A degree course for politician wannabes

This is a follow up to my article If I am the PM and my good intention to make sure all the MPs are up to it to run the country. And my contention is that they are to attend a degree course in one of our top universities on the subject of government and how to run a govt. I know that some immortals are naturally gifted to have this skill set in born, born to rule, in them. So immortals can be exempted from this course since they already born with this talent. For the rest of aspiring politicians and wannabes, despite their successes in their professional fields, they must attend this course, compulsory, if they want to be qualified to stand for election as an MP. Our country must be run by able men and women who are properly trained to do the job and to be paid in the millions, more lucrative than any other profession.

The first topic to teach them is about Democracy. They must be made to know that this island republic is a democracy and not a monarchy or some dictatorship. So for the first lesson I would want them to write 1000 lines everyday. And this is what they should write.

‘A democracy is a govt of the people, by the people and for the people.’

They not only have to submit this to the lecturer everyday, they must all rise and recite this everyday before the class starts. They must be told that the political leaders of a democracy comes from the people and elected by the people to serve the people, not to serve themselves or to serve foreigners.  Repeat this everyday, of the people, by the people and for the people until it is second nature to them, that they will never forget these three phrases.

Comparative roles of opposition politicians in Parliament

Singapore and Malaysia inherited the same template for a democratic govt and parliament from the British. Both have evolved and made amendments to alter the nature of govt and parliament but the principles and fundamentals are still in tact.  Now, am I making a naïve statement on this?

Observers of the politics and politicking on both sides of the causeway cannot miss the stark difference in the roles being played by the opposition parties. Up north, the politicians seem to have all the time in the world to check on the ruling party, to investigate their misdeeds and wrongdoings, to form parliamentary committees to investigate the ruling party and their cronies. They are very busy doing that. As worthy lawmakers and as checks and balance to keep the ruling party and govt on their toes.

Down south, the opposition parties or shall I say party, are also very busy, not with checking the govt and lawmaking, but in running town councils and being checked by the ruling party/govt. The WP is now up to their neck, trying to shake off the demands placed on them to meet the deadline or no subsidies for AHPETC. They are working like crazy, to comply with administrative procedures and processes of a town council. Do you think they have time for other things, to keep the govt in check, to go checking on the govt and its agencies?

And with the GE around the corner, I don’t think they even have time to prepare for it or know that the GE is going to be held tomorrow. See the difference, the opposition lawmakers in the north have all the time to fire questions at the ruling party. In the south, the ruling party has all the time firing questions to the opposition party and keeping them very busy trying to ward off the blows and no time for anything. It is the ruling party that is doing the checks and balance against the opposition party.

Funny isn’t it?


Singapore got only one banking and finance talent

When the CEO of Stanchart’s position was vacant, one name came up as a suitable replacement. When the CEO position of the SGX is empty, the same name came up as the worthy candidate for the job. And the candidate is already sitting pretty and happily as CEO of another big bank.

It seems that Singapore has only one citizen that is good enough to fill the position of CEO in a bank or a big financial organization. And he is not even a Singaporean 2or 3 years back. He is a new citizen, taking up the citizenship after being offered the lucrative and plum job of CEO of DBS.

Is this a happy thing or a sad thing? Where have all the native Singaporean bankers gone, or is there any left? What kind of silly country is this when it keeps bragging about being the financial centre of Asia but got no native talent good enough for any top banking job? In fact most of the CEO jobs in the banking and finance industry are filled by foreigners and the next native that could be good enough or would be trained for it would be one in the late twenties because the Minister of Finance realized recently that there is a dearth of talents among the natives in the banking and finance industry.

I bet the CEO of SGX would probably come from a little village somewhere in SE Asia or Asia, a village bumpkin, as the real talents can only be found in little remote villages where the top banker is likely to be a money lender without a shop front. And the good thing, maybe they are beefing up the 3 top local world class universities to equip them with the resources and academics to start to train native Singaporeans for the future CEO positions in finance and banking, and be ready in 30 years time.

We are always planning way ahead of our time, so they quipped, a lot of foresight and aftersight, or backside, 30 years ahead but forgot that we need these talents today. There is no top native talent in the banking and finance industry in the financial centre of Asia!

What is happening? Ya, no skills set in banking and finance among the natives in the island. The best local talent available was recently appointed to be the Chairman of Temasek while another sitting pretty in the Istana. The local banking and finance talents have either gone the dinosaur way, extinct or fossilized!

A huge hot air balloon has been floated into space calling for a foreign talent to fill the job in SGX if the best and only ‘local’ talent in DBS does not want the job.

50 years, still a little tart

Immediately after SGX announced the impending departure of Magnus Bocker it followed up with another piece of news, that it had appointed a foreign recruitment agency to hunt for a replacement worldwide. This is like a reflex action. No one good enough in SGX or in Singapore, or there must be a better foreigner out there. Go, get me a foreigner quick. Shouldn’t it be looking for a Singaporean first, in house or within the industry or from the pool of brilliant scholars in the govt and if that yields no result then go hunting elsewhere? Why must it be that the SGX must look elsewhere first and not in house?

After 50 years, the little tart is still a little tart, looking for the shoulder of a foreigner for security. She probably feels very safe and comfortable hiding behind a foreigner. If a foreigner were to stand in front of the little tart, she would probably wet herself, urinating controllably and trembling in fear. Would it help if she pastes a million dollar on her face for that façade of paper thin dignity?

When the pioneering leaders came on board, it was all about self reliance, about independence, about our ability to run our own country with our own people and talent. And they made it a point to stand shoulder to shoulder with the foreigners, as equals. Today, things have degenerated so far that the little tart, instead of growing up, is highly dependent on the foreigners to hold her hand and to lift her head high. The insecurity and lack of confidence are hard to miss. Look over the shoulder and you will see a little tart grabbing the hands of a foreigner tightly, so afraid to let go, like the security blanket.
We don’t have good students, we don’t have good professors. So to make our universities look good, we import the professors and the students, lock, stock and barrel. Nice one, tart.

Initially I thought it was a colonial handover of sort. But today, any foreigner will do, even from the 3rd world countries. The little tart has lost all self respect and confidence of herself and her ability. What is the point of paying her million dollar salary when she continues to behave like a clueless little tart? Would she need another 50 years to grow up?

It cannot be a fetish craze for foreigners after 50 years of growing up unless it is a kind of degenerative trait, premature ageing and getting senile prematurely. Would the little tart be asking for a foreigner to be the PM or the President when the incumbents vacate their seats? Would it have to take another 50 years to grow up and be on our own? What are we celebrating SG50 for? For more good years and forever as little tarts?

What is wrong with our native Singaporean talent? Singapore got no talents? Yes, I am asking you, little tart.


