8/31/2014

Second Singapore story



The Regimental Sergeant shouted at the soldiers to form up at the parade square to cite the national pledge. He explained to them that they must clench their right fist and put it on the chest where the heart is before making the pledge.

At his command all the soldiers raised their right hand and promptly put their fists over their hearts. Then they shouted in one voice, ‘We the citizens of…..’ only to be interrupted by the RSM’s shout of ‘samulah’. Hope I get this Malay command right.

On hearing the RSM’s command the soldiers freezed and stopped the citing the pledge immediately. The RSM screamed at one of the soldiers. ‘You Sir, why is your hand not over your heart?’

Apparently the soldier had place his fist way below where his heart was.

‘Is that where your heart is?’ The RSM growled.

‘No Sir. That is my liver Sir. I have no heart Sir.’ The soldier replied.

Kopi Level - Yellow

Babes at COMEX 2014 - Suntec City

I was there to pick up a gadget and there was this show with babes parading down the catwalk with their products. Luckily I had a spare camera in my bag and shot a few. Not as good a I would want them without my primary cameras but decent enough. Tonight's is the last night of the show.

A few pleasing pics for Sunday.

Singapore story


This guy went to the casino and lost his pants. He went home and shouted aggressively at his father and mother. You old people are so stupid. You will soon be cheated of all your savings. Hand them to me, go to your bank and withdraw every cent and I will keep them for you. I will give each of you $200 every month until you die. That I will guarantee.
 

The two old folks were so terrified by the threatening voice of their son and duly went to the bank, took out their life savings and handed them to their gambler son.
 

What do you think the son will do with the money? If lucky, he would win more money in the casino and pay them back in time. If unlucky, he would lose everything and return to demand the two oldies to sell their assets to patch up the losses. In the meantime he still has to appear to look good and continue to pay the two oldies $200, and go on holidays to give the oldies some confidence that their money is still there.

Kopi Level - Yellow

8/30/2014

The wolves and foxes met in secret




Someone told me of a story of a pack of wolves and foxes having a secret meeting to decide how to take care of a chicken coop. Somehow, for whatever reasons, the wolves and foxes were the guardians of the chickens. And they really cared for the welfare of the chickens affectionately.

They were so concern about the chickens that they held a meeting in the middle of the night. Among the agenda were items on how to ensure that the chickens remain lean and fit so that they could continue to lay the golden eggs. One suggestion was that the chicken must not be over fed. Made sure they just have enough or they would become lazy. Another was that the chicken must be kept fit and must receive a lot of exercise. Put them on the threadmill and run them non stop. An exhausted and tired chicken would not have time for anything, definitely no time to think of anything. Another suggested that the chicken must not know how many eggs they had laid to prevent them from becoming complacent or thinking that they had a big nest of eggs. Another suggested to hide the eggs from the chicken and when they were old and could not lay eggs anymore, they could, with all generosity, put an egg in their nest every other day to give the impression that could have an egg, once a while. This would be kind to them and good for their morale when they were retirement. It was like a goodwill gesture for a lifetime of egg layings.

Because the issues were so sensitive and important to the chickens, no chickens were invited to the meeting to know what was going on. Only their representatives were there, the foxes and the wolves, to speak for them and to look after their interests and well being.

I must say that the chickens are in good hands, in the hands of caring wolves and foxes.

Kopi Level - Blue. Thank you.

Is healthcare subsidy part of government grant?




Or just an avenue to to claim something else?

This is the bill of my 15 year old child who had waited for hours to see a
doctor for 5 minutes.

1-The consultation fee “full amount” is stated as “$38.97”.

Consultation fees of private clinics like the Healthway Medical Group range
from $22 to $35. In my child’s case, it would have been about only $22 at a
private clinic.  There are also neighbourhood private clinics charging
below this rate. The consultation fees at public clinics are expected to be
much lower for obvious reasons eg. no rental cost, lower staff salaries,
etc

Why do polyclinics jack up consultation fees to about 100% above average
private consultation fees and then subsequently offer an unbelievable
grant?

2 – The full amount of Paracetamol is stated as “$5.29”. But the retail price of a box of 20 tablets is only $2.50 at Guardian. Why do polyclinics mark up more than 100% from retail price and than offer an unbelievable grant?

A better comparison would of course be online prices. In the UK, a box of
16 tablets costs about S$0.50, which is a fraction of the stated price at
polyclinics.

MOH purchases Paracetamol in bulk which should mean they are even cheaper
than online prices. Which company does the MOH buy at such high prices from?

3 – Government grant – “46.12”. A grant is an expenditure item. Which companies are the recipients of all such government grants?

Attendance at polyclinics was 4,623,600 in 2013. If government grants
averaged $46 per patient last year, more than $212 million would have been
paid out by the government. Who ultimately receives the grants?

Instead of reigning in public healthcare costs, the PAP government uses tax
dollars (grants) to support and increase healthcare costs to unaffordable
levels. How could a visit to a polyclinic for a common ailment such as cough cost
$54 (before grants) when private clinics are charging much less?

This is ridiculous considering polyclinics:

- do not pay rent
- are not profit making
- have overall lower staff costs
- purchase medication in bulk
- provide a lower service than private clinics eg longer waiting time.

Conclusion

It is wrong for the PAP government to privatise public healthcare costs and
subsequently offer a “government grant”’. Hundreds of millions of dollars
have been paid out as “government grant”.

Phillip Ang


I received the above article through the mail. Looking at the numbers raised by Phillip Ang, they raised many questions on the funny formula of subsidies and govt grants. Why is there a necessity to have this complicated formula when a patient needs only to pay the net amount?

This reminds me of the PGP and the discounts that the pioneer generations are supposed to receive. What if like the above article has said, the fees have already been raised and the subsidies or discounts are as good as meaningless? Does anyone has any official figures on the hikes in medical fees and prices of medicine over the last 12 months to prove that there are indeed substantial hikes that will negate all the good discounts and the good feelings of the pioneers that they are really going to get a good deal?

If the hikes are more than the discounts or subsidies, then what? If the hikes are equivalent to the discounts or subsidies, it would mean LPPL.

Kopi Level - Blue. Thank you.

8/29/2014

CPF savings – Tyranny of the minority


Why are a few million CPF members being held at ransom and at the mercy of a few individuals? Who or how many people are involved in deciding the fate of the money of the millions of CPF members, current and many to come? Why should these few individuals, an absolute minority that is too small to be meaningful, and assuming so much power to micro manage the life savings of the people?
 

After all the kpkb at Hong Lim and the social media, the Govt is taking notice and knows that if nothing is done, something is going to give way. And in the recent NDR, Hsien Loong did made a few changes and concessions, which to many were far from enough or meaningful.
 

In today’s ST, it was reported that the unionists are showing concern that allowing the poor CPF members to take a little more of them money out at 55 or 65 would do harm to their little savings. That if done, the little savings will be even more little for their retirements. I say, thank you very much for your concern and we all know you all have a very good heart.
 

Everyone is talking about those who are living to 90 or 100 and as if CPF is their only means to live their lives. Many have other forms or ways to survive their retirements. But most crucial, many will die without seeing their CPF savings, without having a chance to enjoy a little bit of them. Things are not so simple and straight forward like everyone is irresponsible and will go to Batam.
 

And who gives these bleeding hearts the authority to meddle with the lives and life savings of the people, a few millions of them? Who do they think they are? God? My God, if they are the Gods, the people must kneel down to beg for mercy as their kindness are deadly and could lead to tragedies to many.
 

If they think they are that kind and compassionate and wanting to help, open your pocket and take out your own money to give to those who need. Stop taking the money from those in need and stop telling them you are helping them. You are not helping them. You are meddling with their lives and causing pain and sufferings.
 

Good grief! What about those who die without benefiting from their life savings? What are you going to do about it? What is your solution?

Kopi Level - Blue. Thank you.

