Tuesday, 29 July 2014

IPPT70%不及格 PAP只剩30%战斗力


【任何一项政策,如果大多数的人不及格,不合格,就像体能测验,公积金最低存款那样,而这些政策又累积好多年不改变,这到底意味着什么?推而广之,细想一下,这就是行动党政府的一党独大,不透明,不以大多数人利益为前提的办事作风。】


军人体能测验推行了这么多年,到现在竟然有70%的人不及格。这到底是国人体能上的问题,还是行动党政府的政策出了问题。为了弥补这个漏洞,新的体能测验标准就不得不出炉了。

从体能测验的没有与时并进,再联想到行动党的其他政策,我们就更加容易明白,了解,为何行动党的政治战斗力只剩下30%。简单的举出几个例子:

*公积金最低存款:大多数会员到了55岁,还是无法达标。既然达不到标,又如何养老?

*贫富差距无法改善,低收入人士的薪金,10几年没有调整。行动党在照顾落势群体上,可以说是不及格。

*医院床位和医生人数不足,迟迟不解决。医药保险在无可逃避的情形下,只好推出应付人民的不满。


体能测验为何如此多人不及格

原因可能很多,但是归纳起来可以有三点:
1.国民服役人员的体质,越来越差,比起建国一代来得差。
2.测验标准根本就有问题,只是一直没有加以改进。国防部在宣布新的三项体能测验时,就指出这点。问题是为何延迟到今天,才来改变。
3.体质差,测验指标也不对。两者加在一起,不及格的人竟然高达70%

如果以即将淘汰的体能测验作为标准,武装部队70%的军人在体能上不合格,这也意味着武装部队的战斗力只剩30%。如果要打持久战,在体能上,也只有30%军人能够耐得了。

所以,无论在公在私,体能测验的标准是一定要改变的。30%及格率,实在是太难看了。新的体能测验标准,更加接近现实,务实的体能要求,务实的标准,结果当然就是要突破50%的及格率。

2011年大选过后,行动党政府一直在做补丁的工作。他们在体能上,在政策上的改变,就犹如这次国防部大动作修改军人体能测验标准一样,就是希望把行动党的战斗力提升上来。如果一直处在30%的战斗力,即使有优良的军备,政府的所有资源协助,行政法令的垄断控制,行动党还是无法守住根据地。没有真的和假的动作,行动党面临失守选区,失手阵地的机会很高。

但是,通过修改标准,没有改进体能,以虚幻方式取得及格,对于选民来说,是否是真的应该给行动党及格?选民是否能够看清楚,行动党的虚幻造势,而不再被行动党蒙骗过关。

行动党端出的牛肉,虚的实的都有。建国一代的红包,医药福利,限制外来劳工人数,增加新组屋数目,补贴公共巴士数目,限制校友小一报名,全国对话,行动党领袖网上社交活动等等,的确让行动党的战斗力增加不少。选民如何分清楚,看明白,虚虚实实,又让行动党过关,再次错失真改变的机会。

即使行动党端出的牛肉再多,有几个基本点,行动党是无法妥协,不会让步的。第一个就是透明度。行动党不相信人民有判断力,因此,治国不需要向人民详细交代。行动党说,人民要相信公积金,储备的多少,我们有AAA的评级,审计总长的背书,如果进一步透露更多详情,反而对我们的外汇储备政策造成伤害。因此,政府透露多少,人民就要相信多少。

第二个就是经济挂帅。搞经济,行动党认为自己是内行人。在新加坡它认第二,没有敢认第一。而行动党50年来的经济政策,不可能为了迁就选民,而做出大改变。行动党的务实,不会因为有人没钱看病,55岁过后,没钱养老,有人没有房子住,而手软,心疼。我们只要看看,公积金最低存款,即使多数人无法达标,行动党还是要一直不断的增加最低存款数目。

第三个就是战将问题。行动党提了几十年的接班人问题,一直都没有办法解决。现在的问题,不只是青黄不接,素质上,献身精神也有问题。候选人依然是来自政府部门奖学金得主的小圈圈。从目前端出来的可能候选人牛肉看来,也不见得有何特出之处。年轻和资深部长,处处让人担心,害怕他们再次说错话。虽然,错话对反对党有利,但是,对于新加坡人来说,看到他们领取高薪,又说错话,心里真不是滋味。因此,还是希望他们少说错话。

