How dangerous can cyberspace be?

Before the new MDA regulation comes into effect tomorrow, social media is just another social site for individuals to write, comment, and chat to whoever they want as long as they don’t flirt with scandals and libels that will expose them to Sue. When the new regulation takes effect, website owners have to be extra careful with what appears on their website, intentionally, unintentionally, or being spooked.

Other than having to apply for a licence, put up a $50k bond, their pockets can be burnt real bad. The licence fee could be small change, the $50k bond is not. But the more treacherous is that the $50k bond would be the first to go, as advanced ransom payment. Then comes the big one, $200k to be exact, the maximum fine that can be imposed. And if suay suay kena fined for this sum, and unable to pay, hey, there is a jail to go to.

Now, is social media a dangerous thing, or can social media or cyberspace become such a dangerous place? Don’t forget that there are all kinds of strange fellas floating around in cyberspace and can turn an innocent website into hell.

Why go to university?

This is going to bug many parents and the children when going to university is being played down as something not really necessary. In the past, going to university is very simple. A degree will mean a good life, getting a good job to earn bigger pay and to bring up a family with all the trappings of wealth and comfortable things. It was so simple then.

Many people are still going to university for exactly this reason and nothing else. Getting a degree is for a practical reason, to land a better job and a better life. When this is no longer a valid reason, when the outputs, in monetary terms, time and resources, do not make up for the rewards of a university education, would people start to stop thinking of going to the university? Must study hard is losing its meaning.

There are of course many varied reasons for people wanting a university education. There are obvious benefits of a university education, a more knowledgeable and enlightened person, a perfecting of self. Though this can be done differently, like going through university of hard knocks, a formal education is a short cut with a well planned training programme.

To some people, going to university is a personal fulfillment of sort, acquisition of knowledge and the joy of learning. But this group is a minority. Not many will go to pursue a degree for the sake of getting a degree. It is luxury, a past time, a hobby and satisfaction.

Back to the basics, get a degree for practical reasons. Now, with the new development, getting a degree has lost its practical reasons. The practical thing to do is to acquire skills and training to increase one’s market value, to be employable. I think it boils down to this and nothing else. Training to value add, and to get that job or promotion and a better salary and a better life.

Would you believe that many people are training to downgrade, to get a lower paying job, because their skills and experienced and training are no longer marketable or not wanted because the world’s talents are here to compete with them? Still there are some who would train to switch jobs for a matter of interest and satisfaction. But to train for a lower paying job because of necessity, because the employers do not want to employ them for their better skill and expertise, quite a different proposition altogether. Very defeatist and depressing isn’t it?

Do the people have a choice to train to upgrade rather than to train to downgrade, or worst, train for the sake or belief in training but going no where, does not contribute to improving their market value?

What should the young be told in schools if going to university is no longer the lucrative and assured road to a better job and a better life? Close the universities, close the schools?

MDA’s licensing of social media, a pawn’s gambit

In a sudden move, MDA stunned the world of social media and the whole wide world with a pawn’s gambit, by requiring social media website reporting on Singapore to be licensed, to put up a $50k bond and risk a $200k penalty if the news site violated its regulations. A few of the official media websites were put up as bait to this new move, and the proverbial inconsequential sacrificial pawns. Some may think that this is a foolish move as the social media exists in cyberspace with no space or territory to talk about, and can’t be under any country’s jurisdiction in the normal sense. A news site in cyberspace appearing here also appears across the whole wide world. How can the govt of a country claims jurisdiction over the site and requiring the site to apply for a national license?

I was thinking of suggesting to Yaacob Ibrahim to retract this new regulation as it does not appear to be very sound, unreal. The Govt may be able to deal with Singaporeans owning the sites, but as for foreigners or sites located overseas, there is really nothing much that the Govt can do except to declare ‘war’ against the site and its owners. Many would not even have a presence here in terms of staff and offices and nothing can be held in ransom. They can show the MDA their middle finger. It would be interesting for Yahoo, Singapore to do just that.

Then again, I think this meticulous and highly talented Govt would not have done something that looked silly to the common folks, but the imposition of this regulation must have been carefully thought through, with the inputs of all the great talents available. It must be something workable, reasonable, logical, and ingenious, and for a very important objective.

As the case turns out, the reception was anything but hostility and many people, not only the website owners, but anyone familiar with cyberspace, are not taking this move kindly. It will definitely increase the anti PAP votes in the next election.

Why would the Govt want to tempt this fate, the same question that the people are asking about the Population White Paper? A simple guess is that by not doing so, the power of social media is going to increase and affect the votes for the PAP negatively. And applying Machiavelli’s Theory, if nasty and unpopular decisions need to be taken, let’s do it swiftly and hopefully by the next GE the pain will be forgotten or softened.

The PAP must have many cards up its sleeves and many things must be carefully planned ahead to take away this sting. How about a big big angpow then, one that will floor every anti PAP voters and put a smile in their faces? The Govt’s policy and trump card has always been the pocket. Hit the pocket hard or fill it fully to win the votes. If the angpow is coming, and a real big one, it will be another ‘pau chiat’ GE in 2016. What is there to fight if the people can see the goodies coming?

The PAP must have known that this is going to be a very unpopular policy domestically and even internationally. This must be another first chalked up by the PAP, regulating and licensing websites, not only applicable to Singaporeans but also to foreigners. They must know that the foreigners will also comply and put up the bond, and prepare to be fined $200k if charged by the Singapore courts. If the foreigners were to stand up in defiance, there is really nothing the Govt can do and can be quite embarrassing, to be seen as bullying the Singaporeans and a toothless tiger to the foreigners.

The owners of all the major local websites are up in arms in protest. Unlike the Hong Lim Park protest against the Population White Paper that died down immediately after the event, these major websites are going to blow their trumpets, bugles, horns and beat their drums daily to make sure not only the Govt will hear the noise, but the whole wide world will get the din as well. It is going to be very noisy without a sound. The only thing is how long will the website owners be able to keep their fighting spirit up and high and to see if they wear out first, or the Govt wears out first? What would be the deciding factor to tip the balance and for a winner to appear? Can it be public opinion of the citizens or the opinion of the whole wide world, or a combination of both? Would the citizens chip in, or would the main media chip in, to give more weight to the combatants?

The time line is likely to be 2016. If this protracted war is dragged on, it will only increase in temperature and intensity as it approaches the 2016 GE. Round One the MDA has clearly lost with social media and bloggers and netizens throwing all the punches. Ouch! Next to throw punches are likely to be the citizens who voted for a Govt and finding it unacceptable for the same Govt to want to gag their mouth, stuff their ears and put blinkers on their eyes. Why would they want to vote for such a Govt? Would this be the big question in the next GE?

The show has just begun.


50,000 IPs, what is this?

My concern with IPs stemmed from my experience in redbeanforum.com. When the brigades were attacking my site, dunno who they are or where they are from, every morning my site will be hit by a few hundred spam postings of all kinds of stuff, from porno sites to fictitious retail sites. And it was quite a task trying to delete them. Eventually I gave up and locked the site from comments. It is now a read only forum : )

The IPs can become more mischievous if the new MDA regulations come into force. Any site can be hit by a few hundred or thousand spams daily and getting 50,000 IPs showing in the counter is a piece of cake. Can these sites then tell MDA, sorry, the IPs are spammers. And would MDA accept that reasoning? What do you think?

Would someone say, put in firewalls or blocks, or allow a special counter to be inserted into the blog or site for counting minus spams? And you can have cheeky buggers creating little programmes to ramp up the IP hits of any site they want to hit and sorry folks, your 50,000 IPs are up. Please apply for a licence, and put up a bond. No worry, a banker’s guarantee will do. How much is a banker’s guarantee? Freely issued by the bankers?

