Sunday, November 9, 2008

Town Council use our money to invest???

The fall of Lehman caused lotsa revelation throughout the world; from regulations to the over-deregulations, as well as what the mini-bond is all about. A few days ago, something new is revealed by the crash of the giant: Town Councils investments.

I am totally caught off guard that the money we paid to the Town Council is used to do investment.

What does that means? That our public fund is actually more than what they really need to service our town needs? Then why collect so much at the first place? Why arent we paying for what we need than always paying more than what is required, as a result, having enough surplus to do huge investments (one of the town council is actually a major share owner of Creative).

Come on... What is the job of the Town Council. We must be very clear here. No matter how you look at it, investment with people's money is never their job. We have CPF, GIC, even Temasek, not withstanding insurance, personal investments etc... Not to forget, the Government already collecting tax from GST, ERP, Income Tax, COE, etc... Still not enough money to serve Singaporeans???

I always wondered how the Worker's Party's Town Council able to collect so little money from their people while PAP's need to collect so much more. And eventually, Hougang under Worker's Party actually looks more beautiful and cleaner as compared to the other half of Hougang New Town.

Town Councils should collect just enough for the upcoming projects and planned projects. If there are surplus, then they should reduce the amount collected thus not putting additional pressures on the people, especially those who are earning hardly enough to save.

I had enough of seeing those Ah Ma and Ah Peks digging rubbish bins for used aluminium cans. The Government is formed to serve Singaporeans, not to make profits after profits without giving back to the people in substantial ways. (not by giving cash that you would eventually tax back)

If got excess money, keep it or invest it (on 100% guaranteed safe investments) until the next collection, and reduce the collection for the next round. There should not be over-collection on the part of the Town Councils, and if there is any ad hoc need of additional funds, it should be gotten from the Government or relevant ministries. 


Friday, November 7, 2008

"Is S'pore ready for a minority PM?" - HELLO!? Open Your Eyes.

3 Lessons from the US Elections
Can we see beyond the colour? Not yet, but young are more colour-blind
By Tan May Ping - November 07, 2008  

OVERNIGHT, American voters put us to shame.
They voted in a black president, while Singaporeans will still baulk at accepting a non-Chinese prime minister, say some political top guns and many observers.
In the evolution of democratic politics, Americans just took a giant step forward.
Meanwhile, Singaporeans are still lumbering along like Third World tribes, dragging our baggage of racial hang-ups.
Of course, not all Americans are enlightened voters.
Half of the country's population, who are older and mostly white, are still living in the past and might well view President-elect Barack Obama as an 'uppity nigger'.
As one academic commentator noted: 'Today's radical Republican Party represents a large segment of the population that believes that abortions and same-sex marriages are immoral, God sent America to Iraq...'
So while Mr Obama was the favourite in polls, many expected whites to reveal their true colours when put to the test.
Well, they did the right thing by putting race in the background. Can they continue to do so as America attempts to heal itself after bruising campaigns?
And could Singaporeans do the right thing and ignore the skin colour of a future prime minister?
The leaders of the People's Action Party believe that Singaporeans do vote on racial lines, said Dr Gillian Koh, senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).
Dr Koh said: 'They feel that there are social faultlines that divide us, especially on race, so Singapore is no where near to being a de-racialised country.
'And that is the whole basis of the GRC system.'
The GRC or group representation constituency was introduced in 1988 to protect Parliament's multiracial composition.
The need for such a scheme shows clearly that we're still tribal folk, flocking together like birds of a feather.
But the immediate post-65 generation, said Dr Koh, would probably be more ready for other ideas as to who the PM can be.
'They were brought up to think One Singapore, One Nation, and would probably not be averse to the idea because of the political ideals of their time,' she added.
The young and the cosmopolitan are likely to be even more colour-blind, say some observers.
They will let the best man lead.
Political analyst Terence Chong from the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies said: 'Many Singaporeans, especially younger ones, are ready because the ideologies of multiculturalism and meritocracy have become part of the Singaporean myth.'
Singaporeans are very pragmatic, and will look for leaders with management ability and people-skills, IPS' Dr Koh said.
Citing an IPS post-2006 election survey, Dr Koh said respondents indicated they voted their members of parliament based on whether they thought they would be effective, fair and have a heart for the people in general.
Another survey last year by two academics at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) on race and religion also produced surprising results.
It found that over 91 per cent of all races polled said they would accept a prime minster of another race, while at least 92 per cent said they would vote an MP or a Singapore president of a different race.
Among the Chinese, 94 per cent did not mind if the PM was an Indian, and 91 per cent, if he was a Malay.
Referring to the topic of race as an old issue, Workers' Party's organising secretary Yaw Shin Leong said: 'If we truly believe in merit and capabilities, then so long as the person is Singaporean and can do a good job, there should be no reason why the person can't be given the top job.
'To say that certain ethnic groups are not suitable or ready for top office is regressive'.
All that debate might be purely academic given that the electoral system here is focused on political parties, not individual candidates.
The party which has the majority forms the government and chooses the prime minister.
Dr Koh said: 'I think we would need a fully functioning two-party system before we ever reach that scenario.'
The question of race and prime ministership was on then-PM Lee Kuan Yew's mind back in 1988.
He publicly said then that he would have considered then-National Development Minister S Dhanabalan for the PM's job if not for his Indian ethnicity.
Singapore, Mr Lee said, was not ready for an Indian prime minister.
Mr Dhanabalan himself did not think Chinese Singaporeans were ready to accept a non-Chinese PM. In a Straits Times report in November last year, he said that such cross-racial acceptance takes time.
Referring to the RSIS race survey, Mr Dhanabalan felt that the respondents probably gave 'politically correct' answers that did not reflect their real feelings.
He said then: 'I'm not quite convinced. It will take a bit more time. You look at the United States. How long, how many years were they a nation before a Catholic could be elected?
'Let's don't even talk about blacks. Now Barack Obama is the first one. Well, he may not even make it through the primary, right?
'So these are very deep feelings. I'm not saying it's not possible, but I think it will take some time.'
Fast forward a year later.
Mr Obama has done it, despite the widespread fears of voting along racial lines.
Commentators even spoke openly of the prospect of his assassination by a white supremacist group.
But, as in Malaysia's general election, many voters surprised even the experts by rejecting race to 'do the right thing'.
All this gives Singaporeans good reason to gaze in the mirror and ask ourselves how deep runs a tribal instinct and how far we want to evolve as a society.
extracted from The New Paper :,4136,182629,00.html?
Seriously, I feel like giving the writer a slap first before I start.

