Friday, 7 December 2018

Kaohsiung problems? Or Universal problems?

What are Kaohsiung problems? “Old and poor.”

How can one solve them? “Outflow of goods; inflow of people and so Kaohsiung will be rich.” This is basic economics and the election slogan of Han kuo-yu who won the Kaohsiung mayoral election last month.

We can further understand Han’s solutions in the following reports from the pro-Democratic Progressive Party’s newspaper:

[“After suffering from 20 to 30 years of political ideology, elections have become a curse that gives Kaohsiung residents a headache... The city is like a well-dressed man who has no cash in his pocket,”...
Han said that if elected, he would transform Kaohsiung from an “old and poor” city into a “rich and youthful” one, while vowing to stay closely connected to people at the grassroots level by having a member of his team spend a night at the house of someone belonging to a medium-low income family once per month.
He also pledged to be a mayor of integrity, saying that if he is ever convicted of corruption, he would waive his right to parole hearings.

Han’s win is a surprise to many Taiwanese, especially DPP. In 2014 election, due to overall low party popularity, the KMT candidate only managed to get 30.9% of the votes. However, in 2018, Han, representing KMT, got 53.87% of the votes, almost 23% jump.

(What does this mean to the oppositions in Singapore? In 2015, the People’s Action Party won nearly 70% of the votes. However, we need to find someone like Han to motivate voters with a hope and accept change.)

Han is certainly more connected with the voters. From the following quotes from Han Kuo-yu, we can understand why Kaohsiung voters want a change and are willing to take risk.


  • In the future, there will be no blue-green (KMT or DPP) partisanship in Kaohsiung. All-out efforts will be made to pump up the (city) economy.
  • I perfectly understand how big a decision Kaohsiung voters have made to elect me mayor because I have only lived here for a short time. I promise to build a clean government, and use whoever is good for the city, regardless of their political affiliations, and do all I can to make Kaohsiung rich and great.

Universal problems, not only Kaohsiung problems

All governments face the Kaohsiung problems: unemployment for young people, low salary, rich-poor gap, unequal development within cities, ageing problems, economic growth, trade, finance, etc. But Kaohsiung has additional problems: corruptions, mismanagement of resources, high debt, low productivity in administration, disconnection with residents.

To some degrees, Singapore is no exception to the problems. We have high GINI, high national debt, high living and medical costs, fewer good jobs, low wages etc.

Han won the election because he offers hope for a better life. Most importantly, he re-engineers the spirit of enterprises. Under DPP, the restrictions of doing business is not only due to China-Taiwan relationship but all the uncertainties, e.g. energy and environment, and unpopular business practices and laws, e.g labour, market/pricing, selection of key office holders, etc.

Han openly says that in Kaohsiung it is 100% economics and 0% politics. Wow! Sound like Singapore!        

Friday, 30 November 2018



停滞20多年的台南经济模式,在2018年的‘九合一’选举中,出现转机。高雄人民要求经济改革,希望通过政权的变迁,改变又老又穷的命运。又老又穷比较贴切的说是希望通过政党轮替,改变过去的旧框框思路 - 宁可日子过得苦些,也只效忠一党。人最终还是希望过好日子,意识形态毕竟无法填饱肚子。更何况,高高在上的当权者,想的是如何继续政权,维护自己的利益,所以依据当权者的利益来安排接班人。当平民百姓在生活线上挣扎,当权者却只想着个人利益的时候,民主的自由选择就成了出气筒。



或者说,台南经济模式,已经蔓延到了北部。尤其是民进党第二度执政后,这种模式开始在全岛展开。当高雄在寻找新的出路的时候,台北会不会变成另一个高雄 - 又老又穷。台北人当然认为不会,但是,年轻人失业六都之冠,似乎意味某种趋势。






Monday, 19 November 2018

Taiwan’s DPP got it so wrong: Underestimating Change, under expecting Change!

Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan faces a difficult and very challenging local election in 2018.  While it could be a self doing, over confidence and most importantly, underestimating current change or demand for change in Taiwan.

