Friday, 29 April 2016

行动党的提升计划,根本没有考虑公民参与,违背世界银行的指导原则。


人民行动党的提升计划,根本没有考虑公民参与,违背世界银行的指导原则。

Untitled drawing(2).jpg

【什么SGfuture, SG50, 还有REACH,人民协会等等,通通都是由上而下的所谓公民参与,看看宪法委员会的出席人数,以及不打算全民表决总统选举新架构,选民就应该清楚人民行动党搞得是什么把戏了。】

就拿武吉巴督选区的社区翻新计划来说,什么总值190万元的改善基础设施计划,还是去年大选提出的2千4百万元的支票等等,全部都没有把公民参与考虑在内。

世界银行集团在考虑到贷款给发展中国家搞基建项目时,现在都要加入公民参与这个因素。为什么?

【公民直接参与的好处是确保政府,不论对政策的制定,还是提供的公共服务素质,都能做得最好。
Government works best when citizens are directly engaged in policymaking and public service delivery.】

【公民参与能够协助改进政府政策的透明度和负责性。并且能够提高人民对政策的信任度,对重要改革达成一致性,和建立一个持久的政治和人民支持的机制。
Engaging citizens can help improve transparency and accountability of public policies, promote citizens’ trust, forge consensus around important reforms, and build the political and public support necessary to sustain them. 】


人民行动党政府根本就把世界银行的建议当成耳边风。或许,新加坡太富有,我们不需要向世界银行贷款搞基建,因为我们的公积金局可以不断的向政府提供低息贷款。因此,新加坡政府可以不理这些建议,而人们也无需知道公民参与的重要性。

武吉巴督的选民们,难道您们没有贡献公积金吗?行动党政府拿了公积金的钱和储备,有没有考虑公民参与?

他们的选区提升计划,全部都是国家发展部,市区重建局,或者其他政府部门搞出来的。然后,在没有公民参与的情形下,就拿出来让您们选择。人民行动党还要看您们的支持程度,优先分配给大力支持行动党的选区,不支持的选区,就慢慢来,慢慢等。

每一次大选,每一次补选,行动党就把邻里提升计划的冷饭炒热,提醒选民,投票给行动党的好处。总理提醒选民,把票投给对居民有利的政党。这是完全否决选民的公民参与权利。这也是他所谓的Trade-off。

想一想,行动党把提升计划抛出,根本没有考虑到选民的需要。因为,它根本就没有考虑公民参与这个世界银行的建议。事实上,不论计划前还是计划后,行动党根本就不理公民参与这回事。

反观民主党,他们在计划前和计划后,会向选民了解需要,他们要公民参与。选区内的实际需要,是要通过选民的反馈,回报,互相沟通才能完成的。

事实上,世界银行要求公民参与的目的,就是要人民监督政府。因为在发展中国家,有太多的贪污舞弊的事情,施工,品质,预算等问题,小的可以是课本印刷质量问题,大的问题则可以是建筑上的偷工减料。

新加坡自认贪污指数很低,不需要监督。行动党会自己监督自己。如果选民都迷信这套说法,当然就是自动放弃公民参与的权利。

再者,项目、计划等是否是人民需要的,行动党政府希望人民让它自由发挥,选民只要大力支持行动党,行动党就会做的更好,就会效率更高?这是完全违背世界银行公民参与的指导原则。行动党认为只要有正确的政治,正确的政策就行了,真的如此简单吗?

新加坡经济现在正面对挑战,经济不好,就应该参与政策的制定,而不是任由行动党由上而下的自由发挥。过去50年,新加坡经济蛋糕的分配就是在没有制衡,没有公民参与的背景下,变得贫富不均。

为了向世人表示人民行动党政府是透明,是公开的,新加坡多多少少也要搞一些所谓的公民参与的活动。通过SGfuture, REACH, 人民协会,通过非政府组织,通过工会,公会,商业、体育团体等等,告诉世人我们积极推动公民参与的。

无论如何,这些间接,甚至受到控制的公民参与活动,都比不上直接面对人民,和人民直接沟通来得最好。

武吉巴督选民,您的一票,是要支持直接的,主动的鼓励公民参与的民主党,还是被动的,间接的支持公民参与的行动党?

答案就是您手中的一票。

您的决定,决定您是否能够直接的参与选区内的事物,直接对选区内的事务有话语权,而不是行动党抛出的不经公民参与的计划项目。








Wednesday, 27 April 2016

化被动为主动,不要忽视手中的一票,改变从您开始。




武吉巴督的选民,不要以为自己手中的一票,起不了作用。一张票投给民主党的徐顺全博士,根本没有作用。

2015年大选,人民行动党得票为73%,一年都还没有过去,人心不可能变得这么快。自己本身想改变,但是却又太多人不想改变。最后,还是改变不了现状。

如果每位武吉巴督选民都这么想,最开心当然是PAP了。他们就会把2015大选的成绩当成理所当然,总理认为这是个大胜。 真的如此吗?2015大选的成绩,是否真的是理所当然,武吉巴督选民这回可要拿出真的选项了。

1980年的新加坡大选,在安顺选区,PAP的得票更加高,高达84%。为什么到了1981年的安顺补选,工人党的惹耶勒南却胜利了,得票率为51.9%?人民行动党的得票却下跌超过35%?

