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?

Monday, 11 April 2016

PM Lee vs Lee Wei Ling ... "Damn if you do, damned if you don't"

Poor PM Lee Hsien Loong found himself in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" position yesterday (10 April). 

Some may feel he should have kept this a family matter and not rebutted his sister in public. 

Others may think that as Prime Minister, he is answerable to Singaporeans as well.

It is very sad this ended up a public feud, but she forced his hand by calling him a "dishonourable son", and of establishing a dynasty. In the end, he chose to be accountable and upfront with Singaporeans.  

It is not easy for him - he also has to balance between his role as a son, a brother, and the Prime Minister of Singapore. Whether or not he agreed with how the commemoration was done, he respected the wishes of Singaporeans to commemorate the first death anniversary of our founding father. Mr Lee is her father, but he was also more than just that. I do not think that it is right for her to deny Singaporeans the chance to pay their respects should they wish to, and to belittle their wishes. 

By making those damaging statements, she gave PM very little choice and caused him pain and embarrassment. 

Whether or not it was an emotional outburst or calculated move on her part, she must know that her father and brother aren't ordinary Singaporeans

And she cannot expect to be treated like any other sister in a family squabble when the shit hits the fan.

Dr Lee Wei Ling FB post

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Bukit Batok By-Election ... CSJ and Ah Ma

The following story has been circulating online. In it, SDP’s candidate for Bukit Batok By-Election, Chee Soon Juan (CSJ) is seen lamenting the plight of a 83 year-old Ah Ma earning $1,050 a month cleaning tables in a coffee shop 6 days a week.

chee soon juan bukit batok by-election ah ma

As part of his political campaign, CSJ has chosen to focus on the plight of lower-income Singaporeans. This is an obvious attempt to tug at the emotional heart-strings of Singaporeans. Unfortunately, CSJ has chosen to tell only half the truth.

On the surface, everyone will agree that $1,050 per month is indeed low by today’s standard. As a seasoned politician and someone who claims to be very concerned about lower-income Singaporeans, CSJ should be well aware of the various government schemes in place to help this vulnerable group.

While Ah Ma would indeed earn a mere $1,050 on her own, the G supplements her income with an additional $310 in cash and additional $270 in CPF. This means that Ah Ma actually earns $1,630 per month.

A quick glance at the G schemes that Ah Ma would qualify for in 2016 ... 

Total (per year)
Workfare Income Supplement
Silver Support Scheme ($250 per month from July)
GSTV U-Save (4-room)
S&CC Rebates (2 months for 4-room)


CSJ is quick to point out that Ah Ma earns only $5.50 an hour and only gets 1 day off a week. Chee Soon Juan fails to offer any solution. Any G would want to pay Ah Ma more. Any G would want to give Ah Ma more off days. Perhaps, for CSJ who has not held a job in the past 20 years and yet can own a HDB and drive a car, money falls from the sky. Unfortunately, we live in the real world.

CSJ is intentionally leaving out important information to serve his own personal agendas. In fact, other than what Ah Ma receives above, Ah Ma should also qualify for a few other G schemes like CHAS, which would help to bring down her cost of living.

There is also a recent video that interviewed Ah Ma and she said she is actually rather happy working. Why? Because working is optional (as she has a family taking care of her) and she gets to exercise while working.

The key points are these:

#1 - Chee Soon Juan cannot be trusted as he will lie (or shape the truth) for his own benefit
#2 - Not everything in life should be measured in dollars and cents. And even if we insist on using dollars and cents as the measure, the G will ensure that no one is short-changed or left behind, especially if you are willing to work and earn your own living.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

This is SDP's Chee Soon Juan .... Bukit Batok By-Election

This is the Singapore Democratic Party's (SDP) Chee Soon Juan ….
Chee Soon Juan has and continues to write to the foreign media and gives speeches overseas to condemn Singapore. His impact is small as he is generally considered a “nobody”. This will change if he is elected as a Member of Parliament.
So we urge residents of Bukit Batok SMC to think carefully. It is not just about having opposition in Parliament. It is about having opposition who are Singaporean first. The following is a compilation of his condemnation of Singapore. 

1. Chee Soon Juan sent a message to President Obama to condemn Singapore and asked him to interfere in our local politics.

2. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore to an organisation based in Oslo, Norway.

3. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore in Sydney, Australia.

4. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore on video for The Young Turks, and the video is for worldwide distribution.

5. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore on video for a conference in Dubai.

6. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore at Yale

7. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore to foreign media.

8. “…he told the Bangkok Post that Singaporeans lacked conscience, lacked morals.”

“Recently, in the episode with Australia and the drug baron, he pointed his finger at Singaporeans and said that they lacked moral conscience.”

"Beneath the facade, however, lies a society bankrupt in morality.

"We pursue everything except that which makes life worthwhile.

"The lust for things material have blinded us to values of human decency. 

"Sadly political leadership does not come naturally to Singaporeans. We have been ingrained with the notion that only the PAP has the smarts to lead this country."

9. Chee Soon Juan has also condemn Singapore to the foreign media.

He told Australia to be wary of Singtel because we're spying on Australia. It could hurt bilateral relations, and possibly even our international relations: 

"There is no rule of law in Singapore."

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Bukit Batok By-Election - Even WP-backed The Independent Does Not Think Chee Soon Juan Will Win

Letter Published In The Independent Singapore

Dear editors,

I am a resident of Bukit Batok. You published an article yesterday which listed 10 reasons why the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)’s secretary-general, Dr Chee Soon Juan, may be elected in coming Bukit Batok by-election. But I want to list 10 reasons here why I think Chee Soon Juan will not be elected in the next election.

1. The Tharman Factor

Mr Tharman is a very popular anchor-Minister for the constituencies in Jurong, including Bukit Batok. We believe Mr Tharman will campaign hard for the next PAP candidate fielded in the constituency.

2. The Low Thia Khiang Reason

At the 2013 by-election in Punggol East, despite popular calls for the NCMPs Gerald Giam or Yee Jenn Jong to be fielded as WP (Workers’ Party)’s candidate for that constituency, WP’s secretary-general Low Thia Khiang fielded the candidate he fielded in the constituency during the 2011 GE (General Election) – Lee Li Lian.

The voters in Punggol East saw that Mr Low did not did not field a second class MP in GE 2011, and gave Ms Lee an overwhelming endorsement.

If SDP does not field the candidate it fielded in Bukit Batok constituency in GE 2015, Sadasivam Veriyah, and fields someone else, it is natural for voters like me to question if SDP offered its voters second-class candidate in the last election.

3. The Chiam See Tong Betrayal

Older voters like me have not forgotten Dr Chee’s betrayal of opposition doyen, Mr Chiam See Tong. SDP was once the leading opposition political party in Singapore. Mr Chiam had brought Dr Chee into the SDP in 1992, mentoring and promoting him.Dr Chee then proceeded to betray Mr Chiam, isolate him and force him out of the SDP. More recently Dr Chee had tried to explain what actually led to Mr Chiam’s expulsion – but it was viewed by many as throwing more mud on Mr Chiam’s face.

4. The Rebel Image

Dr Chee has consciously cultivated an image of him as being a rebel. Singaporeans are not willing to elect a rebel who engages in confrontational politics into parliament.

5. Former SDP Members who Continue to Accuse Dr Chee as being Unethical

Former members of SDP like Jeremy Chen have continued in their accusations that Dr Chee Soon Juan is less than honourable, and SDP nor Dr Chee has rebutted Mr Chen appropriately (at least as far as I know).

6. Using Foreign Media to run down Singapore

This needs no further illustration. Dr Chee has never failed to use foreign media to run down the Singapore government. This is very unlike Mr Chiam or Mr Low, who close ranks with their Singapore counterparts when they speak to foreigners.

7. The Goh Chok Tong Harassment

Singaporeans have not forgotten how Dr Chee like a pai-kia went after Singapore’s former Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, with a loudhailer in GE 2001. He lost that election miserably.

8. No Experience Running a Town Council

The SDP has zero experience running a town council. They may claim that they managed town councils when the Party had Members in Parliament. But their MPs, Ling How Doong and Cheo Chai Chen, who were elected in the GE 91 did so badly managing their town councils that the voters decided to give them the boot at the next election. The fact is, besides Mr Chiam See Tong, who subsequently left SDP to form his own party, no one has effectively managed a town council. From rats to mosquito breeding, Bukit Batok has a number of municipal issues which only an effective town council can resolve.

