The philosphy of Goodlife Makan

The ESM has launched a new initiative in his Marine Parade ward to bring life to the senior citizens. It is called Goodlife Makan, where the seniors are encouraged to do things together, and what else is better than food? Goodlife Makan is all about the seniors and makan. And if I am not mistaken, Monfort Caré is taking care of the cost of the project.

“When we discuss challenges facing old people, we tend to look at them as problems – who will look after them, do they need more funds, what will be the cost of looking after them? That is the wrong approach. It's how to turn that into strengths - what can they do for themselves? How can they help others?” said ESM Goh.

How true is the above statement. Old people all got problems. The poor ones got poor problems, the rich ones got rich problems. Some got no money and would really appreciate Goodlife Makan for a day of free makan, I am presuming here, and a day of socialising. Some got so much money that the money becomes a problem itself.

Yes, the right approach is to turn their challenges into strength. The poor should just enjoy themselves without having to pay for it since they got no money anyway. And the rich should be given the opportunity to show their generosity and pay for the makan. Like that win win. The poor would be grateful to the rich and the rich would be thankful there is a useful way to spend their money. Otherwise so much money would only go to waste. Now they can really do something for themselves, to enjoy the pleasure of sharing a little of their wealth and good fortune with those that have little.

Nice thought on a Sunday morning. But putting it into practice is not easy.

Japanese history repeating itself

Historians read the past to understand what is happening today. There is another way of looking at history by looking at what is happening today to understand what happened in the past. The history of Japan during WW2 is still cloaked with controversies. Who were the real villains that led Japan to its barbaric invasion of Asia and South East Asian? The verdict at the military tribunal put the blame on the Emperor Hirohito, the father of present Emperor of Japan. Many members of the royal families were also found guilty, among them many princes who held command positions in the Imperial Army.

Did the tribunal nailed the real culprits that led Japan to the disastrous war or the Emperor Hirohito was made a scapegoat and the politicians and soldiers who wanted the war and did the butchering of the people they invaded? Emperor Akhihito is now touring the Pacific countries, including Japan and is showing remorse and repentance to the victims of the Japanese invasion and barbarity.  He acknowledged the crimes of Japan in WW2 but was not allowed to say much by the politicians, just like his father during the WW2. The Emperor was just a figure head if what is happening today was the same as the past. The politicians called the shot then and now. Japan was dragged into WW2 by the politicians and the soldiers, not by the Emperor.

While the Emperor and other members of the Imperial household have spoken about the horrors of wars, and feeling repentance over the criminal acts of the Japanese Imperial Armies and the politicians then, the politicians today are shutting up the Emperor and embarking a another mission to rearm Japan, tearing away the pacifist Constitution, and going around the world thumping their chests that they would want to engage in wars. They are building more weapons of wars and signing military alliances and supporting and agitating for wars.

Should Japan embark on WW3 and lose, the fingers must point directly at the politicians and Shinzo Abe and his gang in the govt. They are the ones that are pushing Japan to the path of militarism and war. The Imperial household has nothing to do with what the politicians are doing and wanting to commit Japan on a war path.

In the next war tribunal, the Japanese Emperor must not be made another scapegoat to take the blame from the politicians. The evidence is all there and mounting up daily, the deeds and words of Abe and his gangs of militants.

National Day a day of mourning

How many countries would celebrate or mark their National Day as a day of mourning? 26 Jan is the National Day of Australia but also the day of mourning. Here is why.
Sydney, Australia - For many Australians the national Australia Day holiday is a chance to celebrate their country with a day off from work and a drink. For Indigenous Australians, it is a day of protest and mourning.

Several thousand Indigenous Australians and their supporters marched through the streets of Sydney to protest at what they have renamed 'Invasion Day', which marks the 1788 establishment of the first British penal colony.’ Al Jazeera

Now you know why. Every story and event has two sides. The winner’s side and the loser’s side, the conqueror’s story and the defeated’s story. 26 Jan is the day the British, I think led by James Cook, landed Australia and robbed it from the native aborigines, then later gave the land to their convicts from England. Yes, the white Australians would celebrate this day just like the white Americans would celebrate Thanksgiving Day, the day Columbus landed on North America and robbed the continent from the native Red Indians.

The bananas have also been celebrating Thanksgiving Day and some may join the Australians to celebrate Australian Day without knowing why. To the natives of both continents, both days are days of sorrow, genocide and mourning. One side would be celebrating stealing the lunch of the natives and their land and killing them, the other side mourning for the losses of their land and people and subjugation.

Ignorance is bliss but also stupidity and looking silly. You may still want to ask why such events were not reported in the western media.


The Philippines is not the Sick Man of Asia

There have been many misguided comments that the Philippines is the new Sick Man of Asia. This is not true. The only semblance of a Sick Man is its economy, that is not doing as well as the Asean states. Other than this, the Philippines is every inch a proud sovereign state. The Pinoys are a proud people and had recently driven the colonial master, the USA, out of their country. They have reclaimed full independence of their national sovereignty, with no foreign bases and soldiers in their country. They are even standing up to fight China and competing to claim islands in the South China Sea as theirs. They even want to claim or take over Singapore as their new colony. They may not be rich, but the Philippines is anything but a Sick Man of Asia.

Reflect what qualified China of the 19th Century as the Sick Man of Asia, the conditions of the country and people. China was not only economically weak, the country was cut up by foreigners with foreign concessions where foreigners lived like they owned the country, in their own enclaves in Shanghai. The foreigners have more rights in China than the locals. When they ended up in court, the court would rule in favour of them. And the corrupt elites were sleeping with the foreigners, allowing more foreigners into the country, taking over businesses and anything that had economic values, even messing around with the govt. The foreigners were having all the good jobs and top jobs in the country.

What about the locals? The local Chinese were kicked aside, no jobs and begging the foreigners for jobs. The foreigners were in control of everything. the govt, the economy and jobs and wining, dining and partying everyday. The natives lost all pride as citizens of the country. Got bashed by the foreigners, kicked around by the foreigners, insulted and abused by the foreigners, as good as no talents. And the natives could not do anything and the govt could not do anything. The elites would not dare offend the powerful foreigners. The natives lost all fighting spirit in their own country. Many escaped overseas to find jobs and to look for a better life. The people lost hope in their own country and their elites.

