Monday, September 29, 2008

Who's paying for all the energy expended at F1?

With all its riches, the Singapore Govt through GIC and Temasek has helped ailing banks of the world like Merrill Lynch, USB and What Have You?

Being so rich, it's just a drop in the ocean to fund 60% the $150 million F1 race, of which multi million went to the lighting.

Unlike the rich and famous and elites who paid thousands to watch live, some heartlanders may be grateful for the thrills and spills that can be seen on TV.

Until .................

Funnybone tells me nothing is for free and we've been fooled again!

Households to see average rise of about 21% in electricity bills from Oct
By S.Ramesh, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 29 September 2008 1035 hrs.

I'm not sure if GST was raised to 7% to help the poor but I'm not surprised that the 21% rise in electricity bills is to help pay for the light up of F1 night race that cost $150 million annually for the next 5 years?

Let's hope that the bright lights of
F1 race which is a valuable buzz for Singapore
will not turn the lights out for more Singaporeans like Mdm Noorfarizan. The Power brought darkness to her family when she was in arrears in paying her electricity bills.

"Historic night race wows world" and "the winner is... Singapore!" headlined ST in its front and second pages of 29 Sept 2008.

Give me a break!

Will we have same chest-thumping self congratulations again when the gambling den (IR) starts operation?

Meanwhile, more beggars and vagrants in Singapore?


Thursday, September 25, 2008

GIC? Whose Money is it anyway?

I read Esther Fung of Today's Hot News // Wednesday, September 24, 2008 GIC eyes distressed US assets.

Pardon my cynicism, but who's money is it anyway?

It's much ado about nothing

If my English serves me correctly, sovereign brings to mind king, queen and royalties. In this little red dot where the sovereign virtue is nothing but greed and despotism, the sovereign wealth (actually bloody taxes, GST, ERP, CPF and HDB and other payment from the people of Singapore) ends up all over the world including some in a football club in Manchester City which went from Thailand to Middle East now :)

Talk is cheap and posterior protection is the name of the game and nobody will tell you how much of SWF has gone into Lehman Bros and AIG? Too bad, with our opaque transparency, we'll never know.

"But these are long term investments" - Another case of "chui kong lumpar song" (mouth talks, testicles feel good). We are having the "golden period" too! Yes, bloody bleeding like crazy for Singaporeans! Some blokes are losing their pants from previous investments and some will lose their jobs too!

Money in GIC
Money in Temasek
Up or down
Makes every Singaporeans (except Sovereign Singaporeans) clowns!

It's never ours
It's never our children's nor grandchildren's.
It's just sovereign funds
For sovereigns to play with!

Why sweat over it?

Much ado about nothing!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Legal? Factual? Faulty? Who knows?

A-G vs MM's Daughter - Part 4

Wrong facts and faulty logic: [2008] 18 Sep by Walter woon for the Straits Times

For the second time the Attorney-General is back at Lee Wei Ling after "she fired a second misguided missile at the prosecution" on Sept 10. I guess this wayang ain't over till the fat lady sings. Or will it need the intervention of a great leader to say, "Kids, Stop it!" before the show is over. Meanwhile, we are learning some.

Hey, remember lung
cancer-stricken Mr Heng Wa Seng who was sentenced to 4 months jail? Plus 3 months more for not being able to pay fine. Why didn't anyone speak for him? Why didn't the "well-educated and influential" and "learned" ask for a lighter and more humane sentence or even ask not to charge him at all. From what was reported in ST, like Mr Tang of CK Tang, Mr Heng is dying too. Why the double standard? Or should we blame the judge for his lack of compassion. Or are we wrong in judging the judge. Could it be that the judge gave Mr Heng a longer stay in jail to make sure that he received better and cheaper medical treatment than if he were not incarcerated. Legal? Factual? Faulty? Who knows?

I'm most impressed that A-G wrote: "
Those who are well-educated and influential should be models for society. It would be a sad day for Singapore if such people think that they can choose which laws to obey and that it is morally and socially acceptable to lie on oath.

There are many countries where wealthy people with friends in high places can pressure the prosecutor to have charges against them dropped so that they will not have to face a judge in open court. Singapore is not one of those countries".

I wonder if there's a country where wealthy people in high places can pressure the prosecutor (or anybody else) to have charges fixed against those to face a judge in open court for serious charges like sodomy, defamation or contempt of court. Or if there's a country where people in high places can prevent others from having a pink picnic or healthy bicycle ride in the park?