体能测验虽然只是国家社会的一部分。但是,从这个点,我们把它放大,就可以知道行动党政府是如何治国的。国防部是财政预算开支最大的部门,它连军人的体能都搞到不及格,不是30%而是70%不及格。因此,我们绝对有理由相信,行动党不及格的地方,何止体能一项,看看公积金,医药政策,社会政策,房屋,交通甚至经济政策,都出现瓶颈和令人不满的地方。


行动党当然明白自己的战斗力如何。它一方面呼吁国人注意身体健康,多做运动,自己也锻炼体能。另一方面,它也在修改标准,把不能达标的项目,说成达标,还找人背书,期待在大选时胜出。选民可要分辨清楚,这里的虚虚实实,不要再上当了。多看看不同的意见,多听听反对党的声音,就能分出虚实来。

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Risk and Opportunity of Transparency & Accountability in Singapore




IMG_20130621_082142.jpg
Singapore experienced haze, a systemic risk, from Indonesia last year. Even turning on the light, there was no clear sky then. In reality, the island state is facing transparent risk as decisions are concentrated on a few persons.

Singapore will be celebrating 50 years of independence next year. Her economic success seems to be risk free and has become a development model in the world#0. However, does the country have sustainability issues?   

Low transparency
High Accountability
For Singaporeans, risk is a possible loss if there is low transparency.
Opportunity is a possible gain if there are more accountability, checks and balances.  


World Development Report 2014 highlights several risks that Singapore is facing. The central bank (Monetary Authority of Singapore) is not an independent body. The government has full control of monetary policy which emphasizes growth and cares less about social safety net.  The ruling People’s Action Party has been in power for more than 50 years and all economic, social and political policies are based on the principle of utilitarianism and pragmatic approach of trade-off and costs and benefits.  


The World Bank report also calls for an independent fiscal council to be set up. Very unlikely, Singapore government will buy this idea.  In fact, very few persons know about the actual value of the reserve - even the President#1 who holds the second key for reserve did not have the full picture.   


From monetary and fiscal policies to reserve, sovereign funds#2 and Central  Provident Fund (pension funds) #3, Singapore’s future is challenged by haze with little transparency, checks and balances. The risk is further worsened by the information and media control. Being one of the richest countries in the world, Singapore’s press freedom ranks amongst the lowest#4.


To improve the risk management in Singapore, the government will have to be open and transparent.  It can no longer implement policies like before. Greater accountability, checks and balances are needed to manage the risks and opportunities. Singapore in the past has stressed too much on one party’s opportunities and ignore the risks faced by Singaporeans. The Report stresses risk management can save life, prevent crisis and unleash opportunities.


Based on the World Bank Report, Singapore is like a developing country.  The Report says there is an absence of important safety net and insurance, including medical insurance and basic financial assistance, in poor and lower income countries.     


The lower income group noted in the World Bank Report is the most vulnerable one and suffers the most under shocks, either household or systemic risk. Singapore’s pragmatic approach has offered little helps to the lower income people as their wages have been frozen for more than 10 years#5.    


Risk Management




The past success model of Singapore development needs further examination under the World Development Report 2014’s risk management framework:


Knowledge: Under a control environment and lack of transparency, it will be difficult to assess the uncertainties, risk and opportunity that Singapore faces.   Since the establishment of Central Provident Fund in 1955, Singaporeans until now still find it hard to understand the operations of the fund#6.  


Protection: Protection framework is designed by one party without accountability, checks and balances. The probability of losses and gains is solely decided by the government even the President may not have a full picture of the reserve.     


Insurance: Transfer and fair distribution of resources is based on pragmatic approach of no free lunch, trade-off and costs and benefits.  Until recently, under political pressure, the government starts to roll out universal medical insurance and cash coupons. However, rich-poor gap remains one of the highest in the world#7.


