Sunday, 29 April 2018

Forget About the 4G Ministers, Think 5G instead, like the wireless technology.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6c/5th_generation_mobile_network_%285G%29_logo.jpg

Perhaps, Lee Hsien Loong likes it. Perhaps, Singaporeans like it too as 5G means faster speed, better coverage.

4G PAP ministers are a lost generation even Lee himself cannot confirm who will be the fourth Prime Minister of Singapore. It is taking longer than expected to decide and by the time the matter is settled, like mobile technology, the time has arrived for 5th generation leaders.

Perhaps, Lee is waiting for this moment.

While technology is changing so fast, and our so-called PAP leadership renewal is so slow. Perhaps, in wireless technology term, the conservative renewal is at 2G, 2.5G or the most 3G stage.

In Singapore politics, 4G means over protection, no competition, and is motivated by money.

If we look at the education system, 4G means junior college education (A level), limited university places, and scholars centred. 5G see the changes, IB programs, more universities including private universities, and 6-year Integrated Programs. Even these changes may not meet the demand of 5G education demand and requirements.

The world is welcoming 5G. It means business, money and opportunities. However, Lee is trying to use 3G (himself) and 4G technology and education to compete in the world of 5G.  No wonder we have to learn from China how to become a cashless society.

Singapore will be in trouble, even we always talk about technology advancement, efficiency and productivity. Our mindset is still in 2G or 3G. And this 2G or 3G is only restricted to the PAP and their leaders.

The talent pool is limited and exclusive to PAP members. Hence, we see the over protection and no competition of 4G ministers.

Just considering the post of prime minister. In 1G era, besides LKY, we have other potential ministers who can take over the PM post. In 2G, besides Goh Chok Tong, we also have a few selections. But we add in a new condition - no Indian PM. When comes to 3G, the pool is even smaller, in addition to no Indian PM, it seems to be a Lee-only PM. Now, we are at 4G stage, there is no suitable candidate.

Do not forget, Singapore’s first chief minister is not a Chinese. It seems we are moving away from meritocracy. And 4G is a product of such movement. 

From 1G to 4G, Singaporeans are blinded with the white PAP cloth. Will 5G make a change? Or can we move away from the PAP’s G?  

Sunday, 22 April 2018

李显龙领导有方? PAP人才调零、渐行渐远。


内阁改组,就像庄子的朝三暮四那样,内阁成员玩大风吹,坐一下不同的位置,然后,大声的说,这是团队精神。现在,讲的是人民行动党的团结实力;但是,一点也看不出,李显龙有什么突出的领导素质,反而,凸显行动党的人才调零,政治精英渐行渐远。

李光耀一直提醒行动党,一旦行动党失去人才,就意味着失去政权。而李显龙现在正在做,的确如此。我们看看几个例子,清楚的看到行动党的未来。它正在走着一条类似国民党,马华,甚至,巫统走过的路。

SMRT总裁人选
不知道是世界性遴选工作做得不好,还是有意安排自己人上路,尤其是让一个和前任总裁有着相同背景的人出任,在政治上,只能说是失分。新加坡人是不会介意外人担任地铁公司总裁的,因为,我们有太多的外来人才担任政府有关联的公司总裁。我们的大学,银行等都有外来领导。只要能够把地铁管好,这笔钱由外人来赚,新加坡人是不会计较的。
如果你是新加坡的精英人才,你会这么想? 这似乎在重演淡马锡找总裁的故事。

得罪学术界
放一个不懂学术界游戏规则的部长在听证会上羞辱学术界,虽然能够达到行动党是‘对’的目的。但是,这样做,反而是自取其辱。这样做,将会进一步把行动党和学术界的关系拉远、拉大。李光耀时代,虽然不尊重学术界,但是,他还是一定要在大学里,找几个人出来,担任议员甚至部长。这一点,李显龙似乎做不到。不单做不到,反而这些人跑到反对党那里去。
如果你是学术界人才,看到李显龙这几年做的事情,你会不会摇头?

