Sunday, 4 September 2016

Singapore Elected President - Why We Need a Malay Muslim

“Not a Malay nation, not a Chinese nation, not an Indian nation but a place where everybody will have his place: equal; language, culture, religion.” This was the promise Mr Lee Kuan Yew made on 09 August 1965 when Singapore became independent.
Truth be told, we have fallen short on this vision. Each race appears cordial with one another on the surface, but underneath, stereotypes and stigmas still persists. Despite the Government’s relentless efforts to bring the races closer, centuries of deep seated mind-sets cannot be changed overnight. The recent ISIS radicalisation of Singaporeans has given rise to suspicions amongst the hearts and minds of the non-Muslims. Caution and mistrust exist. Surprisingly, the Government’s unequivocal support for the Malay Muslim group has had the opposite effect of making the young Malay Muslims question the Government’s intent.

How then can the Singapore Government navigate through this sticky situation?

To me, the solution lies in the Elected Presidency where a Constitution Committee is currently reviewing the Elected President (EP) system. There are three areas to review, first – the eligibility criteria for potential candidates, two – beefing up the powers of Council of Presidential Advisers and three – to ensure minority candidates have a chance to be elected.

If you read my earlier sentence, the writing is on the wall. An Elected President will be from the minority group. I won’t be surprised that the next EP will be a Malay Muslim. Singapore has only had one Malay president, the late Mr Yusof Ishak, who was appointed to the office at the country’s founding. Perhaps it is fitting now to have a Malay representative, given the circumstance Singapore is in, to let a Malay leader gain trust from a nation.

But doesn’t dictating a minority representation go against the concept of meritocracy?

No! Meritocracy is all about removing obstacles to success and helping those with talents to excel. This is what scholarships are all about. If you are good, we fund you, we groom you, and we help you succeed. Meritocracy is about giving those with the right capabilities and talents the chance to lead the country. And if, the Malay Muslim Elected President meets all the stringent qualifying criteria, why should he be considered any less credible.

This decision (if I have predicted correctly) will not only safe-guard minority representation but is an important step to steer Singapore through this chaotic times of Muslim extremism. What Singapore needs is a strong Malay Muslim leader to rally Singaporeans together.

A Malay Muslim President is the best bet for Singapore at the moment.

Onward Singapore

Friday, 3 June 2016

Cooling Off Day Breaches since 2011… and what happened to them

Reproduced from I Tahan You Very Long Already-----

Switched on my computer this morning and I get swarmed with reports and comments on social media on Cooling Off day breaches. Lot of angry people out there even among some of my friends. Cries of the lack of fairness in the treatment of the latest breaches.

Is that really so?
Here’s the nice thing about having Google. You put in a little research, use a bit of your common sense, normally the other perspective emerges very quickly.
Here’s what I found.
  1. Our dear super act cute at that time Tin Pei Ling’s account posted a comment on that day.
Defence: Page administrator who posted without her knowledge
Outcome: Page administrator given stern warning by police
  1. The real super cute and hot Nicole Seah’s account made a post
Defence: Party volunteer accidentally posted
Outcome: Police accepted volunteer’s explanation, no further action link
  1. Nicole Seah’s account posted again on Polling Day, saying she would be checking on her complaint about Tin’s Cooling Off Day breach. The irony is that cooling off restrictions apply on Polling Day too. link
Defence and outcome: none. Seems like no police report was made.
GE 2015 link
  1. Smart Nation guy Vivian Balakrishnan’s Facebook and Twitter accounts posted
Defence: It was an old Facebook post which was automatically reposting on both Facebook and Twitter, despite multiple attempts to stop it. Facebook (which claimed recently it doesn’thave any political bias) confirmed this was caused by a glitch.
Outcome: The Elections Department reminded him and the posts were taken down. No further action.
  1. The People’s Power Party page posted rally speeches
Defence: Took longer to upload rally speeches than expected.
Outcome: The Elections Department reminded them and the posts were taken down. No further action.
  1. The Reform Party’s page posted
Defence: Unknown.
Outcome: The Elections Department reminded them and the posts were taken down. No further action.
BE 2016 – Blatant disregard of the law.
  1. The Independent Singapore posted on Cooling Off Day. Even after the Elections Department reminded them not to post, they still kept posting.
  2. and 3. Teo Soh Lung and Roy Ngerng, whom the Elections Department called “regularly engag(ers) in the propagation, promotion and discussion of political issues”
Outcome: The Elections Department has made a police report and the police is investigating.
Now, the internet is aghast at the police searching Teo’s and Ngerng’s houses and seizing their phones and computers without a warrant. Even the SDP and WP have issued statements about this.
I see several problems with this:
  1. The police can search without a warrant if the offence is arrestable, as Cooling Off Day breaches are.
It is claimed that Teo and Ngerng admit to making the posts. But they might not say the same in court. The police have to be thorough and establish evidence on who made the posts. To do this, it’s not inconceivable that they need Teo and Ngerng’s social media passwords and devices. Anyway, the offences were allegedly posted on Facebook. Where does one to go to to investigate? If a crime is committed and evidence is in a bedroom, police ask for the lock and search the bedroom. Why should social media be different?
  1. These cases can be seen as a higher level of offence.
Most of the previous cases, whether PAP or opposition, received a reminder. But The Independent persisted in posting even after receiving a reminder. This is surely a higher level of offence and warrants a more thorough investigation.
Most of the previous cases (again on all sides of the political fence) were either slip-ups or posts that somehow went up slightly after the restrictions kicked in and were quickly deleted. But Teo and Ngerng, in a climate when the Cooling Off rules were widely publicised, repeatedly posted political posts. Teo made 12 posts from Cooling Off Day to before the polls closed. In the same period, Ngerng posted a “photo campaign” for Chee on his blog, which he claims has more than 6.5 million hits, and 30 Facebook posts. The police can very well view these as deliberate and repeated transgressions, and investigate more thoroughly than before. They were not minor slips. They were major election campaigns!
3. Why are SDP and WP issuing statements about the police investigations?
This is the first time any politicians, let alone parties, have gone beyond explaining themselves to questioning the investigations. SDP is closely linked to Teo and Ngerng, and WP NCMP Leon Perera is one of the advisors of The Independent. They must be viewed as having interest in the investigation, and their statements attempts to influence them. They should not be seen as interfering with police investigations with people related to them. Clearly they should understand they are interested parties.
4. And finally, what is the matter with this Jeanette Chong-Aruldoss woman?
Why is she entering the fray everywhere, from trying to abuse the court procedure last week to police investigations this week? Now they are saying the policemen are not carrying cards. As long as the lead officer in charge of the team is carrying the warrant card, it is enough.
Obviously, some of these people are trying to put the police in the bad light and trying to throw people off the real offence. Remember Jeanette is the same person who recently abused the court process to defend a brutal murderer.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

