Sunday, 23 December 2018

越來越中國化、保守化、和精英化的新加坡?


历史学者覃炳鑫博士在大马变天后的一个讲座上指出,新加坡在人民行动党的统治下,变得越来越elite, conservative 以及Chinese.
(请看以下录像 14:30)

新加坡越来越精英化,肯定比较容易理解。不论在教育,行政,管理上;在社会 ,在学校,在企业,尤其是在政联公司和政府部门,甚至在非营利,社会企业,都出现精英主义,不接地气的现象。

但是,为什么说,新加坡人在行动党统治下变得越来越中国化(华人化)和保守?对于华文教育者来说,新加坡的华文教育已经惨不忍睹,怎么还会越来越有华人味和中华文化的气息呢?新加坡华人的下一代在行动党的教育下,变得越来越讨厌华文,怎么有可能中国化呢?对于受英文教育者来说,就更加不容易明白,因为华文教育已经全面沦陷,连特选中学的华文,也惨不忍睹,同时,社会上还有一股“反中”,嘲笑“阿中”的声音,何来中国化?

保守呢?我们每年都有大型的粉红运动;大学也自主,一些中学也自主;异族异国通婚越来越普遍;赌场也开了;来自各地的游客和国际会议更加不用说;正如总理说的我们的互联网是开放的,没有围墙。这不说明新加坡的开放自由吗?

覃炳鑫博士作为一个历史学者为何会下这么一个结论?中國化、保守化、和精英化的新加坡。

如果我们从政治上,从哲理上看行动党这60年的管制,就比较容易理解,覃炳鑫博士在录像的前半部已经做出解释。再加上从西方的眼光看同样的问题,答案就呼之欲出。
×中國化代表极权政治,家长式管理。@
×保守化代表不愿改变,没有人会做的比PAP好。
×精英化代表相信领导,同意接受PAP接班人制度。

(@覃炳鑫博士,以西方狭义的定义来看中国化,和西方多数学者一样认为,中国化就代表封建,不民主,反改变。这似乎没有看到台湾和香港的选举。也没有看到中华文化中积极的一面。没有改革开放,怎么会有今天的中国?当然,如果这个中国化是单独指新加坡,就比较切题了。)

(或许,我们应该把中国化,改成1984化。
《一九八四》(英语:Nineteen Eighty-Four),是英國作家喬治·歐威爾(George Orwell)所創作的一部反乌托邦小說[2][3],出版於1949年[4][5]。故事設於第一空降场(前身為英國),其為大洋國的一個省,書中的世界處於永久的戰爭狀態,大洋國的政府無所不在地監控和操控公眾,該超級大國和其居民由英國社會主義(新語稱为英社)这一政治制度支配,並受到特權階層核心黨員(英语:Inner Party)的控制,核心黨員利用思想警察去迫害個人主義,以及諸如「犯罪思想」般的獨立思考。
-----
作為政治讽喻和反烏托邦科幻小说,《一九八四》不論在內容上、情節上和風格上也被視为經典。自1949年出版以來,它的許多用語和概念在英語中已普遍使用,例如老大哥雙重思想犯罪思想新話101室電幕2+2=5忘怀洞。《一九八四》令形容詞「奧威爾式的」(Orwellian)普及,它是用於形容官方欺騙、秘密監視並且修改歷史的極權主義獨裁狀態。]

中國化、保守化、和精英化的新加坡,是否有可能改变?难道新加坡人没有看到这种不正常的现象吗?还是,我们真的被1984化了,就像覃炳鑫说的,处于被不断加热的青蛙一样,生在祸/福中不知祸/福?

比较乐观的看法是,只要有选举,就可能出现变数。除非变数后,再出现一个政变,就像泰国那样。这样一来,就真的是1984化了。


https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E4%B8%80%E4%B9%9D%E5%85%AB%E5%9B%9B/2672?fromtitle=1984&fromid=204192

Monday, 17 December 2018

PAP’s logical thinking of Singapore voters: No Change


There will be no change and voters will accept the People’s Action Party 4G leaders. This is the logical thinking of the PAP despite internal and external challenges.

The Logical Song was a popular song in the 1980s. Even nearly 40 years after the release of The Logical Song it is still relevant to Singapore. The world has made many changes since then except the evergreen PAP. Why? Are we untouchables?  

- Since we cannot achieve Swiss standard of living, we have no demand for the meaning of life.
- As we cannot afford the high cost of medical/living, we apply for CHAS cards.
- Since we cannot withdraw CPF earlier or don’t have enough CPF, we need to continue working.
- Throughout our education and the PAP propaganda, do we really ask the question: who I am?
    
