Saturday, 3 December 2016

A Conspiracy Allowing A Total SAF Withdrawal From Taiwan?


Could the recent seizure of Singapore Armed Forces infantry vehicles be a conspiracy between Singapore and China? The aim is to find excuse to a total withdrawal of SAF training in Taiwan.  

I wish this is the case.

However, it seems not the case.

Singapore side wants to keep the old ties and refuses to give up the old friendship. We even ask Hong Kong Customs for reasons that result to the detention. It seems Singapore does not want to take part in this conspiracy. We have also no intention to withdraw SAF trainings in Taiwan.

Domestically, Singapore government wants to project herself as a victim and at the same time, to defend our position as a trusted middleman - ‘Singapore has a long record of being an honest broker, good friend and constructive collaborator’. #1

The PAP government is telling Singaporeans we have done no wrong and we are doing the same old practice of bringing back military equipment from Taiwan, using commercial shippers. In some ways, the government is trying to divide the country again. She wants support from Singaporeans in time of crisis because as an honest broker Singapore cannot be wrong. Those Singaporeans who question and double about the reasons given by the PAP government are anti-Singapore.

In 1997, late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew had to make an apology for describing Johor State as a place  “notorious for shootings, muggings and car-jackings.”

Lee Kuan Yew: an apology


The furore caused by Mr Lee's comments was remarkable in a region that makes a virtue of being tactful to the point of coyness about neighbouring countries and their leaders. There were demonstrations in Malaysia in which protesters called Mr Lee “senile” and a “bloody idiot”. Newspapers broadened the attack to Singaporeans as a whole, for their “pride and arrogance”, and contributors to Internet discussion groups threatened to “reclaim the little dot” of Singapore.
http://www.economist.com/node/145759

Ask yourself if there were no apology and a war broke out between Singapore and Malaysia then, what would you do? Support the government or question the government.

The recent SAF infantry vehicles incident is different from the LKY apology. However, the government has the duty to protect the safety of SAF soldiers in Taiwan. With new Democratic Progressive Party government, man-made and self-made new external and internal shocks have emerged in Taiwan. And Chinese Air Force is making round trip cycling Taiwan. The irony is DPP is very different from the nationalists KMT. Is DPP an old friend? Or is DPP considering the PAP an old friend?

In a pragmatic way, as practical as the PAP, we have other options for SAF trainings. A total SAF withdrawal from Taiwan is a workable solution. But it seems the PAP government is using this as another ‘patriot’  exercise.

This is not a groundless conspiracy theory. It can be a win-win for both China and Singapore.   

So far, the responses from Singapore government is very inflexible and sometimes even not so diplomatic. The discussion between APL-the shipper and Hong Kong Customs is just the front.  Perhaps, it is just to satisfy Singaporeans for domestic political purpose.

If we read the newspaper reports, it seems our foreign affairs and diplomats have little Chinese wisdom.

Maybe they should look at Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and how he reacts when Donald Trump was declared the winner of the US Presidential Election.  

君子豹变.png

Interestingly, Shinzō Abe uses the Chinese wisdom of Yijing (Hexagram 49) to explain the situation of TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) in parliament. He also immediately arranged and flyed to New York to meet Donald Trump. When asked if TPP is not workable, what would he do? His reply is Japan may have to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).   

‘君子豹变’ is from Hexagram 49:
Above 6: The noble one changes like a leopard, small men shed the skin of the face. To set things right: pitfall. Settling-down determination: auspicious.
(http://www.yijing.nl/i_ching/hex_49-64/hex_e_49.htm)

The purpose of the Abe-Trump meeting in New York is Abe tried to convince Trump to change his mind on TPP. He hopes Trump can be a gentleman (noble one changes like a leopard) and agrees to support TPP. However, if you understand Yi-jing, there is also a possible of further change (bian gua 变卦).  This is why Abe said Japan may have to join RCEP.  If you can not convince others to change, then you have to change.
 
Abe may not fully understand Yijing and Chinese wisdom. But he is willing to change, from TPP to RCEP when Trump says no to TPP.  

The situation among China-Singapore, China-Taiwan, and Singapore-Taiwan has changed a lot. Is the PAP government ready for the change and the new reality?    

#1
http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/putting-terrex-issue-in-perspective

Sunday, 27 November 2016

何去何从?李显龙?行动党?新加坡?


