own and some would favour other candidates very strongly, and that candidate may not be Tony Tan.

We still have 5 more days before polling day and we shall watch how the poll goes and how representative is a non partisan and non aligned blog like this one when match to the real election outcome.

Just keep an open mind.


Who will be the next President


I have set up a poll on the right to get an indication of who you people would like to see as the next President. Let's see if what we think is a reflection of what the people think on 27 Aug.


Notable quote by Franklin Roosevelt

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have enough. It is whether we provide enough for those who have little."

Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945)
United States, 32nd president

How to grow our reserves?

It is a state secret how much of our reserves are CPF money, or the people’s money. Anyone has the figure? I think the CPF component is not small and could be a very substantial portion of our national reserves. And I find this very funny, and very painful. Why is it that the people’s money, your money, my money becomes the country’s reserve? Never mind, it is part of the economist’s formula, to include the people’s money as the country’s money for the govt to crow about while the real owners of the money can only cry about it.

With this in mind, the easiest way to grow the reserves is to make sure that there is more money in the CPF. How to do that? I think we all know the answers. I can make our reserves even bigger and tell you that it is safe, without telling you how much is there as long as the CPF account holders are happy with the monthly statements.

So, how rich are you? Or how rich is the country’s reserves? Your money or someone else money?

I am very frighten of people who claims to be able to grow the reserves.

The President, gambler and fund manager

The campaign for the next Elected President has commenced and what came to my mind is the relationship between the president, the gambler and the fund manager. They all have one similar interest, money. Money is a big issue not just about how much should the president be paid given the surprising revelation of his job by the Law Minister. The only part that justifies some big money is the president’s role as a custodian to the country’s reserves.

The rest of the functions of the president are more ceremonial and quite exciting, like in the company of heads of states, the kings and queens and dining with celebrities. I think many rich and successful people are dying to be in such a position and would even pay for it. As for the money part, what does the president do and how much is he deserving is now questionable.

Let me start with the gambler. Simply put, the gambler takes chances by placing his bets. When he loses, he blames it on bad luck. When he wins, he can brag about his gambling skills. In a way the fund managers also places his bets which he calls its investing. And he employs very talented and highly qualified people to justify what he is doing. All done carefully, objectively, with charts and figures. No guess work. When he makes money, he too will brag about how clever and talented he is. When he loses, there are always the forces beyond his control or he is investing in the long term. He will have the long term to cover his bad bets.

There are some startling differences between a gambler and a fund manager. The gambler’s cost is only himself. And he gambles with his own money. The fund manager pays all the top talents a fortune to place his bets. And when he loses, even in hundreds of billions, it is always other people’s money, not his money. He always wins with his huge pay packet and huge cuts in winnings. He is much better than the gambler in many ways.

And when a fund manager loses big, he can go to the president for more money. Here is the relationship. The Elected President is there to say yes or no to the fund manager gambling with the country’s reserves. But how can the EP say no when the fund manager says he is investing in the long term and will win back all his money in a matter of time? His short term loss is due to circumstances beyond his control.

What if the Elected President says no? He can be removed as the fund manager can claim that he is opposing his instruction. According to the Law Minister, an Elected President that challenges the govt can be removed. So how? Does the Elected President have any machinery or forces behind him to take on the govt? The govt is in control of everything, the media, the uniformed services, the civil services, the Unions, the clans and all govt related agencies and institutions. How could an Elected President say no to a ruling govt when he can be simply removed?

Here comes the question of his $10m pay. Should the president be paid $4m -$10m to say no when he can’t really say no? And this is the reality if one listens to the campaign speeches of the presidential hopefuls. They want to do all kinds of things that are nice to have but really quite irrelevant, and do not justify the money or the position. Who cares what they want to do? What is important is his ability to make sure that the reserves is not squander away. But can the EP do it?


An embarrassing moment repeating?

The likeable George Yeo could not imagine that he could be bundled out of a general election. Frankly, I too was surprised by his defeat and the losing of 5 super talents in one go. On reflection, none of them should take it personally as the defeat was not their fault. There was a change of wind. The defeat was a defeat of the PAP. Too much, too long, the PAP has overstayed its welcome and the people were looking for a change.

There was resentment too. The policies of the past decade have alienated the people to a point that the anger must be released. And George Yeo and his team were the unfortunate scapegoat. Nothing personal.

The present election for the EP could see another embarrassing moment being repeated. The possibilility of Tony Tan losing the election is very high despite all the endorsements from all corners appearing in the media. Endorsements by office bearers and committees are different from the feelings of the rank and file. The elite will think differently and may want to sit in the same table and sing the same song. The masses, the ordinary people, may have a mind of their own and want to do their own thing.