1981年,安顺选民给了反对党斗士惹耶勒南进入国会的机会。

2016年, 35年后,武吉巴督选民应该考虑给反对党的另一位斗士民主党的徐顺全博士进入国会的机会。

新加坡的民主之路,走得极为辛苦,从1981年的一位到今天的六位。人生有多少个35年,反对党需要您鼓励的一票,才能继续服务人民,监督政府,提出替代方案。

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Israel: From An Idea to A Multi-Party State Singapore: From A Colony to A Dynasty, A One-Party State



Israel declared independence in 1948 and Singapore gained independence in 1965. However, Israel and Singapore engage in a very different path after independence.  

PM Lee Hsien Loong talked about “Israel’s story ‘resonates with, inspires S’poreans’” in his recent visit there. What does he mean?

The different path has led to continued colonization vs. idea diversification; exclusive politics vs. inclusive politics; and cultural gaps.

1 Colonization vs. diversification
Singapore continues to practice the colonization institutional rule. ‘Divide and rule’ is the PAP approach. Since 1959, the PAP has purposely abused or took advantage of institutional power, which they inherited from the British, to make Singapore a one-party state. While in Israel, all political parties or ideologies have to accept and respect each other, perhaps this is why they agree with a proportional representation system of parliament.
  
Long before the PAP, Sir Stamford Raffles had an idea to make Singapore a centre for commerce and trade. In 1819, before Hong Kong, Singapore was already a colony and the British had monopoly power in administration.  When the PAP took over the administration in 1959, they happily continued to implement this monopoly politics.

However, the idea of Israel comes from the Zionism.


The Zionist movement was never homogeneous, and reflected by birth orientation, social context, and political affiliations. Practical Zionism, Political Zionism, and other Zionism - Religion, Culture, Socialist etc were established one after the other. But they manage to combine their resources to turn their common idea into building a nation state. They continue to do so even after independence.   

2. Exclusiveness vs. inclusiveness

Many of the PAP leaders are educated in the West but once they take over the power, they practise exclusive politics, e.g. control of media, election matters, even in non-political areas, like Malays in the military, job disadvantage for Chinese educated Singaporeans, job preference for foreigners etc.

Similarly, the idea of a state of Israel came from Europe. They have not given up this idea.



While in Israel, they are to depend on inclusiveness to unite the country. They may have disagreements where media outlets are subject to military censorship and gag orders but Israel is considered as a free press country by Freedom House: ‘The legal standing of press freedom has also been reinforced by court rulings citing principles laid out in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.’

3. Different cultural approaches and gaps
Culture and religions are important parts of the establishment of Israel. They have to maintain their language and culture even the early immigrants spoke no Hebrew. While in Singapore, our mother tongues are called second languages.

The PAP has failed to see the importance of diversity. They only have the idea of a center of commerce and trade.  The Singapore’s today is a long way from our National Pledge. 

With all news reports from our mainstream media, have Singaporeans learned something from PM Lee's visit to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian? Have we seen the differences?


#1
The History of Modern Israel: From an Idea to a State, Coursera@Tel Aviv University

Thursday, 14 April 2016

政治上的华族、经济上的华侨?文化上的‘华’(洋)芋?

presentation.png
新加坡是一个华人人口占大多数的独立国家。根据总理公署、外交部兼交通部高级政务部长杨莉明在国会的发言,新加坡华人一个自认华族,或者华裔,而不是华侨。

从政治上来看,的确如此。新加坡公民只能有一本新加坡护照,不能同时拥有其他国家的公民权。因此,我们不能同时拥有新加坡和中华人民共和国或者中华民国的护照。每当领取新护照的时候,我们都要再一次的签署,我们只有一本新加坡护照。

【总理公署、外交部兼交通部高级政务部长杨莉明昨天在国会拨款委员会辩论外交部开支预算时指出,华族新加坡人虽与中国人在语言和文化习俗等方面相近,以至被误认为是侨居海外的中国公民,但实际上,华族新加坡人是华裔,而非华侨,是“拥有独立国籍、效忠及身份的华族”。】


杨莉明说,新加坡华人不是“侨居海外的中国公民”。那么,根据这个解释,旅居这里的中国公民,可以说是’华侨‘了???还是居住在欧美、澳纽、东南亚的华人叫华侨,新加坡除外???