新加坡经济的未来走向在哪里?贸工部说经济增长放慢,不需要过度担心,还有一位不管部长说,必要时,政府会出手。这些都是内部的评论,而真正影响新加坡经济的是外部因素,我们的外贸,我们的对外服务,对国民所得有着直接的巨大的影响。

国际货币基金组织在衡量一个国家的稳定与否,往往考虑外部震荡对一个国家的冲击。例如:这个国家的外汇储备,外债,汇率,利率,贸易优势,再加上国内的竞争力,就业率,通膨率等因素。从新加坡政府的报告中,经济展望似乎没有出现大问题。因为,我们的外汇丰厚,外债是新加坡的公积金为主,汇率稳定,利率低,金融的贸易有优势,国内的通膨和就业也相对稳定。因此,评论说没有大问题,有着科学和数据支持。

当然,相信这个评论的前提是要相信这些科学和数据是真的,是可靠的。如果,对这些科学数据有所怀疑,可靠性就会降低,对新加坡的将来展望也将会有所保留。

如果我们跨越科学数据,勉强让它过关,我们还是要面对外部震荡的问题。这些外部震荡,很少新加坡人能够真正了解,而要明白其中的道理,又不是一般人的能力范围。因此,大多数新加坡人选择沉默,或者,相信政府的那一套说法。这是似乎跟西方哲学里的爱智慧,求真理背道而驰。

外部震荡,除了国际货币基金组织提到的那些金融名词外,还包括一些看不到,想不到,猜不到的意外。例如: 英国脱欧,川普中选,TPP没了,克拉运河开通,马来西亚/印尼政治变局,一带一路方向变了,等等的可能性。

言归正传。外部震荡和何去何从有何关系?

这当然有着极大的,密切的关系。

李显龙,人民行动党和新加坡政府几十年来都是三位一体。他们都是善于对内,国内出现什么内部震荡,很容易的就可以通过立法,修改宪法,执法,内安法,来完全控制。就像总统选举那样,预期可能出现内部震荡,就可以修改宪法解决。再如预期选民可能会对行动党不满,下次大选可能反对票增加,就以非选区议员人数增加来满足这个内部震荡。

因此,这三位一体无法操控的是---外部震荡。

上几篇博文,都有涉及到新加坡外交出现问题,外交人才出现天窗。简单来说,就是在美国接不上川普的内线,在中国跟不上政治变化,在欧洲英国,没有头绪,在拉美非洲,见不到门。至于马来西亚和印尼,和前朝相比,关系也疏远了。再说一下印度,连我们的外交高材生杨荣文,也误判印度的国内政治,不得不辞去那烂陀大学名誉校长一职。

后李光耀时代,新加坡的外交能力是否能够应付外部震荡的考验?

再举一个例子:新加坡武装部队的泰莱斯轮式装甲车在香港被扣留。这已经不是国防部的事情了。这是外部震荡,而要依靠外交程序来解决。但是,我们看到的报道却是国防部派人到香港,似乎只要解决运输的技术问题,事情就可以解决了。

外部震荡会随着外部的政治变化和三位一体的应变能力而出现不同的变数。我们的所谓美国通,中国通,欧洲通,日本通,都是冷战时代的产物,即使李显龙也可以归纳为这类产物。因此,当新加坡外部出现震荡时,即使三位一体牢牢的控制着国内,如果没有适当的外交人才,最后还是要付出的巨大的代价。

说到这里,我们必须深深的想一想,这三位一体的关系是否应该重新整理,思考:

  • 李显龙是否到了何去何从的地步?
  • 李显龙何去何从是否等于行动党何去何从?
  • 行动党何去何从是否等同新加坡何去何从?

从行动党的立场来看,如果李显龙已经到了何去何从的地步,为了行动党的长期利益是否应该换人做做了?行动党有没有必要一直被所谓的‘接班人’思维困住?外部震荡不会等行动党的接班人问题,更加也不会同情行动党没有接班人。

更深一层的思考是,从新加坡立场出发,如果李显龙和行动党已经到了何去何从的地步,一直没有接班人,为了国家的长期利益是否应该换人换党做做了?我们有必要一直被所谓的‘行动党接班人’困扰住吗?我们有必要一直守着李显龙这棵树,而失去新加坡这座狮子之城吗?

外部震荡已经告诉我们震荡的种种可能性。当然李显龙-行动党-新加坡政府会自我夸耀,只有三位一体才能解决外部震荡。事实证明,希拉里-民主党-美国政府,这三位一体倒了。卡梅伦-保守党-英国政府也倒了。美国人把希拉里和民主党换了,英国人只把卡梅伦换了,这两个国家并没有倒下,为什么?因为,他们并没有缺少外交人才,国会的制衡,法院的独立, 还有政府运作如常。

新加坡人有必要好好的思考,李显龙和行动党在无法面对外部震荡时,是否会要求人民做出更加大的牺牲?对内进一步监控?就正如几十年来,一直要求团结#。事实上,行动党的所作所为,否定制衡,一党独大,任意修改法律,宪法,贫富悬殊,不正是造成社会分化的原因吗?