Would MDA provide free software to make the counter numbers genuine and not flooded by spammers? Would a blog or site allow MDA to insert programmes into it? Or in case of blogs, would Google allow such interference to their system?

How to create a nation of stupid people?

Is it possible to create a nation of stupid people? I don’t think this is an easy task. You can train people to do things but training people to be stupid is quite a remarkable call. The more formidable task is to educate them, give them the best tertiary education, let them think they are smart, but actually stupid without knowing it? Now that is really something isn’t it?

In communist, totalitarian or authoritarian countries, I think the task is so much easier. Just clamp down on the news and information and feed them with all the information that the state would want them to see and hear. Keep repeating that their lives are the best in the world, everything is fine, and the rest of the world are suffering, in poverty, with bad govt, and no dear leaders to help them. After a few generations of not knowing what is happening to the outside world and only seeing a world within, the people will be convinced that they are living in paradise.

Now, how can this situation be recreated in a cosmopolitan and open democratic country? Can it happen, that people living in a democracy, cosmopolitan, well travelled and well informed, and stupid at the same time? Really, it is impossible to do so. Such well educated and informed people will not be gagged, will not be fooled, will not allow to be blinkered. Any attempt to do so will be met with violent protest, unless they are really stupid.

A stupid people will elect a govt to be their masters, to control them, manage their lives, squeeze every cent from them, and tell them it is for their own good. And only a stupid people will believe such things without questioning and live happily ever after, and keep going to the poll to elect the same people to be their masters, to control them, to threaten them, to sue them, to keep them in fear, to keep their money from them, year after year.

It will be one of the major wonders of civilization, an achievement no one has ever done in human history. I am still wondering if it is possible, to train or create a nation of stupid people.

Mysingaporenews will be closed for the month

Apologies, mysingaporenews will be out for the rest of the month. I just make a check on the counter and the visitor number is nearly 50,000. Cannot exceed this magic number.

Also, my quota for writing on Singapore News has exceeded for the whole year. From now onwards I will be writing about dog rearing, how to groom puppies, how to walk the dogs with muzzles on....and on my photography as a hobby. I will not post any photos that have street scenes of Singapore in case they are mistaken as photojournalism or news on Singapore.

When 6.9m White Paper is not enough

The anger of the 6.9m White Paper has not subsided and now comes the clamping down on social media. Though this is a gingerly step taken, no one is blind to see what will come next. And the uproar in social media is predictable. Everyone is anticipating what will come next and when the blogging community will be hit.

Looking from another angle, these two moves just go to show that the Govt is still very confident that it can do whatever it wants without fear or any repercussion from the people. The lost of two by elections too did not register that things are not going its way and pushing too hard will only elicit stronger resentment and resistance.

The ruling party must have made all the necessary calculations and played out the different scenarios on how the people will react to this latest curb. The negative reaction is expected and is a case of how bad. Not doing it now to rein in the social media must be seen as unacceptable. So, is it a case of paying the price now while there is still time for the anger to fade in three years prior to the GE?

This cannot be a case that the ruling party believes it can get away with it. So what is the story? Is the situation that dire that not doing anything will only see things getting worst and doing it can only be better and not worst? It is likely that the fight is on, starting from now, to win the ground or hold the ground in cyberspace. Or is it a case of cutting losses, blow up the bridge and hold the ground, give up some ground but still have enough to make a stand and win the GE?

The problem is that if the reading is wrong, the backlash in 2016 could be devastating. The incremental moves in the implementation of unpopular policies that may not be necessary, like the Population White Paper, can be counter productive and ended with digging its own grave.

A blogger by the name of Roy in TRE wrote an appeal letter to Tharman to reconsider this new media regulation. Among the ministers, Tharman seems to be the only one left that is more people oriented and willing to listen to the people. This is what Roy said among many things in his long letter,

‘On behalf of a segment of Singaporeans, I would like to seek your understanding in this matter. For many of us Singaporeans, we are only beginning to realise the stake that we have in Singapore and how we need to take ownership and be empowered over our own lives. My own journey began only last year. We genuinely want to also shape a Singapore which belongs to us all. Many Singaporeans might sound “angry” online but I hope that you can understand that this is because we feel that we have finally regained our ability to speak up, after years of seeming inability to do so, and it would take some time for us to learn to use it more constructively, just as it would also take some time for a government which had not been used to feedback to also learn to adjust to receiving them. It is a two-way process.’

The awakening of the Singaporeans is a good thing (or a bad thing) after falling asleep or kept under blinkers for so long. The social media and its role to facilitate the Singaporeans to discuss national affairs must be positive, right? Wrong? Stifling the growth of social media is a regressive step towards choking the voice of the people and killing the seed of an aware and politically involved citizenry. Or is this not to be nurtured, not to be encouraged? The citizens are best to shut up, to be led, and to do as was told? How far are we from the ignorant third world unenlightened citizens if we try to gag the citizens from discussing national issues, from empowering them to help to shape the future of their country? Oh no, I am mistaken. The new regulations are only to provide clarity of ground rules of what can or cannot be written in space. Nothing to do about controlling what the people can say, read or hear.


A level playing field for Singaporeans and foreigners

When the Govt talks about a level playing field for Singaporeans and foreigners, it is saying that Singaporeans and foreigners should compete fairly and equally in employment opportunities, in business opportunities, in education opportunities except for a few exclusive areas like driving taxis, right to serve NS, places in schools and maybe subsidies in housing and medical care.

On face value this is about a more balanced and right thing to do by our Govt in taking care of Singaporeans, PRs and non residents. The Govt has to carefully calibrate its policies to ensure that it is fair to everyone, citizens, PRs and non residents, just like when the Govt is thinking of introducing anti discriminatory employment laws, it has to consider the interests of employers and employees, Singaporeans and foreigners.

Our Govt is about the fairest Govt you can find on earth. Why are Singaporeans still unhappy and complaining that fairness is being unfair, a level playing field is unacceptable, equal opportunities are unequal and unfair to Singaporeans?

Singaporeans must put themselves in the shoes of foreigners and PRs to appreciate what the Govt is doing. Then they can appreciate the fairness of our Govt in treating everyone fairly, citizens, PRs and non residents are all human beans and deserve fair treatment by a fair govt.

International websites to apply licence

The new MDA regulations have extensive coverage on international websites that report on Singapore news and have Singaporean visitors and needing them to apply for a licence and put up a bond of $50k. This means that an African in Africa that set up a such a site will have to apply for a licence fee from Singapore. So would an Eskimo in the Artic. If not, I can presume that their sites will be blocked or the editors PNG or arrested on entering Singapore.

Reuter online reported, ‘The MDA identified sg.news.yahoo.com, a service run by Internet giant Yahoo! Inc (YHOO.O), as among 10 sites that would be affected by the new requirement, based on criteria such as having 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore a month over a period of two months.

Yahoo! declined to comment when contacted by Reuters….’

So eventually CBS, CNN, BBC or websites all over the world that reported on Singapore and met the two conditions would have to apply for licence and put up a bond. Would they? Should they? Of would they show their middle finger?

From First World to Third World

Having lived in a First World city for the last decade, it is quite an interesting experience to walk into a Third World village. I did that, visiting a model Third World village with a lot of pretensions to be a paradise. It was a nice little village, clean and orderly, quite prosperous, and strategically located along a busy trade route. The villagers were quite well off than their neighbours.

My first impression was a great place to live in, virtually crime free and the villagers were hospitable. The village chief was elected once every two years and very popular. He had done a lot to improve the lives of the villagers. With growing affluence, many villagers were able to send their children overseas for a western education, including the village chief’s children.

