Hello 2009, Goodbye "Honest Mistakes"!
Years ago, there was this diamond retailer who would take a full page ad on the Straits Times on National Day almost every year to show his gratitude of being a Singaporean. Not having followed ST regularly, I do not know if he's still at it.
I do not have tens of thousands of dollars to advertise on ST to tell all and sundry of how grateful I am but I'm thankful that I can pen my observation of what's unique in Singapore on this cheap blog.
As today is the last day of 2008, it's nice to write and rant about our unique Singapore. Only one of its kind in this whole wide world.
So just how remarkably unusual are we?
WE ARE THE REAL FIRST WORLD!
While first world countries like USA and UK are panicking over the financial breakdown, we in Singapore are celebrating our "golden period". We are the world and nothing hurts us!
WE HAVE THE WORLD'S BEST PAID MINISTERS!
And No Beggars & Buggers (legally)
Through Dr Vivian Balakrishnan's: "How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?", our government spent so much time and effort to find out if our old poor could afford a meal before we increased their monthly assistance from $260 to $330 per month. Did they think as much when they threw away our reserves to toxic banks, telcos and ABC Learning Centre?
Or is it $2,000 a month according to Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. "He pegged the total assistance a PA recipient gets at $2,000 - once the value of cash handouts and other help schemes are toted up.") No wonder there are no destitutes in Singapore!
WE HAVE BALLS AND BALLS CARRIERS!
We have a brave Ms Olsen who deserves more than her NMP allowance!. She asked the $16million Town Council question which woke up mayors, ministers and MP's and put some beloved leaders into silence of discomfort. Does that make the PAP MPs nothing more than carriers? Or will one of them ask whether Bernard Madoff has made off with some of our reserves too? I doubt the MP in my ward will.
THEY DUMB US DOWN . . . when we ask clever questions!
As usual, the response from the Mayor on Town Council/Lehman Bro debacle was even more detrimental than the damage done. The replies from Teo Ho Pin and Khaw Boon Wan on the issue left much to be desired. Silence would have been better than the standard non-reply and "you should be grateful" insult.
I thought we pay Town Council S&C charges to service and conserve our housing estates. Instead of conserving, they have arrogantly wasted away $16 million on toxic investment. Are we paying too much? Time for a reduction in S&C charges?
WE CAN HAVE FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT!
In his condescending talk-down, Minister Raymond Lim said that if we are willing to pay one-and-a-half percent more for GST we can get a totally free public transport system. With the last GST increase from 5% to 7% to help the poor, the PAP Government broke the Guinness Book of World Records and shocked the world (including George Bush) by using it to increase ministers' pay to millions! With 81/2%, Singaporeans can't wait for this new world-breaking record of free public transport. Way to go to for PAP to "stay together and moving ahead"!
OUR CONSTITUENCY IS NOT WHERE WE RESIDE AND MPs ARE EXPENDABLE.
In Singapore, you get SMC (Single Member Contituency) and GRC (Group Representative Constituency). In GRC, you can vote for up to 6 MPs instead of one. And if one of them dies, the PM decides if there should be a re-election. In the case of Bukit Batok, they run with minus-one after the passing of MP Ong Chit Chung.
Prior to every election, the electoral boundaries can change and some constituency can disappear into thin air. You may live in Braddell but you vote under Marine Parade GRC. Cheng San GRC disappeared in 2001 after the PAP almost lost to Workers' Party. Before each election, you do not know which constituency/electoral division you belong to until the Elections Dept (under the Prime Minister's Office) tells you so. They change the boundaries as they see fit.
LAWS WILL CHANGE.
Seller beware! It's against the law to buy and/or sell body organs in Singapore. However, if you are a rich buyer, the punishment for your crime will be lesser than the poor seller. Buying and/or selling organs is "morally wrong" but the law will be changed because if the government doesn't do the organ trading business, they will tell you that someone else will capitalise on it. Not unlike the Singapore Pools and the coming gambling dens propped as IR's.
Will we see the law for euthanasia enacted soon?
