Friday, July 29, 2011

Is Salah Tin Pailin Salah?

It's been many weeks since a police report was made against Tin Peh Lin [Link] on what happened to her facebook on "Cooling Off Day".

Is the law in SIngapore working? Is justice at work? Why was there such a whole shebang on James Gomes five years ago and not a whimper on Tin Pei Lin in the main stream media today? They were snapping away at the Opposition then. Why are they so quiet on PAP now?

If we know history like we know history, I think there will not be even a case against Pei Lin, She won't be caught 'salah'! It is difficult, very difficult for MIW to be 'salah'. I remember the case of Lee Hsien Loong, Goh Chok Tong and Tony Tan at a polling station at Cheng San where WP and SDP claimed that they were not supposed to be. Workers' Party made a police report but the AG then reported to the Law Minister and the whole incident did not see much of the light of day except here.

Alas, now we know why Lee Kuan Yew said that our national pledge, "To build a democratic society based on justice and equality" is nothing but an aspiration! As much as this video touches more on racial equality, I think we wish to see justice and equality for all, regardless of race, language, religion and, more so, political affiliation. white or otherwise.

Going through the letter from the AG to the Law Minister [below], let's not be surprised if we hear nothing more from the heat generated from the 'Cooling Day' by Salah Tin Pailin.

A precedent has been set more than a decade ago.


Unauthorised persons inside polling stations: Attorney General's letter

Text of a letter from Singapore's attorney general to law minister S. Jayakumar on the presence of unauthorised persons inside polling stations. The minister summarised the attorney general's opinion when he replied to a query in parliament from non-constituency MP and Workers' Party chief J. B. Jeyaretnam July 30.
The Workers' Party had complained to the police that Mr Goh Chok Tong, Dr Tony Tan and Brigadier-General (NS) Lee Hsien Loong had been inside a Cheng San GRC polling station on Polling Day.

But the Public Prosecutor recently advised the police that the PAP leaders had not broken the law.

21 Jul 97

Prof S Jayakumar
Minister for Law


On 14 July l997, THE Workers' Party issued a press release expressing "amazement" that the public prosecutor had advised police that no offence was disclosed in the reports made by it leaders against the prime minister, the two deputy prime ministers and Dr S Vasoo that they had been present inside polling stations when they were not candidates for the relevant constituencies. The Workers' Party queried why such conduct was not an offence under paragraph (d) or (e) of section 82(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act.

2. On 15 July 1997, the Singapore Democratic Party also called on the attorney general to explain his "truly befuddling" decision and to state clearly if it was an offence for unauthorised persons to enter polling stations.

3. You have asked me for my formal opinion on the question raised in these two statements. My opinion is set out below.


4. The question is whether it is an offence under the Parliamentary Elections Act for an unauthorised person to enter and be present in a polling station.

5. For this purpose, the authorised persons are the candidates, the polling agent or agents of each candidate, the Returning Officer, and persons authorised in writing by the returning officer, the police officers on duty and other persons officially employed at the polling station; see section 39 (4) of the Act (quoted below)

Activities Outside Polling Stations

6. The relevant sections of the Parliamentary Elections Act to be considered are sections 82 (1)(d) and 82 (1)(e). These provisions were enacted m 1959 pursuant to the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Corrupt, Illegal or Undesirable Practices at Elections, Cmd 7 of 1968 (hereinafter called "the Elias Report)"

7. Section 82 (1)(d) provides that - "No person shall wait outside any polling station on polling day, except for the purpose of gaining entry to the polling station to cast his vote".

8. Plainly, persons found waiting inside the polling stations do not come within the ambit of this section. Similarly, those who enter or have entered the polling station cannot be said to be waiting outside it. Only those who wait outside the polling station commit an offence under this section unless they are waiting to enter the polling station to cast their votes.

9. Section 82 (1)(e) provides that -

"No person shall loiter in any street or public place within a radius of 200 metres of any polling station on polling day."