Not all things could be fine and to the likings of the villagers. There were bound to be things that annoyed or irritated in big or small ways. And the villagers would gossip like all villagers do. The village chief did not like it, thinking that the villagers were ungrateful. He put up some notices in the village coffee shops forbidding discussion of village affairs in groups of more than 10 people or in front of foreigners. The despot he was could not hide for long.

The villagers were careful not to talk about village affairs as the punishment would be street sweeping. And the streets were clean, super clean, as many villagers ended up sweeping the streets. They did not think talking about a missing mango could become village news or village affair until it was reported as theft. They did not think a poor crop of mangoes would be village news until it was reported as crop failure. They did not know that when their sons fell off a bicycle was village news until it was reported as an accident. And they did not know that among the 9 people in the coffee shop, there were foreigners.

I spent a few great days enjoying the hospitality of the village and villagers. It was a nice experience seeing how a Third World village pretending to be first world with all the trappings of a First World. But beneath the veneer of richness, the Third World mentality is still living. No matter how big they acted, they still behaved small. No matter how big they thought they think small, small minds. It is not easy to break out from the Third World mentality just because they have gained wealth and even with western education. It could be a kind of Third World disease carried by some Third world virus.

After my visit, I keep asking myself, would this Third World pretending to be First World village ever become a truly First World city?


Latest govt control on online media

The latest announcement by the MDA to control online media is out and will be effective on 1 June. 10 sites have been identified as online news website and will come under the new regulation. They are :

'asiaone.com, businesstimes.com.sg, channelnewsasia.com, omy.sg, sg.news.yahoo.com, stomp.com.sg, straitstimes.com, Tnp.sg, todayonline.com, zaobao.com.'

According to CNA online 'Only online news sites which fulfil two specific criteria will be subjected to individual licensing.

1) That the sites report an average of at least one article per week on Singapore news and current affairs over a period of two months.

2) They must also have been visited by at least 50,000 unique IP addresses from Singapore each month, over the same period.'

Many bloggers are wondering how would this new regulation affects them. TREmeritus and TOC plus a few blog aggregators are not in the list. Would they be caught in the same net as well? So far those mentioned are commercial news site while TRE, TOC, Singapore News Alternative etc are run by volunteers and not full time news websites in the truest sense. Then there are thousands of blogs that blog about Singapore affairs and news. Would these blogs come under the same regulation?

In the case of blogs, they are mainly commentaries of individuals and not business enterprise of news websites. It will really be something if this first world country and govt will put blogs under the same regulations as news websites just because of the above two criteria.

I think bloggers need not fear that this news website regulation will tie their hands and legs. The fact that a $50k bond is also needed means that the MDA is targeting commercial news website. Applying to blogs will mean an immediate cemetry of blogs will be erected to replace Bukit Brown.

Let's wait for further clarification from MDA. Otherwise I will end up blogging about animals, and may write a sequel to the Animal Farm.

Too much money we can afford some luxuries

We are so rich as a country. In fact we are the richest country in the world on a per capita basis. No I am not complaining. You cannot complain about being the richest people in the world unless one is crazy.

We are so rich, some becoming multi millionaires, millionaires or half millionaires, and we also have one of the largest national reserves to boot. I think the govt must be feeling very good, smiling at the statement of our reserves everyday. There is nothing wrong with this either. Why shouldn’ t the govt smile when we have so much money to spend and to buy whatever we want, including luxuries?

Like all the rich tycoons, as a super rich, we have the spare cash to go for a little bit of the nice things to make us look good and feel good, buy whatever we fancy. We can have the things that are good to have but not really necessary. Why not, when we can afford them?

We have one of the most futuristic and expensive artificial garden that cost billions and hundreds of millions to maintain. Necessary? Obviously not but good to have when our pockets are overflowing with cash. We spent to have Formula 1 car racing here. This one they said intangible benefits outweighed the tangible cost. Small change for some great fun. It is like throwing a great party for our high society guests.

We build world class universities by paying the best professors in the world to be here. Would we miss anything if we just have a few lesser like in the past? I don’t think so, but very good and nice to have.

We build joint universities with the best mortar and the most brilliant professors as well. Hopefully the output, the students will be the best as well. Money well spent? Controversial but never mind when money is aplenty.

We have several prominent schools on international and national policies, some called it think tanks, filled with academics from all over the world. What for? Prestige or what? Maybe Singapore will one day become a centre of academic excellence. Dunno how much but money well spent? Necessary? Never mind, money not an issue. We can afford these think tanks and to pay the professoris of the world to be here to write papers and exchange ideas. It is only a matter of time before the world will be begging to read the great papers from our think tanks and inviting our think tank professors to speak. Tangible returns may not be much, but intangible benefits, goodwill, reputation and image must be damn shiok. Singapore is not just a casino or sin city, but is where great intellectuals resided. The modern day Picassos, Van Goghs, Rembrants, the Newtons, Einsteins may emerged from the great and stimulating environment we have created. This island could have the biggest concentration of the best minds and academics one day.

A Singapore renaissance is in the making. Only rich country who are willing to invest in the richness of living will get this kind of richness in life. Money is really convenient and useful to live in dreams and make dreams materialized. Poor countries would never be able to afford such luxuries.

An appreciative Immigrant

An African arrives in Singapore as a new immigrant. He stops the first person he sees in the train and says…

‘Thank you Mr Singaporean for letting me into this great country, giving me subsidised housing, money for food, subsidised education, no taxes, subsidized medical care, no need to do NS, good jobs, and free travel on the MRT.’

‘Sorry, I am from India.’

The African repeats the same to the next commuter in the train.

And the commuter says, ‘Sorry, I am from the Philippines.’

The African repeats the same to the next commuter in the train.

‘Sorry, I am from China.’

The African repeats the same to the next commuter in the train.

‘Sorry, I am from Vietnam.’

The African repeats the same to the next commuter in the train.

‘Sorry, I am from Myanmar.’

The African then asks the next commuter, where are the Singaporeans?

‘They are in JB, Batam and Bintang.’

The number game

Playing with numbers can bring great benefits to some and make losers of some innocent folks. One simple number game is the estimation of utilities usage that affects every household. For instance if the average utility bill is $100 pm, and if the meter is only read every third month, the usage of two months will be estimated. To maintain some consistency, the estimates must be done with care, probably by using the latest readings or the moving average, or something in that order, to keep the estimates realistic. But in practice, the method can still bring about distorted results.

Take for instance a festival when there more cooking take place or more people are at home, that particular month would drive up the bill and would affect the next average. It is ok actually if not of the GST or taxes based on the month’s bill. When there is a surge due to a wrong estimate, the household will end up paying more taxes for that bill. When the bill is readjusted after an actual reading is made, would the extra taxes, though small in amount, be refunded? The extra payment comes about when the rate is variable and higher at higher usage particularly water tax. Some households will thus have to pay a bit more taxes that they don’t have to but because of estimation.

In the corporate world, the numbers can also be juggled to give the best returns to whoever wants it. As an example, if a profit of $1m is expected and no extra bonus will be paid, a company with 3 or more years of $1m profit will not have to pay extra bonuses to the management on a profit sharing scheme. But by recognizing, in line with or overriding accounting principles, some profits may be delayed or not recognized and accumulated to another year. So a company may show 2 years of $500k profits only to show a startling performance of $2m profit on the third and ending with a big payout to the management.

This could be a deliberate result of manipulation. But at times, it is due to business cycle. The best example was quoted by Prof Tan Khee Giap during a programme on GDP aired on CNA. He pointed out the great GDP growth of 15% in year 2011, I think, was such a case. The result of that spectacular growth was due to the shrinking of the GDP in the previous years. The base for growth computation shrank accordingly. Thus when the economy returned to its previous numbers, the growth rate or percentage of growth became so much bigger than normal.