Did the Philippines meet these conditions? Some, but not all. The Pinoys are still in charge in their own countries and foreigners could not boss around with them of abuse them. The foreigners know that in the Philippines, the Pinoys are the owners and they better behave well in front of the Pinoys. They would not dare to beat up a Pinoy. There is still pride in the Pinoys. How can they be called the Sick Man of Asia?  It is not just about money? Money is dignity? It is national pride, the pride as a nation, as a people. Lose that, you become the Sick Man of Asia.

A Sick Man of Asia is when a country is taken over by foreigners, run by foreigners, foreigners could boss around with the locals and the locals are helpless when abused by the foreigners. When the foreigners formed and lived in foreign enclaves and sneering and despising the natives. And the natives lost all pride and spirit to live, lost confidence in themselves, all planning to run away from the country, when their very own govt cannot protect them, cannot offer them good jobs, and the good jobs were taken over by foreigners.

I definitely disagree that the Philippines is the Sick Man of Asia. They even despise daft Sinkies.

The trend of development in GRCs

The statisticians and social scientists that read trends to predict the future and who are looking at the trend of GRC development would point to one conclusion. I show you the conclusion later.

We started with single seat constituencies. Every MP stood for one constituency to represent one constituency of people. Then the conventional wisdom and realities changed. There was a need to ensure minority candidates are present in Parliament. The wisdom of the day said the people would be voting on ethnic grounds and minority candidates would not be elected in the future. No one was up to it to question this hard truth. So that was it. There shall be light, oops, there shall be GRCs. Each GRC should have 3 or 4 candidates with one from the minorities.

After a few elections, different needs appeared. Now the reason was not to ensure minority representation but other convenient or practical reasons like economy of scale, efficiency, expediency, ministers very busy so need other MPs to cover for them, or when one dies, others can cover the dead MP’s duties and so on and on. See the shifting goal posts and reasons?

Then we have bigger and bigger GRCs, the unsinkable battleship, the bigger the battle. Weak oppositions were struggling to catch up to field even a GRC with decent candidate and with the cash. But that was their problem. Big GRCs were good and the intent and purpose were good. It was good for the politics of the country, like Elected President was better than Appointed President.

Then again things changed. Big GRCs not so good leh. So must have lesser big GRCs. Reasons I am still blur. And now I heard there is a need to have more smaller GRCs and SMCs. Reasons I also dunno but must be good for the political system and for the country and people.

See the trend and reasoning? So the next change, what would be the next change, what is the trend leading to? Yes, GRCs are bad and we must go back to SMCs.  Why, because the people are not really racist, they are Singaporeans and colour blind. The Singaporeans would vote for good candidates regardless of race, language and religion. This is in the national pledge, idiot. There is no need for GRCs. And some may be wondering, which smart alec came up with this GRC thing? What crap! But this is the future. I am bringing this up as a social scientist would do, to study the social trend and make a prediction of the future political system as the trend will take. As they say, things will come around in circles.

All back to square one. In the process everyone was taken for a ride without a say and without knowing why.  And who knows, there will be no more Elected President in the future and the President sitting in the Istana will be just a ceremonial president and no multi million dollar salaries in the future, just a presidential stipends of $500k a year.


Hillary Clinton to be indicted!

John Harding seems to be very well informed of such exciting news. He is working on a leak that Hillary is going to be indicted by the FBI while I am working on a story on how to get Hillary to run in the next GE as a candidate for the opposition parties.

John Harding is still working on his story but I will just quote this from his blog.

Obama does not want to be linked to Hillary Clinton as the Benghazi attack was staged by a State Department hired jihadist security outfit in connection with and as a cover-up for the transfer of Libya’s vast arms cache to al-Qaeda and ISIS mercenaries in Syria and Iraq.’

This is bizarre news. If true, Hillary’s ambition to be the first female President of the Empire will go up in smokes.

Wow John.

PS. This is the strength of the American democratic system when there is real separation of power, where a rogue executive, even the President, can be indicted, not only a Secretary of State. And they don’t suka suka change their constitution because someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or someone had a nightmare.

Revisionism of the Constitution and Political System

While many changes are being proposed in Parliament, I think it is important at this point to note that Singapore is a democracy and the citizens have certain rights enshrined in the Constitution. In a democracy, the citizens are the owners of the country and have the right to elect who they want to represent them in Parliament and who should be the President of the country. The citizens also have the right to stand for election as the people’s representative in Parliament as well as to be the President of the State. Any legislation that removed these rights of the people must be unconstitutional. What would the legal minds say of these assertions? I bet none would dare to open his or her mouth on these issues. So the citizens will be just as blind and as dumb with regard to their rights as citizens on these issues. The big question, can a ruling party legislate away the rights of the people to stand for election as the President of the country? The so called restrictive and limiting criteria to be eligible as a presidential candidate are like the natural aristocrats carving out a niche for themselves, excluding the masses, depriving the masses of a basic right as a citizen of the country.

I hope all of you can share your views here and in other forum or public discussions whether the proposals to the changes to the Elected President system violate the Constitution, undermine the rights of the citizens to be president and to elect the President of the State.

I am not going to suggest an easier method to satisfy the conventional mantra of the day, that the candidate for the Presidency must have blue or purple blood. If that be the case a simpler solution would be to legislate that only the scions of ex Presidents and Prime Ministers are eligible to stand for election as the next President. This would also solve the minority representation issue.

Having said that, the people must not be misled by the shifting goal posts. The citizens must not forget the first principles, that is, they are the owners of this country. Every citizen has the right to stand for election as the President of the State and that it is their right to elect whoever they want to be the President of the State, blue blood, purple blood or red blood is not an issue or limiting factor. In a democracy, the people can even elect a beggar or a blind man to be the president of the state. It is democracy and it is their democratic right. No one can take this right from the people. No one can legislate this right away from the people. Do not treat the people as daft and unthinking and would anyhow suka suka elect any rogue to be the President. Please do not insult the intellect of the electorate.

Tiok boh?