I am seriously angry and felt insulted the very first line of the article.

I want to question you, Ms/Mdm Tan May Ping, how did you get the impression that Singaporeans are not ready for a non-Chinese Prime Minister? And how does that going to put Singaporeans to shame?

First, lets talk facts. The United States took more than a hundred years to arrive at this stage. The African Americans were first brought into the continent as slaves and labourers. They are forced labours. Badly treated and discriminated. The hatred between the 2 races goes beyond you and our understanding. So on this first context, you are already making a very bad assumption or presupposition that the different races in Singapore are hostile against each other, or at least in the state of serious racism.

Singapore had lasted the past few decades based on meritocracy, and equality among all. I have Indian friends, I have Malay friends, not to mention Indonesian, Burmese, PRC nationals... Do I have any issues with them? No! 

2ndly, you are neglecting the fact that, despite the country is governed by the Prime Minister; It is the President that is the head of state. The President is above all and is the only one who can grant a 2nd chance for a person of death sentence. So by choosing PM as the topic of contention, you are making a big mistake, out of context, and insulting our President. And talk about the President, all 4 races were represented throught the rotation of Presidents. So when President S.R Nathan became the President, do any Singaporeans complaint or resented? In fact, we cheered for him every National Day Parade. Thats Singapore for you.

3rdly, while the U.S President is, may I emphasize?, VOTED IN by the citizens of United States, but our Prime Minister aren't. The choice of the Prime Minister is based on who the Cabinet and the incumbent PM choose, based on one's ability to carry out the important task of leading our country and care for the people. So by this context, YOU cannot imply that Singaporeans REFUSED to have a minority to head the nation. And again, this previous sentence is still wrong, because the President IS the head of state, not the Prime Minister. 

So after the 3rd point, that brings us to the 4th point that I want to make: The President IS voted in by the People of Singapore. And we had been representated well by former Presidents of all the 4 races: prominently, President Yusof bin Ishak, President Benjamin Sheares, President Ong Teng Cheong, and the current President, S.R Nathan. Despite I understood that the Presidential election only began with Mr Ong Teng Cheong, its still without doubt that they holding the highest position in the Government of Singapore.

So now, I come to the next point, about practical steps a minority lawmaker should take, in order to "convince" the general public, especially the majority Chinese that you make out to be "colour-bias".

First we should look back to Mr Lee Kuan Yew's early political life. If you realised something, while he is a Chinese, he spoked in Malay. Big Hint.