I wonder.

Or can people in high places make law against guys from having fun with each other's posterior but choose not to enforce it?

Legal? Factual? Faulty?

Who's law is it anyway?


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet!

Remember the bicycle ride? One that did with PM Lee and the other that did not with Opposition Workers Party?

Believe it or not, Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee made this clear in Parliament on Tuesday.

In the words of a Hokien speaking 83-year-old great-grandma, it's another case of "chui kong lumpar song!"

"Pai thun!" Looks like the million dollars salary ain't that easy to earn after all. To come up with such an incredulous explanation takes much from the soul and integrity! Sleepless nights too!

Then again, money by any other name would smell as sweet too!

With Selamat Jalan and this legal/factual booboo, the guys working in Home Affairs definitely deserve our sympathies.

Give them a break!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

One Great Leader's Witty Remark on Another Great Leader.

MM keeps date with forum: By Clarissa Oon, Political Correspondent, ST.

'Unlike Kim Jong Il who says he is well but has not appeared, I thought I'd better say hello to you and to your guests and apologise for not being able to join you,' Mr Lee quipped, referring to the reclusive North Korean leader who missed the country's 60th anniversary celebrations last week, reportedly because he had a stroke."

It's a tough act. One great leader in a little red dot showing he is "one up" on the great leader of a much bigger dot. If this is a political one upmanship, it's a little sick! Or are both of them sick?

I do not know a quip is a witty remark or an insult to the great leader of a country with nuclear power. I wonder if the smart-ass remark of a sick old man may have negatively impacted the good that was done by Singapore's Foreign Minister, George Yeo who visited North Korea recently. Another damage control so soon after the guest workers dormitory fiasco in Serangoon Garden which is yet to be solved? Poor George.

Philanthropy? I leave it to those who have huge taps. Taps overflowing with money from all over! Namely, minister's pay; GIC's pay, Temasek's pay, NTUC's pay; director's pay; advisor's pay; consultant's pay and what have you. With so much money under their control, I sure hope they put the money where the mouth is. As talk is cheap, it'll be nice if charity begins at home. For a start, let's not make "welfare" a dirty word. Yes, talk is cheap. A dime a dozen; even if it comes from the Great Leader!

Too bad, with my heart condition, I'm making less than a tiny minute fraction of S$3.7 million per annum. The best I can do is help the beggar without leg with a dollar or two from my pocket. The best that I can do, most of the time, is to be nice and kind to decent folks like thanking the lady who cleans the table at the hawker centre where I eat. Or pass the empty drink can to the old lady collector at the coffeeshop with an understanding smile after I've finished my drink. Or give a $4 dollar angpow during Chinese New Year to the elderly gentleman who cleans the corridor of my heartland block where I live.

What I don't have, I can't give - Money.

What they don't have, they can't give - Compassion, kindness and empathy.

I do hope that they still give some of what they have lots of (money), even in secret.

Or is it still the same old same old, "Fend for yourself peasants!" and "Get out of my uncaring elite face!"???


Friday, September 12, 2008

Dow Jones, WSJA welcome to the club! Looks like I'm not the only one being screwed!

Excuse me, but lately, I'm just so dazed and confused.

First I read that the PTA has allowed the transport companies to play it again. "Bus and train fares up on October 1"Just what do they mean when they wrote, "
Adult EZ-Link fares on buses and trains and the senior citizen concession EZ-Link fare, will see a flat increase of 4 cents per ride. However, this will be offset by the 15-cent increase in transfer rebate from the current 25 cents to 40 cents.

Public transport operators have also decided that they will bear 10 cents out of the 15-cent increase in the transfer rebate.

Therefore, fares for most adult or senior citizen concession journeys will see a range of adjustments, from an increase of 4 cents for a direct journey with no transfer, to a reduction of 7 cents for a journey with one transfer."

Please give me a break.
What WTF is going on? So am I better off or worse off? Am I being fooled again like they did me with my CPF when I was 55? U can't touch this!!!

They'll do anything, just anything, to achieve their damned goals - $,$$$,$$$,$$$,$$$....... Money for nothing and chicks for free! Worse than pop stars, without blistering their little fingers, they'd use whatever deception or justification to add more profits to their Co. and their own pockets. Then again, I can't blame them as the culture is set by the most powerful people in this little red dot. Ministers, who else? The poor and the down and out? Just suck them dry baby!

