Monday, 31 October 2011

3%年经济成长率,对新加坡是什么概念?这或许,即是事实,也是政府的公关行销策略


李总理认为未来10年,如果我们能够保持每年3%的年经济增长,这对新加坡来说,将会是一个“好的10年”。因此,对新加坡人民来说,这意味着什么?相对过去50年的高经济增长,国人是否能够在低经济增长的环境下,生活的更为写意?

那就要看个人,个别家庭如何定义生活,定义人生了。经济增长放慢,收入也将不会像以前那样,年年期望加薪,年年有花红,有些人可能还要面对减薪,失业的问题。人生态度的调整,心态的改变,实际的期望等等都将面临挑战,如何面对这些问题,不同的个人和家庭,将会做出不同的反应。

3%的经济增长,有时真的看不出什么东西。美国的经济过去经常在3%上下前进,欧洲则更低些。因此,当你到欧美游玩时,你常常感到10年如一日,好像没有大的改变。偶尔,会看到一些新的建筑物,新的地标,但是,地铁巴士还有这些设施的车站,好像没有更新,甚至还发出杂声。

或许,我们会好很多,因为,我们的国库还有盈余,新元坚挺,个人公积金里也有钱,不至于像洋人那样生活吧?但是,万一没有这些呢?没有外汇储备盈余,没有公积金,没有坚挺的新元,那真的活得比洋人还差的多了。这样的生活,要怎样做调整,要怎样面对?

3%增长很可能是事实

李总理,就事论事,我国经济每年3%的增长,的确可能是事实,可能性还蛮高的。总理已经说了,年年能够取得3%,未来10年已经算是一个好的10年了。因为,将来的国际竞争将更为严峻,我们又面对人口和土地发展的局限,政府也将严格控制外劳和移民的数目,这些因素加在一起,低经济增长的时代也将随着而来。

低经济增长,也将会延续高经济增长留下来的问题,贫富不均,中年失业,医药,住屋等等问题。甚至可以这么说,问题可能更加严重。美国就是一个例子,目前的就业,房贷,金融,医药保险,养老,教育等等问题,也都是一种延续。但是,美国现在的谈判条件差了,国力差了,信心也差了。

低经济增长的代价

上述这些都是事实,为何说这也是政府的公关说辞呢?行销宣传呢?总理的意思似乎告诉人们,为了迎合国人的要求,限制外劳和移民人数,我国基础设施的负荷已经到了饱和的地步,国人投诉公共交通拥挤,住屋问题跟不上,所以,国人要求放慢经济步伐,政府顺应民情,放缓经济发展,到时,国人就要调整降低薪金,工作,经商机会的要求。经济的发展是两面的,不能一面要求低的经济增长,另一面,又要求高薪金,多的工作和经商机会。

因此,如果这是人民的选择,行动党政府是会听,并落力进行。但是,人民也要面对这种选择的后果,到时,不要怪政府没有预先给予警告,警惕国人低经济增长的不良后果。

谁最能处理低经济增长问题和照顾人民

行动党政府是个搞高经济增长的能手,他们对过去的经济增长沾沾自喜,非常满意,样样要以世界第一自居。这的确是行动党的贡献,不可否认。因此,我们就要问一问,高经济增长带来的问题,没有解决,延续到低经济增长的时代,行动党还有能力解决这些问题吗?

一个在高经济增长时代住惯大房子的人,一下子,要搬到低经济增长环境里的小房子里去住,行动党能够习惯吗?还是,习惯小房子生活,了解人民实际情形,在压迫求存的条件下力求更新的在野党呢?

所以,在低经济增长的年代,行动党如果无法自我改变,真心的聆听,结果将是改朝换代。正如,李总理所谓的‘好的10 年’之后,政府无法解决高经济增长延续下来的问题后,也就只好退位让贤了。只是,此贤未必是行动党了。

富不过三代,李总理自认是行动党第三代领导人,目前正在积极找寻第四代领导人,这个是否是个预言呢?树倒猢狲散的开始呢?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Commercialising Political Experience: Can George Yeo Turn His International And Regional Relationship Into Commercial Assets?



Former foreign minister George Yeo has been appointed senior adviser to Malaysian conglomerate Kuok Group as reported in the media.  What actually does a senior adviser do? Can his advice add value to a private business enterprise?

We don’t know yet and it is also too early to tell.  However, he has at least proved that he has some market values even without a government job.  Kuok Group may not pay him as well as the Singapore tax payers but anyway, he manages to find a job other than an offer from GLCs. In this, we have to respect him (so do Lim Hwee Hua) for stepping out the comfort zones.

Lim is different from George as she was in the finance and investment sector before joining the government. George is first a military man and then turns into a politician and minister.  

His market value seems to be in his foreign relationship.  From his facebook pages, you can see that he visited here and there and met up with foreign friends. He certainly has more experiences in international and regional development than his other PAP ministers, perhaps, even better than PM Lee.

But having knowledge and experience is one thing, providing strategy and advice is another thing.  You are some body when you are in power but another person when you are out of power.  Therefore, acting like a philosopher and providing different possibilities without implementing the selected strategy may be best matched by George’s character and intelligence.
For this, he has no executive power over his advisory and he does not need to report to shareholders of the Group.  