All the fuzz and buzz about trains and dog

These few days the buzz is all about trains and dogs. A forumer sent me this to show his unhappiness over the ill treatment of dogs and animals. Human beans are often oblivious to what they do to the animals and what seemed good or right for the beans could be cruelty to the animals. I hope no one would suggest tying a string over the dogs urinal organ if it go peeing everywhere. It is so easy and convenient for the human beans to do it to the animals.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/dog-disturbances-hdb/1333756.html

I refer to the above.
I strongly oppose to both the debarking methods proposed to be used to debark the dog, ie use of debarking collars or through surgery.
I feel the owners should be trained instead. Give the dogs freedom, and not let them be caged or leashed to a corner of the house. Dog barks because they are bored and stressed. Take them out for regular execise, give them more attention. Treat them like family members.

I suggest that HDB, AVA, and SPCA or other relevant authority make visits to homes reported to have dog barking nuisance, and see for themselves how the dogs are being handled. If dogs are being chained or caged, the owners should be warned, and if necessary, repeat offenders be fined or dogs taken away and owners be charged in court for animal abuse. The law should be changed to provide for the welfare of dogs.

Regards

Chong Kok Keong

America’s four corner fight


The Americans have lost control of the battlefields that they have started. They no longer could pick and choose where to start a fire and when to end a war. They are now reacting to the wars they started. The thinking that they could shut it down and move on to another theatre to start a new war is no longer that easy.
 

Today, the genie of war will follow and shadow the Americans wherever they go once it is out of the bottle. The Palestinian Israelis conflict will forever be dogging the Americans and Washington. It is an unending war of attrition. But the bigger quagmire must be Iraq. No, you can’t leave them alone after messing up the country. The Americans are needed to mend the holes it had created. The genie is growing in strength and demands attention. Obama is now in deep shit, to go back in or to wipe his hands? The latter option will see a more dangerous Iraq than under Saddam. The ISIS will be the dominant power in Iraq and the Middle East, and will be a bigger headache for the United States of Israel.
 

Then there is Syria. The ISIS is there too, fighting Assad. The American supported rebels are also fighting Assad. The fall of Assad would mean ISIS fighting the rebels and the Americans. But there is also the Russian factor. Putin would not allow Syria to fall into the hands of the Americans. Once the Americans move in, Ukraine will flare up and fall into Russian hands. The Russians have moved in and will consolidate its control over Ukraine and the former Soviet Union states. Would the Americans dare to venture into Russian territories?
 

With Ukraine secured, the Russians will move in strongly into Syria to confront the Americans. The Middle East, Palestinian/Israelis conflict and Ukraine will form the three corners the Americans have to fight on. And the fourth corner, the Afghanstan and Talebans/Al Qaeda will raise their presence and drag the Americans back into the region.
 

How would these four corner wars affect the American pivot in East Asia? The temperature in the region is heating up with the Americans increasing their provocations against the Chinese. Can the Americans afford another front? Do the Americans have the money to finance a 5 corner warfare? Do the American people still have the stomach to fight losing wars that are so costly and drag the American economy into the doldrum? Once a theatre is open, there is no way of extricating themselves out like in Korea or Vietnam. The wars will continue to drag on and on and drain on the limited resources of the Americans. Washington must know by now that they are not the chess master deciding on how many boards they want to play. Once the game has started, the opponents will insist the Americans play the game to the end. And there will be no easy quick checkmates.
 

The warmongers are stuck in the quicksand of wars they started.Can the Americans afford to do mischiefs in Asia?

Kopi Level -Blue. Thank you.

8/28/2014

In praise of the Singapore Govt



Like it or not, love it or hate it, the Singapore Govt is about the most creative and innovative institution in the whole wide world when creation of value is concerned. Just look at the COE, it is really a piece of worthless paper, but the Govt can sell it to the motorists for $70k to $90k, just for the right to buy a car. The actual market value of a car could be less than half of the COE. The value created is unimaginable. Then there is the ERP, or electronic road pricing. The Govt just erected a few pillars, armed them with some electronics and the motorists just pay and pay, each pass costing a $1, $3 or more. With millions of motorists travelling all over the islands, with a multiples of such ERPs all over the island, the govt are printing money faster than the FED in the USA.

Now what else are they creating value out of nothing or creating extraordinary value from ordinary items? Public housing that was once available for the price of a song is now sold in hundreds of thousands and going higher and higher while the lease gets shorter and shorter. For the price of cheaply designed and constructed public flat with a 99 year old lease, they are selling to the people in terms of $200k, $300k, $500k and more. For the same sum of money, one could easily buy an estate 10 times or more with freehold land in many countries. Here it is like buying concrete containers built one on top of the other, and they sold them to the people as quality housing.

And they branded themselves as super talents, employed in public service and political appointments and marketed themselves to the tune of millions of dollars annually, making a mockery of the salary of the President of America. And what are the skills or abilities, responsibilities or achievements of the incumbents to deserve such remunerations? What did they do to be paid in the millions?

Who can create this kind of value out of ordinary people whose best achievements were mainly academic qualifications?

The shop keepers’ rent for a shop space, some as small as 50 sq ft, could be $10k or $20k pm or more. Everything that is of hardly any value, in the hands of these super talents will turn to gold, or at least the value of gold. Our Govt has the Midas touch, in creating value.

And who are paying for these artificially created values? Never mind, the important thing is the talent to create these values that no one else would be willing to pay for but to make Sinkies paying for them happily.

Say what you like, you must take your hat’s off to them. Wonder if they could create the same kind of value in other countries? Obama and all the ex Presidents of the USA have very poor skills in marketing themselves and the values of their jobs. The govts of the world should engage our govt to restructure their remunerations and sell it to their people.


Kopi Level - Green

Developing Singapore into a Smart Nation


There is this article by a Jenson Goh in the Today paper on this topic and titled ‘Developing the “heartware” for a Smart Nation. What does this mean, a nation of smart people or what? According to Yaacob Inbrahim, a Smart Nation starts with the hardware, ie tapping on the potential of infocomm and media. This is definitely not the Smart Nation I was thinking of, a nation of smart people, but more an attempt to tap on the advantages of technology and communication.
 

Yaacob went on to elaborate on the use of big data to understand human behavior and the interconnectivity of all kinds of modern devices to give instant information. While writing this, the thought of traffic lights for human beans in MRT stations came to mind. We need devices like traffic lights to inform the people whether the station is crowded or not and how to make decisions like taking alternative transport if it is crowded. This is what a Smart Nation is supposed to be in its basic form. Never mind if the people may become more stupid and dependent on machines and devices to tell them what to do. Won’t it be nice if the people will react to light signals, green they start walking, red, they stop?
 

Yaacob and his ministry have been thinking, and I think the govt too, and they have come to the conclusion that ‘All problems of a city can be traced to a single factor: Rapid growth, which places massive strain on its support infrastructure. (So) The development of a Smart Nation platform can go a long way in overcoming this challenge.’ Thank God they finally discovered the causes of the problems in this city. And they are going to take actions, to turn this city into a Smart Nation or city, so that all the problems would be solved. I remember the story of putting the cart before the donkey, or was it closing the barn door after the pony has bolted out? Never mind.
 

There is also the element of the people, the heartware. Now which should come first, smart people first before Smart Nation or Smart Nation then smart people? Let mean put it the other way, smart people make Smart Nation or Smart Nation makes smart people? Or it could be Smart Nation makes robotic people. I think it is easy to have Smart Nation first as the hardware can be bought. Having a nation of smart people is a bit more difficult, and to make matter worse, it is not easy to turn a nation of daft into smart people. It is a daunting task, must be. If it is difficult, then perhaps there is also an easy solution to it. Replace the daft with smart people from the world. We can just bring in the best to replace the daft should be easy. We have started in many areas, sports talents, IT talents, finance talents, academics, medical and legal professions etc etc.
 

I think we can dovetail the pursuit of both Smart Nation and smart people simultaneously, just buy the equipment and bring the smart people in. But why Smart Nation? The big data and connectivity of devices could bring instant feedback. Not sure how much it will cost. I thought a cheaper way to get instant feedback is Reach or maybe TRE. Cheap and good, unless these feedbacks are not from smart people or smart machines and devices, so no pakai.
 