A reward system that is based on the growth rate will thus compute a huge payout to the management. And because the growth rate was so big, the payout could be disproportionally big relative to the average payout though the company/economy did not do anything spectacular in real terms.

What happens or could happen in such a situation is for management to take recognition of the low base and the real productivity and massage down the payout. If not, the management will be rewarding themselves happily with outrageous bonuses and still looking very legitimate and deserving, because the bonus formula said so.

The number game can be played very cleverly and ingeniously to benefit the players or designers of the game.


No one will be deprived of medical treatment

TRE is trying to contact a couple to see if they can help to raise funds for the operations that their 21 month old baby girl needs for a ear implant. Chan Chee Keong, the father had written to the authorities and CPF for help. This is a part of his letter pleading for help and mercy in the ST online.

'Allow Medisave use for daughter's ear implant
MY DAUGHTER was diagnosed with profound hearing loss at birth and fitted with hearing aids when she was five months old.

Now, at 21 months, hearing aids do not help her any more and doctors at KK Women's and Children's Hospital recommended that she get cochlear implants.

While I am happy to know that she would be able to hear much better after getting the implants, the bill would come up to $39,000.

The maximum government subsidy was allowed for the first implant. However, the second implant, which therapists said would enable my daughter to hear more effectively in school, had to be paid in full.

In January, I sent e-mail messages to the Health Ministry and Central Provident Fund Board to seek approval for the release of part of my Medisave funds to help pay for the procedure, but have yet to receive a response….'

While the parents are waiting anxiously for an official and positive reply, you can sense how desperate they are as parents and how concerned they are to help their little child. Maybe if they are from Nepal or another poorer country, the child will have a better chance of getting the operations done here. We have heard of a few well published cases of very expensive medical operations done on foreigners on a charitable basis. Still wondering why we don’t do that for our very own kind. There was this little girl that had to raise funds on her own for a cornea transplant.

And here we have the parents with some money in their own Medisave and pleading to use it for their daughter’s medical operation, and so far no reply. The money is not going to be spent in the casino or on some little mei mei or for a wild holiday. This is a medical case, and the money will be spent, documented, in our hospital.

What is the point of saving for the rainy day when the money when needed cannot be used? What is the point of having the best hospital facilities when we cannot help our very own citizens who are willing to pay? What is the point of saying no one will be denied medical treatment because they cannot afford to pay?

Have we been thinking correctly?

Taiwan economy will suffer without Pinoy workers, warned Philippines Vice President

‘Manila Bulletin, 24 May 2013

Taiwan's economy will be disrupted without Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) according to Vice President Jejomar C. Binay.

This was stressed by Binay last Thursday as he pointed out that the Philippines and Taiwan are both benefiting from around 80,000 Filipinos working in Taiwan mostly as factory workers or caregivers.

"They (Taiwanese government) are giving our OFWs employment opportunities but at the same time our workers are contributing a lot to Taiwan's economy. Without OFWs, their economy will be disrupted. So this is not a one-way relationship. Our good relations especially on our workers is mutually beneficial," he stressed speaking in Filipino….’

Taiwan should be less emotional and not to demand for any compensation or punishment for the killing of its fisherman by the Philippines coast guards. The sanction to freeze hiring of Pinoy workers is bad. The Pinoys are there to contribute to grow Taiwan’s GDP and help Taiwanese people. It will hurt the Taiwanese and their economy.

Now, would Taiwan understand such a clever logic? I doubt so. I think the Taiwanese will just continue with the sanction until its demands are met. Such arguments will likely be more effective if apply to Singapore. Singapore’s economy will sure to be badly affected and our GDP will definitely go down without the Pinoy workers. Singapore is lucky that the Vice President did not threaten with the withdrawal of maids and Pinoy PMETs from Singapore. How work Singapore reacts if this thinly veiled threat is thrown at us? Would we go down on our knees to beg them to come back and help us.

Tertiary education and PME jobs

This issue of jobs for Singaporeans and tertiary education has brought out a lot of controversies and a lot of angry cynicism in social media. The ministers have lately been down playing the importance of a piece of paper from the universities and even the redundancy of tertiary education. And the calls for Singaporeans to become hawkers, to become crane drivers and what not, have made the issue appears to be a deliberate policy in the making.

Contrast this with the hundreds of foreigners here with tertiary degrees and claiming to be better than the locals with their degrees and taking over the plum jobs of PMEs, the situation looks very negative and depressing for the local Singaporeans. But it is just another hard truth that the daft Sinkies must accept. It is the real world of money making.

And if one is to operate under the doctrine of pragmatism, economic expediency, bottom lines, the whole theory and possible policy make perfect sense. Why should anyone, govt or company, would want to waste money and time in training and education, a long and tedious process, when qualified, trained and experienced workers are available from the world, without having to spend a single cent? And when the door is open to the world, the availability and supply are in abundance with no holding cost. Employ on a need basis, hire and fire, it is simply so efficient and productive.

Then why the contradictory effort to have more universities? This could be used as a money spinning machine, with education as a business. It is used to train foreigners who can afford to pay the high fees. And to do so, the reputation of these universities must be world class. Go for the rankings, bring in the best academics. Once the reputation and quality have been established, the whole intake can be foreigners. The current intake of foreigners provided with scholarships is just a loss leader. Get them in, make the foreigners comfortable and they could go home to spread the words. Think this could be the business strategy and business model. I am just speculating, just looking at the business angle and the possibilities.

Singaporeans who are paying cheaper rates in universities should be discouraged. Further, why waste money on them when the employers would want the best from the world at no cost. The country too need not have to carry this education cost that is a vain effort.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense, business cents. What do you think?

Singapore govt offers to help develop Indian cities

‘Singapore is ready to help Maharashtra develop its infrastructure in major cities like Mumbai and Pune, an official said Friday.
This was indicated by visiting Singapore Deputy Prime Minister T. Shanmugaratnam in talks with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan here.
"Singapore is a very small country compared to India. We focussed on providing the best urban infrastructure and developing cities to progress," Shanmugaratnam said.’…. Dajiworld.com, 25 May 2013

I think this is a good thing as Singapore has all the experienced and expertise in infrastructure development, and also the talents to do the job.

What is likely to happen is that Singapore will manage the projects and send an army of new citizens and PRs who were ex Indians, to India complete the job. These super talents will have the advantage of former home ground knowledge, know the language and culture, and given the chance to help redevelop India after having helped to develop what Singapore is today. They came to Singapore as foreign talents and now can return as foreign talents from Singapore.

India would benefit from these talented Indians, or new Singaporeans to build more modern cities that it has failed to do so far. Some of you may be puzzled who is helping who, talents from India helping India or talents from Singapore helping India.


Pinoys stunned by the strong reaction of the emotional Taiwanese

The Pinoys in Manila, the politicians and academics, are all stunned by the strong reaction of the Taiwanese Govt on the killing of a fisherman by the Filipino coast guard. They said the Taiwanese are emotional. The Govt of this ‘non nation’ is over reacting and trying to bully the Philippines.

How ridiculous can it be? Killing and robbing Taiwanese fishermen did not happen yesterday and there was no Taiwanese Govt standing up to say anything in the past. Why is the Ma Ying Jiu Govt behaving so outrageously? The only reason the Pinoys could think of is that this is a weak Govt and trying to bolster its popularity by making a show of force to protect its fisherman.

The disdain for Taiwan, a non nation, comes out quite clearly. And the Pinoys must be more shock to think that a non nation could threaten a nation like the Philippines. And they are hoping for the Taiwanese to cool down, to be less emotional before they talk to them. The Pinoys have been trying to tell the Taiwanese not to over react. Cool down, what is so big deal about killing a Taiwanese fisherman when they have been doing this for so many years.