10. The relevant question is whether any person who is inside a polling station can be sad to be "within a radius of 200 metres of any polling station". The answer to this question will also answer any question on loitering inside a polling station.

11. Plainly, a person inside a polling station cannot be said to be within a radius of 200 metres of a polling station. A polling station must have adequate space for the voting to be carried out. Any space has a perimeter. The words "within a radius of 200 metres" ' therefore mean "200 metres from the perimeter of" any polling station. This point is illustrated in the diagrams in the Appendix. (Editor's note: Diagrams not available).

12. The above interpretation is fortified by the context of the provision. The polling station, as a place, is distinguished from a street or public place. It is not a street or a public place. Hence, being inside a polling station cannot amount to being in a street or in a public place. By parity of reasoning, loitering in a street or public place cannot possibly include loitering in the polling station itself and vice versa.

13. There is no ambiguity in section 82 (1)(e). If the legislature had intended to make it an offence for unauthorised persons to wait or loiter inside a polling station, it could have easily provided for it. It did not. The mischief that section 82 (1)(e) is intended to address is found in paragraph 99 of the Elias Report. It reads:

"In order to prevent voters being made subject to my form of undue influence or harassment at the approaches to polling stations, we recommend that it should be made an offence for any person to establish any desk or table near the entrance to any polling station, or to wait outside any polling station on polling day except for the purpose of gaining entry into the polling station to cast his vote; and that it should be an offence for any person to loiter in any street or public place within a radius of 200 yards of any polling station on polling day ."

14 . Paragraph 99 of the Elias Report appears under the heading "Activity OUTSIDE POLLING STATIONS". The Commission of Inquiry was addressing the possibility of voters being subject to undue influence and harassment as they approach the polling stations. There is therefore no doubt whatever that this provision was never intended to cover any activity inside the polling station as there would be officials and election agents in attendance.

15. The legislative history makes the provision so clear that it is not even necessary to consider the application of an established principle of interpretation that any ambiguity in a penal provision should, whenever possible, be resolved favour of the accused.

Activities Inside Polling Stations

16 Activities inside polling stations were made subject to a different regime under the Act. Section 39(4) provides that -

"the presiding officer shall keep order in his station and shall regulate the number of voters to be admitted a time, and shall exclude all other persons except the polling agent or agents of each candidate, the Returning Officer and persons authorised in writing by the Returning Officer, the police officers on duty and other persons officially employed at the polling station."

17. Under section 39(7), any person who misconducts himself in the polling station, or fails to obey the lawful orders of the presiding officer may be removed from the polling station by a police officer acting under the orders of the presiding officer. If an unauthorised person refuses to leave the polling station when told to do so by the public officer, he commits an offence under section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing a public servant in the discharge of his duty.

18. There is a consistency in the rationales of the regulatory schemes governing activities inside and those outside polling stations on election day. Waiting outside a polling station is made an offence because it gives rise to opportunities to influence or intimidate voters: see paragraph 99 of the Elias Report. Hence, the Act has provided a safety zone which stretches outwards for 200 metres from the polling station. In contrast, the possibility of a person inside a polling station influencing or intimidating voters in the presence of the presiding officer and his officials, the polling agents etc was considered so remote that it was discounted by the Act.

19. I therefore confirm my opinion that the Parliamentary Elections Act does not provide for any offence of unauthorised entry into or presence within a polling station. Accordingly, those unauthorised persons who only wait or loiter inside a polling station on polling day do not commit any offence under the Act.

20. You are at liberty to publish this opinion.

Chan Sek Keong
Attorney General.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why this, MOF?

It's just been reported in the Ministry Of Finance that:

A misperception is that the late President Ong had not been provided with sufficient information for him to effectively protect the Past Reserves. In fact, he was given full access to the information of the reserves during his term of office. This information included the value of all the Government’s financial assets, as well as a listing of physical assets, such as buildings and land.

