Blog Archive

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

SINGAPORE'S NEW CABINET

If there is any surprise to this new cabinet line-up, it is the immediate ascension of two new MPs to Acting Ministers.

Given the three key pillars of national governance, Defense, Economy, and Education, one interesting development that we can look out for in the future is whether Ng Chee Meng is going to be the next ordained leader, or at least reaching the DPM level first.

Goh Chok Tong was previously Defense Minister and Lee Hsien Loong was previously Finance Minister. Among the present DPMs, Teo Chee Hian was at both Education and Defense, and Tharman Shanmugaratnam was at Education and Finance.

Doctrine wise, the Defense Ministry will always be ranked above the others, but in practice Finance and Education stands on par.

Understandably, Singapore is held up strongly by its wealth and reputation as a financial centre, but without any other form of marketable commodities, equipping its people with the skills and knowledge to a highly sought after level becomes naturally imminent. We have nothing to sell other than what we can do and what we can think of next.

But with social behavioral changes manifested in Singaporeans and, as those who are critical of the government charged, we no longer can take Singaporeans as mere numbers although we did not literally do that. The difference then and now is, what we do now on the social dimension must also be seen widely and loudly.

Effectively DPM Tharman coordinates the economy and the social environment needed for the economy to grow uninterrupted. He is one of the three Coordinating Ministers heading unspecified groupings of ministries that will see more fine tuning of policies and better integration in their implementation.

We are also seeing two Ministers of Trade and Industry. There are few reads to this. First is of course whether Lim Hng Khiang will retire within this term and more younger leaders will be promoted? Between Lim Hng Khiang and Ishwaran, Hng Khiang is more a bolts and nuts man where Ishwaran is more like a high level sales person. So it perplexed me where Hng Khiang is with "trade" and Ishwaran, "industry". There may be a diminishing role in "industry" Singapore can play in the international marketplace. We still need to produce to export, but it is getting too tough these days.

One last observation is, and I am quite sure PM is both thinking and feeling it too when he makes the decision.....the HAZE. Vivian Balakrishnan to me could not deal effectively with the Indonesians. It was previously managed by Yacoob Ibrahim. I believed Masagos will be able to relate to the Indonesians better though the haze for now and near future is best managed by praying for the best wind direction.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

ONLINE OR OFFLINE-DIFFERING WITH TAN CHUAN JIN

I do have a different view from that of Minister Tan Chuan Jin. We are both looking on the same thing, online social media and that of silent majority.
I have taken about 2 years engaging online social media folks, watching the debate and taking notes of views. Pre-GE2011 the anti-government voice was absolutely dominant. It was much like a monopoly where they capture and control every argument.
The pro-PAP people were really whacked upside down and we were like didn't know how to respond. The PAP camp was almost always on the defense all the time. But these are no longer. Since 2014 or thereabout the volume and momentum of anti-Opposition online activities actually increased.
Pro-Oppositions are still in command of online initiatives as of today, probably it's in the nature of opposing but pro-PAP is no longer the punching bag that cannot retaliate.
It is the same when we look at the crowd attending election rallies. Was not the crowd at opposition rallies gotten bigger? But what is very telling is the significant increased in PAP crowd, though still smaller in comparison.
Why were analysts caught surprised? Why were opposition parties shocked? They were awed by the dominant voice of oppositions online in the same way as they were awed by the huge increased in crowd of opposition rallies and have failed to notice the rising tide coming from the pro-PAP.
The distortion lies with the lens watchers used and not with the very scene that is going on.
I've also made a cut-out of what Min Tan said about engaging those who did not support the PAP. That is the way to go.
The question may not be "how to identify them?" but "how to get it started?". I think when a conducive environment is there, they will identify themselves. The conditions to such an environment needs to be open and inclusive, highly tolerant, highly receptive and with absolute sincerity.
I am still talking to myself whether such an exercise should be undertaken by PA related grassroots or the PAP branches or neither. There are pros and cons to each proposition. There are also rules that may stand in the way which need to be looked at.
I have mentioned once about extending the Singapore Conversation, perhaps of a very different scale or style.
Min Tan may also have his plans in the working.

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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

POST GE2015 SINGAPOREANS


GE2011 came and gone, but was somehow interrupted midway by two by-elections. The euphoria of opposition win one after another had sculptured a landscape of confrontation. Too many unpleasant events happened during the last two to three years that saw some lives disrupted and their course completely changed. I do not have the liberty to name names nor deem it right to do so. But Singaporeans are all aware of how such euphoria had thrust these persons onto public stage where they become puppets of public opinion.
Ordinary folks, unsuspecting and unrelated found themselves dragged into public quarrels and coerced into taking sides and position where such matters could have be better resolved through consultation and negotiations.
Ordinary law and order matters were infused with political emotions causing obscurity to justice and the administering thereof.
All in all, these unpleasant events had fueled more hates between Singaporeans.
Could we have understood the fluidity of the state of politics, and managed our engagement with opened mind and practical attitude, such hatred and unnecessary conflicts need not exist at all.
Personally I feel that practicality should prevail over dogmatism, and an open mind is superior over one that is prejudiced. If only one can see merits in a united Singapore, whether there is or there isn't oppositions in parliament is good for us all.
A big heart that is able to accept the possibility of as many oppositions in parliament as well as none, and put our soul into creating a Singapore that is unique even in the area of politics.
We thrive on our own creative ways in defining what politics should be according to Singapore, and we innovate the processes necessary to make the system work with continuous refinement and perfection.
We are not born with democracy. Democracy was created, refined and perfected. What is there that holds us back from creating something that uniquely fits Singapore?
May we not fall into the same treacherous path of post GE2011, but to hold each other and walk through post GE2015 in mutual respect and mutual appreciation.