And Taiwan better cool down, be polite and not make unnecessary demands for compensation and apologies. Ninoy has just approved several billion pesos or US$ to upgrade the Filipino Navy to take on China. What is Taiwan? If the Taiwanese still stupidly conduct war games near Pinoy seas, the Pinoys may send in a mightier flotilla to show who is bigger.

End Game around the corner

Lim Chow Kiat, the chief investment officer of GIC is talking about ‘end game’ in the financial market. He said GIC is now getting more cautious about seeking higher returns or yields. 5 or 10 years is about the time left before this end game scenario is going to rear its ugly head. What is he referring to?  He did mention about the good run over the last 30 year cycle and hinting that this is coming to and end.

The flood of liquidity, low interest rates and the flawed and fraudulent financial instruments that are being sold throughout the world are all pointing to something dreadful over the horizon. All the ominous signs are out there but no govt has the will to want to stop this mess that is waiting to blow up. It is like everyone is trying to have his last fling and seeing how many more flings before the curtain comes down.

The end game is coming, must come and will come. It is self conceived by the big boys in the US and Europe, playing a game of fire that will burn down everything in one go. Make merry while one can. Banana currencies will be flying everywhere.


Eroding Trust in Public Institutions

This is the main topic for discussion in today’s ST with several big names being mentioned. Kishore Mahbubani was quoted to be concerned that ‘online discourse might be eroding trust in public institutions’. There are real and imaginary perceptions of things, of trust or distrust in public institutions. The very fact that this issue of trust is being discussed at that level is a manifestation that trust is eroding and has become a serious issue in governance. It is just like the COE system and HDB policies when there have been repeated outcries that they are inequitable and the system and policies could be made fairer and more equitable short of telling the two institutions off directly that they are not trustworthy.

No institution can lose the trust of the people if they are upright, correct and fair in their dealings with the people and on issues affecting people and policies. A little bit of criticism and cynicism by the social media, no need to worry about the main media, will not harm them or the trust of the people. Only the institution can create distrust by the people by their own policies and wrongdoings.

The situation today is that the people are much better educated, informed and conversant with what they see and hear and are current with the happenings and policies. And the availability of social media on top of the main media, I like this expression, means that the people have a more balanced view of things. Unlike the past when the people are only fed by the official media that was sitting on everyone, feeding them what they wanted the people to see or hear, social media has given awareness a new dimension, and positive in many senses. Can’t imagine how long the people will remain ignorant and blinkered without access to social media. Social media is a tool of enlightenment, and much to the dismay of those who want to control information and the thinking of a people that could be made daft by biased, limited or misinformation.

We used to take pride in our public institutions, and had very little bad things to say about them. There was almost complete trust in them. And rightly so as anyone who crossed the line of legitimacy will be harshly dealt with by the system. Just read this comment by Professor Neo Boon Siong of Nanyang Business School, ‘We are all in a flux, and this gives people the feeling of uneasiness and uncertainty, that this competent Govt we are used to…is not so ready to come up with solutions immediately, or cannot deliver results as fast as we want.’ He was talking about a competent Govt we are used to. Is this a reasonable perception of the Govt today and the past?

There is a major contributor to the distrust in public institutions due to a philosophical change in political thinking and corporate governance. In the past, the govt demanded and coerced public officials to be clean, honest and incorrupt. And many instruments of the system were there to maintain a clean and honest govt. The whole paradigm shifted when the govt came out with the complacent assumption that people are corrupt by nature and to keep them from being corrupt, just pay them well, or 'corrupt' them legitimately and hoping that they will not be 'corrupt' illegitimately. (I want to qualify here that this term 'corrupt legitimately' is just a common expression used figuratively in informal discussion and is not corruption per se). This policy shift says that it is alright to have 'corrupt' people in the system as long as their pockets are well lined with big fat salary and they will behave themselves. Thus, instead of ridding the system of corrupt individuals, it is acceptable to live with the devils as long as they keep their masks on, and try to be clean or looked clean. In a way the system works as there have been no big cases of corruption or very few and in between.

The other big factor that led to the erosion of public institutions is the cavalier attitude that politicising public institutions to serve the interest of political parties is normal, nothing wrong, and legitimate. Institutionalising them is the way to go. When public institutions are politicised, when appointment holders are politicised, appointed for political reasons and to serve political interest, how much trust will be eroded in the process? Take the Town Council, a political creation, would the management of Town Councils handle a party supporter differently from an opposition supporter? And if it does, how is trust going to be affected?

When public institutions are designed with imbedded flawed assumptions and worst, being politicised, the institutions and office holders will no longer function impartially and objectively for the common good, regardless of affiliation. How would this affect trust in the institutions?


The vehemence against Tan Chuan Jin

I was greatly encouraged by Chuan Jin’s talk of taking more measures against companies discriminating Singaporeans in employment. Arrrggghhh, everytime I write these few words, discriminating Singaporeans in Singapore by foreigners or PRs or new citizens, I cannot tahan.  It is so sick, baloney! And when Chuan Jin made his speech on further actions in tackling this uniquely sick Singaporean disease, I thought it is appropriate to say something to encourage him, short of offering him a Nobel Peace Prize first like they did to Obama hoping that he would bring peace instead of indulging the Americans in more wars.

I have no doubt that Chuan Jin is serious about protecting the interest and jobs for Singaporeans. He has just stripped off his uniform and removed a hat from a position that breathes Country, Nation and People. The interest of nation and people must still be vivid in his mind and vocabulary and thinking. He has a huge task ahead of him. I may say the critics are right to say and ask who created this shit and allowed the shit to pile up. And that it is just another wayang to clear the shit and to take credit for it.

I can also understand the anger, the cynicism and the pain of those adversely affected by this discrimination policy that has been allowed to flourish in our midst. Oh sure, it is not a govt sanction policy. It is an unwritten policy, a covert practice, or in some cases, blatant discriminatory practice against Singaporeans in a state like there is no govt. They are spiking the Singaporeans as if they are protected by gods and nothing will happen to them. Maybe the whistle blowers will get the stick instead.

This reminds me of the poor Taiwanese fishermen that were constantly being harassed, robbed, and killed by the Pinoy coast guards and there was no Taiwanese govt out there to protect them. Today the Taiwanese govt of Ma Ying Jiu is putting on a show but the show of force has quickly died down just as fast as it blew up. Two semi colonies bickering, and the Emperor said, stop it, and they dismissively cool down and walk away.

But no, I believe Chuan Jin is not walking away from this problem. It is too big and too obvious and wayanging or walking away will do him and his party real bad. I am not sure about the Govt, but I think Chuan Jin would want to do something good for the Singaporeans under his watch as Minister in MOM. The vehemence against him in social media may be too hasty, too unyielding and unjustified. The Singaporeans must give Chuan Jin some time. This problem has been created over many years and cannot be resolved over two nights. It is not gangrene of the leg where one could just saw it off. It is like lymphoma of the blood, spreading all over the body.

While the social media and the bloggers can hold down their criticisms and harsh remarks, Chuan Jin could help himself by showing some quick results to soothe the nerves. Do something immediate, take some of the culprits to task and show the people that he is moving in the right direction, and more will follow. Make an example like killing chicken to frighten monkeys and blow it up in the media. The main media will have a lot of opportunities to say something good, and seen to do something good for the people as well. I am sure the reporters, journalists and editors will welcome the green light to write about positive actions by MOM to contain the plague that is spreading across the island.

Criticising and condemning Chuan Jin at this point in time is premature and unfair and may hurt him and discourage him from doing more.

‘Relax, say the night man. You can check out any time you like, but you just cannot leave.’ Courtesy of the Eagles.

