Friday, November 28, 2008

Singapore so good, Sri Lanka so bad.

I wrote previously about why our leaders like to blow out someone else's candle to make theirs burn brighter. This include arrogant comments like:

American's pork barrel politics bad, Singapore's good!
Taiwan's political system bad, Singapore's one-party good!
Malaysia's crime bad
, Singapore's crime good!
Indonesia's corruption no good, Singapore's corruption very good!

PAP's current situation isn't very bright. I fear Singapore will only get darker and more depressing if arrogant leaders continue with their hubris in extinguishing our neighbours' light to prove a point.

In Straits Times today, Ms Shamila Gunasingham, a 'quitter' from Sri Lanka who makes good in Singapore, blows the light out of Sri Lanka to sing the light (or is it lightning in a circle?) of Singapore.

'We need to demonstrate an appreciation for our leaders,' she maintains, citing a Tamil sage Thiruvalluvar who asked, 'What has learning profited a man, if he cannot demonstrate respect for good and exemplary leadership?'
. . . By speaking up, she feels she has the courage to be honest and is not a 'sycophant' or 'spokesman' for the People's Action Party (PAP).

I just can't fathom why Senior Political Correspondent Ms Lee Siew Hua of Straits Times, like the famous Chua sisters, likes to create self/job preservation articles like this. Or is 'sucking up' a prerequisite to be a political correspondent in ST?

Is it just my sensitivity to PAP's political spin, or is this 2-page 'wag the dog' article meant to ignore and cover up pressing issues like GIC & Temasek's clever investments; minibombs and high notes hurting investors & town councils; crazy cost of living and other bad news?

I guess if it's not for Tan Kin Lian and bloggers, the Lehman fiasco would have been forgotten by now.

If wearing kangaroo T-shirt can lead you to jail, I hope my writing here shows the "courage to be honest and is not a 'sycophant' or 'spokesman' for the People's Action Party (PAP)".

Please, just don't
feedmetothewhitetigers for what I write.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We live, we learn.

It's fascinating to know that the elites of ministerial level are learning from 88-year-old Mdm Lim.

Mdm Lim who is paid $330 in public assistance said in Hainanese, "It's no glory taking this government money" reported Straits Times. Within days, our dear PAP government announced that it's no glory taking money from hapless poor Singapore too.

They decided on a pay cut (or is it?) and left Mr Tharman grandstanding after he said "We are not here to grandstand" when asked by reporter if ministers would take a pay cut. Poor guy. Having done a fantastic job (said my teacher friends) as Minister of Education, he now has to pay for the sins of his predecessor in the Finance Ministry due to the Minibombs fiasco.

As hard as they try to portray their altruistic selves sharing the misery of the masses, there is and never will be equal misery for all. Just compare Mdm Lim's public assistance of $330 a month with PM Lee Hsien Loong's income of $3,040,000 per annum or $253,333 a month (after pay cut?).

I know I'm not comparing apple with apple but I like what our first Chief Minister, Mr David Marshall said in an interview with Dharmendra Yadev way back on 5 May 1994, "You know $96,000 a month for a Prime Minister and $60,000 a month for a minister. What the hell do you do with all that money? You can’t eat it! What do you do with it? Your children don’t need all that money."

What the heck! If 14 years ago, you could not eat $96,000 a month, how the hell do you swallow $253,333 a month today? It's crazy! So just what the hell do you do with all that money anyway? Maybe get Japanese chefs to prepare meals of sushi and sashimi for a GRC every week?

This idea of "reserves" is getting a little over the top. The country wants humongous reserves so that they can blow them away in UBS, Citi, ABC Learning, etc. The ministers wants so much reserves for themselves that they shamelessly depend on scholarships to pay for their children's education. Yes, I know it's the prestige, but heck, is prestige more important than giving the smart poor a break? Meritocracy . . . my foot! It's Greed!

Greatgrandma of my grand daughter said you can't bring it with you when you croak. If that's the case, the huge legacy that they leave behind will not last past the 3rd generation as told in Asian (Chinese?) folktales. I'm not into folktales and superstitions but sometimes, uncanny things do happen. Could this recession be the beginning of the slippery slope of the 3rd generation's crash and burn?