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Saturday, 12 September 2015

WHAT MESSAGE IS THE ELECTORATE SENDING

Lim Boon Heng said, it was an endorsement of our past policies. It may well be, but don't be too quick to conclude. It certainly is no blanket approval.
Most commentaries including some who had voted for the opposition noted that this time round people "fear" losing the PAP as government. They blamed the entire oppositions for fielding too many candidates that inadvertently pushed up votes for the PAP.
I personally do not think the passing of founding father Lee Kuan Yew made any impact to the vote counts, neither does the SG50 sentiments.
AHPETC is said to be a deciding determinant too. AIM was totally incapable of defending. Some Middle Ground people tried cushioning the effect by trivializing the importance of vigilant book keeping as compared to real municipal duties that are more visible and important to public eyes.
6.9 million Population Paper that was supposed to be the hot issue did not really matters in the minds of the electorate. Singaporeans seem largely unperturbed and the caterwauling was mainly within the confines of detractors who read Singaporeans wrongly. Confirmed by Tan Jee Say who said their Singaporean First Party named for the sake of immigration issue was given all the wrong feedback.
Let us not forget the sacrificial Lui Tuck Yew. His resignation had completely demolished the myth of "Government Sin" due to MRT failure. He proved the government innocent. Detractors may not want to accept that, but Singaporeans do.
Unlike GE2011, this time the PAP camp is much better equipped in social media and have spoken up against outrageous lies and unverifiable stories pointing to government failures. Unsound rhetoric were demolished. An awkward phenomena is the equation of vulgarity and lies with the oppositions. Whether the opposite side of this is of any truth, it turns away moderates.
So what exactly is the electorate telling both the PAP and the Oppositions?
Most Singaporeans have received signals that hard times is about to come. The US Presidential Election is a joke and not about to bring any good news to the world. Europe is facing the backlash for its support for ridiculous wars that created unstoppable refugees and humanity abuses and ISIL fighters are among those sneaked into Europe. China, the most prosperous nation in the world now has seen its wealth dwindling and a promising future tampered by export decline and failing market confidence.
Someone posed a question to me. I have to vote for a good government, I have to vote for a good town council manager, and I also want alternate voice in parliament, but I only have one vote, not three. This person, I have categorized him under Alternative Voters in one of my previous writings.
But by and large, Singaporeans are Practical Voters, also categorized in the same article. With an imminent difficult time coming, not sounded by the PAP but by their own employers and peers, they need to seek refuge. They needed "insurance" not the kind that opposition Gerald Giam imagined, but real insurance that the PAP government had covered them with during very difficult times.
Singaporeans need to remain employed, bring home salary despite the fact that they may have personal differences with colleagues who speaks and think very differently from ordinary SG Joe.
The winning votes they cast yesterday were not exactly for the PAP but for themselves, for their families and for their future. In that sense the PAP's approach of a stable future is far more attractive than the alluring "power" to decide in the future. When you are unable to bring home money, the "power" to decide means nothing, useless imaginations.
We the voters are voting for ourselves. That is the message.

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PAP'S WINNING COMBINATION

"Humble" the word is now making its round in the PAP post GE2015. Humility is what made the PAP different from the oppositions this time round. The PAP sent out messages that are grounded on humility contrasting those of the oppositions that revealed much haughtiness.
One lost dearly in the last election that of course brought about big win for the other, and you may say their current behavior is only natural. That would have been a wrong assessment,
The opposition campaigns were driven by ambitions towards more win, while the PAP is continues on its theme of servitude. We are brought back to a scene in 2011 where PM Lee made a public apology for policy missteps and spoke much about servant leadership.
Besides seeing a much humbled PAP, this time round the electorates also see a changed PAP. I hope this article can help us see some interesting areas that are not being mentioned in the media. May not be such major areas but nonetheless significant in helping determined the PAP's winning campaign.
The most remarkable sign of a changed PAP we saw was a "Winning Combination" leadership this time. Needless to say, it was Lee Kuan Yew who was anchor for PAP from the very beginning. When it comes to Goh Chok Tong, it was also a one man anchor after the fading off of the nurturing stalwarts DPMs.
When it comes to Lee Hsien Loong, after the fading away of stalwart DPMs in Wong Kan Seng and Prof Jeyakumar, a combined force emerges. It is no longer a one man anchor.
The Winning Combination saw PAP having two drivers in the persons of PM Lee Hsien Loong and DPM Tharman Shanmugartnam. You would have noticed the superb complementary roles they played throughout the entire campaign.
PM Lee goes on presentation of PAP's broad vision, plans and programmes, while DPM Tharman goes on the explanation of these and cutting through arguments that obscure the presentations.
Both exude tremendous personal charm that are complementary of each other. PM Lee goes onto the fore of social media while DPM displays the necessary man behind. They moved in and out of the scene seamlessly as if it was all syncronized. And at the very last moment, both made simultaneous appearance at separate rallies that were deemed most critical to the roar of PAP supporters all waiting and thirsting for their presence.
A person THAT went ALMOST unnoticed is Mdm Ho Ching. Her constant feed of PM Lee's activities on social media keeps PM Lee constantly connected with the social media crowd even as he was fully engaging people on the ground. One particular picture shared by Mdm Ho Ching of a very exhausted PM Lee catching "40 winks" in his own words was extremely touching and draws viewers toward the PM to a closer personal level.
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Friday, 11 September 2015