The thought of living in a Smart Nation in the morning is quite comforting, something to look forward to. Those not smart people, I mean those that cannot adapt to new devices and technology, please go for classes to upgrade yourself to be smart beans if you want to live in a Smart Nation. And for a start, please get to understand what the three colours of traffic light in the train station meant and what actions to take when you see them.
 

Have a good day dreaming of a Smart Nation.

PS, has anyone installed a GPS at home so that he would not be lost finding his way to the toilet?

Kopi Level - Green

8/27/2014

Would you like to work at 85?


The chances of getting a job at 85 are still there. For those who need the dignity of a job at 85, fear not, there are jobs available, provided you are a non graduate. The working life of Singaporean graduates, unless you belong to the immortal class, is about 45 to 55. After that it is self employed as taxi drivers, or if you are lucky, as security guards. I think the working life span of a security guard is about 70.
 

85 is only for those non grads who are prepared to work as cleaners. Maybe a grad could do as well if he does not mine. A job is a job. And if one has a job, what is there to kpkb about. Be grateful for the privilege.
 

Here is a short extract of a letter to Gilbert of Transitioning.org.
 

‘Dear Gilbert,
 

The cleaning companies of Singapore working at Changi Airport use Singaporean old lady for heavy duty work.
 

She is 85 years old and I really felt sorry for her on my departure at the airport.
I asked her why she is struggling with the heavy thrash in the departure hall and she said this is her part-time work for the airport….’
 

Some may think letting a 85 year old to work as a cleaner is not appropriate, not the right thing to do. Some may say the 85 year old is lucky, as she can live a dignified life, earning her keeps and be independent. Not sure how she thinks? Would she be cursing and swearing that she still has to toil at that age? Or would she really be saying, I am proud to be working and don’t have to depend on others for handouts. Or would she be saying she loves to work?
 

What do you think?

Kopi Level -  Green

The American bully at it again


Since the downing of an American reconnaissance plane in Hainan Island in 2001, things got quiet down for a while. The Americans have always been flying spy missions over China and only stopped after several U2s were shot down in the 1960s. Spying missions were than restricted to the coastal waters and airspace of eastern China and have been going on continuously as if telling and taunting China that it can’t do anything about it. The seas and airspace around China are the playground of the American military aircraft and ships, so said the Empire.
 

All these hostile military missions were hardly reported by the western media, a self censorship not to highlight the provocative acts of the Americans. What would happen if the Russians or Chinese were to fly their spy planes along the western American coasts? China has always been branded as becoming more assertive when it flies its military craft, air and sea, in its territorial waters and airspace. If China would to fly its aircraft along American coast, would the Americans be crying war? Of course they will, and the whole western media will be thumping down China as a hostile nation.
 

What the fuck are the Americans doing, flying spy missions along the Chinese coasts like it is their playground and think it is acceptable? China is now able to take them down and would not allow the Americans to go on spying and teasing them. The bullying of China is coming to an end. The whole world must know that the real bully is the Americans. And the Americans are not doing it only to China but to the rest of the world, spying on them in all ways and thumping their nose at the rest of the world.
 

The recent confrontation in the airspace of Hainan Island is being trumped by the Americans that it was the fault of the Chinese. That the Americans can fly along Chinese territories to spy on China and China must not do anything about it. This kind of unfriendly acts would have to come to an end. The Chinese will increasingly push back the Americans to the Americas. This is Asia and China will guard its airspace and territorial seas like the Americans will guard theirs.
 

Whatever the Americans are doing to China, China will do the same to the Americans one day. The Chinese and the Americans are meeting to talk about this incident. It is best that the American bully starts to stop such unfriendly acts to another superpower. China must tell the Americans both can play the game. If the Americans persist in such unfriendly acts, China would do the same. Would the Americans be happy if the Chinese would to fly their planes and sail their ships along the American coasts? Yes, the Chinese is catching up with the Americans militarily and would catch up with the Americans in their unfriendly acts as well if the Americans do not stop their nonsense. The days when the Americans can bully the Chinese are over.
 

What occurred a couple of days ago over Hainan will be repeated until the Americans stop their unfriendly acts. The bully must not be allowed to keep on bullying other countries. The bully must be stopped. The bully does not own the world. Pax Americana is coming to an end. America would have to retreat to be the bully of the Americas, and perhaps Europe and Africa. East Asia will not be its playground with impunity for long.

Kopi Level - Green

In praise of non grads – What’s the agenda?


University degrees not necessary have been trumped around for a while with ministers talking about better prospects as hawkers and crane drivers and being more desirable. What’s the point of a degree when you cannot eat it or cannot get a job? After what was spoken at the NDR, the praising for non uni grads, particularly poly grads, took on more steam. It is like everything about university education is wrong and the future is in poly grads and non grads. There is no doubt that poly grads have an important role in the economy and some could do very well. They were the stars during the semi conductor era when Singapore was a manufacturing hub and many rose to become CEOs of multinationals.
 

Things have changed, jobs have changed, the employers have changed, govt policies have changed, and the new animal, foreigners, have dominated the employment scene as employers, recruitment agents and as the preferred sources of talents. We have seen many PMEs being booted out of their jobs in their primes and unable to find another job as the foreigners took over. Our local university grads are found to be either dumb, not smart enough or trained to unemployment or with unsuitable marketable skills.
 

And we have something like 6 universities and more joint universities instead of just the Singapore University and NTU. This could be just one of the reasons, over production of graduates. Like Douglas Chua said in the ST forum, education policy needs a rethink, ‘it has either been overdone, resulting in an oversupply of graduates, or its current benefits are not as relevant to our open, pragmatic economy’. This is a most surprising statement from a forumer.
 

What the hell is going on? The govt does not know what it was doing and messing up education again? On one hand, so many universities were set up and on the other hand saying there is an oversupply and we don’t really need graduates from the universities but poly grads or non grads?
 

I can think of another reason. Since our local graduates are not marketable or employable, and our citizens are good only in technical and lower management jobs, and only foreigners are good and preferred for top jobs, yes, it is only pragmatic to cut down on university education. We don’t need so many local graduates and universities. We only need to import all the talents that we need. I think this is a good policy. We can then either close down a few of the universities and save some money and land. Or perhaps these universities can be turned strictly into commercial enterprises, be self funding and self sustaining, with the highly paid foreign lecturers and professors being paid by the fees from foreign students. The scaling back is good and natural. We would be self sufficient in having local hawkers too, not dependent on PRC hawkers. And we can go back to the days of SU and NTU to provide the few grads we need.
 

Do I make any sense? Are we really going to go the non uni road, to produce more non uni grads and be dependent on foreign uni grads for our top jobs, management jobs?
 

What do you think? What is the new education policy? What are the employment opportunities for our average local talents, the Ah Bengs, Ahmads and Aruns?

Kopi Level - Green

8/26/2014

Singaporean First Party - A new party is formed


PRESS RELEASE

Dear fellow Singaporeans, friends and supporters,

I am pleased to announce that SINGAPOREANS FIRST has been successfully registered as a society by the Registry of Societies. Following the registration, we submitted our proposed party symbol for approval. We expect the process to take a few weeks. Until it is approved, we cannot make use of the party logo.

We can now conduct activities of an approved political party. We need members to help us. If you share our beliefs and values (as stated in our Manifesto here), please join us by filling up this SINGAPOREANS FIRST MEMBERSHIP FORM

In the months ahead, we will be planning a series of activities leading up to the next General Election. We welcome ideas from all Singaporeans. You can approach any of the members of the protem committee listed below:

Chairman : Dr Ang Yong Guan,
Vice chairman : Tan Peng Ann,
Secretary-General : Tan Jee Say,
Assistant-Secretary General : Loke Pak Hoe,
Treasurer : Dr David Foo Ming Jin,
Assistant Treasurer : Fatimah Akhtar,
Members : Michael Chia, Fahmi Rais, Winston Lim, David Tan.

We look forward to your support.

