Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eugene Wee, We Love You!

I would not go to the extent to write "Eugene Wee, We Love You!" on the wall of Parliament House and get myself arrested but Eugene Wee of the New Paper is something else! He wrote, "Think of faceless online critics as bacteria"

For whatever reason best known to him, Eugene has called me, a 58 year-old fogey a bacterium (not bacteria, since I'm blogging singularly on my own).

I guess Eugene is trying hard to catch up with the Chua Sisters and may have scored some cookie points where his bosses are concerned. He may even have created fame for himself in msm. Unfortunately,
by denigrating anonymous bloggers, calling them bacteria, his infamy in the blogosphere may just negate whatever credit he hopes to add to his life .

I may be wrong but my guts tell me that no matter how anonymous we want to be, if the menacingly rich and powerful want to come and torture us before feeding us to the fish, they will. Even the great-grandmother of my grand daughter warns me so!

Yeah, call us gutless and doing nothing but leave shit all over the place especially on the front yard of msm and faces of the constipated elites -
"They can wind up leaving nothing more than a pile of s***.

However, instead of being in the limelight all the time (like mintsters and MPs giving away ang-pows and staring at us at the corner of every street, wishing us an Oxsome Chinese New Year and whatever the month calls for), bloggers can do much good in secret by blogging anonymously.

I do not know of others but
  • I blog to get it off my chest.
  • I blog because my cardiologist tells me it's good for my heart.
  • I blog because the msm is nothing more than balls-carrying sychophants mouthpieces of menacingly rich and powerful elites.
  • I blog because I'm fortunate to have the time to do it. At my age and medical condition, it makes my life meaningful!
  • I blog anonymously because I do not want to be the next guy to be torched by whoever.
  • I blog anonymously because I do not want them to come after me so easily.
  • I blog anonymously because there are readers who feel that I'm doing good in secret and I keep them informed and entertained.
  • Oh, I've been told it may help prevent dementia and other lazy brain diseases that may hit a fogey like me.
If not for bloggers (anonymous or otherwise) and internet and youtube, I would not have known of the following:
  1. Exchanges between Chee Soon Juan and Lee Kuan Yew and his son in court and the transcripts that tell it like it is!
  2. Singapore Rebel - the video by Martyn See on Chee Soon Juan.
  3. Hear Said Zahari speaking in Mandarin and calling Lee Kuan Yew a "face saving", "coward" and "such a vindictive person"
  4. Hear Tan Wah Peow speaks of his loss of freedom in Singapore.
  5. The crazy riot police going after 4 silent demonstrators who asked for transparency in CPF, NKF & HDB.
  6. Singapore's Gentle Revolutionery Chia Thye Poh who was locked up for 32 years without trial for not saying what was demanded of him.
  7. The Story of the AG before he becomes the CJ
Eugene Wee wrote that he would not do what Perm Sec Tan Yong Soon of Corden Bleu fame did. 'That's why I'm happy to play a lesser role, so I can live as I choose and not worry about people looking over my shoulder'.

I second that emotion and I'm glad to blog as I please and hope that the menacingly rich and powerful people would not look over my shoulder.

Yes Eugene, we love you so much that you may be fatigued and injured posteriorly (not literally though) by the love that anonymous bloggers shower upon you!

Read some here:

Congratulations to your promotion to Club CS! (Club of the Chua Sisters)


Friday, January 23, 2009

Dipping Into Reserves Is Resilient?

Correct me if I'm wrong, my understanding of being resilient is the ability to withstand setback, shock, suffering, etc. Resilience Package? I think it would be more appropriate to call it that if they did not touch the Reserves.

Anyway, is this resilience for the favoured or for the exploited? With the cost of living going up and standard of living going down, the poor especially the nouveau-poor (the new poor who lacks the social skills appropriate for this new position) must learn to be resilient to survive. To millionaire mintsters and ratatouille Perm Secs, the only challenge (having the luxury of too much money) is to find new ways to burn $46,000 or more in holidays. The family-enhancing Le Corden Bleu cooking course in France is not the in-thing anymore!

Lest I be called a lesser mortal envious of the ability (not excluding cunning, shameful willingness to carry balls and taking credit for great work done by subordinates) and riches of the elites, I'm just a Singaporean clearing the toxins in my system, expressing thoughts that will never see the light of day in msm.

Is there truth in the Chinese belief that whatever fortune built by the first 2 generations, the third one will blow it all away? With the 3rd generation Prime Minister of Singapore and his A-Team dipping into the reserves, is this the beginning of the slippery truth?