LKY – The most controversial man at a critical moment of his life

There was a big stir last night that LKY had passed away only to be proven wrong. He is still in ICU being watched closely by his doctors. It is good that we keep an even keel in this blog without getting ourselves embroiled in the controversies by two opposing camps lampooning at each other over the merits and demerits of this man. He had done many things that people would remember him for good, and many things that his enemies or victims would not forgive him. In fact many Singaporeans have benefitted from his rule, some more, some less. I am not going to say much about those that crossed his path. They would have their own stories to tell.

At this very moment everyone is watching with uneasy feelings on when he would move on and what would happen after that. Would things go on as normal as if nothing happens, a non event? Or would hell break loose and all the knives and hatchets unsheathed? There are angers and hatred in some quarters, in some corners. How bad are they? Some comments in cyberspace were very harsh and very crude, a sign that some had a bad time from him or his policies.

This is like a lull before a storm. The initial reaction should LKY pass on would be a flurry of reports on him in the main media, in the papers and on air, eulogies and weepings from those who appreciated his contributions and made a difference to their lives. Then they would be the ceremonial processions for the man that was no longer the Prime Minister for many years but still living in the Istana as a permanent resident, a right only he deserved against all state protocol. He is still bigger than his MP title.

When the sound and glory are over, it would be the turn of the sound of fury. Would there be a different set of eulogies from a different viewpoint surfacing, not in the main media of course? Would there be hard thumpings and different versions of hard truths to challenge the official hard truths?

Fortunately I think all these happenings are likely to be academic, all sound and fury and nothing more than that. It is unlikely to be anything more after the steam was let off. Then soberness and sadness will fill the air for the passing of a national leader that had risen to the top of the heap only to close the chapter with a controversial ending.

This is a very busy and tense moment for many who are involved in one way or another, a moment they have prepared for and waiting to happen. This could be the most important event in our history that cannot be eclipsed by the SG50 celebration other than a shocking and controversial result in the next GE, if there is going to be one at all. There are expectations and this time, with the passing of the LKY’s era, the expectation is high, anything is possible. It will be a new ball game, the beginning of a new chapter in our history.

Next chapter, the changing of the guards.

Mysingaporenews Collection – Book launch update

30 copies snapped up in 3 days. I would need to have 300 copies to get this book off the ground unless I can find a sponsor to pay for the printing cost.
Some of the topics to be included in the book would be as follows:

1. CPF, your money or OPM
2. Medishield Life – paying for a life time
3. Population White Paper
4. Hong Lim Park Protest Rallies
5. Roy Ngerng and friends in Hong Lim Park
6. Plight of PMEs, taxi drivers
7. Education
8. Gems of Parliament
9. High cost of living
10. The flawed and dying stock market
11. Public housing, appreciating or depreciating asset?
12. Political development and change
13. Disappearing true blue Singaporeans
14. Whither Singapore

There will be many other hot topics that are dear to Singaporeans in the book. The crowdfunding will end by 31 Mar. I need more orders to make up the first 300 copies.

Thank you.

Blind spot in Parliament?

Shanmugam were vicious in tearing down the WP for the lapses in AHPETC. He threw at WP everything he got that could put the WP in a very bad light. And the ST did its best as the prime newspaper to inform the readers of every detail that happened in Parliament, on the TV over and over again. The WP was in defensive mode and was kept really busy to ward off the blows. Where got time to engage in other issues or to talk about other issues or even to prepare for the GE? The election campaigning has started, and in case the opposition parties are still sleeping, the PAP is on a campaign march. Read the ST and the coverage of the ministers and PAP will tell you what is happening.

Back to Shanmugam’s performance in Parliament. There were so many things that are worthy to be gems of Parliament and I would take time to cover them. Let me just touch on the set of fees that Shanmugam obtained from the MND to attack the WP. In that chart, the fees payable by residents and commercial units were exactly the same. Sylvia Lim spotted the difference as it is a norm to charge commercial organizations a different rate in practically everything, water, electricity and of course S&CC. The big question, is there a mistake in Shanmugam’s chart?

Shanmugam did not think so and it was reported that he had double checked and confirmed there was no mistake. The residents and commercial units were charged the same S&CC in PAP wards in 2014. Please correct me if I am wrong on this with the latest.

There are many reasons for me to accept that the data were accurate. First, the MND would not give such an important set of data to be used in Parliament to accuse the WP for mismanagement or over charging to Shanmugam. It would be very embarrassing if untrue and found out to be untrue. A public apology would be needed. And the WP could say the same thing, sorry not enough, please explain.

Shanmugam, being a top notch lawyer, would not miss the error and would have corrected them before presenting them to Parliament as a weapon. He would not embarrass himself with a set of wrong data in public, in Parliament.

And mind you, so many ministers and MPs must be privy to this chart and it is unbelieveable and unbecoming that no one is diligent or clever enough to spot the huge mistake if there is one. Everyone must know that there was no mistake. It could not be a case that there was a mistake but no one thought a need to tell him and wanting Shanmugam to make a fool of himself in Parliament. It also could not be a case of idolizing Shanmugam and looking gaga when he spoke, assuming that this god like lawyer could not make mistake, everything he said must be carefully thought out.

Unless there is any announcement to this, I must presume or assume that the chart must be right. Now who was the person that produced some data and letters claiming that the changes to lower the fees for PAP Town councils, especially the part for commercial units, were done recently? How recent and why? Or was that just another assumption of fabrication to prove Shanmugam wrong? There is no way to prove the chart wrong unless it is wrong. This is factual and no one can lie about it.

Is there another truth? Is there a blind spot in Parliament?

Malaysia’s 1MDB crisis

The husband is the PM and the wife is the Chairman of a sovereign fund. They thought having a sovereign fund with a lot of borrowed money must surely make money. They may be doing a copycat operation after visiting the rich southern state with two successful sovereign funds to boot. So the husband and wife team copied the successful formula of their neighbor, to every small detail, to borrow billions to set up 1MDB, after Khazanah, to invest with OPM. With so much money to make money, how to lose, or at least statistically it should make money in the long run. Even if the money is lost, so what when it is OPM?

Somehow sovereign funds have the same bad habit of buying high and faced with immediate fall in value and then hoping for a good return in the long long run. This formula never fails. 1MDB is no exception. But no worry, the long term would be ok, and they went investing recklessly, buy all kinds of shit that the snake oil sellers threw at them, even hot air.

The PM and his wife are now accused of corruption openly. Everyone is talking about it, from the kampong folks to the lawmakers. And they did not mince their words and were very generous in the use of the fear term, ‘corruption’. I was viewing the video clips of presentors Haris Ibrahim and Rafizi Ramli and their interviews with Tony Pua on the subject of 1MDB. My God, if you want to know what democracy and freedom of speech are you must google for these names to know what we are missing.

Najib and Rosmah are involved in this corruption case amounting to 42 billion ringgits in unexplained debt, and the audience roared with the approval. And why was Mahathir complaining? Because he did not have his fair share, that’s why. And who topped the list in the total value of bad debts to be bailed out by the Govt? Mahathir pipped Najib by a nose but only because he ruled the country for more than 20 years. Najib did what he did in 2 years. And the good news, Najib is catching up fast. Wow, can this kind of language be used in our little island of democracy and free speech? I don’t think anyone would dare to say these things even in Hong Lim’s Speakers’ Corner. Oops, not true. I am sure there will be brave people, given the permit, to stand in Hong Lim’s famous little mound to say Najib, Rosmah and Mahathir are corrupt. Sure can.