We are taught to respect the dead. To let the dead rest peace. To have a better perception of the misperception, one should read President Ong's interview [here].

ASIAWEEK March 10, 2000.

'I Had a Job to Do' Whether the government liked it or not, says ex-president Ong

ONG Teng Cheong will go down in history as Singapore's first elected president. But for twenty years before that, the Chinese-educated, foreign-trained architect was a stalwart of the nation's People's Action Party government led by its first PM Lee Kuan Yew. Ong, now 64, was minister of communications, of culture, and of labor; he was also deputy PM, secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, and chairman of Lee's PAP. By common consent, he was the man who kept the Chinese ground loyal to the party; indeed, his command of the language was such that Lee always asked Ong to accompany him whenever he visited China. In the 1980s, Ong was one of the party's four senior 'second echelon' leaders who were considered as possible successors to Lee. It was Ong's longtime friend, Goh Chok Tong, who got the nod for the job. Ong, who was diagnosed as suffering from lymphatic cancer in 1992, chose instead to run in the first elections for the presidency the following year.

He won -- and soon became embroiled in a six-year long festering dispute with his former colleagues in government over how much information he should have in order to fulfil his role in safeguarding Singapore's prodigious financial reserves. The altercation came to a head last year when Ong and his mentor Lee and friend Goh clashed publicly and rancorously in a rare display of disunity among PAP heavyweights. He decided not to run for re-election as president -- but not before he had spooked Goh's men by leaving the announcement until the last moment. He has now returned to the private architecture firm he set up with his late wife, Ling Siew May, and which is now run by one of his two sons. His doctors have given him a clean bill of health after a debilitating bout with lymphatic cancer -- though he still wears a cap to cover the baldness caused by chemotherapy treatment. Last week, he gave his first in-depth interview about his presidency to senior correspondent Roger Mitton in a nearly two-hour long talk. Extended Excerpts:

It's now six months since you stepped down. How do you feel about your time as president?

I am satisfied with what I did. I hope it was all for the best. I was elected to do a job. And I had to do that job whether the government -- or anyone else -- liked it or not.

It seems that often they did not like it, but let's go back: How did you first get into politics?

In the early 1970s, Lee Kuan Yew asked me for an interview to get me involved to stand for election. I stood in 1972 and I won and became a PAP backbencher. A year later, Lee asked me to take up ministerial office but I turned it down because my younger brother was dying of cancer. I had to assist him and to settle his affairs after he died at the age of 25. Then Lee Kuan Yew approached me again and this time I agreed to take up office. Lee is very persuasive.

He must have been impressed to make you a minister so quickly -- you were a young architect with no experience of politics.

Yes, I was not trained to become a minister or a politician, but you learn on the job. Whenever I went to a new ministry, I always asked myself basic questions: What is this job all about? What am I supposed to do? That's what I did in 1980, for instance, when I became minister of labor, in addition to being minister for communications. I went through all the legislation and I decided that the trade unions should not just be designed to organize and finance strikes, but instead should help improve the workers' social and economic wellbeing.

You became head of the NTUC and also remained a cabinet minister -- and Singapore remained strike free.

Yes. But in January 1986 I did sanction a strike, the first for about a decade. It was in the shipping industry where the management was taking advantage of the workers. I did not even tell the cabinet about santioning the strike. And some of them were angry with me about that. The minister for trade and industry was very angry, his officers were very upset. They had calls from America, asking what happened to Singapore? -- we are non-strike. I said: if I were to inform the cabinet or the government they would probably stop me from going ahead with the strike. It only lasted two days. Then all the issues were settled. It showed that management was just trying to pull a fast one. So I believe what I did was right.

It marked a trend -- that you have never been afraid of doing something your ministerial colleagues might disagree with?

No. If they don't like it, I can always come back here to my architecture firm.

Around this time you were discussing the succession to PM Lee?

