Friday, 30 November 2012

Bumbler in a Bubble Home for Retirement

It looks like a Singapore bumbler is in the making or we may already have one.

After reading the Bloomberg’s report “Lee Rues Singapore as Retirement Home Unless Birthrate Rises”, we could find some similarities comparing with another article “Ma the bumbler” by The Economist. 

The Economist has called President Ma a Bumbler recently due to his indecisiveness or inaction. In Taiwan, newspapers there translated the word ‘bumbler’ as ‘stupid’. A check with the web has the following meaning for “bumbler”: 
Someone who makes mistakes because of incompetence

PM Lee Hsein Loong spoke to Bloomberg about the property market but he took no action even he recognised it was a bubble. He said there were difficult trade-offs to encourage people to have more babies but our birth rate had been declining since 1987. Is he still waiting to see the trade-offs? It proves that economic growth is the always the key in Singapore and only now he realises having more babies is the greatest challenge for the government! 

Here are 2 relevant parts of the article “Ma the Bumbler’ that look very similar to Singapore situation:

“Ordinary people do not find their livelihoods improving. Salaries have stagnated for a decade. The most visible impact of more open ties with China, which include a free-trade agreement, has been property speculation in anticipation of a flood of mainland money. Housing in former working-class areas on the edge of Taipei, the capital, now costs up to 40 times the average annual wage of $15,400. The number of families below the poverty line has leapt. Labour activists have taken to pelting the presidential office with eggs. 
Exports account for 70% of GDP. So some of Taiwan’s problems are down to the dismal state of rich-world economies. Yet Mr Ma’s leadership is also to blame. He has failed to paint a more hopeful future, with sometimes hard measures needed now. Worse, he frequently tweaks policies in response to opposition or media criticism. It suggests indecisiveness.”

PM Lee is lucky as he faces weak oppositions inside and outside parliament.  No wonder he is able to talk about “inclusive politics and decisive government”.  

Retirement Home or not, Singapore is our HOME

However, the most interesting point that he raised during the interview is Singapore should not go down as a retirement home.

Bumbler or not bumbler, most of Singaporeans will have to retire in Singapore and spend the rest of lives here.  Retirement or not, this is our Home – a nation state in building since 1965.  Yes, we have ageing problem, but where can we go for retirement if we have no money?  Even we have money, the bond is here.    

Think deeply, PM Lee is still thinking of money. With no increase of babies, dependency ratio will go up and social expenses will go up too.  So, he prefers some Singaporeans to go overseas for cheaper retirement, for example Malaysia or Indonesia. 

The government is trying very hard at one stage to do this and encourages Singaporeans to go overseas for nursing cares.  But as a bumbler, they keep it a low profile after receiving criticisms from Singaporeans. Now again, PM Lee brings out the idea of retirement home. Is he suggesting old Singaporeans should go overseas so that we can maintain a young Singapore by either having more babies or more foreigners?

In the past 50 years, Singaporeans have slowly building our own identity – singlish, emotionless, kiasu, kiasi, …… And it is why the Singapore Home concept arises – the bonding, the belongingness, etc.

PM Lee may not notice this development that Singaporeans have called the red dot home.  Perhaps, he is thinking spending his retirement elsewhere.  Fortunately or unfortunately, majority of Singaporeans will retire and die here – the lion city, the little dragon. 

To be fair to Ma and Lee, the world is changing and changing rapidly. It seems no world leaders are competent enough to solve the world problems right now.  Perhaps, Obama and Xi Jinping will become the next bumblers.

Some quotes from Lee Hsien Loong from the interview with Bloomberg:

On low birth rate:
“It’s an issue which many countries are dealing with,” Lee said. “None of them have come to any very satisfactory solution because the trade-offs are difficult ones.”

On property bubble
“We have had a property boom, almost a bubble,”
“It’s because liquidity is sloshing around worldwide and real interest rates are negative,” he said. “That’s a difficult problem for us on the overall property market.”

On falling support for the PAP
 “It’s what you would expect to happen as we have a change of generations amongst the population -- you are in a new age, much more open and interconnected,”

For full view, visit

Wednesday, 28 November 2012







因为,它整天说没钱,或许已经把钱花在不知道什么地方了 (虽然名义上我们的外汇储备丰富)。如果,要提供高质价廉的组屋,教育,医药等等服务,唯一的方法,就是增加税收。增加税率,在行动党看来,不只是国人不喜欢,外国投资就不会来了,这样一来,新加坡经济就推不动了。


我国低收入人群10几年来一直处于没有 加薪的持续性零增长的状态。行动党政府不以为然。不但认为这么做是对的,甚至,在无法继续协助企业降低工资成本时,还同意让企业引进外劳,进一步降低成本。无形中,进一步把低收入人士的薪金拉低。









无法进一步降低人力和租金成本,行动党政府怎么办?所以,政府就搞了全国对话,扮演好好先生,聆听国人的诉说。但是,不要忘记李显龙说的:"Inclusive politics, decisive government". 在政治上可以包含你,在决策上绝不手软。










Tuesday, 27 November 2012

No Blue Or Red In A White Dream of Freak Election

The PAP is getting worry so do PM Lee Hsien Loong.  They begin to see their future either in blue or red and there is no white. So in their dream, there is no snow white but only colourful pictures of blue, red, pink, yellow and others.  Is this possible: a Singapore with no men in white? It must be a freak election as Singaporeans are doing the unthinkable as claimed by Lee senior.