Tony Pua and Rafizi even claimed that the ruling party was treating the Malaysians as daft, a familiar note, not being able to understand how the money was transacted through many layers to lose its trail, till no one know what to ask, where it went. At least our MPs and ministers know how to ask where is the money going. Everything is secret and there was no transparency in 1MDB’s activities to talk about. Is that new? But Tony Pua and his gang were still able to trace the highly questionable investments in oil fields in Altantuya’s Mongolia and the Caspian Sea with equally questionable companies operated by unknown and questionable individuals.

The facts that were revealed and confirmed, according to Tony Pua, were that a govt sovereign fund under the charge of the wife of the PM has been involved in questionable dealings and the PM could go down with it, and they are going after Najib and Rosmah for accountability. Tony and Rafizi also claimed that the 42b ringgit of debt by the sovereign fund could bring down the Malaysian govt and affecting every Malaysian adversely. This part I find it quite unbelieveable for such a big country, with oil wealth oozing out from the sea, to be at crisis level all for a miserable 42b in ringgits which is not even 20b Sing dollars. That only proves how rich Singapore is compares to Malaysia. Even without oil oozing out from the sea, we don’t even bat an eyelid with the officially announced lost of $50b or $60b Sing dollars during the financial crisis. In ringgit terms that would be more than $100b! What crisis are they talking about?

Anyway, it was an eye opening experience to know the generous space available to talk about corruption of a PM and his wife involving billions of public money, OPM. And they are not even charged, just assumptions and insinuations. And as if God wants to push the knife deeper, the falling oil price would only accentuate the severity of the miserable 42b ringgits and made it a bigger crisis.

Malaysia boleh, at least in democracy and in free speech, and the wide berth to play around for the opposition lawmakers in Parliament. The speakers were so casual when they made the corruption charges as if the PM and his wife were already guilty. This is a plus point for the Malaysians. The names of Najib, Rosmah and Mahathir and other senior politicians were freely and loosely used for condemnation with no hesitation, no restraints or the need to self regulate, with no fear of being sued to bankruptcy. They were telling them like jokes in a kopitiam but on youtube and in public forum.

Can’t imagine a similar scenario happening in Sin City. The husband and wife team’s days are numbered and it is only a matter of time for more disclosure of 1MDB’s debt problem. They can’t keep manipulating the accounts to show profit when there is no profit or hide under non disclosure or secrecy. And there is a limit to how much they can squeeze from the provident fund and the number of assets they can transfer to the sovereign fund to make it look good. Everything is hidden, secret, no need to tell. And this is what made Rafizi and Tony giggled. Secret lah! When no one knows what is happening, something seriously wrong is likely to be happening.


Who decides who is fit to be the next govt?

I want to follow up with Boon Wan’s statement that the Town Council is the PAP’s way of testing the opposition MPs’ability to run a country. Is running a Town Council a necessary or effective way to gauge a party or MP’s ability to run a govt? LKY never run a Town Council and so did Goh Keng Swee. Maybe that was why the country was so badly run then compared to how well it is run today by the new leaders with the privilege and experience of running a Town Council.

To me, running a Town Council is a piece of cake for any reasonably clear thinking individual. The difficult part is to navigate through the landmines, traps, obstacles and avoiding snipers and ambushes along the way. But to be serious, to really want to manage a Town Council to resemble running a country, to benefit from the experience, then it should go all the way. Let the Town Council be run like a mini state, collect its own taxes or be awarded its fair share of the tax collection, let them run their own police and mini civil service etc etc. That would really be a meaningful training experience.

The current structure of running a Town Council is more like how to overcome the problems and difficulties in an obstacle course when things were just being difficult, when they have no autonomy in finance and in having very little bargaining chips in their dealings with other govt agencies. How fair is the playing field for opposition parties to run their Town Councils and how fair is the test of their ability to run a Town Council like running a mini state? Heard of playing against a loaded dice?

By the way, does an opposition party need to gain the approval from the ruling party in how to run a country, to pass the test set by the ruling party, and then be given a pass grade to go ahead to run a country? Who decides which party is suitable to run a country? The ruling party or the voters?

An alternative party does not need the blessing and consent of the ruling party to be the elected govt. It is not the power of the ruling party to set the conditions and to say the alternative party is not good enough. It is the right and will of the people to decide who they want to run the country. This is a democracy, not a monarchy or someone’s grandfather’s company whereby the family call the shot and decide who is fit or not fit to take charge. Maybe I am wrong and Boon Wan is right. The ruling party would decide who or which alternative party is able to run the country.

I have a suggestion. The alternative party should send their candidates to PAP for tea, for a fee of course, to be certified fit and able to form and run a govt like the PAP candidates, everyone chopped with the PAP quality seal and ISO 9001 certified.

Saving SGX

It took two petitions, one online and one offline, to pack Magnus Bocker off. SGX announced yesterday that he would be leaving by end of June. The important task at hand is how to save the SGX from the ICU? The state of denial that all is fine is not an issue to MAS. The main problem is whether MAS sees any problem with the pathetic or critical condition of the stock market. Is everything doing fine, more new investors signing up, more derivatives being traded good indicators of the health of the stock market? Or would the MAS look at the number of investors really trading and the value of trades done in the equity market, the number of remisiers leaving the industry,  and the pittance in commission being generated?

There cannot be any real solution to the dying stock market if the cause or causes of its demise are not diagnosed. Does anyone really know what is wrong with the stock market, wants to know what is wrong with the stock market and to do an overhaul of the failed system? Yes, it is a systems fault, its problem is systemic, not no lunch break, not smaller lot size, not super penny stocks, not dwindling volume and disappearing investors. These are only symptoms of the cancer that is crippling the market and would go naturally if the real cause of the failure is identified.

If MAS is still wondering where to start, go to Shanghai. The Chinese have been studying the American model of stock trading and knew exactly what is wrong and are not going to repeat the same mistake. They are offering Shanghai and Hongkong as the alternative system where computer trading involving super computers in HFT and algo trading would not be allowed, where large scale manipulations would not be allowed. They are returning to the basics of stock market operations. There is an article ‘China now gives investors an alternative to (the)manipulated HFT U.S. stock markets’  at www.examiner.com.

Computer trading with high speed computers plugged into the main system of a stock market is simply unfair trading, giving unfair advantage to the computer operators to manipulate and rob the rest of the investors in broad daylight.
And the last thing the SGX should do is to go globe trotting to hunt for another foreign talent to replace Bocker. It would be a replay of the pathetic story all over again as most of these talents would still be sold to the American model of computer trading and all its fraudulent ways.