Coping: The preparation to equip Singaporeans with knowledge, protection and insurance has failed. It is only provided and driven by one party with limited public participation. Coping, in this circumstance, can only follow the preparation with little flexibility and adjustment.    
The risks and opportunities in Singapore are unique and different from both developed and developing countries. The government wants to continue her pragmatic approach with limited transparency and accountability. They believe they are doing the best for Singaporeans.  The question is ‘is it the best for the party or for the people’?   The debate continues …...    
IMG_20130621_081231.jpg
Singapore has good institutions and expertise to engage in risk management. The only shortfall is how to improve transparency and accountability.  More hazier days are expected if the situation remains unchanged.


Notes:
#0
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-s-healthcare/1271336.html


#1
Q18 on valuation of physical assets


#2
http://dr.ntu.edu.sg/handle/10220/4542


#3
http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/Members/home.htm


#4
http://en.rsf.org/singapore-government-subjects-news-websites-30-05-2013,44689.html


#5
https://sg.news.yahoo.com/-1-000-minimum-wage-scheme-as-%E2%80%98last-resort%E2%80%99-for-wage-shock-therapy--lim-chong-yah.html


#6


#7

Friday, 18 July 2014

行动党领袖 身价自我膨胀的背后


人民行动党领袖在告人诽谤时,往往要求很高的赔偿。自认身价很高,名誉地位很高,赔偿当然就要很高。事实上,这是建立在很低的道德底线上的。

行动党说,没有人要从政,因此,从政的人,从政的行动党领袖要做出很大的牺牲。他们从专业人士的岗位上下来,如律师,医生,总裁等等,在金钱上要做出很大的牺牲,因此,从政的人要获得一定的补偿,才能留住他们的从政之心。

所以,行动党就一直在制造‘物以稀为贵’,‘垄断市场’,‘牺牲很大’来说服新加坡人。这是50年来,行动党惯用的伎俩 自我调高升价身价的手段。但是,随着想要从政的反对党人士增加后,这样的论据是否还能成立?

行动党如何做到身价自我膨胀?

在垄断政治市场的背景下,行动党要想怎么说,就怎么说。它说阿斗是人才,国会,媒体,社会就跟着说阿斗是人才。它说淡马锡找不到人才担任总裁,就找自己人来做,还编出很多道理,如何找不到人,又如何找有身份地位来背书。因此,行动党把自己的人才,抬得高高的,就像圣人一样,他们是为了新加坡的前途,而不是为了个人的钱途而投入政治和公家事业的。

一党独大造就了‘垄断市场’。而垄断市场后,新加坡人就只能和行动党拿货,它给什么货色的货,它把下等货说成上等货,新加坡人也只能接受。因为,行动党是唯一的供应商,没有提供货物,新加坡人就要挨饿,说到底,就是要看供应商行动党的脸色。但是,跟供应商拿货需要钱,因此,没钱的人,不单要看行动党的脸色,真的买不起,就要挨饿了。供应商当然希望收到现金,更希望买得起贵货,高档货的高级客户,信用好的还可以给予折扣和延期付款的优待。

这几十年来,这种垄断市场的情形,在商场上出现,当然,也在行动党身上出现。政治上垄断和霸道,内安法,诽谤官司,发言权等就是鲜明的例子。

有了垄断市场,‘物以稀为贵’就很顺理成章了。国外的政治人物,部长拿多少钱和我们无关,我们不需要和国际接轨,新加坡人才难得,从政的人又少,再不用钱来吸引人才,谁还要来从政呢!这个‘物以稀为贵’的说法,不知道用了多少次。每一次大选,都是这么说的,只有行动党领袖是物以稀为贵,其他政党都不是人才。

在早期,垄断市场和物以稀为贵可以通过立法-修改竞选制度和行政手段-内安法,诽谤案等来达到。这两大护法,越来越不管用,到了现在,垄断市场面临严重的挑战。而物以稀为贵,更加没有人相信。

不论垄断还是人才论,事实上都是建立在很弱的道德基础上的。行动党故意造成市场的假象,没有人要从政,尤其是没有人才要从政,因此,我们要为这些人才的出山,而付出高额的代价。真的是如此吗?行动党是卖花赞花香,它利用垄断的局势,通过立法和行政,造成市面缺少从政人才,然后说只有行动党的货才是最好的,因此选民要用高价来买。

其实,这个说法比世界杯名牌球员,明星,歌星,企业家等拿高回报,高薪更加可耻。最少,这些球员,星星,企业家是在竞争的条件下,获得高薪,高回报。而行动党呢?它是躲在垄断市场的背后,以物以稀为贵来欺骗选民。没有最起码的竞争,行动党就肯定自己的人才,应该获得高回报。我们真的要佩服行动党的脸皮!