How much am I losing out this round? I waiting for Mr Leong Sze Hian or some other knowledgeable kind soul to help me out here.

Then I read that the AG is to sue Dow Jones, WSJA

So the politicians are not suing? It's now the AG Chambers who's doing their national service, keeping the whiter than white reputation of my little red dot. Just how grateful can I be with such loyalty? If you listen to the exchanges or read the transcripts of the TokKong Case of 2008 between the Lee's and Chee's
, you'll find your own conclusion. You may also come to know why I's so dazed and confused!

If they are guarding my interest, why am I losing confidence? Who's attacking who?

Just who is in contempt and who are those who are really contemptible?

Your answer is as good as mine.


SINGAPORE’S Attorney-General is seeking to sue the editors of The Wall Street Journal Asia (WSJA) and the newspaper’s owner, Dow Jones Publishing, over two stories and a letter on the city-state’s judiciary.
In a statement on its website, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) said it has applied for court permission to start contempt-of-court proceedings against Dow Jones, Ms Christine Glancey, WSJA’s managing editor, and Mr Daniel Hertzberg, editor of the international edition.
According to the statement, the articles and letter “impugn the impartiality, integrity and independence of the Singapore Judiciary”, by alleging that the judiciary was not independent and insinuating that it was “biased and lacks integrity”.
The pieces in question are the article “Democracy in Singapore” (June 26), a letter from Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan headlined “Produce the Transcript, Show the Truth” (July 9) and the article “Judging Singapore’s Judiciary” (July 15).
The AGC noted that these were published at a time when the Far Eastern Economic Review, “a ‘sister publication’ of the WSJA”, was defending a defamation action in Singapore.
“An unwarranted attack against the integrity, impartiality and independence of the Singapore Judiciary is an assault on the Rule of Law in Singapore,” said the AGC. It was fundamental to the administration of justice “that disappointed litigants or persons with a particular philosophy or agenda should not undermine the authority of the courts.”
Stressing the importance of not undermining the public’s confidence in the integrity and independence of the courts, the AGC said, the Attorney-General “as guardian of the public interest” has the responsibility to institute contempt proceedings when these are attacked.
According to AP, representatives of Dow Jones and AWSJ could not be immediately reached for comment. Channel News Asia

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Whiter Than White Charity or Conflict of Interest?

Home > ST Forum > Story
I REFER to last Thursday's letter by Mr Tan Ghee Gay, 'Why 'no' and 'yes'?', regarding police decisions with respect to the Workers' Party's (WP) proposed mass cycling event last year, and the carnival on Aug 31.

Police do not issue permits for outdoor political events in public places due to the potential for disorder and unruly behaviour. This applies to events organised by all political parties. For this reason, police rejected WP's application to hold a mass cycling activity in East Coast Park, to commemorate its 50th anniversary in September last year.

The event on Aug 31 was very different. The permit was issued after taking into account the organiser and the nature of the event. It was organised by the PAP Community Foundation, which is a registered charity and not a political party. The event was not assessed to have the potential for disorder and unruly behaviour. It was a carnival that involved children and families from various kindergartens and educational institutions. The Prime Minister, as guest of honour, and a few other guests, made their entrance by cycling a short distance. During the event, a sum of $664,000 (which had been raised earlier) was distributed to 17 charities, including Beyond Social Services, Children's Aid Society and Chung Hwa Medical Institution.

DSP Paul Tay
Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Singapore Police Force

Can you believe that?

How not to take it with a pinch, I mean, bucket of salt?

Stupid? Funny? Hilarious legal fact or factually legal sham?

Surprisingly, Assoc Prof Ho Peng Kee who spoke so strongly, legally and factually on why WP were not permitted to have their bicycle ride last September is a Council Member of PCF.

It's tough calling a spade a spade when it is.

It's tough calling a spade a spade when it isn't.

Tough job for DSP Paul Tay.

If memory serves me right, what SDP did was criminal while Case did was perfectly legal when both were doing the same thing - demonstrate against inflation.

Sometimes it's wiser to STFU (Shut The F--- Up!) then to make crap smell sweet.

Then again, Emperor's nakedness can also be Emperor's new clothes!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

A-G vs MM's Daughter - No one is above the Law.

