Wednesday, 31 October 2018

白色迎亲的恐怖-离不开PAP思维。



白色迎亲的恐怖-离不开PAP思维。

一身白衣白裤来迎亲,代表了什么?

或许,这是少部分年轻新加坡人的思维,也或许,这是大部分新加坡年轻人的看法。无论如何,这代表了一种人民行动党的思维,亏欠李光耀的想法,把自己束缚在一党独大的环境里,而忽略了改变的可能。

照这样的原理推算,如果只是少部分年轻国人有这个看法、观点,那么,在野党就有希望。如果,这是大部分年轻国人的想法、做法,那么,在野党就只能慢慢等,或许还要做出更大的牺牲。

从表面的数据和报道看,新加坡年轻人好像跟其他国家,不论是发达的欧美国家,还是我们亚细安邻居比较,都是被动的冷感动物。我们没有一股热情,甚至对于社会上发生的不平,如:贫富不均,医药卫生等课题漠不关心。

这样的年轻人越多,离不开PAP思维,就不可能造就变天。

年轻人是社会的动力,而PAP却成功的阻碍了这股动力的发展、发挥。而这样的一种背景产生出所谓的第四代PAP领导人。他们的素质,有些经过一届国会,有些经过二届国会,已经让我们看到他们的水准。如果,年轻国人有激情、有冲劲、有政治理想,那么这批还在在学习中的第四代行动党领导们,还有招架的力量吗?

年轻人继续停留在对李光耀的怀念,PAP的治国模式,对于行动党来说,当然是好事,但是,对于新加坡来说,却是一大坏事。缺乏就事论事,据理力争,热情,激情的理想,新加坡的长期持续性成长将会是一个问号,不只如此,我们连问政,公开透明的要求也没有了。难怪,行动党的一些元老,如许通美,不得不发声点出没有最低工资的问题,主流媒体偏见报道。

但是,这些元老,如陈清木等人,就只能走到这里,下去的路,还是要依靠年轻人接棒。而如果年轻的接棒人,是穿着白衣白裤来迎亲,迎娶美丽的选民,那将是一个怎么样的新加坡???

年轻人,你希望白衣白裤陪着你过一生吗?你的将来是白茫茫的一片吗?还是要自己追求自己的幸福,自己走出自己的道路来。。。

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Singapore’s Public Financial Management is far below IMF, International standard.


Low press freedom, high inequality, and now questionable fiscal responsibility and checks and balances in public financial management.

    
In Module 11: Institutional Oversight of the Budget and PFM of Public Financial Management course by edX@IMF, it is stated that:

The government is in charge of preparing and implementing the budget, but it needs to be accountable to independent institutions. Which institutions are involved in oversight, and support fiscal responsibility? We discuss the roles of Supreme Audit Institutions, Fiscal Councils, and the Legislature (parliaments). You will also learn how oversight models vary around the world, and what is required to ensure that these institutions carry out their functions. Most notable are the requirement for independence of these institutions, timeliness of reporting, and the ability to interact with civil society.

Although Singapore is a financial centre and a good partner of International Monetary Fund,  we score poorly in Supreme Audit Institutions, Fiscal Councils, and the Legislature
(parliaments). Our Auditor-General is not independent. We do not have Fiscal Council. While our parliament is almost a one-party rule.  

Even though in paper, Singapore under PAP government performs well in budgeting and auditing?, if we consider the Institutional Oversight of the Budget and PFM, the roles of  Supreme Audit Institutions, Fiscal Councils, and the Legislature (parliaments), in the longer term, we will face sustainability problems. There is certainly a lack of independent bodies and citizens engagement in checking the fiscal responsibility.    

Let explain Supreme Audit Institutions, Fiscal Councils, and the Legislature (parliaments) using IMF language:

Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) are independent agencies responsible for auditing government revenue and expenditure. There are several models of external audit: the two main types are the judicial model and the parliamentary model, and there are other variations.
The effectiveness of SAIs relies on several criteria: scope and type of external audit; characteristics of the institution; publication, timeliness, quality and follow-up on SAIs' reports

Fiscal Councils are independent, non-partisan bodies that assess government's fiscal policies, plans, rules and performance against macroeconomic objectives. Most fiscal councils today are in advanced economies, and there is growing interest in emerging markets and developing economies.

The legislature reviews and approves the budget, reviews its execution and at year-end, holds the executive accountable. The capacity of the legislature to play a role at each stage of the budget process is influenced by political, organizational, and institutional factors.
Legislature’s power to amend the budget is crucial. It is linked with the quantity and the quality of information the legislature receives and sufficient time to review the draft budget is necessary for an effective review of the draft budget. At year-end, the Legislature reviews the budget implementation, to assess the compliance of the budget execution with the original approved budget law.

IMF also stresses the importance of Legitimacy of Public Participation in Public Financial Management:

Civil society and citizens interact directly with public authorities to design, implement and review budget and fiscal policies and there is a growing international consensus on the involvement of citizens in Public Financial Management.
Public participation in the budget process relies on several channels and tools, that are complementary and should be combined.
Public participation in PFM still needs to be improved. Madagascar Citizens Budget or Social Audits in India are experiences introduced by these countries to enhance public participation.
Several criteria should be met to ensure public participation effectiveness: an inclusive and transparent process, sufficient time allowed in the budget cycle, informed citizens and incorporation of public inputs in the budget process.

Do you think the PAP government will agree with Citizens Budget and Social Audit?  

[Fiscal transparency]
Fiscal transparency, or in other words, openness about public finances, has gained prominence over the past two decades. In this module, we discuss fiscal transparency in detail: its main elements, its benefits, and the challenges it raises. We also offer a tour of the latest initiatives towards increased transparency, including the revised IMF Fiscal Transparency Code, the OECD’s Principles of Budgetary Governance, the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Framework (PEFA), the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Standard (EITI), the Open Budget Survey, and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT). We will analyze how different actors — the government, citizens, international organizations and financial markets — contribute to fiscal transparency, and hear the views of various stakeholders in the fiscal transparency area.
[Difference between fiscal transparency and budget transparency]
This video presents a general definition and distinguishes between fiscal transparency and budget transparency. Fiscal transparency has a wider definition which includes all public assets, liabilities, risk and contingencies.


Clearly, this means Singapore’s fiscal transparency should include Temasek, GIC, and all state-owned enterprises.   
And most importantly, fiscal responsibility means institutional oversight, public participation and fiscal transparency.


[Lack of transparency]
This section concludes with a look at three examples of lack of non-transparency together with an explanation on how a lack of transparency may affect important fiscal indicators.




Najib as a reminder


In summary, Najib government is a good example of the many problems mentioned in the above videos. We cannot only look at the budget alone. We must consider fiscal transparency.  Malaysia during Najib Adminstration already had a strong opposition, having more popular votes, however, Najib could still control and manipulate the fiscal accounts.

Just imagine how serious it can be for Singapore.  

The lack of fiscal transparency, lack of public participation and lack of a strong opposition will cause long-term sustainability problems for Singapore.

It looks OK now but how about our children and future generations.