集选区补选
马西岭—油池集选区原议员哈莉玛,去年9月13日在无竞争对手的情况下,自动当选新加坡第八位总统。因此,这个集选区就失去一位少数种族代表,这是违反集选区精神的。事实上,即使有补选,意料行动党还是会胜出。那么,为何不进行补选呢?找不到少数种族代表,还是,不要让反对党有机会在政治上曝光。即使纳吉,在补选问题上,应该补选就补选,没有回避。
在2017总统选举和这次的补选问题上,行动党都失分。或许说,让一场补选来弥补人民对总统选举的失望,对行动党比较有利。现在放弃这个机会,只有让人觉得行动党更加独裁。
当然,行动党不敢面对选举,候选人不敢对挑战,对于潜在的精英候选人来说,更加却步,不敢面对选战。
因此,那里找候选人,难道又是军队?

不平等的起跑点
行动党要把触角延伸到幼儿教育。尚穆根认为,要从幼儿开始,让贫穷家庭也和一般家庭一样,有一个平等的起跑点。行动党自从独立以来,就是一直提倡平等,甚至在信约里,我们在学校里,就是这么宣誓。几十年来,就是无法做好,或者说,就是不想做好。
幼儿教育的平等起跑点,在补习、名校、家庭背景、人际关系的影响下,最后,还是变得不平等。

我们看一下前面的几个例子,就知道,新加坡现有的制度就是建立在不平等的游戏规则上。地铁公司总裁,学术界,政治机会,如果你是站在行动党的对立里,你的地位就是不平等。你就是管理精英,地铁公司不需要你。你是学术精英,行动党要你做同路人。政治机会,连一点点的民主曝光都不给你。

李显龙做不到海纳百川,他只能搞小圈圈的所谓团队精神。李显龙没有办法把新加坡人才纳入自己的团队。反而,他让这些人离去,或许,有一些加入反对阵营,壮大反对党。李光耀留下的名言:没有人才,行动党失去政权。似乎李显龙听不到,做不到。这就是今天的行动党政府,改不改组内阁,有什么大不同?没有人才,就是一个事实。

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Can Lee Hsien Loong handle Mahathir if there is a change of government in Malaysia?


If there is a change of government in the coming Malaysian general election, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad will, once again, become the prime minister of Malaysia. It means Lee Hsien Loong, like his father, will have to face Mahathir (and later Anwar) as the fourth PM of Singapore is yet to announce.

This will keep Lee business from May 2018 until the next GE.  He will not only face an old man but an experienced and skilled politician. In 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Mahathir used capital control to fight against currency speculators, like George Soros. In 2006, Malaysian ex-premier Mahathir and billionaire Soros end feud” . http://www.abc.net.au/news/2006-12-15/malaysian-ex-premier-mahathir-and-billionaire/2154878

While in Singapore, we are now worrying over the influence of Soros over our local politics.

Mahathir used capital control in 1997 to handle people like George Soros. While in Singapore, besides company registration control, what will Lee Hsien Loong use to face off George Soros?






Is Mahathir at such an old age standing against Najib an unexpected event?

It is not unexpected.  Like Lee Kuan Yew, it is in Mahathir’s blood that when he sees something wrong in Malaysia, he will stand up and fight against it.

Here are quotes from Lee Kuan Yew on leadership and motivation.

On leadership and motivation:


“Even from my sick bed, if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up.”

“What I fear is complacency. When things always become better, people tend to want more for less work.”
“I do not yet know of a man who became a leader as a result of having undergone a leadership course.”
https://crowdsourcingweek.com/blog/10-memorable-quotes-singapores-founding-prime-minister-lee-kuan-yew/
  
And Mahathir chooses to leave UMNO and setting up a new party to protect the Malays and Bumiputera.

[Lee Kuan Yew values, Mahathir values]

Standing up for your country and fight for the core values are important motivation moving forward.  

It seems the current government leaders in both Singapore and Malaysia have “values” issues. They are moving away from the founding values of the PAP, UNMO, Lee Kuan Yew and Tunku Abdul Rahman.

In Singapore, Lee is challenged by his siblings and is accused of being a 'dishonourable son' for failing to maintain Lee Kuan Yew values.
https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/What-Has-Happened-To-Lee-Kuan-Yews-Values.pdf

We may argue Singapore is different. We are a better run country and as efficient as other advanced economies. We also have strong reserve and less corruptions.

However, when citizens shift their focus from democracy to values judgement, meritocracy, fairness, equal opportunities and protection of rights as what Lee siblings have pointed out, they will have to think of their own future and benefits. 