They said everything begins with a good intention. The devil is in the details. Watch the details carefully.


Careful tweaking of political system is Spore’s way backward

Oops, oops, I am a bit dyslexic today. I read something in the paper and, ok, ok, now I remember, the title of the article is ‘Careful evolution of political system is Spore’s way forward’.  Apologies, apologies.  How can the evolution of the political system in the hands of righteous, flawless, honourable, selfless, incorruptible and well meaning people whose only concern is the well being of Singapore and the Singaporeans be going backward? Cannot be mah. Singapore is really so bless to have so many generations of good men and women in charge.
Now the good men and women in charge are suddenly charged with a body full of adrenalin and great inspirations and ideas to carefully tweak our political system for the future, to last ten thousand years. There are so many good changes coming up, NCMP lah, elected president lah, minority interests lah, smaller GRCs and more SMCs and many more that it would fill a library if I would put them down in words. I have so many things to say, so many ways of saying them. Maybe over the weekend I shall spend some time talking about them in more details.
Now why are the people, oops, some people, especially those from the opposition camps, sounding so unhappy? Why are they objecting? Just cannot understand them. All the proposals are good things, for the good of the country and people. I think the opposition camps should just shut up and listen quietly, like all good boys in schools will do, like children at home will do when papa speaks.
Seriously, I cannot find any single thread of fault in the proposals printed in the main media. They all sounded so good, so encouraging, so progressive, full of good intentions. I also read and heard so many praises that we are moving forward. Sorry Cheng Bock, sorry Jee Say, I didn’t hear your objections.
It is good that the Singapore political system should evolve around the goodness of natural aristocrats and not around peasants. The natural aristocrats have many in born qualities, or greatness by birth that peasants can never hope to possess. One of the most important things is that their blood is purple in colour.
Ok, when a person has purple blood, he must be exceptional. It would be good if our political system is run by people with purple blood. All those with blood of the commoners, red, please step aside and be good.  Remember your station in life and do the part you are born to do, to listen and obey, be the doers, not thinkers or leaders. Stop objecting, resistance is futile.

Sing dollar very big or very small?

Singaporeans are so happy that Sing dollar is appreciating against the ringgit, S$1 to MR$3. This is very good news for those spending money across the causeway, those who frequent the shops and restaurants and recreation facilities in the north, enduring the long jams and hours wasted in the queue, going in and out of Singapore. To some it is worth it, so some, the little savings does not justify the time wasted in the jams. And there are others buying properties in Malaysia. The properties are getting cheaper with the stronger Sing dollar. But what is the bottom line, did they make money from their property investments or end up losing more despite the advantageous of a stronger Sing dollar?

Strong Sing dollar mainly benefits those who work here and remit their money back home, convert to their home currencies and spend on things that are cheaper due to their lower cost of living, buying properties, cars, and whatever. The Malaysians working here are the biggest beneficiaries to the strong exchange rate. So are the Indians, Chinese, Myanmese, Pinoys, Bangladeshis and others.
How many Singaporeans really benefit from the strong Singapore dollar? If they spend their money here, actually their money is getting smaller and smaller, not bigger. When citizens of other countries could buy a car for $10K or $20k equivalent, Singaporeans need to pay more than $100k to buy a car, a few hundred thousands to buy a bigger car. This is how small the Sing dollar has become to the Singaporeans. And this same principle applies to all other purchases. A $500k ringgit is good enough to buy a landed property of more than 2000 sq ft in Malaysia. A $500k Sing dollar could only purchase a 4 or 5rm HDB flat at most, for 99 years. That is the purchasing power of the Sing dollar. Don’t be conned, the Sing dollar is losing its value at home. A Sing dollar today is worth very much lesser than yesterday in purchasing power.  A $1 bowl of noodle is now $3.50.  Public transport used to be less than a dollar, now $2 or more daily.  Taxi fare used to be less than $10, now can be $50 or more.
This is how big the Sing dollar has become. So, are Singaporeans benefitting from the strong Sing dollar? Only if they spend it outside Singapore. The majority of the average Singaporeans are not benefitting from a stronger Sing dollar but a Sing dollar that is losing its purchasing value.
So, should Singaporeans be happier with the higher income they are getting today? It used to be pretty comfortable living with a $1000 household income. Today, a twin income of $4,000 is struggling to get by. Definitely cannot afford a car, maybe a bicycle for the new quality lifestyle.
While the paper income is more, but the purchasing power is so much lower today than yesterday. Imagine a $3,000 pm income and how much luxury the family could afford to buy then and how a $3,000 income today is making ends meet?
Is the Sing dollar bigger or smaller today?
Now the Malaysians would be laughing and saying, my $500k ringgit can get me a landed property, what can your $500k Sing dollar get you? My $30k ringgit can buy a car, what can your $30k Sing buy, a motor bike? Can’t even buy a piece of paper called COE.
Singaporeans who can afford it, would enjoy a few trips overseas to spend their strong dollars but will return home to spend their shrinking dollar at home for the rest of the year.


The politics of non interference – A New World Order

The politics of non interference – A New World Order
By Chua Chin Leng (chinadaily.com.cn)Updated: 2016-01-25  

The world has lived through a period of incessant warfare under Pax Americana when interference in the domestic affairs of countries in the disfavored nation list of the Empire is the norm. Regime change, false flag incidents, support of terrorists aka freedom fighters or vice versa were the key features of a World Order that was in disorder.

Has the world grown tired of wars and looking for an era of peace when warfare under whatever pretext or provocations be condemned? President Xi Jinping has gone on a tour of Africa followed by the Middle East with a mission of peace, commerce and economic development under the guiding principle of no interference in the domestic affairs of nation states.

After his African trips last year, Xi' s latest schedule included the visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran in one week. Only a major power with good relations to countries locked in a conflict would be welcomed by the warring states. Egypt' s relation with the two economic powers of the Middle East is at best tentative and measured.

China did not visit these countries to sign military alliances or to engage them by taking sides in their conflict. Xi' s trips were purely for economics and economic diplomacy. Though nothing much was revealed in the visit to Riyadh, Xi was warmly received by the House of Saud and the King himself. There were hints that both countries would ink a comprehensive strategic partnership during the visit.