C for Corruption, C for Commercial Crime

Corruption is said to have replaced the 5 Cs into one big C. The trial of Kong Hee and his 5 church elders is drawing a lot of attention to this island for corruption. And this is what political commentator Kumaran Pillai had to say. He ‘maintains the trial of the City Harvest leaders does not mean that Singapore's political, religious or economic systems are "inherently corrupt" or that its leaders "have become unethical"’.

I choose to disagree. My view is that our economic system is inherently corrupt. It is based on the fundamental assumption that human beans are corruptible. That is why civil servants and political leaders must be paid humongously high salaries, ‘to prevent them from being corrupt, by paying them so well that the temptation to corrupt is removed’. Now am I right in saying this? Please correct me if this is not true.

The corruption case involving the City Harvest Church is an anomaly. People don’t become corrupt if they are being paid very well. Or they have not been paid very well, so the inherently corrupt economic system vindicates itself.

Another way to look at this case is that there is no corruption at all, as the accused and the believers believe so. In that case, our economic system is not corrupt at all and Kumaran is right.

So, is our economic system inherently corrupt? Many will think so and many will think not. It is one’s personal value, upbringing and principles that will likely bring about one’s conclusion either way. There is no corruption, there is corruption, there is no corruption, there is corruption…. the petals are getting lesser as each one is peeled off.

Isn’t this a futile exercise to argue either way? A comforting word from Dr Wolfgang Sachsenroder, a visiting politics professor at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.  ‘Corruption in Singapore has not yet reached a stage where the public should be alarmed.’

Singaporeans can feel more relax as there are rooms for more corruption before our squeaky clean image is damaged.


M'sia new home minister wants 51.78 percent to migrate

I just received this interesting post from an anonymous netizen and wonder if it is relevant to read it in conjunction  with our same Foreign Talent Policy where locals are edged to migrate and foreigners encouraged to immigrate here in the catastrophic policy of taking in Foreign Talents.

Subject: FW: M'sia new home minister wants 51.78 pct to migrate
Date: May 21, 2013 10:51:19 AM GMT+08:00

M'sia new home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wants 51.78% of Malaysians voted for Pakatan to leave the country. Umno has always urged the unhappy Chinese and Indians to go back to India and China, but where would the Malays who voted Pakatan go? 

This a report from Jakarta Post on March 22, titled when he was ‘Malaysian defence minister visits ‘home'':

"Malaysian Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed his Javanese heritage on Thursday in Yogyakarta during his state visit. He said he had Javanese blood as his paternal grandparents originally came from Kulonprogo in Yogyakarta.

‘I am coming home," Zahid told The Jakarta Post, adding that he would be staying in Yogyakarta for two days with his wife, having attended the Jakarta International Defence Dialogue (JIDD) on Wednesday.

"While in Yogyakarta, Zahid plans to meet relatives including Yogyakarta Mayor Haryadi Suyuti and friends, including the Yogyakarta sultan's brother, GBPH Joyokusumo as well as visiting the royal cemetery in Imogiri, Bantul.

"Zahid said that his grandparents moved from Kulonprogo to Malaysia in 1932, while his mother's grandfather had come from Ponorogo, East Java, and later married a Malaysian woman."

" So Zahidi is also a 'pendatang' like the rest of us . In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of Chinese and Indians, whose ancestors migrated to Malaysia before 1932. And yet Zahid has the gall, to demand that 51.78 % of the population emigrates. If he had an iota of integrity, he would have resigned from the Cabinet. Many of these UMNOPutras are behaving like Mahathir alias Mamakutty Kerala. Many are descendants of immigrants, but have the cheek to re-categorise themselves as 'Orang Asli Tanah Melayu' and the minorities as 'Pendatang".

The truth is all these so called malay rights champions are newer pendatang than most malaysian, they think they can con us. The biggest dick is mamak kutty. Send these @#!*% back before any others and we will save the country from these scum

The Malays are migrating - from Umno to Pakatan.

How diabolical for a senior minister in PM Najib Razak's cabinet to make such a statement - to encourage Malaysians to emigrate if they are not happy with the May 5 general election results.

New Home Minister Zahid Hamidi is indeed disappointing to have written such a statement, bringing the integrity of Najib's new cabinet into question.

Zahid would do well to read the will of the rakyat as reflected in the election results, for the rakyat have indeed spoken.

For Umno-BN to secure the government with a minority popular vote is in itself a fraud by way of tampering of electoral boundaries through 
gerrymandering.Rampant legalising illegals and enrolling them as voters is another damning indictment of electoral fraud.

The truth is all these so called malay rights champions are newer pendatang than most malaysian, they think they can con us. The biggest dick is mamak kutty from India. 
'So you think this is your father's country?'
PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has described the statement urging those unhappy with the May 5 general election results to leave the country as an insult to Malaysians.

Shane Todd saga continues

There were signs that Todd was going home, resigned from this job and a new job awaiting. He was selling his furniture, another sign that things were quite normal. There were also evidence that he was depressed, seen a shrink, unhappy with his job. His depression was confirmed by his girlfriend.

There were allegations that he was working on something secretive that could compromise US interest. There were official statements that what he was doing was of no high sensitivity or secretive in nature, not something that would have warrant the CIA or other intelligence agencies to raise an eyebrow.

There were allegations that two Chinese companies were involved in what Todd was doing, gallium nitride, and would want him dead? Now what was Todd doing or what he knew that was so sensitive or dangerous to put his life at stake?

The pathologists have examined his dead body and concluded that it was suicide. The counter evidence brought up by the veterinarian alleging murder was found to be normal in a suicide case and he had withdrawn that statement.

The Singapore police and pathologists have made their findings. Are they supposed to go around looking for evidence of suicide? Or would it be better that the world class, best in the world FBI or CIA help out in this case to find some leads to prove that Shane Todd was murdered? Their superior skills and technology and their international coverage would put them in a better position to discover more of what Todd’s parents would want to hear.

I hope the US Govt will chip in, put in some of their experts to help the Todd family to bring a closure to this case. Our police and judiciary system are not dependable and this was what they said, "We no longer have confidence in the transparency and the fairness of the system. It appears to us that the outcome has been pre-determined," the Todds said in the statement read out by their lawyer, Gloria James-Civetta.

Given the lack of trust in the Singapore system, it is best that the Todds rely on their ever trusting, fair and transparent American system to do them justice. Whatever the Singapore side has to say and not what they want to hear will be unfair and unacceptable. Let’s hope the American Govt and system will make the Todds happy with their findings. And let’s hope there will be lesser accusations based on hearsays

Price of HDB flats must return to zero.

There is no reason why a 99 lease flat will not be of zero value. When the lease expires, it must be worthless. Anyone disagree? For those lucky few that were selected under the SERS scheme and given a new flat, the lease is renewed, but will still return to zero if there is no second SERS along the way. For the rest of 99 year lease flat owners, the day must come when their flat is worth nothing.

Can anyone guarantee otherwise, and hope to strike lottery with a SERS offer? Buyers of such flats with a short remaining lease must think very carefully the real remaining value of such flats and how much they are willing to pay for them.

No, it's not racist to stop immigrants

No, it’s not racist to stop illegals conning their way into UK or tell all immigrants that they must speak our language

[Editor's note: The article is written by Baroness Warsi, UK's Senior Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Minister for Faith and Communities at the Department for Communities and Local Government.]

(11 May) – Immigration is one of the biggest political issues of our time – yet for too long we weren’t allowed to discuss it for fear of being labelled racist.

Remember Gillian Duffy? In 2010, when the Rochdale pensioner raised her concerns about the numbers of people coming into Britain, Gordon Brown called her a bigot.