While some are having an orgasm over the superlative 2009 Budget, it's just another grinding day for most, hoping that the next to be retrenched won't be him.

The song and dance by the msm on how fantastic and caring the budget is is of no significance to many of us. If mintsters are paid their weight in gold, they had better provide sterling services.

Being 1st world, how can there be no jobs?
Being 1st world, how can there be no food?
Being 1st world, how can there be no roof over the head?
Being 1st world, how can there be no medical care for the sick and aged?
Being 1st world, how can the poor be exploited?
Being 1st world, how can the elite be favoured?
Being 1st world, how can our womenfolk be maids in other countries?
Being 1st world, how can our aged be chambermaids in local hotel?
Being 1st world, how can there be kangaroos in court?
Being 1st world, how can Geylang be the International Whorehouse of so many nationalities?
Being 1st world, how can there be corruption, despotism and dynasty construction?
Being 1st world, how can the Singapore Pledge of "building a democratic society based on justice and equality" be a such joke?

For as long as Singapore is negatively impacted through globalisation or whatever, and any of its citizen is living below 1st world standard, millionaire politicians must asked themselves: "For not providing 1st world standard of living, just WTF am I paid this much for?"

I may be a little cranky here, but hey, if you pay yourself 6 times more (last I heard) than President Barack Hussein Obama, you had better deliver!

They may have rubbed each other's back, glorified themselves with justification of their worth and paid themselves the unimaginable, but did they realise that if they cannot deliver, their journey on the road to hell begins!

These are, of course, not 1st world standard of living:

Having broke the Guinness Book of World Record and created history by paying themselves the most, fairplay and justice demands that they must perform and produce just as much!

Now that the rat is taking a rest, let's hope we get less bull this coming lunar new year!

I wish you love, peace, good health and joy of living.

Happy Niu Year!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

When Men in White Will Embrace What Is Right?

After the inauguration speech of President Barack Obama, Dr Rev Joseph Lowery ended the ceremony with this prayer.

I'm not into religion, prayer or benediction but the sharp poetic content of Dr Lowery's delivery is worth the space in this blog. Whatever your religion or belief may be, I hope you'll enjoy and learn some as I did.


deliver us from the exploitation of the poor, of the least of these, and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these


Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.


we ask you to help us work for that day
when black will not be asked to get in back,
when brown can stick around …
when yellow will be mellow …
when the red man can get ahead, man; and
when white will embrace what is right.

reminds me of my multi racial, multi religious Singapore and the MIW.

Yes, help us work for the day when those in white will embrace what is right and replace their hubris with humility to sincerely "build a democratic society based on justice and equality" and not favour the rich while exploiting the poor!


God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou, who has brought us thus far along the way, thou, who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee.

Shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand true to thee, oh God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day.

We pray now, oh Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration.

He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national, and indeed the global, fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hands, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations.

Our faith does not shrink though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you are able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds, and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor, of the least of these, and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that yes we can work together to achieve a more perfect union.

And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountain top, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together as children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone.

With your hands of power and your heart of love, help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nations shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid, when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around … when yellow will be mellow … when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

There is none so blind as he who refuses to see.

While I'm heartened by this awesome speech in the early hours of 21 Jan 2009, I somehow feel betrayed as a Singaporean

I humbly ask the rich ministers of Singapore, paid much much more than President Obama, to wake up and pay attention to the following:

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

Though Singapore has a very short history, it cannot be the history of One! It's time for the PAP government to grow up and not hinder Singaporeans their rights to live the Singapore Pledge of "building a democratic society based on justice and equality". Change has come to Singapore and Singaporeans are wiser and more discerning than expected. Cut Singaporeans some slack and not suffocate them with more self-serving laws.

"we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned."

I hope Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his team understand it too. Cockiness and hubris due to position, birth and affiliation to PAP is detrimental to the individual as well as the party. The comedy of error generated by the Perm Sec Tan Yong Soon of Le Corden Bleu fame and the faux pas by MP Charles Chong in calling people "lesser mortals" for their envious streak leads to the lesson of "Hey, we may think that we are 1st world, but we are not that great after all!" Meritocracy, like democracy, in Singapore can be hyped and spinned too! Give peace and happiness a chance!

"Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction."

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified."

Another reminder to the PM that "Staying Together Moving Ahead - Bersatu Padu Begerak Maju - can be a sham. A political hype. On retirement, please do not push the children of retirees to encourage their mothers and fathers to be chambermaids in hotels. The heartware and respect for the common (peasant) elders who contributed to make Singapore what it is today must be appreciated by the the callous elites. Do not grudge them their rights to health and medical care!

