Saturday, 30 March 2013

PAP’s Alignment and Sustainability Challenges under Capability Analysis

Using the strategy tool of capability analysis, the PAP is facing challenges in alignment and sustainability.  In the capability value chain, there is little value created by Design and Innovation. The PAP has lost its monopoly status in the ’election’ market. An open competition environment will threaten the economic profits that the PAP has been enjoying in the past 50 years.

Capability value chain

Political parties do have value chain. This is very true for the PAP as it runs the government likes a business corporation.  Singapore government agencies and departments are required to achieve business excellence for their performance. (http://www.spring.gov.sg/qualitystandards/be/pages/business-excellence-initiative.aspx#.UVT1qhxTB0o )

For the case of politics, the only different is that the PAP wants to gain more votes (rather than money) from the quality performance of its public administration.   Hence, the usual value chain of ‘Supplier - Manufacture – Distribution – Buyer’ can be described as follows:

Supply:
PAP associates and grass roots organizations are playing the support and supply role.  The directly involved organizations are People’s Association (www.pa.gov.sg), NTUC (trade union, ntuc.org.sg), election department (www.eld.gov.sg), etc. And the indirect supporting bodies include chambers of commerce, business associations, racial and cultural groups, and even some NGOs etc.

Manufacture
Political parties need candidates to stand for election.  People with potential will be invited to attend tea sessions for their suitability.  Potential candidates will be assigned to grass roots for training and understudy under current members of parliament. Candidates will also undergo internal selection, background checks, interviews, promotion, training, etc.   

Distribution
Before a general election is called, there are many distribution works including media coverage for the potential candidates; detailed study of electoral districts based on population and feedback (sometimes even external survey); re-drawing of constituency boundary to gain economic profits; election budget to please voters; moods of voters; key issues; finalize list of candidates and group them into different teams, etc.

Buyer 
Parliament is dissolved and a new general election is called. It is time to convince voters to buy the PAP candidates. The new or re-drawn constituencies (single and group) will be announced in short notice which will give oppositions little time to prepare for election (another economic profits possibility).   The government control media will then give friendly and co-operative coverage for the PAP candidates, development plans in their contested seats, and team leaders for the group constituency (GRCs). The campaign period is short and is only lasted for 9 days plus 1 more cooling-off day.   

Capabilities and Economic Profits

If we use the 3 economic profits elements for the capability analysis of the PAP, besides monopoly, the design and innovation elements need urgent improvement.  

Table below shows the relationship of the various capabilities.

Capabilities
Supply
Manufacture
Distribution
Buyer
Process




People




Systems




Alignment




Sustainability





The value chain

It is either lack of Design or Innovation that lead to less value (economic profits) being created.  The PAP can still use the (less effective) monopoly power to control the value chain of Supply – Manufacturer – Distribution – Buyer.  But there are alignment problems and sustainable issues.

These alignments and sustainable issues are appearing in primary and secondary activities.

Primary activities: 
The PAP still uses the same design and innovative process and procedures in the primary activities. From logistics (organization of visits, rally), production (selection of candidates), marketing and sales (through main stream media, endorsement), to services (rally gifts, campaign walks and slogan), there is no different from the past practice.

Secondary activities:
As for secondary activities, there are also no new design and innovations for value creation. From Infrastructure (organization structure), HR (deployment of candidates, PR assistance), R&D (use of new media, people engagement), to procurement (new assistance or additional resources), design and innovation have failed to create new or even maintain the economic profits.

Since there is no control of entry, oppositions can now compete and participate in the elections with less fear factors. The use of monopoly (state) control through tangible and intangible means has failed and it can no longer protect the economic profits or keep all the economic profits under PAP pocket. Due to the ineffective entry control, the hope is on design and innovation to maintain the level of economic profits.  However, it is a challenge for the PAP to come out with useful and workable design and innovation solutions.   

Alignment

Design and Innovation do not help in maintaining an efficient alignment for the PAP. Internal and external alignments do not paint an economic profit capability picture.

Internal:
The PAP is using a top-down approach for election campaign. The party central committee decides the direction, action plans and rules to follow.  PAP associates and organizations will follow the instructions.  Grass roots are not happy about this arrangement and they have voiced out their concerns but their views are not being taken seriously.

Supporting organizations are rather passive and wait for instruction.  Some may not even be willing to co-operate but they just have to do it for fear of offending the PAP.