In Egypt, the two countries signed economic agreements involving US$15b in investment projects. Similarly, several billions of contracts were signed in Tehran. Xi was warmly received equally in Egypt and Iran despite the rivalry and tension in the region.

Though no official statements or commitments were made concerning the relations between the three countries, there were expectations that China could be attempting to be a bridge for the rival states to sit at the negotiating table to avoid an outbreak of hostilities.

China’s policies of non interference and of encouraging peaceful settlement of interstate problems are starting to be welcomed by the Middle Eastern states.

Iran would stand to benefit from the Chinese initiatives in infrastructure development that it urgently needs coming out of sanctions by the western powers. The One Belt One Road project would suit Iran and other land locked countries very well with its greater reliance on land transport than the sea.

Both Iran and Saudi Arabia would be less suspicious of China' s economic initiatives in both countries when political meddling is not on the cards.

China’s approach in diplomacy by emphasizing trade and economic development instead of military intervention, military alliances, selling of weapons of war, would be a new feature in the New World Order.

The western policies of military intervention and regime change as the only way to resolve inter state relations are passé. The world needs a New World Order of stability and peaceful economic developments, not more wars and destruction.
China' s diplomacy will gain more ground and acceptance by the international communities and nation states that want peace and not war.

The author is a political observer from Singapore.

Hiring Singaporean first policy – the tale of two farmers by Dotseng

Below is an article by Darkness that is a good read for those who are concerned with the plight of Singaporeans in their own country before they become marginalized by the influx of foreigners.

January 25, 2016

Once upon a time, there was a greedy farmer in nearby village who believed it was a jolly good idea to bring in workers from a faraway land to earn more money – the greedy farmer had many reasons to bring in foreigners – firstly, they were all younger and fitter than those in his own village, hence they could work faster and longer and even offer better, betterer and betterest results for much less.

When villagers asked him pleadingly – why don’t you give us a chance to earn a living? The greedy farmer would often be heard recounting in the kopitiam, ‘I get a bigger bang for my buck by hiring these foreigners stupid! Besides you should not have such an entitlement mentality! Didn’t you know…no one owes you a living! Hahahahahahahaha!’

As these foreign workers swarmed the village, many of the villagers found themselves slowly displaced and marginalized.

Since many of the villagers could no longer find jobs, their skills slowly frittered away. And since without a job it was virtually impossible to pass on skills under a master and apprenticeship arrangement to the youths.

Eventually even the young started to leave the village for the cities. And since all the foreigners much preferred to repatriate 80 cents out of every dollar they earned back home rather than spend it in the village. Soon the local economy began to shrivel up as the shops closed down one by one. Eventually even the merchants packed up and moved along like a traveling circus. One by one the villagers began to leave for the city till eventually the village began to resemble a ghost town.

One day when the economy of the country collapsed due to the mismanagement by crooked politicians who claim to have received anonymous donations which are not actually donations….but I rather not write about it. As I don’t ever want to end in up in block 7 of IMH…..Dowan lah!

The currency of the country began to collapse in earnest. Soon the foreign workers began to demand higher wages from the greedy farmer. They would often be heard complaining, ‘now that your money is so small, it’s not worth it for us to work here any longer. As every time we send money back our wife’s and relatives complain no end that it is so little – so eventually even they decided to pack up and leave for greener pastures. And since there were no locals in the nearby village which had long since turned into a ghost town…no one could be found to work in the estate of the greedy farmer. As time went by the jungle overran the estate and it was no more….only to disappear like a piece of shit on a hot scorching day.

On the other side of the valley was another farming hamlet – there lived a wise farmer. This farmer did something very different when he brought in new migrants from other parts – for one he made sure every villager was first employed, unlike the greedy farmer who was only driven by the profit motive of always chasing the biggest bang for the buck.

The wise farmer valued relationships, so it was not unusual for him to even give out work to the locals even though he knew they were in some cases slower and more expensive when compared to foreign labor.

He would often be heard saying, ‘We are investing in the future…so we cannot measure progress in just monetary terms – after all if skills are not passed down from father to son, if they are not retained and sharpened in our community, then how will we harvest fruit in the future? How will we perpetuate our way of life? Besides we are a family, we must all take care of the old, young and the stupid. We cannot just leave them to fend for themselves – even animals don’t that.’

In this way, he was able to maintain the peace and harmony in his village and everyone, including the new migrants were happiest with the farmer – as even they despite their strange foreign ways were most welcomed by the villagers as since everyone was gainfully employed, the foreigners never once posed a threat to either the villagers way of life or their livelihoods.

One day when the economy turned to mud and all the foreigners left for greener pastures. The farmer gathered the whole village in the Padang. He told them all the brutal facts of life, we face very difficult times ahead….who will stand and fight with me?

The whole village told the farmer, ‘how can we not stand by you and fight… Where else do you expect us all to go? This is after all our home! If we don’t fight for home…..then what are we supposed to fight for!’

As for the foolish farmer he was last seen drinking himself blind while singing, show me the way to go home, like a broken violin…some say he was transformed into a frightened dog thereafter…if anyone knows or who has seen this dog…I mean person please drop me a line.

Dotseng aka Darkness


Elected President or Appointed President better bet?

The heat is on. Do away with the flawed Elected Presidency. How can we have a system where the electorate could vote in a rogue president? We must have a similar system like our GE where no matter how daft the electorate are, they would never elect a rogue govt to power. Our system is so well designed and tested, no rogue govt has been elected so far and would never will. 

Let’s work out another scheme to replace the Elected President scheme that would not end up with a rogue president. How about a new condition that all candidates for the Presidency must come from the ruling party? Why, because the ruling party has a very good tea session that would rule out any potential rogues into parliament or to become the president. Just a suggestion only ok, don’t get excited or angry can? Maybe all presidential candidates must be natural aristocrats. Natural aristocrats are incorruptible by nature.

Maybe an easier way is to revert to the appointed president scheme. That one was working until some smart alec said an elected president scheme is better. Since all the smart alecs now said elected president not safe, then go back to appointed president. When they panicked the last time, they forgot the principle that when something is not broken, don’t change it. But they changed it, to an elected president, and now they suddenly discovered that this is a bad scheme.