Business owners may or may not accept advices from their advisers. An adviser has less responsibility as compared to a minister. A minister has to shoulder the negative impact of his ministry’s policies, just like Wong Kan Seng and Mah Bao Tan. Both lost their ministerial jobs after GE2011.

But will George be happy by just giving advices to private business group?  Is this the best way out for a thinker like him?

Singapore “Al Gore” – a possibility?

George is a busy man.  I wonder how much time he has for the Kuok Group for his advisory work. Besides being a visiting scholar at NUS, he also involves and advises many foreign organisations:
    
- Chairing the International Advisory Panel of the Nalanda University Governing Board;
- Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum;
- Member of the Nicolas Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council and
- Member of the International Advisory Boards of Harvard Business School and IESE Business School.

May be a few more.

As a knowledge man, perhaps he can contribute things on East-West cultural exchanges and help to show off the soft power of Singapore. Singapore is well known for our economic success. So, why not do some things on the soft power?

George has less financial worry as Singapore tax payers have paid him well enough through the pension scheme. He should consider contributing something on the arts, cultural and values to the world.

Just like Al Gore, who lost the controversial President Election in the USA, but he keeps himself moving to another personal achievement in environment. I think George’s interest is not on business profit making and his best matched activity is some things like philosophy and thinking.

Will we see a Singapore “Al Gore” in the making?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

故事启示录:行动党消极地制造分裂 工人党积极地求同存异


高手出招,就见高低。林瑞生在国会中的故事,充满了消极,更带着一丝丝的恨意。为何执政党和在野党的关系一定是勾心斗角呢?反观,陈硕茂的故事,就积极多了。同舟共济,共创未来,这不是行动党在大选时的口号吗?怎么这么快就忘了。

在野党不是处处惹是生非,而是要扮演要监督的角色。怎么国会里出现多几个在野党的议员,就出现勾心斗角的故事,是不是,此地无银三百两,执政党觉得多几个在野党议员,他们在国会中,就觉得不自在,而在野党就是冲着执政党来的。所以,只能是一个勾心,一个斗角,没有安宁的日子。试问,只要心存报国之心,爱民之心,那又何必在乎在野党提出的求同存异之说呢?

怪只怪,层次不同,服务精神的理念不同,为民服务的态度不同,折射出来的就是两个不同水准的故事,甚至连文字的水平和表达方式都出现差异。明眼的人就可以看出高低。

同样的岛国故事,行动党看到的是省、快、好。而工人党看到的是,在同舟共济下,在在野党的帮忙监督下,岛国的将来能够做得更省、更快、更好。多出来的盈余,就可以更公平的分配给国人。

林瑞生似乎在影射国人,因为有人富起来,眼红了,所以,要把富人拉下水,大家一起死或剩下半条命。最后的结果,是两败俱伤,富人和穷人大家都没有好下场,国家当然也没落了。不论是执政党还是在野党,都要对人民负责,他们都有责任,找寻解决和减低人们之间的仇恨,而不是制造更多的仇恨。

林瑞生既然说自己为五斗米而折腰,不是看中钱,而是要服务人民,那么为何要制造勾心斗角,挑起勾心斗角的事来呢?他当然不至于沦落到这个地步,但是,此时此刻,在国会里,举出这样的例子,相信他的思考层次,以及想要引起人民对故事产生共鸣的意图就很难达到。或许说是弄巧反拙。不但,这个故事消极,更难以让人相信的是,这是出自一个部长之口,难怪,他只能当一名不管部长,想不到,不管到一开口,就语出惊人,勾心斗角起来。

相比之下,陈硕茂的故事就积极多了。国家的未来将面对挑战,李总理不是说,将来的年经济成长率,可能只有3%。我们实在没有时间勾心斗角,而是要积极的面对未来,同舟共济。富有的人要有一颗照顾落势群体的心,落后的人,要积极向上,有着努力学习之心。

从更大的层面上来看这个两个故事,岛国这个小红点,实在是没有什么好勾心斗角的。在庄子看来,这是自讨苦吃。《庄子》记载过这样一个故事:在蜗牛的左触角上有一个国家叫角氏;在蜗牛的右触角上有个国家叫蛮氏。两国经常因为争夺土地而掀起战争,死在战场上的尸首就有几万具,他们追赶败兵,十五天才能够返回来。从宇宙的广阔空间来看,地球就是一只蜗牛,这只蜗牛的身上生活着不同的人,分成帮派,互相斗争。为了生不带来死不带去的利益,最后也有死在战场上的几万具尸首。一切都是蜗角之争。我们都是角氏”“蛮氏”……

明白了这个道理,我们还有什么好勾心斗角的,也只有同舟共济,才能共创未来。

为免引起不必要的误会,误读,误解,现将这两个故事重复如下:(资料来自早报)

林瑞生讲勾心斗角故事:

小岛上有两个居民,名叫勾心斗角,他们是死对头。一天,两人在沙滩上找到一盏神灯。两人擦了擦神灯,灯魔出现后说: “我可以给你们两个人三个愿望。
勾心和斗角争论了半天,最后同意让勾心许两个愿望,斗角许一个愿望,但斗角的愿望是比勾心所获得的事物多出一倍。勾心向灯魔要求拥有世界上所有美好的事物,在灯魔实现其愿望后,勾心对斗角获得双倍的美好事物感到很不开心。
来到许下第二个心愿时,斟酌了很久的勾心要求灯魔把他打成仅剩半条命。这一来,斗角就会丧命了。
总理公署部长林瑞生昨天以这个寓言比喻,找到神灯对人民来说原本是件好事,但如果大家不懂得怎么使用神灯、勾心斗角,最终落得你死我半条命的下场,那好事就会变成坏事。他也借此表示希望反对党不会在执政党推出不讨喜的政策时加以批评,在出现赢得人心的政策就赶紧领功。