Rather than be an embarrassment to Lee Kuan Yew and Kishore Mahbubani ("we do not have homeless, destitute or starving in Singapore), the old poor and sick should not be seen as destitute collecting paper cartons and aluminium cans or as beggars. Maybe some figure that they should disappear (better off dead) rather than hurt the reputation some ivory-towered nose-in-the-sky, out-of-touch thinking leaders. Yes, medical euthanasia is less messy than jumping onto a moving MRT train or feeding oneself to white tigers! Economical Euthanasia anyone?
DON'T MESS WITH OUR JUDICIARY!
(Unless you are IBA!)
In Singapore, you cannot find kangaroos in the court and you can't find judges in the zoo!
Singapore jailed 3 activists for contempt of court for wearing funny kangaroo T-shirts that Attorney-General Walter Woon detests. It's funny that he did not do the same to the International Bar Association for their damaging report of human rights and independence of the judiciary of Singapore.
CPF PONZI SCHEME.
(Bernard Madoff should learn from Singapore)
Singapore makes me rich beyond my means! Currently, I have more than $30k in my CPF Medisave that I cannot fully utilise. Each visit to the hospital or clinic for my cardio follow-up due to my crippled heart almost always cause me another heart attack. Staff in the clinic and hospital keeps telling me that I cannot use my Medisave for my medicine and outpatient charges in full! I can only use part of it. I always have to tell them, "Please I need to use my Medisave now, not when I die, when I'm fed to the fish." They keep telling me, "Sorry uncle, it's the CPF law. They need to keep some for you when you get sicker." That's when my atherosclerotic plaque starts to clog again and I feel the pain of the elephant sitting on my chest. To kill me softly with their policy, they demand that I pay cash for Medisave co-payment and deductible, they then charge me an extra administrative fee for the use of my Medisave to pay the balance!
In uniquely Singapore, ministers rubbed each other's back glorifying each other to justify their obscene pay. Instead of asking for handout like ministers, I just want what's legally mine (my hard-earned CPF Medisave money) to take care of my health. Yes, it's the law. They make it the law. But please do not hoard my hard earned CPF saving to throw it at Citigroup, UBS, Merril Lynch, Shincorp and ABC among others.
The policy to make me pay extra administrative fee for using my own Medisave is sick. The cruel guy who came up with this policy is sicker than I am. In the first place, I did not ask them to keep my money in Medisave. They just did it. Now that I want my money back for my health, they tell me to follow the law and gratefully accept what they decide I should have. The other option they advised is for me to go fly a kite by giving up my citizenship. Only then will they pay me what's rightfully mine!
To every life a little rain must fall.
Much as I have my heartache with their self-serving policies, it looks like 2008 is a nightmare year for the 1st world Singapore million$$$ ministers. I guess it was a year of one "honest mistake" after another. They'd be so glad to "move on" from the following:
- Mas Selamat Kasturi Jalan (Wong Kan Seng)
- DBS, Lehman Brothers, Mini Bonds & High Notes ( What's MAS doing?)
- Town Councils (non reply from Teo Ho Pin & Khaw Boon Wan)
- Free Public Transport (Raymond Lim)
- "Every month, when I receive my CPF statement, I feel so rich and thebest part is, I know the CPF money won't run away. CPF will still be around for a long, long time to come. Not only is it earning good interest, my capital is protected." (Lim Swee Say)
- “That is the way the world is. I have explained this. I think I lost votes after I explained the awful truth. Nobody believed it, but slowly it dawned on them – especially the graduates – that yes, you marry a non-graduate, then you worry about whether or not your son or daughter is going to make it to the university!”(Lee Kuan Yew)
- "Right now we have Low Thia Khiang, Chiam See Tong, Steve Chia. We can deal with them. Suppose you had 10, 15, 20 opposition members in Parliament. Instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I'm going to spend all my time thinking what's the right way to fix them, to buy my supporters votes, how can I solve this week's problem and forget about next year's challenges?" (2006 Election Rally)
- "I give you an example: you put out a fun podcast, you talk about 'bak chor mee'; I will say "mee siam mai hum", then we compete."(Reply to Mr Brown)
- "GST hike is to help the poor." (Or to pay the ministers.)
- "I mean, we are different. This was a lapse, what to do, it's happened."(Defending Wong Kang Seng after Mas Selamat jalan)
I wish all readers a Happy New Year!
Good health, peace and joy in living!