Singaporeans know there are limited freedom and democracy, like PE2017 and the GRC by-election issues.  So, they want to measure their benefits against the LKY values. More unhappiness will appear when they find out the discrepancy and feel short-changed.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

反面教材之李光耀故居: 利益冲突、莫须有和历史真相




李光耀故居的去留,无论结果如何,已经成了一个反面教材。它给我们留下的教育意义,比李光耀在世的时候,还要大。它的价值在于我们要如何选择一条正确的道路,我们要勇于面对历史的真实,还是继续利用各种手段,来扭曲历史。

李光耀多多少少预料到,本身会成为一个负面教材。因此,不希望留下故居。因为,在政治上,当大家都喜欢你的时候,你是一个资产,当人们可以利用你做文章的时候,你就变成一个反面教材,一个负资产。作为创始人之一,留下故居,人民行动党在面对人民力量的正义转型时,就不得不与李光耀“同舟共济”了。

利益冲突,家丑外扬。

不论谁对谁错,故居凸显李家的利益冲突。作为李光耀的接班人,李显龙为了政治目的而要求保留故居。尤其是,造神运动能够带来了巨大的选票。因此,李显龙字里行间,似乎说故居业主李显扬,如果把故居拆掉,就能获得巨大的商业利益。

这也是一场个人和国家利益的冲突。李显龙认为,他是基于国家利益才认为必须保留故居。而他的弟妹却认为,李光耀个人的精神价值,受到挑战。李光耀立下遗属,他们是执行者,有必要维护遗属的精神和价值。如果遗属不算数,那么很多基于这个法律原则而建立的政治,经济和社会规范,就会受到破坏。

在巨大的利益冲突下,我们将会继续看到冲突的继续下去,演变下去。

这样的反面教材,到底告诫了我们什么?是不是为了本身的利益,就可以借用各种理由,政治、商业、国家和个人来表明自己的对,别人的错。

而在这样的历史背景下,我们到底看到的是假消息,假新闻,还是这就是事实。而且,对于政客来说,这就是事实的全部。当我们回顾过去,却似乎不是事实,而是一场莫须有。

莫须有,假新闻。


秦桧加在岳飞身上的莫须有罪名,从当时宋朝的官方记录来说,就是事实的全部,因此,岳飞才落得不得好死的下场。而偏偏这种莫须有的假新闻,假信息,从来就没有停止过。这也不是中国特有的,其他国家也有。

可惜,我们只有在事后,才能够了解真相。

也有一些,明明就是事实,而且国际上也公认的事实,当局者却说自己被“莫须有”化。纳吉和陈水扁一直在喊,事实不符,不要把莫须有的罪名加在他们身上。

新加坡也逃不出莫须有假新闻的阴影:

历史修正主义者覃炳鑫博士向政府作出爆炸性指控————人民行动党政治人物才是新加坡“假新闻”的源头。
覃炳鑫在陈情书中说,假新闻对新加坡冲击不大,唯一例外是——“冷藏行动” (Operation Coldstore) 。他说,人民行动党政府的论述是:1963年展开代号“冷藏行动”的逮捕行动是为了维护国家安全,要制止极端共产主义者密谋颠覆国家政权,但“解密档案证明,这是一个谎言”。他又指,“冷藏行动”是出于政治目的,没有证据显示,被捕者涉及任何颠覆国家政权的阴谋。覃炳鑫还称,当时的总理李光耀在私下向英国驻新加坡专员坦承,展开“冷藏行动”是为了政治利益。
http://www.redants.sg/overview/story20180330-1325

李光耀在世的时候,主流媒体根本不会去关切这样的新闻。这条莫须有新闻的见光,以及在媒体上出现,还要感谢网络假信息听证会。

从维护本身利益出发,人民行动党当然会说这是诡辩!这是不愿意面对历史,还是逃避历史。坚持这种立场,就是化莫须有为真新闻,为假新闻护航。

历史说话,还原真相。

面对历史,需要勇气。覃炳鑫博士从学术立场分析,得出不同于行动党的诠释。即使是诡辩,你也不能说他是毫无根据。人家是看了档案,看了历史记录,得出的结论。虽然和行动党的版本有很大出入,但是确实是另一个观点。如果,一定要说人家诡辩,那么,自己是否也陷入了另一种自圆其说的诡辩。