I VOTED FOR CHANGE

I wrote an article during this hustings period about the opposition's call "Vote For Change" giving that a twist.
I have suggested that Singapore indeed needs to vote for change, not what is being packaged by the oppositions and their leanings.
They want to change the government. They gave themselves all kinds of excuses that there is little risks and more to gain by doing so. They don't give a damn to what Singaporeans are really thinking and feeling deep inside. They have always deemed themselves as people who knows more than the uninformed Singaporeans. They want you to know that they alone have the answer while accusing the government of the very same thing.
Let's put them and all these to history.
Singaporeans have voted. Democracy is fulfilled. Period.
Much is needed to be done with that strong mandate. I think the PAP may have quite a handful of things to think about. Permit me to re-emphasize this again.....the PAP needs to do more to engage residents, voters outside the realm of Grassroots Organizations.
The Member of Parliament is voted in by all residents and not just those who are active in grassroots activities. The MP does owe a duty to these who may for reasons still unknown not involved in grassroots activities. Will you tell them that because you are not willing to be part of grassroots and therefore you are not part of our community?
The MP is not just Advisor of GROs, he/she is also the elected Member. This is why opposition MPs don't get the honour of being Advisor because they by virtue do not subscribe to government's view, but they do play their role as MPs well. Why are PAP MPs not playing that role well? By just confining to Meet The People Session? Even House-Visits are classified as grassroots activities.
I believed how the GROs go about their functioning needs to be reviewed, but starting a fresh channel of engaging residents, voters seems to me to be imminent right after the results of this election is completely announced.
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Sylvia Lim : Government Controlling Every Aspect Of Public Life

I believed we have heard much from the oppositions and their mouthpieces that the government is controlling practically every aspect of public life, and these messages do have a common emphasis that is the People's Association.
For an initial simple answer, If the government is not involve in Public Life, what the hell is government for? Public Life is government's domain. But at the same time let's be clear, while the government is involved in much of Public Life, you cannot say the government is controlling it in the absolute sense. It cannot be said that there is no autonomy at all.
For Sylvia Lim her tirades made special mention of "football", that these Singaporeans do have the passion and capabilities to run things on their own, their own ways and no need of government intervention. I think we don't need much guesses to know why she has taken this personally.
Let me start with "Football Association of Singapore". Strange as it may be, I am no fan for watching football even though I used to be playing in the league games from under-18 to Division One (pre-S league days).
I know nuts about the administration and politics of this sport. But I do know a little bit about registering societies, charities, as well as business-sports. I am open to criticism and correction.
There is nothing that prevents passionate people, capable people from setting up their own organization whether by way of a society or a company limited by guarantee, or even a social enterprise with their main focus on a particular sports.
Even if you are talking about an entire league and not just a team, there are sports management companies that can do everything from the basics of organizing, sponsorship, marketing, even to international affiliations.
What is the problem here? What's the complaint about?
I am extending this same argument initiated by Sylvia Lim to other fraternities including music, and various genre of the arts, for which her argument is also inclusive of.
Her problem is, she was not too out-front in telling all, is that these people wants government funding but does not want government involvement. If no government funding is needed, all my suggestions above are workable for them.
Now you come to me and ask me to partner you, put money in your enterprise, and expect me to be a sleeping partner. Yes I can, but don't expect me to be a dreaming partner also.
As a government, can I spend money without knowing how monies are spent? Sylvia Lim probably is a strong believer in this, but you cannot expect the government to do likewise.
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Thursday, 10 September 2015

WHAT KIND OF VOTER ARE YOU?


Saw many people walking along Yio Chu Kang Rd on my way to Serangoon Gardens. Many carrying blue umbrellas and yellow toy hammers. Yes the Workers Party rally had just ended at Serangoon Stadium. Many made their way to Chomp Chomp and RT Restaurant at Gardens.
At Gardens I heard one young man said, I like lightning but overall hammer.
Why do I begin this article with something that sounded not too favourable to the PAP?
Am I perturbed by the huge crowd at opposition rallies, Workers Party in particular? I was, at the last GE. Not anymore today.
No matter how big a crowd at opposition rallies, they can never, let me say that again Never, come close to the send off party we had for PAP founder Mr Lee Kuan Yew. They paleD. But that's not the point for discussion now.
EXTREME CASUAL VOTERS
The young man who made those comments at Gardens represents one type of voters going to the polls on 11th September. I don't think he has reached the age for voting, nevertheless it counts. People like that are extreme "Casual Voters" that treats national elections as tournaments. Each has their favourite team and loyalty can go either way, entrenched or shift. Such voters find affinity with only the top one or two parties, at most three. If one of these parties suddenly find themselves phased out in elections, it will also gets eliminated at the same time.
CHANGE VOTERS
Change voters are somewhat like the extreme casual voters except that they are determined that the ruling party must be changed irrespective whether they performed well or otherwise. For the fact that they have been there for too long, they must be replaced.
PROTEST VOTERS
During the last General Election and the one before, there was much talk about protest votes. Such voters have no loyalty to any particular party. They only know of the ruling party and opposition. When their interests are being served, they vote the ruling party either as a reward or gratitude, but when their interest suffers, they vote opposition in protest and it does not matter who is contesting at where the live. When there there is a pressing issue of shortage of housing available in the face of rising prices, the favour swings towards oppositions. However, 3-cornered fights is what oppositions hate when voters have no allegiance. In the same vein when such pressing issues are being dealt with, the ruling party stands to gain. These are also casual voters except that they do have valid reasons to whoever they voted.
NEW WAVE VOTERS
There arise a wave of voters with very new behaviors. Maybe we shall just call them New Wave voters. These voters largely are those who have achieved a certain level of certainty and comfort in life. They have also acquired a certain degree of sense of fairness, sense of righteousness, sense of equality. They feel responsible towards society and are willing to take ownership of some of these societal issues. They exert demand on the ruling party to attend to and take immediate action on issues they raised. They are savvy in playing with strength and weaknesses of both the ruling and oppositions. These voters favours the oppositions because oppositions become tools in their attempts to move the ruling party's hands.
ALTERNATIVE VOTERS
Out of the new wave of voters comes those who believed that there must be alternative. These voters are dogmatic about the need to have different views and choice for wider offering assures wiser decisions. These voters favours oppositions too as oppositions offer something different. But there is a danger to the position the take because theirs is based on the assumption that the ruling party remains government, therefore the need for alternative. Calling them Alternative Voters were germinated during a period when the ruling was not challenged to a point of losing power. But today, these voters are caught unprepared as their position is challenged that the assumption of the ruling party may not remain as government. They no longer can make thoughtless, effortless decision. They are forced to think, evaluate, and even make introspection, but it remains that a decision is hare to arrive at because they've been too comfortable before.
PRACTICAL VOTERS
Practical voters don't get themselves too indulged in ideological debates between parties. They may have certain preferences but their voting behavior is not determined by what they believe, instead it is directed by very practical matters such as livelihood. In fact such voters are fearful of voting for oppositions as they prefer status quo over change. Change to them is disruption. Such voters are seldom swayed by rhetoric and persuasions. They will only change their minds with a traumatic experience or event that affects them directly. Such voters favours the ruling party.
What kind of voter are you? Maybe you are a mix of characteristics of the above.