But before they go back to the appointed president scheme, let me quote a comment by an anonymous here.

‘Anonymous said... If a rogue regime chooses its own President and any Other Office Holders.  NAURALLY ALL WILL BE ROGUE.  Commonsense la.’

What do you think, does this comment make any sense? Which scheme will be more dangerous, an elected president when the mistake, if made, will be made by the electorate, or the appointed president where the mistake would be made by a handful of people? Should the election of a president be left in the hands of a rogue govt? A president can be a rogue, an elected govt also can become rogue right?

Should the govt take heed to the comments by this anonymous or to listen to the smart alecs? Is there a system that can guarantee a president that is not corrupt?

Najib negotiating for his exit?

I read a long report painting a very bleak picture of Najib’s political career and his impending exile but no country wanting to have him or to have anything to do with him. The report even mentioned his in laws in Kazakhstan had turned him down. I forgot the source of this report but it seemed so real, with suggestions that all the crimes of Najib are already on the AG’s table and waiting to be submitted to the court together with Najib in the dock.

In the media yesterday, Najib was all very well, seeking an audience with the Agung to remove the Chief Minister of Kedah who is none other than his nemesis’ son in Muhkriz Mahathir.  It was not Najib moving out but the Mahathir’s son, the last of Mahathir’s shadow in Malaysian politics. Najib is still on top of things and in full control of the mess he is in.

This political intrique is getting more interesting everyday. How could Najib being accused of so many wrongdoings and by the most powerful man in Malaysia even out of office, is still standing and kicking around, and kicking asses? In his heydays, a whisper from Mahathir would send everyone flying and the victims kissing dust. Why is it so difficult for Mahathir to remove Najib despite all the evidence he and his men had in their hands? And why is Najib getting stronger by the days and appearing to be the winner in this zero sum game?

Is it the Rosmah factor? Everyone has heard of how powerful Rosmah is and the infamous rumour of her dabbling with the occults. How much truth is there that the occults could have such a powerful influence in the politics and staying power of a PM painted into a corner?

Or are the days of the Mahathirs coming to an end? Could the past excesses of Mahathir be the main factor of his undoings, that the palaces are now more inclined to favour Najib than the man that clipped their wings and now it is pay back time for Mahathir? The ruthless and arrogant disregard of the dignity of royalties, no matter how well meaning, would still be regarded as an affront and an act of disrespect and insubordination. Now Mahathir is not going to get the support that he desperately wants from the Agung and the royal houses. It is game over for Mahathir. No matter what sins Mahathir wants to pin on Najib, no sin is greater than the sin of trampling on the dignity and power of the royal houses.

Now, who is fighting for his life, Najib or Muhkriz and Mahathir? The victor is not going to be kind to the loser this time as the stakes are really high and any softness could prove fatal in a rebound. Who shall walk again and who shall be in exile? The verdict would be out very soon.


The Empire taking over Asean

Emperor Obama has sent a Special Envoy, John Kerry to Asean ordering Asean states to gang up against China or else… This is the main message of John Kerry’s visit.  This is an ultimatum. Little countries in Asean better take note of this Imperial Edict. Refusal to obey shall be in vain.  Obedience will be rewarded by a sumptuous feast hosted by the Emperor himself in a Special Summit in Feb 15 and 16 in California. What would happen at the Special Summit if the Asean leaders refused to gang up to go against China?  Instead of a feast, the leaders may be served cold turkey and a lecture on either ‘you are with us or against us’.

The Special Envoy also brought another message for China. Take tough actions against North Korea, or else…. Would China take the order of the Emperor meekly or would China show John Kerry the middle finger?
Both Asean and China are now put on the spot. The Emperor has commanded and acquiescence is mandatory. Would Asean surrender its neutrality and freedom to decide its own policies, or would Asean be cowered and shivering in fear?
What would happen to Asean if they decide to disobey? What would happen to China if it also decides to disobey the Emperor? The message of the Emperor is clear. China and Asean must come under the rule of the Empire. They have no choice, just like in the Star Wars movies.  You shall obey or be destroyed.
Welcome to the Empire and welcome the Emperor. Neutrality is not allowed. There is only one empire and that is the American Empire.

Elected President – The first LKY legacy to fall

There is an article by a Cynical Investor in the TRE titled ‘Wanted President – Must not embarrassed the PAP’. In the article the author quoted the finest thinker in Singapore in Kishore Mahbubani raising the issue of electing a rogue President that would make life difficult for a good govt. I will not discuss why it should not be the other way, ie, a good elected President making life difficult for a rogue govt. In Kishore’s argument, probably the same thinking as the power of the day, this concept of an elected President has outlived its usefulness and must be discarded for good, and be discarded quickly before the next election is due for another elected President.


How could a care taker govt, some said a ‘jaga’ president, that hardly had any power other than the so called power of the second key to open the nation’s reserves, be able to make things difficult for an incumbent govt?  A ruling govt could easily get rid of a rogue govt when it is confirmed that a rogue is in the Istana.  Luckily we don’t have that experience since 1969. Why is this fear being raised at this time when no rogue president has been elected? How is it possible to elect a rogue president when the criteria to be even qualified to stand for election is so stringent and all holes covered?


But that is not the point. The very thought of removing this Elected Presidency is akin to heresy. Do those people objecting to this concept of an Elected President know whose idea it was? Are they going to tear away such a great idea before his body turn to dust? This thought is simply unfilial and disrespectful. Don’t even think about it. This is a legacy of LKY. Are the people objecting to the Elected Presidency saying or thinking that they are smarter than LKY, that they can throw away his great idea and legacy so callously?  It is so easy to create fear, fabricate fear, like the Americans creating fear everywhere to incite wars and sell weapons.


Why don’t they say the current political system could risk the daft electorate voting a rogue govt into power and that the system must also be changed? And if a rogue govt comes into power, it is imaginable that it would put many behind bars. Now, would that be dangerous, more dangerous than a rogue and one man president?


Let’s see who is arrogant and disrespectful enough to destroy the legacy of the father of modern Singapore.


