Friday, May 29, 2009

Alamak, they move the goalposts again!

The intent to tweak the GRCs and NCMPs by the powerful may be old news but it's worth reflecting upon.

They belittle the opposition.
They bankrupt the opposition.
They treat the opposition with ridicule and contempt.
They insulted and laughed at the academic achievement of Opposition Member, Mr Chiam See Tong. [link] The man who did Singapore proud by challenging the PAP to release the alleged conspirators of the 'Marxist Conspiracy'. [link]

I believe the 'Marxist Conspiracy' was indeed a conspiracy but, not by or of the Marxist kind! It was of and for the ruling kind!

Now the joke is they want more! Another joke on Singapore & Singaporeans?

Minimum of 9 Opposition members in Parliament?

While they change as they like, are they doing it for their own benefit or the benefit of Singapore and its people?

Is this another "fix opposition, buy votes" strategy of the Kiasu, Kiasi, Kialaukwee Party?

As much I am delighted by the suggestion from Mr Chiam See Tong of having a maximum of only 2 members in any GRC, I still feel that the political GRC rape in 1988 makes a mockery of democracy - not unlike paying ministers millions makes a mockery of national service and nation building.

The previous upsizing a 3-member GRC to 6-member makes the logic of minority representation in parliament a very sordid joke indeed.

Have we forgotten politicians like Mr David Marshall, Mr J B Jeyaratnam, Mr Othman Wok, Mr E W Barker, Mr Rajaratnam and others who stood on their own without feeling disadvantaged because of the colour of their skin or the root of their ancestry?

I'm surprised that Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said this to Mr Low: 'You have been in politics longer than me and I think, heart to heart, you will know there will always be an inherent disadvantage for minority candidates. I'm just asking you to say why take risk of creating a system where you can end up with an unrepresentative House as far as race is concerned?'.

"Heart to heart", I think the "unrepresentative House" refers more to the "unrepresented poor" than the "unrepresented race".

Is Vivian Balakrishnan a lesser politician than J B Jeyaratnam, David Marshall, S Rajaratnam, E W Barker or Othman Wok?

It is unbecoming to judge people by the race and not character. To think that people put more value on the colour of a man than his quality as a political candidate is to be blind to what happened to USA and Mr Barack Obama.

Or are Singaporean more racist than American?

I don't think so.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hypocrisy Sucks!

I learned from Wikipedia that "Hypocrisy is the act of being less critical of oneself than of others."

I'm amazed that on Saturday 23 May 2009, Singapore's main press, Straits Times dedicated 6 pages in a Special Report on the anniversary of the 'TianAnMen Incident' of 4 June 1989.

I wonder why they did not put as much effort on the 22nd Anniversary of the 'Marxist Conspiracy' where Singaporeans were incarcerated and tortured.

Are local incidents less newsworthy than incidents that happened elsewhere?

Or is it the ST culture to do objective reporting elsewhere but not in Singapore?

While mainstream media finds it difficult to confront and report the truth within, I'm glad that the cyberspace is able to enlighten us with alternative news and views that some try so hard to suppress.

Below is an alternative that's worth reading.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Chee Siok Chin [link]

That We May Dream Again. That's the title of a collection of brief accounts written by ex-detainees of the Marxist arrests in 1987 by the Internal Security Department.

It is a thin book that one should be able to finish reading in a couple of hours. However, it took me three days to complete it. It wasn't that I had to plod through it and it certainly was not that the accounts were dull.

It was more because after almost each chapter, I found it difficult to move on for the experiences suffered by the detainees were heart-wrenching. It was not easy to read about how some of my fellow Singaporeans were used, bullied and persecuted by our own Government.

I have met two of the detainees who contributed to this book. Vincent Cheng and Kevin de Souza. Both men exude sincerity and humbleness. Although there is no hint of bitterness when he spoke to me about his experiences under detention, Vincent Cheng writes in his chapter,

I still feel angry at the injustice of the whole incident, and that the perpetrators have not been brought to account. 'Operation Spectrum' was political rape. I cannot forget nor forgive, the harsh treatment meted out to me in prison to extract information – the freezing room, the slapping and the beatings, including the blow to my abdomen.

He goes on to say “Victims of injustice must not give up the fight to regain their dignity. I believe that forgiveness and letting go is genuine and meaningful only when justice has been, or is seen to have been, done.”