It's interesting to note that Dr Lee Wei Ling, daughter of MM, felt strong enough to write about the "politically correct token sentencing" of Mr Tang Wee Sung in the kidney sale case.

It is more interesting to read the reply from the Attorney-General Mr Walter Woon.

A-G Walter Woon wrote: "The prosecution did not press for a custodial sentence beyond the minimum. The shortest sentence a judge can mete out is one day's jail. This is exactly what the learned District Judge did. It was not 'a token sentence'. It was the minimum sentence prescribed by law."

I wonder why did the prosecutor in Tang's case ask the judge for minimum sentence prescribed by the law?

Did the prosecutor in the massage parlour case asked for the same minimum sentence for cancer-stricken Mr Heng Wa Seng who was sentenced to 7 months jail? Or is 7 months the minimum prescribed by law?

In trying to sound compassionate as well as just and 'lawful' in replying to Dr Lee, I think AG Walter Woon should have check if his prosecutors did right in both cases.

If it's not about double standard and 'token sentence', why was compassion given to a kidney patient? Why wasn't compassion given to a terminal cancer patient? Does the crap of one smells better than the other? Or is lying under oath less serious than running an illegal massage parlour?

No one is above the law.

But some gets better law than others!

To be fair, if 7 months is the minimum custodial sentence for running an illegal massage parlour, then this "unlearned fishfood" stands corrected.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Is it Lightening Up or Bo Pian? (No Choice?)

They did one on Mr Brown, a full page in Straits Times.

Then, they did another on film-makers Martyn See, Seelan Palay and Ho Choon Hiong.

Wow! Or is it a case of "you ain't seen nothing yet?"

When was the green light given to give such exposure to these "activists" with such alternative thoughts and mindset? During the last National Day Rally?

Finally they've come to realise that: "You can't give that which does not belong to you". You do not have the freedom to give freedom. It's there. It's been there all the while. It's just that in Singapore, freedom of speech and expression has been hijacked 43 years ago and "fixed" in such a way that freedom is bad for Singapore. In their despotic minds, they figured that "freedom" should be replaced with fear of "money not enough' or "security not enough" and scare the shit out of them with "Pappy knows best"!

Or have they finally come to realise that:
You can screw all the people some of the time;
You can screw some of the people all the time;
But you can't screw all the people all of the time!

It's about time.

Well, they did not have a choice.

Bravo, at last, they have awakened to the idea that Singaporeans aren't that dumb after all.

I mean, just how arrogant and stupid can they get?

Meanwhile, enjoy this.

Posted on Sept. 5, 2008

During the National Day festivities last month, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s gloomy prognosis for the economy—a “bumpy year” ahead—was overshadowed by even more dire warnings that the city state is about to start running low on its main resource, people. With an aging society and one of the lowest fertility rates in the world at 1.29, the government is pulling out all the stops, doubling the budget of baby-making incentives to $1.13 billion. Meanwhile, in order to make Singapore a more tolerant and pluralistic place, political videos will be allowed, as well as protests in a downtown park.

It’s all straight from the ruling People’s Action Party’s standard playbook. Play up the anxiety of a small nation beset on all sides, in need of a strong government to take positive action to avert disaster. Individual citizens who are failing to live up to the expectations of society need to be brought back into line. At the same time, leaders are willing to give those citizens a few of their rights back, as long as they are not used to undermine harmony.

Since Mr. Lee took over the premiership in 2004, Singaporeans have been watching for any sign he plans to reform substantially the authoritarian state created by his father, Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. So far there has been little indication that in his heart the prime minister is a liberal democrat. But the system of control is coming under increasing stress due to the changing structure of society. A process of subtle change will continue to be driven by pressure from below, rather than a change of heart at the top.

Last month’s gestures far fall short of lifting what the opposition calls the climate of fear—past experience, such as the detention of former Solicitor General Francis Seow in 1988, suggests that retribution for challenging the PAP can come in many forms, from bureaucratic harassment to detention without trial under the Internal Security Act. The government is making a virtue out of necessity by lifting the 10-year-old ban on making or showing political films, and allowing political podcasts during election campaigns. Oppositionists were successfully skirting the restrictions, so that they only served to hamstring the PAP's own efforts to utilize online media. The opening of a protest area is a token gesture, which no doubt will be raised to deflect international criticism the next time police arrest dissident politician Chee Soon Juan for illegal assembly. In that sense, the move suggested that Mr. Chee’s campaign of civil disobedience is causing some heartburn within the regime.