In 2016, when DPP won the Presidency, she had over promised voters and not only that they implement big reforms and policy mistakes in economics, labor, energy,  legislations, and environment protection.

There is a price to pay for underestimating change, under expecting change. Voters are not happy, despite maintaining positive economic growth. Big businesses can get contracts from government, however, small and medium enterprises, self-employ, and farmers are suffering due to labor and mismanagement of economy.

What change?

Old ginger has its value. When Mahathir formed the new Malaysian government, he declared he could not meet all the election promises. He wants to lower voters’ expectation. The first thing he did was to form The Council of Eminent Persons to advise the new Malaysian government on economic and financial matters.

Economics is the most important factor and any policy changes affecting economy will affect voters and supporters. DPP has opened too many fronts but Mahathir concentrates on economy and finance. Malaysian government removes Good and Services Tax but re-introduces Sales and Services Tax.

Look at what DPP is doing. They introduce labor reform#1, new look south policy, restricting mainland visitors resulting to cut in tourism income, antinuclear policy and using coal to generate power making environment a key issue in this election, laws to make Nationalist KMT’s assets illegal, trying to right the wrong doings in the past; etc.  

DPP seems to engage in self-destruction when we compare what Pakatan Harapan and DPP are doing.

DPP fails to see the results of policy changes. They believe voters will give them chance by repeating claims of political victims and against unification with mainland, forgetting they are in full control of presidency and parliament. And as KMT is badly damaged, they think they can win the local election easily, especially in the central and south Taiwan.

DPP, however, is focusing their attention in the north, never expecting voters are demanding change in the whole Taiwan. There is a saying in Taiwan now: “hate DPP” is the biggest political party in Taiwan.

Despite policy mistakes, DPP also shows weak administration and lack of competency. DPP is also as corrupted as the KMT. They even perform poorly in social media. Many of the political appointments and positions are held by alliances or frictions of DPP. And their performance is far below average, below expectation. The issue of appointment of the President of National Taiwan University is a clear political intervention and is now in suspension.

From 2016 to 2018, there is huge change in the fortune of DPP. President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval rating is very low and some DPP candidates try to avoid her due to her low popularity.   

Lessons for Singapore. Any?

Certainly, there are many lessons we can learn from 2018 Taiwan election. Despite poor in resources, one can be very creative in social media, language used as shown in Han Kuo-yu team.  Traditional way of rally and interviews have to give way to new, fun, relax presentation. And young assistants are recruited to add new values and inputs.

Most importantly, both DPP and KMT have to rethink their strategies and election planning after this election.  How do they assess CHANGE and voters’ demand?


Saturday, 17 November 2018


















Monday, 12 November 2018

PAP’s Biggest Mistake: Dishonorable son leads GE2019

As expected the dishonorable son#1, Lee Hsien Loong, will lead the People’s Action Party again in GE 2019.  Is Lee a suitable person to lead PAP in the coming election?. Will he become Najib No 2? While some may say Lee can be (UMNO) Mahathir No 1 when Mahathir sacked Anwar so it is still very safe for the PAP, maybe losing a few more seats.

The PAP and Lee are trying their luck. But it is bad for the party and perhaps bad for the country too. It seems none of the party members rejecting Lee leading GE 2019. Also, only concerned Singaporeans will think this arrangement is not the internal politics of the PAP.  

A better alternative is Tharman replacing Lee and remains as Prime Minister for a short term and then hands over power to the so-called fourth generation leaders - a situation like Goh Chok Tong.

Tharman, rather than Lee, is the better choice to lead PAP in GE 2019.

While it is too late and the PAP and Lee wants to try their luck. Remember the story of Najib removing Muhyiddin who is now Malaysian Home Minister. Najib removed his deputy that led to the emergence of (Bersatu) Mahathir No 2.  The rest of the story you can see in newspaper and social media everyday.