陈硕茂在面簿上留贴的同舟共济故事:

今天在国会听到了一则寓言,边听边想以下似乎更贴切。
小岛上有两个居民,名叫同舟共济。一夜两人在海滩上找到一盏灯。 灯魔出现后说:你们难道不知道世上没灯魔,一切得靠自己吗?可你们肯自食其力的话,我答应你们每人一个愿望。
那太好了。同舟说,我块头大,经验多,我来负责掌灯,造福岛民。我希望这工作我能做到省、快、好(cheap, good and fast)。
共济说:那么我帮忙监督他,希望他能做得好一倍——更省、更快、更好!为我们的小岛带来光明。

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Chen Show Mao's Tang Analogy Is Not Good Enough. It Must Go Beyond Wei Zheng And Forms The Government.


Singaporeans should move forward and go beyond Tang Tai Zong and Wei Zheng in the Tang’s analogy.  This is to enable the alternative party has a chance to be the government and runs Singapore according to their wishes.

Chen Show Mao’s analogy is inline with the Workers’ Party’s analogy of driver and co-driver.  A co-driver cannot always be the co-driver.  Otherwise, he will be the trainee driver forever and becomes the “opposition’ permanently in Singapore.   

In his speech in parliament, Chen used the Chinese word <在野党> (alternative) rather than <反对党> (opposition) to describe the party sitting the opposite side of the ruling party. Alternative gives a hope of providing different views and opinions and if the voters accept them, the alternative views and opinions will the ruling of the next government.

With this regards, we have to agree with the PM and 3 PAP MPs who voiced out their views after Chen’s speech and analogy.

First, PM Lee said, "Being principled does not mean not being afraid to offend the government, because the government is not the Emperor and doesn't chop heads off!"  Yes, totally agree, the PAP government is not the Emperor and in modern day Singapore no one will chop off your head.  Even with the ISA, the government can only detain a person but not to chop off his head.

Most importantly, there is no more Tang Tai Zong in Singapore.  We are a Republic with an elected parliament.  I wonder why PM Lee wants to use the words ‘chop heads off!’  Is he too angry about the Tang’s analogy that there is no more Emperor?

We also have to agree with Sembawang GRC MP Ellen Lee who rejected Chen’s analogy, arguing that it was inappropriate to compare the PAP to Emperor Tai Zong as he was an autocratic ruler in a feudal era.

She said, “We live in a modern, democratic society and the PAP believes in being responsible to the people. In a democracy, anyone has the right to speak.”

Hence, there is no Tang Tai Zong.  And Wei Zheng can feel to speak out in our democratic society. But
speaking out or voicing out is not enough. The most important thing is the voters must ensure the democratic system works in Singapore and vote according to their wishes without fear and favour and give alternative party a chance.

I also agree with another PAP MP Sam Tan.  His analogy of the current state of Singapore politics seems more appropriate than Chen. He used “党外有党,民主思想” (multi-party and democratic thinking) while Chen used 党外无党,帝王思想” (one and no other party and emperor thinking).

He also pointed the past mistake of communists that was not inclusive and not willing to accept different opinions#.  Perhaps, he should move one step further to examine his own party whether similar mistakes occurred before.   

The last PAP MP that I agree with his views is Baey Yam Keng. He brought out the water analogy.  He mentioned the Chinese idiom “water can transport the boat but also cause it to sink” to underscore the importance of listening to the people. (yahoo.com.sg)

Again, like Sam Tan pointing out the past mistakes of Communists, he should also ask the PAP the same question. Water is like the people who can keep the current government but also can bring in a new alternative government.  This is, in fact, the actual meaning of listening to the people.

Yes, as Chen mentioned and pointed out that the government must listen but not be afraid of the people.  It is no necessary to prevent and treat our people like a theft. (我们不必防民如防贼). When there are different views and opinions from the people, the government must listen intensively but not to form negatively conclusions.  Anyway, all of us are the citizens of Singapore, why are you so afraid of the people?

Indirectly, the PAP’s relevant analogy of the ISA existence is another way of treating citizens like thefts.  

Just for the record of the Chinese history, there were many ‘thefts’ that listened to the people and acted on their behalf.  Some of them managed to overthrow the Emperors and begun their new dynasties. 





#他认为,用党外有党,民主思想来形容我国的政治体系更为贴切,并应以过去共产党人在思想上缺乏包容性这点引以为戒。不过,陈振泉也强调,在国际政治和经济不稳定的时候,我国更需要加强核心竞争力,而不是为了坚持己见,造成国民的分裂。

Thursday, 20 October 2011

对牛弹琴,还是不值一提,幸福指数到底是什么?



