Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hiatus: Will be away for a month or so.

I am recently too busy to blog regularly due to my heavy workload.

So I am sorry to say there will probably not be many articles from me for a month or so.

But I believe that Beast will still be around so readers can look forward to his postings.


Monday, May 29, 2006


Recently, there has been a flurry of comments with regards to the influential power of the internet on the recent GE, so much so that certain MPs have made some comments about it.

While none have even remotely suggested banning freedom of expression on the net, there has been considerable furore over what should, and should not be written or broadcasted.

One thing is for sure: With the help of internet technology, it is always a PC away from soliciting aid from the internet community, although how much can be possibly garnered, remains to be seen.

Coming back home after a tiring day's work, I have received this unsolicited mail from an individual, whom I deem to be an SDP supporter.

If this email is authentic, then it would seem that this particular person must have read my posts on Disgruntledsporean, and reckon that I would lend my proverbial pen for the opposition cause.

Since the originator of this email has given me permission to post this, I will post his appeal here. His email and yahoo identity will remain anonymous, since I have not been given permission to divulge his details:

Support legal defence fund for Chee Siok Chin
26 May 06

Dear friends and fellow Singaporeans,

The PAP has been the ruling party in Singapore for more than 40 years and has won more than a dozen elections, always in landslide victories.

Singaporeans must begin to question why this is so. The PAP will have you believe that opposition candidates lack credibility and integrity. Mr Lee Kuan Yew has gone as far as calling his political opponents "scum", "liar", "cheat", "hooligans" and other derogatory names.

This is, however, not the reason why the PAP continues to dominate parliament with more than 95 percent of the seats in the House. The real reason lies in the way the elections system is designed, and the way the PAP fights the elections.

This is why I have taken out an Originating Summons to examine the way the elections were conducted and to seek a declaration from the Supreme Court that the 2006 General Elections were unconstitutionally run, and therefore, null and void.

In my Affadavit I had stated that the outcome of votes tied to upgrading, the distribution of the Progress Package and New Singapore Shares during the 2006 and 2001 GE periods respectively as well as the banning of podcasting and blogging in GE 2006 amount to intimidation, vote-buying, and censorship which contravenes the Parliamentary Elections Act.

The government has misused its power and this must be addressed. It must answer and be accountable to us, the citizens of Singapore, because all of us have a stake in this country.

The lawsuit brought on by the Lees against Dr Chee and I will also be an expensive and long-drawn out one. We have chosen to stand firm. There is nothing in this for us except to seek justice and democracy for our nation.

The legal process, however, is very expensive. Each time I go to court to file documents, the process itself costs hundreds of dollars. It is estimated that we will spend at least $10,000 on filing fees alone.

This fight should be the fight of all Singaporeans who are concerned with transparency and democratic accountability. As such I ask you to do your part and contribute to the legal defence fund that I have set up to fight these two cases. If you feel that these are matters important enough, please give so that we can mount an effective legal campaign against the Lees and the PAP.

Mr M Ravi has dedicated himself to these cases and has, as with previous cases, worked tirelessly and pro bono. He needs all the assistance he can get.

I hope that this will be the start of citizen action against the bullying of the PAP Government. Let this be a people's fight against those who oppress us.

Sincerely yours,
Chee Siok Chin

Account name: Chee Siok Chin

Bank: POSBank

Account no: 033-50592-2

If you are overseas, the Swiftcode is DBSSSGSG

(Please pass this message on to your friends. Thank you)

For those of you who wish to support Dr Chee and his cohorts, I would strongly advise you to check up on the person, or persons, who may be involved on the receiving end of your cheque. I shall not be held liable for any crimes that may have resonated from this post, since I am not its original author.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Democracy in Singapore Part 2

SBS Radio - Australia
22.5.2006 18:40:02


It doesn't take much to be a rebel in Singapore.

Throw a cigarette out the window, spit on the street.

Or more seriously, be a film student and make a documentary about an opposition leader, or write openly on the internet about being gay.

But increasingly, young Singaporeans are taking more risks and demanding a politically open society, where they're free to express themselves.

And, as Rebecca Henschke reports they're using the freedom of the internet and of music to create a quiet revolution.

[Part 1]

Friday, May 26, 2006

Audio clips of the NUSS forum: The 2006 GE Post Mortem.

Repost from Sammyboy Forum.

By MichealCSW

Hi all,

I've posted the audio clips of the NUSS forum: The 2006 GE Post Mortem. 2 zip files. The first one features the various speakers in 5 different files. The second one features the Q&A in separate files as well. There are some breakages in the audio files for Q&A.

Speakers: here

Q&A: here

1) Dr Catherine Lim
2) Perry Tong
3) Dr Chee Soon Juan
4) Dr Ho Kai Leong
5) Denise Phua


Dr Ho Kai Leong gave an excellent, and not to mention entertaining, speech on electoral reforms.

It is clear to me that the news reports by ST and Today did not do justice to Dr Ho. Perhaps that is because of the way which he hit the most painful spots of our '1st world' media and PAP.

Do check out what Dr Chee speech in the forum too, he actually talk with much more sense than what our '1st world' media made him out to be.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006



With an increasingly global trend towards the need for more humane treatment to all human beings, perhaps the most taboo subject of them all, if I may be allowed to put it, is perhaps the controversial death penalty.

It is the epitome of all punishments by secular state law: Not only is the offender not given the opportunity for reform through confinement, the person has forfeited his or her life to the state authority. No other law can be seen as being more archaic and cruel than the death penalty.

Countries who still practise this controversial law are mostly non-democratic, or theocratic in nature. Countries such as communist China, countries of Islamic rule (Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc) and pseudo democracies (E.g Singapore, Malaysia, etc) do exercise their rights to exerminate a criminal's life.


States that practise it in America tend to utilize poison injection, while the communist regime, well known for its deadly efficiency against all crimes against the state, do it with an unceremonious bullet from the back. Others, like puny Singapore, hang their prisoners. As the saying goes, there is always more than one way to slaughter the proverbial cow.

Crimes amounting to the death penalty vary. The common ones include premediated murder, espionage and other state and life-threatening crimes. Other less common crimes may include: Kidnapping, drug trafficking and corruption. In Islamic countries, being caught in a homosexual act can constitute a death sentence for the unfortunate offender.

Unlike other moral arguments, this is one argument that I feel is evenly matched: Both proponents and opponents of the death penalty have valid arguments to make, and due to the seriousness of this issue, I would like to take the trouble to present both views as succinctly and unbiasedly as I possibly can.


Proponents of the death penalty have put up credible arguments to defend this age-old punishment.

Most would agree, however, that the death penalty be restricted to violent crimes, mostly pertaining to murder, or at the very most, crimes pertaining to treason.

A summary of pro-death penalty arguments, followed by counter-arguments, as follows:


For: Certain criminals who have committed irreversible crimes, such as rape and murder, ought to be executed by the state. The logic, it seems, stem from the biblical quote of "an eye for an eye". This, in the eyes of death penalty proponents, will discourage and deter would-be offenders from committing acts of murder.

Against: The purpose and logic of secular law is not to facilitate a tit-for-tat. a-la mafia style executions, against criminals. The purpose of punishment is to rehabilitate the criminal, not send them to their deaths.