Don’t be surprised if Tony Tan did not make it to the Istana. What if he loses his deposit? That will be terribly embarrassing. But again, it has nothing to do with him. The vote against him is likely to be a vote against the ruling party. For the moment Tony is the front runner with endorsements from every where. He is having a good start.

Strange for me to look at the Presidential Election in this manner as it is not meant to be partisan or political while my whole reasoning is about politics, nothing but politics.

Would we see the knuckle duster again?

My article on Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day concessions is pretty generous and I thought for a start it is quite promising. There are other perspectives that are calling for more changes while some are asking for compensation for the wrongs and damages done by past policies. These are very serious in monetary terms for those badly hurt by the education policies and housing fiasco that were trumpeted as great jobs done. They were nearly awarded the public stars. We know that they are now history, good riddance.

Hsien Loong has taken a more conciliatory approach to deal with the problems, used to be called achievements, created by policies of the past few years. Trying to accept them and see them as problems and looking for solutions to them must be quite pressurizing. It could be different, a triumphant glory, if they were painted as great policies and nothing needs to be done. As things are, there is an admission that not all are right or good stuff. Some were blatantly disgusting.

What if Hsien Loong took the kpkbs negatively, or someone suggested to him that he needs to be tough, never retreat under pressure, never allowed the people to make demands on him, and offers him the knuckle duster? If that happens, I can easily foresee the following developments.

There will be a clamp down on new media. There will be people being sued. There could be midnight callers. And Hsien Loong could appear on national TV to speak to the people in a different tone. He may even shed some tears for the tough measures that he had to take against the detractors, all for the good of the country. The country will be pitched to be in a state of crisis, and tension would spread across the island. Some may end up as bankrupts, some may escape from paradise.

And all the ministers who were stripped from their posts will be resurrected and elevated to high pedestals, as heroes who made tough decisions. Only strong and good leaders are capable of making tough decisions even when the policies hurt the people badly. But there is always the long term good to preach. In the long run, like from a distance, the earth looks so beautiful, and everything will turn out well.

And everything goes on as usual, with all the past policies in force. Property owners will be smiling when property prices shoot to the sky. CPF holders will be smiling when they read their monthly statements. Foreign talents will be smiling everywhere and telling their country men that Singapore is a paradise. And more foreigners will be queuing up to come to paradise. Some will be pointing to the jams everywhere as signs of progress and vibrancy.

There will be high economic growth and prosperity, at all cost. And everything else is just an aspiration, except money in the pocket.

Telling the President hopeful's fortune

My bookie came to see me for guidance on the Presidential Race. He has faith in my clairvoyance ability and also my skills in fixing numbers. Of course I obliged when there is a big angpow waiting for me.

So I took out a wash basin, filled it with holy water, threw in a few twigs of pomegranate leaves. Then I lighted three joss sticks and got into a prayer for my spiritual guide.

The result of my spiritual trip was most enlightening. 50:50, a touch and go Presidential Race. How does this works out? In the last GE, PAP garnered 60% of popular votes. This time around, they are likely to get only 50% for the following reasons. It is not about electing a govt. That has been confirmed and no risk in electing whoever as the President. It would still be a political contest between the PAP and the non PAPs.

The second point is the lost of faith in the govt and its policies. People are getting very cynical and are questioning how these policies are benefiting them. Many have great doubts. Many too have great doubts in the abilities of the super talents giving the fiascos in the surge in population, high property prices and the lapses/bad policies to build more flats, to provide the infrastructure for the big influx of foreigners. And there are the big losses in our sovereign funds, the failure in our education system to produce top talents leading to such a pathetic state that Singaporeans have to depend on foreigners to come here to help them. Not enough hospitals or not enough lower class wards. There are many more things that have inundated the Singaporean minds.

The third point is the need for a strong President to check on a rogue govt led by a rogue PM. Singaporeans may be daft, or some people may think so. But no Singaporean is going to believe that an independent director handpicked and paid by the management can be an effective watchdog to monitor the wrong doings of the management. This principle is applicable to the Elected Presidency. But some daft Singaporeans will not think, and will still be deceived. Serious and rational thinking Singaporeans, and there are many out there, will want to vote for a truly independent individual that can check on the govt.

The votes will be split evenly for various reasons, between the two pairs of candidates, Tony Tan and Tan Cheng Bock versus Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian. The former have strong links with the govt and the latter are seen as more independent or not related. Now let’s look at the numbers. With 50% each, Tony and Cheng Bock are likely to split their votes between 20:30 and 24:26, likely in favour of the former. In the Jee Say/Kin Lian camp, it could be the same split and would make the contest that more interesting.