The MAS is faced with a mammoth and arduous task to quickly disconnect all the toxic cables connected to the SGX main trading system. These external computers are like parasites sticking to the main trading system and sucking everything, every dollar from the investors.

The stock market must go back to its original role as a source of funds for the industries and not a casino. It must not be turned into a cheap gambling system for boys and girls to play with their pocket money. The boys and girls can go and play monopoly. The stock market is for the adults to invest, for the industries, the corporations to tap as a source of fund for growth and expansion. They can’t get the funds from little children in the schools.

The stock market must be X rated and not PG13.  The broking houses and the Society of Remisiers must use this window to work with the MAS to find a real solution to the serious problem the stock market industry is facing. Make the stock market do what it was originally supposed to do. We already have two casinos and there is no need for a third casino. The broking houses and the MAS have a common interest to want to see the stock market back in the pink of health.

What is the point of having more boys and girls signing up as potential investors when they are not investing? It is time to be real. Or would this opportunity be wasted and everything back to square one with the hiring of another foreign talent to do the same thing all over again, with the stock market fighting for its life in the ICU?


If I am the PM

I know this is as good a talking nonsense. No one can dream of becoming a PM unless he takes the first step to join a political party and become an Indian chief of a political party. I have not joined any political party so thinking of becoming a PM is academic. But it is quite fun really, to talk cock once a while. Many people did that. So let’s talk about this daydreaming.

Let’s say suay suay all the parties become minority parties and need to form a coalition govt but cannot agree on who to be PM. Then they look around for someone neutral and call Redbean to stand in as the PM. So I am the PM. I would want to be the most righteous PM, most caring PM, most pro Singapore PM, not necessary pro Singaporeans. I would like to even add, the most religious PM but that would only insult the religion that I professed to believe in. So I pass this one. I am no good and I have no religion so no need to pretend to be religious and spoil the good name of the religion.

OK, I must think Singapore first, always think Singapore first. This is not the same as the Singapore First Party. The latter thinks and wants to care for Singaporeans. I want Singapore to do well, to prosper, to grow into a vibrant and rich country at all cost. And to do that, it must have very good and clever people with the right qualifications and experience to govern the state.

I will start with the President. I will make the criteria for this appointment very stringent. Remember, he holds the second key to our reserves. So not anyone can offer himself as candidate to be President. See, I set very high standard for a good President to look after our reserves. He must have excellent credentials and experience in managing big money. I think someone in the finance industry like CEO of GIC, Temasek or DBS would qualify. Anything less no good. The President is all about guarding the reserves of the state so I think it is good to limit to finance people, top bankers and top fund managers. The rest no need to apply. Oh, PM and Finance Minister exempted, automatically qualified.

As for the politicians, MPs and ministers, they better be qualified or have knowledge on how to run a country. Yes, yes, they must know how to run a Town Council for a start, a prerequisite. But that is elementary. They must know the meaning of running a country and must be qualified or trained in government. Just because a person is a lawyer or doctor or engineer, or a general, does not make him good enough. Running a country means knowing everything, from being in the govt to running clans, trade unions, sports clubs and charity organizations. To be able to do these jobs, to become a ‘knows all’, they must have a degree in govt.

NUS and NTU must conduct a degree course on govt and anyone wants to stand for election to be in Parliament must have such a degree. You think running a govt is masak masak and any Tom, Dick and Harry with all kinds of unrelated qualifications and experience can just walk into Parliament and start to run a country. Cannot right? I am the PM so I decide what is best. I may even try out a candidate to catch rats. If cannot catch rats then not good enough. To me, since I am the PM, I regard catching rats very important, more important than running Town Council. Who is there to say I am being difficult?

Ok, exceptions. All incumbent MPs and ex MPs can be exempted from this degree course. They got experience mah. The new rule would apply to new politicians to be. As the new PM, I want to raise the bar to make sure only good people with the right experience and qualifications can stand for election.

See, I think only good for Singapore. Singapore will be very good, will go on forever and be prosperous forever under my premiership.

Agree or not? My conditions good or not?

Ok, Ok, I daydreaming only and pretending to be good PM.

A handout budget but something missing

Call it an election budget or whatever you like, it is a handout budget, full of handouts for the people. Everyone is going to collect an angpow somewhere along the line. The biggest and most welcome package would be the Silver Support Scheme. Remisiers would be happy to know that this scheme will be most appreciated as many will join the ranks for this handout. I doubt there would be many criticisms about the money handing out by the Govt other than some minor complaints of people missing out or not getting enough. I would leave the nitty gritty to the social scientists and statisticians to delve into the fine details.

I was looking for something else, the future of Singapore. This is what the Govt called this budget, a budget for the future of Singapore. I can see a lot going to education and technical training and some piece meal crumbs for middle management as an after thought that would not result in anything meaningful or substantive. We will be producing a lot of quality technicians and foot soldiers and also an appeased middle management.

The issue of PMEs is left blank. Nothing mentioned and very likely many will continue to join this rank and be beneficiaries of the Silver Support Scheme when they join the Silver Brigade. The other important and critical structuring that was left untouched or unsaid is top management. The technical schemes and support given to students would result in a lot of good technicians, a lot of little Indians.

What about the Indian Chiefs? Would Singaporeans be good enough only to be little Indians and the Indian Chiefs would still come from non Singaporeans, the so called foreign talents? Is our top world class education system and tertiary institutions real or just hogwash? Why is it that our graduates from these world class universities not making it to the top but being replaced by wild oats from God knows where and definitely not world class universities except those from the North? Do we believe in the quality of our education system, that our graduates should fill the top positions in govt and in the private sector?

Apart from the fetish craze that angmohs and foreigners are the best, and the colonial mentality that we are daft remnants or descendants of the British colonial regime, the leftovers, what is wrong with our people that they cannot become Indian Chiefs in their own country while most of these positions have to be filled by foreigners from banking and finance to sports and recreation? Many of these top positions do not require geniuses to do the job and many of the foreigners are not genius either but the average Joe in their country. Why are our top talents found wanting and being discarded?

Many years back, the finance industry was filled by our own local talents when there were govt initiatives and policies to ensure that. What is missing today? If we could do it then, we must be able to do better with our world class universities and top grade students. Where is the political will and decision to ensure that our own talents become the Indian Chiefs and not some unknown wild oats given a pink IC or not necessary even?

The budget did not mention anything about creating more true blue Indian Chiefs. The policy of bringing in more foreign Indian Chiefs and allowing govt and private sectors to fill the Indian Chief positions as they like is unchanged. The restructuring has left this out completely. Would the future Singapore be controlled and run by foreign Indian Chiefs with Singaporeans providing the little Indians and running around like little Indians and be happy with the situation as long as there are cheap handouts from the Govt?

Maybe the Govt would be addressing this restructuring to allow more Singaporeans to rise to the top in a separate White Paper. Do you really need the angmohs to run the parks and the zoos and the aquariums? Do we continuously have to rely on foreigners to train our sportsmen at international level? When are we going to produce our own top coaches? Is there something missing in the budget? What is the missing link?