To punish a crime with another crime, in the form of state execution, just cannot be justified, even if they seem to "even the odds", according to pro-death penalty supporters.


For: Extreme criminals, such as serial arsonists and serial killers, are a real manace to society, and ought to be gotten rid of for good.

Those who have not shown signs of remorse, and have blatantly and constantly flouted the law to commit heinous crimes should be executed.

Against: Again, the fact is that, once you execute a criminal, it is a irreversible act. Once he/she is dead, there is no chance of any kind of resurrection.

To determine who or who should not be executed is something that becomes a really dicey affair, since every nation has a interpretation of what is and what is not an "executable" crimes.

Sure, a serial killer deserves the death penalty, but could he or she been suffering from mental ailments of an unknown nature? If that is so, the killer may inevitably been a victim of his own delusions. How does one justify the state-sanctioned murder of a mentally-ill person? Wouldn't pyschiatric treatment, and constant monitoring of the criminal be a more fruitful preposition.

Besides, who is to say that some day, a person of high social status abuses the law and executes anyone whom he or she is not in good terms with?


For: Spending millions, or billions (depending on where you live) of taxpayer's money to feed and maintain crooks isn't a long term solution. We need to cull some of them so as to keep the country's fiscal year at an absolute minimum. The worst criminals, such as murderers and rapists, have no place in society, even if they are released.

Against: Criminals are not cows, chickens or poultry. Prisons and other reformatory services must understand their role of counsellors cum punishers. "Culling" criminals is just another inhumane way of placing people in gulag camps, no matter how valid the reasons may seem to be.


Of course, the proponents of the death penalty do justify their points, as do the opponents.

One inescapable flaw, however, is the fact that wrongful judgements, no matter how minimal, becomes a travesty when an innocent man dies for the crime he never commits.

Unlike any other sentence, say, a live sentence, the accused, if wrongfully accused, still has enough time in his hands to make as many appeals as he can, while a man on death parole has a limited time to make his case, before he is summarily executed. In countries such as China, there may be no grounds of appeal provided by the courts.

And example of a wrongful judgment that very nearly caused the death of an innocent man:

DNA Testing Exonerates New York Man Who Might Have Been Executed

After spending more than a decade in jail for a crime he did not commit, Douglas Arthur Warney has been exonerated and will be freed from prison in New York based on DNA evidence. Police maintained that Warney had confessed to the crime. Warney is a poorly educated man with a history of delusions and suffering from an advanced case of AIDS. He originally faced the death penalty for the 1996 stabbing murder in Rochester, but was ultimately convicted of second-degree homicide and sentenced to 25 years in jail. Prosecutors tried to block recent DNA tests that revealed that blood found at the crime scene could not have come from Warney. The test concluded that the blood belonged to another man, Eldred L. Johnson, Jr., who has since confessed to being the sole killer in the crime and is in prison for a different killing and three other stabbings.

Though no forensic evidence linked Warney to the crime, prosecutors used his false confession - which defense attorneys say was based on facts fed to him by a homicide detective - to overcome weaknesses in the case. During Warney's trial, prosecutors said that blood found at the crime that did not match the victim or Warney could have belonged to an accomplice, but that Warney was the killer based on his detailed confession. Despite providing details regarding the crime, Warney's confession was also filled with inconsistencies. According to trial testimony, Mr. Warney told the detective he had driven to the victim's house in his brother's car, although the brother had not owned the car for six years before the murder; he said he disposed of his bloody clothes after the murder in a garbage can, but none were found in a search of the can, which had been buried in snow from the day of the crime; he also said he had an accomplice, naming a relative who, it turned out, was in a secure rehabilitation center.

Warney joins a long list of people who have falsely confessed to crimes they did not commit. "The cops created a false confession by feeding nonpublic details to Doug. Their conduct was criminal, plain and simple," notes Peter Neufeld of the Innocence Project, one of the attorneys representing Warney. Based on the results of DNA testing and Johnson's confession to the crime, prosecutors have agreed that the charges against Warney, who is now in a wheelchair, should be dismissed. (New York Times, May 16, 2006)

Along with Warney, 123 Americans have had their death sentences revoked.

Given the dead-end, irreversible nature of the death penalty sentence, it would be prudent for nations who still practise the death penalty to replace it with life imprisonment. Failing which, placing severe restrictions on invoking the death penalty and limiting the number of crimes liable for state-sanctioned execution.

Given the liability of mistakes in the court of law, it is imperative that enough respect and leeway be given to convicted criminals, lest they become victims of the social system whose mistakes may never be eradicated.

To throw the gauntlet at pro-deathers: How do you justify the execution of just one innocent man, in the face of perhaps the deaths of numerous criminals who "deserve" their state-sanctioned deaths? Can society deal with this grave miscarriage of injustice? Can we live with "One mistake out of a thousand correct decisions" mantra, when lives are at stake?

No one wants to put an innocent person in jail, much less execute one. In order to err on the safe side, the law must justify its rulings with humane, reversible punishments.


According to the Independent/UK:

1. At least 3,797 people were executed in 25 countries in 2004, according to a report released today by Amnesty International.

2. China easily operates the most stringent capital punishment regime, with an estimated 3,400 executions.

3. Iran executed at least 159, Vietnam at least 64, and 59 prisoners were put to death in the US.

4. Singapore has the highest number of executions per capita (Approx. 70 in a population of 4 million).^ (From: Amnesty International." The death penalty: A hidden toll of executions)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Brace yourself for increase in bus and MRT fares.

May 17, 2006

Smaller hikes this year, if any
Cap is 1.7%, lower than 2.4% last year, and any rise will take effect in October

By Christopher Tan

IF BUS and train fares go up this year, any increase will be capped at 1.7 per cent, lower than the 2.4 per cent hike last year.

Last year's 2.4 per cent cap resulted in bus and train fares rising in July by one to three cents per ride for ez-link card users, and 10 cents for commuters who use cash or buy single-trip tickets on trains.

Therefore, this year's increase is likely to result in smaller rises all round.
The Public Transport Council said this year's ceiling is based on a mathematical formula introduced last year that is more reflective of economic conditions.

From last year, fare adjustments are supposed to be annual affairs, as the authorities argued that small but regular changes were preferred to bigger jumps every few years.

When contacted, an SBS Transit spokesman said the company will probably apply for a rise when the time comes, while SMRT said it will decide only when the deadline draws nearer.

This year's application deadline was pushed to August, from this month, because the council needed more time to implement broad changes to the Public Transport Council Act.

These include a new licensing regime for bus operators, an audit system for bus operator service standards and a penalty system for fare evaders.

As such, any fare increase will take effect in October, instead of July.
With oil prices crossing US$70 (S$110) this year, it looks certain that the two transport operators will ask for a fare hike.

In justifying its application last year, SBS Transit cited a 40 per cent rise in oil prices to US$50 a barrel in the first quarter of 2005.

The company said then, even if it was granted the maximum fare increase allowed, the additional revenue of $14 million would not cover the estimated $17 million increase in fuel and energy costs for 2004, and a further $15 million to $18 million for 2005.