诽谤官司的不谈细节和高价赔偿

现在,我们看一下总理告网民诽谤的官司。总理要求summary judgment, 要求法庭不需要争论细节,因为被告方的网民,已经认错。既然网民已经认错,就可以直接跳到赔偿额的问题,法庭只需要对赔偿费做出决定就可以了。 当然,总理要求的是高价,网民提供的数额太少了。

这场官司的处理手法,是不是很接近行动党的垄断市场和物以稀为贵呢?垄断市场就是要法庭,一刀切,summary judgment一下,不用牵涉细节,法庭给一个决定,定下赔偿金额。在物以稀为贵的情形下,这个赔偿金额,当然不可以太少。太少怎么能显示出总理的贵气来呢?

不论总理和网民的诽谤官司结果如何,我们多多少少看到了垄断的力量和高价的要求。即使最终,总理如愿以偿,获得高额的赔偿,对于新加坡选民来说,这是不是一种道德的欠缺呢!

哈佛大学的麦克-善德教授在引用约翰-罗而斯的‘正义论’#1,解释公平分配的问题时,提出看法:

【现在,我将转向讨论他针对精英主义拥护者提出的质疑的回答。他认为努力是道德缺失的根源。 人们认为 只要是以努力工作来提高自己才能的人,就应该得到用自己的才能去实现的利益。其实 我们已经知道了Rawls罗而斯)对这个问题的最初一部分回答。

这要回到我们在谈到出生顺序时而做的民意测验。他的第一个解释是即使是职业道德,即使是奋斗精神,都依靠于不同种类的家庭环境和社会因素以及文化因素的偶然性 我们不能妄自称功。

你们(指哈佛大学学生),你们中的大多数或我们中的大多数都不能妄自把最先出生这一结果,归功于自己。而从一些复杂的哲学观点和社会原因来看那好像有很多方面的因素 比如奋斗,成功,努力,这是他的回答之一。

还有一个回答,那些把希望寄托于努力的人,实际上不是真的认为努力与道德缺失有关系。以两名建筑工人为例:其中一位很强壮,不费吹灰之力,就能筑高四堵围墙。 另外一个建筑工人却又矮又瘦, 得花三天的时间,才能完成同样的任务。

但没有一个精英制度的拥护者会真的考虑到这名可怜的建筑工人所做的努力,并为他辩护说"因此他应该得到更多"。所以这并不是真的努力,这是对精英制度主张的第二个辩驳。

努力,并不是真正的精英制度的拥护者们所坚信的分配份额的道德基础。真正的基础是贡献,你贡献了多少? 但是贡献又把我们带回了关于自然分配的天赋和才能的问题上。不仅仅是努力,并且,我们最初能够拥有那些天赋和才能也不是我们的功劳。

好吧,假设你们接受了以下这些说法,从精英理念的立场来说,努力并不代表一切,贡献才起着决定性作用。努力甚至不是我们所争取的,那是否意味着,反对是成立的。 也就是说,根据Rawls的说法,道德缺失与分配公平,毫无关系吗?

是的。追求分配公平并不是道德缺失。关于这点 Rawls向我们介绍了一种既重要又狡猾的区分方法。 用以区别道德应得与合法的期望的具体含义。 道德应得与合法的期望究竟有何区别? 让我们来看看两种不同的游戏。 一个关于机会,一个关于技巧。 以关于纯粹的机会的游戏为例, 假如 我买了马萨诸塞州的彩票,并且中奖了。我理应得到我的奖金,但即使我应该得到奖金, 也没什么意义。因为这只不过是靠运气。更不可能说 我道德上应该得到这笔奖金, 这就是合法的预期。

现在让我们来看看另一种与彩票完全不同的游戏竞技比赛。现在,试想波士顿红袜队(棒球队名)赢了年度冠军联赛。 他们既然赢了,当然有资格得到奖杯。 但当论及竞技比赛时,有一个问题却常被质疑,他们应该获胜吗?

