Monday, 31 August 2015

Singapore GE 2015: Rebutting Tan Jee Say on ESM Goh as an Overstayer

Why ESM Goh Is Not An Overstayer?
Recently, Tan Jee Say told the media during the introduction of SingFirst candidates that ESM Goh Chok Tong is an overstayer in this election. It is not only wrong but unfair to the man who served as the second prime minister of Singapore.
ESM Goh Chok Tong has been in politics since 1976. For nearly 40 years, he has been serving in various key roles such as Senior Minister of State for Finance, Minister for Defence and Minster of Trade and Industry before becoming Prime Minister. He has a wealth of experience that few could match.
Indeed, the past 40 years was not smooth sailing as several challenges confronted Singapore. There were at least 3 economic recessions (1985, 1997 and 2001) and a major disease outbreak (2003 SARS crisis). It was Mr Goh Chok Tong and his cabinet colleagues who were closely involved in tackling those challenges that helped brought Singapore out of those dark moments.
His years of leadership in those years of crises make him an undisputed choice to assist PM Lee to mentor the next generation of leaders. It is indeed Singapore’s good fortune that he is still willing to stand for election again when he could already retire. His passion and dedication to Singapore is truly admirable.
Frankly, it is becoming more difficult for me to take Tan Jee Say seriously. Calling ESM Goh an overstayer is simply disrespectful. After all, Tan was ESM’s principal private secretary for five years. The only decent thing a former subordinate could do is to show some bit of respect for a former superior. Where is Tan Jee Say’s basic courtesy towards his former boss when he called him an “overstayer”?
More importantly, Tan Jee Say is an attention-seeker only interested in his personal political agenda. By calling ESM names, he is able to draw more media attention to himself and his fledging political party. His attention-seeking streak goes way beyond that episode. He tried to run for Member of Parliament in the 2011 general elections, gaining extra prominence because he was the former principal private secretary to ESM Goh and someone whose economic plans was endorsed by a senior civil servant in UK. When he was unsuccessful in his bid, he promptly resigned from the Singapore Democratic Party to run in the 2011 presidential elections. It was clear to me back then that there was not an iota of commitment in this man to either the SDP or the residents of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. All he had in his mind was to have a platform to bring fame and glory to himself. After 2011, he has been making numerous appearances in Hong Lim Park criticising the Government but not offer any practical solutions except to keep spending more and more. He has now set up his own political party with policy proposals centered on spending money derived from unguaranteed expected returns from investing Singapore’s returns.
The onus is on voters in a democracy to exercise due diligence to examine what each and every political party is saying. I believe that the record speaks for itself. ESM’s lifetime of service to Singapore is evident to all Singaporeans. There is no need for us to take a political opportunist seriously.

Open Letter by a Concerned Resident to Ms Sylvia Lim

Open Letter by a Concerned Resident to Ms Sylvia Lim
Dear Ms Lim,
First of all, thank you for stepping up and speaking-up for average Singaporeans like myself.
open letter sylvia lim ahpetcAs a resident of Aljunied, I have been following the AHPETC saga closely as it afterall concerns me and my family. My husband and I, despite what the Government says, believe that you are an honest person and do not know of the huge profits that FMSS has made off the TC. This is a case of you trusting the wrong people who in the end succumbed to greed. Coffee-shop talk is that they are all Mr Low’s trusted friends and if this is the case, I can understand the difficult situation you must have been in all these years as a Chairman of the TC without control over the officers of FMSS.
While I do agree that there may be some political motivation on behalf of MND, I also believe in the adage that there is no smoke without fire. So since they have now highlighted certain gaps or lapses in AHPETC which is difficult to deny, I hope that you will now pay more attention to the details and sort out the problem. I believe as the opposition, you would be given some leeway by the public as experience takes time to acquire.
To be honest, from a resident's perspective, I really don't bother how much the MA earns as long as I do not pay more than what is fair and I get good service. My only concern is whether the issues raised by MND will affect the house I live in and to a greater extent the resale value of my house.
As a Singaporean, I believe we all want the same thing - a country that is democratic and based on justice and equality. At the coming GE, my family and I will continue to give you and the WP our support because we believe you need a chance to grow and gain experience. But you must be upfront with us all and acknowledge when something is wrong and then give us your word that you will sort things out. We will respect and trust you for it.
A Resident and Supporter