"And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."

GIC and Temasek comes to mind. Billions went to Shincorp, Citigroup, UBS, Merrill Lynch and ABC Learning, amongst others. Town Councils' foray into Lehman Brothers minibonds and notes is another episode that PAP wished that Ms Olsen had kept her mouth shut (and enjoy her MP allowance as a poodle) and not be an inquisitive and responsible NCMP.

"and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. "

The law and the kidneys! The double standard of the punishment meted out to the poor and the properous was evident in the failed kidney transaction between a poor Indonesian and a retail tycoon. Yes, sometimes it favours not only the rich but the powerful too!

"They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint."

Humility and restraint in exercising power. While President Obama refers to the power of USA, I refer to the power of PAP. Reminds me of the treatment dished out to Chia Thye Poh (freedom lost for 31 years without trial), JB Jeyaratnam (made bankrupt for his tenacity in refusing to crawl under the legs an Emperor), Tang Liang Hong & Francis Seow (had to "chow lor" or run road, translated from Hokkien) due to their guts to tell it like it is as political opponents of PAP and our current Braveheart, Chee Soon Juan (bankrupted and jailed many times) who just did another "PAP wished he did not do" act . If PAP can always do as they please without hurting the general public, why not Chee Soon Juan? Period.

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Gerrymandeering, messing with electoral boundaries like making Cheng San disappear and putting Braddell in Marine Parade GRC is obviously self-serving. Morphing single member constituency (SMC) to GRC's shows that we are on the wrong side of history. The threat and name calling of political opponents like James Gomes as "liar" makes it more abhorable. The silencing of dissent is so deafening in Singapore that the great grandma of my grand daughter always tell me, "Child, don't mess with PAP. Your newfangled blog will get you into trouble sooner than you think. It's not right for a mother to feed her child to the fish. Children should never expire before their parent."

"And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it."

Instead of belittling Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and even Taiwan with the grandiosity (pompous and pretentious) of 1st world standard of living, I hope leaders in Singapore will be more sensitive to the sensitivities of our neighbours when trying to impress Singaporeans of their one-upmanship. Why can't my dearest leaders learn that "You need not blow out the candles of others to make yours burn brighter".

feedmeto thefish

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why is Obama paid less than the Prime Minster of Singapore?

Comparing his presidential speech of 20 Jan 2009 to Mee Siam Mai Hum speech, why isn't he paid more? To compare their responsibilities and job scope will be astoundingly embarrassing!

Watching the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama ( someone said during the race in 2007 that he's a great-speaking greenhorn political upstart) as the 44th President of United States of America, I'm heartened that an
African American, a race that was a slave class in America, can be the POTUS.

Why does
Barack Hussain Obama, the most powerful political leader in the world, earn less than the Prime Minister of Singapore? Being paid less, will he be corrupted? Singaporean leaders are fearful that their own selected politicians may be corrupted if they aren't paid enough. Or is Barack H Obama an example of what true leadership, sacrifice and service to nation is all about.

While Obama talks about humility and responsibility in USA, we have a PAP MP commenting about the Perm Sec of Le Corden Bleu fame (vintage version of please get out of my uncaring elite face Wee Shu Min) in Today, "
Agreeing that the rebuke in Parliament was “harsh”, MP Charles Chong noted that Mr Tan didn’t “brag” about how expensive the trip was in the article.
“Maybe it made lesser mortals envious and they thought maybe he was a little bit boastful,” he said. “Would people have taken offence if his wife (a senior investment counsellor at a bank) had paid for everything?”

Maybe local politicians can learn some humility, sensitivity, sensibility and responsibility from the 44th POTUS. Instead of calling Singaporeans "lesser mortals envious" because they think the Perm Sack is a boaster cock, it would have been wiser for the MP to say "no comments" to Ansley of Today. It's not nice to despise anyone but it's dumber than dumb for MP to denigrate voters.

I wonder if Charles Chong would rate Obama as lesser mortal, greater mortal or immortal.

Obama's Inaugural Address
(courtesy of The Washington Post)
January 20, 2009

"My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why So many Santa Clauses during Chinese New Year?

Yes, they wear red T's (no, not kangaroo T's) like Santa too!

“We should not continue to have politics treated as entertainment or as a miscellaneous offence … We should distinguish between political and non-political activities." So said Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore in Today's newspaper of 17 Jan 2009.