幸福到底是什么?幸福可否量化?可否做为衡量国人生活快乐的指数?在我们这个数字化的时代,好像只有用数目数字作为比较,才能分出高低,才能显出谁高谁低,才能现出领导治国的真本事。所以,我们的政府对经济这样能够容易量化的东西,特感兴趣,而对民生的幸福,这样哲学化的概念,无从着手或不想插手。

因此,对行动党提出幸福指数这种有等于无,无又等于有的东西,真的是对牛弹琴,这种处境有如曲高和寡一样。当然,提出这个概念的不丹小国,经济不发达,欧美日又没有大力认可支持,民间虽然有人呼吁,但还不成气候。因此,难怪行动党会认为不值一提,还是现实一点好,先搞好衣食住行这些问题比较好。

但是,为何人均国民生产总值这么高,我国的衣食住行还是搞不好呢?正如工人党主席林瑞莲(阿裕尼集选区议员)提出的新加坡在追求高经济增长过程中是不是忽略或甚至牺牲了国民的幸福?。她以创立全民幸福指数见称的不丹今年7月在联合国呼吁各国以更平衡方式发展的动议,提问新加坡作为支持这项决议的66个国家之一,我国政府打算如何评估国人幸福感,以及会对现有政策作出什么调整,来帮助提升新加坡国民的幸福指数?(omy.sg

对新加坡来说,支持决议是尊重你,但是,并不是认可你的一切。反正,世界上,还有一半以上的国家还没有支持。这种事情,我们不要急于一时,可以步他国之后,慢慢来。行动党也有不愿当先锋的时候,这就是一个例子。

或许,用日常的生活点滴做例子,比较贴切。我们回家的感觉好不好?好的话,就是幸福指数高,不是的话,幸福指数就低。但是,这么说来,行动党政府也没有错。因为,有些人回家的感觉,真的很好,一天工作下来,正如林瑞生说的,公积金和银行户口里又加添了不知道几个零;又不用挤公车,又不用在小贩中心用餐,回到家就闻到米饭的香味。

这是身体上的回家的感觉,精神上的回家感觉呢?亚洲周刊的最新一篇有关马来西亚槟城的报道,让人精神上的感觉真好。槟城首长林冠英呼吁马国人民回国,为国家,为槟城做出贡献。相比较下,尤其是最近的一则新闻说去年有6000马国公民入籍新加坡,这个叫人回家的感觉,真会叫人落泪。

非选区议员罗文丽在国会初试啼声,虽然没有什么大道理可言,但是,她呼吁政府让流浪在国外的政治人物回国,让他们有一个回家的感觉,对国人,对这些政治人物,不也是一种幸福指数吗?

行动党政府是否有这样的包容心?是否有这样的胸怀?让人有个小小的要求回家的感觉真好。平平安安上班,快快乐乐回家,不也是一个幸福指数吗?或许,正如,赵传唱的“这样小小的要求,算不算太高?”

或许,对行动党来说,真的是太高,太不值得一提。如果是这样,我们只好自己去争取,选一个像林冠英一样的人,还自己一个回家真好的感觉。


网上资料:

檳城首長網上招才反應熱烈 .林友順


给精英的公开信
回家

     


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Should Low Thia Khiang accept or not accept Nanyang Alumni Achievement Award? Will there be a difference if he is not a politician?

  
If he is not a politician, he is unlikely to accept the award.  But again, if not because of his political achievement, Nanyang Technological University will not likely to give him the award.  His business achievement will not likely to land him the achievement award.

This is the political reality in Singapore. If Low rejects the award, the government and the media can easily classify him as a trouble maker or a non co-operative figure, some things like his former boss JBJ - opposing everything for the sake of oppositions even though it is not true.

However, deep in his heart; and back to the reasons that he left his post of a Chinese teacher and his disagreement with the closure of Nantah, Low knows that some Chinese educated people will not like his comprising role - a role that against the belief of his principal.

English educated politicians will not have this unfair and controversial treatment and funny position.  This is especially for Low who stands as an opposition and in principle should voice out the wrong doings of the government in Chinese language.  (Low did make his points clear for the Chinese language and he has tried his best). Many Chinese educated PAP MPs have been branded 汉奸 (betrayal) in the issue of Chinese language policy in Singapore.

It is a strange thing in Singapore: people who know the Chinese language and have Chinese education have to face the dilemma and receive the blame of not defending the language.  While people setting the changes in language policy sit in office at ease and look at the dog fight of Chinese educated Singaporeans.  No wonder less people are wiling to learn the Chinese language – why create another burden on yourself as life is already not easy in Singapore.

The compromising role that Low is adapting can be seen as a survival strategy.  There are many Chinese stories that great achievements are only achieved after great humiliations, for example, 勾践复国,韩信.
The survival strategy is also championed by Laozi.  Laozi wants people to accept negative things but not to give up life.

To break a GRC is a big achievement. To remain in Hougang SMC for nearly 20 years is a small achievement but a survival strategy. This tactic seems working for Workers’ Party.

NTU is different from Nantah.  To award a Nantah graduate with a NTU alumni achievement is a political decision rather than a pure achievement award.  Since Low is also a NUS honours graduate, it is even more appropriate for NUS to award him the achievement award rather than NTU.

Low and his generation of Chinese educated Singaporeans have to carry this unfair historical burden with them forever.  This is the political cost of Chinese educated Singaporeans.

It is not a 是不是 (yes or no) that English educated Singaporeans have nicknamed them. It is a victim of the so-called sacrifice under our economic development, cohesiveness and unity.



