Friday, 28 June 2013

从新加坡人走向国际友人 双核心还是两离心?


新加坡这一路走来,原本的‘新加坡人核心’,在经济大力开放下,也开始滋生出‘国际友人核心’,但是,行动党又害怕变成两个离心。因此,希望快快找回‘新加坡
核心’,全国对话如此,而国庆群众大会在工教中区学院举行更是如此。

从新加坡人走向国际友人 我们失去了什么?

上文提到我们的忽略:做国际友人很成功,但是,做为区域友人,这个角色,似乎没有扮演好,甚至并没有充分了解本区域的大环境和未来趋势。在很多课题上(美军驻地,南中国海,环保,当然也包括人权)我们似乎都和区域国家不一样,或许,我们太富有了,眼睛可以长在头上。

在这个从国家到国际的角色演化中,我们的国家意识,国格,新加坡人的特征似乎被国际化了。这原本是件好事,世界大同,人人平等,我们可以以平常心来看待一切,具有国际视野。当然,做为政府的行动党,也应当以同理同样对待新加坡人。这样,才能做到拥有两个核心:新加坡人核心和国际友人核心。

目前看来,行动党似乎面对两个离心的可能性更高。即失去新加坡人核心,而国际友人的核心,也不是我们想象中那样国际亲新加坡。行动党似乎觉悟到这一点,因此,全国对话就是想要找回新加坡人核心。行动党这么做当然是政治考量,没有新加坡人核心支持的行动党当然只有死路一条。问题是稀化淡化失去了的新加坡人核心,去哪里找?国际化的新加坡,到处是国际友人,核心又在哪里?

不同语言学校,为何有新加坡人核心?

独立前后,一直到80年代初期,新加坡虽然有不同语言学校,方言广播,这个看起来处于分裂,不统一的语言学校环境,却出奇的产生出一股新加坡的奋斗精神。或许说,这就是新加坡成功的所在,没有这股求生求胜的心,新加坡不可能走到今天。

还记得福建兵的时代吗?这很可能就是新加坡人核心的开始。整个营队都是说福建话(闽南语),教育素质比较低,但是,你能说他们不是新加坡人的核心吗?
总理一直怀念当年国庆阅兵下大雨,参与的人员并没有退缩,这里面的核心,这里的福建兵,(当然也要考虑当时同等的福建女兵女建国者),总理看到了吗?

这个(老)新加坡核心现在是什么样子?总理惦记的是当年英勇的福建兵,还会记得现在的老兵吗?还会看看他们现在的处境吗?这是一个流失的问题,老一辈人在低收入低消费的经济环境下成长,但是,今天的高物价无收入的困境,总理似乎无能为力?无能为力当然就无法保住这个核心。

这样的困局困境新闻,主流媒体也不得不报告一些。82高龄老人迷失新山街头,单亲妈妈抛子下楼,送冷气机也没有用,无钱付电费,还有,在政府医院经常可以听到口出脏话,要求换到低一等的病房例子,就是要节省医药费用,这些离心运动,总理感受到了吗?

或许是吧!因此才预先提早通知国人,今年的群众大会改到工教中区学院举行,这当然是要告诉国人,总理关心工教学院毕业生,以及底层人民的困境,想要拉拢人心,找回新加坡人核心。如果解决问题,只是改改地点这么简单,那做政府不是太容易了吗?难怪人民批评行动党只懂得领高薪,不会做人做事。

为何统一英语教学,反而无法加强新加坡人核心?

这真的是行动党的一大讽刺。根据生产力来计算,单一语文语言,做起事来一定方便和效率高。的确如此,短期效果把新加坡提升到世界首富,长期后果则是失去核心,离心出现。

也许这是一个语言文化的问题。也许这是过度重视数理,经济,效率的后果。过去的教育,文化的内涵素养,不论是哪一个语言源流,应该都比现在高。当然,也没有这么多考试成绩甲等生。

事实上,新加坡人核心是不可能建立在数字,经济,人均上的。当行动党政府选择走这条路时,也就是离心的开始。那些跟不上的人,被认为不是核心,吴作栋曾经说过,不要眼红他人有钱。现在看来,眼红的是行动党人,不然为何部长薪金需要大幅度提高到世界第一。

当行动党人离开新加坡人核心后,它就寻找另一个核心-国际友人核心。这个核心基本上由两种人组成。一种是提升后的新加坡人,以英语走天下,收入高,可以轻易移居其他国家,他们未必有新加坡人核心的文化内涵,也不需要死死守住新加坡这个小红点。因此,他们可能同时具有新加坡人核心和国际友人核心,也可能两者都没有,或许,只有一种国际友人核心。

国际化的结果,问题不单在新加坡,在跨国企业工作的人,往往都面对效忠对象的问题。你是效忠国家呢还是效忠企业?企业让你全世界跑,当然也会给予高薪金的回报。如果选择效忠国家,那就没有这么多世界跑高薪的好处。尤其是选择站在行动党的对面,那就要牺牲很大了。无论如何,当我们的经济,金融,各方面前进后,国际友人核心就这么出现了。

为了配合我国的发展,另一种国际友人核心也出现了。新加坡现在是世界移民比例最高的国家。在这么多的新移民中,当然不少是国际友人了。他们当然会形成一个核心。行动党倒是乐观其成。希望他们感恩图报,在大选时懂得做人。但是,如何让国际友人核心,接受和纳入新加坡,以及接受新加坡人核心,现在成了行动党的当务之急。因为,搞不好,出现两个离心,行动党就只好被迫下台了。