But the real problem is not Mr. Chee—the stressors on Singapore’s political machine lie elsewhere. The PAP’s legitimacy has always rested on its performance, backed by trust in the party. Given its chaotic past and neighbors, Lee Kuan Yew argued, the tiny country could not afford the risks associated with liberal democracy. In the past that argument was largely taken at face value by the Chinese working class, despite the experiences of other Asian nations that contradicted it. Today, however, there is more apathy than agreement. No one seriously questions the PAP’s track record of governance or probity of its top leaders, yet trust is giving way to resentment at the party’s arrogance.

The main proof is in the erosion of the party’s share of the popular vote in elections. In 2006, it hit 66.6%, down from 75% in 2001, and 75.6% in 1980. In the past, opposition parties deliberately refrained from contesting more than half of the seats, since they found that while some Singaporeans wanted to cast a protest vote, they would not vote for the opposition if there was any chance the PAP would be thrown out of office. But in 2006, the opposition contest 47 of 84 seats, suggesting that the PAP’s hold on voters’ loyalty is not as fearsome as before.

Why is this? For one thing, Singaporeans are better versed in critical thinking. During the 1980s and '90s, people may have grown wealthy, but they remained politically unsophisticated. Development happened so quickly that it took decades for education levels to catch up. According to the government statistics, between 1990 and 2005 the percentage of the population with a university degree grew to 17% from 4.5%. That is matched by an even more dramatic shift in individual age cohorts—in 2005, 32.1% of 30-34 year olds had a university degree, as compared to just 6.6% of 50-54 year olds. The language spoken at home is now predominantly English, meaning that Singaporeans are increasingly able to learn about and interact with the outside world.

Moreover, the PAP has pushed the economic structure of the country in a direction that is no longer win-win for all classes. A certain amount of economic inequality is tolerable as long as there is a sense that everyone’s lives are improving. But inequality and real hardship are on the rise, as inflation running at 6.5% erases the 3.3% wage gains that the poorest tenth of the population enjoyed last year, even as the top tenth picked up an 11.1% increase in income. PAP loyalists control a lucrative web of government-linked companies, while ministers have also picked up big pay rises, since their salaries are indexed to the private sector, making them some of the world’s highest paid politicians. As for social mobility, the top scholarships, which are a ticket into the elite, increasingly go to students from wealthy families that live in private apartments, rather than public housing.

Despite this trend, the PAP is unwilling to dismantle its policies of holding wages low in order to attract multinational companies to invest. This was a strategy born of necessity in the 1960s, when Singapore was short of capital and struggling to catch up with Hong Kong’s model of creating an export-oriented growth. Today it is economically obsolete, yet it suits the government politically because the combination of state-owned companies and politically quiescent multinationals prevents the emergence of an independent commercial class that might push for political change.

The result is a top-down economy which is running up against the limits of its capacity to drive growth. Without an entrepreneurial class and successful home-grown companies, Singapore’s productivity growth has historically lagged behind that of its laissez-faire twin, Hong Kong. As University of Chicago economist Alwyn Young showed in a 1992 paper, Singapore had one of the lowest returns on physical capital in the world. Its growth has been fueled by forced savings programs shoveling ever increasing amounts of capital into the furnace, rather than by innovation or managerial efficiency.

Mr. Lee’s administration has found that the only way to defuse public dissatisfaction is to do something the PAP consistently condemned as the hallmark of Western democracies: Give away money. The government used to damn welfare as a dirty word, yet transfer spending is on the rise. This year, $2.1 billion in giveaways were planned. Then last month Mr. Lee announced a 50% increase, totaling $179.8 million, in utility rebates and “growth dividends”—cash payments to households that started in 2006. The new prime minister has brought in other social spending programs for the poor. For instance in the 2008 budget, the Ministry of Manpower’s expenditure rose by 184%, almost entirely due to a new scheme of workfare, the $306 million Income Security Policy Programme.

The pressure for more entitlements will only grow as retirees find that their savings do not provide enough of a cushion. The compulsory government-run Central Provident Fund sucked up a huge percentage of income to finance the state’s development goals, but offered dismally low returns. As a result, many of the generation that built the Singapore miracle now finds itself eking out a retirement in public housing while the government surpluses remain under the management of the PAP.