Tan Jee Say
Singaporeans First Party


Kopi Level - Green

The Singapore Dream


I am not calling this the Singaporean Dream for good reason. Some Singaporeans have their dreams fulfilled and living very very well indeed. For the majority of the Singaporeans, the Singapore Dream is beginning to turn into a bad dream. For a start, many would need govt assistance in order to make life bearable. Their life savings will not be enough to sustain them to their last days. Their dreams of car ownership, private properties are as good as day dreaming. Their dreams of happily retired with little worries to watch the sunset would not happen as they would need to work to have money to live after retirement age. And their dreams of dying in their own homes could also be in jeopardy.
 

The Singapore Dream is meant for foreigners. Many foreigners are here to live their Singapore Dreams, from the rich westerners to the workers of the 3rd World countries. Many have their Singapore Dreams fulfilled. Many came here poor and returned home rich. Many could not find employment at home but got good jobs here to live a life they could never dream of in their home countries.
 

At the rate it is going, millions of foreigners will be thankful for the opportunities to live out the Singapore Dream. Unfortunately many Singaporeans would have their Singapore Dream dashed, or made so much difficult to become true. To every foreigner stepping foot on this island there is hope, and many will succeed in varying degrees, to better their lives. Many Singaporeans will live their lives disappointed and full of regrets at the end of the day. Many will come nothing and leave nothing, not even have a HDB flat to bequeath to their children after all the downgradings. They need to trade the HDB flat for some stipends for their last days.
 

What an irony. Singaporeans could work for a whole life, save for a whole life, but ended up with nothing. Foreigners could be here for a few years and return home rich. Look at the queue of fortune hunters outside the door. And some of these foreigners are threatening to go elsewhere, to give up their Singapore Dream if the govt introduces more favourable policies for the citizens to make the Singapore Dream bearable.

Kopi Level - Green

CPF – Still didn’t get it


After two protests and a third last week, and a fourth in September, the Govt does not seem to get the message that the CPF is the people’s money and they want it back, not another miserable 20%. The Govt is still thinking that it has the right to take over the management of the people’s life savings, and can do as it pleases.
 

Why is the Govt adopting this deaf frog attitude and ignoring the people’s cry and risking losing the support of the people? Let me guess. It really does not think there is anything wrong with taking over the people’s life savings. The Govt has the right to do so. Another possible reason is the arrogance that the people cannot do anything about it no matter how wronged and how angry they were. We are the Govt and the people have to live with it, at least until it is booted in the next GE. Of course the Govt does not think so and must believe that the majority of the people would not mind at all.
 

The third reason is that it is desperate and in need of money despite the claim of having hundreds of billions in the reserve. The persistence to hold on to the people’s money is wrong, but the Govt has no choice. Returning the money to the people at 55 is no go, not an option. Die die it must grab hold to the money. It can ‘no hew’ the people and even alienating a big number of voters. So be it. The situation is dire if the CPF money is returned to the people. It is a case of no choice, no way out.
 

What could be the real reason behind this aloof and arrogant decision to hold on to the people’s money despite the growing anger is puzzling. Politically it is unsound and unwise, and suicidal. The party cannot afford to take such a high risk at this moment and pretends that it is alright to do so.
 

What about the stand of the various ministers and MPs? Do they agree that this is an acceptable thing to do, a right thing to do, or an expediency that is a do or die option? Several ex MPs and top civil servants have this habit of saying that they did not agree to some policies when they were in office but only saying it out after leaving office. With the CPF issue a hot potato now, the ministers and MPs do not have the luxury to remain reticent and thinking that they could say their piece when out of office. They are in it, agree to the policy and supporting it, or they are not. By keeping quiet, they are telling the people they are for the policy. They support the withholding of the people’s life savings without the consent of the people, and saying yes when the people are protesting and saying no. This violation of a fundamental principle, that the Govt can unilaterally take hold of the people’s money and do as it likes, under whatever flimsy excuse, is indefensible. There is no good reason, no justifiable reason, to take the people’s money from them.
 

The next GE would see this principle being put to the test. It would be the main issue in the election with the people voting for or against it. It would be the deciding factor.

Kopi Level - Green

8/25/2014

SMRT traffic lights – What a bright idea!


‘SMRT will be throwing money at another ‘solution’ with the installation of “traffic lights” inside an MRT station. (even if they are outside, it still doesn’t make sense) link The reason to cow pei cow bu again is because the SMRT did not consult the public and stupid ideas will eventually translate into fare hikes for me.
What the lights mean for ordinary Singaporean commuters:
 

$MRT: Green (platform not crowded)
 

Commuter: Is this supposed to make my day?
 

$MRT: Amber (platform slightly crowded)
 

Commuter: Pointless to tell me this as I will still have to take the train. Am I expected to be happier knowing this in advance?
 

$MRT: Red (platform crowded, expect to wait longer. Consider taking the train at a later time)
 

Commuter: You stupid or what? Why don’t you inform all our employers that we will be late for work, admit it’s your bloody fault so they will not tell us to be at the station earlier in future? Even if it means waiting for 10 trains, do we have any choice when taking a taxi will cost tens of dollars? Don’t assume we always have a choice.
 

$MRT: Flashing Red (seek alternative transport and refer to station announcements for updates)….’
The above is part of an article posted by Phillip Ang and appearing in TRS. Though Phillip Ang did not quite agree with SMRT throwing money away for such a ‘silly idea’ and with the commuters likely to pay for it later, I think it is really innovative. I really like the Red light explanation.
 

I would even suggest having electronic boards indicating how many empty seats are available and in the cabins of the next train, like electronic car park signs. Information could also be available on the noise level of the cabins, the temperature and whatever that one desires as well. Oh, this one very important, how many reserves seats is available and in which cabin.
 

We are now in an electronic age and technology is good. So let’s put technology to good use. I am going to sell a satellite global positioning system for the rich so that the owners would not be lost in their homes. They will know exactly where they are inside their palatial houses, or how to find the nearest toilet.
 

Come to think of it this gadget can also be installed in MRT stations so that commuters would not be lost in the station. I am still looking forward to enjoy my 5 seconds of busking in the station but so far don’t have any luck. It is something I am looking forward to.
 

Please give more feedbacks to SMRT to improve their services with more suggestions. Oh, with the Ebola or future disease epidemic, another traffic light sign to indicate the risk level of infection will be good, to make the commuters feel safe while travelling in the trains.

Kopi Level - Green

A caricature of the Hong Lim Protest Rally


Last week end was the 3rd Protest Rally on the Return Our CPF series. This is going to be a monthly affair and the next protest rally is scheduled to be held on 27 Sep. As usual, as expected, the turnout is not going to be as good as the first Rally when more than 6000 turned up.
 

Last Sat my estimate was about 500. Some were happy to chirp in, see so little people turning up, so interest is fading. This may be so and may be not. Many have gotten the message and understood the issue involved. Not turning up does not mean giving up. And it is not cheap to attend a rally when transport cost is so high. The important thing is that the issue is being kept alive, burning.
 

The other stark observation is that the Return Our CPF Rally is turning out to be a strictly people’s affair. It is not organized by a political party and political parties are clearly absent in these rallies. If they would care to support, each party could send a couple of hundreds of supporters to fill up Hong Lim. No, it is the people and their money and the govt. It is non political in this sense. It is the people demanding for the return of their life savings and the govt would have problem if it tries to pin it down as a politically motivated affair.
 

Why the political parties are staying away from Hong Lim and Roy and associates is puzzling. They could at least show some support to the people’s cause and unhappiness. Their absence is so glaring. Are they abandoning the people to fight for themselves against the govt? What would they have to say in the next GE when the people asked, why were you not there to support us and fight for us when we need you? Why are you leaving us alone and let Roy, Hui Hui and Leong Sze Hian to lead and stand shoulder to shoulder with the people, and you are not around?
 

The Hong Lim Rally has its good points. I can see how Roy, Hui Hui, Leong and a few of the speakers getting all the training needed to speak in a political rally. They are being honed, and getting better and better. They would be crowd pullers in the next GE, if they stand. They have gained stature as the leaders of the people. No one needs to bestow them or crown them as leaders. They are natural leaders and have stood up when the people needed them. They are not paper leaders but real leaders of the people. They sing and cry with the people, selflessly, and not getting a single cent for it. In fact they may have to pay if the donations did not come in for the rallies.
 