因此,我们现在看到行动党政府在造心运动,力图把双核心都归到自己手中。全国对话是一个针对新加坡人核心的运动。呼吁外国新公民融入新加坡社会,指导他们了解新加坡,这是拉拢国际友人核心的手段,也是做给新加坡人核心看。

国内国外经济双翅膀,国际友人核心越大。

90年代推广的经济双翅膀到21世纪出的新移民政策,新加坡的海内外涉及面越来越多越大,当然,国际友人核心,就越大越多。行动党政府不知是有心还是无意,把重心逐渐向国际友人核心移动。这间接造成了芳林公园反6.9百万人口的抗议活动。

有一种国际友人核心,不得不提。这些人这个核心,无论国内外,都是不认可的。赌场方便国际友人,避税人士,贪官黑钱,利用我们的国际地位,金融制度,法律漏洞,在这里进进出出,这个核心,我们是不要的,也不希望他们形成一个核心。但是,行动党政府还是希望他们把钱带进了,刺激我们的房市股市机场港口还有旅游购物。

双核心,两个世界,行动党会两头不到岸吗?

新加坡人核心,当然是一般市民,中下层,过去几十年的发展,没有为他们带来大好处。尤其是下层人民,十多年没有实际工资增长。行动党已经忽略了这个核心。现在是亡羊补牢,做得到吗?

国际友人核心,是得到好处的人。但是,由于可以自由的在国际行走,他们的心,如何捉摸。这些人,可以随时随地的离开,尤其是没有好处可以享受的时候,更是如此。继续给他们好处,将会再次伤害新加坡人核心,行动党政府如何是好?怎么办?

双核心,两个世界,两种生活,两种人生。行动党走到最后,会不会走上一条不归路,两头不到岸,双核心变成两个离心。曾经爱你的人离你而去,多情的人变得无情,也挥挥手,拿着大包小包财物,离你而去。


这不是童话故事,这是真实的新加坡现代剧。

行动党需要小心驾驶,还要开车头大灯。

Monday, 24 June 2013

PAP Policy for Haze - Good, Bad and Ugly


The policy options that the PAP government decided for handling the haze are in consistent with its usual pragmatic approach. In such a way it also reflects the good, bad and ugly sides of the PAP.    

However its consistency with old (capitalist) practices also means it has not caught up with times.  The usual pragmatic policy taken in the past caused no big problems for the old Singapore – citizens trusted the government, believed it could deliver and handled the situation well.  However, with a new political norm, the policies and strategies that the government adopted recently seem to be a public relations failure.  Issues of public (mis)trust and (loss of) confidence appear. People begin to ask whether the PAP can effectively solve the haze problem.  

The PAP is the usual PAP.  It has not changed.  However, the people have changed with different demand and expectation.  They want accountability for high salary ministers and senior civil servants. They want to see them coming out with creative and workable solutions – not like the past a haze problem can be unsolved for more than 20 years.  

Here are some of the examples:

Reading of PSI and PM2.5
The questions are:-       Whether we should use the maximum or the average of 24 hours.
-       Whether we should give more emphasis to PM2.5 and why it is not widely published.
-       Whether the published statistics are correct or edited
-       Why stop work order is not announced when PSI hit more than 400.
-       Both PSI and PM are outdated measurements.

Distribution of N95 masks
The questions are:
-       Why the distribution cannot be done earlier and for free.
-       Why it has to go through commercial organisations for profit making.
-       Why must it go through PA, grassroots and PAP MPs?

Foreign policy failed
Singapore behaves like a child and ESM Goh’s reply is also like a child.

Alternative preventions and solutions
Different from the past, in the social media, there are advices on the health prevention and solutions to the haze problem. They may not all be correct or some may even cause confusing as claimed by the PAP.  Nevertheless, more people are showing concerns for Singaporeans and our health.  This means the active citizenship is still there but may not with the government.

Good, bad and ugly

If you are PAP supporters believed in mainstream media, you would give a good remark or an A grade to the PAP for handling the haze problem well.   You believe in things of the past.  The government has distributed the masks FOC to the lowest income families. They get in the army to help and ask businessmen not to make extra profits. They even form the inter-ministry Haze committee and protest to the Indonesian government by delivering a personal letter.  And yes, they are doing or handling it no difference from the past – quick, efficient, well coverage in MSM, providing proper advice and assistance.  
  
If you are a netizen or believe in alternative views, you will judge the government differently. Most likely you will give a bad score or an F grade to the PAP. If a problem can last more than 20 years or longer, it cannot be considered a problem anymore.  Rather, it has become a certain happening.  There is certainly a foreign policy failure as we have no control of the haze.  We can blame it all to the Indonesian government but do we understand them well? Have we showed real and sincere concern about Indonesia and its people?

If you are a social activist or a person seeking social justice, the PAP is presenting its ugly side of its policy options.  Outdoor working like construction under PSI400 and above is certainly very inhuman. Even the medical subsidy of $10 for haze related illness is insufficient, especially when you consider the long-term care and a prolonged haze problem.      