AHPETC: Observations from a Former Town Council GM

Observations of a Former Town Council GM

ahpetc financial report 2015 former gm tc

Reading the news report today “AHPETC faced losses while agent’s profits jumped 300%” shocked me. Being a former General Manager (GM) of a Town Council myself, it is  quite unbelievable that the APHPETC is running into deficit and yet correspondingly, their Managing Agent, FMSS is making so much profits. In fact, anyone who has ever operated a business will know that it is impossible for services based business to earn an after-tax profit of 36%, let alone an after tax-profit of 36% after paying $1.14 million in director fees. Either the client is downright dumb and is willing to be milked, or the client is complicit. Even the Orh Luak man at the Old Airport Road market cannot earn so much.

The best that my TC ever earned in a year is 10%. But these were few and far between. A typical TC's profit margin is on average 5%. FMSS' profit margins without the benefit of scale is phenomenal by any standard. 

Like many of my friends in this industry, I had smelled a rat. Unfortunately the gang at AHPETC were tight-lipped and nothing ever slipped. Given the cash cow they were sitting-on, I now know why. Afterall, who would want to kill the goose that lay the golden egg? Now that everything is coming to light, I think it is time for me to share my thoughts ...

a. Monthly S&CC. It is impossible for a TC (or any business for that matter) not to know its monthly S&CC arrears. Anyone that can accept that it takes a complicated system to calculate this is obviously blinded to logic. AHPETC's decision to stop submitting their S&CC arrears is clearly a ruse. The form requested by MND is a simple matrix that any 1st year accounting student can fill. We should also not forget, that the Hougang TC and even AHPETC had been submitting it according to the table for several months before it suddenly became impossible for them to do it. My guess, AHPETC wanted to build the perception of Government bullying.

b. AGO Audit. When it became impossible for AHPETC to politically deny an AGO audit into their books, AHPETC switched tactics to one of hiding information. Thus when basic accounting information like starting bank balances were asked for, AHPETC blamed George Yeo. This misdirection was subsequently dismissed when AGO discovered evidence that AHPETC themselves had certified in a handing and taking over documents that all the information was provided. When this happened, AHPETC then began to blame the political environment and how no one wanted to work for AHPETC. In reality, nothing had changed. The same sub-contractors that did work for Ajunied under George Yeo, continued to do work for AHPETC. In fact, almost all of AHPETC's sub-contractors do work for both PAP-run Town Councils and AHPETC. Here, AHPETC continued to build on the perception of Government bullying but also started playing I am a victim of the circumstance card.

Despite what AHPETC or the WP tries to say, one thing is for certain. A mess existed and there is something definitely wrong at AHPETC. Given Sylvia Lim's assurances that FMSS had been providing excellent services to the residents of Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East, I am surprised that the WP had not renewed FMSS' contract. Also, given the fantastic profits to be made, I am equally surprised that FMSS did not re-tender for the contract. Perhaps all is not well at AHPETC. All that is left for me to say is that now that the WP has decided to take over the role of running the TC themselves, it remains to be seen if Sylvia Lim will be able to sort out the mess.

My only hope is that the residents of Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East are not made to suffer for Sylvia Lim's incompetency or whatever you want to call it.

AHPETC Financial Report - A Sinkhole in the making

AHPETC – A Sinkhole in the making?

To be honest, I was extremely, if not pleasantly, surprised that AHPETC had reported that their financial report for 2014/2015 had shown a small surplus. Thoughts of the Government fixing them came to my mind and I thought that the Workers’ Party had finally gotten their act today.