This is a sad true story that many Singaporeans fail to see and appreciate the sacrifice of Chinese educated Singaporeans.  

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

物极必反,占领华尔街,历史的重复写照


不论中外历史,不论政治体制,贫富问题,贫富不均,一直都伴随着人类,没有离开过,也没有彻底的解决过。其结局往往都是一个帝国,一个政权,一个政府倒台的主要原因。这个千百年不变的历史事实,一直在重复上演,没有结束过。过去,现在,将来,也都会如此。

这是人类的宿命吗?为何人类没有办法解决这个基本问题?为何科技这么发达,贫富依然存在,更可怕是,有人为了iphone,自愿出卖身体器官,肉体,为了就是要得到这个把玩在手上的科技玩具。看来,不在乎天长地久,只在乎曾经拥有的人,还不在少数。

这边厢有人不满贫富不均,占领华尔街,那边厢,有人接受现实,用另一种方式,满足本身的私欲。谁对谁错?谁的力量大,谁是是受益者,谁是受害者?中庸到了极限,物极必反,最终是政府倒台,换换别人来做。奥巴马心理好苦恼,因为,没有一个美国总统,可以在失业率高到9%的情形下当选,或许,他的命运出现奇数,对手太差,幸运之神要一个黑勇士来救救美国。总之,现在还言之过早。

回顾中国历史,好像没有一个朝代的倒台跟贫富不均没有关系。为何有这么多农民起义?难道他们愿意违抗天命,冒着丧失生命的危险,铤而走险吗?因为,整个社会资源的分配已经到不均的极限,气球吹到了极限,最终还是要爆的。

因此,我们又回到了原点:经济问题。克林顿当年无法让老布什连任,就是经济问题。蒋介石当年在大陆兵败如山倒,也是经济问题。所以,行动党一直强调经济,吃饱了,让你看看愚民的连续剧,就不会想这么多了。其间,还严正申明,不许参加类似占领华尔街的活动。

但是,物极必反的命运能否因为这些愚民和限制活动,而不会发生呢?事实上,我们的贫富不均,比美国还要严重,我们的经济问题,只建立在照顾上层社会精英,这就更加深贫富的距离了。或许,这已经不是禁止不禁止参加类似占领华尔街活动的问题了。基本问题无法解决,行动党政权的持续问题还是要来的。

欧美国家的好多的政府,现在,好像是热窝上的蚂蚁。他们真的是这么无能吗?还是,我们这一代,已经没有人才了?我们被科技的梦想迷惑了,我们被金融的利益侵蚀了。我们越进步,就要拉大拉远人与人之间的距离,分开有和没有的差别,越是能够成为最上层的1%,越是得意,满足和高高在上。而很不幸的,这些治国精英,却为这1%的人而努力,为保护他们而有所为和有所不为。

一旦,我们的社会,经济,国家发展,发展到只为一少部分人服务时,那就是物极必反的开始,风水轮流转又重新开始,历史又再重新开始。历史的教训,是否有人认真的听和认真的反省过呢?

Monday, 17 October 2011

For PAP, it is a mistake to let Chen Show Mao to sit in the Committee of Selection



For the first time since independence, an opposition Member of Parliament is nominated to sit on the Committee of Selection in the Parliament.  To the PAP, is it a wise choice? Or just to show the public, the government is now more inclusive than before.

No matter what are the reasons; it has created opportunity for the opposition Workers’ Party to see how the PAP MPs work and their performance in handling issues. There are 2 ministers, 2 ministers of state in the seven-member Committee.

Chen is not an ordinary person as he has worked with the top Chinese officials and bankers and top bankers and security regulators in the West. He has the experience of meeting top talents in the world and so it gives him a golden opportunity to judge and assess the quality of PAP MPs. 

How our highest paid ministers and politicians in the world compared to the top brains in the world?  When encounter problems and selection of MPs to other committees in the Parliament, how smart are the PAP MPs have reacted and behaved?  Are they skilful enough and have they intelligently discharged their duties as assigned? 

We, of course, cannot expect Chen to release his assessment report publicly.  However, by working in the same committee, he will be able to assess and evaluate the stupidity or intelligence of the PAP MPs. Will there be a big gap in their image and capability as compared to the main stream media has projected? 

In a Facebook post, Chen said, "I feel privileged to be nominated for appointment to the Committee of Selection and look forward to working with the Speaker and other members of the committee in the performance of its functions."  I think the word ‘privilege’ has a double meaning that gives Chen the privilege to look at the working of PAP MPs.

If this is true, then, why the PAP wants to expose itself for the opposition to observe and assess? Or they want to influence Chen to join them in the next election by giving him the privilege to join the committee. If so, it will be a miscalculation.  Chen with his high dignity and commitment to opposition politics will certainly not be so easy to be brought over.