The haze problem exposes the good, bad and ugly sides of the PAP. The problem now is how many people believe the PAP is handling the issue the right and effective way.  The sudden disappearance of haze is due to the change of wing direction.

So, it is luck. Will the luck always at the side of the PAP or with the people?  Or will the PAP like the lucky President who got elected by a very small margin?  However, President Tan has noticed the full moon and the helping hands of Singaporeans. Haven’t you?

Thursday, 20 June 2013

从新加坡人走向国际友人, 我们忽略了什么?


新加坡从建国初期强调国家主义到现在特别强调国际资本主义,在这条快速成长的道路上,我们是否只有得到,而没有是失去什么?

建国初期,我们强调我们一无所有,我们被赶出马来西亚,我们要自力更生。因此,我们要有国民服役,我们要为建国而努力,我们要不计个人得失,我们要牺牲。所以,在国家主义的感召下,我们把国家摆在前面,即使部长薪金低,也不会感到委屈,更不会在面对高薪总裁时,没有勇气说话。因为这个使命感,国人反而更加团结。

现在呢!我们已经是国际友人了。我们要和世界各地的人做朋友。我们欢迎他们来这里工作,游玩,投资,做生意,只要人来就好,就能把经济搞活。因此,我们是世界公民,我们拥抱国际资本主义,我们是世界上经商条件最好的国家之一,也是最具竞争力的国家之一。

在这么多高帽子下,我们忽略了什么?我们失去了什么?

我们很可能忽略了,忘记了需要做好一个好邻居,在亚细安这个大家庭里,做出更大的贡献和牺牲。

我们失去的可能就更加可怕。从国家主义到国际主义,新加坡国家的角色正在淡化,从个人牺牲到部长高薪才有胆面对高薪总裁,这个国家的色彩在退化中,就像在很高的烟雾指数里,分不清是新加坡人还是世界公民,或许两者都不是,或许两者都是。这变成是一个选项,有条件的话(财力物力人力),你可以是国际友人,到处受到欢迎,而不一定是新加坡人。没有条件的话,只能够是新加坡人。

新加坡不要像小孩一样

屡见不鲜的烟雾又来了。今年来得特别的凶,烟雾指数已经创了新高。作为国际友人的新加坡,当然不喜欢这种不利国际资本主义发展的形象。烟雾不但对国人的健康不利,对吸引投资,游客,国际会议,国际金融活动,甚至港口,机场的运作,都是不好的。

新加坡像小孩,我们了解印尼,亚细安吗?
因此,我们当然会发声,表示不满,语气还是相当的温和。但是,印尼部长的反应却让新加坡这个国际友人感到意外。一个部长说苏门答腊岛的林火问题,新加坡马来西亚的公司也有责任。另一个部长就更加直接,新加坡不应该表现得像小孩一样,同时,他也拒绝新加坡的50万,100万的小额捐款。
"Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise," Agung Laksono, the minister who is coordinating Indonesia's response to the haze crisis, told reporters in Jakarta. 
"This is not what the Indonesian nation wants, it is because of nature." The minister for people's welfare also said Jakarta would reject any offer of financial aid from Singapore unless it was a large amount. 
"Unless (Singapore) wants to give us a large amount, we won't consider accepting it," he said. "If it is only half a million, or one million dollars, we don't need that. We would rather use our own national budget." 
http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20130620-431053.html 
印尼是亚细安的一等大国,50100万真的不算一笔大数目。因此,这位部长说,要给就给一笔大数目。不知道,作为国际友人的新加坡,会不会给一笔大数目给印尼政府,协助扑灭林火。或许,我们应该反省反思的是,几十年来林火问题无法解决,新加坡作为亚细安的一员,是否有尽力协助解决问题。

说白了,就是我们有没有做到尽到作为一个好邻居的 责任?我们在成功走向国际友人的道路上,难道没有看到区域政治经济的问题吗?我们在扮演好国际友人,在欧美日本,中国,印度,中东之间行走时,有没有忘记自己身处东南亚,这里的林火,环境,安全,社会问题,都不可能不影响到新加坡。新加坡太小了,东南亚,尤其是印尼和马来西亚,在地理位置上和我们太接近了,真的是那里的风吹草动,就会影响到我们的生活起居。

作为东南亚的小国,又是最富有的国家,我们在东南亚事务上,应当扮演什么样的角色,而这个角色又要适合亚细安的口味呢?我们是否做得不够?我们是否只要扮演好国际友人的角色,而不要扮演好邻居?

国际上常常有一个误解,每逢有国际会议,就认为新加坡作为东南亚最先进的国家,最能了解东南亚问题,最能代表亚细安,又因为和国际最接轨,因此,人人争着和新加坡握手。事实上,这个误解很可能就是建立在金钱数据上。人均领先,就代表一切吗?就能代表亚细安吗?这是不是一个被东南亚以外的人宠坏的小孩?

印尼部长要新加坡反省,不要像小孩那样,确实证明新加坡不了解印尼的问题,甚至亚细安的问题。像个小孩一样的国家,又如何能够代表亚细安呢?

印尼的好多问题,东南亚国家的好多问题,其实和新加坡都有关联。作为国际友人的金融中心,区域总部,教育,医药,法律等中心,我们当然好像瑞士那样,得到邻国富人的好处。不要忘记,瑞士的邻居,人均收入不差,我们的邻居,人均距离就有差距。欧洲富国对瑞士都有意见,更何况我们呢!