This ‘Process, People and System’ alignment problems make the reinforcement and building up the PAP capability unsustainable.

External:
If we consider VRIN (Valuable, Rare, Inimitable, and Non-Substitutable), there are problems in value alignment. The PAP value proposition is weak. It cannot offer or propose Valuable future to convince voters.  It is no more a Rare option for Singaporeans.  It is easy to be copied and Inimitable is not on the PAP side. Finally, the PAP is certainly not a Non-substitutable product.  Voters are willing to buy alternative products and options.   

Sustainability

The past practices of winning elections easily with out of proportion economic profits are no more sustainable.   Other political parties can copy the same tactics or improve the old practices to attract more voters.  Imitability is no more a problem for competitors. On the other hand, the PAP is facing durability problems.  Some old practices or past success models are at the stage of ‘degrade and obsolete’.  They cannot hold the economic profits as before.  

Imitability
Yes. Alternative parties and oppositions can easily do the same.  They have better turnout for their political rallies, more positive responses during house visits, more voters are willing to take picture together with the oppositions or showing opposition flags etc. VRIN is on the opposition side, especially in the social media.

Durability  
Sustainability means the PAP has to maintain its capabilities in the value chain. But there are out of date practices, or some are already degraded and obsoleted.  For example, People’s Association, as a front line support organization, does not bring in valuable feedbacks.  Voters are suspicious about the open support given by union, chambers of commerce or associations.  They even dislike the good education background and outstanding credential of the PAP candidates.

Building capabilities:

The PAP is facing great challenges in building up its capabilities.  For a business organization, it can acquire the required technology or other capabilities through merger and acquisitions or develop the capabilities internally overtime by own investment and R & D.

It is not possible for the PAP to do so, for instance, buying over opposition parties or merger with them.  The best the PAP can do is to promote less creditable oppositions, painting bad pictures of oppositions or even planting moles into the oppositions.   

The PAP is less successful in developing capabilities internally.  Overtime, it has proved that the quality of their candidates, the commitment of party members, the alignment between PAP and support organizations, the process-people-system alignment relationship and even the media support  have deteriorated.   Internal capability building is less effective as before not to mention its culture and value upbringing internally.  
     

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

组屋部长职位出租,是为人民还是行动党着想?

部长职位通过非选区议员身份出租,的确证明行动党知道未来的大选,将会有更多现任部长落选。因此,需要通过非选区议员这种变通,来出租部长职位,填补空缺。

组屋出租和部长出租有啥不同? 包租公包租婆不能理解,政府让他们把组屋出租,赚取租金,为何跟部长职位出租给非选区议员有什么关系?难道,这些出租部长还会把议员津贴分给包租公包租婆吗?不是的。他们的共同点是行动党的变色龙政策,政策改变后的结果。

50年来,行动党的变色龙本色一直都没有改变。为了目的,什么原则,什么基本的理念,都是可以改变的。因此,组屋从居者有其屋,发展到今天组屋出租,这里面就可以创造不少经济利益。包租公包租婆赚的是租金,政府赚的可就大了- 组屋涨价。

许文远如果没有说出‘9万名’这个数目,我们很可能不知道,新加坡竟然有这么多家庭要依靠组屋出租来维持生计。因此,许文远猫哭耗子要为包租公包租婆请命,不能继续增加新组屋了。
 【国家发展部长许文远表示,组屋不能一建再建,否则多达9万名“包租公”“包租婆”将吃亏。政府今年将推出25000个新组屋单位,但许文远强调,当局无法每年都建造这么多的组屋,这是不切实际的,国人的拥屋率已很高,但每年只有15000对新注册的新人。“如果不断建造组屋来满足新家庭需求,那旧组屋怎么办?那些可以出租组屋的年长屋主,他们要去哪里找租户?而租户通常是那些负担不起买新组屋的人。”】 
http://news.omy.sg/News/Local-News/Xu-Wen-Yuan-Zu-Wu-Ruo-Yi-Jian-Zai-Jian-9Mo-Wu-Zhu-Jiang-Chi-Yu-144565 
组屋原本的目的就不是赚钱生意。但是,在有利可图的经济魔力推动下,政府就慢慢地修改条例,从一个房间出租,到甚至可以整间组屋出租。这样一推,就把新组屋的价格给推上去。因为,组屋不再是只拿来住,而是可以生财的工具,既然是生财工具,就要依靠市场来决定价格。