While such thing will never happen in Singapore as claimed by the PAP or Lee Hsien Loong.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday charted the path forward for the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), saying it must win the next general election convincingly by taking a centrist approach and uniting Singaporeans.
The party has only two years left to prepare for the next election, said Mr Lee, who is PAP secretary-general, as he outlined four things it must do to maintain good politics and keep improving people's lives.
He called on party members to understand and address Singaporeans' concerns, give people hope for the future, encourage inclusive politics and provide good leadership.

Not a word of reform

Lee Hsien Loong will lead a PAP without reform in GE 2019. What are the real meanings of “a centrist approach and uniting Singaporeans.” Are they related to reform?

PAP won the GE2015 by luck - the Lee Kuan Yew factor. Will they be as lucky as 2015 using the Raffles factor in 2019? No one knows. It is a luck and it can turn either way. However, Lee Hsien Loong wants to try his luck again.

Lee is now a controversial figure, without a mind of reform.

While for PAP to survive and Singapore to advance, an urgent need of reform is needed.

Source: Yahoo Singapore
George Yeo called for a PAP reform. Have we seen any changes since 2011?


Lee Hsien Loong prefers luck than reform. And so, the outcome will be….

Who carry Lee Kuan Yew’s values

In GE 2019, voters will also need to decide who really carries the values of Lee Kuan Yew - dishonorable son or others, including Lee siblings.

Today’s PAP under Lee Hsien Loong is different from the PAP in the early days. Do voters still believe Lee Hsien Loong as the promoter and protector of our funding values?

A reform is needed to restore the fundamental values of Singapore, 
the spirit of our national pledge and our Constitutions.  


Saturday, 10 November 2018









PAP制度化的接班人制度,能否继续落实李光耀精神?这真的是一个很大的问号?李显龙为何被弟妹称为dishonorable son?这里面就包含李光耀精神的争论。弟妹们认为他们才是落实李光耀精神的真正执行人,那李显龙算什么?李显龙真的能够执行和落实李光耀精神吗?





李显龙以及PAP试图将这个僵硬的接班人制度“作为我国的政治规范并加以巩固”, 对于新加坡来说,很可能变成发展、发挥新加坡建国精神,李光耀精神的一大阻碍,一大绊脚石。


Saturday, 3 November 2018

Swiss living rather than seat warming in Goh’s new book

Instead of disclosing his seat warming experience, Goh Chok Tong should discuss his failed Swiss living for Singaporeans.   

Seat warming is his personal experience. Swiss living is for Singaporeans.  This is the tall order for politicians who really want to improve life and living standard of Singaporeans.

Personally, Goh has achieved his personal goal.

None of his objectives talk about Swiss living or in a general way, the life of Singaporeans.  During Goh Administration, our economy was growing, GDP per capita also increasing but not living standard.

It is important for Singaporeans to know why we are NOT able to achieve Swiss standard of living. Goh promotes Swiss living. He should explain why we cannot make it - why Singaporeans cannot enjoy the kind of life like Swiss.  

Is this due to our one-party democracy, checks and balances?

Is this due to our culture? Does Switzerland maintain and preserve their cultural roots better than us? Singapore ends up “bad English, bad Mandarin (Chinese)”, perhaps also bad Malay and bad Tamil.

By avoiding tall order question like Swiss living, Goh only concerns about himself - how a poor boy made it to the top. While the situation now and future is very different - inequality, rich-poor gap, education gap, etc.  This is the big picture that makes Swiss living so remote.

“Worry before the people and enjoy after the people.”
When Goh brought up the idea of Swiss living, he expressed his concern of Singaporeans - life of ordinary people.
Be concerned about the affairs of state before others, and enjoy comfort after others.
While Goh only completes the first part - only showing concerns.  This is not enough.

Indeed, he seems to enjoy his life before others and his comment on mediocre people proves it.

Goh is now more interested to raise ministers’ pay rather than his concern of ordinary Singaporeans.

It is not a wooden question.  
“Worry before the people and enjoy after the people.”

It is a real problem in Singapore:
“Worry after the people and enjoy before the people.”