If not treated as entertainment, most Singaporeans would have suffered high systolic and dystolic blood pressure or even heart attack when they read articles like "PM donates $500,000 to fund" "
This latest donation to the fund comes from the salary increase of $1.04 million that Prime Minister Lee received last year as a result of the salary adjustments announced in April 2007. He has donated the rest of last year's increase to a range of community, grassroots, arts and welfare organisations."

If this is not an entertaining joke, please tell me what is. Why rob so many Poor Peters to pay selected Elite Pauls so that Elite Paul can be seen as an altruistic charitable donor to good causes? What the hell went wrong? Why pay themselves so much in the first place? Or have they realised that they can't bring it with them?

It's ironic that they do not realise that Greed for money, power and appearance (appearing to be generous, virtuous, kind and good) is not the way to win the hearts of the people! Not all will barbeque a MP for not receiving an ang pow but most will know with disgust that the CNY Santa Show (wayang of giving ang pows) is a political hype to win more votes. The fact is Robin Hood did not rob from the poor to help the poor! The Sheriff of Nottingham robbed from the poor to enrich his cronies and himself!

It cuts like a knife for a Singaporeans to know that GST was raised from 5% to 7% to increase ministers' and MPs' salary. Can the guilt of adding misery to suffering peasants by sucking them dry (with GST, PUB, SMRT, CPF, ERP, ETC.) be cleansed by another $500,000 donation? Can it buy more votes?

I wrote previously of Chinese New Year Santa Clauses of Singapore distributing ang pows to residents. As much Mr Seng Han Tong does not deserve to be torched, I hope the powerful leaders are mindful of the fact that "grandstanding" as donors or giver of ang pows in photo ops is passe.

The art of altruism is to do good in secret!

Can anyone tell me where the money for the ang pow comes from? Whose money is it? If it's not from the pockets of the distributors, it's rather embarrassing. Is this another case of "gia lang eh kachng peh cho bin peh"? Literal translation from Hokkien, "Use someone else's backside skin as your face skin".

False appearance is detrimental to one's integrity!

Meanwhile, while the Chinese from China building the Great Gambling Dens of Singapore are being cheated by clever agents and employers, without help from MOM as claimed. I'm amazed that construction of the Great Casinos of Singapore can caused as much hardship as the contruction of the Great Wall of China! I sincerely hope that the victims lose only money and not lives like the millions who died during the construction of the Great Wall of China! The stench of of foreign labour exploitation (levy) is getting embarrassing.

Let's hope that blogging will be treated as entertainment and not as an offence. At the rate that the laws are changing and the AGC going about nitpicking kangaroo T-shirts wearers, we can only hope that sensibility prevails and no one will come knocking on blogger's door in the middle of the night.


Monday, January 12, 2009

2009, So far, so newsworthy . . . . . .

The new year is still new. Though we are less than 2 weeks from 2008, certain news are so ridiculously elitist, intriguing, damaging and sad that the image of 1st world Singapore may be tarnished.

News #1:
I remember "Boaster Cock" was a common word used to describe show-offs when I was a teenager in the 60's. That's the first two words that my buddy said when he read that insensitive article.

"Taking five weeks’ leave from work is not as difficult as one thinks. Most times, when you are at the top, you think you are indispensable. But if you are a good leader who has built up a good team, it is possible to go away for five weeks or even longer." Tan Yong Soon.

Will the "Boaster Cock" Perm Sec deserve a promotion to Perm Sacked soon?

News #2
With all that's been happening lately, I guess the guy with the best deal is Tang Wee Sung.

For whatever reasons, he's won and Tan Chor Jin (One-Eye Dragon) lost. The Prize: A kidney . . . a LIFE!

The story behind the story?
- Why was Tang Wee Sung designated as the recipient?
- Was there a deal done before the execution?
- Did Tang Wee Sung jumped the queue in the Waiting List?
- Was the Prisons Dept aware of the deal, if there was one?
- Did Khaw Boon Wan know?

Let's not speculate but wait and we shall see if it's a prelude to the Legalized Organ Sale Law?

News #3:
I remember in the early 70's where some of my NS buddies went to the Middle East countries to make a living. The money was good but there was the fear of being conned and cheated. Fortunately, most of them made good and started little business of their own when they came back home after completing their contracts.

We now have foreigners from Bangladash and China getting a raw deal in Singapore.

Is 21st 1st World Singapore worse than the Middle East countries of the early 70's where welfare of workers are concerned?

