9/01/2016

More LKY legacies falling

I wrote about the meritocracy legacy of LKY at the verge of being dumped by including race as a key factor in the election of the EP. Under the present criteria, though very, actually extremely elitist, it still has the hallmark of LKY in it, ie meritocracy. The EP will be chosen on merit and elected by the people. No tokenism. The likely proposed changes to the criteria to include race as a key element soundly denounced the ideal of meritocracy, that does not need to be elected base on merit but on race. Several minority bloggers have spoken up against this compromising change that would not look good when a minority candidate is elected under a different and unmeritocratic rule. They expressed their objections to such a patronising move. How strong is this view from the minorities against or in support of the changes has yet to be determined but it sure irks the minority elites as was seen in a CNA programme.

 

What is certain is that this meritocracy legacy of LKY will be the first to fall and not the last. In last week's ST there was an article by Kor Kian Beng on how Singapore walked the tight rope in a balancing act between the two super powers, China and the USA. In the article he quoted LKY saying that Singapore must not choose between the two super powers. Singapore should be neutral in their conflict. And Singapore might host Chinese military facilities as well after offering such facilities to the Americans. That was another hallmark and legacy of LKY. A wisdom only fools should disregard.

 

Vivian Balakrishnan and Chan Chun Sing have both been quoted that Singapore's position between the two powers was and is neutral, Singapore does not take sides. This was the position of Singapore in the past. Has this been changed recently over the South China Sea dispute?

 

Hsien Loong took pains to explain Singapore's position at the National Day Rally not for no reasons. China is fuming and has lodged protests to the govt on Singapore's pro American stand, read as anti China, after several govt officials made statements that were obviously unfriendly to China. Singapore's role within Asean on this issue, the favourable comments on The Hague ruling, freedom of navigation, etc etc mirrored the American positions to the chagrin of China. And the Americans are using military facilities in Singapore to conduct provocative manoeuvres in the South China that further put to question about Singapore's neutral position between the two super powers.

 

The big question, is Singapore really neutral or has Singapore taken side with the Americans, abandoning its policy of neutrality? It is not just what the Singapore govt and its officials were saying but what Singapore has been doing in recent times that would be judged. And only China and the USA know and matters whether Singapore has taken sides.

 

If Singapore has taken side, then another legacy of LKY is going down the drain. The next question to ask, are these legacies obsolete, outlived their usefulness, or they were wrong in the first place and have to be dumped, LKY legacies or whatever? How many more of LKY's legacies or wisdom would be ignored, challenged and buried away? How many people have the audacity to think they are wiser than LKY and dare to show disrespect to his legacies, to put them away, barely one year after his demise?

 

Was there a call to protect and preserve his legacies?

 

PS. I understand there are people that would pui when LKY’s name is mentioned. Let’s be objective about this. Not all his legacies are bad and some are critical to the continued existence and well being of this little Red Dot. Abandoning the good stuff indiscriminately would be an unforgiveable sin, an injustice to the future of Singapore and the millenials.

8/31/2016

Haze -Singapore should take Indonesia to The Hague

The haze problem is visiting Singapore and neighbouring countries again and Indonesia’s attitude is that it has done its best and blamed it on the wind. So how Singapore, are you going to live with the haze and blame it on the wind? What else can you do to protect your people and economy from the ill effects of the wind that came with the haze?

I think Singapore is very far sighted in supporting the Philippines case against China in the South China Sea dispute. Singapore must have the prescient for this moment to use the same formula to deal with the Indonesians. The precedent has been set, the Hague is UN backed and is legal and binding. Just repeat the same formula, hired the same Japanese guy, Shunji Yanai, to appoint the same team of judges, and pay them the same way as the Philippines did, or was it the Japanese that foot the bills, and file a case against the Indonesians on this haze invasion. And yes, this one got no issues with the territorial rights and thus is definitely legal and the court will definitely have jurisdiction to hear the case.

And it would even be better if Indonesia takes the same stand as China in the South China Sea dispute by not participating. Then the court and its judges can rule in Singapore’s favour.  So simple. Then Singapore can get all the friendly media and countries to tell the Indonesians to abide by the rulings, to respect international laws.  The US and western countries would definitely call the Indonesians to respect the international tribunal’s ruling. Philippines would also be shouting the same thing and so would all the Asean countries, rule of law, respect international law.