所以,新加坡拿了人家的好处,也要做出一些回报,50100万根本人家就看不上眼。最重要的是不要临时抱佛脚,像林火这样几十年无法解决的问题,我们不是早就应该出手相助了,或者,最少表示最高的诚意。钱可能不是问题所在,而是那口气和应有的尊敬。


不知不觉说了这么多的亚细安问题,再说下去,有关新加坡国家主义的课题,就会比较难消化,容后再叙。

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Closing down state broadcaster, what does it mean?


The Greece Prime Minster wants to close down the state broadcaster ERT but the decision was overturned by the highest Court.  It, of course, has nothing to do with Singapore.  However, if we look further into the issue, it has many meanings to us.

Lack of transparency, Purpose of state broadcaster and alternative media, Protection of Job and Independence of Court

In Singapore, it is out of imagination the PAP government will close down Mediacorp and its television and radio stations. So, why does the Greece government think otherwise?

The reasons given by the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras are very strange to us:
“ERT suffered from chronic mismanagement, lack of transparency and waste.”{BBC}
A Prime Minister is accusing his state-owned broadcaster “lack of transparency”.

While in Singapore, this will never happen as we all know the clear position of mainstream media. It will be very interesting to find out why the government owned broadcaster in Greece becomes “lack of transparency”.  Is it because of the multi-party politics and frequent changes of government leading to the broadcaster does not know who is the “real” master?

The importance of alternative media

If the state broadcaster is to be closed down, it means the existence of state television and radio stations has very little value to the government. Just ask yourself can the PAP live and function without the MSM? Of course, not.

The Greece PM must have found alternative media to communicate to the people. There are, of course, alternative private broadcasters in Greece which can help the government to do the transmission work.

However, the most important contribution is the Internet and social media. Government can communicate with the citizens through Facebook, twitter and other social media. The future development of social media will be an effective alternative to traditional media. 

Perhaps, in the case of Greece, this is the reason why even without a state broadcaster, there are other communication channels that can effectively communicate government policies, rules and regulations, changes in administration procedures etc. to the people.

Considering this development and the recent MDA new licensing requirements, you can easily guess why the PAP has to come out with the new security bonds and notice on removal of articles. The PAP is still very tradition and does not know how to face the challenges and development of social media in Singapore. 

Protection of Job

Another interesting about the Greece story (full BBC report below) is who will protect the job of the broadcaster workers. The government says no and is ready to fire the workers. The union has come forward to file the case in the Court. 

It is interesting to see the outcome of same case in Singapore. If the PAP wants to close down Mediacorp, will the union in Singapore protest and file the case in the Court?

In Singapore, the likely outcome will be some things like the following:

Union members file their cases against union 
 http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/03/27/breaking-union-members-go-to-court-when-union-fails-to-represent-their-interests/
 http://therealsingapore.com/content/141-union-members-behind-court-application-against-their-union  

So, union members may have privileges in club facilities and bookings, but whether their rights are well protected or not is another question.  

Independence of Court.

If the same case goes to the Court in Singapore, what will be the outcome? The Greece Court seems to give a win-win ruling.

[A Greek court has ordered that state broadcaster ERT, which was shut down by the government last week, can resume transmissions. 

However, the court also upheld a plan by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to replace ERT with a smaller broadcaster.] (BBC)

The union wins in short term and the government wins in the long term (by end of year). 

Is this win-win ruling showing the independence of the Court in Greece? Or all of them are playing politics.

Full BBC report as follows:

Greece court orders state broadcaster ERT back on air

A Greek court has ordered that state broadcaster ERT, which was shut down by the government last week, can resume transmissions.
However, the court also upheld a plan by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to replace ERT with a smaller broadcaster.
The ruling came as Mr Samaras and his coalition partners - furious that they had not been consulted about ERT's closure - held crisis talks.
The prime minister's decision triggered mass protests across the country.

The leading party in the governing coalition, the conservative New Democracy, said last Tuesday that ERT suffered from chronic mismanagement, lack of transparency and waste.
It shut the broadcaster down with the loss of nearly 2,700 jobs. Viewers saw TV screens go black as the signal was switched off.
Greece's top administrative court - the Council of State - upheld Mr Samaras's plan to replace ERT with a new broadcaster later this year but backed the position of the other coalition partners that the signal must be restored in the interim.
Some ERT journalists have continued live broadcasts unauthorised over the internet, and when the ruling came through, a strapline across the screen said: "In a few hours ERT will be broadcasting everywhere."

'Seven nights'

The case was brought by ERT's union in an attempt to overturn Mr Samaras's surprise move.
The BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens says each side will claim victory, but in the end the unity of the government has been badly weakened.
During talks, Mr Samaras had suggested a new, leaner, cheaper broadcaster would be established within weeks and he proposed hiring a small team to produce news programmes in the interim.
But this idea was rejected by his two coalition partners - Evangelos Venizelos of Pasok and Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left.
"The court decision is essentially in line with what we've said: no one has the right to shut down national radio and television and turn screens black," said Mr Kouvelis after the emergency talks ended.

Opposition party Syriza staged a protest in Syntagma Square on Monday evening
Mr Venizelos said they would meet again on Wednesday to discuss a cabinet reshuffle.
An official from New Democracy said the ruling affirmed the government's position that ERT had been scrapped.