Council chairman Gerard Ee said the council will still have to look at the operators' books and 'ask them for justification' for any increase. It will also examine their profitability.

ComfortDelGro, SBS Transit's parent group, posted net earnings of about $200 million last year, while SMRT made about $100 million.

If the application is justifiable, 'we will then decide with them how the actual increases are to be applied', Mr Ee said, noting that last year's rise was not across the board.

In calculating the new fares, the council will also factor in data on average changes in the Consumer Price Index and wages.

Unlike the old formula which pegged fares only to the Consumer Price Index, the new formula allows fares to fall during an economic downturn.

With all factors considered, Mr Ee said the council and the Land Transport Authority will then run the numbers through a computer program to see if the overall increase is within the prescribed cap.

Asked what he thought about the recent call by the Workers' Party for the council to be abolished and transport companies to be nationalised, Mr Ee said nationalised entities need not be more efficient than private corporations.

In any case, 'who's going to set the fares?' he asked.

When it was pointed out that low-income families have seen commuting costs rise more than overall household expenditure, Mr Ee said it is more effective to target the poor with measures such as the $4 million transport fund set up last year to help 80,000 families.

'If we structure fares that are affordable to the poorest group, we will subsidise the other commuters,' he said. 'And that may not be fair to the transport operators, whose shareholders are not necessarily wealthy.'

Social workers reckon a fare rise will again hit low-income families hard.

'We regularly come across people who find it hard to pay bus fares. So they prefer not to work too far from their home,' said Ms Koh Wah Khoon, director of the Singapore Children's Society Family Service Centre in Yishun.

'There are some who walk to our centre, just to save on bus fare.'

Mr Ee, who is president of the National Council of Social Service, said if commuters want lower fares, they may have to manage their expectations - meaning they will have to make do with lower standards of service.

'We have a fairly reasonable system compared with many other countries,' he added.

Ha, right after the election fares for public transport is going to increase again.

But you should have expected it when the fare review is pushed back from May to October.

Mr Ee said that 4 million dollars transport fund was set up to help the poor.

But come on, what is $4 million compared to $100 million dollar profits?

Seriously, I do not think the fare increase is justified when these companies are making considerable profits.

They cannot expect us to pay more just to protect their profit margins every time the oil price increase.

Especially when they are still making good profits.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Jet-setting MM: Will the aircraft crash???

For all those who have been watching the news lately, our "mentally-challenged" mentor of sorts, MM Lee, has been jet-setting to various countries, almost immediately after the elections.

Now, if you have been following the going-ons of MM Lee's outbursts and fear-mongering speeches during the 2006 General Elections, you would have wondered, in a incredulous sort of way: Are these the words straight from our Founding Father's mouth?

Apart from branding opposition parties "riffraff", to haranguing the whole Worker's Party over the Gomez affair, our MM seems quite adamant to exert his influence on his largely conservative, albeit dominant party.

With the elections all but over, MM Lee, it seems, have set his sets over the horizon: Jet-setting to various Asian countries and dispensing "words of wisdom" to all and sundry, he preaches, or rather, drones to any nation who will listen.

Of course, you get the occasional "riff-raffs", like the Thais, you know, those barbarious lot. How dare they criticize our obligarchy? Even Thaksin envies our one-party system!

No checks, lots of fixings of opposition parties, well, it all comes in the territory for our dear MM. So much so, that he is eager to share his despotic ideals to the whole world!


On May 15th, Mr Lee made his stop in Shanghai, China.

Like a prima donna, Mr Lee courted publicity with China's Vice-Premier, Li Lianqing:

MM Lee launches Chinese edition of "Keeping My Mandarin Alive"

SHANGHAI : Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has launched his latest book in China, and on hand to grace the occasion was his old friend, former Vice-Premier Li Lanqing.

The book describes the challenges Mr Lee faced in learning Mandarin.

Its Chinese publishers are confident that it will find a ready market in the mainland.

It was a meeting of old friends between Singapore's Minister Mentor and the former Chinese Vice-Premier.

Many years ago the two leaders worked closely on the Singapore-Suzhou Industrial Park.

This time, in Shanghai, Mr Li was a special guest at the launch of the China edition of Mr Lee's latest book.

In fact, Mr Li even penned a foreword for the book.

Said Mr Li, "I always thought Minister Lee received Chinese education since young, but after I read his memoirs, I found out that he started learning Mandarin much later, after 30 years old. I was very impressed."

Ah, a meeting between the Lees.

Mr Li Lian Qing's flattering remarks on a man who only started to learn his mother tongue at a ripe old age of 30 would have been valid, had Mr Lee not belittled his mother language.

Singaporeans who have been around long enough, or are well read in Singapore politics, would not have failed to recognize the fact that it was he who forced the streamlining of all Chinese schools into English ones, in a bid to counter communists and other trade unionists, who were recruiting hot-blooded university students to carry out "deviant" activities, which really wasn't to MM Lee's liking.

Now, before I continue, I would like to highlight this often-missed enigma of MM Lee. For a man who had made a career out of "fixing" communists, MM Lee's flirtations with Communist China, is, at best, puzzling.

And the Communist counterparts seem to be quite delighted with him around too, even when our MM seems quite unabashed by his lack of proficiency with the Chinese language.

Not only that, he manages to publish a book, titled, "Keeping My Mandarin Alive", about his struggles with his supposed mother tongue. Hmm. My question is, why did it took the whole of 30 years for the fact to dawn on him, that he ought to learn Chinese. Perhaps he spent too much of his early years learning Japanese, so that he could work as a translator for invading Japanese Army, meant that he had no time to learn his "cherished" mother tongue? Or maybe he was too hung up with his "English elite" status of his times?

And his advice to anyone who is struggling to learn a foreign language? Read and laugh:

Said Mr Lee, "Initially I thought, this book is an account of my journey of learning Mandarin over the last 50 years. It includes my learning methods and experiences. These contents should not interest the world's largest Mandarin-speaking environment, which has some of the best speakers of Mandarin. This book will not be of value or need to the Chinese readers. But the book's chief editor, Chua Chee Lay, told me, even though this book is about the learning of Mandarin, it can be a useful reference to the many Chinese readers who are eagerly learning English now."

Mr Lee advice to those Chinese learning English is to be bold, to not worry too much about grammar or pronunciation, and to use spoken English to improve your written English.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Grammar and pronunciation is just not that important, according to our mentally-challenged minister. I wonder how many Singaporeans are listening to his rather treacherous advice.

No wonder we have Singaporeans sprouting "Singlish" everywhere I turn. Talk about "first-class".


On May 19th, MM Lee was in Korea, dispensing more advice. This time, though, the target was Korea. He was there to received an honorary degree in politics (pork-barrel politics???) from Korea University.

According to MM, Korea is the very opposite of the Singaporean model: Docile, meek Singaporeans who wouldn't give a damn even if a minister suggests throwing old folks to gulag camps.

Quotes from MM, from dongA.com:

“Korea is considered the ‘nation of conflict’ by foreigners despite its rapid economic development.......Korea will be able to develop further if it turns its intense energy deriving from conflicts between employer and employee, and between political parties toward its advance in the global market.”