The Logical Song was written primarily by Roger Hodgson and it was his life experience.

[Hodgson has said of the song’s meaning: "'The Logical Song' was born from my questions about what really matters in life. Throughout childhood we are taught all these ways to be and yet we are rarely told anything about our true self. We are taught how to function outwardly, but not guided to who we are inwardly. We go from the innocence and wonder of childhood to the confusion of adolescence that often ends in the cynicism and disillusionment of adulthood. In 'The Logical Song,' the burning question that came down to its rawest place was 'please tell me who I am,' and that's basically what the song is about. I think this eternal question continues to hit such a deep chord in people around the world and why it stays so meaningful."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Logical_Song#Legacy_and_other_versions]

The PAP logically assumes that their 4G leaders will take over Singapore as planned like the passing down of Goh Chok Tong and Lee Hsien Loong. This is because Singapore voters never consider “please tell me who I am’.  
Will GE2019 be a difference? Will voters ask who am I? And Why? Why do we need to continue to vote for a party that makes us ending in cynicism and disillusionment?



The Logical Song
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily
Oh joyfully, playfully watching me
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible
Logical, oh responsible, practical
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable
Oh clinical, oh intellectual, cynical
There are times when all the world's asleep
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
Please tell me who I am
I said, watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical
Liberal, oh fanatical, criminal
Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're Acceptable
Respectable, oh…



[Hodgson has said of the song’s meaning: "'The Logical Song' was born from my questions about what really matters in life. Throughout childhood we are taught all these ways to be and yet we are rarely told anything about our true self. We are taught how to function outwardly, but not guided to who we are inwardly. We go from the innocence and wonder of childhood to the confusion of adolescence that often ends in the cynicism and disillusionment of adulthood. In 'The Logical Song,' the burning question that came down to its rawest place was 'please tell me who I am,' and that's basically what the song is about. I think this eternal question continues to hit such a deep chord in people around the world and why it stays so meaningful."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Logical_Song#Legacy_and_other_versions]

Thursday, 13 December 2018

睡眠不足,精神紧张,新加坡当下的严峻挑战。

睡眠不足,精神紧张,新加坡当下的严峻挑战。

同一份报纸,TNP同一天出现三则精神问题的新闻。睡眠不足,精神紧张,与其说是国人的问题,更加应该说是PAP当下的严峻挑战。

    PAP的所谓接班人问题,真的让很多人,不论是支持还是反对人民行动党的人,都睡眠不足。在这个有机又有危的时间点上,第四代领导的素质问题;不孝子是否愿意交出政权;反对党的对策;政治上的机会主义者;还有PAP一直担心的外国势力等等变化,都是影响新加坡未来的走向。庆祝莱佛士登陆200年的喜庆,无法让人安睡,如何利用这个机会为PAP争取政治资本,也会让行动党支持者睡眠不足。

    风雨中的宁静,才叫人精神紧张。表面上,PAP第三代领导中,已经有一些人退下,接班人也已经出炉。似乎,没有什么需要这么紧张。在报道中,精神强迫症是三大精神病之一。PAP是否也患上这种强迫症?

強迫症(英语:Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,縮寫:OCD)又譯強迫性疾患、強迫性障礙、強迫性病症[7]、强迫性神经症,亦譯沉溺,是一種精神上的失調,屬於焦慮症的一種。
罹患強迫症的人會陷入一種無意義、且令人沮喪的重複的想法與行為當中,但是一直想却無法擺脫它。強迫症的表現可以自輕微到嚴重,但是假使症狀嚴重而不治療,可能摧毀一個人的工作能力,或在學校的表現,甚至連在家中的日常生活都有問題。最常見到的是重複而過度的清潔與檢查行為,有時患者已經害怕重複行為的執行,為了逃避進而引發對於特定髒污產生強烈的排斥心理,例如遇到手上有油汙會在大腦迴路上產生清潔的慾望,正常的大腦會在執行完後清除神經迴路的活性達到降低慾望進而結束動作,但是患者在清潔後卻得不到該有的神經回饋進而讓慾望控制身體。
https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%BC%BA%E8%BF%AB%E7%97%87

    对付假新闻;社交媒体网站负责人出事;新马纠纷;是不是过度的太爱清洁?在第四代领导接棒前,强迫性的清除眼中的垃圾,反对的声音,团结一致;结果造成精神上的失調,精神焦慮、紧张

    PAP当下的严峻挑战,看来已经不是PAP本身能够解决。有病就要看医生,但是,PAP不只是觉得自己没有生病,反而很强壮,如:第四代领导比以前的领导还要有能力。PAP不会生病的神话,即将结束,但是,国人有没有发现?