The row has threatened to topple the government and force Greece into snap elections, triggering political turmoil with implications for the whole eurozone.

ERT workers celebrated outside the broadcaster's headquarters after hearing the court ruling.

"I've been here seven nights and this is the first time I've seen people smile," said reporter Eleni Hrona.
However, our correspondent says there is also the recognition that later this year many will lose their jobs as a smaller broadcaster is formed.

Meanwhile, as coalition leaders went into talks, the main opposition party Syriza held a rally in Athens' Syntagma Square to demand early elections.



Thursday, 13 June 2013

行动党贼喊捉贼还不够 还要道歉


【行动党政府可能很难理解为何欧巴马要撤换税务代局长,更加不能理解为何希腊政府竟然连国营电视台电台都要关闭。说白了,一个是政治负担,一个是财政负担。怎么说呢!】
或许,我们先从行动党政府过去这几个月,甚至这一两年来的所作所为,贼喊捉贼的行为看出它的低下恶劣操守。当然,如果单单只是阅读主流媒体,只看联合早报的人,就很难理解什么是行动党的贼喊捉贼。或许,也很难看出欧巴马快速更换税务头头,更加不能明白希腊关掉国营电视台的目的。

这就是行动党政府推出新闻媒体新规定的真正原因。因为没有了社交媒体,没有了新媒体,没有了另一把声音,你就无法理解行动党所作所为就是贼喊捉贼,欧巴马的决定就是政治决定,希腊政府的做法合符政治财政目的。

行动党政府贼喊捉贼的故事:AIM爱门事件,人口白皮书的抗议,最近的媒体新规定,以及阿裕尼集选区的小贩中心纠纷等等,如果没有看社交媒体,新媒体的报道和分析,是很难看清楚行动党的真面目。因此,读者,应该到新媒体新闻网站上走动走动,就能明白事情的真相。不然,就难明白什么叫做贼喊捉贼了。当然,也不能明白维文医生说的向小贩道歉是什么一回事。

这里不重覆这些论据,希望闻读者能够上替代媒体,新闻网站上看一看。 
【行动党如果要行宫心计紫禁惊雷,要走无间道歪道,最好还是先学学春秋战国,三国演义等,甚至红楼,水浒都可以偷师。因为,最近几个月行动党的贼喊捉贼的戏码,实在令人不忍看下去,再这样下去,即使最后的挽救是在下次大选前,连连道歉对不起,也将无济于事。】

西方资本主义的制衡和财富分配

工业革命后,造就了资本主义的兴起。人们从农业社会开始大跃进的进入工业化时代。生产的重新分配,生产力的提高,资本家利润的大量增加,造成了社会财富的重新分配,以及如何公平合理分配财富的问题。

西方民主国家为了防止资本主义过度膨胀造成贫富不均,低下层人民的利益受损,以及为了维护公平,透明,公正的执行政策,往往在国会以外,必须要确保公共行政单位,法庭,执法单位,公开公平公正透明的完成宪法赋予的权力,把工作做好。

举一个例子:

欧巴马为何做出替换税务局长的政治决定
美国国税局(IRS)官员不公平地将矛头对准保守团体所引发的丑闻愈滚愈大,欧巴马总统愤怒至极,今天开除国税局代理局长http://www.swissinfo.ch/chi/detail/content.html?cid=35838372

如果在新加坡,这个税务局长不单政治思想正确,还有功劳。因为,他把欧巴马的政敌和支持者拉下马。即使不拉下马,也使到这些组织难堪,不得人心。同样的事情,你看一看,爱门事件的国家发展部报告书,还有环境局的小贩中心清洗纠纷,就知道这些政府部门的政治思想正确不正确了。

为何欧巴马做出的决定在我们看来是政治错误呢?为什么他要这么做,还要表现的很愤怒,并且做决定又快又准。在新加坡,这些官员却很可能升官发财呢!

这令人很纳闷?不解?

原因是美国保守团体的背后有着共和党的影子。因此,专门对付保守团体,有着针对共和党的味道。就是说,作为民主党的欧巴马是否是要利用税务局来对付共和党或者共和党的支持者。为了不让美国人有这样的联想,欧巴马只好开除税务局代局长。即使欧巴马没有这个“心”,是个别官员的个人行为,但是,这种迫害不同政治立场的人和团体,在美国人看来,却是政治减分,不利民主党。

当然,在美国即使保守团体和共和党无关,如果美国执法单位,有系统的针对某些团体,专门对付这些团体,例如,同性恋团体,少数民族团体,都是不能被接受的。当然,谁做政府,谁就要负责把事情搞清楚。
协助把事情平反。

因此,即使国会出现陷入停顿状态,正如早报爱说的民主共和两党对立,造成国会空转。但是,作为执法,法庭,官方机构,政府组织,都要有其独立性,公开公平公正透明的扮演好自己的角色。不能为了自己还是为了欧巴马,而针对某些人,某些团体。

这就是政府机关,法庭,司法单位,公平公正透明的执行宪法赋予的权力和义务。你可以不相信政治人物,但是,如果政府组织也不可以信任,美国还有西方的民主制度,资本主义社会,将会面临灾难。或许,这也是行动党政府一直强调的我们的政府组织,公务员是公正独立的原因。但是,是否如此,新加坡人的各自解读就不同了。