Beside the carrot, there is also a stick. Starting in 1985, the PAP began to warn voters that if they supported the opposition, their government-built apartment buildings would not get priority for maintenance. This was gradually refined to the point that in 1997, then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong explicitly campaigned on the promise that individual precincts would get housing renovation spending according to their votes. When the U.S. State Department condemned this as undemocratic, the interference of foreigners was used as another rallying cry.

Indeed, it seems that Singapore is increasingly cursed with the shortcomings of a democracy without enjoying the benefits. During the 2006 campaign, Prime Minister Lee inadvertently blurted out his fears of what would happen if there were more opposition members of 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….” Putting aside the ominous sound of “fixing” opponents, the remark was ironic because the PAP now expends so much effort to buy the support of the populace with giveaways, all in order to avoid the transparency and accountability that a vibrant opposition would bring.

Some younger Singaporeans with skills respond to this by voting with their feet, moving abroad to find greater freedom and a higher standard of living working with the kind of entrepreneurial companies that Singapore has yet to create. In order to eventually win some of them back, the possibility of recognizing dual nationality is increasingly discussed, a move that would represent a huge concession for a nation-building party that demands self-reliance and sacrifice of its citizenry.

In the place of the émigrés, foreign workers are flooding in to man the factories, docks and construction sites, as the government steadily opens the doors wider. Foreign workers already account for more than one million of the total population of 4.6 million. Among the immigrants are talented individuals like the Chinese table tennis players who provided the country with its first Olympic medal last month. But they lack the loyalty to the country that the PAP has put a premium on.

If Singapore were a plural democracy, it would no doubt have developed an independent civil society capable of binding together the native-born and immigrants, providing mutual support. But the PAP and Lee Kuan Yew are like the African baobab tree, whose spreading canopy hogs the sun and prevents other trees from growing up underneath. Such a society may be easier to control, but it is also alienated and rootless, jealous of others’ gains—the oft-quoted national characteristic, kiasu, literally means “fear of losing.” In a developed economy that depends on attracting and retaining creative individuals, this has become a significant handicap.

The arrogance of the winners in society is becoming a major issue. The elder Mr. Lee’s ego is legendary, but given his accomplishments it is perhaps understandable. When his minions take on similar airs, however, it is a different story. In one extreme example two years ago, a furor erupted after the daughter of MP Wee Siew Kim used her blog to berate a man afraid of losing his job as “one of many wretched, undermotivated, overassuming leeches in our country” who should “get out of my elite uncaring face.” To make matters worse, Mr. Wee tried to defend her remarks.

Naturally the PAP is aware of these trends and that its monopoly on power has become an important issue in itself. Over the years it has tried to come up with mechanisms for citizens to register their complaints and blow off steam. The government no longer seeks to destroy all opposition, leaving alone and even praising those tame MPs who focus on constituents’ issues rather than the PAP’s system of social control. Yet ultimately there is no solution to this problem, since the party is unwilling to share power in any meaningful sense.

A siege mentality has been the hallmark of Singaporean politics for four decades, often with good justification given hostile neighboring governments to the north and south. Yet it is increasingly hard today to see how that anxiety can be justified and maintained. The generation now coming onto the political scene grew up in at least moderate prosperity, and may not be so easily bullied into voting for the PAP. It is eager to put down roots and create a civil society. So far the PAP has finessed this aspiration without compromising its control.

Prime Minister Lee can afford to be sanguine for now, with the security apparatus, corporatist economy and civil service all at his command. Yet if this economic downturn worsens, he will be confronted with a more difficult choice of whether to accede to demands for greater pluralism. As academic Michael Haas once wrote, “Whenever the public exercises the independence of thought that better education brings, ‘a danger to be nipped in the bud’ or some similar cliché is articulated as the basis for repression.” It bears remembering that the laws like the Internal Security Act that have been used in past such exercises remain on the books. If pushed too hard, Lee Hsien Loong still has the means to prove he is his father’s son.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Justice & Law: A Crying Shame in Singapore!

If only Mr Tang had given $1,000 to Mr Sulaiman Damanik to help him pay his fine, Mr Sulaiman would have enjoyed one week's freedom from jail! It would have been nice, would have soothe many, including my damaged heart.