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LOW THIA KHIANG WASTED 20 YEARS



My dear Mr Low Thia Khiang, you have spent away 20 years without knowing why. 20 years ago, what you believed may be true because there were so little ways that Singaporeans can get the government to listen to them. You may have represented a certain sector of the population that did not know how to get the government's attention. You deserved to be recognized, and you have indeed served an exemplary role as honourable opposition. That was 20 years ago.
Today, whatever you want to say and later said in parliament are stale bread. In fact for the last several days i have found your party chairman Ms Sylvia Lim desperately running out of theme. Your party had to pick up petty remarks by ESM Goh such as the cruise ship to make it into a Titan.
The world has changed and you and your party have not. With what can you call for "CHANGE" when you remain "UNCHANGED"?
DPM Tharman, a very respectable man across political divide just said at the rally, PAP used to be top down, but no longer. But your party is still hovering on seeded cloud that meant to disappear and fall. You want voters to look up to your cloudy abode to seek blessings and empowerment when voters are already very much ready to play the important role of self determination themselves.
Come down Mr Low while you still can. This is 2015.
The people don't need the Workers Party to be empowered, they are already empowered. Singapore does not need more voices in parliament, Voices are all over.
Mr Low, please. Don't let Sylvia Lim turn your respectable legacy into rubbish.https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

TWO PROMINENT DOCTORS PART 2





Dr Vivian Balakrishnan responded to Prof Paul Tambyah's comment that DPM Tharman should one day fall out with PM Lee Hsien Loong and form his own Pakatan Rakyat Singapura.
The Minister for Environment & Water Resources reiterated that PAP leaders don't back stab their mentors.
There are two issues here. One a capable and popular leader falling out from the PAP forming his own opposition party. Two, PAP leaders don't back stab their mentors.
What is common between the two is a capable PAP leader coming out of the PAP to form a separate political party. I have pondered this before and I thought this is very worth considering except that it may never be what the SDP prof had wished for, an internal struggle within the PAP follow by a fallout.
For an internal struggle to exist, there must also exist a polarized core where fundamental beliefs differs starkly. What holds the PAP together is its fundamental beliefs, primarily honesty, integrity and selflessness.
In all organizational developments, cliques, factions exist because these are made up of people. But to imagine a break-up in the PAP is most unthinkable. The top core of its leaders are selfless people, and a mechanism would have also been in place to prevent another Barisan Nasional happening. But those were very treacherous times. Those conditions for a fallout don't exist now.
Today, Singaporeans believe very strongly the need for diversity, and I believed only a group of very experienced ex-PAP personalities can provide alternative thinking, alternate governance that are both sound and safe.
Please remember, the Workers Party is not a PAP lite. Some PAP supporters thought so and even propagate the idea,
But I think the time has come for groups of people who possesses equal passion and respect for all Singaporeans, with the experience to run the country to come forward and provide an alternative voice. As it is we are seeing many talented young people who believes in having alternate voice drawn towards current opposition parties. There isn't an ideal choice available.
We need a party that despite differences with the ruling PAP, can work together for Singapore, can rotate and run the country without risking a disastrous fall, according to the will of the people.
I concur very much with PM Lee's analysis of "divisive" politics the current cohort of opposition parties are engaging in. They need to divide in order to look different. We need to stop this mode of politics lest we will become a polarized nation. This General Elections have seen many good and long time friends, real friends falling out of each other. It is sad, but a divided nation begins with small stories of friends, families polarizing. The us vs them mentality.
Let's not get drawn away too far that we forgot about Dr Balakrishnan.
My honest feelings, and even thinking tells me Dr Bala had not hit on the right note given that he plays the piano very well.
His approach is benevolent. We should never back stab those who are kind to us, who helped us, and for that matter please don't back stab anyone. Back stabbing is to be abhorred.
His statement also gave a wrong sense of patronism that does not exist in the PAP at all.
Not too long ago there was a write up in the Straits Times about the boss of an insurance company telling his employees : "You are good enough now, go form your own company". This too is a benevolent approach. Allowing one's potential to expand beyond the confines of structures. I believed each of us receives that proverbal instruction personally : "Go, be fruitful and inherit the earth".
Falling out is not what we should be looking for, but leaving to form another organization may not at all be stabbing our bosses in the back. DPM Tharman is fortunately or unfortunately being drawn into this and cited as an example.
Maybe the answer lies with many who have left the PAP to facilitate the party's leadership renewal can come back should the call of duty becomes urgent. We need people who can unite, and not with this current cohort of oppositions that we are paying for their success at the expense of our precious relationships.https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/