新加坡人的政治已经开始觉悟了。在以前,利用内安法,主流媒体,行政单位,对付不同政治意见的人,国人或许可以忍受,或许可以忍气吞声。现在,不单是有社交媒体,普遍上人们的政治意识,民主观念也跟国际接轨。政府组织如果没有跟进,还像以前那样,那就是为行动党制造负面新闻,为行动党的选情减分。

替代媒体把国营电视给做了

如果说欧巴马开除税务局长现在可以理解了。但是,把国营电视台电台做掉,关门大吉。在行动党看来简直不可思议。行动党靠着主流媒体才维持生命到今天。下一届大选,主流媒体还要努力的为行动党服务,怎么有可能关掉这些官媒。

政府的新闻,文告,措施要如何公告天下?尤其是希腊财政出问题,新闻资讯的传播尤其重要,怎么可以关掉国家的喉舌?如果,换做是行动党政府,一定不知所措。没有主流媒体,行动党连发新闻的管道都不知道如何发。



希腊政府当然是没钱才想到这个节约措施。但是,如果没有替代媒体,希腊政府绝对不可能这么做。因为,希腊可以通过非官方的媒体发布官方新闻,政府的政策。更加重要的是,网际网络的发达,很多人可以通过网上新闻,得到政府的最新消息。因此,关掉国营电视台,让2500人失去工作,是财政考虑,也是政治考虑。如何节约现在是希腊政府的头号工作,成功的话,还可以为政府加分,增加欧盟对希腊政府的改革信心。

这告诉新加坡人什么?为何政府要急着修改网上新闻的的条例?

希腊的事实,已经清楚告诉我们替代媒体,网上新闻将是一个趋势。我们的国营电视,电台,报纸,影响力将越来越小。尤其是它们的独立性被人质疑, 无法扮演好监督政府的角色。越来越多的人就会去寻找替代媒体,社交媒体。

行动党知道这个发展趋势,但是,如果让新媒体自由发展,受害最深将是行动党。因此,网上新闻新规定,只是一个开始,行动党政府接着下来,还会有一系列的管制措施出炉,我们等着瞧!


Sunday, 9 June 2013

At least we have options of colours for our flats under Workers’ Party

[Looking at the new MDA licensing for internet, it means you have less options and perhaps only one option - the ‘right thing’ media. So, it is important to have strong oppositions in the Parliament to increase the options or best still a change of government. ]    
There are quite a number of flats that need a fresh look under the Repair and Redecoration programme at Paya Lebar estate. The money, of course, comes from the sinking fund – part of the monthly maintenance fees that we pay to the town council.

I believe this is the first time residents will have the options to select the colours of our flats.  Under the PAP town council, decision was made under the group thinking of grassroots leaders, CCC, RC and MPs.  They made decisions on our behalf and the contractors carried out the painting accordingly.      

Now, you compare this to the new MDA licensing. The government wants you to read the “right things” and there is a group of officials who will decide the “right things” for you.  You have no options like the residents of the old (PAP) Aljunied TC. The TC made the decision and chose the “right colours” for residents.

Yes, it is very efficient and even very environment friendly (there is no need to print the option forms). But is it the “right colours” that are preferred by the residents?

I am not saying by giving 4 options (see below) the WP is doing the excellent work.  At least, there are options and WP knows that there are improvements to be made. And surely, if there are good and better suggestions, WP town council will listen and make improvements.

In the eyes of the PAP, options are bad and less efficient for decision making.

The new MDA licensing and future changes in rules and regulations regarding social media reporting on Singapore news will leave netizens with one option – the right news.  And the persons who decide the right news are not independent, certainly not the netizens themselves.

Protest against new MDA licensing indicates more options are needed

So, Aljunied voters face an interesting question:  Do they want to go back to “no option” PAP town council of the past or continue to vote for a WP town council with at least 4 options in 2016?

Like the netizens, the answer is quite obvious.

It is not surprised that bloggers and netizens are angry with the new MDA licensing. It is telling the whole world we are going back to the old regime of controlled press and media with one option. While we already know we have options for alternative news and opinions.   

We are prepared to have all these nonsenses when we vote for WP

In 2011 GE, it was a child thinking to assume that there was no nonsense or nuisance if WP won Aljunied GRC. Aljunied voters had been pressurized to think twice of the consequence. They know too well the warnings and threats Hougang voters received from the PAP.

From the AIMgate to the recent hawkers’ dispute, voters here are psychologically prepared for all these nonsenses and nuisances.  And we are expecting more to come.

Compare this to the new MDA licensing again. What you will see the right things will be the MND report on AIM, the NEA side of story, the original version of Population White Paper and many others like the (not real) wage increase, (unaffordable) housing, education, health etc.

Without alternative news and analysis, without social media, and with only the main stream media, you will have no option at all.

The case of colour options in Aljunied reminds us the importance of options, alternatives and choices.  The government cannot assume it is doing the right thing without proper consultation and feedback from the people.  Its decision on making the right things for the people is a past tense.

Just imagine if Aljunied GRC were still under the PAP management, the right thing they will do is to choose the right colours for the residents.  And then they proudly claim that this is the product of their group thinking after getting feedbacks from the people.

So, remember if you really want to have options for alternative news and analysis, you will have to vote like the voters in Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East.