Lee Kuan Yew had been discussing this since about 1983. At that time, the second echelon was Tony Tan, S. Dhanabalan, Goh Chok Tong and myself.

Were you a candidate for the top job?

I was considered as a member of the group. At that time, we did not know who would be the successor to Lee. We finally made the decision to pick Goh Chok Tong. He agreed on condition that I agreed to be his number two. So I was the second DPM; he was the first DPM. In 1988, Lee asked Goh to take over, but he was not ready. He said: two more years. So two years later, he took the job.

Lee did not agree with your decision to pick Goh.

No, he did not disagree. He said he would leave it to us. His own first choice was Tony Tan. Goh Chok Tong was his second choice. I was his third choice because he said my English was not good enough. He said Dhanabalan was not right because Singapore was not ready for an Indian prime minister. That upset the Indian community. There was quite a bit of adverse reaction to what he said. But he speaks his mind. He is the only one who can get away with it.

Personally, you felt Goh was the right man?

Well, among the four of us, he was the youngest. Tony Tan said no. I said no. And he sort of accepted being pushed into the position, on condition that we stay on to assist him.

Soon after taking over, Goh called a snap election in 1991 -- but the PAP's vote slipped and there was talk he would quit.

Well, we did discuss about that. But he didn't indicate that he wanted to step down.

At that time, you were no. 2 in the executive after PM Goh.

Yes. Well, no. 2, no. 3, doesn't matter.

So why run for president?

The elected presidency was Lee Kuan Yew's initiative. He came out with the idea way back in '82, '83. After parliament passed the measure in 1991, I considered it seriously. At that time, after 20 years in politics, I was thinking of a way to ease myself out, to exit the political arena. I wrote to the prime minister twice to say that I'm prepared to go.

You saw the presidency as a way to do that?

Yes, the unionists egged me on. They came to see me a couple of times and they suggested that I take it on. I discussed it with the prime minister, being old friends, and he gave me his support.

The well-known oppositionist J.B. Jeyaretnam wanted to run against you?

Yes, but he was not allowed to because he did not qualify under the stringent criteria. Maybe too stringent.

You were glad Jeyaretnam could not run?

No, it's okay. I think it would have been more fun.

Some of your colleagues did not think it was much fun when your only opponent, a former accountant-general, Chua Kim Yeoh, got so much support?

Yes, all of them were quite worried. Some ministers even called me to say: Oh, we are worried about the outcome. At first, we were quite confident about getting over 70 percent of the vote. But there was a swing of support over to my opponent's side, especially in the educated class -- civil servants and the Shenton Way group. The issue was whether they wanted a PAP man as president to check on a PAP government, or whether it would be better to have a neutral independent like Chua. That's why they voted against me because I had the PAP government support. I would have been happier without the PAP's open support. I think I would have been better off with just the unionists' support and the Chinese-educated heartlanders. Without them I would not have been elected.

But you did win and you had to figure out how to do this new job as Singapore's first elected president.

Yes. At the first opening of parliament after I was elected, I was given a speech prepared by the government. I read the speech carefully. Besides ceremonial functions, it said that I'm supposed to safeguard the reserves and to help society become more compassionate and gracious. So I decided that, well, if that is what is said in the speech, then that's going to be my job. And I am going to do it. That's what I tried to do. In fact, during the six years I was president, I was very busy.

Doing what?

Well, I got involved in a lot of things. The Istana presidential palace and other places had to be renovated. All this had to be planned and these places got ready one by one, so that ceremonial functions and other business could go on as usual. I had to press the government to finalize the procedures for the protection of the reserves. A lot of the teething problems and misunderstandings were because there was a lack of clearcut procedures ofwhat to do. Towards the end of my term, I pressed the prime minister for a White Paper to be tabled in parliament that would set out all the principles and procedures for the elected president. Then I will announce my decision to step down. I want to get the job done.

Initially, he did not want to do that?