Mr Cheng speaks on a topic close to my heart – justice. The main motivation for his involvement with helping the oppressed and the poor in Singapore then.

He articulates my very thoughts and feelings when he says, “Working for justice necessarily calls for involvement in public life, in 'politics'...Advocacy is an integral ingredient of justice, and this makes the questioning and restructuring of public policies a necessity, even if the authorities do not appreciate it.”

These words concisely sum up why some of us, the SDP and our Friends, have chosen to stand up to the PAP Government despite the charges, trials, jail terms and bankruptcies meted out against us.

When Mr Lee Hsien Loong, who was the deputy prime minister, he said this about the re-arrest of the alleged Marxist conspirators. “The Government does not ill-treat detainees. It does however apply psychological pressure to detainees to get the truth of the matter.”

This directly contradicts Mr Cheng's account of the beating he received at the hands of his captors. Who is telling the truth?

Another detainee, Ms Tang Lay Lee, provides another account of her torture:

“Are you a Marxist?”

“No. I'm a Catholic.”


“Are you a Marxist??”

“No. I'm a Catholic.”


“Are you a Marxist???”

“No. I'm a Catholic.”


“Are you instigating workers??”

“No. I'm helping workers.”


In his chapter, Kevin de Souza writes,

The period of detention turned out to be the most traumatic years of my life – the strip search, the blindfolds, the interrogations in cold rooms, the sleep deprivation, the television interviews, the slaps on the face, the tree-legged chair I was forced to balance...the solitary confinement and, most of all the fear of the long-term incarceration without trial.

Either Mr Lee Hsien Loong had no idea what the ISD was doing to its detainees or he was lying through his teeth.

These extracts may be frightening to those who are already afraid. But for those who are tired of the bullying and the lies perpetuated by this Government, this compressed book offers us hope and encouragement to stand up to injustice and oppression in our own country.

Christina Tseng, an associate and friend of several of the detainees, writes at the end of her chapter,

The Kingdom of Heaven is not just about what will happen after we are gone from this earth. It begins with what we do on earth. I believe if more people work towards a better society, if we are motivated by love, justice, peace and compassion, and cared more about the environment, more people will certainly start to experience heaven on earth. I hope this event can help younger Singaporeans appreciate how we can all play a pert in building a better society, whether we are Christian, Muslim or of other faiths.

I have drawn encouragement from the authors of this book. What each of them had gone through gives me strength to continue with my work and struggle for freedom, transparency, dignity and rights for my fellow Singaporeans.

Thank you Vincent Cheng, Tang Lay Lee, Kevin de Souza, Lucy Tan, Christina Tseng, Joseph Ng and Theresa Yeo for sharing so that we may all dream again.

The book can be purchased here.

"I believe if more people work towards a better society, if we are motivated by love, justice, peace and compassion, and cared more about the environment, more people will certainly start to experience heaven on earth. I hope this event can help younger Singaporeans appreciate how we can all play a part in building a better society, whether we are Christian, Muslim or of other faiths."

What's written by Christina Tseng above has taught me some.

We live, we learn.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Prisoner of the State

The following on Zhao Ziyang's Prisoner of State is extracted from UK Telegraph. [link]

"By insisting on my view of the student demonstrations and refusing to accept the decision to crack down with force, I knew what the consequences would be and what treatment I would receive. Mentally, I was fully prepared, I knew that if I persistently upheld my view, I would ultimately be compelled to step down. If I wanted to keep my position, or give up my post in some face-saving way, I would have to
give up my viewpoint and conform. If I persisted, then I had to be prepared to step down."

Zhao Ziyang on explaining his opposition to Deng Xiaoping:

"I had no other choice but to express my views to Deng personally, in a face-to-face meeting. Since I had asked for a personal meeting with Deng, only to have Deng call for a full Standing Committee meeting at his home, I realised that things had already taken a bad turn.

"I expressed my views roughly as follows: 'The situation with the student demonstrations has worsened, and has grown extremely grave. Students, teachers, journalists, scholars and even some government staff have taken to the streets in protest. Today there were approximately 300,000 to 400,000 people. Quite a large number of workers and peasants are also sympathetic. Besides the hot issues of corruption and government transparency, the main impetus for all these different social groups is that they want an explanation for how the Party and the government can be so coldhearted in the face of hunger-striking students, doing nothing to try to save them... If the hunger strike continues and some people die, it will be like gasoline poured over a flame. If we take a confrontational stance with the masses, a dangerous situation could ensue in which we lose complete control.'