This changed this morning when I read The New Paper report that FMSS had served a letter of demand to AHPETC for the sum of $3.5 million. Straight away, any sympathy and remaining sense of faith I had in the Workers’ Party were gone.

I recalled when the issue of their account was raised in 2012, AHPETC blamed the improper hand-over by George Yeo.

Then when their lie was refuted, they then blamed the political nature of the Town Council system and claimed in Parliament that no one wanted to work for them. Once again, I was partially convinced that it was possible, but a close friend of mine working in the facilities management industry told me otherwise. In fact, he told me that many of the companies working for AHPETC were in fact serving the PAP-run Town Councils. Some reputable companies like Ban Chuan Trading & Engineering Pte Ltd, ATL Maintenance Pte Ltd, Campaign Complete Solutions Pte Ltd, Yong Aik Construction Pte Ltd, EM Services etc.

I am sure there are many more. So how can Low Thia Khiang claim in Parliament that no one wants to work for AHPETC?

Piecing information on AHPETC’s poor financial status as alluded to by the AGO and MND, now that it is confirmed that AHPETC owes FMSS $3.5 million, I cannot help but wonder how much more AHPETC owes….

God bless the residents of AHPE

SG Bumiputra

SG General Election 2015 Candidate Chee Soon Juan

Candidate for Singapore General Election 2015: Dr Chee Soon Juan

Dr Chee Soon Juan likes to tell people that he is a martyr and stands up for democracy in Singapore.

With nomination day tomorrow, people want to know what he is really like. Hearing him talk about himself is like hearing a company say it’s very good, got high pay, big bonus and got chiobu, but after you work there you find out the pay is high because you never go home, and the only chiobu is the lao aunty who wants to set you up with her granddaughter.

So who is Chee Soon Juan? The best way to know is to ask the people who knew him or worked for him. These were what some of the people who knew him best had to say:

- Dr Vasoo was CSJ’s superior at the National University of Singapore and persuaded NUS to give Chee a job. Dr Vasoo was forced to sue Chee for libel because CSJ accused Dr Vasoo of fabricating evidence against him.

- Mr Chiam See Tong was CSJ’s mentor in SDP. Chiam had to sue Chee for illegally kicking him out of his own political party. Then Chiam had to sue CSJ again for saying that Chiam almost “killed” SDP.

- Jeremy Chen was a PhD student working for SDP. He called CSJ stubborn, jealous, egotistical and a poor leader. Jeremy was a great supporter of SDP, but ended up asking why SDP would support a leader who lacks integrity.

So Chee Soon Juan is a man who turns around and backstabs the person who gets him a job, kicks his mentor out of his own political party, defames his mentor, and makes life hell for a student who works under him.

What will he do to us Singaporeans if he gets into Parliament?!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

AHPETC Releases Town Council Financial Report for 2014/2015

After much delay and under threat by Singapore Court, the Workers' Party finally submits Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) financial report for FY2014/2015 on time.

ahpetc financial report 2014 2015

I must say that on the surface, I am certainly very impressed and happy that AHPETC, since taking over the running of the TC from FMSS (their previous MA), is able to announce a surplus for their account.

It however makes me wonder if AHPETC had taken over earlier, would they not have avoided the deficit for the first 3 years. As a matter of curiosity, since the account seems to be in order, why did AHPETC not allow the Independent auditor (IA) to help them? My only guess would be to politicize the issue and make them appear as the underdog for Singapore General Election 2015.

But overall, I am just glad that both MND and the TC feel they are duty bound to ensure that public funds are dutifully utilized.

But then again, with the Workers' Party, one can never know ...

SG Bumiputra

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Singapore General Election 2015: Is This the First World Parliament You Want?

WP's concept of first world parliament

Title: Is This the First World Parliament You Want? 