Mysingaporenews Collection – A book launch by crowdfunding

I have received several suggestions and requests to compile my writings into a book form for easy reading and reference. Depending on the interest, I would want to gauge your support for a Collection of Redbean’s political satires and tongue in cheek commentaries on the social and political affairs of Sin City. A selection of the inconvenient truths, often provocative and contemptuous or shocking ridicules, real or unreal, believeable or unbelieveable posted in mysingaporenews would be made available in print. The book will have about 100 to 120 essays to laugh and ridicule at the things that were happening to our beloved country and people.

The cost of production, postage and kopi should not exceed $15 per copy. Please order your copy/copies by sending your donation to POSB savings account 091-04300-9 follow by an email to redbeansg@yahoo.com indicating how many copies needed and the address to deliver to. As an example, for a donation of $50 you can have 3 copies of the book to be delivered to you with the balance as donation for kopi. You can donate more if you like what I wrote. Oh, for deliveries outside Singapore, please add another $5. I did not check but think this would be enough for foreign addresses.

The title of the book is:

A Collection of Redbean’s tongue in cheek commentaries and satires on Sin City

This is Redbean’s crowdfunding project for a book. In case there is insufficient support to cover the production cost the project will be aborted and the donations return to their owners. The book could be ready in July, 3 months after the fundraising project closed in March. Thank you for your support.


World class education opportunities up North

Malaysia’s tertiary education is world class according to the Second Education Minister Idris Jusoh. Malaysian universities are as good as those in UK, Australia and Germany in terms of quality. To back up his claim, he quoted the large number of foreign students coming to Malaysia for their tertiary education, conducted in English of course. So the quality must be good to attract foreign students to Malaysia.

The presence of foreign students is again quoted as a major factor for quality education ie world class. On this aspect, Malaysian universities would never be better than Singapore’s because the number of foreign students in the student population is much higher. Not only that, the lecturers and professors are mainly foreigners, or a large percentage, could be more than 50% in some faculties.

Malaysia needs to work harder to better its ranking if it wants to be better than Singapore by importing more foreign students and lecturers. They could also follow Singapore by giving no string attached scholarships to foreign students and pay the foreign lecturers salaries that they cannot refused. Singapore got a lot of money to spend on these foreign students and lecturers, so can Malaysia. Just throw more monies to the foreign lecturers and students and the ranking of Malaysian universities will definitely go up, like those in Singapore. And when there are more foreigners, the quality also goes up.

Singaporean students must now be eyeing a place in Malaysian universities. Malaysia just need to spend a bit more money to raise its ranking and Singaporean students would surely make a beeline to the high quality world class university education in Malaysia. And with the exchange rate so favourable, it would be an option that Singapore parents find very attractive. And Malaysia could also earn a lot of foreign exchange, increase its percentage of foreign students with Singaporean students, and thus improve the quality of education further. It would be a virtuous circus. Oops, I mean virtuous circle.

Malaysia would be happy and Singaporean students would also be happy. More foreign students and foreign lecturers equal to higher quality of education. It is a simple formula and so easy to achieve.

What is the role of a MP?

The role of an MP is about law making, about national issues and policies, about running the country, about serving the people. It is definitely not about running a Town Council. A Town Council, or whatever you choose to call it, must be a public service not different from other govt services. The people did not vote an MP to run Town Councils and be involved in the nitty gritty details that he has no time for more important matters like attending in Parliament. An MP can head a Town Council, to give it direction, to make sure it run well to serve the people. But the operations of the Town Council must be managed by a team of professionals, not a mix match team to be brought together after an election without continuity.

The MP can be there to ensure that the Town Council serves the people fairly and equally. He should be out of the administrative role, to take the Town Council to task if it does not serve the people and not be taken to task as an administrator of the Town Council. It would be very tough it the MP, a politician, may he be a lawyer, a doctor, a vet, a singer, a soldier, or whatever, be made to run a Town Council as his primary duty.

An MP’s primary duty is in the Parliament. If he cannot be in Parliament, he should not be a Member of Parliament. If he is absent from Parliament most of the time, if he his bogged down by the routine of running a Town Council, how can he serve effectively as a Member of Parliament? You don’t call an MP a Town Council Chairman or Manager, but a Member of Parliament. The people did not go to the polling station to elect a Town Council Manager. They went to the polls to elect their representatives to the Parliament.

The PAP has a different view on this. They want an MP to be first a Town Council Manager, to be able to run a Town Council, as a test to eventually run the country. I quote Boon Wan, ‘…the Town Councils Act has a wider strategic objective of testing parties aspiring to form the national government, by running a town council to first prove their competency.’ This is like telling everyone that he needs to get a degree as a test of his ability to be successful in life or to run the country as a national leader. Is this a logical argument and expectation?

WP said they are not going to form the govt. So can they be excuse from running a Town Council when there is no aspiration to be the govt? So are many independent candidates that would not even dream of running a govt as an individual. Chiam See Tong has wasted more than 20 years of his time running Town Council, an impediment that prevented him from devoting fully to law making when he cannot dream of forming the govt.

What is the primary duty of an MP? Running his clinic, running his law firm, running his business, be directors here and there, running Town Councils and neglecting his duties in Parliament or no time even to attend Parliament that sat for a few days a few times in a year?

What is happening? Running Town Council as a pre requisite to be an MP necessary? I can’t help it when my head keeps shaking. National leaders are not necessary the kind of people that are good at running town councils, running sports associations, running clan associations or trade unions, definitely not necessary to be a successful lawyer or doctor. National leaders are people that have a passion to want to serve the people, to give the people a better life, people with a vision and a political will to make the ministries work towards that goal. What they need is a clear vision, to see the bigger picture of country and people, not about running town councils or squabbling over petty issues. They should be looking at national issues, at problems that involved hundreds of millions or billions, not a few dollars. They must have the helicopter ability, the bird’s eye view of things and not be bogged down by the daily grind of administrative procedures of a town council. The heart must be in the right place, and a really big and good heart with a passion to serve the people.

What do you think? Should an MP be turned into an administrator instead of a law maker, instead of a Member of Parliament? If he is so busy with Town Council matters, with his own business, where got time to be in Parliament to tackle national issues and law making? It is a joke that after paying the MPs such a big sum of money they could not find time to attend Parliament sessions.

A politician/MP's role should be as a check and balance on the govt and all the govt agencies. A politician/MP should not be put in a position to be checkmate in an administrative role.


100 Serangoon residents signed petition against AHPETC

According to an article in TRE, a Chinese paper reported that a petition demanding the WP to explain the loss of funds by AHPETC was signed by 100 Serangoon residents. The matter must be real serious. The PWP only got a miserable 5,000 attendance at Hong Lim Park, the remisier’s petition to Tharman only had a pathetic 1,200 signatures, and my polls here even had more than 150 signatures.  They better approach Raymond and he could easily double the number of signatures with a few phone calls.