What a big difference in a short period of few months, Chen Show Mao has transformed himself from a celebrity to a member of the powerful Committee of Selection, an elite club of the Parliament.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

五十步笑一百步,愚民政策下的愚民连续剧


在部长批评本地连续剧水准差,喧闹一场,没有水准的时候,行动党政府是否应该先检讨一下自己,谁是造成这种感慨剧目,难堪场景的作始俑者。新加坡的媒体广播,在行动党一党独大的管理下,如果有什么不对的地方,当然不可以怪其他的人,只能怪自己教导无方,用人不当。

什么样的瓜,就结什么样的果,难道,用鸡蛋就会孵出凤凰来吗?本地连续剧独霸黄金时段,推出的连续剧在没有竞争的情形下,如何取得进步。再加上,连续剧的内容又要配合政府的政策演出,编剧演员的功力又跟不上,种种的限制,重重的困难,还要加上预算的控制,如何演的好看,编出精彩。


因此,部长实在不用生气,不用埋怨什么人,回头望一望,我国连续剧失败的真正原因。本地连续剧的演员,编剧,如果不出产这样的连续剧,那才是怪事。这些演员就只能依靠大声说话,粗言粗语,来应对,来敷衍,反正,是做一日和尚,拿一天薪水,就敲它一日钟。

说到这里,我倒有点同情起这些编剧演员来了。我国连续剧的主流其实是华语连续剧,这些第八波道播出的连续剧,是行动党的拉票工具,它们虽然没有什么特别的精彩演出,但是说到影响力,就会影响一般的市民,影响他们的投票倾向。细算起来,他们的功劳其实不小,行动党的铁票,陈庆炎的36%,好多都是这些连续剧的观从。

做出贡献,却要挨骂是何道理?不要忘记,我国的主流媒体语言,官方常用语,依然是英语英文。你就是做的再好,也不过是个配角。向上邀功没有你的份,向下挨骂就有你的份。难怪,在演出时,要大声的宣泄,还要装不会说标准的华语,加插几句英语,怪模怪样的配合政策的剧情演出。

试问,这样的连续剧,又如何有所突破,又如何有所创新,政府在批评连续剧时,是否是应该先检讨一下,自己要的是什么样的连续剧?

自己既然已经为连续剧定了位,又为何要埋怨连续剧不到位呢?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Five bottles in our life

                                                

My brother sends me this picture without giving the source.  However, it is a normal sequence of life; some may not have all the five bottles in their life.  Some unlucky ones have only one bottle and jump straight to the last bottle. For some religions, the third bottle is a sin.

Anywhere, enjoy your life and complete your life with the first three or four bottles and avoid the fifth bottle.

With the exception of people putting their first priority on the third bottle, in Singapore, the two most expensive bottles are the first one - bring up a child and a family; and the last one – medical care.

This is why people are afraid to get marriage, to start a family and to have children.  This has become our greatest challenge that we are not producing enough to replace ourselves.

We fill the gap by importing bottles of soft drink, wines, liquor and expensive mineral water.  We also welcome tourists to visit our hospitals to enjoy their bottles of medical care.    

However, in the contrary, Singaporeans are afraid to get sick.  We would rather die than to be hospitalised.  So, depending how you look at it, there are some visitors like the fifth bottle and enjoy their life here.  

So stay healthy be happy and leave the fifth bottle behind us.

Have a happy bottling day!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

回头草的余香,26年后再见新小贩中心



原本像行动党这样的好汉,是没有理由吃回头草的。现在政府宣布,要兴建新的小贩中心,好像是顺从民意,配合人民的便利,满足人民的需要,协助减低人民的消费开支。好像是以前的构想没有错,错就错在人们的收入跟不上,有冷气商场不去享受,有轻轨地铁的方便不利用。

但是,细想一下,是不是也告诉人民,我们离瑞士的生活水准远了,没法达到了。26年前,新组屋区的设计,就是要一个没有小贩中心,出门有轻轨,购物吃饭买菜,可以到组屋区带有冷气的中心去,要不然,可以再坐地铁到市区或其他邻里中心去解决生活的一切所需。这是多么美好的生活,这是多么美好的第一世界国家!

硬件上或许我们能做到,看看盛港,。。。  但是,当人们再看看自己的荷包时,面对生活的开支压力时,不免又怀念起小贩中心来。没有冷气的地方,吃饭购物,又经济又方便,实在是没有理由跟自己的钱过意不去。尤其是,老年人,就近解决生活的需要,才是最重要,什么冷气不冷气,什么轻轨,地铁,豪华的冷气商场,这些表面的假象,敌不过生活的现实。

为何等了将近30年,我们才知道面对现实,和30年前相比,我们的贫富差距又拉得更远了。对于收入无法和经济发展同步的人们,他们可能更加需要的是小贩中心,方便的巴士服务,而不是轻轨,地铁,冷气商场等。对于这些人,朴素的生活,简单的生活,才是真正的快乐,才是生活的现实。好汉们在歌功颂德声中,经济一片大好的美景下,怎么会想到有人会跟不上,有人会国家越进步,他们越退步。


行动党政府在新一届国会宣布了未来5年的治国方针,共创未来具有挑战,国际经济政治局势更是风起云涌,不知道我们将会多建还是少建小贩中心呢?

或许,这也是国家建设中的另一个指标,新加坡贫富指数的一个象征。


所以,我们不应该对下面的新闻有所惊异,小贩中心对下层收入人士,的确有舒缓的作用。好汉要了解回头草的余香,不是,所有的国人都是经济发展的受益者。



国人实际月入中位数10年增11 但收入最低20%全职受雇者几乎没增长

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Don’t Stop At Six. More Voices Are Needed In The Parliament For The Oppositions


The long awaited Parliament has finally opened and everything is planned by the ruling PAP, including the election of the Speaker of the house, the seating arrangement and the President’s address for the next five years.