Freak or not freak, we are seeing more colours in Singapore politics.  The PAP is day dreaming if it continues to think Singapore is still a ‘white’ land.

"If Singapore had a blue constituency and a red constituency, I think Singapore will be in trouble," …..
"We have tried to make sure that all our constituencies are about the same colour … because we want all the constituencies to share the same interests. Then we can think together and when you represent Singapore, you represent the whole of Singapore."
Look like he is trying to create a ‘communist’ state and everyone is dressed up in white.  Everything is the “same”: same colour constituencies, same interest, elites from same schools, poor from same HDB, transport from same company, telecoms from same group, ……

In actual fact, the PAP is doing the opposite. They are paying high salary to themselves. They allow the widening rich-poor gap. Even SMRT, they agree to have different salary for same job. Where is the ‘same’?

But for political reason and their survival, they want the ‘same’. Everyone thinks and dreams only white, no other colours.

However, white is not a good colour, especially for Chinese. White means the past, over and sadness. And we prefer a colourful society, a colourful Singapore. In Chinese, day dream is also a white dream.

If there is no white constituency, who is in trouble? the PAP or the people. Singaporeans have been living in the white dream (白日梦) for too long. They dreams of the PAP’s promise of Swiss standard of living – the same white dream for more than 20 years.  It makes Singaporeans forget they have their own dreams – their colourful dreams.  People have the right to create their own colours that they want.  

The government is promoting creativity but only wants citizens to use white colour to make creative pieces. By using white colour, in the PAP’s analogy we will have an "Inclusive politics, decisive government".

In his white dream, PM Lee is overly confident that he and his PAP are the best.

"I think in Singapore, if the PAP is not able to deliver, I think the politics will malfunction because it's not going to be easy to put together another group to make Singapore work."

Here, he clearly denies other colours can rule Singapore effectively. It must be white if not more white. Not easy as PM Lee claimed does not mean not possible or not capable. Very soon, Singapore politicians whatever colours they are will have the “same” background – thanks to more than 50 years of PAP white washing education.    

Popular but not middle ground, what is he talking about?

If you are not popularly elected, how do you form the government?  If you are not in government, how do you make ‘middle ground’ responsible decisions? May be in Singapore, by using boundary re-drawing, GRC and main-stream media, the white can cover all colours. As a result, even without popular votes, it can still get elected.

PM Lee: Do the right thing, dont be a populistWhile the right political decision may not be the most popular one, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says for the future good of the country, it is more important for the ruling party to make responsible decisions rather than to make popular ones. 
Anyway, PM Lee does not want to be a ‘Hao Hao Xian Sheng’ (Mr Nice Guy).  He wants people to give him the trust so that he can lead Singaporeans ‘charge’ into the white dream.  

Of course, there is a trade-off. If you believe and trust his white dream, you then let him lead you to the white land. However, you too can opt not to trust him and make you own way to a colourful world.

Saturday, 24 November 2012






以下举19881991,四个单选区的 情形说明一下。为何巴耶利峇单选区在1991年的大选被取消。如果,没有被取消,在野党候选人中选的机会几乎是100%,怪只怪在1988年,巴耶利峇选民强出头,过早的暗示这个选区行动党的优势不再。



同理,友诺士集选区,静山集选区,为何在大选过后被取消呢?我们现在等着看波东巴西,如切单选区,东海岸集选区会不会步上以上这些选区的命运,在 2016年被取消掉。












It expressly carves out the application of personal data protection laws to public agencies that collect, use or disclose our personal data:#2


As an extension, the personal data protection laws will also not apply to private organisations when they act on behalf of a public agency.#2




The Act covers all private sector organisations engaged in data activities within Singapore.

The public sector is not governed by the new law, as it already has its own data protection rules which are stricter than the new law in some cases.