Who are the leaders of the people? Where are the leaders of the people?

Kopi Level - Green

Do we have good leaders?


One of the key points made by Chok Tong recently is, ‘we have good leaders, good government, good harmonious relationship between people of all races, and between people and govt.’ How true is this? In the past this will become a convenient truth. No want would argue or rebut back. Maybe Catherine Lim would, but likely to be dressed down for being out of place, ruled out of bound. And the MSM is unlikely to put up any contrarian views. And it will be accepted as the truth because no one was seen or heard to disagree.
Today things have changed. Like Hsien Loong said, whatever happened, said, would be splashed all over the social media instantly and everyone can have a bite at it and chew it thoroughly before spitting it out. How many people would agree or disagree with Chok Tong’s comments depends on what they have been exposed to.
 

Let me just touch on one specific point here, good leaders. I am not going to define what good leaders meant. The academics can write hundreds of books on it. I will do the layman’s way. Good leaders can be good when the people said so. Good leaders can be good because the leaders said so. No agreements here for sure. But sometimes the twains do meet.
 

The academics may academically list out 101 criteria or attributes of what they think a good leader means. They too would not agree among themselves. Some may try to be objective and quantitative and list out a number of things that a good leader could have done and be assessed on. Some may go technical and designed programmes, profiling etc into computers to churn out their version of good leaders, with inputs and outputs.
 

Let me try a simpler way by asking a few questions. When a leader stands up to speak, do the people start laughing at him? When a leader starts speaking, do the audience fall asleep or start to walk out? Or would the people make funny remarks behind the leader?
 

I think answering these questions would easily put a leader in his right place, good or bad or simply a laughing stock or whatever. So, do we have good leaders?

Kopi Level - Green

8/24/2014

Who is telling the truth?

Just a Sunday poser. Who is telling the truth and who is telling the lies? Or who is telling more lies than the truth?

Hsien Loong said in his NDR that the internet and social media are dangerous as they are spreading untruths or disinformation. This message has been circulating in the social media and everyone is talking about it. So, is the internet spreading disinformation? What about the MSM?

Which of the two, internet or MSM is more reliable?

YM Bank business philosophy




I went to my banker to withdraw my FD. Actually I wanted to renew as the interest rate was above the market rate. To my surprise, after being invited for tea, I thought he must be trying to show his appreciation for the long business relationship. You see, I have been putting my FD with this bank for more than 30 years, every year just renewing without withdrawing. It was a long term thing, for my retirement.

This time I did thought of taking up a small amount to do the things that I wanted to as I am past my retirement age and many physical stuff are no longer my cup of tea. What I did not bargain for was to be told by my bankers that he was worried for me. He shared with me confidentially that he did not think I would be able to hold on to my money and would likely spend them long before my last days on earth.  He then offered me his advice generously that it was best that I continue to keep my savings with him. I said fine but I would want to take out a sum to fulfil my dreams after a life time of working and savings.

Now this was not what I bargained for. My banker told me it was not possible. As my private banker, he was exercising the right to protect me, actually protecting my money from me. He said based on his judgement, it would be unsafe to let me have the money. He therefore unilaterally decided that he would use my savings to buy me a medical insurance and an annuity insurance so that I would be well taken care off in retirement with a monthly payout and also my medical needs.

I said how could you do that? He said well, he could and there was nothing I could do about it. I said that was a ‘yeh mun’ thing to do. He said sure, that’s why his bank is called YM Bank. And his bank has the licence to do as he thinks is the right thing to do, even decidingon his customers’ savings for safe keeping.

Kopi Level - Yellow

Pawn shop – a new concept




I attended the Return Our CPF Rally yesterday at Hong Lim. It was a very productive session, for me at least. I heard what Leong Sze Hian said about the different Home Buy Back schemes operating in other countries. This gives me a business idea. Like some bloggers used to say in my blog, smart Sinkies don’t waste time blogging but spend their time making money. These two thoughts were inspirations to my new business concept and a good one in making money.

There are pawnshops listed in the SGX. Nothing from Geylang so far but won’t be long before they got the idea and want to list their lucrative social service lubrication business. My idea is not of those kinds. My idea is a mix of business, philanthropy and social responsibility. We have all heard of the HDB Home Buy Back Scheme announced by Hsien Loong in his NDR. I think that was a good idea for those oldies that needed money. I would like to borrow his idea and go one further. I would want to start a new business that would do everything better than this govt scheme. What ever terms the govt is offering, this new business would offer better or at least match the govt’s offer.

This business concept is about setting up a string of pawnshops in all the HDB estates with only one product, ie HDB flats. Oldies or even younger HDB flat owners can pawn their HDB flats in my pawnshops with better terms and conditions. The age group need not be limited to the oldies. The types of flats need not be restricted to just 4 rms, 5 rms and bigger HDB flats we would also take. We will market it as a new lifestyle thing, chic and cute and definitely dignified.

The mission is to offer better terms and conditions to those HDB flat owners who want to pawn their flats for one reason or another. Not necessarily limited to retirement. This is not only to offer the HDB flat owners a more competitive option, but also as a kind of philanthropy work to help the citizens who are in need of cash. Now, would that be admirable, helping the people, offering them better terms to tie them over during difficult times, and doing a bit of charity? The thought of helping these people is so comforting and shiok.

The details can easily be worked out subject to approval by the HDB/Govt of course. Any angels or venture capitalists willing to put some seed money into this proposal? It is scalable of course and can be replicated in every HDB estate. It is also durable and sustainable in the long run as people age and have flats to pawn to meet their financial obligations.

I have registered and copyrighted this idea as mind. And I am waiting for interested parties to come forward to put in the start up capital. You know where to contact me.

Kopi Level - Yellow

8/23/2014

Comments of Chok Tong in his ND speech



Below are some of the comments that Chok Tong in his famous speech during the National Day celebration. You may agree or disagree but these are Chok Tong’s thoughts and beliefs. I already penned in my comments.
 

1. The govt sets norms, impart values and regulate behaviours. What norms and values and behaviours? Are they good for the people or bad for the people?
 

2. When Singaporeans grow old, they expect the govt to look after them.
Really? How many Singaporeans expect the govt to look after them? This is another sweeping statement like Singaporeans will squander their CPF savings if they are allowed to take them out at 55. How many would do that? A swallow does not make a summer. Please lah, the majority of the Singaporeans are telling the govt to piss off and stop meddling with their CPF. It is the govt that is forcing itself to micro manage the people’s life. It is the govt insisting on helping the people not the other way round.
 

 3. We sometimes decide with less care than we should in the govt we elect. I would say very true and the people are going to pay for it, with their CPF savings for a start for showing less care in the govt they elected.
 

4. We forget we are a little fish in an ocean of big fish. Really, I thought we believe that we are as big as a whale and have an appetite as big as a whale, at least in the million dollar salary some are demanding and the population that we want to stuff into this piece of rock.
 

5. The new fractiousness, divisiveness and estrangement will lead to undoing what the pioneer generations had painfully and diligently built over many decades. This one I agree. With the reckless and mindless influx of foreigners and the fetish craze for foreigners, we are destroying the fabric of our society and alienating our original population as one people and one nation. Who is the cause of this new normal?
 

6. As a people we always know where we are heading. Yes, we used to. Today how many people know where we are heading?
 

7. We always had our different points of views. We discussed, debated and consulted. We built consensus and then went on to implement what best served the national interest. This is a confusing statement. Deaf frogs don’t listen and no need to consult or build consensus. Or he is referring to the Natcon, something that happened last year only and it was supposed to be a discussion and a debate with the people. Did the govt consulted the people on the PWP or other major issues affecting the people?
 

8. Each side does not want to give an inch and taking a quarter. I think only one side does not want to give and inch and taking more than a quarter. And it is the people that had been yielding all the years. Has the govt given a quarter?
 

9. We have so much going for us. Who is us? The people enjoying Swiss standard of living? Or the people downgrading and told to sell their little HDB flats? Or the jobless PMEs? Many are still waiting for the Swiss Standard of living but not many are enjoying it.
 