Just look at the Singapore's reserves (Singaporeans' money). It started during LKY's time and grew during GCT's watch. Now 3rd generation Prime Minister LHL is losing Singapore's pants by the billions with outvestments like Shincorp, Merill Lynch, Citigroup, UBS, ABC Learning and even Town Councils' Sinking Fund. At the rate that it's going, people are anxious of their future and frustrated with the present. Some find jumping into the jaws of white tigers and oncoming MRT train a better alternative.

Maybe Economic Euthanasia should be passed in Parliament before Medical Euthanasia.

I lived rather happily during the 60's, 70's and part of 80's. Though the country wasn't rich, we managed to stay together and moved ahead, albeit slowly but steadily in making a living and building relationship with care and respect for each other. There wasn't any notion of emigration. It was a Singapore worth loving and worth serving.

It's different now. The silly "staying together and moving ahead" today is nothing more than a slogan, a hype to pull wool over people's eyes. Most who can afford and qualify will 'run road' and 'quit' like the daughter of GCT.

The loss of love and service to this country began when leaders started planting seeds for greed building instead of seed for nation building. As much as money and economy is important for survival, the culture created thus far in Singapore is without money, power & status or you are zilch. Nothing!

Joke has it that PAP gives you a drumstick but will take back a whole chicken from you. With what's been happening lately, it's more like they stole your whole chicken farm [raising the cost of living in every and any way possible while paying themselves million dollars salary] and feed you chicken feet and neck when you complain or beg for sustenance to survive [Mdm Lim's public assistance of $330].

With the country going to the dogs, if not for the ability to treat them with nonchalance, contempt and disdain, most would have gone crazy with a sense of despair and betrayal.

If much has been bragged of what Singapore has achieved, why am I sometimes ashamed of being a Singaporean? Having glorified itself as 1st World and always running down other Asian countries like Taiwan and our neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia, it may now be "pay back time". I simply do not understand why they have to insult Taiwan's parliament when they propagandize "one party system" in Singapore. Making fun of the high crime rate, democratic demonstration and leadership of our Asean neighbours is also something beyond me. Does belittling others give one an orgasm?

It's such a shame that our dear leaders are too dumb to know that it isn't necessary to blow out someone else's candles to make yours burn brighter!

As there's not much I can do except rant, my learned guru has taught me to remain hopelessly happy.

Hopelessly Happy I am and shall be.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Austerity Grandstand

CNA reported: Next year, the Prime Minister will actually see his salary fall to pre-revision levels.

The Public Service Division also said the Prime Minister has and will continue to donate all increases in his own salary after the April 2007 revisions, to good causes for five years.

With 19% cut, it's now $2,997,000 for the PM instead of $3,700,000. Wow, such a big drop in the ocean. It must be painful!

With this pay cut, I just hope they won't hip hop again and make a song and dance of their 'altruism'?

"A panel of ministers was asked if senior officers and leaders in the public sector would lead by example and take pay cuts in difficult times. 'We're not here to grandstand,' Mr Tharman said."

Poor Mr Tharman is now forced to grandstand.

Grandstanding in Austerity?

Poor souls. They are between the devil and the deep blue sea. If they did not lead by example by having a pay cut, they are inhumanly callous. If they bite the bullet and take a reduction, they are grandstanding. Well, if the man did
not make a mockery out of national service and nation building in Singapore by paying himself five times POTUS's salary in the first place, he'd would not be in such bad light now.

As the reason for their humongous pay rise was to match their talents, let's brace ourselves for a 18%-19% drop of good governance and policies from our government. It's a shame that their talents are no longer worth their original salt. As they will not be paid their 'worth', will some decide to quit their ministership and move to greener pastures like being doctor or lawyer again?

It would be a shame if they do. If they go, the golden period would be over and our mother, wife, sister, daughter and grandaughter may have to start looking for position as maids in other countries.

To every life, a little rain must fall.

Will the brewing thunderstorm cause the lightning to strike within its own circle?

Meanwhile lets hope those with 18%-19% pay cut will use their talents to take care of these folks who do not have any pay to cut.
Or have their talents been wasted in Citigroup, UBS, Merrill Lynch and ABC Learning and town councils' investments?


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Reserve, Sinking Fund, Profiteering?

It is fun to know that Town Councils' Sinking Fund is doing a Titanic. It's sinking!

It's so Singking Singapore!