The Bill allows for various other exemptions. For example, an organization may collect, use or disclose personal data without having to comply with the data protection laws if doing so is “necessary in the national interest”. Or if the collection, use or disclosure of personal data is “necessary to respond to an emergency that threatens the life or safety of that individual or another individual”.  Or if the personal data is “publicly available”.  Or if the use or disclosure of personal data is “necessary for any investigation or proceedings”.
These exemptions would have been helpful in providing some flexibility to organisations, such as government agencies, when dealing with the interests of the public in specific cases. Unfortunately, this Bill will not apply to public agencies.  It expressly carves out the application of personal data protection laws to public agencies that collect, use or disclose our personal data: these include government ministries, tribunals and upon notification by the Minister, statutory boards like the PA and the HDB.  As an extension, the personal data protection laws will also not apply to private organisations when they act on behalf of a public agency.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Will emotionless Singaporeans give Dr Chee Soon Juan a chance in Parliament 2016?

Yes if you are in the cycle of social media. No if you are on the side of main stream media. So, what is the chance of Dr Chee Soon Juan getting your votes in 2016?

By the probability of throwing a coin, it is 50:50. The chance right now is perhaps below 50% as his constituency groundwork has yet to begin. We have to assess his new ‘emotion’ in the next few years and re-rate his chances.

Let’s be very clear that less emotion does not mean less rational.  Singapore voters are calculative and they want to have both economic growth and democracy, just like they want upgrading with government subsidy plus oppositions in the parliament. When they know they can’t have both, they will make the best choice for themselves, for example Aljunied GRC.

Singapore ranks as the most emotionless society in the world, beating out Georgia, Lithuania, and Russia. Singaporeans are unlikely to report feelings of anger, physical pain, or other negative emotions. They’re not laughing a lot, either. “If you measure Singapore by the traditional indicators, they look like one of the best-run countries in the world,” says Jon Clifton, a Gallup partner in Washington. “But if you look at everything that makes life worth living, they’re not doing so well.”

Best company with no work-life balance

From the above report, we know Singapore is one of the best-run companies in the world but it does not mean a work-life balance is provided in this company.  We look at the figure and pay you based on your performance. You have your compensation and bonus accordingly but be ready to report to work every time you are needed.

With this life style, you are motionless even you have high pay and fat bonus. Unfortunately, if you are not in this class, you become even more emotionless. Going down to the social ladder, you see more emotionless faces as they have to struggle for a living.  

Emotion or emotionless Dr Chee?

Same to Dr Chee, after getting the news of his annulment from bankruptcy, let’s guess he is emotion or less emotion now.  His past action is considered emotion to some or rational for others. And what about the future, especially in GE2016, will his participation as an election candidate lead to a new emotion?

Let us wish him all the best after Friday, 23 Nov 2012.  It is good to see him in parliament and so we can judge him whether he is ‘too emotion or too rational’.

The Government says Singapore opposition leader Chee Soon Juan's bankruptcy has been annulled after an unprecedented concession by two former prime ministers to whom he owed about $400,000.
A government office statement says ex-prime ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong agreed to accept a reduced amount of S$30,000 from Mr Chee, which will free him from bankruptcy proceedings formally on Friday.

Dr Chee as an MP in 2016?

Based on the SDP percentage of valid votes of 36.8% in GE2011 and its best performance result of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC (39.9%), it is really not an easy task for Dr Chee and SDP. You need a 10.11% swing to win.  Is it possible?

And the SDP team in Holland-Bukit Timah was (as claimed in social media) already the best of the best from the oppositions in 2011. There is no doubt the percentage of valid votes of SDP in 2016 will increase from 36.8%, but by how much?

GE % of valid votes

@ By-elections strategySource: 

23.3% in 2006 for SDP is an unusual low and could be a statistical error due to some unusual and unfavourable campaigns.  Confidentially saying, in 2016, the SDP percentage of valid votes should increase to more than 40%. But will this enough to make a breakthrough?

The SDP before 1991 and after 1991 is a totally different party under different leadership.  If history repeats itself and SDP manages to gain back its glory, then we will see the first SDP MP under the leadership of Dr Chee in 2016.

A better organised SDP with more qualify candidates should have a chance in 2016.  But Singapore voters are the richest in the world, the most emotionless in the world, and as reported above Singaporeans are unlikely to report feelings of anger, physical pain, or other negative emotions.”

This makes getting their feelings difficult not to mention their votes. And SDP does not a have National Conversation to talk to the people even it only reaches to a certain group of people.  

Fight to win

We will see a very different picture from the past for future general elections or even by-elections. In the past, especially in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, participation in elections is like playing a game, full of fun.  It is certainly more emotions and many candidates participated in elections just for the fun. And for the PAP candidates it was a fun too, competing with each other to see who had the highest margin!

The future elections will be less emotions and less funs.

You stand as candidate is to win the election, not for fun. There is no room for fun playing candidates unless you want to lose your deposit. Even the PAP candidates have to fight to win and opposition candidates will have to choose a party that gives them a higher chance of winning.

Will all these future emotionless candidates lead to an even less emotion Singapore?  I hope not.  

Monday, 19 November 2012

罚款随物价房价而涨 一流教育如何教这门课?