What other factors could be thrown into the computation to make the difference? The controversy over Patrick Tan is still hanging over Tony’s head and if there is a whistle blower, this could completely demolish his chances, and the biggest beneficiary will be Cheng Bock. In the case of the rest, anything can happen. Who knows when a monkey will escape from the zoo to accuse one of them of stealing his peanuts? Or some jokers may stand out to complain of losing paper clips.

For the moment it is 50:50 and depending on the combination, both sides will have a candidate that may tip the scale. Will the people vote for a pro PAP President or an independent President? Sorry, wrong choice of words. All the candidates are independent of political parties and are standing on their own. They have no links with any political parties. This is a completely non political election, get it?

The people are quite lucky to have four highly qualified and respectable men, with good reputation and integrity, to choose from. Now who is going to win? Let me toss my dice….


Voting for a LPPL Elected President?

Following the public exchange of views on the role of the President, Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has upped the ante by making a not-so-veiled threat – claiming that the President can be removed from office if he attempts to go against the government.

The above is quoted from an article by Tanya Wei in the TRE. After reading this and Shanmugam’s example of a British King that lost his throne for challenging the elected govt, I got this very uneasy feeling. I am wondering whether I should laugh or throw out at the thought of electing a President that would be removed from office if he goes against the govt.

What is the key issue concerning the Elected President today? The high salary and the ceremonial role of the EP are just side issues. What is upper most in the people’s mind is the power to go against the govt to protect the reserves. The people want an EP that would go against the govt when the time calls for it.

Now we are told, or warned, or implied, or kind of threatened, that if the EP is to go against the govt, like saying no to spending the reserves, he will be removed.

Put it simply, why have an EP in the first place? Some are calling this election a sham. It is looking more like a LPPL President just for show and will be removed when he is needed at the critical moment. It reminds me of the fate of Ong Teng Cheong.

What’s happening?

PAP beating a retreat

3 May at Fullerton Square, Lee Hsien Loong apologised to the people on behalf of the govt. It was an ominous gesture for the PAP. The GE saw the defeat of a key minister and the lost of a GRC. George Yeo had seen it coming. He related an incident to Hsien Loong of a voter telling him he was going to vote opposition a couple of days earlier.

The aftermath of the GE saw the stripping of 3 ministers from their posts and the stepping down of LKY and Goh Chok Tong. Since then, the PAP must have taken George Yeo’s advice seriously to reflect on themselves and their policies. And it has been on the defence, retreating all the way from their arrogant and I know best ways.

Many policies were revamped and the kpkbs of the people were taken heed. Yes, the PAP is taking very seriously the noises made by the people. The callous and bullying housing policies were dumped with a new minister in Boon Wan taking charge. He is not dictating to the people to live by his terms like his predecessor, but going all out to build more flats to meet the needs of the people, to restrain the rising property prices, telling the applicants not to screw themselves up by blindly applying for a flat with anyone in a hurry.

Measures were taken to slow the pace of immigrations even after LKY had said that another 900,000 foreign workers were needed. The MOM has come out with new regulations to limit a free flow of foreigners like TGIF. In a way Hsien Loong was arresting the fears of young Singaporeans losing out in the job market to hungrier FTs.

The cries for more university places were also heard and more places will be squeezed out for Singaporeans, with the intake of foreign students frozen at the current level. Yes, he is saying Singaporean First and doing it.

The new media is not giving up with their attacks and demands for a more Singaporean centric govt and policies. The new media was tolerated and permitted to carry on as usual, with bigger space to air their views.

The issuing of 4 COEs to presidential hopefuls is unthinkable and unprecedented. With all the discretion in the hands of the govt, it could easily tighten the screw and push through its endorsed candidate in a walkover by rejecting the other candidates. It was a huge concession, a huge step backwards, to appease the anger of the people.

Shanmugam, the elite and top notched lawyer minister was lambasted and had to beat a retreat from his interpretations of what a EP can or cannot do. Any minister or MP trying to make clever talks were not spared and were hammered relentlessly, including presidential hopeful Tony Tan, once a PM potential. The other once arrogant ministers were no where to been seen, probably trying to live by the new mantra that they are the servants and not the lords of the people.

The retreat by the PAP under Hsien Loong’s leadership is not in disarray. It is a measured retreat, taking a stand here and there not to concede too much ground. All the concessions were in response to the feedbacks from the people, primarily from the new media. The govt may not admit it officially, but there is a big battle going on with the govt taking stock of its positions and responding with changes in its policies.