The WP is out in full force, trying to convince Singaporeans why it would be a good idea to vote them into Parliament:

“Just by voting the few of us in during the 2011 GE, big changes have been introduced by the Government. If you vote more of us in (especially for all 28 seats), imagine how much change there will be!”

That sounds like a clever 2-for-1 deal – vote for the WP, and you get a more nervous PAP who will do more for you. Don’t worry too much about what we do – so long as we are there, the PAP will work harder.

But let’s think about this scenario: let’s say WP gets what they want and win 28 seats. Let’s say Lina Chiam reclaims Potong Pasir,  and one of the other opposition parties (we have 8 others, in case you didn’t know) wins one or more seats – maybe SDP’s Chee Soon Juan. Suddenly, everything changes – the PAP would have lost its 2/3 majority advantage.

Practically, all this would mean is that the PAP government would no longer be able to pass constitutional amendments easily, since WP has an interesting habit of abstaining from votes.

But that will not be the only change:

- Suddenly, our all-talk-no-action, we-are-just-happy-to-be-here WP MPs (remember, there will be 28 of them) will be constantly demanding more from the Men-In-White without actually suggesting any new ideas. If you don’t believe this, just go watch any of the Parliamentary sessions over the past 4 plus years. Yup, the WP MPs have been a huge disappointment.

- Instead of having more doers, and being able to draw from the wisdom of a larger pool of MPs, PM and his Cabinet will have to spend their time answering questions from WP MPs trying to score political points.

This is not just some wild conjecture – it is what some opposition members are calling for, and it is what WP is working towards. This is why they are selling their 2-for-1, PAP-does-while-WP-watches deal so hard.

I don’t know about you but I want my MP to DO things and not just be a checker. Because after all, I can check the Government. That is what the ballot box is for and frankly, there are many channels to provide feedback on policies to the Government.

What I want from my MP is someone who will come up with workable alternative suggestions that will improve my life. When we talk about opposition, that is what we are talking about. Not people who just wayang and the claim credit for things they did not do. So at the next general election, my choice will be dictated by a very simple logic: Who actually kept their promises? Who did things? Who is trying to claim the credit for others’ work? And most importantly, who do I trust? Remember, every vote counts, and we still have a choice to prevent the worst from becoming a reality. Cast your vote wisely.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Worker's Party GE2015 Candidate Luke Koh

A new Workers’ Party candidate Luke Koh Tiong Yee criticised the PAP for the Stop at Two Policy which contributed to the aging population in Singapore today.
This was what he said at the WP press conference on 27 August, Wednesday to introduce new candidates.
“The Workers’ Party voted against the 6.9 million population policy in parliament… It is a big mistake like the Two Child Policy. Many of our brothers and sisters are missing today because they were aborted 30 or 40 years ago. Our mothers cried but nobody listened…The graduate mother policy added insult to injury”
The folks at did a good job here rebutting points 1,2 and 4 pointing out that Luke Koh not only gotten his facts wrong but appeared to resort to sensationalism by mixing faith and politics with his “brothers and sisters” comments.
I want to add on to their good work by pointing out that the aging population phenomenon is not unique to Singapore. Rather, it happens in developed economies. Let’s take a look at this chart.
wp luke koh