Here, MM Lee alleges that foreigners may be put off by the turbulent nature of South Korean politics, in contrast to the staid, one party rule in Singapore. He talks about converting "intense energy" generated by friction into a global push into the global market.

Again, MM Lee fails to realize that social awareness cannot be equated with economic growth. The inception of one-party rule will not guarantee immunity from recessions, as the Thai economic crisis have proven.

Besides, absolute power corrupts. The NKF fracas is exactly the model of absolute rule. The key to democracy is power to the people. The Koreans, it seems, are doing just that, exercising their citizenship rights.

A powerful voice from the people keeps the government on its toes.

“To cultivate a global perspective and strengthen Korea’s national competitive power, multilingual ability is the most required. Most of all, master English and Chinese."

Once again, MM Lee is comparatively candid with his assessment: He wants the Koreans to copy the Singapore model: Learn Mandarin and English, go explore the China market, and create another Suzhou industrial park incident.

Again, for a man who so abhors Chinese schools, this is one statement that really intrigues me.

And who is he to "advise" Koreans to learn whichever language he wishes them to learn? What gives him the right to tell the Koreans what or what not to do?

Does MM Lee think that Koreans are as dumb and timid as Singaporeans, who want nothing more than a stable job and food on their tables?


1. Anyone who reckons that grammar and pronunciation is unimportant cannot be a language teacher.

2. Mentally challenged ministers who love to clown around in other countries must do so at their own expenses.

3. MMs who wish to sell books in future must have the explicit approval of communist leaders in China.

4. To love commies, or hate them. To love Mandarin, or abhor it as an abomination. Will the real MM please stand up?

On a positive note, it would be better for our MM to jet around Asia more often. Better have him dominate some other nation's headlines, then read about his stupid diatribes of election forms and riffraffs.

Go MM go MM go!!!

Unexpected exchange with Kway Teow Man over CPF.

My comment on CPF policy at Channel X had led to a rather lengthy exchange with Kway Teow Man, whom I think is very well versed in economics.

Here is the exchange for those who are interested.

at82 said:

Hi chris,

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the gross value of goods and services that a nation produces.

Central Provident Fund (CPF) is the compulsory saving scheme that the Spore govt imposed on us. Currently 33% of our income (13% from employers and 20% from employee) is channelled into it. There is 2 types of accounts in CPF , the ordinary account and the special account.

For the ordinary acc, the govt gave a derisory 2.5% interest rate for the $ we put there, regardless what the inflation rate inflation rate is. We can use the $ in the ordinary to buy HDB flats, pay for children educational fee and even invest in some investment schemes. The investment schemes has already been declared a flop by the govt.

For the special acc, the govt gave a pitiful 4% interest rate for the $ we put there. We cannot touch the $ in the special acc until we reach either 55 or 62 or when we migrate out of Singapore.

Can u imagine having a fix deposit acc that only pay you a max 4% interest rate for locking your $ up for over 30 yrs?

That is exactly the CPF is doing.

By forcing us to put so much of our $ into CPF while giving us derisory returns, they are indirectly taxing our income.

Don’t you think there is something wrong, if we cannot afford a decent flat and decent retirement after saving 33% of income lifetime income?

As if it isn’t enough, the govt is imposing a new minimum sum scheme and delaying CPF withdrawal age.

Sometimes I wonder if I will live to see my CPF $ given back to me.

Channel X said that although HK rank just 3 countries above us in term of standard of living, but we can only use 80% of our income to pay for our expenses. This means although our standard of living is high we have less $ to pay for it due to CPF.

I hope my explaination is of use.


KTM said:

I'm afraid that I disagree with your rant about the CPF. It may not be perfect, but there's some sense in the madness.

Insures the State (actually tax payers) against people growing old and broke. Essentially makes people pay for their old age.

In any case, the CPF money can be used to build property, so it's not as illiquid as it seems.

Finally, you find for me a fixed deposit that pays more than 4% per annum. Fixed D hor. Must be riskless one. :-)

Just wanna make sure that the next episode of Channel X doesn't spout something about the CPF that I cannot agree with. :-P

at82 said:


This is not a rant, this my conclusion after much thought.

The new min sum scheme and the ultra low interest rate is something i disagree with.

CPF is not without risk, bcos 1st of all CPF is not transparent.

Secondly the ease of which the CPF contribution rate can be altered and min sum can be raised is already a clear sign that we dun really have a say over our $.

Who know when the govt will raise the min sum again to say 150K or when the new withdrawal age will be set?

At the very least a fix deposit acc is not subjected to the whim of the govt.

But I am not totally against CPF.

I believe CPF can be improve.

I know CPF is a fully funded social security sys which can help to guard against old age without burdening the state too much compared to the pay as you go sys in Europe.

I am not disputing that.

However I just have to disagree with the ease of which the govt can altered the scheme.

Cheers. :-)

KTM said:

As Channel X rightly pointed out, CPF is really a hidden tax. Since when people got to decide on the tax rate? :-)

The difference with the CPF however is that you can use up your CPF to buy property, thereby avoiding paying indirect taxes by not putting your CPF money under the mercy of the lousy (at least in your opinion) interest rate. :-)

Given the increasing life expectancies and the fact that there is inflation, the minimum sum and minimum retirement ages are certain to rise accordingly. If there's anything that the KTM can tell you with any certain, it's quite certain that both are going up and probably never coming down.

That's just a reality of life given the purpose of the CPF. You got any brighter ideas on how else it can be done? Cannot have a national referendum everytime we want to increase either right?

I dun know whether you checked out the market, but 4% is quite a good rate given current market conditions. In fact, I think there's a limit to how much you can transfer to the Special Account. :-) And seriously, you will have to try quite hard to prove the case that CPF is more risky than conventional fixed Ds. :-)

Perhaps I can tell you what I think the catch is. The catch is liquidity. :-) Once your transfer to the Special Account, I dun think you can transfer it back out.... that's probably the reason why they can afford to give relatively high rates also. :-P

It is true that for some people from the lower middle class, CPF might cause some undue hardship since it reduces their disposal income. Given the complains that the Garmen has not been very good at keep a lid on the rising costs of living, it's a real problem.

The important thing however is to realize the cause of the problem. It's the rising costs of living rather than the CPF. While it's true that reducing the CPF rate so that people have higher take-home pay may alleviate the plights of those affected, these people will pay a price when they retire -- or the State can choose to bear it.

Pick your poison. :-P

at82 said...


While I agree that the contribution can be altered to cope wif sudden economic crisis, I believe that govt shd NOT have the right to change the age which we can withdraw OUR $.

I really dun think a scheme which pays u only 4% interest rate for locking up ur assets for over 30 yrs is a gd deal. :-P

We shd remember CPF is not a pay as u go sys where the govt have to tax us to keep the sys gg, in fact u have already mention that CPF is a hidden tax by itself.

Hence I see no reason why we cannot have access to our own $ at the not so young age of 55.

I am of the opinion that Govt shd give us the option of withdrawing our $ from CPF at 55 if we wanted to and not arbitarily raise the min sum and withdrawal for everyone.

Moreover I believe that S'poreans are not so stupid that once we withdraw our CPF we will spend it all while leaving nothing for old age.