Hsien Loong is leading the govt with a completely new style from his predecessors. Could he do otherwise if he is going to regain the confidence and trust of the people, and to extend PAP’s rule into the future? Another big concession is waiting to be served, the slashing of ministerial salary, including that of the ceremonial President. How much and how far will Hsien Loong be able to engage the people while on the defensive is still unfolding. The day is young.


mysingaporenews a heavyweight blog

Many bloggers have complained that the speed of this blog is getting too slow. Often it gets stuck or frozen and causing a lot of frustration to users. My apologies. The service provider of this blog is Bloggers and if it is a system fault only Blogger can answer for it.

My feeling is that this blog is becoming a heavyweight, getting too heavy, and unable to move quickly. Now, is this a good sign or a bad sign. Some say good, only heavyweight blog will encounter such problems. Lightweight blogs will be speeding along quite happily with lower traffic, like a free flowing expressway.

I think Firefox is still crusing quite well. Some have suggested Explorer Chrome. I hope it is not due to the generosity of some parties who happily shared introduced some bugs or cookies into the blog. I have removed some pages and links to make it lighter.

For the time being, let's pretend that it is a heavyweight blog and getting too much unwelcome attention: )

Shanmugam is right

In a way, Shanmugam is right in telling the Singaporeans to vote for the President as spelt out by the Constitution and not the President they wished to have. What else can the Singaporeans do? For this presidential election, Singaporeans have no choice. It is written in the Constitution and Singaporeans going to the polls cannot act other wise.

Singaporeans who want to vote for the Office of the President with powers and duties they wished the President would have would have to wait till the next GE. Only in a GE will Singaporeans have a choice to decide what kind of EP they want. And if they are serious of wanting their kind of President, they will need to vote in a different political party to Parliament and with a 2/3 majority. Only then can they change the terms of reference of the EP, even all the criteria of eligibility for the presidential candidates. They can even disband the Presidential Election Council.

Yes, they can do that only if a new party comes into power with a 2/3 majority in 2016. For the time being, everything is fixed. Cannot change except to elect one of the Tans. There is nothing else that Singaporeans can do now.

Questionable numbers

Two sets of numbers in Hsien Loong’s speech don’t really make sense. The first is the number of university places from 9,000 to 12,000 in a decade, from 2001 to 2011. By now every Singaporean should be familiar with the increase in population from 3m to the present 5m plus, or almost a doubling of the population in the last decade or so. The problem is so glaring that our super talents even failed to see and failed to provide for it. Go figure it out.

With such a huge increase in population and the provision of 18% of university places for foreign students, the total increase in places is only 3000 when the population gone up by nearly 3m. Maybe the number is too big and too fast that it is very difficult to grasp even for the most talented.

The other numbers, income ceiling for BTO flats from $8k to $10k and $10K to $12k for Exec condominiums. Superficially looks like a big relaxation. It was reported in the Today paper yesterday that a young couple whose combined income was $11k were feeling lucky. So happy, now qualifies to buy EC. Really?

In the past, when one registered to buy a HDB flat, they used your income from the date of registration. I was told that today, they used the income when one is offered the flat. (Correct me if I am wrong). Get the idea? This is one of the sick causes of why many young people got kicked out of the system when they could not get a flat within a few years.

Would the $11k couple still be qualified in 3 or 4 years time when the flat is built? For such mid level professionals, a couple of thousands of increment over a 3/4 year period is common. And there are two of them. It is quite possible that one year after registering they could see themselves disqualified with income exceeding the $12k.

Such situation will affect many in the $8k to $10k group who are eligible for BTO as well. It will affect the singles as well. So, is the increase/solution really effective, or will it help the singles and young couples or all the flat applicants?


A time to stop contributing to Medisave

As long as one is employed, one continues to contribute to CPFMedisave for as long as one is alive. For self employed, they will have to continue contributing to Medisave even at 100 years or more under the present rules. What is the logic of contributing endlessly when CPF savings can be withdrawn progressively after 55?

The other point is the bottomless limit of Medisave Minimum Sum to be retained, increasing annually. There is a point in life when living is a matter of diminishing returns. There is a point in life when there is no point to perpetuate life when the cost of keeping one alive is unsustainable and for no benefits. When one has lived to a ripe old age, when the legs and hands no longer move, or could barely move, when the body no longer feels, when keeping the body alive is so expensive, living or being alive is suffering, what is the point of having a lot of money in the Medisave when in such a state?