She and thousands like her were deemed narrow-minded for questioning Labour’s mass immigration policy – a policy that saw 2.2 million migrants arrive during Labour’s 13-year rule.

At the time, we were consistently told that this was for economic reasons, that we needed more newcomers to boost productivity.

In fact, it was also a politically motivated ploy to change the make-up of Britain. According to former Labour adviser Andrew Neather, it was designed to ‘rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date’.

But after a decade of misguided social engineering, today’s politicians have a responsibility to confront this issue; as Conservative politicians, I believe it is our duty….

Cutting the numbers of immigrants has nothing to do with race but to do with the pressure on services such as schools, hospitals and housing.

To use a former Conservative election mantra, it’s not racist to limit immigration and our aim has always been to cut it….

I can’t think of anyone who would argue that British taxpayers should subsidise healthcare or benefits for those who are not entitled to them….

The above are parts of an article posted in TRE that bear a lot of similarities to the situation we are in now. Someone is going to quote that the Brits are also doing it so we cannot be wrong. Or we have been following this model for a long time.

Great Britain is not going to be great anymore, and its immigration policy over the last few decades helped to bring it down faster. Britain will not be the same anymore and it is too late to do anything.

When Enoch Powell was voicing out his strong opposition to the opening up of Britain to Asian immigrants, he was opposed by many and regarded as a racist. He was ahead of his time. He was right but not politically correct. And the state of Britain today and going forward is not going to look pretty.

Singapore is almost in the same mould and the pitfalls will be worst and the effects will be much greater given the smallness in our size. If nothing is done to stop this crazy immigration policy, we will be unrecognizable in one generation, for the worst.

There must be urgency to stop this ruse. Hong Lim Protest is not for fun. It is a very serious matter and the consequences will be very grave, very soon.


Shane Todd and the sinking of Choeonan

Some of you may remember the sinking of the South Korean naval ship Choeonan and killing at least 20 young sailors in it. The South Korean Govt and people were furious. An inquiry with the help of the infamous Americans and some allies were conducted and found the North Koreans guilty of sinking the Choeonan.

This act was serious enough for war, the sinking of a naval ship and killing so many sailors. The North Korean protested that they were innocent and demanded to see the evidence. The South Koreans refused to let them, the reason was obvious. Even their own South Korean investigators found that the North Koreans were innocent. It was a kangaroo court at international level. Flying a false flag! The South Koreans and the Americans fabricated the evidence to find the North Koreans guilty and refused the condemned party from looking at the evidence to prove their innocence.

In the Shane Todd case, the Police is a neutral party. Investigated and found the case to be suicide. Under no circumstances would a govt allow a foreigner to reopen investigation just because they are unhappy with the findings. This is national sovereignty. In the case of the Choeonan, it is different as one country accused another country, extra terresterial.

The act of allowing a foreigner’s request to reopen a suicide case on grounds that the parents believed he was murdered is a very generous act. And I believe the tribunal is to examine all evidence available from both parties to determine if it was suicide or murder. The investigation put the whole police and justice system on trial and if found wanting could be very embarrassing. No govt in a sound mind will do such a thing. The Todd’s family should be very appreciative of this gesture and stop thinking that it was their natural right to have this privilege. It is a gesture that the Govt would regret and would likely not to be repeated again.

The stomping out from the court by the Todd family because of lack of time to examine a new witness is regrettable. It would be good if both parties amiably come to an arrangement to provide more time to examine this witness as the interest of both parties is the truth and not procedural. Let’s hope that the trial will continue and less bad barbs are traded. The trial has gone so far and let the truth speaks instead of accusations and acrimonious remarks being repeated so often from one side. It is looking like the whole govt is under trial, that we are some third world country that cannot conduct a suicide investigation, and that someone could claim murder just by looking at photographs taken without any first hand knowledge and to be presumed to be superior and correct than all the experts that investigated that case.

It is best the Todd family brings out better evidence to prove their suspicion, and this is a golden opportunity offered, not to anyone else. This is exceptionalism to the extreme for the American family. Please appreciate it. If they are so unappreciative and continue to throw tantrums and make unnecessarily negative remarks about the judicial system, hinting that it is a kangaroo court, the Govt might as well withdraw the offer for this investigation. Is the Todd family thinking that our judicial system is so unfair and they will not get the justice or truth they came to seek? If that is the case, why waste the time of everyone?

Please remember Choeonan when one party was found guilty of serious crime but not allow to defend themselves and not allow to examine the evidence of guilt.

For every Singaporean who loses his job, two foreigners got employed

When a Singaporean is being replaced by a foreigner, one job is lost to him while a foreigner got employed. For a foreigner being employed here, he quits or does not apply to get another job in his country. His country gets a spare job and his countryman gets a job.

This is the generosity of Singapore. For every job we create, two foreigners are employed. Never mind if one Singaporean becomes jobless. That is our contribution to the world, job creation. And if there are 500,000 foreigners working here, we have actually created 1m jobs, regardless of whether a Singaporean is being replaced.

Singapore deserves a Noble Prize for being so magnanimous and noble.

No need for so many universities

Why would employers want to pay a fresh graduate who knows nothing, needs a lot of training and hand holding before they are productive? And if a Singaporean, heh heh, there are a lot more of other commitments and irritations and disruptions. And now father and mother also want paternity and maternity leaves.

Why, when it is so easy to get a trained employee with 20 years of experience from overseas and probably cost the same or marginally more? When this overseas tap is turned on at full, there is no incentive or advantage to hire a fresh local graduate.

It makes a lot of sense for Singaporeans not to get the degree and seek other alternatives to get a job, not even getting a diploma will make much difference. Why spend so much money if one wants to be a hawker or taxi driver? Why when most of the jobs can be filled by better qualified and experience foreigners? This is a seriously good and practical advice.

But for a lot of Singaporeans, this is not necessary the case as they are gainfully employed in good jobs, can afford expensive cars and flats and would not be replaced by foreigners. It shows that many Singaporeans are able to compete with the talents of the world on their world and would never be replaced. Isn’t this good news?

For those who are unable to compete, our universities are redundant. And now we have 4 and many more universities that are not fully govt funded, or private universities. It is good advice for parents not to waste their money and their children’s time going for a degree or diploma. Take the easier route, be a hawker, a sales person, insurance or housing agent, or whatever agent. If can’t get a job here, go overseas where the demand for Singaporeans are better.

The whole employment scene is designed for trained and experienced foreigners. And there is no need even to discriminate openly. The foreigners are just too attractive for employment. Now what is there left for Singaporeans? Join the army or the police. At least they provide decent jobs. But be quick before they start to recruit foreigners or PRs as well.

Still thinking of university education?


Shane M the civic minded model citizen

Shane M is a young man. But he is standing tall, taller than many above his age, taller than many above his position as a student intern. He saw injustice, another intern being bullied and beaten in the office by his supervisor. He stood up against injustice. He video taped the incident, but being young and inexperienced, sought advice from Hardwarezone forum.

He was advised to make a police report. And he did. The Police and MOM have received reports of this case and are investigating. And the poor intern is saved from further physical assault and beating. The psychological wound on this young man can be serious and he would have to bear with it throughout his life.

Thanks to this young man Shane M, he is saved from the clutches of hell. Shane M deserves a commendation from the Police for his act of bravery and chivalry. I salute this young man. Our society needs more such fine young man that would not look the other way when something grossly wrong happened before him.

Tan Chuan Jin acted against discrimination in job opportunities

Tan Chuan Jin at a TAFEP organized conference on fair employment practices spoke out against employers discriminating against Singaporeans in SINGAPORE! Can you believe it? It is unbelieveable but it has happened for many years, and is still happening, with many Singaporean PMETs being forced out of their jobs while employers, ‘such as foreign managers hiring(hired) from their own home country’. How could this happen and go on for so long is really sickening. No? Many daft Sinkies will say it is ok. Let the best man take the job.

