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. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yNhfIexncdc

2. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore to an organisation based in Oslo, Norway. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jmJQp9RsfOk

3. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore in Sydney, Australia. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R_-w763SHyI

4. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore on video for The Young Turks, and the video is for worldwide distribution. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JR-y5T9c_BA

5. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore on video for a conference in Dubai. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QzI0Mz2KVlU

6. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore at Yalehttps://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PsWQKD4tPKk

7. Chee Soon Juan condemns Singapore to foreign media. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qermwf6bIDM

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." http://www.abc.net.au/.../singaporean-rights.../2228738

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.