所以,政府每每告诉新加坡人民,建屋局的新组屋也要看市场走势,事实上,政府已经给予津贴了,政府没有从组屋售价中赚钱。当然,如果和私人楼市相比,政府很可能会说自己少赚很多,尤其是最近新组屋与组屋转售价脱钩的新政策出炉,表面上就是要压制新组屋售价。

为何以前可以多建组屋,而现在不能呢?
政府多推出新组屋单位未必是件坏事,因为这能让组屋转售价格更稳定。 建屋发展局前局长刘太格博士,昨天应宜居城市研发中心(Centre for Liveable Cities)邀请,就新加坡公共住屋政策的成功之道发表。他之后接受记者访问时说:我们以前也有这么做过,推出比市场需求还多出一些的新组屋数量。若多推出几百个新组屋(单位)能为市场降温,何乐而不为。 
新加坡每年只有15000对新人结婚,但政府今年却会推出25000个新组屋单位,有人担心新组屋日后将供过于求,导致大批组屋滞销。 刘太格也曾担任市区重建局局长。问及应该如何确保组屋价格是国人可负担的起时,他认为政府决定将新组屋与组屋转售价脱钩是个好的举动 
他说:我们应该单独看待预购组屋,并推算出合理的价格。若我们能在这方面做好,再配合即时的供应,组屋转售市场将能自我进行调节。我觉得一个基本的理念就是应该尊重市场力量,若开始干预转售组屋的价格,这将搅乱市场情况。  
刘太格认为,若要把组屋价格维持在可负担得起的水平,建造新组屋时应避免效仿公寓,因为使用昂贵的材料将推高组屋价格。谈到建屋局的主要宗旨,刘太格认为应该回到最初的定义,即为公众提供可负担得起的住房、利用现有的预算为居民建造最大空间的住房,减少过多装饰、即时提供足够的组屋供应,以及确保居住环境宜居。(早报, 322日)

行动党垄断取得经济利润大蛋糕

从经济学原理来看,赚大钱是要靠经济利润或者租金economic profits/rents. 而要达到这个目的,最简单的方法就是垄断,不让市场竞争。不然,难一点的就要靠设计独特,不容易模仿,再难一点就是要不断创新,领先他人。

(行动党政府自从执政以来,就是依靠垄断,但是也用了不少设计和创新。组屋的使用和申请,公积金的使用和申请,选举制度的设计,创新。这些垄断,设计,创新,不是其他国家能够容易学习到手的。)

在一党独大下, 行动党为何需要不断的更改条例呢?组屋如此,公积金是如此,当然选举制度也是如此。因为,只有在不断地改变中,市场出现变化,新的经济利润才会出现。

的确,有些人在行动党新创造的经济利润中得到了一些好处。例如,组屋可以出租,组屋价格上涨,公积金买股票,房子,也赚到了钱。但是,赚到最多钱的却是行动党政府,大部分的经济利润都跑到政府手中。

不要忘记,能够从政府创造出来的新经济利润中得利益的人,一定要有一些家底。手中要有组屋,手中要有公积金存款,才能参与分享这块经济利润蛋糕。如果你在等组屋,没有组屋,没有公积金存款,对不起,你的那份经济利润就归政府所有了。

这种情形,最好的例子就是选举制度。如果说组屋,公积金,部分新加坡人还有分到一些一小部分经济利润,那么,选举制度的改变,选民就连一点经济利润都分不到。就以我们认为有突破性的 2011年大选来说,行动党得票60%,议席却超过90%。这不是一个垄断经济利润的结局吗?因此,当我们回头望一望过去,这么多次大选,次次大选的经济利润都归行动党所有。我们自己是否应该反省一下,组屋公积金多多少少都分到一些经济利润,为何单单选举没有。

不单我们反省而已,行动党也在反省,要如何完善选举制度,改变条例,加强垄断地位,继续独享经济利润。因此,行动党就试探性的提出非选区议员出任部长的建议。其目的就是即使有多几个部长落选,行动党还是可以通过出租部长职位,找到部长人选。