[Bukit Batok By-Election] Have you heard of the Opposition Effect?

Have you heard of the Opposition Effect?
As the Bukit Batok By-Election draws near, many people are talking about the by-election effect where voters would vote for the opposition as the outcome would not make a difference as to who formed the Government. This by-election effect is real, as the PAP has lost all of them in the recent years. But wait, have you heard of the opposition effect?
The opposition effect is where HDB property prices fall as a result of being in an opposition ward. While WP’s Low Thia Khiang went to great lengths to dispel this, online data from HDB’s resale portal tells a different story.
opposition effect bukit batok by-election

Using Potong Pasir as the example, let us compare the prices of HDB units sold. Unfortunately, Potong Pasir is a small SMC, so there are only a handful of transactions for the last 12 months. Small in sample size, but nonetheless sufficient to provide us with an indication.
Example 1 – Same Blk
There were 2 transactions for units of similar size. Unfortunately, there were on different levels.
After GE 2015
Blk 115 4 to 6 Floor
 93 SqM
Feb 2016
Before GE 215
Blk 115 7 to 9 Floor
93 SqM
July 2015

What is significant is that a unit on a lower floor sold for $40,000 more. If you factor in the premium for higher floors, the difference is significant.

Example 2 –Same Size Same Floor
There were a total of 4 transactions for units of same size on similar floors.
After GE 2015
7 to 9 Floor
93 SqM
November 2016
Before GE 215
7 to 9 Floor
93 SqM
July 2015

After GE 2015
7 to 9 Floor
104 SqM
October 2016
Before GE 215
7 to 9 Floor
104 SqM
May 2015

Once again, the data shows that units on similar floors of similar size sold for more after the PAP won the ward back from the opposition.The Opposition Effect is real! If you don’t believe us, just ask your property agents. They will tell you that there are a group of Singaporeans who will never buy a HDB flat in opposition run wards.
So residents of Bukit Batok, as we already have the Worker’s Party in Parliament, having Chee Soon Juan will not make any significant difference to democracy. But it make a difference to the value of your property.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Chee Soon Juan's Redundancy Insurance Plan

Where is the $2b coming from?
Dr Chee Soon Juan has said a lot about this redundancy insurance plan that he intends to introduce. I thought it sounded wonderful. As a PME who was retrenched a few years ago, I thought what he proposed could have indeed helped me through those rough times.
That was before I went to read his proposal in detail. (It’s in the SDP manifesto, you can read it for yourself.) I had wondered how this $2b dollar scheme will be financed. Turns out, he intends for 80% of it to come from the Government (meaning taxpayers’ money right?), 10% by employers and another 10% by workers (meaning you, and me). So if I’m not wrong, this means we not only have to pay higher taxes, we also have to fork out 10% of our take-home pay?
But there is one big problem for this retrenchment insurance – the money will only go towards those who are retrenched, and stay unemployed.
My money may go towards helping some lazy bum to continue relaxing at home, rather than looking for a job. I managed to get another job within two months of being retrenched, but I had to really go out there, apply many times and attend many interviews. I even took a small pay cut. But I also had ex-colleagues who just sat on their retrenchment package, didn’t put in much effort, and only started looking for work after many months, and had a lot more trouble than me. I think if they had redundancy insurance as well, they may still be slacking at home.
I’m not going to give my hard-earned to someone else to enjoy himself for a year instead of looking for work. No way, this scheme is not worth it at all.
chee soon juan policies redundancy insurance plan

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Bukit Batok By-Election ... Chee Soon Juan

The SDP we know now is a shadow of its former self. It used to be the leading opposition party in Singapore, with the most opposition seats in Parliament, when it was led by Mr Chiam See Tong. Mr Chiam was well-respected and a force to be reckoned with.
chee soon juan chiam see tong

All of the SDP’s achievements started to crumble the moment Mr Chiam brought in Chee Soon Juan in 1992. Mr Chiam mentored and guided him, but Chee Soon Juan repaid Mr Chiam by betraying him. Eventually, Mr Chiam was forced out of the very party he founded in 1980. After that, SDP under Chee Soon Juan never won a single seat in Parliament ever again.
Karma’s a bitch.
So no matter how much Chee Soon Juan tries to say he has changed, I honestly cannot get over how he backstabbed his own mentor, and tried to make all kinds of excuses. How could he turn on someone who had brought him into politics, groomed and mentored him? To me, that says a lot of his character.
I think it’s hard to trust someone who was capable of that.
Who knows if he will next turn on the people of Bukit Batok, after they send him to Parliament?