Like that Singapore sure win the case and can keep hammering the Indonesians for not respecting international law and that The Hague is UN backed.

I support this brilliant strategy. Now I understand why Singapore is so adamant in supporting The Hague rulings against China. Good reason to take such a stand. It is all about rule of law and respecting international law, not about vested interest. Never mind if the court is fixed up like a kangaroo court and the decisions made were just like what a kangaroo court would do.  As long as we believe it is legal, good enough. It is worth paying for the services of such a court and judges to guarantee sure win decision.

How, when is Singapore going to take Indonesia to The Hague? No need to stare them straight in the eyes, so unfriendly. Use the law, Sue. This is an expertise of Singapore, Sue until the Indonesians go bankrupt. Use the law, no need to behave like gangsters and hooligans.

8/30/2016

Fare hikes if you want to have better services

How many times Singaporeans have been told of this mantra, ‘You want better service, be prepared to pay more’. If this is true, I think Singaporeans would not be complaining and would be most willing to pay more. The truth, the facts, over the years we have so many fare hikes, and so many times we were told that the hikes would lead to better services, but what were the truth? Were the services better or worse?

How many think the services of public transport have improved? And if this is the truth, our transport services would be the best in the world after so many years of fare hikes.  The truth is just the opposite. All the fare hikes led to lower quality of services. Tiok boh?

And if fare hikes led to poorer services, should not the mantra be, ‘More fare hikes for poorer services’? You want poorer services, be prepared to pay more.

Now, am I talking sense or nonsense?

What do you think?

PS. Train faults and breakdowns are the new normal. The problems are unlike building HDB flats, like taps, switch it off, then switch it on. You can’t switch off train faults/problems and then switch it on again. It is not that easy. The faults/problems, if serious, would not go away by simply wishing they would go away. You need real talents to solve them, not anyone can do it.

The faults and problems would not go away just because the fares are hiked. If only they are so simple, hike fares and services would improve.

Abe forgot to visit the War Memorial?

The Chinese community still dutifully and diligently visits the War Memorial annually to pay respect to the hundreds of thousands that were massacred by the Japanese in WW2. Though the wound has healed, but the painful memories would stay and the dead would be remembered, so would the horrific and savage Japanese Imperial Army and the butchers in the Kempeitai.

 

Abe found it important enough to pay his last respect to SR Nathan for the reason that Nathan was the first foreign president that visited the war memorial of the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The Japanese remembered their war dead and their war criminals in the Yasukuni Shrine. Did Abe remember the massacres in South East Asian countries conducted by the barbaric soldiers of his grandfather? Does he think it right, or has it ever occurred to him that it is the right thing to do, to show some remorse and to atone the sins of his grandfather and his soldiers for slaughtering  innocent civilians all over South East Asia, particularly in Singapore during Sook Ching, executed by the infamous Kempetai here?

 

I have no memory of any visiting Japanese PM to this island laying a wreath at the War Memorial next to the Padang. When would the Japanese owned up to their war crimes and do the necessary and respectful, to show some signs of remorse for the cruelties to our people they murdered in cold blood? Should the Chinese Chamber of Commerce make a presentation to the govt that this should be a condition for any visiting Japanese PM or Emperor visiting our land?

 

Abe was on the way to Kenya and found it necessary to make a diversion to stopover in Singapore for Nathan's funeral. Would it be too much, too troublesome to spend 15 minutes at the War Memorial to show respect to the thousands killed by the Japanese Kempeitai here? What is so honourable about the Japanese when they refused to face the crimes they committed in the past and tried to whitewash it away?

 

To the dishonourable Japanese that pretended that they did not invade Asia and SE Asia and did not massacre the citizens of the invaded land, to the liars that tried to change their history of barbaric Imperialism, to the hypocrites that pretended to be men and women of honour, the more they tried to turn away from the truth, the more they will not be forgiven.

8/29/2016

Singapore’s very successful open door policy


6.9m are not all that is coming to Singapore. We are also opening up for Chikungunya, TB, super bugs and now Zika.  Poor children, got to siam TB and mothers  to be got to siam Zika. Hope no mothers to be is bitten by this Zika thing. The option is unbearable.

Where could this Zika thing come from when all those affected did not visit Brazil? Infected in Singapore! Did the aedes mosquitoes know of our open door policy and come flying in first class cabin or economy?