We probably have fundamentally different idea on hw much control shd the state have over our assets.

We probably will never agree wif each other on this. So let agree to disagree. :-)

KTM said...


Okay, let's agree to disagree loh.

However, let me just pause to highlight that if you say that the Garmen should not have a right to increase the minimum retirement age above 55, you are saying that 55 is somehow the magical "correct" age. Question is WHY 55?

If the purpose of CPF is to force people to locked away money (and perhaps indirectly tax people), then as people start to live longer and longer and the retirement age is raised, the logical thing is to raise the minimum withdrawal age too.

If you are of the opinion that the CPF money is YOUR money and you really should have access to it then you seem to be arguing AGAINST having CPF in the first place and you should really be arguing that CPF should be abolished and people should get to manage their own money.

If so, then you will just have to propose an alternative loh. I don't think the US-style pay-for-your-father's generation Social Security system is a better deal.

You said, "S'poreans are not so stupid that once we withdraw our CPF we will spend it all while leaving nothing for old age." While you can speak for yourself, I don't think you can generalize for all Singaporeans though. Many are like sheep. Anyhow blindly follow the latest fad.

At the very least many are GREEDY. You give them access to all their money. They will hear about some ludicrious get-rich-quick scheme, park their money there and get burnt. The hor, if they become destitude, the State (tax payers) will have to come bail them out.

at82 said:


U dun seem to be too happy with me lolz.

Anyway if I am not wrong, CPF withdrawal age is not the same as retirement age.

You ask why 55. I said 55 bcos it is the age whereby many Singaporean have the heaviest financial burden.

55 is the age whereby most are facing job insecurity while having to worry about their children higher education fees.

It is also a fact that the real retirement age in Singapore is much lower than the official retirement age of 62. Many older Singaporeans have difficulty in finding work.

Hence I believe that 55 is a optimal age for CPF withdrawal.

FYI I did not argue for the abolishment of CPF.

I am not for a US-style pay-for-your-father's generation Social Security system either.

What I am arguing for is a tweaking of status quo.

Since you are well versed in economics, surely you would know that over-insuring would lead to sub-optimal welfare even for the risk averse. ;-)

It is not as if the returns from CPF is that great either.

In fact as u have said it probably is a hidden tax.

Anyway I am of the opinion that the state should not attempt to protect people from themselves beyond a certain limit, which in this case is the withdrawal age of CPF.

That is also why I supported the casino initiative.

Moreover I did include the option of leaving the $ with the CPF, so ppl who prefer to leave their $ with CPF can do so.

BTW do you really believe that S’poreans will become destitute if they are allowed to withdraw their CPF at the age of 55?

Singaporeans might not be very smart, but judging the progress we have made we can’t be that dumb either!

Moreover most ppl recieve $ from their children even after getting their CPF.

My sense is that you held the view that the govt shd protect the people even from themselves, while I am of the view that more autonomy for citizens is needed as the state can only do so much.

2 very different policy philo la.


KTM said...

No lah, where got dun like you. :-) Just pushing you to articulate your assumptions and prodding you to shore up your argument. :-P

In actual fact, the KTM is quite indifferent to minimal sum and withdrawal age. His view is very simple -- whatever the numbers, they cannot be set arbitrarily. Must study the figures and statistics first. Since he got no access to the numbers, he is not in a position to say whether 55 is a good age or not. :-P

I was intensionally being provocative in my earlier statement that Singaporeans "are like sheep (and will) anyhow blindly follow the latest fad". I'm actually quite sure that the majority of people will be okay if you let them take out their money. :-) The problem arises only with the minority of the people who will squander it away. It is likely however that the sensible fellas who will not get in trouble are likely to be able to take care of their finances and hence be able to manage even under the present regime.

You may say, what's the big deal since it's THEIR money? The problem is that if we any how give back all the money and the fellas who cannot think squander all their money, then the burden may still fall back on the State. In some sense, maybe the current CPF regime is trying to protect the sensible majority from the not-so-sensible minority. :-)

The real question is: to what extent should the State try to protect the people from themselves? This is what I think: if the people will make a pact with the Garmen agreeing that the Garman can wash its hands on the old folks once it returns them all their CPF money, returning all the CPF money isn't really a problem. However, this is not a politically feasible solution. :-)

Honestly, I wouldn't be too upset if the Garmen returns me all my CPF money when I reach 55. The State however cannot make decisions by optimizing the utility of each individual. The collective incentives of the State are often different from that of the individuals.

Take care and have a good weekend. :-P

at82 said...


U take care and have a great wkend too!

Cheers ;-)

Friday, May 19, 2006

1st Channel X video with explainations of some key terms and commentary

Launch of Channel X

Here is some background explainations and commentary for those who are interested.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the gross value of goods and services that a nation produces.

Central Provident Fund (CPF) is the compulsory saving scheme that the Spore govt imposed on us. Currently 33% of our income (13% from employers and 20% from employee) is channelled into it. There is 2 types of accounts in CPF , the ordinary account and the special account.

For the ordinary acc, the govt gave a derisory 2.5% interest rate for the $ we put there, regardless what the inflation rate inflation rate is. We can use the $ in the ordinary to buy HDB flats, pay for children educational fee and even invest in some investment schemes. The investment schemes has already been declared a flop by the govt.

For the special acc, the govt gave a pitiful 4% interest rate, again regardless of inflation rate, for the $ we put there. We cannot touch the $ in the special acc until we reach either 55 or 62 or when we migrate out of Singapore.

Can u imagine having a fix deposit acc that only pay you a max 4% interest rate for locking your $ up for over 30 yrs?

That is exactly what CPF is doing to us.

By forcing us to put so much of our $ into CPF while giving us derisory returns, they are indirectly taxing our income.

Don’t you think there is something wrong, if we cannot afford a decent flat and decent retirement after saving 33% of income lifetime income?

As if it isn’t enough, the govt is imposing a new minimum sum scheme and delaying CPF withdrawal age.

Sometimes I wonder if I will live to see my CPF $ given back to me.

Channel X said that although HK rank just 3 countries above us in term of standard of living, but we can only use 80% of our income to pay for our expenses. This means although our standard of living is high we have less $ to pay for it due to CPF.

I hope my explaination is of use.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

SBS radio's "Democracy in Singapore, Part 1"

This is repost from the James Gomez's blog.

Rebecca Henschke, a Producer for the World View programme for SBS Radio, was among the media gathered at the police cantonment complex on that first day, May 7, when Gomez was questioned by the police for 8 hours.

Here's an audio of one of the episodes titled Democracy in Singapore, Part 1. Among the individuals she spoke to are J B Jeyaretnam; Gomez & Catherine Lim.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Is this the signs of the things to come?

Is the signs of things to come?

But if Singaporeans really do want more oppositions elected, then why is there still only 2 of them in the parliament?

Singaporeans cannot wish for more opposition MPs but yet not vote them during the elections.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


I am quite adamant that, by the time I am writing this, the majority of Singaporeans have by now been informed of Jame's Gomez's acquittal.

