Friday, August 28, 2015

Chinese workers protest in Singapore - the Failure of A Civil Society

Recently two PRC people - a man and a woman - kneeled on the main road in front of the Ministry of Manpower to protest about their plight.

I do not know the circumstances behind their plight. But it must have been pretty bad for them to drive them to such desperate measures - they are risking their own lives in a horrendous way. Would you risk life and limb to protest? Would you sit in the path of incoming traffic. These two did. Why?

They are here alone - without no one willing to help them and so they take matters into their own hands literally. I thought its a pretty ballsy thing to do to put yourself in harm's way like that. Imagine risking your life every second - getting run over by a truck - its a terrifying thing to do.

Some Singaporeans were disgusted because of their protest. Few were sympathetic - most of the commentators were very negative - slamming them for their lack of respect for Singapore law - and there were not a few vile comments - comparing them to "trash" imported by the govt.

Seriously, fellas? c'mon have some empathy. These people like our ancestors came across the sea landed on our shores to work. They got duped or cheated - like many of Singaporean ancestors - many of them "coolies", indentured workers - in effect, "slaves".

I think at the very least these two deserve some sympathy or at the very least cause you to wonder wtf drove them to such a desperate act. Perhaps MOE could look more carefully at the way employment agents operate and how work visas are being issued?

There is a certain brutish aspect in Singapore culture - a hatred for people who step out of line. I wonder where that came from?

Monday, August 24, 2015

More foreign workers for Singapore...

So the PAP wants to bring in more foreign workers into Singapore…. despite the fact that so many local people are unemployed - then why are the PAP so displeased when Singaporeans want more non-PAP MPs in Parliament? 60/40 ?

Fair fair right?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Analysis of the National Day Speech

Well what do you expect? Hearing people complain about the speech is like hearing someone complain about getting wet when they swim in the sea or getting sand stuck when sitting on the beach.

Basically more of the same - the PAP is doing a great job, the price of housing will continue to remain very affordable (if you are a PAP Minister I presume).

Does the PM address any of the grievances that Singaporeans are facing in a meaningful way? No, not really. You can expect the govt to increase the population to uncomfortable levels and the govt will bring in more foreigners to do the jobs rather than bother spending money and effort training Singaporeans to do them.

Meanwhile I present to you "Candy".

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dear PAP please watch

2011…. has anything changed? The PAP is now talking about an aristocracy.

MRT - 2012 - 2016 Nothing has changed has it?

Nothing has changed has it?

The Establishment keeps putting people with strange credentials in charge - pays them big bucks as if a whooping pay increase can help a saleswoman or a soldier understand something as complex as a train system network.

Maybe next time they might hire a lawyer or doctor to pilot a SIA jet plane. Just pay him a ton load of cash - sure can fly anything afterwards.

I'm not too enamoured with the whole mega pay structure. Look at the banking system - the worldwide banking system (not just here) - has paying CEO, super traders, bankers mega salaries and bonuses actually helped or did it contribute to the Great Financial Crisis of 2008?

The people who caused that catastrophe got paid handsomely. Why?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Goodbye Lui Tuck Yew

Out going Transport Minister - who presided over a MRT system that kept on breaking down but was able to make millions of dollars in profit - apparently said that Singaporeans are in effect cheapskates who don't want to pay for better services.

Wow, if he really said that - that's really really "rich". Something only an "Elite" can say.

Wages in Singapore for many people - esp. the poor class - have been depressed due to the Govt lax worker-migrant laws. And artificial increase in the population has also put on a strain on the transport system. Yet the establishment is keen to maintain a profit on essential public services.

You don't have to be a Scholar to work out what's going to happen next. Things break down badly.

The govt wants to compare our system with others to deflect criticism - like NY, London, etc.. but its inappropriate to compare it with larger population land sizes and bases - its like comparing Apples with Melons. Why not compare it with Hong Kong?

I'm also going to mention another pet annoyance of mine - why isn't the transport guides more obvious in our train systems. There should be several large detailed total maps near the control stations and the train platform areas. But as far as I can see - its pretty scant. And a lot of the space is either filled with advertisements or reserved for advertisements. Its most annoying.

Even the train lines are getting abbreviated with no mention of the secondary stops.

Pity someone who is unfamiliar with a particular line or is a tourist.

The govt is not using the MRT system as a public service any more - its changed it into a source of revenue.