For the rich, when money is not an issue, it is ok. To many, when money is a big issue, it is not ok. Should the govt pass legislation to hold back the people’s savings after 75, 80 or more, so that the money can be used for expensive medical bills while the owner of the money could no longer enjoy even simple food, see nor hear?

There must be a point in time when money is no longer useful, when being kept alive is meaningless. Money is useful when one can still enjoy them, having a good meal, a drink, or moving around, still able to feel the senses.

The legislation must be changed to stop CPF from taking the people’s money after a certain age. A self employed person at 60 is in a much better financial position than one that is unemployed and drawing down on his CPF savings. When one is eligible to withdraw the CPF savings, that should be the age for those who are still economically active to be spared the burden of contributing to Medisave. Their incomes are more valuable when they are young, (not counting wasteful inflation) than when they are no longer physically able.
Savings for Medisave after the CPF withdrawal age must be voluntary. After 55/62, CPF or Medisave contribution must no longer be compulsory but voluntary. Otherwise it is like extorting the old folks, to withhold their money to fatten the nation’s reserves, and which they are unlikely to use them. It is another way of robbing them to pay the hospitals, against their wish when they are mentally unable to decide for themselves.

After certain age, the people must have the right to decide if they want to waste their money to pay the expensive hospital bills. Maybe some are hoping that once the oldies hit dementia, unsound mind, let other people decide on how to spend their huge savings in the Medisave.

It is time the govt review the CPF/Medisave Contributions for the old folks. Stop bullying them and taking their money against their wills.

Financial crisis hitting stock markets

MAS is getting more clouts to deal with errant pushers of toxic products. This sounds like a good thing. What MAS needs to do is to be more proactive and look at the whole financial system as well, especially how stock markets are run around the world, and how dangerous products and systems are allowed to get into the stock market system to run riots and exploited the weaknesses of the system to prey on the small investors.

The exploding financial crisis in the US and Europe is affecting not only toxic products but also the stock market mechanism and processes. The plunge in Dow and Europe market had caused panic and the immediate response by the European govts is to curtail short selling. The damage that short selling could cause, and how this mechanism can be easily abused need no further explanation.

Short selling and many other new devices and systems have been introduced into the stock markets world wide, including high speed trading, derivatives, dark pools, programme tradings, etc that violate the principles of stock trading. The very basis for funds to employ these new gadgetry and systems works against how a stock market should behave. In the long run they will devour everything and lead to a loss of confidence in stock trading and even the destruction of this industry.

They also violated the sacred principles of level playing field and transparency. If stock markets allowed such principles to be transgressed with impunity and explaining them to be part and parcel of modern stock trading, there is a very high possibility that the stock markets would go the way of toxic notes and bonds. They could inflict more severe damages and consequences than just toxic products. The industry could collapse and many people, other than losing their investments, could also lose their jobs.

Eventually the blame will fall back to authority/regulators for allowing all the infringements of good market practices, principles and rules and regulations to be breached and not doing anything to prevent them. When it became another crisis like the minibonds, it will be disastrous and the authority cannot run away from this responsibility by claiming investors went in with eyes wide open. The authority has the responsibility to provide a fair system and level playing field. That is the basic principle and also the rationale for the existence of a regulatory body. The people trust that the stock market are there to provide a level playing field and MAS is there to see to it. Caveat emptor is not acceptable when a system is allowed to operate with unfair advantages to the big funds.

If ever the stock market collapses, someone will have to answer for it. The key questions will be whether there is a level playing field and whether the new trading platform provided the funds with an unfair advantage over the small investors.

Post election Rally

It was a National Day Rally, but the tone of the Rally could be more a result of post election effect. Several key policy positions that were stubbornly held previously were dismissed to history. And the citizens must thank the result of the last GE for such changes to take place. Prior to the GE, several policies were still zealously guarded as the key foundations for growth and development of this ‘work in progress’ nation that is unlikely to become a nation for a long time to come. Many things that were built in the past were allowed to go to waste to accommodate a larger influx of foreign talents to dilute the core values, social behavior and the privileged positions of citizens.

This post election Rally is seeing some changes. Income ceilings to purchase the unaffordable affordable public flats have finally been raised to the displeasure of some. Without the GE, the ceilings will still be unshakable, necessary and the right things to keep.

The influx of foreigners is said to be slowing down. Let’s wait to see some statistics as the official policy is that they are still indispensable to our economic growth. The numbers will tell whether there has been a slow down and how significant is the slow down. Hopefully it is not just cosmetics.