这很可能是一个先有鸡还是先有蛋的问题?新加坡政府的立场是,我们是华裔、华族,不是华侨。

从经济的角度看,华裔、华族、华侨有什么分别吗?以’商人重利轻别离‘出发,哪一个身份比较有利,哪一个身份做生意比较方便,我们很可能会以’模棱两可‘的态度来面对这个问题。或许,只有淡马锡,政府投资公司GIC,和政联公司,因为官方色彩,就比较介意,特意要以新加坡华族身份出现。和这样的公司做生意,就和老外公司做生意一样,没有了’华侨‘的关系。

所以,从经济上考虑,如果中国商人和中国省市希望你的身份是华族(华裔),那就华族吧!如果更希望看到华侨,那华侨也无所谓。

不论政治还是经济,人与人之间的沟通和关系,在更高的层次上,是离不开文化的。

【杨莉明指出,新加坡华社与中国人在文化上,认同差异并存,这“丰富了我们的特殊性,也巩固了我们的立足点”。“我们在学习中国的文化、语言时,可以见贤思齐。然而,我们对自身的文化宿命应该保持尊严,感到骄傲。”】

【“我国华社与其他族群联手、经过50年成功打造现代新加坡的经历,完全可以充满自信地与中国朋友进行交流,并体现我国的特殊性、独立性。”】#1


《文化宿命、特殊性、独立性》

杨莉明提出新加坡华人的文化宿命、特殊性和独立性?这是不是洋芋和’华‘芋的问题?50年前,英文教育和华文教育者,一个吃番薯,一个不吃番薯,这是一个’人为‘的宿命吗?

演变到今天,华校已经没有了,当然也就没有吃番薯的问题。我们的特殊性和独立性,是不是我们已经变成了洋芋了。我们的’立足点、充满自信‘,是不是我们吃了太多洋芋?但是,我们也不可否定,新加坡还是有华芋新移民,或者华洋芋(因为我们自认双语教育成功)。

当我们面对中华文化时,我们是以洋芋还是华芋,还是华洋芋的身份和精神来处变不惊呢?新加坡政府说:华族;经济商人说:华侨可以变通;而不同教育背景的人,在文化上的应变,就很可能出现洋芋,华芋,华洋芋的现象。这是新加坡充满自信,独立特殊的反照。

这样的反照,应该是正常的。就像李氏兄妹为纪念李光耀而争论一样。他们的思维立场是:华族、华裔,华侨、‘洋’芋, ’华洋‘芋、还是‘华’芋?他们在40,50年前受过华文教育,难道这是儒道互补(‘dishonarable son’, cringed)对上法墨兼备(ground-up, meritocracy)吗?他们的背景,当然和一般新加坡人不一样,双语兼备,难道这是不同’华洋‘芋的反照?

12.png




Thursday, 7 April 2016

Ghost vs Ghost, Tip of the Iceberg and Soap Drama (鬼打鬼, 冰山一角)


The exchanges between Dr Lee Wei Ling and the former editor of the Straits Times#1 is just a soap drama.

In Chinese, we call them 鬼打鬼 (ghost versus ghost). However, it also means internal conflict or disagreement. The end result is it will benefit outsiders as two elites in the establishment camp fighting against each other.    

Interactive Paper   TODAYonline.png

Will the allegation become another court case? It looks unlikely. It will do no good to the PAP as more evidences will have to be presented to the Courts where there is no clear winner.  




Can we expect more ‘ghost versus ghost’ stories from the PAP or the establishment? Yes. I think so. The passing of Lee Kuan Yew is the turning point. Dr Lee had been writing for SPH for many years as explained in her Facebook. She can no longer ‘hold’ her ‘(edited) freedom of speech’ any more. Why now?

But this ‘ghost versus ghost’ internal conflict is just a ‘Tip of the Iceberg’.  We really don’t know the inside story. The soap drama will properly end here and leave the public with all kinds of imagination. You will get into troubles if you speculate the story. This is the standard transparency, checks and balance in Singapore.  

There is also no accountability here as the ‘ghost versus ghost’ drama is an internal business of the PAP. Even though it concerns public interest, it is none of the public business.

Just like the Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in parliament that the names of those disciplined for the Hepatitis C outbreak last year will not be disclosed because such disclosure “will not contribute to better care of patients.”

Source: theindependence.sg

‘Pain and regret’ will also come to this ‘ghost versus ghost’ story. We will never know the real picture unless Singaporeans realise we are only seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’. And we demand to know more, demand transparency and accountability.  


Here I have a question.

I wonder why PM Lee made the following statement when he refers to American politics and American people:
Divisive politics could grip Singapore too  PM Lee  Singapore News   Top Stories   The Straits Times.png
Source: ST

Is the statement also relevant to Singapore?

Most likely he pretends he does not know the ‘ghost versus ghost’, ‘the tip of iceberg’ sorties in Singapore. What he is telling Singaporeans is his side of the Singapore story - ‘the tip of iceberg’ that he wants to present to Singaporeans.

#1

ST and ex-editor refute Dr Lee Wei Ling's allegations - See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/st-and-ex-editor-refute-dr-lee-wei-lings-allegations#sthash.jjh7MT9i.dpuf