At least, you are telling the PAP you know (and decide) the right things and not the imposed PAP right things.


What do you think? Options for alternatives or no option likes the PAP.  

Friday, 7 June 2013

新闻网站新规定 为行动党未来垄断新媒体铺路

不论是新规定还是老规矩,行动党一直为了无法管制新媒体而烦恼。当然,不只是烦恼而已,忧心,担心,害怕,不知所措,行动党的头头已经开始患了精神紧张病。因此,网站媒体新规定的出炉,说白了就是为将来的管制新媒体铺路,为了创造媒体垄断而动的歪念头。

但是,为何要在这个时候恼怒网民呢?

行动党已经发现,同时越来越害怕,在社交媒体,在网上,相对的自由竞争下,行动党占不了优势,反而处于下风。在这样的背景下,就有必要预先设计好一套机制,一套警惕的机制,随时的可以派上用场,把自由竞争化为垄断竞争。

政府说新规定的出炉是因为,越来越多的人从网上获得资讯,据说已经有三分一的人从新媒体获得我国的政治经济社会等多方面的新闻和分析。因此,政府也要网上网下同等的对待,一起管制。想一想,主流媒体在管制下,已经失去竞争,变得对行动党有利。如果,新媒体不受管制,自由发展下去,将来新媒体的读者多过旧媒体,一定对行动党的选情造成不利。

因此,新旧媒体同等对待,表面是公平的举动,实际上,就是为将来的不公平竞争铺路。先想一想新条例的规定:网上“密集报道”新加坡新闻和分析连续2个月,每周平均发表一则关于新加坡的报道,且2个月内吸引5万次不同IP用户点阅的网站,需要向政府申请执照,并缴纳5万元保证金。

在选举的前几个月,网民上网的次数增加,又想看到不同的报道,因此,很多社交媒体新闻网站,肯定符合这个标准。在这种情形下,行动党政府只好来一个封杀一个。

那个网站先达标,那个网站就面临封杀的困境。

听话就自由,竞争游戏行动党来定

这就违背自由竞争的游戏规则。大公司达标就要申请执照交5万元按柜金,小公司小网站也一样。不论谁先达标,都是如此公平对待。如此这般,真的是公平吗?

【连小一的新生,我们都想做到在同一个起跑点出发,为何新媒体的竞争反其道而行,难怪我们如此无知。sg-quitters.blogspot.com】
我们先考虑一个小学一年级问题。虽然,多数的小一学生都有上过幼儿班,然后才过渡到小一。但是,也有一些学生,由于家庭问题,没有获得这方面的学前教育。因此,政府和相关部门为了协助这些学生,都会给予他们帮助。甚至有人建议强制性的把学前教育纳入正式的学校教育,更加公平的对待每个小孩。当他们达标进入小一时,大家的起跑点就比较接近。

现在看看新规定,谁先达标,谁就要具备小一的条件。不管有钱没有钱,请交上5万元按柜金,同时要和其他小一学生一样,不管人力物力的限制,就是要符合新条例新规定。

多年前,一些名校为了配合新媒体新科技教学活动,就要求学生人手一个ipad或类似产品,结果有些家长反对。因为,这就好像现在的新闻媒体新规定一样,起跑点已经变了。这不只是电脑产品的有无问题,还牵涉到家里的有没有上网和宽频的问题。

政府,学校和福利团体一直要帮忙低收入家庭,协助他们获得电脑和上网,就是希望他们能够很快的跟上。

想一想,新闻媒体的新规定,这不是开倒车吗?你已经跟上了,已经建立了5万点击平台,政府却希望把你拉下马。为什么?因为你没有和行动党一样的集体思维。

这样的新条例新规定,比小一的标准还不如。网站已经很不容易的达到阅读人数和新闻分析的质量,现在,政府还来个“认可”,要求和大公司一样的条件和要求。这和没有上过学前教育的小一生一样,老师不但没有同情心,还要要求学生已经懂得ABC,加减乘除,汉语拼音等等。第一天开课,就教授正课,不让部分学生(新媒体)拉慢其他(主流媒体)学生的学习(集体思维)进度。

难怪,我们的企业精神,创业精神无法展现出来。因为,还没有到小一,已经被封杀了。上了小一,不但得不到老师的帮忙,还要快快跟上,快快集体思维。

在政治上,行动党更是想做到这点。现在是5万个点击就是指标,以后还可以调整。大选期间,不需国会辩论,只要修改条例或推出新条例,就可以把原本就不公平的竞争,变得更加不公平。这就是行动党的本色。

因此,这就是行动党所谓的公平自由竞争。我们回想一下,选区的范围变更,集选区的出现,4人,5人,6人一组的竞选团队,任由行动党自由制定出来的。不管在野党达不达到这些标准,不管在野党有没有预先在一些选区备战,总之,行动党就硬硬的定下这些游戏规矩。

不公平的媒体不公平的竞选机制

由于新闻媒体在新媒体的冲击下,开始朝向比较公平的竞争,和以前主流媒体垄断的不公平竞争渐行渐远,行动党开始害怕,不单不能适应新环境,反而力求回到过去垄断新闻,垄断媒体的时代。媒体法令下的旧条例,新条例,以及以后出现的新条例,都是要为不公平竞争铺路。

竞选的一大胜算就是控制媒体,影响媒体,要求媒体配合演出,如果自己没有演出机会,也要想方法不让反对党有出风头的机会。既然如此,就要把自由竞争,变成垄断竞争,媒体的条例,不论新与旧,在行动党的手中,可以避开国会和网民,随时推出垄断竞争的条例。

政府虽然再度说明,目前,这个新条例对个人网站不适用。因此,个人的网上自由还在。但是,你相信吗?