在原则上,在相同的比赛规则,人们是否有权利获胜。 并且这胜利,是否应得的。这些都是能区别出来的。 这就是未动标准,即 "道德缺失"

所以 Rawls认为,尽管分配公平是合法预期。 但它在其本质上,并不是"合法期望" 的范畴。 他对此做了如下解释
"一个公平的体系,回答了人们的权利问题,满足了他们建立在社会制度之上的合法期望。 但是他们有权利得到的东西与他们的内在价值并不相称"

"调节社会基本结构和规定个人义务和责任的原则,并不涉及道德应得,分配的份额。也不倾向于要与它相称"

Rawls为什么做出了这种区分? 什么才是道德上的危机其中一个道德危机就是我们已经讨论过的关于努力的问题。但是还有第二种是偶然事件,另外一种道德的武断性。它超越了我们之前所谈到的问题,即我们是否应该认为,得到自然赋予的才能是理所当然的。这只是一种偶然性而已。我只是碰巧,生活在推崇我这种天赋的社会中。

就好像David Letterman,他只是碰巧生活在一个把很多钱和精力都投放在某种让人傻笑的节目上的社会,他无法选择。他只是很幸运,因为他碰巧生活在这样一个社会。这是第二种偶然性。我们不能够选择所生活的环境,即使我认为我的天赋和我的努力,是应得的,毋庸置疑的。

仍然有一个问题需要我去解答,即我依靠自己的天赋所获的利益,是建立在道德的武断性上的。 那我的天赋将会从市场经济中得到什么呢?它将基于什么呢? 这个社会的人们又碰巧偏好些什么呢? 这取决于供求原则,不是我能够决定的。这当然就不是道德应得的基本原则。 而贡献,也取决于这个社会所推崇的种种素质。在很大程度上,我们中的大多数人,都很幸运地拥有这个社会碰巧推崇的种种素质。 这些素质让我们可以提供社会之所需。】#2

#1

#2

翻译原文来自edX HarvardX JusticeX Lecture 16

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Votes in A Divided Singapore Iceberg

From the intercultural communication point of view, it may be difficult for some groups of Singaporeans understand and communicate with another group of Singaporeans. The fast changing social and economic landscape has created three groups of  Singaporeans: Traditional, pro-PAP and Western co-culture.


The Presidential Election 2011 showed such a trend. The recent Pink Dot event and the NLB books ban further indicate and confirm this divide. Of course, the debate on Public Trust, CPF, MediSheild Plus are other proofs too.   Pro-PAP Singaporeans will certain claim the government public trust is high. Western co-culture will say no and Traditional may say yes or no.      


Professor Mira Bergelson of Higher School of Economics, Russia explains there are three types of Russians: Tradition, Soviet and Western co-culture.  In the past 20-30 years, from Soviet Union to  Russia, Russia has experienced big political as well as economic  changes. The development until now has divided Russians into three groups of people.  For communication viewpoint, it may be difficult for Russians to understand each others.  Further complications arise when we think of geography, rural or urban, Europe or Far East.


To understand a Russian or to do business in Russia, one may have to  under their background.  Perhaps, the same thing is going to happen in Singapore.    


Russians first experience big political changes and then economic changes. Singapore first experiences big economic changes and now politically normality.


Singapore Divide


Big political and economic changes result to 3 groups


Russia experiences big political (and later economic) changes in the recent past, so do Singapore in economic (and later political) front.  We claim we only take  one generation from third world to first world.  Singapore is now one of the wealthiest countries in the world. However, we also have higher rich-poor gap. Comparing to Russian's tradition, Soviet, and Western co-culture, a similar trend is emerging in Singapore. We have people want to keep the tradition (e.g. preserving Asian values or conservatives). Another group like the Soviet memory, these Singaporeans strongly believe in everything from the People's Action Party(PAP). They believe only PAP can keep Singapore's glory and prosperity in the long run. The last group obviously belongs to co-western thinking and behaviours. A clear evidence is the 2011 Presidential Election and its result shows 3 groups of voters. No single candidate scored more than 36% of the total votes.