Tertiary education for Singaporeans is seeing some changes in increasing future intakes. But foreign student intake will remain though the percentage is smaller with a bigger base. They should follow the British system, foreign students pay the full fees to subsidise the locals who pay substantially lower than what the former pay. With such a policy, we can afford to build another one or two universities and increase the percentage of foreign students even to 50% and no locals will be complaining.

There was no mention of past students that were disadvantaged by the old policies and had no choice but to go abroad, and with their parents selling their homes to pay for their expensive foreign university education. Neither were anything mentioned about those young people who were forced out of public housing by the old policies and left in the lurch. Whatever was done was over. For university education, there is nothing that can be done for those who already spent their time and money overseas. For housing, many are still left hanging in the air, income exceeded because of not building enough and low income ceilings. Would the govt make amends to accommodate those victims of past policies?

Special education and healthcare also see some changes with more budget or subsidies allocated to these areas. With the growing cost of healthcare, subsidies and help may go some way but only temporary if the runaway cost is not contain, like property prices. Contain and reduce the high cost and no help will be needed.

Maybe another 10% swing in popular votes in the next GE could see more substantial changes to benefit the people. The people must be looking forward to more GEs.


Rise of an Asean military power

Filipinos have taken centre stage the last few days in our social media. It was something like they were shocked by Singapore’s NSmen lacking in morals, loyalty and patriotism. Given the rising stature of the Philippines as a military power in SE Asia, I think the comments made good sense and a good reminder of how far Singapore has been lacking behind the Philippines.

On record, the Philippines have the reputation of being the only Asean country that could take on China. They have arrested Chinese seamen, removed Chinese territorial markers in the Spratly Islands belonging to China. And they have warned China that they would fire at Chinese naval ships in the area.

Now where on earth can you find such a garang country, other than the US, to talk to China in such a threatening manner? Yes, only a rising military power like the Philippines could act in this way, fearless, with a strong sense of morals and patriotism. This is something that Singaporeans got to learn from the Filipinos.

The latest is that the Philippines Navy is buying a patrol craft to defend its islands against China while China is playing with its new toy, an aircraft carrier.

If you don’t agree with me on the facts that I used to support my case, you must give it to the Filipinos for their confidence and guts to tell the Chinese off. Great nations and great people start by thinking they are great and believe in it.

One of Singapore’s best policy today is to add the good genes of foreign talents into our degenerating and depleting gene pool. Since independence, the quality of our talents is going down hill to the extent that many CEO positions in our native organisations must be helmed by foreigners. Maybe this is one of the reasons why we are welcoming more Filipino FTs to our shores to share their good genes. And our little children will also be taught the great values of the Filipinos by the maids.

At the end of the day our gene pool will be enhanced and perhaps we could also make claims to the Spratly Islands. There is oil out there and would be good for our economy. If the Chinese objects, we can also threaten to arrest their seamen as a show of force. I think we have a few more patrol craft than the Philippines, and if they could stand up to China, we should be able to do better, if only our NSmen have more morals, loyalty and patriotism.

Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian

Tan Kin Lian speaking at Speakers Corner yesterday on his election platform.

The news so far on Tan Kin Lian is on his departure from NTUC Income. Kin Lian has his version for leaving and NTUC has come out with their version that told a different story. So far the exchange has been quite civil and no one of senior positions has been going around take buses or taxis or checking on personal claims to cast doubts on him.

What is important at this point in time, like all other president hopefuls, is that the PEC has found them to be men of integrity, good reputation and character and is fit to be the president of the country. The disagreement on the how and why that he resigned is not an issue of misconduct or mismanagement. At top management level, many a time the reasons for a separation can be quite dubious, controversial or a matter of chemistry. Many were there because of political appointment as many other candidates are equally qualified for top management positions but only a few were chosen. Often it is always the person who left was seen as the loser but never a victim. And the people who called the shot carried on as if they had done no wrong, like god. Of course the truth could be otherwise.

Kin Lian's strength is drawn primarily from his fight for the victims of the minibond saga. He volunteered to champion the cause of the losers. And he made a difference. Without his leadership at a time when a leader was badly needed, the victims would not have gotten a better deal. He challenged the authority when no one dared. This is a very pertinent point in a society that is engulfed with fear of authority. And it took a man of great courage and sacrifice to stand out at a time like that crisis.

As an elected President, most of the functions are ceremonial. The EP will be called upon to act exactly in a time of great crisis. It is only in those time that a president is tested and he needs to draw on all his courage, wisdom, integrity and duty to the people, the average citizens, to stand up to a govt that could be turning into a rogue. Any presidential hopeful must give the people an indication that when pushed to a corner, he would stand up and fight back.