Source: The World Bank
I have chosen to compare Singapore with Hong Kong and South Korea because they belong to the Four Asian Tigers for their exceptionally high growth rates that have transformed themselves into advanced and high-income economies.
Since the start of industrialisation back in the 1960s, the total fertility birth rate for all economies falling steadily over the years along similar trajectories, falling below the replacement rate of 2.1 around the same period between 1975 and 1985.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the current situation in in 2010.
City TFR
Country/Region TFR
Hong Kong
Taipei City
Source: Singapore's low Total Fertility Rate (TFR): Is our stressful environment the real culprit?
The bottom line is this: there is nothing special or unique about the low fertility rates in Singapore. We see this phenomenon in other developed East Asian societies as well. The reason for the falling fertility rates and the aging population is because the education level of women has risen in tandem with the high economic growth rates over the years. As women become more educated, marriage is no longer a necessity but a choice. They have been able to become financially independent without relying on men. With fewer marriages, the number of babies born fell as well. That is the cause of the aging population in Singapore.    
The Workers’ Party has told Singaporeans to vote for them to Empower Our Future. But in light of Koh’s statements, I have my doubts. How can I trust them to Empower My Future when their candidates cannot get their basics right such as checking their facts first?
What worries me even more is that Luke Koh was reading from a script during the press conference. Surely the script must have been vetted by the WP CEC? If that’s the case, how come no one advised Koh to drop those baseless allegations? Is the WP going down the hill by fielding demagogues and fear mongerers who resort to sensationalism just to stir unhappiness with the ruling party?
And I am not alone in expressing my doubts towards him. Check out the reactions of others to Luke Koh on Channel Newsasia’s Facebook page.
luke koh tiong yee criticised

Source: 5 things we noticed about the unveiling of the 2nd batch of Workers’ Party’s candidates,,accessed on 28 August 2015.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Workers Party: Chen Show Mao

I was talking to a friend the other day and he said: “Wah, WP not bad this time! Remember Chen Show Mao? They managed to attract a few more star candidates to their party this time! Got professor and lawyers...not bad… just like the PAP!
So I thought to myself, if CSM is the prototype for WP’s superstar, who could be the next star candidate that flops CSM?
The suspects are Associate Professor Daniel Goh, litigation lawyer Terence Tan, and law firm partner Dennis Tan.
But remember WP’s previous star catch who flopped Chen Show Mao?
He’s also a top lawyer! Rhodes scholar somemore. If you don’t know what that is, it’s some bombastic ang moh scholarship, so he must be as good as all the President’s Scholars that the PAP have. But I haven’t heard him speak in a while…
So maybe these WP star candidates don’t actually have that much to do! If they get elected into Parliament, all they need to do is:
1.       Keep telling people “I am one of you” – Upload as many pics of yourself on the public transport as you can

workers party chen show mao

2.       Come with a well-prepared speech, but leave the supplementary questions to your more eloquent colleagues (eh, but I thought he lawyer)

chen show mao in parliament

3.       Blink and talk slowly or hem and haw
chen show mao A team fails

4.       On difficult issues like the AHPETC saga: JUST STAY SILENT! (eh, but I thought he used to work for many financial companies? Wouldn’t he know how to explain the accounts?)
workers party foreign talent quota

5.       Instead, spend time taking shaky and artistic-looking FB pictures – As blur as possible
 chen show mao epicfail
chen show mao meme

So everyone,
workers party manifesto ge2015
 worker party singapore meme ge 2015

Singapore General Election 2015: Gilbert Goh and Why I Will Never Vote for Him

Gilbert Goh has finally thrown his hat into the ring and will be contesting in the AMK GRC under the banner of the Reform Party. Nothing surprising as he has been a strong advocate of the down-trodden in Singapore. So why will I not vote for Gilbert? Simple.

Singapore ge2015 gilbert goh

#1: No Integrity. Gilbert likes to post pictures on Facebook of down trodden Singaporeans. He puts pictures of homeless people and accuses the Government of not helping. While it may be true that these few are homeless, what Gilbert fails to do is to tell the full story. As any social worker can tell you, solving the homeless problem often goes far beyond providing a physical home. It often goes into issues like family circumstances. In fact, many social workers will tell you that these homeless choose not to take-up the Government’s offer of shelter and help. It can be an issue of pride. Whatever it is, one cannot accuse the Government of not helping. So, the number one reason I will not vote for Gilbert Goh is because he tells half-truths for his personal agenda. Do we need an opposition like that in Parliament? I think not.