罚款涨价增加,一跳就跳了200元。以百分比来说,就是67% (200:300)。以通货膨胀的水准来说,这已经是高度通货膨胀了。这好像组屋,公寓的涨价一样,动不动就是几十巴仙的上涨,如果你是受薪人士,老板会不会给你几十巴仙的加薪?




但是,为何收钱不说麻烦,而给钱给以所谓的医药津贴,老人津贴,却要mean testing,要调查家庭背景。既然如此,为了公平起见,看来不管是政府收钱也好,给钱也好,调查一下个人,家庭背景,再给于公平的处罚和津贴,才合乎人人平等的原则。







现在的教育工作,还要面对社会上出现的一些现象:贫富的问题,公平公正的问题,民主自由的问题,。。。 教育部2014年推出的新的品格教育,不知如何面对这些问题?还有,富人孩子集中在名校,如何做到和谐和沟通。



时言平 媒体人

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Does full retirement of Hu Jintao mean anything to the PAP and our Parliament?

Even Hu Jintao dares to do it, why the PAP old guards still feel the uncertainty? Hu made history in the recently concluded party congress of Chinese Communist Party for leadership renewal. He stepped down from the important posts of party chief and military head - not to forget China is a nuclear power and is modernising its forces.

One important factor of recent Chinese politics has been that even when the Chinese leadership retire, they still exert a phenomenal amount of power. This looks similar to Singapore.  When Goh Chok Tong became Prime Minister, he needed a senior minister. When Lee Hsien Loong took over the PM post, he needed two.

Only last year, after the general election, the PAP felt they had to face the reality and decided to let go the SM, MM, and 2 unpopular ministers.  However, is this arrangement a ‘full retirement’ of former ministers?

No. They are still collecting pay checks from the Parliament.  They may not have influences over government policies, however, they are certainly not fully retired from politics and not to forget they can still vote in the Parliament.  

It is time they do the honourable thing to resign from Singapore Parliament and let others make more meaningful contribution to the Parliament. There are at least 5 former ministers (Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Chok Tong, Raymond Lim, Mah Bow Tan, and Wong Kan Seng) in the current Parliament.  They should not behave like Jiang Zemin or Deng Xiaoping but follow the footstep of Hu Jintao.
Setting a precedent from his predecessors, outgoing Communist Party chief and President Hu Jintao has stepped down as chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and made a historic full retirement from power.
Unlike late strongman Deng Xiaoping and former president Jiang Zemin who held on to their CMC posts despite retiring as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) general secretary, Mr Hu has decided to hand over both hats to Vice-President Xi Jinping, who will also assume the presidency next March.

The PAP should let go of these old guards and calls for mid-term by-elections to replace them. They can use this opportunity to show Singaporeans that the current team is a “new’ team without the influence of the old guards.  It can also prepare new and young ministers to face the reality of elections and their popularity.

Current PAP MPs and cover girl

However, this only involves 5 MPs and few GRCs. If we look at the current PAP MPs, they are (more) behaving very similar to Andrea Yu, an Australian journalist famous for asking ‘soft’ questions during the CCP congress.

AUSTRALIAN journalist Andrea Yu has had the questions turned on her after a series of 'soft questions' at the Chinese Communist Party congress.Yu was later revealed to be an employee of a company owned by the Chinese Government and based in Australia since 2009. 
Many were surprised when the Australian was allowed to ask questions at the Chinese leadership event. That is normally reserved for Chinese journalists who are supportive of the government.Yu has been criticised for failing to ask tougher questions and instead using the floor to quiz China's leadership about Australian-Asian relations and Melbourne's sister-city connection with Tianjin. 
The ABC's China correspondent, Stephen McDonnell, asked Yu if she was called to ask questions because it was known that she works for Global CAMG Media International, a majority Chinese-owned company. CAMG is also affiliated with state-run Chinese radio."I honestly don't believe people in the Chinese Government knew who I was," she said. 
Yu has only worked for CAMG for about a month but admitted that her questioning is influenced by who she works for. 
"I can't ask the hard questions that I might want to ask because of who I work for," she said.

Do the PAP MPs speak like Andrea in the Parliament?  Do the Government Parliamentary Committees really speak for the people or the PAP? Many have described Andrea as a ‘beautiful flower’ in the Congress, but really, does her presence make the Congress a step forward or backward in openness?  

At least, at the end, Andrea Hodgkinson Yu is a cover girl:

And interestingly, she seems to have 2 names, one outside China and one inside China.
So what we have is Andrea Hodgkinson giving her name as Andrea Yu to foreign reporters but who is known in China as Andi. Got it?Read more:

Not sure in our Parliament, our PAP MPs also carry 2 names and 2 characters, one inside the Parliament (for the PAP) and the other outside the Parliament (for the voters).