Monday, 5 February 2018

Stupid Prosecutors or Long Overdue Law?

Singapore Parliament

Stupid Prosecutors or Long Overdue Law?

Parliament in Action: too slow - long overdue or too fast when concerning elections?
The closing charter of the City Harvest Church trial indicates there is a long overdue review of the Penal Code (Section 409) in Parliament as the Court of Appeal suggested. However, it also proves that public prosecutors can easily be out smarted by clever defending lawyers. When there is gap in law, private lawyers can take advantage of the weakness in law for their clients - provided they have the money. So, private lawyers can outperform public prosecutors in open court. Driven by profit, they are willing to help their clients and even out smart the Attorney-General's Chamber to find the gap in law. This is the case the late Lee Kuan Yew was afraid of. He was very concerned about the talent pool of government legal services and judges. (http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/data/pdfdoc/lky19810317.pdf) [Singapore Management University law don Eugene Tan noted that the Penal Code was first drafted in the Victorian England era. "A Penal Code review is timely and urgent as well as a reminder not to accept conventional wisdom about what each provision means, and to ensure that the law remains relevant," he said. Professor Tan added that it may be hard for some to understand why, for four decades, the provision was accepted by prosecutors, lawyers and judges. "It took a case like this, with the legal firepower of several Senior Counsel, to expose the inadequacy of Section 409." http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/review-of-law-is-long-overdue-experts-agree ] Two interesting points arise from the above report: 1. No one cares about the gap in law. “it may be hard for some to understand why, for four decades, the provision was accepted by prosecutors, lawyers and judges.” It may even long overdue for almost 200 years. [The court said its conclusion was supported by the language and structure of the provision itself. There is also a coherent and well-established line of authority, tracing back almost two centuries, that an "agent" under Section 409 must be an individual who is in the business of providing agency services. http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/highlights-of-the-decision] 2. Money is king. Money is a game changer. "It took a case like this, with the legal firepower of several Senior Counsel, to expose the inadequacy of Section 409." Parliament in Action: too slow or too fast? [AGENT OR NOT? The Court of Appeal ruled the term "agent" in Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides for enhanced punishment for criminal breach of trust (CBT) for certain classes of people, applies to someone who is a professional agent. As such, company directors and key officers of charities, such as the six found guilty in the City Harvest Church case, could not be convicted under Section 409. The court said its conclusion was supported by the language and structure of the provision itself. There is also a coherent and well-established line of authority, tracing back almost two centuries, that an "agent" under Section 409 must be an individual who is in the business of providing agency services. http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/highlights-of-the-decision] The term “agent” can be untouchable for more than 40 years if not 200 years in Singapore. However, when laws and legislation concerning general election, elected president, internal security or media control, the PAP government will rush out in no time. What does it really mean?
 