It's not that he did not want to do that, but it had been dragging for a long time. They produced a White Paper eventually, tabled it in parliament last July, and that made the future president's job easier. We have already tested out many of the procedures during my term, except for asking the president to approve a draw on the past reserves during a deep economic crisis. That was never done. It's that part of procedure that was not tested. How to do it?

It was this issue that caused the dispute between you and the government?

Yes. But I don't want to go into details and upset everybody. The thing is that the elected president is supposed to protect the reserves, but he was not told what these are until five years later. From the day the Constitution was amended in 1991 to provide for an elected president, he was supposed to fulfil that role. My predecessor, Wee Kim Wee, although he was not elected, was supposed to play that role during the last two years of his term. But he did not actively check. So, when I came in in 1993, I asked for all this information about the reserves. It took them three years to give it to me.

The holdup was for administrative reasons?

Either that or they did not think there was any urgency. You see, if you ask me to protect the reserves, then you've got to tell me what I'm supposed to protect. So I had to ask.

Why did they not want to tell you?

I do not know. Don't ask me, because I don't have the answer. I've been asking them. In fact, in 1996, exactly halfway through my term, I wrote prime minister Goh a letter. At that time, everybody was expecting a general election in December or January. After the election, a new government would be sworn in. When that happens, all the reserves, whether past or current, become past reserves and are locked up on the changeover date. As president, I have to safeguard them and they can only be drawn upon with my permission. So I said to Mr Goh: It's already halfway through my term, but until today I still don't know all these figures about the reserves.

So the government had been stonewalling you, the president, for three years?

Yes. What happened actually was, as you know, in accounting, when you talk about reserves, it's either cash reserves or assets reserves. The cash side is straightforward: investment, how many million dollars here and there, how much comes from the investment boards and so on. That was straightforward -- but still we had to ask for it. For the assets, like properties and so on, normally you say it's worth $30 million or $100 million or whatever. But they said it would take 56-man years to produce a dollar-and-cents value of the immovable assets. So I discussed this with the accountant-general and the auditor-general and we came to a compromise. The government would not need to give me the dollar-and-cents value, just give me a listing of all the properties that the government owns.

They agreed?

Well, yes, they agreed, but they said there's not the time for it. It took them a few months to produce the list. But even when they gave me the list, it was not complete.

It seems the Singapore government does not know its own assets?

Yes. It's complicated. It's never been done before. And for the assets of land, I can understand why. Every piece of land, even a stretch of road, is probablysubdivided into many lots. There are 50,000 to 60,000 lots and every one has a number. If you want to value them all, it would take a long time. In the past, they have just locked everything up and assumed it is all there. But if I am to protect it, at least I want to know the list.

When they eventually gave you the list -- the incomplete list, did you have enough staff to do the checking and other work?

No, I did not. I only had one administrative staffer and two part-timers from the auditor-general's office. For things like approving the budget of statutory boards, the auditor-general's office would normally go through that for me. They are very good. They check on everything. And they query and ask for information.

For government financial policy matters that you had a veto over, did you get all the details?

They finally came with an executive summary to say that they had checked through all this, and that this is what they have, this is how much they are going to spend, and that it won't need any draw from the reserves -- or that there's likely to be a draw. There never was a draw during my time, but there were instances where it was a bit dicey whether the budgets of one or two statutory boards would require a draw. But finally we resolved that.

Eventually then, with the list of properties and the executive summaries, you were kept informed?

I wouldn't be able to say that. Even in my last year as president, I was still not being informed about some ministerial procedures. For example, in April last year, the government said it would allow the sale of the Post Office Savings Bank POSB to DBS Bank. In the past, when there was no elected president, they could just proceed with this kind of thing. But when there is an elected president you cannot, because the POSB is a statutory board whose reserves are to be protected by the president. You cannot just announce this without informing him. But I came to know of it from the newspaper. That is not quite right. Not only that, but they were even going to submit a bill to parliament for this sale and to dissolve the POSB without first informing me.