【如果增加10个非选区议员席位,并假设行动党的得票率与它在上届大选一样是60%,那该党就可获得六个非选区议员席位。其余四个则归主要反对党,席位分配同样以个别政党的得票率为依据。
  柯新治也主张,这些新增非选区议员的职务和权利应同其他议员一样,唯一的不同是他们无须负责选区工作。
  “行动党非选区议员也有受委为部长的资格。这使吸引才俊加入国会和政府的工作,不如以往般困难。如果采纳这样的一个制度,优秀的候选人不会失去服务人民的议席。” 】
(早报, 3月24日)
组屋,公积金,选举制度,原本的目的就是以人民的利益做出发点。居者有其屋,有家最好。公积金养老,不依靠他人。单选区选举发扬民主精神。但是如果这些制度都依原来的面貌,原来的原则和精神来办事,行动党就没有机会创造经济利润了,不可能一党独大,垄断一切了。

因此,我们看到行动党政府时不时,一直要改变条例,设计,创新制度,美其名是为了改变,变得更好,更加适应环境改变。是否如此?还是要一直垄断下去?

对于人民的基本需求,应该是回到原点,回到正常利润去,回到最初的定义 (刘太格语)。经济利润的发生,在分配上,就会让行动党有机可趁。行动党就是要继续垄断这个经济利润,不让正常利润出现。因此,它只有继续依靠垄断手段来维持下去。因为,行动党不想模仿他国的开放,也不想创新公平的选举制度。所以,说到底,行动党是为自己着想,而不是为人民着想。

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Lessons from Dreamliner PAP is playing with fire

The dream of 787 Dreamliners does not appear sweet despite having the best aircraft engineers in the world and long experience in plane making.  Why?  It fails to anticipate the fire problem – the li-ion battery.

The burned auxiliary power unit battery from a JAL Boeing 787 that caught fire on Jan. 7 at Boston's Logan International Airport soruce: Businessweek.com
The way the PAP runs the economy is like the 787 Dreamliner without considering the fire problem. In order to save cost and boost the economy, we allow the population to increase with no control. In order to be the new Switzerland, we allow our financial and legal system to be used by foreigners for their secret missions.

Boeing is not an ordinary company and its management, technology and many other aspects are all world class.  And yet, they fail to notice the fire problem.  Or is it because of competition and cost savings (fuels, efficiency), they rush to produce a Dreamliner with safety problem? 
[The first thing to know about lithium-ion batteries (li-ion batteries, for short) is that lithium is extremely flammable. The other thing to know is that li-ion batteries carry much more energy per weight than any other battery; in technical parlance, they have a higher energy density. That’s why they’re the battery of choice in everything from iPhones to laptops to electric cars, whose designers want to get the greatest potential power out of the smallest, lightest power source. In the Dreamliner, the use of li-ion batteries was part of what made the plane so much lighter—and therefore more fuel-efficient than its predecessors.]
 http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-18/why-the-batteries-in-boeings-787-are-burning 
If we look at the PAP policies, we will see some familiar things here: to save labour cost, we just import foreign labour; to increase price of HDB flats, we cut down supply and add more premium features (really?);   no baby, import foreigners; …

The worst things are to be more efficient like the Dreamliner, the PAP government encourages old and sick to move out of Singapore; refuses to reduce class size and to increase university places;  crowded public hospitals, clinics and transport system…..

These are to make Singapore lighter and so like the Dreamliner Singapore under the PAP administration can fly longer and higher with lesser fuel consumptions (caring of the needy).  Yes, without the poor, sick, old, less educated and low income Singaporeans, the PAP piloted Dreamliner can fly to another higher level of richness.

Unfortunately, in the commercial world, even Boeing must place the safety of passengers first.  No airports will allow a Dreamliner to land and take-off with a known firing problem. No matter how smart you are or how much risk you want to take, you cannot ignore the people’s safety or voters’ demand.

When the PAP decides to use ‘li-ion battery’ type of policies into Singapore economy, like Boeing they only look at the efficiency, cost savings, productivity and sad to say, they fail to see the fire in the money making process of a high GNP growth.

Like Boeing, the PAP-run Singapore Inc. is a world class institution.  If Boeing fails to see the battery fire, so do the PAP fails to see the rich-poor problem in Singapore.  