Well, it seems that cool heads have prevailed: Rather than punish James for what seems to be a pitifully trivial, petty offence, the police have decided to let him off the hook, for "threatening" a Elections Department officer over the missing forms saga.

That the furore generated by something so trivial, could be capable of askewing the whole GE is something one does not expect from a "First World Nation", if such a term is ever legitimate, but anyone with a shred of sanity left would no doubt let the matter rest with Jame's acquittal.

Not so, according to our MM, who seems to harbour some visceral opinions on the James Gomez saga:

James Gomez is still liar, dishonest despite stern warning: MM Lee

Saturday May 13, 6:17 PM

"CHINA : Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew says the attorney-general's decision not to prosecute Workers' Party member James Gomez does not make him less of a liar or less dishonest.

In a statement released from China, where he is currently on a visit, Mr Lee reiterated what he had called Mr Gomez earlier.

The Minister Mentor had said that Mr Gomez was a liar and dishonest and that Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim and the party secretary-general Low Thia Khiang did not act honourably by shielding him.

Mr Lee added that if Mr Gomez claims he is not a liar nor dishonest, he can go to court to clear his name.

Earlier on Friday, Mr Gomez had been let off with a stern warning for threatening an Elections Department officer, ending a three week long saga."

Apparently, someone needs to remind MM Lee that as long as a person is not guilty as charged, he/she is still innocent in the eyes of the law.

MM Lee seems to harbour an unnatural fixation on not just Gomez, but Mr Low Thia Khiang and Ms Sylvia Lim as well.

He claims that both of them "did not act honorably" by shielding him. Pray, tell me, what have they done to deserve such dishonour? Did they siphone millions from charity funds, like a certain "TT" did? Both Mr Low and Ms Sylvia have given their testimonies to the police. If there was something so "dishonorable" about their police statements, why is it that they weren't punished under the rule of law? Or at least "a stern warning" would have been in order? Where's the proof, MM Lee?

As usual, MM Lee rounds off his typical lampooning session with a "Come and sue me if you can" challenge:

"It is in the AG's authority to exercise his discretion, but his decision not to prosecute does not, in any way, make James Gomez less of a liar or less dishonest. I reiterate what I have called him, a liar and dishonest, and that Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Low Thia Khiang did not act honourably by shielding him. If Gomez claims he is not a liar nor dishonest, he can go to court to clear his name," said Mr Lee in his statement.

It seems to me that MM Lee seems a tad out of touch with reality here: By continuing with his vilifying campaign against Gomez, not only is he painting a very rif-raff image of himself, his statements simply do not coincide with the fact that Gomez has been cleared of all criminal charges. His criticisms directed at Mr Low and Ms Slyvia also does not seem to be reflected by the police, who have not, as of now, been charged with any wrongdoing during the whole duration of the Gomez saga.

And by constantly egging his opponents to sue him in court, he is not showing the magnanimity of a political leader cum founding father of Singapore.

Listening to our Founding Father gripe about the good ole days of "riots and communists" is boring enough, having to add the Gomez saga into his broken recorder will definitely not enhance the "nostalgic" effect of his propaganda of yesteryears.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Well, this is the govt YOU elected.

I am absolutely disgusted by this govt official's callous answer to the question on the impact of outsourcing on our local population.

Well dear Singaporeans, if one day you find yourselves being shipped out of Singapore to Batam and Johor for retirement, please remember one thing, YOU VOTED FOR IT on 6 May 2006.

Here is an excerpt of Gayle Goh's blog:

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bilahari Kausikan, visited my school for an N.E dialogue. He made an opening address which, though short, was concise and illuminating of typical Singaporean foreign policy, which is essentially as follows: screw humanity, there's no such thing as friendship in politics, there's only a convergence of interests. The world wouldn't be any different without Singapore in it, so we must strive to make ourselves extraordinary.

This was alright in and of itself, but that mentality started to come across more and more strongly as questions were asked. One student stood up during the question and answer session and asked about the impact of outsourcing on our local population. Though that wasn't an entirely relevant question to pose a man from the MFA, he had no qualms with answering it as follows:

"We have to be realistic. There is a limit to how much re-training we can do for some workers, so we have to look overseas. Look at my generation, more than half of them didn't even complete primary school education. What are we going to do? They are not going to conveniently die off..."

At this point, I was so flabbergasted I stopped listening to the rest of his answer. Perhaps he didn't think he had to watch his words very closely, as he was only speaking to a bunch of teachers and students. I don't even think many of them caught what he said. But his callous attitude was so typical of the government's seeming attitude towards the 'chaff' of our society. The fact that older workers stubbornly remaining alive had little to do with whether or not we should be protecting domestic jobs for our own workers (like that taxi driver's son, an electronic engineer) didn't seem to concern him. He just took his time wending down the garden path of why we should outsource jobs, and the fact that we had an aging population was just a by-the-way manner of illustrating his point. ...

Sunday, May 07, 2006



(Its the year 2007. James Gomez, TT Durai and Dr Chee have been for various offences by the local judiciary.
By a stroke of good fortune on a particularly balmy day, all three jailbirds were assigned the same cell room. Below is a fictitious dialogue between the three jailbirds. )

Gomez: Hi! TT! What a pleasure to meet you!

Durai (Growling): Oh shut up Gomez. Fancy being stuck with two grown-ups of the likes of both of you! (Scowls again). Hell, when I was still in charge of NKF, even my office toilet alone is more spacious than this dungeon!

Dr Chee: Mr Durai! You better shut your trap! You bloody deserve it! You and your corrupt bunch of fools siphone money through illegal means! You deserve to me here, scumbag!

Durai (Sneering at Dr Chee): Oh, come on, Dr Chee, you are no better yourself. You backstabbed the hand that fed you.......remember how you kick your master, Mr Chiam, out of his own party? And he sued you successfully too. Not to forget your:"Where's our money, Mr Goh!" episode, you are just another scumbag yourself!

Dr Chee: Well, at least I didn't get to earn millions like you did with the NKF board! And not to mention that Mrs Goh and her "peanuts"......(Sneers)......"$600,000.00 Peanuts!"! No where in the world are peanuts worth that astronomic a price! You, you, my friend, are in cahoots with the Devil! You.......

Gomez (Interrupts): Hey, come on, gentlemen! Stop quarreling! It seems that we have to stick around with each other for a long while yet! Can't we just make peace and move on?!

Dr Chee and Durai (In unison): Shut up! You forgetful piece of shit!

Gomez (Angrily): Hey, fellas! At least you guys got jail term for real offences. (Points to Durai): You have the millions in your pockets. You, Dr Chee, you jolly well never learn your lesson. After being fined and bankrupted, you still harbour enough masochistic qualities to challenge our ruling incumbent. You would at least be guilty of the crime of stupidity. Me! What did I do? I merely forgot to fill up a minority report form during the 2006 GE!!!

Dr Chee(Laughing): Well Gomez, you never learnt from your lesson either, you stupid knucklehead! I remember during the 2001 GE: The Worker's Party couldn't stand in Aljunied because of you. When you arrived at the Elections Department, you claimed to Mr Low Thia Kiang you forgot to bring your identity card. When you went home to retrieve your ID, you inadvertably left your briefcase, with the minority form, at home!!! By the time you got both items at the Elections Department, the ED had already closed its doors.......and Mr Low was so furious, he wanted to skin you alive!