    高达44%的人睡眠不足,高达14%人有精神问题,这个趋势将会继续恶化下去。问题出在哪里?PAP没有病,国人病了?贫富悬殊,教育问题,养老问题,医药问题,低薪问题,或许领着高薪的PAP们,没有病,也不害怕病,但是,大多数国人怎么办?

    在全国人民病倒前,我们有必要想一想,如果PAP病了,病倒了,病到不行,我们是否应该考虑换人做做。只要新加坡在,我们还有希望。如果和生病的PAP同在,那么大家就只好同病相怜。

    PAP把问题放大到全国,整个新加坡,似乎PAP的生死绑着新加坡,没有PAP,新加坡就没有将来?如果这样,我们将会和PAP一样病下去。新加坡人已经给PAP60年,人生有几个60年?我们已经没有亏欠PAP了,就如韩国瑜在高雄说的,台湾人民没有亏欠民进党了,改变又老又穷的命运,就只有变天。

Friday, 7 December 2018

Kaohsiung problems? Or Universal problems?


What are Kaohsiung problems? “Old and poor.”

How can one solve them? “Outflow of goods; inflow of people and so Kaohsiung will be rich.” This is basic economics and the election slogan of Han kuo-yu who won the Kaohsiung mayoral election last month.

We can further understand Han’s solutions in the following reports from the pro-Democratic Progressive Party’s newspaper:

[“After suffering from 20 to 30 years of political ideology, elections have become a curse that gives Kaohsiung residents a headache... The city is like a well-dressed man who has no cash in his pocket,”...
Han said that if elected, he would transform Kaohsiung from an “old and poor” city into a “rich and youthful” one, while vowing to stay closely connected to people at the grassroots level by having a member of his team spend a night at the house of someone belonging to a medium-low income family once per month.
He also pledged to be a mayor of integrity, saying that if he is ever convicted of corruption, he would waive his right to parole hearings.

Han’s win is a surprise to many Taiwanese, especially DPP. In 2014 election, due to overall low party popularity, the KMT candidate only managed to get 30.9% of the votes. However, in 2018, Han, representing KMT, got 53.87% of the votes, almost 23% jump.

(What does this mean to the oppositions in Singapore? In 2015, the People’s Action Party won nearly 70% of the votes. However, we need to find someone like Han to motivate voters with a hope and accept change.)

Han is certainly more connected with the voters. From the following quotes from Han Kuo-yu, we can understand why Kaohsiung voters want a change and are willing to take risk.

Quotes

  • In the future, there will be no blue-green (KMT or DPP) partisanship in Kaohsiung. All-out efforts will be made to pump up the (city) economy.
  • I perfectly understand how big a decision Kaohsiung voters have made to elect me mayor because I have only lived here for a short time. I promise to build a clean government, and use whoever is good for the city, regardless of their political affiliations, and do all I can to make Kaohsiung rich and great.
  • https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Han_Kuo-yu

Universal problems, not only Kaohsiung problems

All governments face the Kaohsiung problems: unemployment for young people, low salary, rich-poor gap, unequal development within cities, ageing problems, economic growth, trade, finance, etc. But Kaohsiung has additional problems: corruptions, mismanagement of resources, high debt, low productivity in administration, disconnection with residents.

To some degrees, Singapore is no exception to the problems. We have high GINI, high national debt, high living and medical costs, fewer good jobs, low wages etc.

Han won the election because he offers hope for a better life. Most importantly, he re-engineers the spirit of enterprises. Under DPP, the restrictions of doing business is not only due to China-Taiwan relationship but all the uncertainties, e.g. energy and environment, and unpopular business practices and laws, e.g labour, market/pricing, selection of key office holders, etc.

Han openly says that in Kaohsiung it is 100% economics and 0% politics. Wow! Sound like Singapore!        

Friday, 30 November 2018

台湾的未来在高雄?高雄的未来看中华民国?