What did you do?

My office went to tell them that this was the wrong procedure. You've got to do this first, do that first, before you can do this. It was question of principle and procedure. We had to bring all this to their attention. That they cannot forget us. It's not that we are busybodies, but under the Constitution we have a role to play and a responsibility. Sometimes in the newspaper I came to know of things that I am responsible for, but if it had not been reported in the newspaper I would not know about it.

You must have been pretty angry that this was still happening in your last year as president?

Yes, I was a bit grumpy. And maybe not to the liking of the civil service. They did not like what I said. But I have to be a watchdog all the time, you see. So this is where they are supposed to help me to protect the reserves. And not for me to go and watch out when they do right or wrong.

Under the Constitution, you have the right to all the information available to the cabinet.

Yes. That's right. And I sourced much information from the cabinet papers. But they are not used to it. So I said: I understand, it's something new, and I know you don't like my interference and busybody checking up and so on. But under the Constitution it is my job to do that.

Despite all this, it was widely believed that you wanted to run again for a second six-year term as president?

No, I'd been telling my friends since late 1998 that my inclination was not to stand for re-election. But of course, life is unpredictable. In March last year, I went to Stanford and my American doctor confirmed that my cancer was in complete remission. He is very experienced, a world authority on my sickness. So I was fine after my treatment. I gave a complete report to the prime minister and we discussed it. I told him that my inclination was not to stand, but that I'd make the announcement later on. Then the cabinet met and they decided that if I were to stand again, they would not support me.

You had been given a clean bill of health, yet your former colleagues would not support you. Did that annoy you?

I told the prime minister over lunch: Well, I don't need your cabinet support. If I want to stand, whether I do or not, it will be my personal decision. And I'll make that decision nearer the date of the presidential election -- because I have another checkup in June, July, and I want to know my latest position. Also my wife was sick with cancer and we knew that if she died, it would be difficult for me to stand without a first lady. She felt very apologetic and that was another reason why my inclination was not to stand. I hoped that if I stepped down I would have more time to be with my wife, because her prognosis was not very good.

By waiting until July to announce your decision, were you ruffling the government for the way they had treated you?

Maybe so. Maybe it was my miscalculation that my stated inclination not to stand again had not been good enough for them. But I had been telling that to all my friends. And I did not want to tell people my wife was dying, either.

But the government worried that you might suddenly decide to run again.

No, I made it very clear and I called a press conference in July to tell everybody. But I believe some people were still afraid that I might turn up on nomination day. Even friends asked me if I might do that. How could they? I had given my word that I would not stand.

A straw poll apparently indicated you would beat the government's candidate, S.R. Nathan, if you had stood.

Yes. But I gave my word that I would not run. And I don't think it's right. I'm a very old-fashioned man. Also, my wife passed away in September. And I became more sceptical about all these medical reports. Well, not sceptical, but certainly I find life more unpredictable than I thought. Full of uncertainties.

In the end you were happy to stand down?

Yes, I'd been preparing for that psychologically since late 1998. I was quite happy when the decision was made, happy to return to private life to do the work that I enjoy.

How are your relations with PM Goh these days?

They are okay. I just had lunch with him last week. I can't invite him now, so he invited me. When I was president, we took turns to invite each other for lunch in the Istana.

Did Senior Minister Lee join you?

No, we did that separately.

Lee spoke out against you last year. How are your relations with him now?

We've never quarrelled.

It's said that your recalcitrance upset him and your former colleagues, leaving you estranged and bitter?

I would not call it recalcitrant. I mentioned some of the problems -- or many of the problems -- that I faced. If they regard that as an attack on the government and on the civil service, then that is for them to interpret. The prime minister and I spoke at my farewell reception. We agreed that we would say what we have to say. I think it came out well. He said that my statements, and his rebuttal in parliament, were probably a good thing. They showed the transparency of the system. I stand by what I said.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Tuck You" Logic

Singapore - The Workers' Party's (WP) suggestion to nationalise public transport "might seem like a very attractive idea" but it has "serious downsides" in reality, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said yesterday.