After reading CNA's Tang Wee Sung gets 1-day jail, fined for plans to buy kidney illegally, someone wrote to me wondering why a rich man gets 1 day jail while a poor man gets 3 weeks jail for the same offense. Guilty In Law or Guilty In Fact, the different punishment meted to each of the offender baffles and offends my sense of justice and equality.

Did Mr Tang get what he got because he's rich and powerful . . . or is it because he's sick?

I think in Singapore when you are sick, you don't get any privilege at all. In fact, it may work to your disadvantage. The last segment of this video shows the poor mum and sister of the 'did-not-opt-out-organ-donor' grieving over their loss. It shows that sick, disabled or so-called brain dead do not enjoy special treatment. It also shows the callousness of some when dealing with the down and out.

When Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim wanted to ride bicycles in the park, police said it's dangerous. It's against the law.

When PM Lee Hsien Loong and PAP MP Seng Han Tong and other PAP MP's took a ride in the park, it wasn't dangerous nor was it against the law! I guess when you are rich and powerful, law works differently.

I guess our Singapore pledge:
We, the citizens of Singapore
Pledge ourselves as one united people
Regardless of race, language or religion
To build a democratic society
Based on justice and equality
So as to achieve happiness, prosperity & progress for our nation

doesn't mean squat when we have such double standards in this crazy homeland of ours. It makes PM's speech of "being gracious" during the recent National Day rally a farce, a ridiculous mockery of the word "gracious". Action always speaks louder than words and . . Talk is Cheap!

On the subject of law, I'm saddened by ST's report on Lawyer's remand extended Judge says his rights not violated; Ravi insists he is not of unsound mind

I hope that lawyer Ravi is not as "mad" as he's portrayed to be. Though he was locked up for 31 years, I do not believe Chia Thye Poh was a 'communist' as he was portrayed to be. I hope Ravi will not be incarcerated for his 'madness' like Chia Thye Poh.

Then again in a country where fear of losing one's job, (plus wealth and future fortune) for not acting politically correct is etched into every Singaporean's mind, I would not be surprised if poor Ravi is diagnosed as "insane" by some kiasu, kiasi doctors or psychiatrists.

Let's pray that the doctor attending to him is one who is honourable, kind-hearted and not afraid to stick to his principles and tell it like it is.

Personally, I do not know Ravi but I wish him all the best in health of mind, body and soul.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Money for Nothing But Heartache & Shame for Free

$4,000,000 REWARD

Yes, 4 million dollars for three of the above.

From Marc Lim of ST of 1 Sept 2008 "Silver lining in Gao Ning case", I learned that that's what we paid to win the table tennis silver medals!

Every time I asked the hospital (or CPF) not to charge me the administrative fee of $3.47 for the withdrawal of my hard earned Medisave for my medicine and quarterly medical check-up after my heart attack, they tell me they cannot help me. Their hands are tied. But they can afford to spend $4,000,000 to buy the medals above.

[For the uninitiated, though My Medisave is My blood and sweat money saved over many years, they still insist that it's not mine to use even after I suffered a heart attack and not earning much income now. They charge me an admin fee for using my own money even when I did not want them to keep my money in the first place. When I was I kid in the 50's & 60's I had to pay protection money to gangsters for my safety. Now this!]

Pardon my generalisation but they are the same. CPF; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Youth Community Development & Sports; IRS; Ministry Home Affairs; they are all tentacles of the government. The frustration and anger arising from such blatant spending for their false pride and ego and their neglect of the masses (especially the poor) and, of course, their greed can be the cause of another heart attack for me. Yes, the Medisave thing is really eating me up!

I have learned enough that stress is one of few factors that can degenerate health. With such silliness/cleverness from the government, I won't be surprised that more Singaporeans will end up with heart attack and other diseases.

Talking about silliness, please read about the "thousands that throng the park yesterday for PAP carnival" when WP sucks thumb with their request. The post by BothSidesOfTheJohorStraits with Hokien expletives over the latest "gracious" act of the government is another must read!

I don't blame him for getting mad and with his KNNMCCB outburst (which doctors recommend to prevent stress), I'm sure he'd be much lightened up and prevent himself a heart attack.

First ping pong fiasco, then Health minister's facts fiasco and now bicycle carnival fiasco.

When will they ever learn?