However, the first thing the oppositions ask for is to have more time to speak to voice out for the people. The opposition Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang has to urge the Speaker for more opportunities for opposition MPs to speak. 

Why is there a need or urge to request for more time and opportunity to speak if we have more opposition members of Parliament?  So, don’t stop at six, in the next election, we should elect more opposition MPs to truly represent us in the Parliament, or even forming the alternative government.

NCMP is a short term solution and we should make it irrelevant in the next election.  In order to do that we need more people to come forward to represent and support the oppositions. 

As Chen Show Mao said, “I hope that by the small examples of more and more people around us taking small steps forward,  Singaporeans will be more encouraged, will be less fearful, will find it more normal, to speak up, ask questions and become more actively engaged in politics.  And he stressed that “At this point in our nation's history, the act of coming forward is an act of public service.  Taking the first step forward makes half the journey.”

Six opposition MPs is really a under representation for the oppositions.  It is even not enough to form a shadow cabinet and so how to have a full debate on every issue.  There is also a lack of resource support and think tank advisory.  Hence, we may not have the opportunity to see high quality debate in other major democracies, perhaps, not even the standard of the Malaysia Parliament debates.  

Simply because it is a PAP “controlled’ parliament due mainly to the overwhelming number of PAP MPs in the Parliament. WP MPs will need some good strategies to break the monopoly and control.

No only we need capable people to stand for the oppositions, we also need more voters to support the oppositions. 49.9% support will not win you a MP seat in the first past the post one to one election.  If you want to have more alternative voices, do as the Aljunied and Hougang voters do, vote decisively in the next election! 

Monday, 10 October 2011

成也萧何败也萧何,新加坡的中文华语何去何从?


新加坡的华文华语,一直跟一个人离不开关系。当人们渐渐忘记学习中文华语时,他就会跳出来高喊,华语的重要性,在家说华语的重要性。说到好像华语运动的口号一样,华文华语谁怕谁?

到底是谁怕谁?是谁害怕失去文化的根?没有根,是不是没有了中庸之道,没有了行动党的基本票?陈庆炎不通的中文华语,不也是得到36%选票,顺利当选成为总统吗?那又害怕什么懂不懂中文,说不说通华语,反正听不懂陈庆炎说的话,新加坡的华文华语人,还不是照投他一票,让行动党的江山得以保住吗?

话说回来,也就是,也正是,这些华文华语人,陈庆炎的选票,行动党的基本票,才得以保住。一旦,这些人少了,基本票低了,这个江山还保得住吗?因此,不管是出于真心还是假意,为了选票,这个秀还是要秀它一秀,时时提醒新加坡人,双语的重要,不要做个没有自信的华人。

“因为要是你不懂得华语,你将没有华人应有的民族自信,也自然无法受惠于中国的崛起。”说到最后,还是政治加上经济。对新加坡来说,懂得中文普通话,是百利而无一害的,又能巩固政权,又能带动经济发展。

或许,杨荣文的话,值得我们深思,他在接受早报访问时,对无法落实潘受的诺言,让南大复名,感到愧疚。这是新加坡的现实,我们要如何面对,如何解读,中文华语的重要。

希望,大家心里都有一把尺,而不是只有一把萧何的尺。

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Hard Earned Cash Versus Digital Money, Any Difference?


I was in Munich, Germany last year and was surprised to learn that some Germans still prefer cash over credit.  There is a famous German restaurant serving typical Munich food that only accepts cash payment in this important industrial city.  

Before going to the restaurant, I was warned that I must have enough cash not credit to settle the bill.  I wonder why? When everyone is talking about credit and liked to have credit over cash and what on earth, this particular restaurant only wants cash.  And this is the first world country and it is one of the most advanced countries in the world.  Electronic money and credit are not uncommon to them.

Why cash not credit?

It reminded me of the meaning of hard earned money. After a full day of hard work, it is really nice to see the takings of the day in cash, the physical money rather than credit in the bank.  It makes a feel good feeling and it stimulates you to work harder the next day for more cash.

It means you see the result in notes and coins, the real results of your hard work.

However, there is no emotional value for credit, electronic or digital money, or virtual banking.  You don’t feel it so much as these are numbers and sometimes you will take it for granted.

Very often, you see traders in the big banks lost billion of money.  These are figures to them, in a touch of button, they are gone or it may increase with a bigger number.  You don’t feel pain when you lose the numbers.  While when these are in cash and in billion of money and you really earn them through a hard way, before you place the button to transfer the money for a transaction, you will have emotional feeling.  You feel the pain when this money is no more with you and it is a lost of many days of your hard work.

These numbers are, of course, not the traders’ hard earned money. They just help to push the button on behalf of their clients and so they feel they have no responsibility to protect them.  Or may be they forget they have the responsibility to protect them.

When Temasek Holdings and GIC invest our hard earned CPF money, will they do it likes the traders or the German restaurant owner? Will they appreciate that their opportunity to invest in the world is given by CPF members?   

Technology is good and it makes work more efficient.  However, it also creates more problems, especially, the lack of human touch. Because this electronic money is numbers, investment bankers, fund managers, and relationship managers all are engaged in the number game. They build the financial products and portfolios on different numbers, adding numbers on top of the numbers. At the end of the day, they lose their way in the number game and missed their way out.