The number of Singaporean Ah Qs growing

For those who are unfamiliar with this Ah Q character in Lu Xun’s political satire, Ah Q is the epitome of poverty but in a state of denial and trying to justify every failure and misfortune in his life as something good, to comfort himself and to minimize the pain. What is happening today in Sin City is that more and more Ah Qs are appearing and trying to make the best out of a bad situation by comforting themselves that it is good, or it will be good in the long run.

The media have been making many complementary statements about how good life is and how good cycling is. ‘Bold moves for car lite Singapore in the offing’ wow great stuff!  ‘Cycling as a viable commuting choice lauded’, another great stuff as if the people really love cycling and are throwing the burden of their cursed cars away.  Everyone is so happy about having more cycling lanes to make cycling more convenient and to throw away their dreams of car ownership. Car lite cities make for a better quality of life. Boon Wan was quoted saying, ‘There is a growing consensus among developed cities that few cars mean less traffic, congestion, less air and noise pollution and more land for public spaces and amenities.’ Or more land to build more flats to bring in more migrants?

Let me recall a statement by a Chinese missile scientist, Qian Xueshen when he tried to convince his good friend, a nuclear scientist, to help to detonate the first nuclear bomb in China. The latter did not want to as nuclear bombs are weapons of mass destruction. Qian told him that having the bomb and not using it was different from not having the bomb altogether. This, in the current context, is like having a car and not wanting to use against not able to own a car and has no choice but to cycle. For the cycling enthusiasts, cycling is a choice and their bicycles can cost several thousands. They cycle for fun, not because they must, not because they could not afford a car. Many would be having a big car in their garages.

While the rich car owners are trying their best to con the daft to abandon their cars, the daft are behaving like Ah Qs, swallowing the lie totally. And now the Ah Qs are even convincing themselves that cycling is a better quality of life. In Lu Xun’s Ah Q, he was a victim of circumstances, and had no choice. Poverty was his life and he had to try to live his dastardly poor life the best he could. He had to convince himself that life was not so miserable to carry on living.

The Singapore Ah Qs could not think and allowed the rich to con them that no car is good. And stupidly they believe so, giving up the dreams and aspirations to want a better life with the comfort of car ownership and cycling for fun on weekends. They could not see the difference between having a car and not using it and not able to own a car and have to cycle everywhere.

Which Ah Q is dafter? In the 60s and 70s, the poor commie country called China was filled with bicycles on the roads.  We used to sneer at their poverty, car less society due to being poor. Today they are all craving to own cars, for a better quality of life. The Singaporean Ah Qs will soon be shouting cars are bad, bicycles are good. Rich commies are bad, poor capitalists are good. Or cars are good, bicycles are betterer.

What about those who need a car for the old, the sick, the young and for the barang barang they must bring along in the course of doing their little businesses? How are they to get by without a car or a car that cost more than a hundred thousand of big Singapore dollars?


Francis Seow – The good, bad and ugly, they all shall pass away

These few years, and the next few years, we are likely to see the last few remnants of the pioneer generations kissing the dust. No one can escape this force of nature. Everyone shall decay and turn to dust. Whether they be rich or poor, acquired mountains of fortune or lived their last days as paltry recluses, good riddance.

Francis Seow had a meteoric rise to the cream of our history, to be there, but not there. His flash of success was clipped by his detention and humiliation in the cells of Mount Pleasant. He had gave the Singaporeans a glimpse of what actually happened behind those walls in the tranquil setting of a verdant forest in the most prestigious and expensive ground in this most expensive city state.

Francis Seow’s exile and eclipse from the corridors of power would be what Singaporeans remember him most, a victim of the politics of an era, hopefully never to be repeated again. The two camps would have different ways to commemorate his passing away and that is expected.  You would not hear good words from one camp or negative words from the other.

Our history, or modern history under the PAP, written and approved by the PAP, is only 60 years. What would our history be in another generation when memories of all the key players and their direct beneficiaries and victims have gone cold?  For the moment, the good, bad and ugly are well documented by official memoirs and the media. Would their places be switched when the powers change hands in the future? Would our history be told differently and the villains and heroes be named differently?

Now, who is next to join the list of has beens, came and left and turned to dust.?

Ip Man 3 – A nation building perspective

Ip Man 3 the movie is going to set records all over the world as a very watchable movie. Movie making has taken a paradigm shift, from the funny slapstick cartoon like fighting sequences of the past to more stylish and gravity defying stunt done at great speed, and appearing very realistic. The choreography of fighting scenes is like watching fighting men moving with the grace of dancers. This generation of movie making has made the movies of the past looked so amaturish. They are really very enjoyable to watch.

The themes and plots are fairly standard and familiar. But fans of kungfu movies did not pay just for the plots, though they made the movies more watchable. They went for the actions. Many also went to see Ip Man and his brand of fighting skills against his opponents, seeing the triumph of a skilled kungfu exponent taking on fearsome opponents and won. Good for the adrenaline and comforting for the soul.

There is another important aspect that many missed, the big picture. Ip Man’s movies were scripted in a period when China was the Sick Man of Asia and Hongkong 1959 was a British colony. The island was ruled by foreigners and the local elites were shameless, powerless, greedy and selfish individuals that only cared for their own good. They did not mind the foreigners taking over the govt, taking over the businesses and industries, bullying the helpless and poor country men, kicking them around, as long as they, the elite, could lead a good life.

The foreigners were everywhere and calling the shot.  Jobs were few for the locals and getting a job from the foreigners was a big thing, even being discriminated, being bullied and underpaid, and having to please the foreigners and enduring their abuses.  The masses were poor, hungry and angry, but could not do a thing. They could not depend on the local elites that were in cahoot with the foreigners to exploit them.  They could only hope for an Ip Man to stand up and fight for them. And they screamed for their hero. But the victory was empty. The system, with the foreigners in charge and calling the shot, and the locals as the disenfranchised people, with little rights, with no help coming from the elites, was the order of the day.