TWO PROMINENT DOCTORS PART 1



Two very prominent doctors made very interesting statements over the last few days.
Prof Paul Tambyah naughtily suggested that DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam should one day fall out with PM Lee Hsien Loong and form his own political party "Pakatan Rakyat Singapura".
He commended the PAP Deputy Prime Minister as one outstanding and capable minister.
Why is the prof commending a political rival? Simply because DPM Tharman has earned much reverence from ALL Singaporeans. The prof needs to find a common factor to align himself to.
But wait a minute. On what basis does Singaporeans across political divide are holding DPM Tharman in such high esteem? Have they interacted with him as I have? Most of their judgement comes from the media. But let's look at the other side of media, aren't they providing everything alternate including the esteemed attributes of DPM Tharman?
I conclude, people across political divide are still relying on Mainstream Media for reliable information. Reading alternate media is their indulging in salacious fix, it gives them pleasure.
But the ironic emerges when the prof's own political party is making rubbish of the esteemed DPM's work? CPF, GIC, Temasek, Medishield Life, etc etc. All and all needs DPM Tharman's consent, and DPM is known for being meticulous and into details.
Can you on one hand says this man is absolutely capable and on the other hand rubbished his works thereafter? You just don't make sense. You can only say one of these, and which one?
By saying DPM is rubbish, you insult the intelligence of ALL Singaporeans, but by saying he is highly capable, you are endorsing his works but destroys the integrity of the oppositions who are attacking all those issues.
Now what? The most suspicious of the two is "there is a real question to the integrity of the oppositions". Period.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

WORKERS PARTY COVET GOVERNMENT

You know what Gerald Giam said? He said there is no such thing as "freak" election because that is people's will. His was in response to Khaw Boon Wan's warning that this could be a freak election and the PAP loses all seats.
Is there any truth in what he said?
Then may I ask the very brilliant Mr Giam.....if this election the PAP won every seats and a one party government emerged, will he still say this is the people's will?



If he says yes it is, please help me to slap the face of Sylvia Lim and Low Thai Khiang because they said that "one party" is bad for democracy. They are going against the people's will, are they not?
This is precisely what I want to talk about in simple, understandable terms.
It is not a must that there must be oppositions in parliament to fulfill the basic requirement of democracy. Democracy fundamentally means acting according to the will of the people.
So, while the Workers Party accuses the PAP of dictating election debates with their own agenda, is not the Workers Party also forcing its agenda on the people that there must be more oppositions in parliament?
At the end of the day, did the people benefited in real terms? Certainly the Singapore Democratic Party thinks that the Workers Party have not been effective oppositions in parliament, according to Chee Soon Juan" rally speech. If fellow opposition party thinks so, what more does the PAP?
Sylvia Lim has in her rally speech pitched that the Workers Party did do their job well by registering better attendance than the PAP, participating in debates (largely related to AHPETC) raised important issues as the Population White Paper. I'm not sure did she mention more, but the video clip just stopped at that.
However, Singaporeans have not heard from the Workers Party with regards to some very sensitive and important issues. Do they not have any policy positions as an aspiring party to becoming government one day? If they don't have any policy position, at least have some opinion, but why was there silence.
These are some of the sensitive but important issues :
1. ISIS influence in Singapore and the region
2. Same Sex Marriage in Singapore and Section 377A
3. The wearing tudung as part of public service uniform
Still continue harping on the importance of democracy without active and meaningful participation in public discussion, they warned the public, Singaporeans that an all white parliament will stifle democracy.
I have just discovered from beginning from today, all Workers Party candidates can only comment on their manifesto and refrain from answering the media on other subjects.
The difference between the PAP ans the Workers Party is that the PAP openly tells you that there is a "party whip". Its MPs are free to voice their personal opinions.
However, it seems that the Workers Party prefers ways that are not transparent. The public, Singaporeans have no way of knowing Workers Party's directions other than what they have prepared for public consumption.
We have here an opposition party with aspiration to govern Singapore talking about transparency and democracy, but in practice does not even measure up to the PAP government.
What do we make of the people who would die die vote for the Workers Party?https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/