This is the only way that the Zika thing can get here. How about tracing all those that were in Rio for the Olympics and call them up for a check up? And this must include the foreigners here who were in Rio as well. No one must be exempted from this call up. The aedes mosquitoes would not discriminate between the rich and powerful and the ordinary people. When they bite, they just bite whoever that is in their way.

A lot of work needs to be done. More work and jobs are created I am sure.

Haze - Time for Singapore to punch above its weight

''Asked about the complaints from Singapore, Jusuf only said, "It is up to them to complain. Whom are they going to complain to? Are they going to complain to the wind?"'

This is what Jusuf Kalla, the Vice President of Indonesia said about the haze over Singapore. Basically what he was saying is that Singapore got to live with the haze come what may. Indonesia already done its best and Indonesia cannot change the direction of the wind. What about cutting down on the number of cut and burn incidents? We are trying our best, so don't expect too much and don't push too hard.

Now the ball is squarely in the Singapore court. The haze is Singapore's problems. Complain as much as you want, the Indonesians would not be listening and don't try to go to them with your complaints. Just deal with it or live with it. So, how is Singapore going to deal with it or live with it? Or would Singapore try to punch above its weight and stare squarely into the eyes of the Indonesians, without blinking, and the haze will go away, with the Indonesians hurriedly trying to put them down?

Indonesia does not know that our PM was specially invited to the White House for dinner and the images sent all over for the whole world to see. What is the message? Want to act tough with Singapore? See who is behind Singapore?

Ok, what's next Singapore? Who shall we send to Jakarta, Vivian, Chan Chun Sing or Masagoes? Doing nothing means we will have to live with the haze. Complaining into the air is no use. Did we get the message from Indonesia?

8/28/2016

Amos Yee representing himself in court

I just can’t imagine how the proceedings will go when Amos Yee defends himself in court without a lawyer but Amos in person. And he has requested that the witnesses testify orally instead of in writing. Oral presentation is Amos’ forte. It is like Amos in Parliament challenging the MPs who could only make their cases in writings and to read from scripts.

Let’s try to imagine how someone like Amos, but not Amos, would conduct himself in court.  Let’s call this fictional character Ah Mok. 

Ah Mok said: ‘Ok, you motherfucker, you said your Dog is so sensitive and is offended by what I said. Now prove it to me, show me that your Dog is offended. You see my two fingers pointing to your Dog? See, look at your Dog, how is it offended? Where is it, come on, show me that your Dog is angry, you dumb twit…. I need empirical evidence, facts man, not what you think or what you believe. In a court you must have solid hard evidence to state your case. Where is your hard evidence?’

Judge cut him, ‘Ah Mok, mind your language, this is my court. If you don’t respect the witnesses never mind, but you must respect me. I am the judge here.’

Ah Mok: ‘Oh shut up old man, I am cross examining the witness. I am no learned counsel and this is how I speak. Can, cannot? Never mind, you sit there and listen while I shack the witnesses, one at a time.’

The UN Special Representative on freedom of opinion and expression chipped in. ‘Your honour, please allow Ah Mok to exercise his freedom of speech so that he can defend himself against the charges.’

Ah Mok: ‘And you there, the one hiding behind there, what is your problem? You don’t like me fucking your Dog? Did your Dog mind? Did your Dog say it mind? Tell me what your Dog said, you silly motherfucker.’

Judge could not take it any more. ‘Ok Ah Mok, enough of your vulgarity. Vulgarity is not allowed in my court. If you go on like this I am not going to proceed with the case, you hear me?’

Ah Mok, ‘Yes, I understand you perfectly Mr…. Judge. Do I have to address you as my honour or whatever crap they used to call you in court? I am Amos, I know you don’t like my face, and I don’t dig your protocol. This is me, Ah Mok, flesh and blood, hot bloody blood running through me, no pretences, no hypocrisies. I repeat, I have the right to question my witnesses like all legal counsels do, to threaten, harass and ridicule the witnesses, to make the witnesses look stupid. You cannot object, only the prosecution can object. As the judge you can say sustain or over rule. That is your role. Did I get this right?’

Ah Mok: ‘Now, where was I? Oh you, yes you motherfucker, what is your problem? Come again, look at me, not at the piece of shit in your hand. Talk to me, not read to me….Oh Judge, can you tell the motherfucker to speak up? Can he talk or he can only read from prepared scripts? Who wrote the script for him?’

Someone switched off the light in the court room and everything went dark. Ah Mok screamed, let there be light. And there was light.