#2:  Irresponsible. As part of his activism, Gilbert Goh runs the website Often, Gilbert will repost letters from PMETs claiming discrimination with examples that are blatantly false. Instead of making the effort to verify the information, or to edit these letters out, Gilbert will run these letters to stir anti-foreigner sentiments. I am not against activism, but I want responsible activism. Singapore is a multi-racial country and like it or not, we need to be extra careful when it comes to race and religion. We cannot have a Member of Parliament (MP) who irresponsibly uses race to stir the sentiments of Singaporeans. The number two reason I will not vote for Gilbert Goh is because he is irresponsible and he may destroy the racial harmony of Singapore.

#3: Poor Judgement. There is this saying that you are the average of the 5 people that you spend your time with. In the case of Gilbert, he chooses to spend his time with people like Roy Ngerng, Han Hui Hui, Amos Yee and Alex Tan. These people are out to destroy Singapore for no other reason than because they do not agree with the Government’s policies. If these are the friends that Gilbert chooses to associate with, I can only imagine what Gilbert will do if he wins a seat in Parliament. Thus while I cannot dictate who Gilbert Goh chooses as his friends, the number three reason I will not vote for Gilbert Goh is because I doubt that he can put the nation’s good before his personal agenda.

I therefore appeal to the residents of Ang Mo Kio GRC to vote wisely. Keep Gilbert Goh (and the likes of him) out of Parliament for the good of Singapore.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Unseen Footage of Chee Soon Juan Heckling ESM Goh Chok Tong

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has started to re-brand themselves with a slick PR campaign. The key question on many Singaporean's mind is whether Chee Soon Juan, a man so filled with hatred for the Government and who believes in disruptive politics, can make a responsible opposition Member of Parliament (MP).

To see the hatred and the style of democracy he advocates, SG Leaks as a telling video of the man in action. The video shows Chee Soon Juan heckling Mr Goh Chok Tong.

Click here for previously unseen video. You be the judge .... to us, he will never be a responsible opposition MP.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Steve Chia Withdraws from Singapore GE2015

Steve Chia from the National Solidarity Party (NSP) announced his decision to withdraw from the Singapore General Election 2015 citing the work of online Trolls. Goh Meng Seng has also weighed-in on the effect online trolls have on candidates and asked for a good clean fight.

What I find extremely disturbing about the comments by Steve Chia and Goh Meng Seng is that they seemed comfortable and even happy when online trolls attack the Government and members of the People's Action Party (PAP). Even when Minister for Transport Liu Tuck Yew decided to step-down from politics, both Steve and Meng Seng remained silent. I would even suspect that they were happy.

I for one have no sympathy for Steve Chia. It would not take a genius to figure out that his past nude scandal would come to the fore again. If you cannot even figure that out, I seriously doubt that Steve is bright enough to be a MP and to represent his residents needs.

As for Goh Meng Seng, he is the typical opportunist who has no principles or values. If you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything. We need credible opposition in parliament. We do not need the likes of Goh Meng Seng who will merely oppose for the sake of opposing. Goh Meng Seng is a man of poor character and this episode reinforces that view of him.

So while Steve Chia's announcement tries so pull at your heartstrings, we should be grateful that this has helped to weed out the bad. Thank you Worker's Party for showing us the light.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Is AHPETC in Financial Trouble

Is AHPETC in financial trouble?

A simple matter of three points and one question ...

What is Sinking Fund?

The Sinking Fund is a long term savings fund required by law. The Fund is to pay for repair and replacement of major things like lifts and electrical re-wiring.

For instance, over the next 10 years, AHPETC needs to pay $54m from SF just to replace lifts in the older blocks. That leaves only $55m from its current SF to do many other essential works:

· Repairs and Repainting of over 700 blocks (which alone may be as much $100m if not more)
· Implementing LUP (this can be as much as $20m)
· Electrical Re-wiring
· Repair and Replacement of old sanitary pipes
· If there is not enough money in the SF, these critical things will not get done. Residents affected will suffer.  Their property value will drop.
· The TC meeting its SF requirements on time therefore is critical

How is Sinking Fund Collected

Each month every TC collects S&CC from residents. Every 3 months, the TC is required to deposit one third of the total S&CC collected into the SF.