GENERAL ELECTION 2015 - HALF TIME



Approaching the closing of hustings for this General Election, my heart grows heavy and perhaps for you too. An undeniable sense of anxiety is growing. Is this a show of fear of losing? Obviously.
I am convinced that Singapore is not prepared for PAP to lose in this election. Neither the PAP nor the WP nor any other opposition is prepared. Singaporeans are not prepared at all. This is a fact.
But can it happen? Yes it can. What happens when it comes?
To the world, our neighbouring countries, Singapore is a small country with a strong government. It has thus far been able to maintained sovereignty, uphold citizens' dignity, and negotiated a treacherous path between big power balancing, not forgetting the little voice in a big platform.
The real world of international politics only recognizes friends because of needs and no other. When the need is no longer there, one becomes an enemy or a prey.
Why should the world deal with a "non-PAP" government just as it used to with the PAP. Similarly the world need not deal with a "weaker PAP" government as before. Much of how we deal with the outside world and vice versa depends on how united our parliament is and how united is our people. All these are relevant and important whether Singapore emerged stronger or weaker after the election?
This brings us to the fact of feeling helpless. There is a multi-fronted economic war we've been fighting and have made much inroads and victories. Will the PAP government be stripped of all its armour and apparatus and left to fight barehanded?
The PAP can disband itself if Singaporeans don't need it anymore. It is fine for the PAP to sacrificed itself and I'm saying with true PAP DNA, but the feeling of not being able to protect those who needs protection most is extremely excruciating, and to lose a war that we have been winning well thus far is painfully despairing. These are true feelings of a possible lost.
A possible lost not because you have not done well, but did too well. A possible lost not because there is no freedom, but by the very freedom. When people say the PAP is not god, and they expect the PAP to perform miracles.
So you blamed the PAP for losing your job, for you not getting employed, for not getting into university, and you blamed the PAP for all your misfortunes. We seem to forget job creation was PAP government's first priority. Foreign companies don't provide job vacancies here if our terms are any less attractive than other countries. Local companies cannot expand and grow without conducive business environment, and excellent foreign relations.
The PAP cannot prevent you from losing your job, but it has a burden to help find you another one. The PAP cannot prevent you from failing in business, exams, or job interviews, but it is their burden to provide you with alternatives when you do.
Our complaints and disgruntles are much about success than failures. We want better transports, better housing, better healthcare, better paid jobs, better education, better politics and of course better freedom.
These are signs of "Good Times" politics. The elusive lure of the better. When the better arrives it is no longer better.
When you have enough, the better would be power and authority. "Empowerment" becomes a common tag for commercial and political marketing.
There will be lots of people telling the government how to better spend money. Everybody knows how to spend money, and it's great fun.
So all policy debates going on, whether it is about immigration, population, electoral boundaries, signboards, education etc etc are all but shadows of this one simple truth...."Good Times" politics. It only happens during good times. You kill the PAP cash cow, there will be no more quarrels.
Ironically this is why the PAP has got to think itself for the good times it brought to and for Singapore, and not so thankfully upon itself.https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/

WORKERS PARTY YEE JENN JONG



This is Yee Jenn Jong of the Workers Party speaking in a rally. This clip seen him poking fun on ESM Goh Chok Tong for his analogy of cruise ship, as well as poking fun on old folks picking cardboards.
Naturally, his Workers Party team is contesting in Marine Parade GRC where Tan Chuan Jin and Goh Chok tong both stands. His attempt to lock in several issues at hand to the cruise ship analogy made him sounded extremely childish.
Anyway Singaporeans may have gotten quite familiar by now with election rally swipes that are more for entertainment than about serious issues. As for this speech, sadly there is little entertainment value.
Anyway he touched on issues like the 6.9 million population paper, EIU's listing of Singapore as most expensive country, a swipe on Tan Chuan Jin's post on cardboard pickers, and casino.
Like all election speeches, they don't tell you the real and serious things. In this case about the population 6.9, they did not tell Singaporeans that Workers Party had made a target of population 5.8. If you think 6.9 is scary, 5.8 isn't too far away. They didn't tell you that our population is growing old, they didn't tell you that there's not enough babies, they didn't tell you that a nation must frow in population, but just the 6.9 number to scare you. Now who is playing "fear mongering"? 6.9 is not even a target like that of the Workers party. In this case the PAP had honestly tell it as it is, and left it to you voters to decide. Nothing to hide. Perhaps the PAP values honest talks more than the Workers Party.
Again found wanting of honest talks, Mr Yee told you that Singapore is once again the most expensive city to live in according to EIU. Did he say the survey was done for expatriates planning relocation? Why not? Expatriate living looks at very different things from ordinary Singaporeans. It is really a cruise and a street difference. If those other details are added in Workers Party speeches, nobody wouold vote for Workers Party.
What's the point of picking on Tan Chuan Jin's post about his tour with a group of young people reaching out to cardboard pickers? Same damn dirty tactics of hiding true facts. Did Tan Chuan Jin said that the cardboard pickers were doing it for fun, I mean exercise? Playing smears and mudslinging? Did you for a moment go down to cardboard pickers and offer a word of encouragement? Instead of showing equal care and affection for these less able earning persons, you used their plights to poke fun for political gain. You have spent your time rubbing shoulders with Joo Chiat private dwellers, and of course making sure they know you are one of them.
Religious and moral persuasions aside, are you putting the thousands of Singaporeans who are making a living inside the integrated resorts at risk? Do you mean the Workers Party will close down the resorts?
You may want to rethink your party's slogan...."Party before Singaporeans".https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/

Monday, 7 September 2015

WORKERS PARTY AND HOOLIGANISM



I know I am carrying this just a little too far, but I am honestly convinced that this must also be part of voters' considerations when the go to the polls. This is very important.
The picture shows three different events that happened during this election campaign period. Unfortunately they all linked to the Workers Party.
The one on the left shows a picture of Workers Party members praying before an election rally. I am full of respect for people who giver God the glory and honour for whatever they do, politics or otherwise. But what happens when you read the write-up by Edwin Khoo who took the beautiful picture? The picture was juxtaposed with an old picture of Minister for Muslim Affairs purportedly holding a champaign bottle that was really a confetti gun. The intention is really to cast the contrasting Muslim reverence between PAP and WP.
Next the picture of Workers Party supporters at the nomination centre shouting, and jeering at PAP candidates trying to make their speeches.
Third are election posters of PAP candidates contesting in Aljunied GRC where Workers Party is the incumbent. Many posters in that area were vandalized.
Can the Workers Party say they have nothing to do with all these uncivilized acts? Of course they can.
Please think. Why are these incidents all related to the Workers Party? Particularly those who are flying the WP flags?
Is this a Singapore culture, a Singapore way of life that the Workers Party encouraged? Listen to Mr Low Thia Khiang who said : "Look I am not in jail", Ms Sylvia Lim : "Call the CPIB".
We can understand that oppositions do somehow act as checks and balance against government. But if the PAP is considered "evil" are we not inviting something "more evil" than evil to run our lives?
Somehow these uncivilized acts tell us that this is the kind of forces that is nudging the Workers Party on, and they have allowed them to.
You may sympathized with the Workers Party that they being a small party is being bullied by a bigger PAP. Will you for a moment put partisan aside and ask if the Workers Party truly had been up to public expectations? Take a fair view.
Now I strongly believed that we cannot allow this forces, this kind of culture and way of life to further entrenched in the Singapore system. I believed the Workers Party needs to stay out of Singapore's political stage for now and get themselves reorganized, refreshed, that they may return with better people whose sole commitment is to serve Singaporeans.
Believed me, they have been overwhelmed by a little success and has taken Singaporeans for granted. They do need to take a step back, and it is only with voters that they can take a step back for the good of Singapore.https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/