They did not know the island was lost. They were conquered and ruled by foreigners and depending on the mercy and charity of the foreigners. The parasitic local elites were more interested in enriching themselves, country or no country never mind. Life was good for them and their families. The masses could be left to be bullied by the foreigners, beaten by the foreigners, the elites would turn a blind eye. The elites were also fearful of the foreigners as the foreigners were in control, in charge of the country.
The historical context of the Ip Man movies was a lost people,  lost country, a people with no dignity, no will to fight for themselves, no pride, no money, no jobs, but waiting helplessly for things to happen, waiting for more Ip Mans to stand up to fight for them.

When a country turned into a Sick Man of Asia, that would be the fate of the people. They lost everything, their country, their jobs, their self respect, their dignity, their right to live as normal citizens of a country. They did not know how to fight back, to regain their rights in their country, to retake their country from the foreigners and the corrupt elites. The elites were were the real enemies of the people, not the leaders of the country.

Ip Man was just a flash of hope but would not change anything. The people need to rise together, to throw out the corrupt elites and the foreigners.  It took several revolutions, millions of death, and a lot of pain and suffering, to retake China from the corrupt regimes and the foreigners and later the return of Hongkong.

Look beyond Ip Man in the movie. There is a very important lesson in nation building to be learnt. It is not the fighting skills of Ip Man. It is not one man to change the world. It is the helplessness of a people that had lost their country to foreigners.


Singapore is an exceptional place on earth

When the whole world is threatened by terrorist attacks, Singaporeans can sleep in peace, partly due to the exceptional govt and the exceptional men in blue. 27 terrorists were arrested and deported to Bangladesh without doing any harm to Singapore.

What was remarkable is the discovery of this terrorist cell in the island. What is more remarkable is that the terrorists were not planning to hit Singapore. They were planning to hit Bangladesh. Now you see why Singapore is so safe? The terrorists would not dare to hit Singapore or would not want to hit Singapore. Isn’t that remarkable? This is uniquely Singapore. International terrorists were here, at least 27 of them, excluding whatever local terrorists known and unknown, and we are safe.

The other remarkable thing is that Singapore is an open country and people come in freely. The govt is very happy to have more migrants coming to work in the island. And many of the migrants, more than 2m are here, are from terrorist prone regions and countries. And up to the last arrest, only 27 out of more than 2m foreigners are terrorists. This must be some kind of record.

Singapore is safe because the terrorists want to make it safe. They are here but would not attack Singapore. So nice. We can open our immigration door wider for more foreigners to come in. Oh, maybe our integration programme is very successful to integrate the foreigners that they have become one of us, like our law abiding Singaporeans, helping to make Singapore safer. Many foreigners are also grass root leaders and helping in patrolling their neighbourhoods.

What a nice feeling to be Singaporeans. The bigger problem here is actually Islamophobia, Singaporeans over reacting to the threats from radicalized terrorists.

Appointed president to elected president to appointed president

The issue of whether the current elected president system should be retained or changed is becoming a hot topic for discussion in Parliament and in the net. Why is this an issue now given that this was the best system introduced only a few years back, thought through by the super talents? Now it seems that this is no longer the best system, a stupid system, and there is an urgent need to tweak it. Before tweaking this, maybe we should go back one step further to know why there was a need to tweak the appointed president system to an elected president system.

I remembered that there was a fear that the appointed president was purely ceremonial and cannot check a rogue govt that may spend away the nation’s reserves.  They forgot that there was no need for a president to check on a rogue govt when it is appointed by the rogue govt. They should all be together in the rogue camp. So the idea of an elected president holding a second key can say no to a rogue govt, can refuse to open the reserves was born. Wasn’t this clever? Wasn’t this a well thought out scheme? Now who is saying that this is a hare brain scheme and needs to be tweaked because they forgot that the president could be a rogue president that would give trouble and pain to a good govt that needs to open the reserve but the rogue president says no? Don’t ask me why they did not think of this. Maybe the only assumption then was a rogue govt that needed a good president to cheque on them and not the possibility of having a rogue president that needed to be chequed.

Not the dire situation is a rogue president making life difficult for a good govt is going to happen. So how, go back to the old system of an appointed ceremonial president that is nice to the incumbent govt and they will all work happily together chequing each other. Like that sure no problem…unless both the appointed president and the incumbent govt are rogues. Then finish leow. But this is unlikely, to have a rogue govt appointing a rogue president. Our political system has been carefully designed and fine tuned to ensure that rogues will not be elected to govern this island, only righteous, honourable and selfless men and women will be selected and elected. The citizens cannot be so daft to elect rogues to form the govt right?  A 70% majority must be right. Can we trust our highly educated citizens to be daft and to elect rogues to form the govt?

Come to think of it this may be possible if the assumption that Singaporeans are daft is true. Singaporeans are famed for being daft, for allowing foreigners to come in and steal their jobs and never complain, accepting that this is the right thing, the good thing, because they cannot see anything further than the tip of their nose. They did not know what is going on around them.

Maybe before tweaking the elected president, I have a better idea. Create a third key. The third key can be held by an elected senior president or an elected COI, Committee of Inquisition, to cheque on the elected president and his second key. When two keys cannot work, not enough security, have a third key. Like that sure can work. And if the third key still cannot work, set up a senate of senior citizens. This one, the senior citizens must all be ex senior civil servants or ex ministers. Like that sure powerful enough to cheque on the elected president and senior elected president.

My idea can jalan or not?


Singapore Education 2016 v1.0

With two young ministers fresh from the election oven put in charge of education, things are going to be hot and exciting. A one minister ministry may find the excuse of being overloaded and no time to do much, two ministers mean a lot of spare capacity to do more, to do new things. In the media on 20 Dec, it was reported that changes will take place in the next 5 years to revamp primary school education to scale down emphasis on academic results and to provide more time for students to pursue their interests in and out of schools.

Why the change? The media reported that the policy came amid expectations from educators, parents and the pupils to revamp the current system based strongly on academic results. I read this simply that the new education policy is determined by the educators, parents and the pupils, what they want the education to be. Fair enough, and the ministers are just appeasing them, and must agree with them. It must be, for if the ministers have different ideas of what education of children is like, they would want their views to be part of the input. Then the education policy will be the result of the expectations of the ministers, educators, parents and the pupils.