The article is receiving a lot of negative comments in TRE and they are all pointing their fingers in one direction and sneering at the 100 signatures in a GRC of more than 200,000 residents. They smell a rat immediately. The stink is spreading.

Actually they could easily get 10% of the 40% who voted against the WP to sign and that would be 8,000 signatures.  No need to be shy, walk the ground and get more signatures to prove a point, that the residents have turned against the WP and would vote the WP out in the next GE. Would they? Or have more voters starting to see the goodness of the WP and sympathise with their plight and starting to cross over to the WP camp?

This 100 signature petition is very meaningful. Read in between the lines and it will reveal many things that cannot be transparent, cannot see light, and no one would come clean on why there is such a petition and who is behind it, and many more things waiting to be revealed.

Online debate more balanced but political blogs more anti govt

This is the finding of the Institute of Policy Studies and appeared in the ST a couple of weeks ago. The IPS survey also assured the Govt that social media is not a Wild Wild West domain and discussions are quite balanced but political blogs are more anti Govt.

I would like to correct IPS on this, that political blogs are anti Govt. There is a world of difference between unhappy and critical of govt policies and being anti govt or more appropriately anti PAP. Just like the commentator ‘simple’ who called me pro China just because I wrote about the farce and hypocrisies of the West and Japan that he is probably more in tune with and agreeable. Exposing hypocrisies and telling the uncomfortable truth that happened to favour China is not necessary pro China. Speaking about the injustice against the Chinese civilization is not pro China but pro justice. If such a simple reasoning cannot be grasped then it is a waste of time trying to explain what it means.

There are many critics of govt policies. And this is not anti govt. There will be no or lesser criticisms of the govt if the policies are well received.  Citizens do not criticize the Govt as a past time, as a fad.  Is it wrong to speak up and disagree with govt policies that are seen as unreasonable or unacceptable or even foolish and against the people? Speaking up against bad policies is NOT anti govt. Hope IPS will be able to understand this subtle difference. Does IPS know what is the meaning of anti govt? Sure they know but the comment must have come about because of an obsession to see things in black and white.

Who would be hitting out against the Govt if the policies are good and well conceived and received? Neither is there a need to praise the Govt whenever good policies are made.  Only an insecure Govt needs to be praised daily. Unfortunately good policies are few and in between for a long time. You may disagree and feel otherwise. Anyway the Govt will be well rewarded when they made good policies by their self rewarding system that is one of a kind in the word. I don’t think there is any govt in the world that would reward themselves with 12 to 24 months of bonuses if they did well. A conflict of interest? Govts are expected to do well and their reward is to be reelected or be booted out if they failed.

Oops, I am criticizing another govt policy, so am I anti govt?


LKY in hospital since 5 Feb

In the news this evening, LKY has been hospitalised since 5 Feb for a severe bout of pneumonia. His condition has stabilised and doctors are monitoring his condition. He is supported by mechanical ventilation and remains in the ICU

Please do not speculate or make unnecessary comments on LKY's condition. Just take this as an important piece of news. During the CNY celebration let's be careful and discreet with what we say. It is always best to say good things about people during CNY than unpleasant things.

Spare the civil servants

Chee Hean reported that cases of abuse against civil servants are on the rise. Among the agencies affected are:

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB), Housing and Development Board (HDB), Inland Revenue Authority (IRAS), Ministry of Manpower (MOM), Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), National Environment Agency (NEA), Ministry of Health (MOH).

Why are civil servants becoming the target of public abuses? They are just carrying out their duties as officers of the ministries or govt? There could be many reasons, like people getting out of the bed from the wrong side, had a bad night’s sleep, losing money in gambling, losing their jobs, money no enough, and the list could go on and on. These reasons are not important. What is important is why the anger is being vented against civil servants.

There could always be the case of the individuals at fault, the abuser or the abused, a case of bad attitude. But to state that it is against civil servants, it meant something else. It implied that the abusers are angry with the govt and taking it out on the civil servants as an excuse.

Another major reason could be bad policies. When policies are bad, and hurt the people the wrong way, the people will be angry. But this does not lead to abuses unless it becomes a case of ‘beh tahan’.  When policies are badly thought out, contrived, when they got out of control and hitting the people badly, when the pain is unbearable, the docile and meek citizens would flare up as a last resort.

The other possibility is the politicisation of the civil service and civil servants. Are the civil servants carrying out their duties fairly and impartially or are they affected by political influence? This is difficult to determine as what is political or what is not is a matter of perception unless it is outright abuses. When the later, then anger will flow and the reaction of the people can be unpredictable, can be violent and can lead to lighting fire, causing bodily harm.

The civil servants must be spared from becoming the bogey man, becoming an excuse for abuses if it is not their fault. Spare the civil servants from getting into a compromising position, to compromise their integrity and objectivity. Remove whatever sources of conflict in their jobs and let them work objectively, fairly and honestly to serve the interest of the people and to serve the people, as civil servants.

Now, would there be a need to set up a committee to investigate this new development? Would the committee members be neutral people that could provide a neutral view and findings and a decent and workable solution to the problem? Spare the civil servants from being compromised or abused by all quarters. Let them carry out their jobs with dignity and respect that money cannot buy.

Roy Ngerng using Boon Wan and Shanmugam’s templates

Below are a few paragraphs extracted from Roy Ngerng’s latest post in his blog http://thehearttruths.com.

 ‘… I replaced what the PAP ministers and members of parliament had said about the AHPETC with what can also be said about the PAP’s management of our CPF. The hypocrisy of what the PAP has said will then be revealed. (The change of words are in italics.)

GIC and Temasek Holding receive large sums of CPF monies from Singaporeans. These are all public monies. As stewards of public funds, GIC and Temasek Holdings must keep proper accounts and records, and maintain adequate control over their assets. Who has paid and who has not? How is the money spent? Is it properly used? Is anybody doing anything wrong? … These and many other questions directly affect the interests and safety of the Singaporeans. They are not trivial technical issues raised merely to satisfy the accountants or the auditors, or to meet financial regulations. Unfortunately, …(there are) serious questions about the reliability and accuracy of their financial and accounting systems.

There is always the temptation, when the GIC and Temasek Holdings are financially strapped, to postpone saving, and say it will make up the shortfall later, or worse, to put its hand into the cookie jar, to draw from the savings to satisfy immediate needs. Just spend, use the savings first. Sounds appealing, but the GIC and Temasek Holdings will then be simply running down the reserves and mortgaging the future of Singaporeans away.
GIC and Temasek Holdings did not adequately manage the conflicts of interests of related parties arising from ownership interests of their key officers”.”….

The Chairman of GIC and CEO of Temasek Holdings are, by the way, husband and wife….

 “Taken in totality, the PAP government cannot possibly adequately manage the conflicts of interest involved in related party transactions”. This means that the PAP government may not have obtained the best value for the moneys paid to these related parties. Or worse, there could be opportunities of wrong-doing or unethical practices which the PAP government may not be able to detect or prevent.