Sunday, 6 September 2015

DID I HEAR WORKERS PARTY WANTS TO BE GOVERNMENT?



Did I hear a WP government? I thought Low Thia Khiang had just said they are not prepared?
Let's just take it that it is Sylvia Lim's ambition to be Prime Minister, and there is nothing wrong with having ambition. She said a WP government will do things differently, and what priorities did she set out as PM of the WP government?
To abolish GRC, abolish NMPs and make sure no government involvement in things like football.
Wait a minute......Should it not be our livelihood, our jobs, our children's education and career, family and housing, our aging needs, healthcare and retirement that really matters? This is Sylvia Lim of the Workers Party.
If after four good (unfortunate) years, Singaporeans still thinks that Sylvia Lim is a model politician, a fighter for the rights of Singaporeans, A great disappointment awaits you.
Without an iota of doubt she is a fighter.. She loves fighting and is training to fight better than Low Thia Khiang. Low knows what to fight and what to avoid fighting but she fights over everything.
Politics is in her blood, and she just loves it so much.
When the Workers Party becomes the government, trust me, there will be no oppositions in parliament.
Let me explain. With more than 25 years of being parliamentary opposition, which opposition party has the capability to match the Workers Party?. The recent spat over meetings are just a sample sachets of what WP can do to other opposition parties. They sure know how to fix government as well as opposition parties.
Whatever will happen to the PAP? The PAP with 50 years as government, does not know how to be a good opposition party. Maybe they can fix opposition while in government, they won't know how to fix government, especially one that has been fixing practically everybody.
If Singaporeans don't want the PAP anymore by electing the Workers Party or other opposition parties to become government, my opinion is it is better for the PAP to resign all the seats it won than to be in opposition.
The current world is far too ahead to start from scratch. Not a single country that had fallen within this decade or two did manage to claw back t0 its original state of health. Singapore if not for its huge accumulated reserves and a very stable government, a small country like us would have no place in the current climate.
Am I pessimistic? No.
It is a real possibility now than ever before, though I have absolute confidence in Singaporeans that we do not and will not put our votes to the gutters.
So what is the likely scenario we can imagine if WP really becomes government? Because Sylvia Lim dislikes foreigners, and I will continue to repeat what she said in the GE 2011. "I closed my eyes at the road junction and feel that I am in a foreign land".
The first thing I worry are the sick and aged. WP in their own population paper will chop off one big chunk of foreigners working in Singapore. The Filipino nurses, the Indian doctors, the Chinese healthcare workers will be reduced to an unrecognizable state.
The remaining Singaporeans will resign for being overstressed. You just have to cut down patient admission to reduce workloads on remaining doctors and nurses. There is no way you can queue at the hospital because there will be no ambulance to take you there. This will cut the impression of hospital beds crunch.
What about the reserves and CPF monies the PAP has been carefully guarding? Because of the minimum wage, unemployment fund, and other populist approaches that the WP is pitching to voters, coupled with the withdrawal of MNCs, they will have to dip into reserves to keep people happy.
Not forgetting most of our savings, Singaporeans savings are locked up in the value of our HDB flats. Every Singaporean has our own flats that find no buyers nor tenants when the foreigners are gone. Selling to our own people? Under that kind of economic environment, how to sell or buy. Value plumme
OK don't let my imaginations take too much of your time. But just one last time, what I have imagined is possible if Singaporeans don't vote the PAP.https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/

WHAT IMMIGRATION POLICY ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT?