"While I was expressing my view, Deng appeared very impatient and displeased.

"In the end, Deng Xiaoping made the final decision. He said: 'Since there is no way to back down without the situation spiralling completely out of control, the decision is to move troops into Beijing and impose martial law'."

Zhao Ziyang on the Tiananmen massacre:

"On the night of June 3, while sitting in the courtyard with my family, I heard intense gunfire. A tragedy to shock the world had not been averted, and was happening after all."

Zhao Ziyang on being purged:

"Cultural Revolution-style tactics that had been condemned and abandoned long ago were taken up to be used against me. These tactics included inundating the newspapers with critical articles making me out to be an enemy, and casual disregard of my personal freedoms.

"After June 4, they entirely disregarded these rules [drawn up at the 12th Party Congress to prevent the Cultural Revolution from ever occurring again] in their treatment of me, instead openly violating them and reassuming the ultra-left tactics of the Cultural Revolution. This was something I had not anticipated."

Zhao Ziyang on the West:

"It is the Western parliamentary democratic system that has demonstrated the most vitality. This system is currently the best one available. It is able to manifest the spirit of democracy and meet the demands of a modern society.

"If a country wishes to modernise, not only should it implement a market economy, it must also adopt a parliamentary democracy as its political system. Otherwise, this nation will not be able to have a market economy that is healthy and modern, nor can it become a modern society with a rule of law."

Zhao Ziyang on political reform:

"If we don't move toward this goal, it will be impossible to resolve the abnormal conditions in China's market economy: issues such as an unhealthy market, profiting from power, rampant social corruption and a widening gap between rich and poor. Nor will the rule of law ever materialise.

"If the final destination is a parliamentary democracy, the ruling Party must achieve two breakthroughs. One is to allow other political parties and a free press to exist. This can happen gradually, but it must be pursued. The second breakthrough is having democracy within the Party: that is, the Party needs to adopt democratic procedures and use democratic means to reform itself ... Different opinions must be allowed to exist, and different factions should be made legitimate."

Will some wisdoms from the book (if applied in Singapore, like honest to goodness press freedom, stop political bullying and gerrymandeering), do our nation good too?


The book 'Prisoner of State" was also reported by Peh Shing Huei and appeared on top half of the front page of Part B 'World' section of the Straits Times today. With the help of ST's positioning, I'm sure 'Prisoner of State' will sell millions.

If only books like "Dark Clouds at Dawn" by Said Zahari, "Our Thoughts Are Free" and "That We May Dream" by Teo Soh Lung, Vincent Cheng & Victims of 'Marxist Conspiracy' were featured with the same prominence in Straits Times, I bet Singaporeans will be more politically aware and better informed.

I wonder if Lim Cheng Siong, Chia Thye Poh, Said Zahari, Teo Soh Lung, Vincent Cheng and other victims of the 'Marxist Conspiracy' were also 'Prisoners of the State' because they refused to betray their principles and core values.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Awesome Performance!

What does it take to win a Singapore May Day Award?

To play "10-20-30-40" [link] after losing between US$2.3 billion (S$3.4 billion) and US$4.6 billion (S$6.8 billion) .[link]

The escape of our money in Temasek and GIC has become as puzzling as the escape of Mas Selamat Kastari.

Lesser mortal works hard to escape from detention centre.

The Great Mortals simply escape from accountability without much effort and still get rewarded!

Looks like Mas Selamat Kastari is not the 'greatest escape artist' in Singapore after all.

Majulah Singapura!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

How will the story end?

This is an awesome video!

As almost everyone is wise after the event since the revelation of Mas "Selamat Datang Ke Malaysia", I will just touch lightly on this subject and hope everyone will lighten up!

What to do, it's happened.