Singaporeans and taxpayers need to know that their monies are properly spent and they are getting best value for money. When these contracts are awarded to parties related to the PAP government, the PAP government needs to be upfront withSingaporeans as well as with taxpayers at large, so that there is transparency and proper scrutiny….

We do not know the exact state of the GIC and Temasek Holding’s financial position.
Something is seriously wrong with the PAP government. They paint a picture of financial mismanagement, incompetence and negligence in corporate governance….

Unfortunately, throughout this saga, we have found the PAP MPs running the PAP government to be evasive, unresponsive and misleading. In response to legitimate queries from Singaporeans, they stone-walled, deflected the queries, made false or dishonest claims, raised irrelevant excuses and sought to confuse the public with a flurry of red-herrings.

First, their lack of transparency – they failed to disclose things on time; they failed to submit reports they should be submitting. Every time we reminded them, again and again, they came up with yet another excuse.

The government  need competent, honest people and proper systems to serve Singaporeans well. Good intentions and bland assurances alone are not sufficient. Elected MPs need to supervise the work of the government, GIC and Temasek Holdings. While they enjoy wide autonomy, they also have huge responsibility. And they are accountable to Singaporeans. They have statutory duties but they are also subject to national laws….

What concerns me is that the PAP government’s actions are clearly unlawful….
The rhetoric from the PAP is always about helping the poor man, the reality is that the PAP took CPF money from the man in the street to give to their friends in the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

The PAP keep saying there’s been no loss (of CPF monies from the more than $100 billion that the GIC and Temasek Holdings lost in 2008). Maybe there was no one taking money through the back door in the dark of the night, there was no need because the money was taken from the front door in broad daylight through all this overcharging.
The second major problem arising from the facts is lack of transparency, lack of disclosure. First, the facts do not seem to have been fully disclosed to all Singaporeans. And second, there seems to have been no proper discussion of the conflicts at all.

Active, persistent non-disclosure. Obviously, deliberate. And the consequence of all of this? Of the billions that were paid tothe GIC and Temasek Holdings, who knows how much was justifiable?

The PAP have been quick to say that despite all the problems, no CPF monies have been lost. Can the PAP honestly say that no CPF monies have been lost? When the PAP ministers and members of parliament act in breach of their fiduciary duties; and pay the GIC and Temasek Holdings billions of dollars? Overpayment to a related party is not a loss?....

You can read the full article in Roy’s blog. I assure you it is pretty long as normal of Roy’s writing and with charts as well to show.


Simple joy of being grandpa

Watching grandchildren growing up happily in their innocence is a simple contentment to many grandparents at a time like welcoming the new year.

This is one of the things that I do with my camera, to capture the days when the grandchildren are growing up.

Clash, Competition, Cooperation and Collusion of Civilisation

The 21st Century is setting a new trend in global competition for development, growth and prosperity of people and nations. Up till the 20th Century, nations triumphed and prospered by war, conquest, exploitation and domination over countries and people. Till the very end of the 20th Century, the mindset and strategies of western powers continued to be bogged down by the past, to dominate, control and rule the world for their own well being. The Cold War might be over but divide and rule, and containment as a policy for world supremacy remains the main policy thrust of the Americans, supported by their western allies.

The rise of China as an economic and military super power and expected to give the Americans a run for their money for pole position is vindication that the containment policy is not working, or not effective. China is on a roll despite all the obstacles placed on its path, trade sanctions, trade barriers, blockages, threats, potholes and many other methods that were not seen or spoken in the open. China and the US, representing the East versus West models for achieving economic growth and prosperity are in direct competition and also cooperation are being watched closely by the rest of the world.

There are several distinct characteristics to the two models. The American model features military power, use of power and dominance, and a complex polity of diverse people, culture and ideas, democracy and capitalism. The Chinese model is one of economic growth with equality among nations, big and small as its foundation, a homogenous people in a sense, and a new concoction of communism and capitalism in various degrees of combination. The US, to some extent Europe, is the representative of the 20th Century western model for growth and development. From the East, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hongkong, derived their growth from primarily a relatively more homogenous society but a mixed of capitalism, democracy and authoritarian govt model.

The West, particularly the US, became rich and powerful riding on conquest and exploitation of people and countries. The Europeans took everything from the American natives forcefully, terminating them, and exploited the labour of Africa and other parts of the world, and their natural resources to build the foundation for a prosperous country. It then benefited from a mix pot of immigrants mainly from Europe to drive the growth engines under a democratic system of govt and a laissez fair economy under capitalism.

The prosperity of China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hongkong was achieved without resorting to conquest and exploitation of other countries and people. They were the victims of exploitation and conquest but grew to what they are today, through the industry and drive of their own people, and from borrowing the economic models of growth from the West. There was an absence of power and sphere of influence by military means. They prosper today without robbing the colonies or other country’s wealth and resources.

Which of these two economic systems would emerge as the role model for the 21st Century? A country of diverse people and ideas, economic and individual freedom, democracy and capitalism or a homogenous society, high involvement of the state, and a democracy that is authoritarian in nature unlike the western model, but without resorting to military power and conquest?  The shining model of national wealth in Europe is taking a hit without the free resources and people for exploitation from the colonies. Europe is in decline, in rapid decline when left to depend on their own limited resources and ingenuity, without conquest and colonisation. Europe is expending its past accumulated wealth seized from their colonies fast, and must look for a new economic and political order to revive its wealth and glorious past. The Americans are slowing down and seeing China and eastern countries making a bid to over take them in all fields, without the use of the gun.

What would the 21st Century turn out to be when countries and civilisation compete and cooperate in a highly complex inter related and inter dependent shrinking world when all economic and human activities are tightly intertwined, where there is intense competition but demanding cooperation as necessary for growth? Both worlds, and all the countries, need each other to grow and prosper together. The USA and China is a very good example of interdependence even as they tried to compete and try to undermine the advantages and benefits of the other for a bigger piece of the pie.

Would the gun be used to scuttle the peace and development in this century when one party feels that it is unable to compete fairly, with ingenuity and industry of its people and system for a better life for its people? Would the mix match potpourri of the US perform better than the homogenous economies of the East, including Japan? Is war the necessary and inevitable solution to the well being of civilisation like in the 20th Century?


Happy Chinese New Year 恭喜发财

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone.

恭喜发财 万事如意 身体健康


Another foreign rogue beat up a Singaporean youth

Another huge foreign bully, a Briton named Alan Benjamin Maybury, was charged in court yesterday for punching a teenage driver 3 times and abusing him. The youth suffered mild swelling and a cut. The cause of the incident was an accident involving the youth’s car and the taxi the rogue foreigner was in.

The beating of locals appears to be a habit by the burly and big foreigners against the meek and small built locals. The safety of locals is increasingly being threatened in this otherwise reputed safe city state for foreigners. It is the locals that are getting the beating by the foreigners.