In another follow-up article on Dreamliners, there is another consideration that Singaporeans need to pay attention to. We certainly have to avoid the situation like ANA and JAL:   

[NEARLY a decade ago All Nippon Airways (ANA) brushed aside doubts about Boeing’s as-yet unbuilt 787 “Dreamliner” and placed the biggest launch order for a new jet in the planemaker’s history: 50 aircraft. Today, Japan is the world’s largest market for the 787. ANA and its domestic rival Japan Airlines (JAL) between them fly half of the 49 Dreamliners in service. As they have now discovered, that makes them the guinea-pigs in a complex aviation experiment.] 
http://www.economist.com/news/business/21569746-what-dreamliners-troubles-mean-airlines-and-other-planemakers-bad-dreams-all-round 
ANA and JAL are both the victims of the troubled Dreamliners. We, too, can be the guinea-pigs of the PAP Dreamliner. We are putting all our hopes and confidence in the PAP policies and institutions.  And at the end of the day, we may then find out it is due to the certification process (see below).  Voters in Singapore like FAA and others finally realize we have failed to examine properly the safety of an aircraft:  

[There is some risk that the detailed review of the 787’s safety launched by America’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) turns into an examination of the way the FAA and its equivalents worldwide go about certifying new planes. If so, and if there is any suggestion that the regulators should have required more tests before letting the 787 fly, then all the other new airliners now being worked on—Japanese, Canadian, Chinese, Russian and Brazilian as well as American and French ones—may take longer to get airborne.] 
http://www.economist.com/news/business/21569746-what-dreamliners-troubles-mean-airlines-and-other-planemakers-bad-dreams-all-round

In the past 50 years, we have failed to examine the PAP policies and institutions. We just give them the safety certificate as they wish.  Only perhaps until GE2011 and PE2011, Singaporeans begin to take a closer look at the fire problem of the PAP policies, like the Population White Paper.

The PAP is not so stupid.  A further safety examination of PAP Dreamliner by voters will result to less PAP MPs being elected. So, you see the call of ‘PAP NCMPs being appointed as ministers’.  They know they will lose more GRCs, and more sitting ministers like the case of Aljunied GRC, so they come out anther safety procedure for themselves.  In case they do not have enough elected MPs for minister positions, they can co-opt NCMPs as ones!

This is really kiasu plus kiasi!

Voters in Singapore must look at the real danger – the battery fire of the PAP Dreamliner, and give a thorough check before issuing them a certificate to run the country again.  If they fail the safety test, we must have the courage to ground the PAP Dreamliner and let another plane to take off. 

Friday, 22 March 2013

行动党价值观:好瑞士不学,坏瑞士偏要。

吴作栋当年答应我们的瑞士生活没有实现,但是,瑞士一些不好的金融商业行为,我们却学到了,甚至还青出于蓝。现在回想起来,吴作栋并没有欺骗我们,只是我们没有领悟到,他的所谓瑞士生活,只是单指金融经济方面的生活。我们只能怪自己没有看清楚行动党的真面目罢了。呜呼哀哉!
新加坡现在已经是新瑞士了。我们在人文素质上,平民生活方面,远远落后于瑞士,但是,我们在金融领域,财务管理,商业经济方面,却赶超瑞士,以亚洲的新瑞士自居。如果,你有空花几十分钟看一下这个记录片#1,并且相信它的内容,你就能理解我们真的做得比瑞士还要出色,我们的防火墙,竟然能够包庇贪官,保护他们的黑钱。


这个纪录片原本跟新加坡无关,它要指责的是砂拉越的贪污事件。但是,这些贪污行为,却利用新加坡的防火墙,在法律合同合理化下,把黑钱给漂白,然后安全的放入自己的荷包。

或许,行动党政府很无辜,无端端受到牵连,不幸被卷入这种风波,更不幸的是把他人利用新加坡防火墙藏黑钱,洗黑钱的勾当给暴露出来。我们的法律制度,金融体系,商贸经济,原来还可以被外人利用来发大财的。

或许,外人得了好处,也不忘在这里消费。外人赚大钱,我们提供场地的人当然也有好处,赚一些钱,推动经济发展。难怪,我们的赌场生意兴隆,高级餐馆,舞厅,卡拉OK,顶级豪华房子,车子不拍没人光顾。华尔街日报最近有一个大约4分钟的短片,推介新加坡的富有,新加坡如何成为世界第一有钱城市#2。这是一般普通市民不知道的新加坡,也根本无法过得起的生活。因此,这个例子凸显了我们贫富差距的问题,而把瑞士坏的一面学到手,就只能再把贫富差距拉大。

行动党到底要给我们的下一代留下什么价值观?一方面叫孩子要努力学习,大家的 起跑点都一样,只要用功读书,大家都有机会进步,生活条件也会跟着改善。政府会照顾弱小,病老,本国人的福利。但是,我们看到的行动党却是:只学习瑞士坏东西,不学习瑞士好东西,不想提高人文素质,不想改进生活条件和起居,无心无力拉近贫富差距,。。。

这样的价值观是行动党所要传达给人民的吗?瑞士坏的东西,只要能够生财,我们也要照收。还要吸引这方面的高素质外来人才呢!