The EP's job is toughest in the toughest time. Having tea and cosying up to the PM to make a good impression and hopefully gain some respect from the PM and then his listen hear is of the least concern of the people. It is when he is called upon to act strongly, that is the moment that he is being paid for, to defend the interest of the people, to prevent the reserves from being squandered by a rogue govt. Trying to be nice to influence a rogue govt is a foolish suggestion.

In this election, particular to Kin Lian, would some irreprehensible bums be everywhere smelling for shit? All the candidates have remarked that they would want to run their campaign with dignity. Would someone hit below the belt or pull a file from the dustbin to dust around? Employment records are confidential documents. Personal encounters and discussions in board meetings are confidential and privileged information. Would they be aired to score points just because they are juicy or could be used to smear a character? No one would forgive a padre for divulging a confession of a sinner.

The people are watching again to see which party would take the first shot to diminish this contest for the highest office of the country into another slug fest in the longkangs, where all respectability, dignity and honour were thrown to the wind. Would there be people holding high positions, willing to lower themselves and their own honour, to do shameful things to mess around with the candidates?


China’s new toy

China just rolled out its aircraft carrier for a sea trial. Its spokesman told the press that the ship is for training and research. The US has 11 aircraft carriers fully operational for decades. And it is in a state of confusion at the sight of the single non operational Chinese aircraft carrier. It does not know what the Chinese aircraft carrier is for and is asking the Chinese to explain. It also said any explanation would be good enough, just tell them.

The Chinese spokesman’s official press statement that the carrier is for training and research seems to miss the Americans. Maybe when he spoke in Chinese the Americans thought it was a coded message and trying to decode them and this will take time to read.

What I think is that the Chinese are seeing the Americans having fun with their 11 aircraft carriers and thought it would be fun too to have a few. And they could then fly their spy planes along the American coasts like what the Americans are doing along the Chinese coasts. Then both countries would have fun playing ball. Won’t the Americans love that, to play ball with the Chinese along American coasts?

Now why did the Chinese want to build aircraft carriers? I am getting as dumb as the Americans. I just cannot figure out why. Maybe I should ask the Chinese also and any answer will do.

President Tan will move in at the Istana

By next month Singaporean will see a new President Tan at the Istana. All four Tans, Tony Tan, Tan Cheng Bock, Tan Kin Lian, Tan Jee Say, are in the running after being issued the COE. They are found to be men of integrity, good character and reputation and have the prerequisites to carry out the duties of the President as provided in the constitution.

The granting of COEs to four candidates is another milestone in our political history. This is not so much as having four Tans running for the office but a sign of more opening up of the political structure. The fear of the PEC applying the criteria stringently to limit the number of candidates to those that the ruling party favours proved unfounded. It speaks well of both the govt and the PEC. No one can now point a finger at any of them for playing foul and the voters will have a good spread of candidates to choose from.

It is now up to the candidates to promote themselves to the people to make an informed choice of who they want. Each has his own merits and drawbacks and when come to casting the vote, it could be a tough choice for many and may the best man wins.

Having set the pace for more openness and more eligible candidates to contest the office of the EP, I hope this will be the last time that the restrictive criteria of the Act are allowed to stand and that it be amended to widen the pool of eligible candidates. Integrity, dignified, respectability are essential characteristics of a presidential candidate. However, the stringent criteria of being a top civil servant or CEO of a $100m organisation must go as they are too restrictive and elitist. In a way, the disqualification of the majority of the citizens to run for the presidency is unconstitutional as it is robs the right of every citizen to stand as a candidate for the highest office of the country.

The role of the EP and the criteria attached are incompatible and need a thorough review. There is an expectation that the presidential candidates have to be dignified, stately looking and with good stature. This could easily be overcome by a PR agency or some help from Mediacorp makeup artist.

The second part, man of good character, integrity and reputation is a harder act to follow. What it wants to deny are thieves, wife beaters, liars, cheats and people who are above politics, that is, no politicking, scheming and fixing other politicians. Would these automatically bar all politicians from becoming president? The most ideal candidate should be a secular priest that is acceptable to all. Unfortunately there is no such animal around.

The third part about a top notch permanent secretary or CEO of a large corporation is asking too much. If a C grader like George Bush Jr is qualified to be the executive President of the USA, why is there a need for such a highly qualified candidate who is more ceremonial plus a small custodial role? Think Nelson Mandela, would someone of his background be qualified?

A EP does not exist nor act alone. He is always advised by the Cabinet and a presidential advisory team. What is needed is a man with a reasonable education and good common sense and an ability to understand what is presented to him to put his rubber stamp on it.