10. And in summary, we have good leaders, good government, good harmonious relationship between people of all races, and between people and govt. My question, are these still true? How many of you agree?
 

I think the above 10 points are good topics for discussion. Chok Tong has his views and beliefs, and so have the people.

Kopi Level - Green

8/22/2014

Return Our CPF – 23 Aug 4pm @ HLP


The speakers for 23 Aug 4pm #ReturnOurCPF – HLP will be as follows:

4.00pm – 4.15pm Mr. Patrick Low
4.15pm – 4.30pm Mr. Jeremy Lim
4.30pm – 4.45pm Ms. Janet Low
4.45pm – 5.00pm Mr. Shawn Lee
5.00pm – 5.15pm Mr. John Ng
5.15pm – 5.30pm Mr. Leong Sze Hian
5.30pm – 5.45pm Ms. Han Hui Hui
5:45pm – 6:00pm Mr. Roy Ngerng
 

For the information of those who are interested.

Kopi Level - Green

Money making and conscience


When I wrote the piece on the gardens and parks I have not read the ST yet. When I flipped over the pages this morning the whole issue was the main focus today. And they also talked about Chek Jawa and other islands with their wildlife. Would they also encourage the crowd and tourists to go trampling in these water treasures to tell everyone that the sites are well visited, with a lot of crowds? Any nature lovers would be worried sick. They often refused to disclose the sites and locations of birds and their nests etc for fear of the crowd.
 

The other big issue is the cost of medicine. Now everyone is pointing his finger at everyone for the madness in medical fees. Some even uttered that they did not know what are the causes of high medical fees. Fortunately there are many caring medical practitioners with conscience and are spilling the beans on foul practices and overcharging. But it will go on and on, just like legal fees. The higher the fees the more successful the practice, and the more dignity for the practitioners.
 

When people are desperate and ignorant, when they are in trouble and have to see the doctors and the lawyers, they are most vulnerable and ready for the knives. The sheep are marching to the slaugherhouse on their own, and everyone knows the practice and the plight of these sheep. No, didn’t know? All is fair mah. You want good service, you pay for it lah.
 

And the SMA was so hapless. If they come out with price guidelines, they would contravene fair practice acts and all the shits. They cannot have guidelines on prices! Buay sai one! They are being virtuous and following the law. I believe them, sure, I believe them. And the issue is so complex that they could not find a better way to overcome the high medical fee problem. Maybe they could set up a review committee. Maybe they could ask the public for suggestions to lower the fees. I just remember, public consultation papers, consulting the public is the answer to all problems.
 

Maybe they should bring in some foreign talents to teach them how. Or maybe they should send a few study missions overseas to learn from other country’s fine practices.
 

We are now so lost as to how to cut down medical fees. We were also so lost at one time about how to solve the housing problem. We are still lost at how to return the CPF money to the people. Maybe we need to increase the pay of the super talents so that they will use their super brains to come up with some better solutions to help the people. Oops, I shouldn’t say things like helping the people. This is a very scary phrase to use.
 

Maybe it will take a few hundred man years to review this problem of high cost and high fees. Maybe nothing can be done, it is market practice, or imported inflation. Maybe we need to wait for the next GE.

Kopi Level - Green

The money mind of robotic Sinkies


Good news that Zouk is given a 3 year conditional extension. Zouk is an institution to the young and beautiful. It is part of their lives. Many grew up with Zouk and have fond memories of the nightclub. Their memories would last another 3 years before being wiped away completely when its lease expires. It would be moved to a new place, just like everything in this island.
 

Moving, moving and moving under a regime of demolition and reconstruction. Everything must be brought down and rebuilt. Every place must draw in the crowd to justify its value to exist. Sentosa is undergoing an expensive renovation to spruce up its attractions to draw in the crowd. Orchard Road has done that quite successfully.
 

Those parks that are not drawing in the crowd will have to buck up or make way for new attractions. Top on the list are the Chinese Garden and the Japanese Garden in Jurong. They are quite empty, not drawing in the crowd. What a waste of space. Some of the people that grew up with fond memories of the gardens did not think so and feeling a sense of loss. Their memories will disappear with the demolition of the parks. They want to make it better, with more money.
 

They are expecting the gardens to be like Orchard Road and Sentosa, and Zouk. They want to pack them in. Has anyone seen what the Japanese Garden is like? It is created in the concept of Zen, spatial and serene, for people to seek refuge away from the hums and bustling of a hectic and vibrant city life. The gardens are meant to be that way, peace and tranquility for those who wanted it to be that way. Those who love the bustles of the city and remain in the city, stay away from the gardens.
 

The Sinkie mentality is about crowds, the more the better. The trains must be crowded to be profitable, and a measure of success. The parks must be filled to the brims to justify its existence. The lack of visitors or too few visitors means the park must go or renovated, refurbished and new attractions added to draw in the crowd.
 

Sungei Buloh is probably in jeopardy. The only crowd they got were the uncles and aunties from the community centres and RCs that came by the busloads. And they would chatter and clatter all the way. Some would blast their radios or mobile phones for the birds and animals to enjoy. You know that they are in the reserves from a mile away.
 

If they are not visiting the reserves, the place would be too quiet. I hope no one is trying to build more artificial attractions like plastic dinosaurs and hippos in the river to attract the crowd. The reserves are meant to be that way. They are sanctuaries for the birds and animals, to be protected from the rowdy crowd.
The Chinese and Japanese Gardens and the Botanic Gardens are also meant to be that way, sanctuaries of peace and quite, solitude and silence. Must they attract all the Orchard Road crowd, the Zouk type, or those who enjoy the crushed in the trains?
 

Please leave the gardens and the parks and reserves alone. They are the last few places for those who need some sanity to retreat to. Thank you. Don’t always think of money and more artificial attractions like Sentosa and those in the Garden by the Bay.

Kopi Level - Green

8/21/2014

The beheading of American journalist James Foley

The tragic and sad video of the beheading of James Foley is the stark truth of what the Americans have unleashed with their invasions of the Arab countries. The killing of the dictators is like removing the chain that was used to restrain the evil force trapped inside a bottle. Now the full force of evil has exploded and many will face even more vicious and tragic terror from this force.
 

It would need the Americans and the West greater force and resources and determination to stop the spread of this terror that is now sweeping across the Arab world.
 

America, you have sowed and released this evil force and it is your duty and responsibility to put it back into the bottle. Failing to do so will wreck havoc and tragedies to many innocent people, and perhaps to the American people as well. James Foley is just the beginning.
 

Now the whole world is watching how this terror is spreading and how far and wide it would affect them. Thank you America, or no thanks America. Please do the necessary to stop this evil force from spreading.

Kopi Level - Green

Fukushima – Singaporeans not kiasu and not kiasi


A report on 13 Jan 2013 by a Roland Kelts in the Smart Planet site said this,
‘At a testy meeting last fall between government representatives and farmers from Sukagawa and Soma, two of Fukushima’s largest food-producing areas, one Sukagawa farmer noted that the government approves of shipments of food that test below 100 becquerels (units of radioactivity) per kilogram, lower than its original 500 Bq limit (and in line with global standards), selling it at below-market value. But he would not allow his own family to eat the food he is allowed to sell. “We won’t eat it ourselves, but you tell us to sell it to others. Do you know how guilty this makes us feel? There is no pride or joy in our work anymore.”’

Singapore is starting to import rice from Fukushima starting with 300 kg in August. It was reported that the batch of rice would be put under ‘rigorous screening’ before shipment to Singapore. The problem with the Japanese is that ‘neither its producers nor consumers trust them(Japanese Govt) anymore’.
 

This shipment is going to be screened by the Japanese govt first. And very likely it would be screened by our NEA as well. So, how many of you are crazy enough to want to eat rice from Fukushima? Or how many of you are so desperate as if there is no other rice available that you must eat Fukushima rice?
 

The thing about radioactivity is that you don’t need to eat it to be contaminated. Just being near it would do the damage if the radioactive particles are above the safe level. And food products near it would also be affected. You cannot screen the radiation by putting up a shield of papers or plastic from nearly food. And radioactive products have an extraordinary long life.
 