9. Flip-Flopping

Dr Chee is seen to be flip-flopping in the type of candidates his Party would offer Singaporeans. In GE 2011, he fielded Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, an openly gay party member (who has since resigned), and in GE 2015, he fielded Damanhuri Abas, a leader of the ‘Wear White’ campaign (a campaign against the LGBT Pink Dot event).

10. Western-style Liberal Democracy

Dr Chee is a proponent of western style liberal democracy and freedoms. Middle class families like mine are not clamouring for more freedoms, but for bread and butter issues. Will life for me and my family be better or worse if Dr Chee is elected to Parliament?

Friday, 18 March 2016

Dr Ang Swee Chai – Hero or Villain?

Dr Ang Swee Chai – hero or villain?
In recent days, there has been some hype that Dr Ang Swee Chai, the widow of Francis Khoo, cannot come to Singapore in order to be inducted into the Singapore Woman’s Hall of Fame”. Dr Ang claims that unless she gets an assurance from ICA that she will not lose her Singapore citizenship, she will not come to Singapore.
At first glance, it would seem that the Singapore Government is the villain. However, as with all messages from self-exiled Singaporeans, we need to read between the lines.
Let’s look at some questions posed about the issue and the facts about the case.

Question: Why was Dr Ang, a Singaporean, denied a Singapore travel document denied?
- Dr Ang Swee Chai currently holds both Singapore and British citizenships.  Singapore does not allow Singaporeans to hold dual citizenship. Such individuals will be asked to choose one. Singaporeans cannot keep their foreign citizenship and still ask for a Singapore Travel Document.
- ICA will not issue Singapore Travel Documents to individuals who have not resolved their known dual citizenship status and ICA has applied this rule consistently to several persons over the years.
- Dr Ang’s dual citizenship status first became known to ICA in 2012. ICA nevertheless facilitated her request to travel to Singapore in February 2012 on a once-off basis, using a special travel document. This was on compassionate grounds, to allow her to bring her late husband’s ashes home. This was also done on the clear understanding that Dr Ang would resolve her dual citizenship status expeditiously.
- It has been more than 4 years and Dr Ang has not resolved her dual citizenship status, despite repeated reminders from ICA.

Question: Dr Ang mentions that she has to give up her British citizenship to be allowed to return. Why is this so? Why is she not able to return to Singapore on her British passport? 
- In general, Singaporean who hold dual citizenship will not be stopped from entering Singapore using their foreign passports.  ICA has allowed this in the past.
- If Dr Ang wants to travel to Singapore using a Singapore Travel Document (as opposed to using her British passport), ICA will process her request for such a document, once she shows proof that she has started the process of renouncing her British Citizenship.
Question: MHA, in 2011, said there was no barrier to Dr Ang returning to Singapore. Will she be in trouble with the authorities should she return? 
- MHA’s comments in 2011 that there was “no barrier” to Dr Ang returning to Singapore was made without knowledge then of Dr Ang’s dual citizenship. When Dr Ang dual citizenship status became known in 2012, ICA nevertheless facilitated her request to travel to Singapore in February 2012 on a once-off basis, using a special travel document - on compassionate grounds to allow her to bring her late husband’s ashes home.
- ICA remains prepared to process Dr Ang’s request for a Singapore Travel Document, once she shows proof that she has started the process of renouncing her UK citizenship.
Question: Dr Ang mentioned that she started applying for a Singapore travel document in November last year. How long does it typically take for something like this to be granted?

- ICA has clarified that a Singapore Travel Document can be issued to Dr Ang in a matter of weeks. The key issue is that she needs to renounce her British citizenship. ICA has told Dr Ang that her request would be processed once she has shown proof that she had started the renunciation process. ICA does not require her to have completed the renunciation process.


As the above facts shows, Dr Ang Swee Chai is not the victim here. She is in fact politicizing the matter when she can easily travel on her British passport, or renounce her British citizenship. The bottom-line is while we can applaud her achievement (and we do), we also believe that Dr Ang cannot expect to be treated differently or be accorded privilegesWe cannot understand why she demands special treatment.