I had wanted to share this "Immigration Policy" thing the Workers Party and others are attacking the PAP government on. Lim Swee Say had taken pains to explain why the government simply cannot. Excellent piece.
The small man also want to say something about this. Let me put it this way......you think the Workers Party don't know that Singapore cannot reduce foreign talents and workers? Whichever party that runs the government will have to do that because that is the only way to survival.
This is the policy that hurts Singaporeans, and it really does. As long as the policy hurts Singaporeans, it is going to hurt the government the government of the day, whoever it may be. So the PAP kenna whack.
Be Careful. Did you see massive Singaporeans laid off just to be replaced by foreigners? You are not seeing massive lay off because lower labour cost from foreigners mitigated the higher wage for Singaporeans. Business is not politics, and it must makes dollar sense.
The whole world had gone under intense pressure and prolonged economic downturn for more than a decade and no true recovery yet. Because of the PAP's prudence (some say over prudent) we were in a position to capitalize on the extreme bearish environment.
What did we do? On the infrastructure front, it was time to invest before foreign labour gets more expensive when recovery takes place and building materials get more expensive. No one knows when, but one thing for sure is smaller economies recovers faster.
With cheaper foreigner, local companies can start up with smaller cost burden, thus we encourage entrepreneurship. They were given time to grow comfortably, and when they arrived to a certain size, we can help them expand abroad.
We invited companies from abroad to come into Singapore with these advantages that are not available during global recession.
All these were carried out with calibrated policies and manner that Singaporeans do get an advantage of being employed. I must emphasized that Singaporeans, and the Singapore economy are very dependent on employment. Majority of our people are employees instead of small business owners. Singapore is hardly a place where small businesses can thrive. The salaried man brings home more money than the proprietors, and live a more comfortable life.
There will Singaporeans who missed their promotion to foreigners. There will be Singaporeans missing the post they applied for and was given to foreigners. That is why I say this policy hurts Singaporeans. We con't want to call these people sacrifices, it don't sound nice and it don't sound good.
But the fact is, this is life. Some people gets luckier than others and some people do gets unlucky. For Singaporeans, majority still gets their raise and promotion. Most Singaporeans are still the luckier ones.
Opposition politicians are using this weakness faced by the government to gain political advantage, but that political advantage has a very very high cost to it. It is done so by staking the career of majority of Singaporeans. Without cheaper labour cost, employers will fold.
Will we take what the oppositions say and turn the table on our employers? Some Singaporeans wants to take revenge, but most Singaporeans want to keep their rice bowls.https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/

Saturday, 5 September 2015

FEELING GRATEFUL



It's been a statement of satire "Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others". Look at the truth side of it.
Let's talk about Singaporeans. What defines you a Singaporean? It is often said that when people goes abroad, they know a Singaporean when they see one. We don't have that kind of feeling when we look at each other right here in Singapore.
Yes that's is the point I want you to see. Only when we compare and differentiate ourselves with another nationality, then the real Singaporean emerges, otherwise we are just human beings.
We don't just happen to be richer than others or having a better life than others by an accident or mistake. Our children are a lot more fortunate than most children in the world.
I read this morning's papers that says, the Philippines has more stunted children than Ethiopia or Congo due to malnutrition.http://www.straitstimes.com/…/filipino-children-suffer-from…
The answer lies in only one word : CHOICE.
In Singapore, Philippines, or Congo or anywhere in the world, but why are we different? We are equal human beings, but we become more equal due to who we choose to govern our lives.
We chose the PAP. We trusted them because after Every Five Years there is a Better Singapore. We chose practical living than be distracted by intellectual ideals. We chose a stable life where our children get better and better education.
What is "Power"? What is" Empowerment"?
Didn't The Philippines had a thunderous "People's Power" revolution led by Mdm Curazon Aquino?
The PAP does not have every answer. The PAP cannot guarantee you that you will not fail, nor nothing will fail.
The PAP guarantees you that when you fail, there is another way up.
I am grateful to the PAP because it provided me many alternative routes to climb back on life after failing.
My choice is with people who are realistic about failures rather than people who are idealistic about success.https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/

Friday, 4 September 2015

AHPETC & FMSS



There is a question that arise comparing YOG over spending with that of AHPETC overpayment at the Workers Party Facebook.
While this is plainly using another wrong to wiggle out one's guilt, it is good for us to know that these don't come under similar circumstances.
Firstly for the then MCYS to foul up on its budgeting for YOG is absolutely undesirable, and inexperience is of no excuse.
If inexperience is an acceptable excuse, then let's let AHPETC go because they also claimed they are inexperienced. But wait, the Workers Party openly said that they have had 20 years of experience running a successful town council before going on to win Aljunied GRC. So how will they get out of this contradiction?
In the case of MCYS, it is believable though not excusable, reason being YOG has no precedence, not in any where.
The fault with YOG is they were too eager to keep spending low and underestimated the extent of the event with too much unpredictable variables. I suspect someone must have plucked out a figure and the rest tried to work within that figure and eventually confronted by the truth that the figure is a mission impossible. It doesn't pay to impress.
Having said that, what happened in AHPETC has none of these unpredictable variables at all. In fact they took over a healthy set of accounts, and existing MA was at its disposure but they chose to discontinue contracted with FMSS instead. Everything was ongoing with precedence.
It must be noted that where municipal services are concern, indeed the AHPETC has demonstrated they measure up to expectations. I believed no residents should complain of that level of performance.
However the matter before us, and in question is a comparison between over payment to the contractor that undertakes all management and maintenance works of the town.
Where YOG is concern, it was a one time project and the final account was open to public scrutiny.
AHPETC however had the accounts delayed, and when belated accounts were presented, operating surpluses accumulated by previous council was completely wiped off and went into deficit.
So the question arises, if labour, material and ancillary costs for providing such municipal services are relatively similar across the board, and with AHPETC's charges pegged higher than other town councils, then there is a reason to question why is there no operating surpluses like the others and instead a deficit happened?
Ministry of National Development suggested the money had gone to over paying FMSS in related fees and charges. The ministry provided numbers from their searches of FMSS.
However, Chairman of AHPETC Ms Sylvia Lim refuted that there is no overpayment citing the pursuant of contract. She took issue with MND's use of the word "abnormal".
Let's be clear here. MND is pointing finger at FMSS for over charging AHPETC. The Workers Party Town Council is supposed to be the victim here. Why is Sylvia Lim going all out to defend FMSS? Wasn't she interested in know why her town council was being overcharged and how could she recover the money from the former managing agent?
As she had categorically said again and again, this is a commercial transaction between AHPETC and FMSS.
Do we not have sufficient reason to question AHPETC now?https://www.facebook.com/Anthony-Kan-Page-620606971399453/timeline/