想想砂拉越的贪污故事,看看华尔街的最富生活,我们新加坡扮演什么角色,我们新加坡人的生活又是如何?我们是否要继续扮演一个帮凶角色,提供场地让人家犯罪,自己从中抽水,然后,如果有剩下一些,一点点就分给人民分享。因此,为了这一些,这一点点,我们要欢迎外来钱财,这类外来人才。不知道,李光耀所说的“高素质人才”有没有包括这类“最会赚无本生意”的人才。(见下) 
Saying he was not worried about emerging economies in South-east Asia surpassing Singapore, Mr Lee said he was confident the Republic would stay ahead “for the next 20 years”. Reiterating Singapore’s advantage of having “quality” immigrants, he said: “They will make progress, but if you look at the per capita they have got, the differences are so wide. We have the advantage of quality control of the people who come in ... so the increase in population means an increase in talent.” 
http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/keep-spores-doors-open-quality-immigrants-lky
难怪,李光耀这么有信心新加坡会领先本区域国家20年。因为我们有控制进来的人才,当然我们的金融体系,客户保密工作也是一流的,比瑞士还要好。李光耀这番话有道理,本区域国家的金融,经济,法律,商业,管理都无法和我们相比美。这是我们的优势,这个优势当然也能助纣为虐。

瑞士的金融业在二战后,由于欧洲经济复苏,获得很多外来金钱。资金保密管理的好是瑞士的优势。但是,欧洲国家一直对瑞士的这些做法大为不满,近来给予很大的压力。相对来说,远在亚洲的新加坡,没有受到欧美的压力。不过,最近几年来,对新加坡的金融体系的指控却有所增加。

李光耀20年不变的事实根据,也可能会出现变数。不单是欧美国家对新加坡施压,东南亚,中国难道也会20年不变吗?这些地区的人民会允许他们的贪官,黑钱一直涌入新加坡吗?“一万年太久,只争朝夕”。20年不知是否是朝夕?

新加坡政府在“助纣为虐的指控下,不得不发表声明,说明我们和马来西亚政府间有互通税务的消息。我们也有防止洗黑钱的机制。(见下) 
“Contrary to what was claimed in the video, Singapore has, to date, provided fully the information requested by Malaysia for tax purposes. The two countries have had a good working relationship on tax matters, and continue to build on this relationship to strengthen cooperation. In addition, Singapore has designated a wide range of crimes as predicate offences to money laundering — including corruption, bribery and fraud. This is in line with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force.” http://sg.news.yahoo.com/video-expose-implicates-sarawak-cm--kin-in-alleged-land-graft-022138845.html
互通税务消息,有机制防黑钱,可以保证黑钱漂白,贪污舞弊不会发生吗?这是不是‘此地无银三百两’的说法?

还有一个问题,钱可以自由进来,当然也可以自由出去。万一一不高兴,一起出去,将会对新加坡经济造成怎样的伤害呢?没有外来金钱支持的楼市股市还有黑市,将会如何收场?想起来会做噩梦。


#1
http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/group-claims-video-implicates-taib-sarawak-corruption
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1RRNggnM6A

#2
http://live.wsj.com/video/singapore-the-worlds-richest-city-/A0E90A2F-EF1A-40A1-A4E9-B479E5E08127.html?KEYWORDS=singapore+richest+city+in+thw+world#!A0E90A2F-EF1A-40A1-A4E9-B479E5E08127

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Switching Cost and Confidence in PAP Policies and Institutions


There are two ways for a firm to keep its monopoly status, restricting entry and exit. For the PAP, it is getting more and more difficult to prevent people from joining opposition politics.  Hence, the limited entry of the past has become an open entry for everyone.  In addition, the PAP has its own problem of finding suitable candidates.