Now who says Singaporeans are kiasu and kiasi? We are braving ourselves to taste the Fukushima products when others won’t dare.

Kopi Level - Green

For those who have, more would be added to them


This is an ancient wisdom. It is like the rich will get richer. It must be their goodness, their good karma, to have more and more. Try applying this wisdom to the modern day society, it means that the rich will get more and more wealth. This is very similar to capitalism and the end result is a widening income gap.
This kind of wisdom, or shall I call it wisdom at all, is unsustainable and does not serve much purpose except to create a divide so wide that eventually will lead to the downfall of the rich. But that is another story.
 

Why would a country want to create a system where the rich are so rich, with money can’t finish spending, and still throwing money at them? And I am not referring to the rich making money in the private sector but public service, being paid by public fund. Many are so rich, they don’t need more money to make them richer as they have enough for generations to come, and the more money given to them could reach a point that it does not motivate them anymore, does not make them smarter or more productive. Some may even utter what is another $10m? They are so numb by the money they have.
 

The other issue is that the money must come from somewhere, or someone else could get a bit more but ended up getting less. It is a zero sum game. There is a budget or a pool of money and how this is distributed will affect everyone in the pool. If more money is loaded on the rich, the rest will simply get lesser. The question is what for?
 

Why pay an employee millions and millions when there is no need to, when he could live a very comfortable life with a couple of millions or a few hundred thousands? On the other hand why squeeze the poor or less rich to be poorer?
 

The rich shall have more added to them…living the biblical wisdom.

Kopi Level - Green

CPF – The same logic is applicable both ways

There is this anonymous commentator in my blog that is very persistent with the govt’s version of ‘What if he spent all his savings after withdrawing everything from CPF?’ To this commentator, this is good enough reason for the govt to justify keeping all the retirees’, all not one or two that would squander their money away, money in the CPF and to decide how much and when to let them have some of the money to spend. By posing that question the govt is passing the buck to the people. You are now responsible for coming out with an answer if not it means the govt’s solution is the best, the govt has the right to keep your money.

This kind of ‘yeh mun’ (pronounce in Mandarin) logic is only sound as long as the person using it is in power. And it is a very dangerous logic as it can be apply to all kinds of flimsy situation to the disadvantage of the people. Why should not the same question be posed to the govt? Sure, and the govt will say that is why the govt has to keep the money for the people for their good.

Ok, don’t ask this question. Sure lose if the other side is ‘yeh mun’ type. The govt is so afraid that all the people will spend their life savings and ended up no money for retirement. If the govt can fear the people squandering their miney, can the people likewise fear the govt for squandering away all their money in the CPF? Is this a reasonable fear?

The govt is made up of people, ordinary people that the people elected to represent them in Parliament. If they are not elected, they will be just like you and me, as smart as you and me, or as stupid as you and me. And if we can squander our CPF money away, the same kind of people in the govt can equally do the same notwithstanding some of them may arrogate themselves to be immortals or super talents.

The people have many avenues to squander away their money. Sure, go to Batam, go drinking, go frolicking, go gambling. Does the govt have equal or more opportunities to squander the people’s savings away? I am not saying they will. But they make big decisions, they think big, they have big appetite, they like expensive toys, expensive mega projects, queer pet projects, like winning the World Cup or gold medals, hold big parties and celebrations, go overseas with all kinds of good reasons. And they invest very very big. A wrong decision, wrong timing, or being conned by snake oil sellers, can be very costly.

The people have all the reasons to fear the govt spending away their money too. That is why they are protesting at Hong Lim to want to know what is happening to their money. The people have all the rights to fear the govt as the govt is made up of ordinary men and women, not gods, not immortals, not infallible. They may want to pass the risk to so called foreign talents to manage the money. This is equally, if not more dangerous, as the people hired could turn out to be turkeys.

How much have the govt lost during the Lehman bonds and toxic notes crisis and the global financial crisis? Sure no small peanuts, but more like golden peanuts.

The question is, who should fear who, the govt fearing the people squandering their money or the people fearing the govt squandering away their money? Can the people apply same logic and same solution on the govt, to control the purse of the govt and only allow them limited money to spend just in case?

What do you think? The boys and girls in charge of your CPF money are infallible?


Kopi Level - Green

8/20/2014

CPF – A follow up on 23 August 4pm at Hong Lim Park


Han Hui Hui and Roy Ngerng and company will be at Hong Lim Park again this Sat, 4pm. This will be an interesting session after the impending changes announced by Hsien Loong last Sunday.
 

What would these champions of the people’s CPF money be saying on the new changes? Find out at Hong Lim.

Kopi Level - Green

Tharman: S’pore needs to groom local banking chiefs


‘Two months ago speaking at the 40th anniversary dinner of the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF), DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam told the audience that the Government wants to groom Singaporeans for leadership positions in the financial industry.
 

He said that financial sector skills and leadership development are key priorities for the industry, as they will define Singapore’s continued success as a financial centre.
 

“We must ensure we are well prepared with the skills, depth of expertise and innovative capabilities to stay relevant and competitive. We have to continue to build globally competitive teams in Singapore, by proactively developing our Singaporean core while remaining open to foreign professionals with needed specialised experience and skill sets,” he said.
 

He emphasised the need to develop Singaporeans for positions of leadership in tomorrow’s financial world….
 

In a way, banks like DBS Bank is helping to ensure that it’s top leadership positions are manned by Singaporeans – by hiring foreigners and converting them to Singaporeans.’
 

I think Singapore has found the most efficient and effective formula to ensure that the banking sector will not fall into the hands of foreigners., Yes, follow DBS Bank’s example, hire foreigners and give them the pink IC and make them Singaporeans. Short and sweet and no need to waste money training Singaporeans. All the top bankers can be Singaporeans in double quick time. Just offer the foreigner CEOs citizenship.
 

In the same way, we can have the best politicians in our govt. Just go round the world and offer the best politicians Singapore citizenship and put them up as Prime Ministers and ministers. We would have the best politicians money can buy, instant tree politicians and bankers. We can do that to the universities also, to the civil service and GLCs.
 

This is the way forward to ensure a prosperous Singapore with a strong Singaporean core. Hsien Loong should have talked about it at his NDR to assure Singaporeans that this island will always take care of Singaporeans first and their future are in safe hands.
 

See, I am in agreement with govt thinking and policies.

Kopi Level - Green

An Australian racist bastard revealing himself on national TV


He is not an ordinary Australian but a billionaire, a law maker. He is Clive Palmer, someone whom the Chinese is buying iron ore from but having a dispute over money issues. This is what this racist bastard said as reported by AGENCIES and reposted in the Today paper, ‘Clive Palmer had described the Beijing govt as “bastards” who shoot their own people and accused it of wanting to take over Australia’s resources.’ Later, after public rebukes from the govt, he amended what he said, ‘My #qanda comments not intended to refer to Chinese people but to (a) Chinese company which is taking Australian resources and not paying’.
 

Can you believe what this bastard said, that the Chinese company could take away Australian resources today without paying? The Australians or then British, took the whole continent of Australia from the natives a couple of centuries ago without paying. Did he remember that? His iron ore mine was probably taken away from the natives in the same manner or paying a pittance.
 

My goodness, how ignorant this bastard is. But that was the international law imposed on the rest of the world by the European colonialists. They came, they saw, they conquered and they took. Remember that, Clive? And did they shoot the aborigines before? Can Clive Palmer answer that?

Kopi Level - Green

Violation of a very important principle – A very dangerous precedent


We don’t trust you with your money. We pronounce d that you are irresponsible and stupid and will squander your money away. So, the one in the corner, with ‘3 heads and 6 limbs’ declared confidently and proudly that he is going to keep your money for your good, to protect your money from you. And there are many such asses living among us. Without the fa├žade of a title or authority, every one of them would be queuing for his plate of char kway teow or his cup of kopi O in the hawker centre like you and me. But today, they really believe that they have ‘3 heads and 6 limbs’ and are superior to other fellow beans. And they have the authority over your money, and if the same logic is accepted, they could even put you in a cell or into IMH.
 