In addition, the Government gives the TC an annual grant. One third of this must also be paid into the SF. The rest is up to the TC to use.

What is the Sinking Fund Situation in AHPETC

AHPETC has defaulted on their SF payments. Their present outstanding SF deficit is $9m. AHPETC will have to pay another $13.5m into their SF for the rest of this financial year (FY2015/16). AHPETC therefore needs a total of $22.5m ($9m + $13.5m) to meet their SF obligations this financial year. 

MND currently holds $14m grants due to AHPETC because their accounts have not been cleanly passed by their own auditors. At the Sylvia Lim’s request, MND is prepared to release the grants if the TC furnishes its latest financial status.  AHPETC has chosen not to give the info despite many reminders.

When MND releases these grants,  $4m must be deducted upfront for additional deposit into the SF. This leaves $10m for the TC to use.

This $10m is not enough to cover the AHPETC’s SF requirements for this financial year. The TC needs to find another $12.5m this financial year to do so from their operating account.

One Simple Question Sylvia Lim Needs to Answer to Residents

Under George Yeo’s team, the TC ran an annual operating surplus of $3.3m. Under the WP, this has turned into an annual operating deficit of $1.5m by early 2013.

insolvency in singapore town councils

Their latest financial situation is unknown because they cannot even produce a clean set of audited accounts for the last 3 years. Whatever it is, the negative and downward trend known so far must give residents cause for concern.

Residents should ask Sylvia Lim to state plainly and honestly: 

· How much surplus money they have in the TC operating account after paying off all bills and meeting SF obligations this financial year.

Residents have a right to know the truth. Is the AHPETC boat leaking and sinking slowly into eventual insolvency? 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Singapore GE 2015: Is the WP Running Scared?

Is the WP Running Scared?

Just 4 days after Workers' Party (WP) Low Thia Khiang confidently told the media that the WP would stick to its usual practice of introducing their candidates before Nomination Day without revealing where they will be standing, Sylvia Lim today (16 August 2015) announced that WP's elected members of Parliament would be defending their constitiencies.
What is significant about this change is that the WP had only days before said they would not change their practice, and that this annoucement came on the back of an announcement by AHPETC that they would be releasing their updated audited town council financial report on 31 August 2015. Political pundits see this change as an indication that the audited town council financial report would once again be qualified (meaning that its accuracy cannot be verified) and that this will raise questions and concerns from Aljunied residents. WP's decision to keep their "A-Team" in Aljunied is seen as a desperate attempt to strengthen their chances of retaining  Aljunied GRC.
Hougang MP Png Eng Huat's public comment that any discussion about AHPETC's financial position would only be meaningful once the report has been released , is  another clear indication that they are feeling the pressure from residents. One must not forget that 45% of Aljunied GRC voted for the PAP and WP's dubious track record of managing the Town Council will certainly lose them the swing votes. WP would most certainly have lost the votes of the residents of Florence Regency and the 2 DBSS projects where the WP had failed to perform their statutory duties to maintain the estates despite collecting S&CC fees.
There is a famous saying that you can bluff some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, butyou cannot bluff all of the people all of the time. 
WP, your time has come and I predict that you will lose Aljunied GRC. 
SG Bumiputra

SG GE 2015: Low Thia Khiang - The pot calling the kettle black

Is this the kind of politics we want: Low Thia Kiang
Is this the online platform I want to read?
Having frequently read the commentaries on The Online Citizen, it is apparent that the writers are writing in favour of the Workers’ Party. While I am all for fairness in reporting, it seems like TOC is only sitting on one side of the fence and creating stories simply for the benefit of WP.
Andrew Loh, a co-founder of TOC, will share articles onto his own Facebook page. In in his posts, he would usually make extra comments about the ruling party, PAP.
Andrew Loh and Low Thia Khiang