Chief among these "downsides" is that "commuters and taxpayers - yes, even those who don't take public transport - are likely to end up paying more, and possibly, for a poorer level of service over time", Mr Lui added.

Mr Lui's remarks on his Facebook page came a day after the WP reiterated its call for a National Transport Corporation.

The Transport Minister pointed out that, an entity that depends on Government funding and which operates on a cost-recovery basis, "would have little incentive to keep costs down".

Said Mr Lui: "Cost increases will be passed on to commuters. Over time, this will lead to higher costs for the same level of service, which means commuters pay higher - and not lower - fares. Not only would people have to pay more, nationalising the operators could result in a stagnation of service quality or efficiency over time." TODAYOnline [Link]

If an organisation does not wish to make profit, the services they provide will be 'tucked up", meh? It makes no sense to me that a non-profit organisation will hurt a commuter/taxpayer more than a greedy profit making company. Is it the same old logic of, "If you don't pay your ministers millions, your mother, wife and daughter will end up as maids in other country!"?

Yeah, each of us need to make a buck, to make a living. But how much is enough? Enough for what? Where health care, pubic transport and education is concerned, I believe that the average man-in-the-street and those below deserves a fair deal! It is a sin to ensure that shareholders in public transport companies and their CEOs rake in the $,$$$,$$$ at the expense of the ordinary people.

It is interesting to know that PM Lee allows ex-MM and the SM EMERITUS (Expired Minister Enjoying Ridiculous Income & Title that's Unusual & Superfluous) 5 Secretarial Staff each at the expense of taxpayers. With their pensions, I would have thought that the MM and Emeritus would pay for their own keep. I wonder if USA still pay for Clinton's or Carter's secretarial staff's salary? What about UK's Blair or Major or Thatcher's? Or is this the Uniquely Singaporean way of taking care of the obscenely rich and powerful???

The rationale on Tuck Yew's statement speaks volumes! Now I know why we pay through taxpayers' pants ($,$$$,$$$) for services from ministers, which unfortunately, is worse than what comes out through the crack of our buttocks! It is scary when the "greed for money" overtakes the "honour of duty"! Maybe there is hope yet in politicians who are willing to give up their lucrative jobs to sincerely serve the people. Heard of Mr Chen Show Mao [Link] or Sylvia Lim [Link], anyone?

The 4 K's of Kiasu, Kiasi, Kiamsiap and Kaykiang has been enshrined in the PAP for so long that it will take a while for it to disintegrate. The fact that they want us to perpetually Kia-PAP (5th 'K') is hurting them much since the last election!

What is important to one may be rubbish to another. For what it's worth, the "Tuck You" Logic may be the kingpin of what PAP is about.

It is sad that only the "downsides" of the common people can be the "upsides" for the rulers?

Can't they rule with empathy and compassion? Maybe I'm asking for too much . . .

Most of the time we wonder. Are they just 'tucking' thinking of themselves and their jobs or are they serving Singapore and its people?


Hokkien in 5 Ks:
Kiasu= Afraid to lose
Kiasi = Afraid to die
Kiamsiap = Stingy
Kaykiang = Act smart
Kia PAP = Afraid of PAP

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Have we lost the virtue of doing good in secret?

As one heart attack patient to another, I would humbly advise Khaw Boon Wan that "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen! No point getting another AMI over it. Believe me, the best gift that you can give to those who love you and those you love is to stay healthy!"

Why would a a guy who is paid millions bitch about his job? Having said that he wished to be more "useful" by being a mintster of national development, [Link] I can't understand why he'd write, "I have been in MND for 5 weeks, and not sleeping well. I am working my guts out to try to calm the market, for the good of all Singaporeans" in his blog [Link].