My Town Council has lost a few million dollars which is small change to Dr Teo Ho Pin. Minister Mah Bow Tan and Ms Grace Fu advised that we should go for the jagular of the town counsellors for their clever investment.

I'm not bothered by the Town Councils' loss with their "eyes wide opened".

I'm just so sad, mad and disappointed that they lied to me.

For so many years, every time Town Council raised the conservancy and other charges, they said it was due to insufficient funds in their kitty to maintain and upkeep our HDB town. I did not know that they are so bloody billion $$$,$$$,$$$ dollars rich!

The poor were knuckle-dustered and forced to appear in court to pay fines when they were in arrears in paying. Now I feel so cheated to know that they have been profiteering from us. We were paying much much more than was needed to maintain our pigeon-hole town. In comparison with charges paid in some condos, considering the units involved, we are conned ... big time!

Profiteering? The same goes for the price we are paying for our pigeon-hole HDB flat.

Our CPF is no longer our money. They keep shifting the goalposts to come up with ways to prevent us from getting what's rightfully ours when we need it most. It's another 'reserve' building scheme to let GIC and Temasek to do their thing. Their 'thing' is sinking big time too!

Singapore Power with its mighty power can up tariff by 22% without batting an eyelid. Of course, with the power behind them, they can justify the increase with reasons that nobody understands. The source of our electricity is gas but we are paying oil prices. To them, oil and gas is the same thing?

Transport? Service providers for bus and MRT are profiteering too. Just look at their annual and quarterly reports. ERP's? That's a given. They just hit you when they feel like it! The bloody road are still jammed.

Self glorifying ministers' salary? Service to nation or self interest profiteering?

GST increased to 7%? Simply Shylock at work.

Why are they so callous in sucking people bone-dry to have so much profit, singking fund, reserve or whatyoumaycallit?

To them, enough is never enough? Sky is the limit!

Far as I know, saving is good.

Hoarding at the expense of innocent poor is sick! Real sick!

Will the day come when the powerful stops scalping their fellow citizens with reserve, sinking funds and profiteering?

I'm hopeful.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grandstanding or just sitting on their buttocks?

ST reported, "A panel of ministers was asked if senior officers and leaders in the public sector would lead by example and take pay cuts in difficult times. 'We're not here to grandstand,' Mr Tharman said."

They are not here to grandstand?

They have grandstood themselves as very VIPs for so long that they do not know what cheap gallery seats are? Haha . . . "let's stand up to welcome our guest of honour . . . My Foot". It's not that I do not respect them, it's just their hubris and talking down to us that turns me off. Most of them are such a pain when they try so hypocritically to understand our concerns or taking off their wolf's clothes to be like one of us.

If only they can be less greedy but more human, Singaporeans would have been more forgiving when ministers and town counsellors sleep on their job.

If only they do not come at us with their threats and knuckle dusters all the time, we would have been a more gracious society.

If they instil less fear but more care and human kindness, we would have more happy caring Singaporeans and less kiasi, kiasu & kia chenghu scaredy cats.

If only they were more humble and less arrogant, we would not have become a Disunited State of Singapore of highly paid elites, struggling confused middle class and disenchanted suicidal poor.

If only they knew how to treat us as human and not morons, we would not have taken every opportunity to treat them like clown and irresponsible idiot when they behave like one. Eg: Mee Siam Mai Hum; Mas Selamat; Women in your family ends up as maids in other countries; Golden Period; Town Council’s Lehman Sinking Fund; Go ask Town Councils and not MP's about how your Conservancy Charges are so bloody high and how they are managed; and last but not least, Minister’s Monthly CPF statement.

The guy who counts his CPF every month, Lim Swee Say spoke about win lose or draw “cutting cost to save jobs or cutting jobs to save cost?” I’d say for Singapore and Singaporeans' sake, the cabinet should do both. Cut cost and cut jobs by retrenching some in Parliament. Why MM, SM and so many Ministers in the PM's Office for? To talk about Golden Period, sell CPF Medisave and check CPF statement every month? Why so top heavy?

No, they are not here to grandstand, they are merely here to pay themselves millions and play to the gallery?

Someone contributed to charity after his last humongous pay rise to lend credibility and "moral authority" for obscene self interest.

Such "credibility" and 'moral authority' makes a mockery of nation building and national service.