It is good that Chuan Jin has taken some actions and promising more actions to come, including legislation, to stop this outrageous practice against Singaporeans. The practice must be put to a stop immediately. It is not about enlightening employers and make them think more progressively, change their mindset. Such acts border on being criminal. It is regressive thinking of third world mentality bullying their adoptive first world citizens.

A few things Chuan Jin can do immediate. Send a directive to all ministries, stats boards and GLCs to stop such practices. Submit monthly reports on their PMET recruitment of foreigners. Make it mandatory that all the HR directors and managers are Singaporeans, and they are to report to MOM should the CEO instruct them to recruit foreigners in preference of Singaporeans. And there should be some quotas on foreigners at PMET levels. Jobs that do not need foreigners should go to Singaporeans first.

And the granting of employment agency licences to foreigners has to be reviewed and be limited. These are job and business opportunities for Singaporeans and do not need foreign expertise. The foreigners can tie up with Singaporean employment agencies and operate and service their clients in their home countries. The pie can thus be shared between Singaporeans and foreigners.

There should be regulations to restrict foreign companies to employ not more than 50 percent of their staff from foreigners, especially at PMET level. Critical GLCs like GIC, Temasek and banks should have succession plans in place to ensure that the reliance on foreigners is not for perpetuity. Singaporeans must be groomed to take over these institutions to look after Singapore’s national assets.

These are only for starters. The Govt has to put Singaporeans first in this high cost city when not having a good job and income is impossible to survive. Being underemployed and unemployed as Singaporeans living here is a harsh life sentence of indignity.

Social media is a dangerous place

There was an article in mypaper yesterday by a Joy Fang on the need for caution when treading in the social media. It is so easy to attract unnecessary and hostile reactions from strangers posting under anonymity, and their comments can be harsh and vulgar. Think Matilah Singapura.

Actually it is very true. But not all bloggers are crude, products of bad upbringings, or sick because of Tourette Syndrome or suffering from bi polar disorder or whatever disorder. For everyone such mentally ill blogger, there must be thousands or millions of decent and serious bloggers out there to make social media an important tool in information sharing and news dissemination.

The latest video of a supervisor beating, slapping and abusing his staff has gone viral. The circulation of such offensive acts, with the culprit on video, is a very powerful statement and will bring justice swiftly to the culprit. There is no way to deny the event, and there is no where to hide for the violator. And there is no way for the authority not to do anything about it. Social media facilitates social justice.

Even if everyone chooses to turn a blind eye, the exposure of the act and the culprit are enough as a punishment. The culprit cannot go incognito. He is exposed. He is demasked and everyone who knows him, has seen him, his family members, will know of his disgusting behavior.

This is the power of social media, to expose wrongs, to do rights, to defend the weak and the abused, if done correctly. Crimes or misbehavior or misconduct caught on camera is going to go viral. Of course this new tool can also be abused in the wrong hands. Innocent people can be attacked or wronged for the wrong reason. Some could be malicious, faked and fabricated. Misinformation can also be spread through social media.

Social media is just a tool and its goodness or ugliness, its usefulness, depends on how the users wield it and their agenda of using the social media. And yes, the MOM has acted. Police report has been made against the supervisor in the video. Thanks to the video and the media.


WP’s Art of War

The debate on the AIM saga in Parliament is intriguing. The revelation of the appointment of a husband and wife team to develop the TCMS for Aljunied, their appointment as managing agent (did I get this part right), the no tender award to one bidder, the development of another expensive TCMS, the management agent fee and the appointment and award of contract to party related people, all seems so blatantly in defiance of public scrutiny and exposing the WP to obvious attack by the PAP. The question begs to be answered is why is the WP doing these? They must know that they will become easy target and plenty of uncomfortable questions would be asked.

What is the strategy of the WP to voluntarily expose so many obvious gaps and seemingly not too appropriate things that they have done? Now the PAP side is so happy with this salivating opportunity to blow the WP apart for the very same faults that WP is questioning the PAP. Practically everything the WP pointed out as flaws of the PAP is being repeated, reenacted in the AHTC. Strange, very strange indeed.

And Sylvia is so confident to defy Teo Ho Pin to make a complaint to the CPIB for any wrongdoings on the WP’s part, or else shut up. She must have known something that we don’t. She must have known that any complaint and subsequent investigation are likely to make WP look better and maybe make PAP looks badder. Can this be the case?

The first hint of a successful coup de tat is the surprising revelation of readily available TCMS packages. By not going for it, by sticking to the same process of developing a new package at enormous cost, the WP is also looking a bit silly, when the truth is that a much cheaper generic package is readily available. The question thus is why the WP did not go to the market for a cheap and workable package and chose to follow the same process, to develop another expensive animal? They did not know?

The bigger question, why was this not done in the first place by the PAP when the latter knew that such a package is available? Maybe when the tender was called for the development of the $23.8m package, Boon Wan was not in the MND and could not advise them of this cheap alternative.

Everyone is now watching whether Teo Ho Pin would bring the case to the CPIB. And if he does, what else would be revealed that are applicable or similar to both camps and screwing one side would screw the other side harder? So far, the WP seems to be doing exactly what the PAP has done and religiously following them like saying, what you can do, I can do also. And if it is alright for you, it must be alright for me. Is this the strategy of the WP?

Doesn’t matter if Town Councils are politicised or not politicised

This seems to be the views of Warren Fernandez and Han Fook Kwang in their articles posted in the Sunday Times. Warren Fernandez wrote, ‘Most people, I believe, are not overly bothered whether town councils are political entities or not. Whatever the set up, they just want to be assured that the place will be well run.’ And this was Han Fook Kwang’s contribution, ‘As a Straits Times poll published last Wed reported, most residents said they were not interested in the politics of estate management; they just wanted their neighbourhood cleaned.’

I agree that the findings are normal. It is just like the citizens do not really care who won the GE and form the govt as long as the country is well run and the people’s interests are taken care of. Generally the majority are apolitical, apathetic to politics, disinterested, and want to be left alone to live their lives while the govt or town councils take care of the environment.

The people do not care if the town councils or govt are politicised. Should they care? Why do politicians want to politicise town councils? The answer is obvious. The politicisation of town councils or any institutions is to serve the interest of the politicians. Period.

Han Fook Kwang asked a pertinent question. When town councils are politicised, is there a conflict of interest? A non politicised town council or institution will work for a stated mission without the entanglements of politicians and political interest. Politicians exist for their own vested interest and political interest. The non political interest of govt or govt link institutions may be compromised by the very politicisation of the institutions. And when there is a conflict of interest, the political interest often takes precedent. And often, the political interest will cloud the interests of the institution and the people it is duty bound to serve. Tiok boh?

Would it happen, has it happen, that politicisation of town councils or institutions has compromised their reason of existence and the good of the people they are taking care of?

Though the people may not be interested in the politicisation or non politicisation of town councils and institutions, they cannot ignore and be not interested in such a development as their interest is at stake and often compromised. It is thus not a matter of the people not being interested. The people must be educated and be informed that it is in their interest to ensure that town councils and govt institutions are not politicised. Failing to educate the people on this important point and allowing the people to be misled into a state of dullness, thinking that it doesn’t matter is irresponsible.

It is in the people’s interest, like it or not, to prevent town councils and govt institutions from being politicised even if in practice it is easier said than done. It is like the sacrosanct aspirations of freedom of speech, protection of the rights of citizens in the Constitution, they must be in the Constitution to protect the people. They cannot be rewritten out of the Constitution just because the people are not interested, do not mind. It matters!