Durai (Burst out laughing, tears flowing from his eyes): You are indeed a blur son of a gun! You deserve to be incarcerated for your silly actions! How in the world do you expect people to vote fools the likes of you into Parliament???

Gomez (Fuming): You...........

Dr Chee (intervenes): Ok, ok, fellas, let's stop this argument. We are all victims of the ruling incumbent, one way or another. In any case, Gomez, you should be a free man soon, since your crime has been the most minor amongst us. Durai, however, would be in this god-forsaken place for quite a while, thank God for that..........

Gomez (Points to Durai, laughs): Yeah, man. This guy's a bloody cheat. Serve him right! He deserves to rot in this terrible cell for the rest of his miserable life!

(At this point, the prison warden appears; directing all three of them to the prison canteen. It must be fate that bring these three archetypical heroes together in the most unlikeliest of circumstances.........let's just hope they can get along well enough till the next GE............. As for Durai, well........let's just hope we will never again witness the likes of him ever again.)

A picture to remember.

This is a picture that I will always remember.

I hope that all of my readers will remember it too.

Set it as your wallpaper, so that you will not forget.


So, GE 2006 has come to a rather insipid end.

True to its original script, PAP won all but 2 of the 84 seats in Parliament. Everything is still in its original status quo: Mr Chiam See Tong of the Singapore Democratic Alliance is still hanging on strongly, with a mandate that far defies logic (he managed to garner 55.8% over his nemesis, PAP counterpart Sitoh Yih Pin, a marked improvement from his last, which he got 52.4%), stretching his hold of 22yrs by another 5.

Mr Low Thia Kiang from the Workers' Party also managed to hold on to his Hougang ward with a 62.74% majority, again a marked improvement from the previous GE of more than 2.7%.

And our dear Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, didn't receive much of a "mandate" to crow about: just a mere 66% over what has been a bunch of a rag-tag, "suicide" team clobbered together by the Workers' Party.

All in all, PAP managed to gather 66% of the total votes polled, a drastic drop from the previous GE, which the PAP won with a stunning mandate of 75.29%. That's a sharp drop of 9% in votes.

All in all, I would say that it wasn't the results that would have been pleasing to most opposition supporters. For me, it was really heart-wrenching to see my GRC at Aljunied lose by a mere 7%. I would have expected the PAP to lose 2 GRCs, in addition to the two opposition bastions at Potong Pasir and Hougang.

Well, I guess its a tall order for Singaporeans to ditch the ruling incumbent en masse, given the conservative nature of the average Singaporean. The good side of it all, really, is the impressive performance of the opposition, which even the ruling incumbent had to grudgingly admit to the general public.

Special thanks and applause for WP Chairman, Low Thia Kiang, and his team of exceptional candidates, and Mr Chiam's dogged determination to hold on to his impregnable fortress at Potong Pasir.

Added by at82:

Some data of this GE by Lau_Hee_Low (WilliamSo).

The media calculations is based upon the total number of valid votes to caculate the winning margins, but then is that the complete picture. I have made my calculation and looking at my results, there is and average of about 6% absentees, with the largest number of absentees at Joo Chiat, which is double at 12%.

Then there are the spolit votes, which was also not taken into consideration into the calcualtion of winning percentage by the media. What I am calculating is not the percentage of votes for the opposition but the real percentage of votes against the government.

By not turning up for the polls and by spoiling the vote, the message by these people can be that they are not happy with either party and as such not voting in protest, which could then be a signal of protesting against the ruling party.

If these absentees and spolit votes can be won by the opposition, they could then have a better losing margin, with them merely losing Aljunied by 1.5%. So, could they have won Aljunied this time if they have worked even harder? Could they have persuaded the protest votes and a little more of the votes that went to the winning party, they may have been the winning party themselves.

From my calculations, LHL only won AMK by 60.42% against what the media calcualted at 66%.

Here are my results, source of the numbers are taken off the ST and CNA.

CNA Result of GRCs

Total number of eligible voters: 159872 (100%)
Valid votes recieved: 146059 (91.36%)
Spolit Votes: 2979 (1.86%)
Missing: 108434 (6.78%)
Won: 96591 (60.42%)
Lost: 49468 (30.94%)

Total number of eligible voters: 145141 (100%)
Valid votes recieved: 133395 (91.91%)
Spolit Votes: 2381 (1.64%)
Missing: 9365 (6.45%)
Won: 74810 (51.54)
Lost: 58585 (40.36)

Total number of eligible voters: 116653 (100%)
Valid votes recieved: 104757 (89.80%)
Spolit Votes: 2223 (1.91%)
Missing: 9673 (8.29%)
Won: 66890 (57.34%)
Lost: 37867 (32.46%)

CNA Result of SMCs

Joo Chiat SMC
Total number of eligible voters: 21858 (100%)
Valid votes recieved: 18799 (86.00%)
Spolit Votes: 390 (1.78%)
Missing: 2669 (12.21%)
Won: 12222 (55.92%)
Lost: 6577 (30.09%)

Total number of eligible voters: 24975 (100%)
Valid votes recieved: 23441 (93.86%)
Spolit Votes: 501 (2.01%)
Missing: 1033 (4.14%)
Won: 14151 (56.66%)
Lost: 9290 (37.20%)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Rallies pictures on 5th May 2006.

WP @ Serangoon Stadium on 5 May 2006

SDA @ Potong Pasir 5 May 2006

PAP @ Segar Rd on 5 May 2006

This will be the last of the rallies pictures I will be posting.

It has been a exhilarating 9 days of campaigning.

The day to vote has come.

Vote rationally. Vote wisely.

Always remember, YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE!


Friday, May 05, 2006

Why is there double standard?

It is very clear that this is NOT a general statement.

if she is not talking about Mr Low then she is talking about Mr Chiam as there is only 2 Opposition MPs.

Why is it that only PAP members can call people names?

Why is it that PAP always have double standards?


Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 04 May 2006 0039 hrs

PAP's Irene Ng questions SDA's ability to help jobless in Tampines
The PAP candidate for Tampines GRC Ms Irene Ng has questioned the ability of the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) to deliver on its electoral promises. ...

The PAP candidate says they should use it to vote in PAP MPs whom ministers would listen to.

"I'm not happy when cost of living rises. I'm also not happy when I see older workers finding it hard to get jobs. I'm also not happy when the casino was brought into Singapore. And I spoke up on all these issues in parliament. I listen to my residents and I speak up for them in parliament. I can do that," said Ng.

"Let me ask you - do you think the ministers will listen more carefully to a PAP MP than to an opposition MP out to make trouble? No, I think they'll listen to me, a PAP backbencher. And this is what I've been experiencing. Every complaint that I raise to the government has been addressed seriously. But in parliament, what does the opposition do for you?" ...

Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 05 May 2006 2308 hrs

Irene Ng will not apologise for comments about opposition MPs
By Valarie Tan, Channel NewsAsia
People's Action Party candidate for Tampines GRC, Irene Ng, will not apologise for her comments in a rally speech about opposition MPs being troublemakers.