How dangerous are these people? How dangerous has this island become when people really believe that they could do just that, by pronouncing someone as stupid and irresponsible and they can do anything with him, without even examining him or seeing him?
 

And how pathetic it is that a nation of people that claimed to be sophisticated and knowledgeable, could not see anything wrong with such a premise, such a silly thought, and allow it to be used against themselves and their fellow beans, without protesting?
 

There are people who are less able and even responsible. But they are in the minority, probably a small percentage of the population. But because of a few, the ‘3 heads and 6 limbs’ self arrogated gods, or fools, will think they can condemn everyone to be the same, millions of the people are now branded as irresponsible and idiotic when given the use of their own money. And these irresponsible and idiotic beans include themselves.
 

What is going on Sinkies? Are you going to accept such a judgement by some asses that every one of you is irresponsible and cannot manage your own money? The more dangerous part is that this logic can also be used to put you into IMH if not dispelled and rejected.
 

Be warned, we are on very dangerous ground. Would the Sinkies wake up? No, this is not a reflection of a maturing society. It is a degeneration of a people into idiocy. Unbelieveable!

Kopi Level - Green

8/19/2014

The bad Arab leaders…So said the Americans and the West

Muhammar Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak and Saddam Hussein were all gone. Gaddafi and Saddam were dead and so were many of their family members. The next bad Middle Eastern leader on the chopping block is Bashar Al Assad. He could have gone the same way as the three if Putin had not put his foot down and said no to the Americans and the West.

In many ways these dictators were bad in the perspective of the West. It was good that they should be replaced by less dictatorial and less powerful leaders. Now that they had been replaced, what is happening to their countries? Are the Libyans, Egyptians and Iraqis living a better life? Are their lives better now than during the times of the dictators?

The UN has just passed a resolution to save the minorities in Iraq from being massacred by another group of Iraqis, the ISIS. The Americans have resumed bombing in the country. Libya and Egypt are in turmoil and in a state of civil war and social unrest. The Americans can now march in like the angels from heaven to save them and their countries. The Americans and the West are blowing their trumpets about how bad the situations are and how good it is for their return to rule these people, to help them rebuild their countries and their lives. But first thing, the most important thing, is to rearm them so that they could fight and kill each other and lay their countries in ruins. The Americans and the West are the saviours and these countries have again become the White man’s burden.

These countries will be in for a long stretch of disorder, fighting and killings and without an economy. They will live a life without peace and needing the help of the western angels that came offering more arms, plus food supplies of course.

Is there a bigger scheme of things, to create a perpetual state of strife, of war and unrest in the Middle East, to keep the Arab people busy fighting and dying, and not able to thrive in peace and with functioning govts and economies? Who would benefit most when these people are made to fight and kill themselves and destroy their countries and economies?

Gaddafi, Mubarak and Saddam were bad leaders, and so is Assad. But with them in charge, at least there were law and order and peace, and the people could go to work, children could go to schools and life was fairly normal for the majority of these people. Syria better pray that Assad is not killed or their fate will be similar to those in Iraq, Egypt and Libya.

There is no need for more angels and saviours if there were no monsters coming in to help the Arabs destroy their countries and to murder their leaders. Cheers to the Americans and the West for their generosities and compassion to come to the aid of the Arabs who could not live in peace among themselves. Aren’t the Arabs lucky, aren’t they grateful and thankful to the Americans and the Western powers for the happy state they are in now?


Kopi Level - Blue. Thank you.

The people are listening, is the govt listening?


More than 170 comments were made in a thread on Hsien Loong’s NDR speech. And there were more than one such thread discussing his speech. It only says that many Singaporeans are listening to him and wanting to know what is he going to do to improve their lives. The govt cannot dismiss the people as not interested in the affairs of the state or not willing to listen to the govt. it is a good sign, but would it be a wasted opportunity. When the people are listening, there is hope. The bad part will be when the people stops listening to the govt, switching off the TV when Hsien Loong speaks to the people.
 

The people are listening. The people are willing to listen. Is the govt listening to the people? Or is the govt still adopting the deaf frog attitude, or acting as half deaf, selective listening, listening to what it wants to listen?
There were tweaks on the CPF. How many of the tweaks are addressing to the problems the people have raised through Roy Ngerng and his crusaders? Shall the people thank Roy and his fellow men or to thank Hsien Loong and his wise men for the tweaks?
 

It would be such a waste when so many non believers are listening and could not be convinced. But it is also a fact that today’s non believers are not daft and could not be easily convinced. You really need convincing arguments and truths to win them over.
 

Were the tweaks on the CPF enough to win some of the critics over to the side of the PAP? Were the Pioneer Package and the CHAS card good enough? Some think the formula of discounts and subsidies has lost its meaning when the prices of goods and services have been raised so many times and a little discount is actually meaningless, a case of LPPL or worse. So, would this NDR make any real difference to the fate of the Party in the next GE? Has it narrow down the divide of a fractious family?

Kopi Level - Blue. Thank you.

Chok Tong: People and govt are family

The people and the govt must be closed like a family, taking care of each other and looking out for each other. This is as much as what Chok Tong was saying. The rest of what he said in his constituency’s National Day dinner was gibberish, ‘mao dun’, as he only saw the symptoms of a fractious family but not wanting to know the causes. He even attributed this to the people criticising the govt and their unreasonable demand as the major causes of this divide between people and govt. Really? What was he smoking?

He added that the govt must also be compassionate to be worthy of its citizens, to listen and engage the citizens, if not it would not be a family. Did the govt do that? Or what the govt had been doing all these years? It needs two hands to clap. Gone were the days when it is all a one sided love affair. The govt could do anything it wanted and claimed that everything was good for the people, everything was fine. And the govt could claim credit by saying, ‘see, no public demonstration, so the people are happy and supporting the govt and its policies’. What a clever reasoning, when demonstration is banned and 4 is illegal assembly.

And there were no social media to talk about the negative aspects of policies and what the people were unhappy about. The main media were only saying the good stuff. And if they were occasions when some complaints were heard, they were ignored. Or like the burning of an MP, it must be the fault of the other party, never the fault of the govt.

The divide between govt and people has been growing and widening but mostly ignored. The losing of a GRC, the by elections and the Presidential Election were all clear signals of a growing divide. Did the govt take heed? If there were no social media to speak of the divide, the govt would still not see any divide. No complaints heard means no problem.

What are the causes of the divide between people and govt? Big income gap was claimed to be normal, foreigners replacing Singaporeans in jobs is necessary, in universities, in sports, in getting scholarships, etc etc, were these caused by the people? Who imported foreigners to replace citizens in good jobs, in university places? Or these divides were not important, it is all due to the criticisms of the govt when it made the slightest mistakes?

What about the cost of living, high property prices, and the people’s CPF savings? And didn’t the govt hear of the saying that one can die but cannot get sick?Are the citizens guilty of unreasonable criticisms of the govt, or there were really nothing worthy or deserving of the citizens to criticise the govt?

During Chok Tong’s time there appeared to be no divide but not necessarily no divide.
The unhappiness and disapproval of the govt were just not spoken, no avenue to air them. Hot topics like the absurd high property prices that the govt insisted were affordable were simply brushed aside. Now we can see how this emptied the savings of the people. Or perhaps the divide was not that serious then.

It is so easy to blame the people for criticising the govt as the problem. The people cannot anyhow criticise the govt without good reasons and would not criticise the govt without good reasons. The govt can continue to blame the people and ignore their grievances. It is the people that were at fault. Period. So cramping down on public criticisms, on social media, could be the answer and the divide will go away.

Just keep bringing in the god sons, adopted sons, the foster sons and sons of other people to replace the sons of Singapore and see what would happen to the Singapore family. If the parents can disown the children, (did he say the govt was caring and creating jobs for the children?) the children can disown the parents as well.

The relationship is not one sided, where the govt can behave like deaf frog and do what it thinks is right, ignoring the people and their objections. The arrogance of the govt to think what it does is right and good for the people, even when the people voiced out to object, cannot be good for govt people relationship. Or can it?


Kopi Level - Blue. Thank you