It will be good to move away from the past stringent criteria that are not seen as objective and fair. Review the criteria and the eligibility and not rob the rights of every citizen from aspiring to the highest office of the country.


Kopitiam Movement

The Americans have their Tea Party Movement to fight for issues that are important to them. Without trying to reinvent the wheel, we may want to call the fight by netizens as a Kopitiam Movement in general, for the good of Singaporeans. There are so many issues that netizens have raised but are scattered all over cyberspace and often lost in time. I would like to sum up a few key issues that a Kopitiam Movement can stand for and to stay the course.

1. To reclaim the rights of the people to decide the size of the population and new citizens.
2. To reclaim the rights of the people to their money in the CPF and Medisave.
3. To reclaim the rights to have a say in how essential services like transport, medical services and education are run for the benefits of citizens.
4. To reclaim the rights to limit the building and sales of properties to foreigners.
5. To reclaim the rights of every citizen to stand for the office of the President.

More missions can be added on to this Movement in the course of time. I will post a window on this blog as a reminder of this Movement and what it is fighting for.

A Kopitiam Movement does not need an official leader like the Wear Black Movement. The Movement is identified by what it stands for and anyone can push for the cause or add new agenda to the cause. It is a Movement without forms but with certain identifiable objectives.

A fearful lesson from London

The rioting continues in England and spreading. The police seem to be at a lost or treating the rioters too leniently that the country is turning into a state of anarchy. The underprivileged are taking things in their own hands, to take whatever they want, and at the same time to burn and destroy. They are the underclass in a first world and rich country.

We have our underclass, not so much as the poorer citizens who are really not in such a dire state. What we have in our midst are the half a million foreign workers, maybe more, that are hungry and unpredictable. What if they run amok, and thinking that they could loot and take from our well stocked stores of goodies?

I believe we have contingency plans to deal with such a situation. But it will be very messy. A rampage through Orchard Road is unthinkable. 500,000 hungry workers on the loose are uncontrollable. And many are living with our people, in rental homes. A couple of them running wild can be very destructive too.

Do we believe that the lawlessness will not happen here? Or do we believe that we can handle such a situation? Bringing in the super rich has a different set of problems. Bringing in the poor workers can become a disaster. Can we afford to push our luck and hope that nothing of such a magnitude happens here?

Please don't make our foreign workers angry.


Not everything can be compromised

We have spent 46 years to stew a broth, today some of the newcomers are complaining that the broth smells, and they don’t like the smell. We have spend several generations, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and the newcomers said they are not happy and wanted us to change, to accommodate and adapt to their new ways, or even adopt their new habits. And some silly Singaporeans are telling our native Singaporeans to be tolerant and to appease the newcomers. (No wonder they even dared to beat up Singaporeans in broad daylight in Clementi).

I am referring to the cooking of curry in HDB estate and a foreigner complained, and the local mediator told our native Singaporean to give way to make the new citizen happy. The mediator must have been briefed on how to deal with such matters. There must be an official position and the mediator must be following that official position. For racial harmony, it is always good to compromise, even on things that we have done for the last 46 years, never mind, make the newcomers feel welcome and make their lives more pleasant. Can that be?

Is this the official position? I wanted to pui. For so many years, we have been emphasizing on racial and religious harmony, and we have accepted certain social norms and practices that we are comfortable to live by. This incident is threatening the very fundamental principles that we have built on. This must be put to and end.

New citizens must not be allowed to challenge and demand that we change to appease them. If they think they can get away with their demands, soon we they will be telling us that they want their own language, custom, newspaper, play area, and TV channels as well. They may want their languages to be taught in our schools or be spoken in Parliament.

The people of Singapore must take a stand to protect what we have built and not allowed any newcomers to suka suka change them. We welcome them since our govt wanted them so much, but they must accept what we hold sacred. We cannot let them change the status quo, the social norms, and undermine the mutual tolerance among the various people. The newcomers must adapt to our way of life, not the other way round. Is there anyone telling Singaporeans to adapt to the newcomers way of life? Now what is the govt going to do about it?

PS. There is a simple Simon approach to solving social problems. Compromise, no need to bother about right or wrong, as long as the two parties don’t give problem it is settled. I have experienced this attitude in the mediation of minor disputes. I had a bad experience with a crazy neighbor who came to my floor to threaten my family. I was told to stay indoor when he appeared. I was telling myself, I will do anything I can, even to break his legs if I have to. My freedom and safety of my family were compromised by a mad man and I was told to hide behind closed doors.