前一个是经济问题。后一个是政治问题。也可以说是价值问题,甚至精神的取向。

停滞20多年的台南经济模式,在2018年的‘九合一’选举中,出现转机。高雄人民要求经济改革,希望通过政权的变迁,改变又老又穷的命运。又老又穷比较贴切的说是希望通过政党轮替,改变过去的旧框框思路 - 宁可日子过得苦些,也只效忠一党。人最终还是希望过好日子,意识形态毕竟无法填饱肚子。更何况,高高在上的当权者,想的是如何继续政权,维护自己的利益,所以依据当权者的利益来安排接班人。当平民百姓在生活线上挣扎,当权者却只想着个人利益的时候,民主的自由选择就成了出气筒。

(新加坡人民行动党的接班人制度,在经过60多年后,是否还可以继续走下去,不受干扰?)

高雄会不会成为美国的纽约,意大利的米兰,西班牙的巴塞罗那,甚至,印度的孟买,越南的胡志明市?现在言之过早。但是,在中华民国的旗帜下,它曾经有过短暂的四小龙光辉。那时,高雄飘的是中华民国的旗帜。

或者说,台南经济模式,已经蔓延到了北部。尤其是民进党第二度执政后,这种模式开始在全岛展开。当高雄在寻找新的出路的时候,台北会不会变成另一个高雄 - 又老又穷。台北人当然认为不会,但是,年轻人失业六都之冠,似乎意味某种趋势。

高雄在韩国瑜的带领下,真的能够走出一个春天吗?如果它的文创、连续剧能够比美韩国,旅游能够比美香港,行政效率能够赶上新加坡,再次成为货运中心,双语教育成功,。。。

(和新加坡相比,高雄不太可能成为金融中心,但是,却可以参考新加坡的海空港的管理,石化、医药中心,旅游、教育方面的经验,在文创,甚至本土科技力量方面肯定能够超越新加坡。)

路是人走出来的。中华民国曾经在台湾很打拼,这点是不容忽视的历史事实。这种打拼精神是否能够重新再来,成为高雄的动力,再次起飞的引擎?韩国瑜虽然是非典型国民党人,但是却具有一股早期中华民国的打拼精神,从夜袭看出‘黄埔’精神。

20多年后,中华民国的国旗能够和高雄市旗一起在高雄飞扬,这是否代表一种新的力量?新的动力?新的精神?新的转变?

(新的务实主义的民主,就像新加坡一样?还是,高雄的变天,让我们再次检讨PAP的务实民主,是否是建立在鲁蛇losers的身上?PAP的第四代领导是否具备过往的打拼精神?)


Monday, 19 November 2018

Taiwan’s DPP got it so wrong: Underestimating Change, under expecting Change!


Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan faces a difficult and very challenging local election in 2018.  While it could be a self doing, over confidence and most importantly, underestimating current change or demand for change in Taiwan.

In 2016, when DPP won the Presidency, she had over promised voters and not only that they implement big reforms and policy mistakes in economics, labor, energy,  legislations, and environment protection.

There is a price to pay for underestimating change, under expecting change. Voters are not happy, despite maintaining positive economic growth. Big businesses can get contracts from government, however, small and medium enterprises, self-employ, and farmers are suffering due to labor and mismanagement of economy.

What change?

Old ginger has its value. When Mahathir formed the new Malaysian government, he declared he could not meet all the election promises. He wants to lower voters’ expectation. The first thing he did was to form The Council of Eminent Persons to advise the new Malaysian government on economic and financial matters.

Economics is the most important factor and any policy changes affecting economy will affect voters and supporters. DPP has opened too many fronts but Mahathir concentrates on economy and finance. Malaysian government removes Good and Services Tax but re-introduces Sales and Services Tax.

Look at what DPP is doing. They introduce labor reform#1, new look south policy, restricting mainland visitors resulting to cut in tourism income, antinuclear policy and using coal to generate power making environment a key issue in this election, laws to make Nationalist KMT’s assets illegal, trying to right the wrong doings in the past; etc.  

DPP seems to engage in self-destruction when we compare what Pakatan Harapan and DPP are doing.

DPP fails to see the results of policy changes. They believe voters will give them chance by repeating claims of political victims and against unification with mainland, forgetting they are in full control of presidency and parliament. And as KMT is badly damaged, they think they can win the local election easily, especially in the central and south Taiwan.

DPP, however, is focusing their attention in the north, never expecting voters are demanding change in the whole Taiwan. There is a saying in Taiwan now: “hate DPP” is the biggest political party in Taiwan.

Despite policy mistakes, DPP also shows weak administration and lack of competency. DPP is also as corrupted as the KMT. They even perform poorly in social media. Many of the political appointments and positions are held by alliances or frictions of DPP. And their performance is far below average, below expectation. The issue of appointment of the President of National Taiwan University is a clear political intervention and is now in suspension.