From the happenings in msm so far, my understanding of the episode is :
  • Leslie Lopez of Straits Times had the scoop and broke the news after getting confirmation from Home Team of Singapore. [link]
  • Both Lee Hsien Loong and Wang Kan Seng was reported to be very relieved and happy with the capture by the Malaysian Special Branch. [link]
  • It was first reported that Mas Selamat was 'caught while sleeping'. Another reported that he was trying to flee. [link]
  • "Mas Selamat [bin Kastari] has been arrested by the Malaysian Special Branch (MSB) in a joint operation between the MSB and the Internal Security Department," Walter Chia, the press officer of Singapore Embassy in Malaysia, said in a statement to Al Jazeera. [link]
  • However, Malaysia Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein mentioned that Indonesia played a part in providing intelligence.
  • Now it's reported by Bernama "Although we did exchange intelligence, the operation to trace and capture Mas Selamat was carried out fully by the Malaysian police.
    "Foreign agency cannot carry out any intelligence operation in the country," [link]
At the rate that Mas Selamat Kastari's adventure is unfolding, the best is yet to come!

The report so far is WKS and his team screwed up big time at the toilet in Whitley Detention Centre and they screwed up again at the beach up north even with thousands mobilised from the Home Team and 3 branches of SAF.

I hope we won't have to wait 398 days (that's how long Mas 'selamat jalan') to hear the truth. Hopefully, the truth without politicians grandstanding, trying to save face or claim credit.

Maybe, a leader in Singapore who is honest enough to tell it like it is ('I screwed up", earning only one-sixth the salary of the Prime Minister of Singapore) can let us know the truth of the exciting Rambo Adventure of Mas Selamat.

Or do they have a set of rules for the common folks and another for the prominent elites because "lesser mortals" and mere "digits" don't need to know.

Let's hope that when it's all said and done, they won't tell us that Mas Selamat actually escaped by going through the toilet bowl through the sewage pipe and landed up in our northern shore before a rubber ducky gave him a ride to JB.

Because I think that's what Mas will tell ISD that when he's interrogated, if Mas is willing to tell ISD at all. Oh, it can only happen if Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is willing to hand him over to Wong Kan Seng. Unlike some who are slapping their backs silly with congratulations, the rest of us are still humbly waiting.

Or is it safer to let Malaysia keep him so that Singapore can move on without further and/or future embarassment.

Yes, at the rate that Mas Selamat Kastari's adventure is unfolding, the best is yet to come!

Ultimately, the guy who really knows the truth is Rambo Mas Selamat Kastari. And all of us know that Rambo ain't easy to break!

And nobody will ever know if Mas is telling the truth, even if he decides to tell.

Enjoy the clips above.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oops, can sue or not?

I'm attracted by PAP MPs.

Dr Lily Neo, one of my favourite, attracts me for the right reason. I respect her for speaking up for the poor and destitute. The exchanges she had with Vivian Balakrishnan and Mrs Yu-Foo [link] show the shit end of the stick that she has to hold whenever she works in Parliament to protect the interests of lesser mortals of Singapore.

Lee Bee Wah is another of my 'favourite', for a different reason though. She reminds me of Feminist Mentor, Thio Su Mien of Page 73 [link]

"When asked why Liu Guodong was not nominated, STTA president Lee Bee Wah said: "Results are not the only criterion to STTA. A Coach of the Year has to be a professional, have integrity, be able to gel the team, and is well respected by all his players." so wrote ST May 6 2009.

Folks from PAP (who like to talk down and dumb down it's lesser mortals but idolise their chiefs) are never known for their graciousness. However, to purposely hurt someone out of spite, to kick someone on the balls after breaking both his legs is not a very nice thing to do. Not nice at all. As much as the MM and PM lament that Singapore is not a gracious society, with example like this by Mdm President, it'll take eons for Singapore to be one.

I may be reading too 'cheem' (deep) but is Mdm President saying that Coach Liu is not a professional and does not have integrity?Mama mia! Is there a case of defamation of character here?

Will there be work for judges in Singapore courts soon? I hope the kangaroos stay in the zoo and not get involve this time!

Sue or no sue, with such a serious comment by Mdm President, I think somebody is going to get hurt.

Somebody is going to get hurt real bad!

Unless he has power backing and the material influence, I think it's tough for Coach Liu to sue. If he sues, he may 'sue' (as in Hokkien - 'lose')

Being the calibre of a coach that he is, I'm sure he's got better thing to do than sue. I bet he is busy training his Indonesian paddlers for the Main Event. He will prove his worth by having his Indonesian paddlers beat the crap out of Li Jia Wei & Co. With that, the Singapore Coach of the Year won't mean squat to him.

That'll be the day that Jia Wei's ex-boyfriend Ronald Susilo would love to see too!

That'll be the day!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Who is responsible? Who is paying the price?

"As the two friends wondered through the snow on their way home, Piglet grinned to himself thinking how lucky he was to have a best friend like Pooh.