What can the PAP do? Control the exit, create confidence issues.  There is a price for Singaporeans to pay if the PAP is no more in government.  And because the PAP government is a show of confidence, the exit of the PAP means the loss of confidence in policies and institutions.  The result will be a less successful Singapore.

Is this logically correct?  We need to get the priority right first. Who can decide the loss of confidence in Singapore policies and institutions? The local people must be the first to decide, especially citizens, then foreigners.     

When asked about Singapore’s success and whether it can continue to thrive, Mr Lee said that for the Republic to remain successful, it needs to “retain the confidence” of investors and the people in the Government’s policies and institutions.  
“It will be very stupid of us to shake that confidence. The confidence rests on several pillars: Institutions, sound policies by the Government and an open trading area,” said Mr Lee.  
Singapore has had the chance to build up its institutions and rule of law, which requires “stable governments” that do not change policies when the next ruler shows up, he added.  
http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/keep-spores-doors-open-quality-immigrants-lky
The former prime minister seems to suggest there is a switching cost from a PAP government to a non-PAP government. The cost is the loss of confidence in policies and institutions.

So, the quick analogy is if there is a switch of government, it will lead to a loss of confidence and as a result Singapore will be less successful.

The question is who are to decide the confidence in policies and institutions. The citizens and the voters of course.  If they have no confidence in PAP policies and the institutions (taking instructions from the PAP), they will be willing to pay the switching cost.

However, every citizen will have his or her own calculation of the switching cost.  It cannot be the same.

The confidence has to come from the people, not investors, especially foreign investors who have no right to build the local confidence.

The PAP is warning Singaporeans there is a price to pay.   The switching cost is very high and “It will be very stupid of us to shake that confidence.”

After the famous story of “would you send in the army”#1, now we have another message, a soft approach.  There is a change of strategy perhaps due to GE2011. The PAP now uses civilian word rather than the military language.

How true is the threat of switching cost? If it is like a switching from Singtel to M1 or Starhub, then the cost is bearable and affordable.  If the switching is like from MSM to social media, then there is no cost at all. Of course, the PAP will tell you it is not so simple.  Investors and some people will lose their confidence and so we will have a less successful Singapore.  

Why are we letting other people, especially foreign investors to decide the confidence of Singapore?  Singaporeans and Singapore voters must decide how confidence they have in PAP policies and its operating institutions.

There are checks and balances, transparency and accountability issues in many PAP policies and administrations. The AIM investigation, the reserve, the ISA, the police investigations and the population white paper are policies and institutions affecting public confidence.

There is certainly a switching cost and the PAP can always uses it to prevent voters leaving them and supporting the oppositions. They have been doing so for the past 50 years using different methods. However, public confidence has also changed, especially after GE2011.  

How low the switching cost is will depend on how confidence you have in the PAP. If the public confidence is low, voters will be willing to pay for the switching cost.

The PAP has lost their control on the entry - setting game play, restrictions, and obstacles for people joining oppositions. If the PAP once again loses the control of exit – switching cost and confidence, then it is the end of the monopoly of the PAP in Singapore politics.
#1
http://catherinelim.sg/2009/09/03/sir-would-you-send-in-the-army/

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

和行动党说拜拜,分手费多少?

在下次大选,选民既然否决行动党,不投行动党一票,就很可能表示需要换政府,政党轮替到了。这么一来就要付出分手费,这个代价有多高,是否会令选民犹豫,再次令行动党高议席中选呢?
新加坡未来的大选,总统选举,将会更加精彩。低素质在野党候选人的情形不会再出现,自动中选的机会几乎等于零,因此,行动党过去以不同形式,有形无形的障碍阻挡反对派人士参选的时代已经过去了。

如果选举是五五波,行动党面对全部议席都出现竞争的情况下,再加上运气欠佳,施政不利,中间选民偏离,那很可能就会出现分手,拜拜行动党。因此,选民就要面对转换跑道,政府从一个政党转换为另一个政党的情形出现,这个转手费,分手费,是不是一个行动党延长寿命的灵丹呢?

在上一篇博文中,谈到“倒台即是意味着新加坡人要付出转手费,政党轮替的代价。这个费用有多高呢?是不是像换电话手机营运商那样简单呢?如果像换手机供应商那样容易,行动党就真的是走到了不归路,不倒台都不行了。”

选民有必要做好心理准备,继续支持在野党,否决行动党,最后的结果,就是不要行动党当政府。而对分手费,转手费,我们又知道多少,了解多少,准备了多少?