From 2016 to 2018, there is huge change in the fortune of DPP. President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval rating is very low and some DPP candidates try to avoid her due to her low popularity.   

Lessons for Singapore. Any?

Certainly, there are many lessons we can learn from 2018 Taiwan election. Despite poor in resources, one can be very creative in social media, language used as shown in Han Kuo-yu team.  Traditional way of rally and interviews have to give way to new, fun, relax presentation. And young assistants are recruited to add new values and inputs.

Most importantly, both DPP and KMT have to rethink their strategies and election planning after this election.  How do they assess CHANGE and voters’ demand?

#1
https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/05/26/taiwans-president-has-upset-both-business-and-workers

Saturday, 17 November 2018

如何诠释“又老又穷”的新加坡?


高雄市长候选人韩国瑜抛出高雄“又老又穷”的评论,试图引发高雄市民的觉醒、反思。同样的“又老又穷”言论,在新加坡是否会引起同样的觉醒效果?那么,新加坡是否真的有“又老又穷”的一面?

或许,我们可以从马来西亚星洲日报的【侠之大者.为国为民”武林大会——从金庸小说话江湖】座谈会#讲起。主讲者为马来西亚的前任和现任国会副议长:翁诗杰和倪可敏。翁诗杰说,金庸小说是(中国/)华人社会的软实力,事实上,这不也证明,马来西亚华人具有这部分的软实力;尤其是针对新加坡来说,此消彼长,证明新加坡失去了这个软实力。想一想,新加坡有几个国会议员能够深度的谈论金庸小说。甚至,把要求放宽到其他的人,又有谁能够信心满满的谈论金庸。能够谈论金庸,最低限度,证明一个人对中华文化有一定的墨水,不然,你可能不明白为何高雄市长选举会出现令狐冲,郭靖,甚至小龙女,以及他们背后的哲理。

俄罗斯总统普京到访新加坡,政府还特地拨出一块地作为俄罗斯文化中心和俄罗斯正教教堂之用。很多人或许忘记,几十年前,南洋大学曾经是本区域的中文教学中心,学生还有来自俄罗斯的。现在,还有人来新加坡学习、研究中文吗?

华文的软实力没有了,学习华文的区域地位不见了,在文化上我们算不算是“又老又穷”?对于世界第二经济体的了解,和马来西亚相比较,我们是不是显得“又老又穷”?

    (台湾目前还可以算是一个汉语中心,如果继续去中国化,那下场很可能是另一个新加坡,对于中国文化、历史的了解“又老又穷”。)

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几十年来,新闻管制,国际新闻自由度一直处于末班车,在社交媒体广泛流行的时代,这是不是另类新闻通讯上的“又老又穷”?

还有,一党独大,乐而忘返的接班人制度,什么东西都要贴上闪电标志,才是正统,这是不是政治上的“又老又穷”?

    几十年来,低薪阶级没有获得加薪,实际收入没有增加,对于低下层和弱势群体,这是不是经济上的“又老又穷”?

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或许,文化,政治,自由方面的又老又穷,不算数,这是形而上,精神上的。对于讲求实际利益,功利主义的人民行动党来说,我们要讲钱,要讲利益才算数。

    高雄的现象,其实也在新加坡发生。高雄的经济成长,一直有所进步,大公司继续有钱赚,基础设施也在建设中,但是,为何会出现“又老又穷”的现象?高雄的整体经济,正如民进党所说的,是依靠大公司和国有公司在推动。但是,多数的工作机会还是要依靠中小企业,小商人,家庭作业,农业,渔业,甚至,我们这里所谓的小贩。在一人一票的制度下,这些人才是选民的大多数。

    新加坡经济,事实上就是淡马锡经济,在加上外国公司和本地的大公司。中小企业所占的比例很小,但是,他们的人数,在加上家庭主妇,退休人士,弱势群体,也是选民的大多数。那么,为何高雄人忍受了20年、30年,就开始觉醒、反思;而新加坡选民经过60年,依然没有这种感受?

    民进党的所作所为,其实很像人民行动党。在司法上,在学术上,在言论管制上,甚至在合同工程的发包,高官人事委任等等,都很类似。就连造势晚会,也很接近。PAP的群众大会,如果没有专车载送和晚餐,就会变成一场无人的集会。新加坡的群众大会是不提供椅子的。


    马来西亚选民已经觉醒,高雄和台湾选民也开始再度反思,新加坡选民呢?韩国瑜或许需要加强警惕,新加坡的工人党群众大会吸引很多听众,但是,却吹不出高票。为什么?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxqk3RwnsDk