We can briefly define them:


Traditional: Conservatives,  strong values (religion or culture), for example, wear-white, or in some degrees Chinese educated.
Pro-PAP: Believe everything reported in the mainstream,  everything in PAP, for example, grassroot leaders, businesses etc.
Western co-culture: Modern and social justice, pro-Western and critical of the government policies, for example, Pink Dot, #Return My CPF, anti-ISA etc.    

Reactions on social  topics


Let’s take three headlines of TODAY (Saturday, 12 July) to see how the three groups react to them:


1. NLB’s decision ‘guided by community norms’ (page 1):  Clearly,  here the community norms are referred to the support from Traditional and Pro-PAP not the Western co-culture. Can we considered this a ‘community norm’?


2. New Video rejects MDA’s self-regulation scheme (page 2): Here, we see the strong reaction from Western co-culture. Pro-PAP will, of course, stand with the PAP and believe MDA is doing the right thing. How will Traditional react? Side with the PAP government or believe in the right value of creativity and no self-control?


3. PM Lee applies for summary judgement in blogger case (page 4): Similar to the MDA’s case, will more Traditionalists stand away in supporting Lee or agree with his action, especially summary judgement without knowing the details?


By the definition of the PAP’s high public trust and ‘community norms’, the PAP will win the three social topics with more than 50% of the votes.  However, we don’t know the latest approving of the government and Lee.  How strong is the pro-PAP group’s support? Will the 36% support for Tony Tan for President still hold? How is the growth rate of Western co-culture as well as the possible decline of Traditional and pro-PAP groups?


What will happen if we add all the social, political and economic issues together and make a final vote? The picture will not be so clear but rather complicated. We cannot rule out Traditional and Western co-culture work together and vote against the pro-PAP. The Traditional may also break into two, one section like the senior citizens, Chinese educated, assets rich-cash poor, supporting the Western co-culture and the other section of wear-white supporters supporting the PAP.  The result then become not so clear cut and the quality of candidates can be a decisive factor in the end.


Iceberg - below water activities    


Since 2011, we have seen few changes in economic front but there are more political challenges, year after year. The social disorders (Little India Riot and SMRT strike etc.) and social protests in Hong Lim Park  add more uncertainties to Singapore society.  All these will affect the interrelationship of the three groups.  The result of PE2011 may not be a correct indicator anymore. One group may have more members and another group sees declining membership.


So, the iceberg of 2011 we saw will be quite different from the coming general election. The undercurrent changes and below water activities cannot base on the assumption of PAP’s public trust and SG Conversation.  Certainly, the ‘PAP to mark its 60th year with series of events’ (page 15) is just an iceberg in the surface.  It will never give Singaporeans a full and clear picture of the current situation.      


Even the iceberg’s shape may change. It can reform. It may melt down. It may break into smaller icebergs.


The vote outcome in a divided Singapore may surprise ourselves, Singaporeans.  With climate change, we cannot predict the movement and shape of Singapore iceberg like before.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

华文能,体能测验能,粉红爱也能?


在行动党的务实放松政策下,粉红爱最终也能如粉红点宣传大使说的,指日可待的进一步放松?


华文B (Chinese B) 能 – 教育部一再降低华文水准,让更多学生能够过关。体能测验(IPPT)- 即将简化#1,表面说没有降低水平,实际上却搬出“务实”为借口,用要想拿奖金,就要达标,委婉回答问题。

华文作为一个传播语言文化的媒介,是一个精神粮食。我们选择自我降低,甚至选择自我放弃。行动党当然不会承认,不但不承认,还有自我膨胀,
像新加坡这样能够达到“整个社会都维持双语能力”、“英语很好、华语不错”的水平,不但了不起,也特殊少见。】#2

既然在精神上都能够放弃,体能的降低又何妨呢?国防力量在没有精神力量的支持下,又何必计较体能呢?美国国防部资料显示,一个美国大兵在前线作战,需要11个人在做后勤工作。因此,现代战争已经是一个脑力,精神力量的战争。

经济数据显示,自1965年新加坡独立以来,我们的整体经济和人口都在增加,而服役人员的数目,却没有明显的增加,反而因为生育率下降而减少。一增一减,我们的国民服役人员的担子却增加很多。在5百多万人口中,公民是多少,男性有多少,和独立时相比,同样一个国民服役人员要负责保卫的人口,居住人口,就多了很多。不单如此,在经济上,以前的整体国民所得是多少,现在是多少。同样一个服役人员,要负责的经济蛋糕,就不知道要高出几倍。