在垄断竞争的前提下,行动党政府什么事情做不出,在确保大选胜出的背景下,违背新闻自由,违背自由竞争,又算什么?

Monday, 3 June 2013

How come the “Finest” worth so much at NTUC Finest –is it having the same group thinking as the PAP?

[Is NTUC Fair Price following the footstep of SMRT? Have they forgotten their principle duty as a social enterprise to help lower income families? SMRT goes beyond the services of commuters and NTUC beyond the interest of lower income families.]
Finest or not, after all NTUC is still a co-operative. A co-operative even how fine it is it is still a cooperative with the objective of helping the lower income families, the people at large and ordinary citizens.

Pay more to shop at NTUC Finest 
I am shock to find out the renovated Hougang A NTUC Supermarket now renamed as NTUC Finest can offer ordinary items as expensive as the nearby Cold Storage or even dearer.

Perhaps, NTUC has forgotten they are a co-operative, a social enterprise, as PM Lee and union leaders have also stressed.  NTUC is to help citizens to fight inflation and lower down the cost of living for Singaporeans. And now the word “finest” means expensive after a name change and renovation.

It looks like NTUC is just doing the opposite (finest in price only), just like the HDB housing and the hawkers’ stalls. After upgrading with new design and facilities, HDB demands higher selling prices for HDB flats or higher rental of hawkers’ stalls.

Price adjustment after renovation

Price adjustment always comes after renovation or upgrade. The PAP does it so do the NTUC.

NTUC Finest Hougang A



Here are some selected daily items and their price differences between NTUC Finest and Supermarket.








NTUC Finest
Hougang A
NTUC Toa Payoh A and City Sq
Price adjustment
Red spinach
$1.35/300g
$0.80/220g
0.45/0.364 =
23.6%up
Baby spinach
$1.50/300g
$1.00/220g
0.5/0.455 =
9.9% up
Tomato 100g
$0.22 (big)
$0.15 (small and medium)
0.22/0.15 =
46.7% up
Bread blue packaging
Not offer
$1.15
NA

NTUC City Sq
Before the renovation in May 2013, the Hougang A NTUC Supermarket offered the same prices as the other two stores in Toa Payoh and City Sq. In term of location and rental, I don’ think Hougang A is in a better location and having to higher rental.  I also doubt there is a rental increase after renovation.

But consumers have to pay for the renovation costs and the “finest” goods and services. I don’t see the difference in quality (for spinach I brought at NTUC Finest) or service.  In fact, the price tags were not displayed for the spinach and so as regular customers, I don’t pay attention even there is no listing of price. I only notice the difference after payment.   

NTUC Toa Payoh A
If the price adjustments for some daily necessaries can increase by at least 10%, plus the cheapest range of products, like the blue packaging house brand bread, are not on offer; how can NTUC Fair Price help to lower the living burden of common people.

Not to forget in the neighborhood of Kovan MRT, there is only one NTUC Supermarket (now Finest). This means residents have to go to both expensive supermarkets (Cold S and Finest) for their daily needs.

If you are the only supermarket, with a social enterprise spirit of fighting inflation, in the neighborhood, why are you running away and joining the commercial enterprise and forming the oligopoly competition in the area?  

If there are two NTUC Fair Prices in the same area, then the rational of one goes upmarket and the other serves the lower income people seems logical.   
But the situation near Kovan MRT is different.  There is only one NTUC.

Quite obviously, NTUC Fair Price is doing the same thing like the PAP government. They have the same group thinking, whether running the country or running a social enterprise.

NTUC is a mirror of government polices

The name “Finest” has many implications. For medical care, lower income families are facing Class C or B options, or for middle income families the choice of government or private hospitals.

For education, students can go to the “finest” independent schools, or neighborhood schools.

For HDB, you can apply for the “finest” EC flats or normal HDB flats.

For COE, you can go for the “finest” above 1600cc cars or small cars.

No cheap alternatives at NTUC Finest

So, shopping at NTUC, you still have an option, you can go to the Finest and spend more or go to a normal supermarket but you may not get one in your neighborhood, like the case of Kovan MRT.

Yes. The government supplies options, choices and alternatives, but like the Hougang A NTUC Finest, you may not have the opportunities to shop at the NTUC supermarkets elsewhere. However, if you insist to do so, you will have to spend more time and money travelling to the nearer NTUC supermarkets outside your neighborhood.

Upgrade to Finest voters?

Kovan MRT is within Paya Lebar –Aljunied GRC.  

One reason I can think of for the renamed NTUC Finest is NTUC has quietly upgraded the Aljunied residents and voters to the finest people in Singapore.

We are now giving the chance to shop at the finest supermarket.  Of course, as customers and residents, you too have to be “finest” too.

But there is (an expensive) price to pay for getting this finest honour by shopping at Hungang A NTUC Finest!

Perhaps, same to the PAP too!  It will be another expensive lesson to learn from (not) helping Singaporeans.