Ms Ng had asked audiences at a PAP rally on Wednesday whether they thought a minister would listen more to a PAP MP than an opposition MP out to make trouble.

However Low Thia Kiang of the Workers' Party took offence with that comment.

A day later, at a WP rally on Thursday, Mr Low demanded Ms Ng apologise if she could not substantiate that he was a trouble-maker.

In response, Ms Ng said what she made was a general remark not directed at any specific opposition MP.

She said: "My message to voters that night was that if you want your concerns to be addressed in Parliament in an effective way, vote a PAP MP rather than an opposition politician. That was my general point made.

"I'm quite surprised to hear Mr Low take it so personally. I was making a very general point - hence my surprise and slight amusement that Mr Low would take it so personally." - CNA/ch

Dr Lee Boon Yang: The impact of the Internet at this General Election is likely to be looked at by the relevant ministry after the polls.

Die liao!!!

PAP not only want to "fix" the opposition, they maybe also want to "fix" the internet people!

Maybe Singapore will soon have internet police like China.

So this is what PM Lee's "open and inclusive society" is all about...

Fixing the elected opposition MPs and buying supporters.

Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 05 May 2006 1916 hrs

Impact of Internet on General Election likely to be studied after polls
By Farah Abdul Rahim, Channel NewsAsia
SINGAPORE : The impact of the Internet at this General Election is likely to be looked at by the relevant ministry after the polls.

Information Communications and the Arts Minister Dr Lee Boon Yang said this is to assess the scale at which the new media, like blogs and podcasts, were used to influence views and shape opinions.

Dr Lee said this after his Jalan Besar Group Representation Constituency (GRC) team toured Queen's Street market as part of their campaigning on Friday. ...

PM Lee: "I am not letting it go."

"I am not letting it go. After the election, there will have to be a proper public resolution. But for now, the more urgent priority is that I want people to have a right frame of mind when they vote, to have the right considerations."
PM Lee on the James Gomez affair and the 2006 GE.

Walau, PM Lee you still wanna "fix" the opposition ah?!?!

JBJ, Francis Seow, Tang Liang Hong and even Dr Chee Soon Juan still not enough ah?!?

Whatever happen to the "open and inclusive society" you promised?!?!

I am very disappointed with you, PM Lee.

Please "move on"...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

WP's AMK rally on 4 May 2006

Source 1 and Source 2

I am speechless...



Mention Singapore, and images of a squeaky clean, no-nonsense and aesthetically pleasant image of an android-like city comes to mind.

Such a boring image of a island nation changes, however: Just once in every five years, a relatively strange prototype of a timebomb is being tossed about like a hot potato amongst a small group of "riff-raffs" (i.e the Opposition Candidates).



From Dr Chee's confrontations with regards to the NKF issue, to MM Lee's recent challenge for the Worker's Party to sue him, defamation timebombs have always been one of the highlights, or should I say, titbits, for watchers of this otherwise staid elections.

This time bomb doesn't exactly "kill" people. Well, at least not literally. It is a bomb tossed around during the eve of Elections by the ruling incumbent to the opposition parties, and depending on the circumstances involved, victims of this dastardly weapon are not blown into smithereens; instead, they get bitch-slapped so hard in the local courts that they soon find themselves sinking fast in the inevitable quagmire of bankruptcy.

The list of victims is impressive:

Tang Liang Hong: Left, with "bad-boy", James Gomez on his right

1. Tang Liang Hong: Candidate for Cheng San GRC, 1997

Faced 13 lawsuits from PAP ministers and MPs for remarks which they deemed to be "anti-Christian, chauvinistic, and dangerous".

J.B Jeyaretnam

2.Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam:

Ex-Worker's Party leader, first opposition leader in Parliament: Made bankrupt by the incumbent by a series of defamation lawsuits.


3. Dr Chee Suan Juan:

Secretary-General of Singapore Democratic Party(SDP): Currently sued for allegedly defamatory remarks of government involvement in the NKF saga in his newsletter, "THE NEW DEMOCRAT".

For a nation deemed "First World" by its ruling incumbents, tossing legal lawsuits around during the elections period seem to be a move engineered by third world tyrants and despots. Of course, some would argue, our world class leaders are too highly paid to be compared to tyrants and despots, who, after all, aren't paid as much to terrorize their citizens.

In view of such standards of practice by our ruling incumbent, some folks from the charity sector may have copied this rather masterful means of subjugating dissent, albeit to cover their own dirty tracks, of course.

Now, Singaporeans have read and learnt about Mr Durai, former CEO of NKF, and his extravagant deeds. We also learnt that, like our ruling incumbent, any accusations of financial misappropriation, or any other form of accusation, will be dealt with by the rule of law in the form of defamation suits.

And our courts facilitate these lawsuits with the greatest of ease, too. Given the potentially financial-sapping effects of the defamatory timebomb, many have chosen to keep their mouths shut on the NKF issue. Brave souls who have the temerity to challenge Durai and his fat pockets tend to back off, finding themselves in a terrible quandary: Without the financial means nor time to fight a costly legal war with his legal tigers, there wasn't a chance they could hire legal counsel fit enough to challenge the impregnable behemoth in the courts. These unfortunate souls end up paying damages, legal costs of their tormentors and writing apology letters, to the approbation of TT Durai and his cohorts.

Now, we know better, thanks, no doubt, to Mr Durai's ambition to drop SPH holdings with his all-too-familiar defamation bomb, only to have it explode full-blast, and taking it in his face.

The truth is, the average man on the street doesn't have the legal expertise nor the final means to defuse this potentially deadly bomb. Hence, he is cowered into silence, because of this unseen threat. Even bloggers and netsurfers may not be immune to this indomitable piece of weapon. It is the ultimate weapon of terror for men who hide behind parties and institutions, and use them habitually against their opponents to instil a climate of fear amongst the general populace.


With elections drawing closer by the hour, the question that should be in the minds of Singaporeans is this:

How detrimental is this legal culture of defamation, as fostered by the PAP and their ministers, have an impact on the integrity of Singapore?

Our ministers keep harping about garnering investor's confidence with a strong mandate, but how would this confidence come about without ensuring the integrity of government and commercial institutions?

Without even addressing to the voices of whistleblowers, institutions, such as the NKF, could become so hidden and corrupt under the radar screen of government and accounting legalities, that they are able to get away with their hideous deeds for who knows how many years on end.


How many of these hiding "Durais" do we need before the investors say, "enough is enough"? Statistics pertaining to how "corrupt-free" our country is wouldn't really matter in this case, if all the dirt that is generating from such money-siphoning activities are swept under the carpet.

It is to the national's benefit that people are allowed to question and query about the openness of government and commercial institutions, so as to minimize abuse of any sort.

An open society is one that operates on a personal, open dialogue between its leaders and its people. Free speech is a right, not a privilege, of the common citizen. It empowers the common people, and gives them a sense of duty and responsibility that says:"Hey, this is my country. I am responsible for what ultimately becomes of her." Instead of political apathy, our leaders should be fostering a culture of political awareness.

Fostering a culture of legal lawsuits will only provide a front for the likes of Durai to blatantly carry out their illegal activities, with little to stand in their way.

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