国防力量真的能够依靠武备来增强吗?事实上,军事力量还是要看整体的国力,经济力量的支持。新加坡经济在很大程度上,除了外来投资,就是政府企业,政联公司,和产业金融业了。本地企业,中小型公司,根本没有办法帮上忙。外来投资,外来人口,随时可以自由的来去。因此,真正的经济力量和人口数目,就要大打折扣了。
【国民服役人员的精神素质,其实要比以前更高。但是要如何认可,承诺服役人员的义务献身精神,却是一个头疼的问题。同样的情形,也可以放在内政精英身上。武备可以用钱解决,精神素质钱买不到。】

新加坡的情形,如果再继续发展下去,很可能出现一只没有精神力量,没有体能力量的武装部队。同时,本身的整体国力,经济力量,在外人撤离后,也跟不上。留下的,剩下的是一大堆所谓的现代化武备。

务实的华文,务实的体能,务实的经济,将是新加坡要走的路吗?还记得鲁迅吗?当年他在日本放弃医学,从事文艺,就是想要唤起中国人的民族意识,唤醒中国人的精神力量。不然,近一点的就看看最近在伊拉克发生的叛军以少数力量就打败在美国一流训练,提供一流武器的正规军,以少胜多,伊拉克将领落荒而逃的场面。这一幕还让马来西亚的纳吉拿来当反面教材,要他的巫统党员也学习伊拉克叛军,以少胜多。纳吉的这个例子,被认为认同恐怖活动,被人批评。

粉红爱的诱惑

既然精神上可以放松,体能上能够放松,为何在粉红爱上,不能放松呢?难怪粉红点宣传大使,官委议员许优美认为377A的修改将是时间问题,指日可待。更何况,粉红爱已经成了欧美的潮流,你只要看一看粉红点在芳林公园集会背后赞助商,不是名牌的科技巨头,就是名牌的国际大银行。

我们的华文,我们军人的体能,可以不和国际接轨,但是,粉红爱却偏偏是国际化的产物。欧美从解放黑奴,黑奴非法后,就一直在民权上解放。从私人拥有财产,妇女拥有投票权,女权运动,到投票权下放和投票年龄下降等等,目的就是要寻求一个比较公平,公开,平等的社会。因此,粉红爱,同性恋,也就成了诉求之一。(美国原本没有投票权的黑人和没有交税的人,由于参加独立运动,而通通在过后都具有投票权,欧洲也有类似情形。这是他们认可军人为国献身的承诺。)

行动党政府能够抗拒这种国际诱惑吗?粉红和穿白色的反粉红运动,最终会不会变为一种政治选择?我们在拥抱国际化,拥抱欧美的经济贡献时,能够对他们诉求的粉红爱,不理不睬吗?当然,这不只是行动党的问题,也是其他政党的问题,保守,开放,中立选民,会不会因为不同政党对粉红爱的不同立场,而做出不同的投票选择。而这个粉红爱的因素在投票选择上的比重将是多少,影响有多深?还是这只是局限在粉红爱的粉丝而已?
【穿白衣的宗教人士认为,粉红点的集会,是一项政治诉求。如果这点成立,行动党政府将如何看待这个由外人赞助的涉及国内政治活动的集会。还是行动党有两套不同的标准?是否又回到务实的,放松的功利主义?】

歧视同性恋人,是否也表示歧视其他的人,比如,落势群体,比如不幸人士,延伸来说,对粉红爱不公平,也就是维护社会不公,允许社会上不公平,不平等,甚至不公开,不透明的事情存在。粉红爱可以隔离,单独处理吗?这是一个不愿面对,也要面对的诱惑。

无论如何,在精神力量下降,体能要求下降后,粉红爱的同志军团,还是不能少的。难道,国防部在兵员不足的情形下,会让同志免服兵役吗?国防部的立场是国民服役,是一项义务,因此,不能获得全薪。同志既然尽了义务,就应当获得公平的待遇。


#1

#2


http://www.zaobao.com.sg/realtime/singapore/story20140704-362264#sthash.hrN4ojin.dpuf

Thursday, 3 July 2014

PAP Faces Huge Challenges of Peer Effects and Threshold Changes


If we compare now and 20 years ago, we will be able to see the difference in peer effects and threshold of public trust on the PAP government. The same 60% PAP obtained in GE1991 and GE2011 indicates a very different picture, from basic statistics to speakers' corner and voicing out.