Leave the gentleman out of it. He is only making an announcement, why do you want to attack him?
dirty politics by Singapore opposition parties

Getais and politics are definitely two separate matters. But why make such remarks?
andrew loh toc sylvia lim

This recent article on WP’s walkabout in Nee Soon also came with a photo supplied by Andrew Loh, while the article is written by one Vidhya Nair.
As an outsider, it seems like WP and TOC have an agreement to help support each other in their argument, especially when in cases when there isn’t enough substantial evidence to back up. They also use images and pictures from each other’s sources.
online smears by workers party

Is this the kind of online articles that I want to see going viral? No.
Is this the kind of online platform I want to read? No.
While constructive commentaries are good to share, articles filled with empty words or baseless arguments should not make its rounds.

Friday, 14 August 2015

What is WP's Position on Foreign Workers Quota for Singapore?

In the run-up to polling day for General Election 2015, the Workers’ Party (WP) will undoubtedly call on Singaporeans to elect them into parliament so that they can  continue to act as the check against the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). This was the same call them made in GE 2011.

WP position on foreign worker quota for singapore

While many Singaporeans will agree that having an opposition is parliament is good, I believe that the issue is about having a  credible and responsible opposition. Failing which, the future of Singapore will be at risk. The WP has touted themselves to be a responsible opposition that does not unnecessarily challenge the Government. However, one only needs to look at their position on the quota for Foreign Workers to see that  they are a party with principles.
In 2012, during the Committee of Supply Debates, Low Thia Khiang was recorded to have said:
“… would the Minister of State be concerned that with the current process of restructuring in which we have a foreign worker dependency ratio, the levy plus the quota at the macro level, by using such a macro tool to tighten the supply of manpower to the industries, it would inadvertently raise the wage cost of the various industries? … my last concern … is … how sure is the Minister of State and the Government that the current approach we have taken in restructuring the economy will not lead to Singapore losing its competitive advantage, and we might end up with a stagnant economy like Japan?” Responding to a clarification by DPM Tharman, Low Thia Khiang stated that “What I meant is that we tighten it slowly rather than tighten it at one go.”
Subsequently, during the White Paper discussion in 2013, opposition proposed going for 0% growth of foreign workers. Here, Gerald Giam was recorded to have said “We should strive to keep our foreign labour force constant between now and 2002, depending on our success in growing the local labour force. It does not mean that we shut the doors to foreign workers. Instead, new work passes will be issued only to replace expiring work passes or to supplement shortfalls in the local labour force. Companies will have to find ways to hire more Singaporeans”.
Then, more recently, when Chen Show Mao was queried (in May 2014) on WP’s stand on immigration, the WP’s position is that of “orderly growth within limits”. Mr Chen Show Mao said:  " Madam Speaker, I have worked, as you know, abroad for many years in my life. And I thank foreigners – foreign governments and foreign friends – for the opportunities that I was given to work in their countries. Of course we have nothing against immigrants coming to Singapore. But we are talking about an orderly growth within limits. And, hopefully, we would have debated and agreed on it. And that is not inconsistent with what we have said on immigration and on foreign workers in Singapore. " 
It appears to me that either the WP has no position on politically sensitive issue of Foreign Workers in Singapore, or they are pandering to the electorate and taking a position that is popular. I believe that PM Lee Hsien Loong summed it up well when he said in parliament: "Mdm Speaker, we have to call a spade, a spade. If you have changed position, and your previous position was wrong, say so. If you hold by your position, have your guts to reaffirm it, and take the consequences. But to weasel the way, play with words, avoid the issue, and then claim to be responsible – that is what we fear can drive Singapore’s politics into the same place where many other countries have gone."

Singapore needs a credible and responsible opposition. I am afraid that time has proven that the Workers’ Party is not that opposition.