News #4
Seelan Palay and his friend Chong Kai Siong will most probably end up in jail for their effort in confronting MOM to protect the lives of their 2 Burmese friends. Seelan said that their Burmese friends, Moe Kyaw Thu and Win Kyaw who will be persecuted and may be killed by the junta when they are repatriated to Burma by end January.

For the love of life, can we fault the action of Seelan and Kai Siong?

The current labour crisis (both local and foreign) must have overwhelmed MOM. As there is no free lunch, work and solution is expected from MOM for the foreign workers and other levies that they have collected by the billions!

Last but not least,
News #5:
No man deserves to be burned alive and I wish Seng Han Tong a speedy recovery. For distributing ang-pows to residents in his constituency on a Sunday morning, a 70 year-old man tried to make human satay out of him.

Just what is the significance of Ministers and MPs playing the part of Santa Clause distributing ang-pows? Why can't kindness and compassion be practiced without the song and dance and the political photo opportunity?

Though the poor and old may not be eligible (no money to open a bank account) for GIRO, I'm sure grassroots members can bring money to them without so much fanfare.

Whose money is it anyway?

Moral of the story:

It's Best To Do Good In Secret.

It's More Dangerous To Buy Votes Than to Fix Your Political Opponents.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Are We Having A Real Dose of Bad Government?

The Self-fulfilling Prophesy of A Real Dose of Bad Government.

We have been told not to complain about the obscene salary of ministers but to accept it with grace and gratitude. Ng Eng Hen said we are getting a bargain. According to Lee Kuan Yew, we will get a dose of bad government if we do not pay for political talents. The women in our family may end up as maids cleaning up after foreigners in other countries if we get a bunch of cheap idiots to rule Singapore.

Having paid the ransom, are we getting value for our money?

Straits Times on the front page of 9 Jan 2009 reported, "PM urges no let-up in keeping seniors at work". "Sometimes, family attitudes need changing. He gave the example of hotels favouring older women attendants to clean rooms. But they tend to drop out, often under pressure from their children. 'This is a delicate matter of face and status,' he said. Speaking up for such jobs which may be 'humble' but 'honourable', he said: "We should not discourage anyone from taking on such jobs. To do so would limit his options to be active, engaged and to earn an income."

Women attendants who clean rooms in hotels are chambermaids. They clean up after hotels guests usually foreigners who mess up the rooms. Not unlike domestic help (maid) who works in Singapore! I agree with PM Lee that it's "humble" and "honourable" job and I have nothing against maids or chambermaids. I respect what they do in earning an honest living. Call me crazy to disagree with a highly educated PM but I feel children of chambermaids want their mums to retire not because of "face or status" but because of "respect, love and piety".

Would PM Lee or any decent Singaporean let his ageing mother slog as a chambermaid if he can afford to let her retire in comfort? It's so easy to tell a story to encourage old folks to work till sickness or death comes but a little sensitivity will go a long way to show the care and concern that people expect of their prime minister. It is a crying shame that in not wanting to help the old, he would even blame the children for wanting (pressuring) their mother/father to retire and enjoy their golden years. in building Singapore Inc., what have we become? Money or nothing?

I hope msm will not make a song and dance of this and start a sensational, "I'm so proud that my mum is a chambermaid in a hotel. She cleans up the scum and mess in beds created by foreign guests and does the toilet too! More than that, I'm so happy that my mum is contributing to Singapore's economy and does not need to depend on the government for public assistance. I love her for not bugging me for money too.. A chambermaid is more honourable than collecting paper cartons and aluminium cans on the streets of Singapore!"

If retiring ladies in Singapore are encouraged to stayed as maids, are we now having the bad dose of goverment?
Are the highest paid polticians in the world doing their job?

Are we getting a bargain?

Thank God for filial children, kind relatives and friends who love us for what we are.

Thank goodness for knowing that, "Sometimes, overpaid politician's attitudes need changing!" and we get lemons too!


Please read the above with a pinch of salt.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Political Orthodoxy and Respect!

Chua Lee Hoong of "reading the internet posting often makes my blood boil" fame wrote this on ST 3 Jan 2009.

'The problem with the Internet is not political expression that is 'alternative', for political orthodoxy deserves to be retain only when it serves a purpose. When it doesn't it ought to be jettisoned. The problem with the Internet is reliability: To what extent can you trust what you read online? Whether due to ignorance, mischief or sheer absence of quality control, much of what's written online has to be taken with a pinch of salt".

Political orthodoxy?