Only one-third Singapore voters participated in GE1991 and in many ways this is a bias sampling of opinions. GE2011 with more than 90% voters and PE2011 with 100% voters participation, both provide a better represented population statistics. When the PAP studies the trend and statistics, they have to quietly admit that public trust on government performance is certainly declining.

This trend continues after GE2011 as clearly indicates in the various Speakers' Corner events at Hong Lim Park. Whether you call them social movements or political discontents, they all show some degree of peer effects and a low threshold of approving the PAP.

Peer effects is easier to understand. You join, your friend joins and your friend's friends will also join. This happens in Facebook, in twitters or social media etc. However, to generate a large group participation, an activity needs a different and changed threshold than before, a lower threshold will stimulate more participation.

Professor Scott E Page of University of Michigan in his discussion about model thinking of peer effects argues that a change in threshold can stimulate a bigger peer effects, like the Berlin Wall, Arab Spring or Orange Revolution in Ukraine. These peer effects in fact caught many, even experts, 'off guard' and out of expectation.

Professor Page said, “Each person has a threshold. And the expression is like, how many other people would have to join the movement in order for them to join the movement.”  [You may view the video below @1.45 min to under the logic of threshold.]

This is like the Chinese saying of everyone has a ruler to judge the performance of  the PAP. However, the measurement will change from time to time. The passing mark can change and also it will be influenced by others too.  


The Singapore case


Peer effects
Threshold
1990s
Low - media control
High - Public trust?
2010s
High - social media
Low - Public trust

Why does threshold make the difference?

First, we have to give credit to those people who voice out against the PAP policies – past and present. They keep on reminding us there is a threshold of public trust on the government. However, the same reminder in the past and present receives different level of threshold and peer effects.

Without the oppositions we will never see the change in threshold level and hence, the result of peer effects. Just imagine the case of JBJ, with the current threshold level of social injustice and the alternative media, if there is any social crowdfunding for his defamation case against the PAP leaders, it will certainly draw a large crowd and supports than before.

In 1990s, Singaporeans generally had different threshold of tolerance against the PAP government as compared to today. People are more demanding now. MRT, bus services, child care, primary one registration, public hospitals, National Service, CPF, you name them, you will see a lower threshold, a lower acceptance level, a lower passing mark.

A lower threshold also means the PAP receives less respect from the people. Less respect can also mean Singaporeans are trusting the PAP less. Hence, it is a lower public trust.

In the past, when the PAP made mistakes, like the case of Mas Selamat, the mainstream media would give them a good cover and projecting another picture and image. Artificially, the media helped to maintain a higher level of tolerance threshold for the PAP. Hence, public peer effects wouldn't take place. Same for many ISA and defamation cases, the one-side story prevented peer effects to take place. It may also due to what the PAP always stresses that the economy and prosperity are keys for Singaporeans, other things are secondary. So, we have stagnant threshold and stagnant peer effects for many years.

This also reflects in the general elections. In 1991, there was a small breakthrough and the oppositions got 4 MP seats. It went down to two later. The key point here is since 1981, we always have opposition MP in the parliament. A small group of Singaporeans believe in checks and balances. Even threshold is low and no peer effects, they continue to support a political discourse. The PAP tried to contain and restrict the change in threshold and peer effects by changing the election rules. And they are very successfully in the past.

This is why a loss in GRC is significant to Singaporeans and the PAP. Voters will adjust their threshold level that will affect the final peer effects of voting pattern in future. Singaporeans have supported opposition MP, from one, two, to six and seven. This means the threshold level is changing in favour of the opposition. This is what some academics call a honeymoon for the opposition. A weakening threshold of support for the PAP will certainly result to a strong peer effects and supports to the oppositions.

When will the threshold and peer effects stop changing and reach a new equilibrium? Or when will the honeymoon be over? This is an open question. Of course, the PAP hopes to put a stop on it by introducing and changing many social policies. But will it work?