Wednesday, 31 January 2018

从新航问题,看行动党第四代领导的竞争力。

第四代行动党领导

从新航问题,看新加坡的竞争力。 How to trust you if you are not ready

过去风光不再,新航和第四代行动党领导还能继续吃老本吗?
新加坡航空公司推出《数码创新发展蓝图》,作为转型的一部分。新航是新加坡的王牌,新加坡的骄傲,就业的首选,但是,在日益激烈竞争的国际市场,也不得不转型改造,以图持续发展。 新航虽然不至于像吉宝海事那样在巴西行贿,鼓励贪污。但是,也曾经因为和其他航空公司勾结,垄断市场被被罚款。 【新加坡航空、法航荷航公司、英国航空公司等11家航空公司因十多年前达成并实施价格垄断协议行为,被欧盟委员会罚款7亿7600万欧元(约12亿新元) https://www.channel8news.sg/news8/singapore/20170317-sg-sia-fined/3605194.html】 在新加坡以外做生意,不像行动党在新加坡国内搞政治那么容易和简单。在行动党特殊的政治文化下,这里的垄断定义和贪污定义,可以做选择性的解读,无需和国际接轨。失去了一党独大的优势,在海外,吉宝,新航,胜宝旺,淡马锡,新加坡政府投资公司等,如果依照在新加坡做生意的习惯,例常运作,就会惹上麻烦,罚款是小事,坐牢都有份。 难怪,行动党政府在国内可以这么从容的慢慢来,接班人可以像粤语长片,或者台语连续剧那样,拖泥带水,演个没完没了。这种慢动作的确能够吸引到粉丝成为忠实的行动党支持者。他们之中,有些还嫌演得不够慢,希望一直停留在过去的时光,李光耀的时代。 新航的急迫,反映激烈竞争的现实。新航知道它只是市场上的一个选择,没有了新航,国际民航不会为此停留下来,能够代替新航的航空公司很多,廉价航空更加的多。 反观所谓的第四代人民行动党领导,他们还在为谁出任总理不知所措。转型改造,也不知道在哪里? 这就是行动党在没有竞争下的好处,因此,他们一直在为一党独大铺路,深怕没有垄断优势就办不了事。但是,对于人民来说,这就是一大损失。试想,新航如果没有竞争,机票价格就可以居高不下。如果没有廉价航空,有可能出现这么多旅游点吗? 新航辛苦的推出的《数码创新发展蓝图》只要遇到一些低级错误,就很可能变了样。例如,最近的网上强制性买保险事件,即使新航有最好的大数据分析,由于保险政策的反反复复,游客、搭客未必领情,反而觉得新航服务大不如前,市场上替代航空公司又这么多,他们的服务也改进,因此,单靠大数据得出的政策,很容易就被小错误,不好的公关沟通给打败。 同样的情形如果发生在行动党身上,那就容易解决。这就是地铁问题,公积金问题,教育问题等,可以慢慢来, 一点也不用急的原因。 新航的过去成功,可以说是新加坡倾全国的力量护航。我们的机场,基础设施,人才,都全力支持新航,甚至连罢工都要出动总理训话。这种情形也一直持续到今天,《数码创新发展蓝图》有公共部门,经济局,民航局,大学的加持。 新航总裁吴俊鹏资源说:“随着数码创新发展蓝图的推出,我们希望在数码方面,成为全球引领先锋的航空公司。”他只是“希望”而已,因为,新加坡在数码创新方面,只是拿来主义。即使我们的大学,在这方面也未必领先世界第一流的科技。 新航和第四代行动党领导实际上是吃老本。不过,新航面对的是世界级挑战,而第四代领导在李显龙的护持下,不单没有面对实际挑战的勇气,反而一直要用各种行政手段,国会保护来避免竞争。 当然,除了新航外,我国的政联公司和私人企业也要面对国际竞争,世界市场的挑战。他们没有保护伞,尤其是私人企业,在财政不强和海外市场知识都不足的背景下,面对的困境可想而知。 相较于行动党第四代领导,在新加坡特殊政治保护下,他们真的能够继续慢慢来,继续高枕无忧吗?
 


Sunday, 28 January 2018

How to trust you if you are not ready

G4 leadership

How to trust you if you are not ready

G4 PM, which way to go or still undecided?
Looking at the development at the so-called 4th generation PAP leadership and guessing who is the Prime Minister is not only a joke but clearly showing the indecisiveness of them. Their joint statement and PM Lee’s announcement of no immediate or change of appointment of the DPM mean, and confirm, Singapore is at a cross road – those capable cannot take over and those incapable will take over in a hurry. What a well planned succession! They are wondering what to do. They are afraid of the future as do Singaporeans. We are a high cost country but they are not enough high paying and good quality job. We need foreigners but.... Like all of us, they may not have the skills to face the future. It will be costly for any misstep or any mistake. They know it but they are not ready to face it. G4 PAP leaders are too afraid to face the future. It is different from Goh Chok Tong who has a capable senior minister ready to step in when things turn bad. G4 PM will have a senior minister who is …. What are they afraid of? First, like all of us, they don’t know the actual amount of reserve, GIC, Temasek, and CPF. How are they going to justify if there is a huge discrepancy? Or, do they just take the figures as their face value and accept everything given to them? Whoever take over the appointment of PM will have to answer to a very demanding social media and possible stronger oppositions? Second, their continuing group thinking will make them a normal CEO or a normal cabinet team. We have seen examples in MRT, PE2017, school planning, and even at Keppel O & M the management even engages in corruption. G4 leaders are not smarter than their peers in private sector or even in civil service. They know too well their positions and high salary are created through our protected political environment but how do they face the reality when they take over the government? Third, gaining the trust versus asking for trust show how weak they are. G4 leaders ask Singaporeans to trust them as they need time to plan for the future Singapore. Heng Swee Kiat, the potential PM hints that he is neither Santa Claus nor Robin Hood. So, who is he really? Left, right, center or middle? Santa Claus has supporters so do Robin Hood. No wonder G4 leaders only ask you to trust them. They are not interested to gain your trust and confidence. Fourth, where do we get the marginal gain? Singapore is one of the highest GDP per capital countries in the world. Any margin gain in GDP will need to match with innovation, productivity, population increase, or unfortunately (overseas) corruption. The future model will be different. G4 leaders and their advisers know it or at least have been informed about it. But they don’t know how to face it and worst they are not open for discussion. Some suggest facing this kind of G4 quality leaders we should all migrate. But where can we go? Singapore is our home. Alternatively, we can make a change. We can vote them out. They are not better than the oppositions in term of quality and not mention their committment.