As the changes are for primary education, I think it is fair and harmless. The educators, parents and pupils and the ministers can decide what they like for the children. What about secondary and higher education? Who should determine what higher education should be like, to meet whose expectations? Should the policies of higher education be determined by the expectations of the professors in the academia, the parents, the students and the ministers? Or should they also include the expectations of the employers, what the employers want and expect from the education system? Would the expectations of the employers be the most important element in determining what higher education and its products to be like as they are the ultimate users of the products of the education system? If not, they may say, no relevant skill sets, unusable, need to find those with relevant skill sets in less pretentious schools from the 3rd world villages. Then our graduates would end up as temp job seekers or selling hamburgers at fast food joints. Then how?

A mismatch will be obvious if the policy of higher education is to meet the expectations of parents and students, or even the academics when their interests and expectations could be totally misaligned with the expectations of the employers.

While the policy of primary education is changing, I hope they will invite the employers to have a say as to what they want from the education system and we don’t end up with misfits from the higher education system that are not what the employers want. We are having this problem now, and some are very serious ones like the dearth of IT and banking and finance talents that no one seems to be responsible or accountable for it.  At primary level the blame can be put to the parents and students for wanting to have a fairy tale education disconnected with the realities of adult education and employment. At higher education, there is no luxury to mess around with the pragmatic and functional objectives of education.

The victims of past flirtations with dysfunctional education models and policies that are detached from the realities of adult life and leading to the lost generations of talents for IT and banking and finance industries must not be allowed to be repeated.  No more fooling around please. Education of the young is a very serious matter and there is a big divide between education for education’s sake, education that parents and students would love to have, and education to earn a living, education to meet the needs of the industries.

PS. I will love to decide my own education, read whatever I like, no exam, have a lot of fun and experimenting, if I don’t have to work for a living.

Watch out for Islamophobia – Shanmugam

This is the first time that a minister found it dire enough to use the word Islamophobia in an official statement. I was getting a bit edgy with Veritas spouting this word daily and over and over again in my blog and the presence of a radicalized extremist attacking him and anyone using this word. I know this is a very sensitive word and some would find it offensive to use it so freely. The sympathizers of Islam related terrorism will be ready to accuse people condemning Islamofascists as inciting religious intolerance.

In the Mypaper dated 20 Jan, Walter Sim wrote his piece with the title ‘Shanmugam: Watch out for Islamophobia’. This is like the saying, calling a spade a spade. Islamophobia and terrorism are the inseparable twins in today’s international affairs on terrorism. It is good that the Minister say it as it is without mincing a tone. Islamophobia and terrorism are the greatest threat in the world today, and Singapore, being an open country, would not escape being hit or being spared. It is a matter of when and where. It is a near impossibility for the men in blue and the intelligence people to keep a tight lid on a threat that is so widespread and could be easily executed by an individual coming out from no where.

While highlighting the threat, Shanmugam also cautioned the people not to be over sensitive and go into a blind rage. The threats of Islamophobia and terrorism are the acts of a very small minority of anti Muslims paranoids and some Muslims that have been radicalized and have a very different world view of things. According to Shanmugam, ‘Our very existence as one of the most religiously diverse and tolerant societies in the world, where mosques, churches and temples are situated side by side, - this is unacceptable to the zealots. They consider us infidels who ought to be exterminated.’

While everyone should be aware of the seriousness of this threat and the imminence of it happening here, we must be careful, cautious and sensitive to the majority of the Muslims that are also our brothers and sisters and have no part in this Islamophobia and terrorism. We need to close ranks with them and keep our city state peaceful and safe for everyone, for our families and children.

This is not about intolerance or tolerance but being clear in who are the real trouble makers and not to taint everyone, the innocence, in a broad brush. It is like in any groupings or communities there will be the black sheep and trouble makers in their midst.


Why is SGX’s commission rate so low?

The commission rate for buying and selling shares in the SGX is between 0.3% -0.5%. For high net worth clients, some are charging 0.15% to 0.25%. Heard some super clever brokerages are charging disgraceful commission rates that are as good as free.

We have heard all the silly reasons why commission rates have to be low because we are competing for business in a globalised world and also competing one brokerage against another. Sounds so logical and with good business sense. The lower one cuts the commission rate, the bigger will be the market share and the more profitable will be the business. Let me quote the commission rates of some major stock exchanges that Singaporeans are likely to be interested to know.

1.     Hongkong – 0.25%

2.     Malaysia – 0.85%

3.     Australia, Europe, USA, UK, Japan, Shenzhen, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia – all at 1%

Looks like the only country that Singapore is competing for business based on lower commission rate is Hongkong. The rest of the world still charge 1%. Even Malaysia is charging 0.85%.

What is happening? Why like that one? Why are the rest of the world still doing their business as usual at 1% commission rate and did not lose their business to our near to free commission rate? Should not the rest of the world be rushing here to trade in the Singapore stock market or in the Hongkong stock market when the commission rates are the cheapest compared to their 1%?

Shhhhhhh, genius at work. Geniuses think like geniuses. They know things that no one else know. Just give them time. In the long run everything will be ok. The Singapore stock market is doing fine, real fine. Even the brokerages are doing real fine. And there is no need for remisiers or dealers. The stock market is designed that way. So the exodus of remisiers and dealers out of the industry is just normal.

Low commission rate is competitive and is good for business. Why is it that our stock market is now known as a moribund stock market, waiting to close shop, with remisiers and dealers leaving the industry? Maybe Singapore’s commission rate is still too high and can go lower to gain more market share and to bring the stock market to life again. Come to think of it, this must be the reason. The commission rate can go lower and the market will be roaring to life.

Yes, cut commission rate further.  That is the way to go. This is the only solution I can think of to revive the business and the dying stock market. More people will start trading in stocks again. We can promote stock trading among the children too with no commission. Make our stock market the cheapest stock market in the world, not because the stocks are cheap but because the commission rate is negligible, is the cheapest in the world. The whole world will be rushing to trade in our stock market. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Lelong. The big Singapore Sale!

All those countries still insisting on 1% commission rate will soon go out of business if they did not cut their commission rates to stay competitive, and all their businesses will land up in this island. The future is so bright.