Some people think that they do great things! Others simply move on doing things to make ends meet without any avenue to "cowpeh cowbu"! Can KBW spare a thought for
  • the bus driver who moonlights as a delivery driver
  • the security guard who moonlights as a bouncer
  • the housewife mother of four who moonlights as a beer promoter at the coffee shop
  • the aunt who has to tie her nephews so that she can work to eke out an income
before he tells the whole world of how he's losing sleep and working his guts out!

The people listed above are those who have insufficient sleep to heal and recuperate. They are the ones who work their guts out for pittance, compared to what the ministers are getting!

Damned! What does he expect? To be paid millions and have the luxury to sleep on the job? Or does he want a therapist to massage him in between parliament sittings?

There is no free lunch. Not even for a heart attack patient! I know because having been there and done that (hit by AMI), I have had my fair share of, "You are a heart attack patient, so what? You want sympathy?"

With their kind of heavenly remuneration, why can't they just STFU and get the job done without whining like a cry baby! Don't they know that there is virtue and joy in doing good in secret?

Or is doing good in secret alien to them?

Meanwhile, excuse me while I go get some sleep because I've been working my guts out writing . . .


Monday, July 4, 2011

Have you had enough of "Kee Chiu"?

Oh, mothers of all Generals, is this for real?

When I first saw this video [link], I cringed and asked myself, "This guy was the Chief of Army of Singapore? How did he lead? By asking soldiers to raise their hands?"

When "General" had to stage-manage uncles and aunties [Link] with food and transportation to support his boss in Ang Mo Kio like a "Runner", it confirmed my suspicion that the whiter-than-white was at their old trick of "buying and fixing".

Now I hear that the Acting Minister telling his audience in a dialogue session about bloggers, "No point complaining that it’s dominated by the lunatic fringe and we leave it as such. If you have a point of view, go forth and do something." [Link]

Well, well, well. . . There are those who "Kee Chiu" (raise hands). . . And there are those who are "Seow" (crazy). Sticks and stones may break my bones but I guess words will not hurt bloggers in the "lunatic fringe". As much as I blog to get the elephant off my chest, I must admit that blogging with a point of view that is contrary to 'papspeak' (that's a dime a dozen in msm) helps me stay sane and keeps me away from Alzheimer's!

To add insult to injury, the General said in his monologue at the dialogue, "Small problems or big problems, we always ask: What is the Government doing? There is a certain mentality (that makes me) worry. We can do much more to take charge of the destiny of our life than to ask, what is Government doing?". Aha, so for a start, shall we take charge of our destiny by having a demo (Egypt style, anyone?) to have our CPF back to where it belongs - the people?

Mothers of mothers of Generals, there is indeed a certain mentality that makes me (a "lunatic"?) worry. With all the tea parties, interviews and fine-toothed comb scrutiny in selecting 'whitest of white cream', how on earth did this guy get to be a Minister in the Singapore Givenment? In terms of humility, sincerity, connectedness and EQ, from 1 to 10 (1 being the worst and 10 being the best score), in my personal perception, Nicole Seah would have scored 9 and the arrogant General scored 2!

If this is a member of the "new leadership" that PM Lee has faith in to lead Singaporeans as "servants and not masters" [Link], then we are screwed. Big time! If idiots believe that alternative views are nothing more than "throwing stones" at PAP, very soon, 60% would become 40% and vice versa!

Apart from power corrupts, power also breeds hubris. Give a poor boy some power for a few years and he may just lord all over you! I know it takes time to change the essence of a man. However, if he cannot change in time, it may be time for "kee chiu"general to "lo tai".

It is such a waste that while the PM is learning and urging his subordinates to be less arrogant and more "human" [Link], some still continue to "kee chiu" to lord over the people!

"lo tai" English equivalent of Hokkien = "come down from stage"

I know it's safer for bloggers to throw stones [Link] and educate the ivory-tower-elites than to do an 'Egypt' that kills and maims.