1991年的补选策略,行动党提名日当选政府,只给在野党获得四个议席。2011年行动党提名日, 没有当选政府,在野党却获得六席,这是否意味着选民已经开始有心理准备了呢?行动党不能再玩行动党会倒台的心理压力,威胁恐吓选民,行动党下台后新加坡何去何从的拉票动作。

行动党当然可以玩这种心理游戏,为了生存,行动党这么做也无可厚非。毕竟,未拆的炸弹在政府更换后,就要由别人来拆或者引爆。因此,利用各种手段继续执政,对行动党来说是必要的。

那么到底有多少选民,一定要行动党下台? 在《从意大利‘五星运动’,看鸡肋预算案能否带来真改变?》一文中,意大利在最近的大选中有高达25%的选民,支持五星运动,他们就是要换政府,否定过去执政过的政党的贡献,这还包括过渡的非民选的技术官僚政府。


意大利实行比例代表制,因此,这25%的选票,就可以左右政府,影响政府,甚至搞得政府倒台,再来大选。新加坡的选举就制度不同,谁最高票,谁就胜出。因此,这25%的选民倒向谁,谁就会胜出。

谁是这25%新加坡选民,这25%不就是在野党的支持者吗?因此,这25%不可能成为造王者。行动党最大的希望:这25%选民就是在野党支持者,而不是中间选民。如果他们是中间选民,那对行动党来说就是灾难性的破坏,就是行动党失去政权的主要原因。

先看一下2011年总统选举的结果:


万一这25%不是在野党和中间选民的合体,而是一个独立的群体,那它就像意大利的25%选民一样,成了造王者,只要这些选票投向任何一方,这一方就获胜。

这种情形有没有可能出现?这是行动党最坏的消息;最不愿见到的局面。如果出现这种情形,以总统候选人的立场和支持者来源,其象征式的选票分配将如下:

政党颜色
白色
蓝色
红色
其他
安候选人背景分票
35.19%
34.85%
25.04%
4.91%

这样的情形,如果好像意大利的比例代表制,选民就根据自己的意愿来投票,而自己所喜欢的政党也有适当数目的议员比例。但是,放在新加坡,所有非白党支持者,就会大失所望。事实上,好多选民对2011年选出来的总统,就很失望,他的名望也好不到那里去。

榜鹅东补选,就让我们看到一些改变。白党支持者依然支持白党,但是,蓝党的胜出,未必全部都是全力支持蓝党的选民,还包括其他颜色的政党支持者。他们的目的就是不希望白党胜出。而蓝党候选人是最有可能胜出的人,因此,就集中选票在一个人身上。

回顾2011年的大选,我们是否高估了行动党的60%得票。如果工人党候选人的数目增加,这个比例就会下降。如果选民不考虑分手费的话,这个行动党神话般的得票率就不可能发生。越多选民不理分手费,转手费,行动党的日子就越不好过。

或许,当行动党遇上工人党的时候,就会出现2011年总统选举的情形。得票相当,胜出的一方要靠25%的中间选民。

但是,其他的在野党,情形就不一样。行动党和在野党的距离是35:25. 而中间选民则是35%。他们是否能够胜出,就要靠这35%的中间选民了。当然,个别政党的声誉,候选人的背景,就会影响中间选民的选择。

这样的分析,也可以说是很幼稚的。政治是充满变数的,行动党一直努力在改变形象,未来几年,行动党会更亲民,中间选民也有可能回流,尤其是选民认为分手费太高,用惯了新电信,为何要换呢?但是,和新电信说拜拜,改用新和和第一通的人还是有的,而且还不少。当然,也不排除从从新和,第一通回流到新电信的客户。

电信市场如此,行动党自己创造出来的竞争,把天下给分了,在政治这个市场,难道还会一党独大下去吗?因此,电信不是一家天下,接下来的政治,也不是一家的天下。问题是选民准备好了吗,分手费怎么计算?转手费高吗?

富人搞离婚是要付出很高的分手费的,因此,有些人也就忍痛不离婚,但是有些还是要离。贫穷人呢,虽然没有什么家产,分手费低,但是,还是照样要离。这是家家有本难念的经,这25%还是35%的中间选民,当然会考虑分手费,但是计算的方法,家家就不同了。

就是这个不同,就变成了兵家必争之地。