The numbers are like colours, music, flavours, and hunting that make a person loses his senses.

This perhaps is what Laozi’s saying of the lost of senses:

Chapter 12 of Laozi

12.  The Senses
The five colors blind the eyes of man;
The five musical notes deafen the ears of man;
The five flavors dull the taste of man;
Horse-racing, hunting and chasing madden the minds of man;
Rare, valuable goods keep their owners awake at night.
Therefore the Sage:
   Provides for the belly and not the eye.
   Hence, he rejects the one and accepts the other.
(Transalted by Lin YuTang) 

Friday, 7 October 2011

寂寞的敢于不同,乔布斯的玩弄科技,游戏人间;将会给新加坡带来什么启示?


苹果电脑创始人之一乔布斯走了。56年的玩弄科技,游戏人间,给人类带来了快乐,给自己带来快乐,最后,自己也带着快乐走了。

凤凰网的标题打的好,《他不是英雄,不是神话,而是个顽童》, 不然,怎么玩弄科技,游戏人间。神雕侠侣中的老顽童周伯通,左右手互相切磋功夫,一心二用,把武功玩弄在双手间,到有点像乔布斯玩弄苹果电脑一样。

乔布斯的寂寞,是看到人家看不到的,也无法知道的变化。同时,他又要忍受人家的不理解,面对各种误会,讥笑和阻挠。再加上,他还要忍受一般人不可以忍受的失败,被踢出局,又被请回来。顽童的寂寞,又可是我们能够理解,愿意承受,承当的。

新加坡需要顽童的思考,才能更上一层楼

新加坡的发展道路,一向循规蹈矩,按部就班,缺少顽童的气质,缺少玩弄科技,缺少游戏人间,所以,我们也不能期待像乔布斯那样的快乐的来,快乐的走。

但是,生活的最高潮,创新的最高点,有时确是要疯癫一点,玩世不恭一点。尤其是,新加坡已经走上了服务经济的道路上,点子要多,要快,才能继续领先其他国家。

因此,以后的路,未来的路,如果还要像以前一样,板着脸,样样要算计清楚,看来就无法像乔布斯那样,取得突破性进展,和突破性生活素质的提升。

这就是行动党的挑战,如何面对敢于不同,如何接受敢于不同的反对党,敢于不同的意见,敢于不同“的创新,“敢于不同”的突破性改变。

美国总统奥巴马追悼乔布斯是美国最伟大创新者,并说,许多人透过乔布斯发明的科技得知他的死讯是再适切不过了。奥巴马发表书面声明说:他改变我们的生活、重新定义整个工业并达成人类史上最罕见的成就之一:他改变我们每个看世界的方式。奥巴马说:乔布斯是美国最伟大的创新者之一,思考敢于不同,大胆得足以相信自己可以改变世界,而且聪明得可以做到这一点。(中新网)

好多中文传媒,都以“敢于不同”作为标题,来形容乔布斯的一生。敢于不同,好难哦!尤其在新加坡,我们还要一而再,再而三的强调,新加坡只能有一支甲队,只能集中全国最佳人才在一个团队。

我们敢于不同的甜蜜的梦

什么是新加坡的敢于不同,李显龙总理在第11届世界华商大会说:

“新加坡融贯东西文化,一般人民通晓两种语文,能够很自在地跟西方人士和中港台人士直接沟通和交流。我们熟悉西方的体制和管理观念,又继承了亚洲的传统文化和精神面貌。因此,新加坡向来是东西商贸和文化的交汇地,为国际交流提供了一个自然和理想的环境。”(早报网)

在新加坡本土华人已经越来越无法学习和掌握华文,无法传承本身文化的当儿,还说我们学惯中西,能够自如的和东西方沟通,这真是敢于不同,不知出席大会的华商有何感想?这真是一番敢于不同的言论。

乔布斯的三点敢于不同

乔布斯在斯坦福大学有个经典的演讲,在演讲中他说了三个故事。他不谈大道理,却道出三个敢于不同的故事。

1. 敢于不同的做自己喜欢的事。大学没有毕业也没有遗憾。

2. 敢于不同的离开一手创办的公司,然后又回来领导公司。自己创立的公司虽然否定了他,可是乔布斯还是爱做那些事情,所以他决定从头来过。

3敢于不同的面对死亡,活着是求知若饥,虚心若愚

演讲全文,可上网:

诺基亚对上苹果,行动党对上反对党?

敢于不同,行动党的诺基亚对上反对党的苹果iPhone 结局如何?

行动党像不像诺基亚,曾几何时的风光,独霸一方,呼风唤雨,就是不敢走出敢于不同的圈圈。反而是反对党,现在有了集选区的零的突破,敢于不同,花样百出,吸引了人山人海的支持者,尤其是喜爱苹果i系列产品的年轻一族。

曾几何时,反对党人在新加坡是最最寂寞的一群人,要打入国会,谈何容易,面对各种各样的限制,阻碍,连发表意见的机会都没有。时来运转,人民开始注重敢于不同的意见,敢于不同的做法。不然,怎么会有40%的支持票。 不然,怎么会有这么精彩的总统选举。


行动党的挑战是如何面对敢于不同,反对党的挑战是如何利用敢于不同,新加坡的挑战是如何看待对待敢于不同。