I guess where Chua Lee Hoong is concerned, anything not in alignment with PAP's self-serving agenda is political apostacy. If every Singaporean has the same religious devotion to PAP, then her blood will not boil so often.

She concludes, "A long recession provides an opportunity to educate a new generation of Singaporeans on what governing entails. When the chips are down, when people are less sure of their future - that is when they are more likely to listen. The only snag: That means more challenge to the government."

I do not think people listen because when the chips are down or when they are unsure of the future. They are just sick and tired listening to the same old obscene phonographic record stuck in the same groove singing the same old hubris song! The only snag: The whole shebang of super duper pay for super duper A-Team Ministers did not measure up. When millions were paid for superlative talents, delivery of sterling performance and results were expected. Alas, they delivered only higher cost of living (hurting the poor most), depreciating assets, retrenchments and silly excuses for poor performance, mistakes and complacency!

She asks if bloggers serve a purpose in blogging?

I honestly don't know.

Personally, I write on the recommendation of my doctor that letting go of my unhappiness in a blog can help reduce my blood pressure thus prevent another heart attack. It has immense therapeutic value - physically, mentally and emotionally. I'm glad that it helps me stay alive and keeps my life meaningful. To have appreciative comments encouraging me to write is a bonus that's keeps my heart beating gratefully.

Which leads me next to "Law won't tolerate attacks. Courts' authority must be respected by all, says CJ; Shanmugam and A-G echo his words" wrote KC Vijayan of ST, 5 Jan 2009.

It will be lovely if such respect comes from the heart of all.

However, respect is not something that can be bought, forced upon or bullied into or dumb down. Respect, like trust, can only be earned by those who are worthy of respect. Trust is only worthy of those who are trustworthy. Respect for a person or an institution cannot be, just because some powerful people say so. The worthiness deserving the respect must be there.

If a court is run honourably with respect, fairness and justice, people will respect the court and its decisions from the bottom of their hearts. However, if a court is a sham working under fear or favour (in any country in the world), it will make a mockery of justice and fair play and end up a laughing stock.

I look forward to the day when Singapore Courts' authority is respected by all without the IBA reporting on us and people having to be careful about the T-shirts they wear.

I do not know if I should be jettisoned and fed to the fish but, as advised, please read what I write with a pinch of salt.

Thank you.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

MOM's Joke

The omen is good for 2009 when I can laugh on the first day of the new year!

"For a more convenient way to reach us, log on to today" was the sign shown clearly at the Ministry of Manpower but below sat the unpaid China workers.

These China workers don't get it , do they?

Why can't they just use a computer to log on to MOM and complain instead of "crying foul over unpaid salaries" in such an unSingaporean manner.

How dare they create such unholy mayhem which only cancer patient and activists like Seelan Palay or Chee Soon Juan or Kangaroo 3 have the audacity to do. Don't they know it's a crime to gather like that? 1st world Singapore's not the place for such contemptible unlawful act!

Lest anyone takes me seriously for what I wrote above, when I saw this in ST today, I thought I've missed the first 3 months of 2009. Is today 1 Jan 2009 or is it 1 April 2009? April Fool's Day? The funnybone in me could not miss the candid camera moment of the above picture.

On a serious note, I sincerely believe when push comes to shove, one will do whatever it takes to fight for what's worth of one's value - be it salary, survival, justice, conviction, belief and/or freedom!

I sincerely hope that the workers get what's coming to them. For fear that I be misunderstood again, I mean their pay and not jail time for demonstrating for their universal human rights (Article 23).

Some like to smoke. Some are hooked to gambling. Some are addicted to drugs. Others can't stop carrying. On the 2nd page of the same ST, in her optimistic take on 2009, Chua Mui Hoong mentioned, "Another trait that is positive for Singapore is its strong government. In good times, people tend to lament the existence of a strong state. The state should step back and allow private enterprises and civil society a chance to grow, people say when things are going well. When things aren't, the very same people will turn to the state." She added, "The current situation affirms the wisdom of the fiscally conservative approach to budgeting : Being Kiam Siap (Hokkien for tight-fisted) in good times allows one to to be kang kai (Mandarin for generous) in bad."

Far as I know, the government was very "kang kai" and "kar si" (Hokkien for dare to die, meaning brave) in throwing billions to ShinCorp, CitiGroup, Merrill Lynch, UBS, ABC Learning etc. but was very "kiam siap" by giving only $330 to those who need public assistance after asking, "How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?"


From the bottom of my from my heart, I hope we can really make it in 2009.