I guess they have to do that to justify the sky high salaries of the top civil servants. Profit over service.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Elitism can be good for society - the Democracy Glass is Half Empty

Elitism can be good for society writes an RI alumni.

Only an elite can have the gall to say such a thing. These sorts of remarks like "Get out of my elitist uncaring face", "$600,000 salary is peanuts", "Cardboard aunties collect cardboard for the exercise", "People have a choice to take or don't take MRT", "Everyone in Singapore owns a car", "Eat cake if you don't have bread :)"  speaks of a larger malaise - a fractured society and a ruling class that does not live in the same world as the citizens its governs.

 The writer also writes "Singapore is a society built on the core tenets of meritocracy, fairness and equity. However, in recent years, we seem to have collectively confused equity with equality." 

"Equity" - $$ as in money?? ….

The writer needs to relearn basic things it seems. Our pledge reads: "We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language, or religion to build a democratic society based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation." I think the author needs to recite the pledge again - every morning for the next 12 years. I don't know how he forgot that.

The Singapore system was based on Meritocracy. It was based on the idea that if you're clever and hard working you should get ahead in life.

Singapore was also built on good governance. We didn't kowtow to race, religion, money, or race, cronyism… or family. We gave deference to meritocracy. By doing this we succeeded while all our other neighbours (who were at one point in time vastly more richer than us), Malaya, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia - chose different paths and floundered badly.

Equality goes hand in hand with meritocracy. Equality does not equal communism. It means that everyone is equal under the rule of law. If someone assaults someone say a taxi driver - that person whether he's a doctor, soldier, or a European banker should be prosecuted and do the same time in jail.

A commitment to Equality also attempts to help everyone get a fair go at life - to create a level playing field. To that end in Singapore we provide public housing, public education, public hospital care. The Singapore PAP government at the start was actually very Socialistic - forcibly acquiring land from private individuals at below market prices to build public works like HDBs, Changi airport, Army bases, the MRT etc.. It didn't allow the rich and powerful to hog all the top spots in the government, military, and school systems.

There is of course a balance between public vs private to be met somewhere - and that is the government's role to adjust otherwise we'd just end up back to feudalism where the rich and powerful eventually rig the system to benefit themselves only.

Somewhere along the way since 1965 - we seem to have lost our way to such an extent that we hear the Establishment talking about an aristocracy as if the elites had an unalienable right to rule Singapore.

It is worrying.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


War is hell.

The remembering and story of war is also a form of hell - where you have a multitude of voices clamouring for attention.

Since the 1960s most people seem to want to remember and use the nuke bombing of Hiroshima as a poster-child for the evils of war, and as part of the "America is evil" narrative.

I find this very shallow thinking.

No one seems to want to remember that it was the Japanese that started that ghastly war by attacking China, Korea, Philippines, Malaya, Indonesia, Singapore etc..

You know what they did after they captured cities? They rounded up potential troublemakers, or anyone they didn't particularly liked and killed them. That included the cream of that society, the best of the best.

Why is there less sympathy for the people the Japanese killed during WW2? When the Japanese captured Singapore the British surrendered without much of a fight because the Japanese Army promised to treat the civilian population well - instead they rounded up 50,000 - 100,000 men and women - even children - intellectuals, and killed them and tossed their bodies into the sea.

Most of their names are lost to us. No one gives a damn.

I'm sorry for the people of Hiroshima. But they have to remember that they were the aggressors in that horrible conflict. It was their soldiers that were killing and torturing and raping unarmed civilians, and forcing people to become their slaves. Guess how many asians perished building their railways.

But instead the world chooses to remember Hiroshima. How ironic.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

America the Land of the Free

America the land of the free - where the criminals are armed to the teeth and ordinary citizens - even grandmothers - are expected by the NRA to own and be proficient in pistols, assault rifles, submachine guns and stay perpetually vigilant even in a church prayer meeting, taking a toilet break, or while they are sleeping in bed.

I read this sort of news - and it sickens me.

America has no business telling other nations how to run their own countries when it has problems dealing with its own shit.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

White Bigots…

Its funny how people assume that bigotry is limited to just one race. You can see mega super stars and politicians rallying against South Africa's apartheid laws.

So White vs Black = bad.

Black vs Black = sad or not really newsworthy.

Black vs White or other races = nah won't acknowledge it….

In the link above a man of african descendent goes around assaulting asian females. Guess we won't see #asianlivesmatter.