This mockery becomes a sick joke when such obscenely paid "smarts" threw away good money after bad on Shincorp, UBS, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and ABC Learning. Having hyped so much on why they deserve the millions, it's a shame that they don't even know ABCs of their basic job and scored so many own goals! Of course, their integrity (sense of greatness) would not accept any responsibility but blame globalisation, complacent Singaporeans or even the cat for the current crisis.

Staying together moving ahead? They have moved so far ahead that that their feet are no longer touching the ground!

With the way they are smoking us, we should have some of what they smoke. It'll definitely improve our Happiness Index!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's no glory taking this government money.

In "More seniors get public assistance",Straits Times of 20, Nov 2008 reported that Madam Lim, 88, gets $330 a month under the Public Assistance scheme. The widow has eight daughters and a son, but has lost touch with them.

I hope the $330 is enough to pay for Mdm Lim's 3 meals at hawker centre, rent, utilities and healthcare expenses.

Mdm Lim, who lives in a sparsely furnished 0ne-room rental flat, said she would rather work if she could. She said in Hainanese, "It's no glory taking this government money."

Anyone can debate on how Mdm Lim who has eight daughters and a son reached this stage of poverty. Lack of filial piety? As we don't know, who are we to judge?

Mr Chia Shi Take wrote "Parent would rather suffer and die in silence than to sue". Having done the deed of going after people with Kangaroo T-Shirts, I was thinking if AG Walter Woon can help. If he finds cause in his investigation, he can go after his own Act and help Mdm Lim apply for Maintenance of Parents Act.

I do not know Mdm Lim but I respect her for her dignity and courage when she said she'd rather work. It goes to show that not everyone likes to take advantage of the government's reluctant assistance.

If goverment ministers can sponge off Singaporeans with their million dollars salary, paying Mdm Lim $330 a month is chicken feed. It's no big deal but I'm amazed that Straits Times takes half of Home Page 3 to blow the government's trumpet?

With so much negative news - DBS's retrenchment, Town Councils' $16,000,000 "eyes open" 'sinking' funds and Lehman's minibombs - that's detrimental to the government's first world standard, I guess they have to show some.

So let's show the glory of a 1st world government that cares!

If Mdm Lim takes no glory collecting the $330, do ministers take glory in collecting their millions?

Count With Me Singapore.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why Political Coarrestpondents So Like Dat?

Straits Times political senior correspondent Lee Siew Hua wrote on Saturday, November 15, 2008, "Goodness gracious me! A tip for Singapore - US politician shows how rivals can reconcile for nation's good"

Anthony Yeo wrote, "Obama’s win: Lessons for local politicians" on Friday, 14 November 2008, at The Online Citizen.

The difference in what's written by Mr Yeo and Ms Lee is astounding!

Mr Yeo wrote about attacking personality or issue? Surprisingly, that's the issue.

Lee Siew Hua wrote: "In his post-election news conference, then prime minister, Goh Chok Tong said PAP MPs would withdraw services from opposition wards.

Two months later, he appeared to moderate his tone when he said he would give more weight to the views of those who supported his policies. He would try to win the rest through their hearts and by using logic. His consultative style, he reiterated, would continue.

Memorably, the late Workers' Party chief, J. B. Jeyaratnam refused to cede the stage in 1997, after the PAP was declared the winner in hot-seat Cheng San GRC".

Goodness me, just what's the insinuation here? JB less gracious than GCT?

Please give Mr J. B. Jeyaratnam a break. Let him rest in peace.

The continuous "Kua tio ter thai, kua tio Xin pai" roughly translated from Hokien, " see pig kill, see God pray" attitude and hubris of people in ST's political desk is getting nauseous. It's atrocious to kick a non PAP politician like Mr J. B. Jeyaratnam who passed on recently just to suck up to the power that is. Why can't political writers in mainstream media be more gracious and try a little kindness?

We've read Chua LH, Chua MH and now another Goodness Gracious Me Senior Correspondent from ST! They never let up. Do they?

Thank Goodness for alternative views in The Online Citzen and Singapore Daily


ps: As much as I'm prepared to be fed to the fish when I'm dead and gone, I was shocked by the demise of Mr Nordin Montong who fed himself to the white tigers in Singapore Zoo. What does it take to make a person do what Mr Nordin did. What does it take to jump into an oncoming MRT train?