Pooh thought to himself:

If the pig sneezes,
he's fucken dead."

Why do some parents blame the teacher, school or childcare centre, when their kid gets a fever after school?
  • "Why you teachers so irresponsible?"
  • "You don't know about the H1N1 flu, meh?"
  • "Why you allow child with fever come to school/centre?
Why do the same parents insist that their kid should still go to school/childcare centre when their same poor kid has a fever of 39 degrees?

When asked to bring their child home, we hear:
  • "Hello, we have to work, you know?"
  • "Just a slight temperature only, why you make my life so difficult?"
  • "I paid the school fees, why my prince cannot come to school?'
I learned of the comments when chatting with some teachers today on the current testing for fever in schools.

It is only natural to take the easy way out but with the experience of SARS and the current H1N1 scare, I think it's worthwhile to pay a little price of inconvenience to take care of our children during this 'Orange Alert'. To be "penny wise and pound foolish" by outsourcing our kids to teachers and caregivers during this uncertain period can be deadly!

Part of growing up is our ability to account and be responsible for our action/inaction and not put blame on others when mishap (sickness, accident, personal or material loss) happens.

Like in the picture above, Pooh could have walked with Tigger instead of Piglet who should be resting at home (quarantined).

While we are at it, it's interesting to read :What's Missing From Every Media Story about H1N1 Influenza [link]

As with the current economic downturn, who should we blame? - Ourselves or Government?
Who is responsible? - USA or Globalisation or Government?
Who is paying the price? - Ourselves (retrenchment/pay cut) or Government?

Or should we blame bad luck? [link]


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Why PAP leaders cannot match up to Braema Mathi

As paying $40 to watch "live" at Suntec City is too rich for me, I have to be patient and learn of what happened at the EGM of AWARE through the website at [link]

Yes, $40 can buy me 20 plates of "mee siam mai hum"!

While following the "live report", the sweetest words I read were:

7.05pm: Braema Mathi: "My reputation is being put on the line and I don't like it, but I will not follow the examples of leaders and launch defamation lawsuits against you!"

Having been unceremoniously sacked as chairman of CEDAW committee in Aware, I was surprised that this cool lady was able speak to CNA reporter in such a manner. [earlier interview here]

Though she may not have the power and material influence of the ilk like Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Chok Tong and Lee Hsien Loong to suka suka sue, I'm sure she can if she wants to.

The audacity to spend $90,000 of Aware's money unconstitutionally on legal counsel is atrocious but to hear Josie Lau's husband said,
Dr Alan Chin: "I am from COOS and I am not ashamed to admit that. I would like to clarify that COOS did not ask its members to come here to promote Christianity. Please be rational, although $90,000 is spent, but we have recouped it by the new membership fees of $120,000." [link] is something else! Just how audacious and self-righteous can one get?

As much as I'm happy that those who deserve to be in Aware are back in Aware, I'm sad that the good of the Christian community in Singapore (and elsewhere) may be tainted by the selfish act of intolerance, hubris and devil-may-care attitude of a Christian minority.

Having lost the confidence of its members constitutionally, I hope that the 'newbies' in Aware from Church Of Our Saviour will learn how to bite the bullet graciously.

Lets forgive and pray for them. May the Saviour saves them all.

I'm sure many, like me, love Braema for her fortitude, attitude and exemplary down-to-earth behaviour. Hip Hip Hurray! You go girl!

As always, I'm grateful to Siew Kum Hong for his presence at the meeting. He makes the $90,000 legal fees spent by Josie Lau & Co. another straw in the nose of Aware members! [youtube link]. Oops, so that's where all the $40 membership fee went! Now, I don't blame members for feeling like rape or sodomy victims.

Funny, Josie's lawyers walks away with $90 grand while Siew Kum Hong gets zilch for their contribution at the EGM. I guess humility and decency wins helpful friends! There's hope yet for Singapore!

In appreciation for what he has done for Singapore, especially for speaking for the real Aware, the marginalised and poor blokes like me, I look forward to kiss his botak head when I see him!

Thanks Braema. Thanks Kum Hong. We need more brudders and sisters like you in Singapore!

PS: Even if Kum Hong is paid, I don't think the money would have come from Aware's fund.

PPS: I stand corrected if the facts (especially the $90,000 for legal fees) I understand from [link] is inaccurate.