#
‘总理说英国脱欧公投和美国选举,反映了社会分化。要避免类似现象分裂我国,就必须培养人民的团结意识和认同感。’ (channel8news.sg)

Saturday, 19 November 2016

The Education of ‘Crisis Mentality’ and the PAP Succession Plan


Do Singaporeans have crisis mentality? In the video below, a young lady from China seems to suggest Singaporeans do not have crisis mentality.  



What is crisis mentality? A Google search gives the following meanings:

#They often cost large amounts of time, money, emotional distress, and even relationships! Soon a lifestyle is created, and your way of thinking turns into what psychologists call a “crisis mentality,” meaning that you can only function from one crisis to another.

#“state of continuous panic when challenged.”

#"crisis mentality" quite means "someone who is always thinking the worst will happen"

    #A combination of danger and opportunity
 
Image result for crisis mentality Chinese meaning

In a unique Singapore education, crisis mentality can also mean fear, ‘kiasu’, ‘kiasi’ as explained below:   

[SINGAPORE: Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Kuik Shiao-Yin on Tuesday (Apr 5) called for the eradication of Singapore’s “kiasu” (Singlish for being afraid to lose) culture, describing it as a national habit of fear that poses a cultural roadblock to transformation and at great cost to the economy.

“Fear has been a favourite motivational tool of many of our parents, teachers, bosses and even politicians,” Ms Kuik told Parliament on the second day of Budget debates. “Managed well, fear is a perfectly healthy kick in the pants to force us out of complacency and into action. Fear compels us to man up, save more, study hard, work long. Fear in that sense is an emotion that does help us take care of our future.”
“But it loses these powerful positive effects when it goes beyond a temporary emotion we feel, to a permanent disposition we live in. When fear becomes part of our emotional and cultural DNA, we lock ourselves into a habit of self-limiting behaviours.”
(http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-should-kill/2667816.html)

In over 50 years, our education system has consistently produced ‘fear’ and ‘kiasu’ mentality to Singaporeans. We are not lacking in crisis mentality. We are having the wrong education of crisis mentality.   We have been educated by the People’s Action Party to have pessimistic crisis mentality - fear, kiasu, kiasi, seeing danger not opportunity.

We fail to see the opportunity, the alternative and the change. This perhaps is what the Chinese lady’s view of Singaporeans. There is no crisis mentality here.   

In actual fact, Singapore is having a wrong kind (pessimistic) of crisis mentality:

#We only know one political party that can govern Singapore. There is no alternative.

#We are so afraid of losing this party.

#We look only at the danger of losing this party and fail to see the opportunity of it.

#Anything or anybody goes against this party is bad or even anti-Singapore.
  

The PAP government, through social engineering, media, education, culture …, has successfully planted the pessimistic crisis mentality into the minds of Singaporeans.

What is the ultimate end of this negative crisis mentality education?

Succession plan and the continued one-party state.

When moving the constitutional amendments of the Elected Presidency, PM Lee explains:

"Since the elected presidency began, I have been operating the mechanism that we designed, and discovering its glitches.
"I helped to refine and amend the scheme as we went along," he said during the debate on the proposed changes to the elected presidency under the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Bill.
While the institution has been functioning well, he added, the changes made now are in the long-term interests of Singapore and will strengthen the elected presidency, which is an important stabiliser in the political system.
But further changes will still be needed in the future as the system has to be continually refined, he said. (reach.gov.sg)

The explanation on the refinements and changes to EP is a pessimistic crisis mentality. It looks at the negative side (fear, kiasu, kiasi) and warns Singaporeans the danger ahead. Has PM Lee mentioned about the opportunity, the positive of the old system?

Throughout the Chinese history (perhaps also for other civilisations), as explained in my previous post, all capable Chinese emperors had put crisis mentality and succession plan as their top priority. They were afraid the dynasty they built would disappear after their deaths. However, none of them had succeeded in doing so.

Fear, kiasu, kiasi, and prevention succession plan can not sustain a long-live dynasty.  Can the PAP be the odd? And make a difference.  

It is time we educate ourselves with the right and positive crisis mentality as there is no such thing called long-live PAP.