这一点李光耀就看得比较远和深。他害怕有一天有另一种版本的历史诠释,不同于行动党的历史定位,那么,李光耀和一切有关他的东西,事物,故居,就会变成反面教材。就像蒋介石那样,被认为是负面教材,负资产,被敌对者利用,夸大负面形象。


有时不承认历史真相也是一种风范、精神。日本就是一个典型例子。日本和德国很不一样有。对于二战还是没有认真的道歉。但是,人家不道歉,还是能够做到经济强国。这就成了地地道道的反面教材了。

这点就像行动党政府了。新加坡对于日本在二战时候的残害行为,极为容忍。是不是,行动党自己也像日本保守政治人物一样,不承认历史事实,渐渐的,变成是一种PAP不认错的风范,一种只有PAP全对的精神。

李光耀已经看到这点,不愿面对历史事实的结果。因为,没有永远的胜利者。当反对党逐渐强大的时候,行动党也将面对国民党的命运。留下故居,李光耀害怕有一天会变成反面教材,行动党的负资产,加速PAP的败亡。但是,对于急功近利的李显龙来说,眼前的利益才是最重要。

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Public Hearings of A Failed Political Imagination


The People’s Action Party government has a political imagination of fake news which they want to show the world how to handle it in Singapore’s parliament. They imagine, as in the past,  they can manipulate or question the witnesses to suit or support their purpose so that they can pass or amend laws meeting their political expectations.

The little red dot wants to teach the world how to define fake news, in a rush act pointed out by Facebook, and how an effective government, under a one-party state, should deal with it.

However, there is no Lee Kuan Yew, the only known international statesman of Singapore. During his time, there are some controversial but operative (and successful) political imaginations like the merger and separation from Malaysia, Operations Coldstore, Operation Spectrum, and international admired Electronic Road Pricing, CPF and HDB programs etc.   

We may not agree with the above political imaginations but they works well for the PAP and perhaps, for majority of voters in Singapore too. Is that because of fake news,  according to Dr Thum Ping Tjin?

In his submission to the Committee, Thum asserted that fake news has not had much of an impact in Singapore, with one major exception: the “falsehoods” that the People’s Action Party (PAP) used to justify the detentions of thousands under the Internal Security Act from 1963 to 1987.
“Beginning with Operation Coldstore in 1963, politicians have told Singaporeans that people were being detained without trial on national security grounds due to involvement with radical communist conspiracies to subvert the state. Declassified documents have proven this to be a lie.”
https://sg.news.yahoo.com/shanmugam-historian-thum-ping-tjin-spar-communist-activities-1950s-1960s-123507433.html

Historical events can turn a fortune of a country, a political party and her political leaders.  It, of course, affects the other side, and the fate of people. Operation Coldstore is certainly one such example.    

PAP’s political imaginations work and function well because they are mainly domestic issues which the PAP enjoys monopoly in power and in parliament. Externally, it also has the support of Cold War political climate.

We are now at a different environment and unfamiliar situation. However, the PAP still believes their own political imagination on fakes news and deliberate online falsehoods.

Social media and online news are different, especially for a country which ranks so low internationally for press freedom. However, the PAP’s political imagination is still the same, using the absolute majority in parliament to legalise their action. Do you think the Select Committee can really provide a “world” solution on fakes news? Or will it be just another stamping of the political imagination of the PAP?

The Select Committee invites international organisations and internet players to provide views on fakes news. The PAP tries to put the world views into Singapore context and re-package it as a pioneer solution for the world, like the ERP.  Many advanced countries have the technology to implement our current ERP system but choose not to. Why? In Singapore, it is easy and it matches the political imagination of the PAP: people just obey and pay without thinking.

However, fakes news and deliberate online falsehoods are more complicated. Just like the merger and separation from Malaysia, Operations Coldstore, Operation Spectrum, ERP, CPF and HDB programs etc.  Partial interpretation or selected reporting can also be a source of fake news. For the advantage of the PAP, they will just imagine the beneficial ones as reliable news and publishes them in the mainstream media. However, for social media, the game play is different and it is beyond the PAP’s imagination. Hence, there is a need to control the so-called online falsehoods.
  
One good thing about the Public Hearings is we get to hear the other side of the story that K Shanmugam, acting like a prosecutor, questioning the witnesses. Why must a minister spending his valuable time asking questions not within or fitting the imagination of the PAP?