Would the govt act more firmly against these foreign rogues to protect the safety of the citizens? Or would this rogue get away with a slap on the wrist? When dealing with violent rogues, it is better to return them the same medicine. I would even recommend public whipping in Raffles Place or Hong Lim Park to make a statement that beating locals is not acceptable and cannot be tolerated. These rogues must be made an example off, like the Japanese hanging chopped heads to frighten the locals. There is an urgent clear and present danger against the locals and it must be stopped once for all. Make it know to all the foreign rogues that beating locals will be harshly dealt with, like hangings for drug trafficking.

This cannot go on like this. The situation demands action from the govt to protect its meek and timid citizens. But to assure the foreign darlings that we love them the govt can make a tender loving speech to assure them that the unconditional love for foreigners is still there in case they threaten to move out of this island and turn it into a 3rd world slum. Must handle the foreign darlings with extra sensitive care to make them feel secure, never mind the locals are feeling insecure.

Just cannot ‘tahan’ seeing locals being bullied and bashed by rogue foreigners. Would any MPs say something about these rogues or would they say the Sinkies deserved the beating?

AHPETC – Assumptions, assumptions and more assumptions

I mentioned earlier that I did not read the copious text unloaded by the ST on the AHPETC saga. The persistent condemnation to the point of outrage, appearing daily, forced me to take a closer look at what the case was all about. I pulled out Today’s front page article on Friday 13 titled “AHPETC actions ‘unlawful’” with a subheading ‘Public monies have been lost, minister charges’ for a second look.

I am just a layman that at best has a bit of common sense and hopefully can understand what a top notch legal mind was talking about without being confused or misunderstanding him, and hopefully agreeing with him. The paper said he had 5 major lapses to flog but focused mainly on ‘related party transactions’ of AHPETC. The beef is that 4 senior staff with closed relationship were appointed to manage the Town Council and they could approve each other’s claims for payment, like writing their own checks. And there were over charging of S&CC fees amounting to taking money from the common people to pay their friends, ie benefitting their friends.

Now what is this ‘unlawful’ charge about? To my understanding there must be a law that is broken. Otherwise how can it be unlawful? What law has been broken? Is it about appointing kaki lang to oversee each other resulting in conflict of interest and possible fraud? I am not sure if there is a law that says an organization cannot appoint the father as Chairman, son as CEO and wife as GM or Finance Director. Is there? I am very sure in family businesses this is often the practice. I am not sure if there is a law for public listed companies on this or in the civil service. I am sure it is frown upon, undesirable, unacceptable and maybe there will be company policies against it. That did not make it unlawful right? To be unlawful, there must be a law that forbids it right, learned counsels? Can someone help me on this? I am cocksure that if it is my grandfather’s company, I will appoint anyone to any position I like and have them sign and approve each other’s pay check and you can’t do anything about it. I like what. Cannot meh?

The other issue that Shanmugam was talking about is lost of money, lost of a lot of money. The money were collected from common folks, hard earned money, like the CPF savings, dunno which one is more serious, but being used to pay friends or benefitting friends. Let me explain the simple part first. Many ex Ministers and MPs were appointed to high offices and drawing big fat salaries. Could they fall under the same category as paying friends and benefitting friends, or ex Ministers and MPs are not friends but ex colleagues in political office? Not the same meh?

My point is that there is nothing wrong with such appointments, even with high pays if the friends, oops, I meant ex colleagues, can do the job well. Tiok boh? So, can I say there is nothing wrong to pay friends high salaries and benefitting them if the job is well done, or is done? Those people appointed chairman and directors here and there are not friends meh? They never benefited meh?

I think what is important is money lost. How much is lost, can anyone prove it? I have heard that a lot of money was lost but no numbers being given. But that is beside the point. The most important thing must be the intent or wrongful act like theft or fraud. In the commercial sector, people can lose billions by making bad or wrong investment decisions with no bad intent, with no intent to fraud. And everyone just squeezed their balls and could not do anything about the big losses. Who would be complaining except the rightful owners of the money, the minority shareholders right? There is nothing wrong mah. There must be intent to cheat, to fraud, to steal, according to the law to be unlawful, to be a crime. Has anyone proved any intent in the AHPETC case, or it is assumed? Can one just go around assuming and cut off people’s head or demanding for a pound of flesh on assumptions?

A family business with son or wife claiming millions and father happily signing it is quite common as they trusted each other, and they know that they are absolutely honest people, family business what, so what is wrong? As long as there is trust and the trust is not broken, husband and wife signing for each other cannot meh? Where is the law to say cannot? If got law say cannot, then cannot lah, then it will be unlawful. Nothing more to say leow. Like this I sure can understand.

Ok, the structure is wrong, according to Shanmugam no town councilor who knew this should approve the structure. Yes, yes. It is not a good practice. But is it against the law, against Town Council regulations? If got such law or Town Council regulations, then surely must be breach of fiduciary duties. Got or not?

Now the tricky part, according to Shanmugam, the structure or ‘arrangement was designed. FMSS was a convenient vehicle to which millions of dollars went from the town council. And another obvious question: Money that went to FMSS – where did it actually go? What happened to it?’ Designed for what? For fraud, to cheat? Let me quote Sylvia Lim, what was Shanmugam ‘insinuating’? I say never mind lah. Prove the guilt first. If not, no need to talk more. Let me try to imagine a group of people huddling in a corner designing a town council structure with the purpose of cheating. It would be good if I have a video recording of it.

What happened to the money? You dunno, I dunno. So must be unlawful? What I like is this part quoted by Shanmugam. ‘The law takes an extremely strict view on related party transactions (and) on conflicts of interests. Where contracts have been entered into with related parties in breach of fiduciary duties, the law presumes loss.’ This is a matter of law and the Minister must be right. So those contracts signed between family members must be loss according to the law? Must prove loss or not? This part I dunno.

Shanmugam also charged that 4 WP MPs are culpable for allowing related party transactions to happen under their noses. Culpable for losses or for allowing such transactions? What law is broken? ‘If not exposed, the money would not have been repaid,’ said Shanmugam. So there was lost of money and the money repaid. Is my understanding tiok or boh tiok?

I dunno whether I am wiser after reading the article or not? Anyone of you getting wiser or smarter? Got law broken or not? Got money lost or not? Got intent to cheat proven or not? How I wish I had completed my law school, then not so blur. Lawful, unlawful, legal, illegal, not legal….not lawful, not lawyer.

Oh, one more observation. All the town councils used to charge resident and commercial units different fees, with commercial units paying very much higher S&CC. In 2014 the fees were changed to be the same. As a result, AHPETC ended up charging higher fees for commercial units by not lowering their fees. So they are thus overcharging market rate. Not over billing for sure. Is this a crime? The cost of operation of different town councils cannot all be the same right? And being new and inexperience, being ignorant, did not know other town councils have lowered their fees, so it is unlawful, overcharging? Tiok boh? Got shadow or not? Like that also can be a problem ah? Based on the chart put up by Shanmugam there was a difference. But is that a crime? Is that criminal? Is that cheating, overbilling or overcharging? 

What is wrong with collecting more money? You ask me lah?