The pain and hopelessness of being?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Integrated Resort Disintegrated?

I was reading BothSidesOfTheJohorStraits on "retrenching ministers" and I can't help commenting.

Here goes:

Love what you wrote!

I'm with you!

In this austerity drive, Mayor Teo Ho Ping who invested peasants money in Lieman's MiniBonds/HighNotes through Town Council's Conservancy Fees with "EYES OPENED" should be retrenched too. Same goes with other MPs in Town Councils who bought such toxic financial products!

Oh, the 'add insult to injury of YOU WALK IN WITH YOUR EYES OPENED' comment will create unhappiness and draw much curses from investors and non-investors alike for the lack of sensitivity for the pain and suffering of those who lost! Well, being in Ivory Tower for more than 40 years does take its toll on humility and the humanness of being.

With smiling fat cats taking care of their own, starving peasants can only suck thumbs and watch the self-glorifying and "pass the buck" leadership continues with the wayang and nonchalance with the losses! What type of heck-care attitude is this?

Whatever right that's wronged, WKS is not to be blamed for Mas Selamat Jalan (walk) and all victims of the Lehman Bros collapse in S'pore are blind except those in PAP who did it with sinking funds of Town Councils! What a s(t)inking feeling!

It's not what you did. It's who you are and your affiliation to PAPOWER that decides whether you are blind or have 20/20 vision in investing and other decision making.

Anyone wonders if Singapore Pools will combine with CapitaLand to take over bleeding Sand's Gambling Den (or is it DisIntegrated Resort?) at Marina?

I do.

Btw, the chase is on to attract more $$$ to CPF to support Temasek and GIC. GCT tried to sell again when he said putting money in CPF is much safer than MiniBonds. True except that you don't know when you can withdraw money from CPF. It was 55 then but now it's God knows when! The goalposts keeps moving in the shifting CPF Sand. Then again we cannot blame him for trying with the latest collapse of ABC Learning Centre in Australia with last years' Temasek's investment of A$400 million disappearing with it!

Well, somebody has got to feed the bleeding Temasek and GIC? With Sand sinking, peoples' money will be helpful in building gambling dens of 1,000 gambling tables, up from 600! We sure are Bersatu Padu Begerak Maju (Staying Together Moving Ahead). Aren't we?

Town Council's Sinking Fund in Lehman's, Suzhou, Thaksin's ShinCorp Manchester City Football Club, Temasek's ABC Learning, billions in UBS & Merrill Lynch and what-have-you . . . you, me and SingaSuckers have to pay for it!

No free Lunch?

There is for FAT CATS!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Conflict of Interest?

Are the 3 experts - insurance veteran Hwang Soo Jin, former insurance commissioner Law Song Keng and accountant Gerard Ee - appointed to help solve the minibonds saga paid for their services? If they are, who appointed them? Who are their paymasters?

MAS or the FIs?

If they are paid for their services by the FIs, there is conflict of interest.

If they are not paid for their services, they are models that our current millionaire ministers should emulate to reduce their pay package.

It will be a breath of fresh air in this tiny red dot to know that they are doing it as a national service.

Electrical Tariff Increase of 22%
People are jumping up and down on minibonds with Mr Tan Kin Lian doing his utmost to help those in the rut.Why isn't there a song and dance on the increase (profiteering) by SP on the increase of electricity bills at Hong Lim Park?

Or should we let them suck us dry before the next review in 3 months?

Oh, the polytechnic students are doing a good job with LTA and transport companies.

Are we too 1st World to learn some?
I, like many others, have been touched by Obama and McCain when they thanked their supporters in victory and in defeat. Instead of "fixing their opponents and buying votes" and "You vote opposition, no HDB upgrade for you in Hougang & Potong Pasir", Obama said, "To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too,"

"Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much, and tonight, I remain her servant," McCain said. With million $$$$$$$$ dollar salary for ministers in Singapore, are they servants of the country? Or are they Lords of the Singapore Ring?

We may not have the history of USA but we sure can learn some graciousness from them.

For the heck of it, will George W Bush be the Senior President of USA on 20 Jan 2009 when Mr Barack Obama becomes the 44th POTUS?

Will his father George Bush Snr be President Mentor?

Oops . . . USA is not a little red dot with Kiasu and Kiasi leaders . . .