If one minority wants to command respect among ALL races, especially from those Chinese aunties and uncles, those Ah ma and Ah peks; they need to learn to speak Mandarin. Its not a must seriously, but if you notice that Mr Lee Hsien Loong speaks in Malay during the National Day Rally, you should understand that I am not joking. 

To connect with the people, especially those less well off and less educated, you MUST speak their language, to let them know that you understand them and know their need. Imagine the impact of a Malay politician or an Indian politician speaks fluent Mandarin or even Hokkien to the crowds during the Rallies before the election. Can you imagine the impact, especially on those Ah ma and Ah peks whom only understand Mandarin? But of course, this works best with the Opposition since that commands the biggest and easily impressed crowds. Those Ah Ma and Ah Peks might very well voted the minority in...

So, stop making false accusations at your fellow Singaporeans. If JBJ can be voted in at Anson against a Chinese PAP politician, there is no reason why we are still at this question of Racism and Biasness.

After all, the Prime Minister is not of our choice. If Mr Lee Kuan Yew, then thinks that after him, Singapore is not ready for an Indian Prime Minister, then so be it. We should look forward and see how is the best capable person to "memberi kita kepada masa depan yg lebih baik". 


Understand what I meant?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama wins; a Global Victory.

Finally, after 22 months of gruelling campaign, Barack Obama beats John McCain and become the FIRST Afro-American U.S President ever, just a few days after Lewis Hamilton became the FIRST ever Black driver as well as the youngest ever driver to win the World Championship.

It looks like, finally, the world had made progress over racism and discrimination of the black ppl.

Not just paradigms had finally been broken, this victory ushers in a new era where the promise of a better future under Obama's America might come through the ashes of the Global financial crisis.

Upon knowing Obama had clinched the victory, the hype and adrenaline about the election result fade almost immediately; for me, i sense that this is not the end.


Even when Obama struggled hard against tough competitors in the form of Hillary Clinton and John McCain, his victory just marks the end of the first step towards the beginning of a long and hard journey to make America and the World a better place.

I am happy, but more, I feel for the amount of work that awaits Obama.

But for now, lets just celebrate this amazing victory.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Condolence to Barack Obama

U.S Presidential hopeful, Barack Obama's grandmother had just passed away in Hawaii.

Majulah! pays our condolences as well as tribute to this lady whom brought up the impressive man, we now know as Barack Obama.

We also wished to pay our tribute to Barack Obama, for his sacrifices in putting his nation before himself, not being able to be by his grandmother's side in her final days (only 1 single day, where he stop campaigning for a day to go to Hawaii to visit her) and continue to strive hard to fight for his cause.

Sorry to hear this news.


A Better Face for Singapore Government

Yesterday (Monday), I went for a Focus Group Discussion, organised by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore for MICA; help at the IDA office at Suntec Tower 3.

The discussion is "On The Design for Singapore Government Website".
More specifically,

If you do visit this website before (me on blue moon occasions), will find it rather useless. LOL!

I mean, how many dudes out there in Singapore really cares about everything the government is doing. I mean, other than the usual suspects: ERP, COE, HDB Price, handouts, GST hikes, and every single other stupid hikes, Singaporeans mainly are ignorant, or simply cant be bother about politics.

Face of Singapore they said...

So for its function, said to be "The Face of the Singapore Government", looks pretty dull, plain, and downright "Organised". Not to mentioned my lack of understanding on why is it so "blue". Just to push a bit further, the website simply lack of purpose, and totally uninteresting.

But at least someone did find a use, when he once needed to get to a certain contact to a certain department to get to do certain things. So when he gave up on the stupid phone calling operation, he decided to look for it on the internet, and he found it on this site.

So practically, SINGOV (the what-I-call nickname) is useless and serves no purpose (or even failed its purpose) up till now.

But halfway through the discussion, we were shown the new mockup (not a working one yet though), and its redder and looks more appealing. Information is repackaged into 5 main portions and with the "Events/Calendar" proving to be a hit with all of us; breathing so purpose to the site.

So in a way, (its new name) will in the future, serve much better purpose in promoting and putting awareness as regards to any major events that will happen in Singapore; albeit being government related-corporate stuff or simply government sanctioned stuff like Chingay and the F1 Singapore GP.

Major improvement that are expected are consolidation of all the news and press releases into a single entity. RSS feeds will be provided for all information. Featured events will be shown prominently on the main page, as well as a seem-to-be more efficient way of looking for the point of contact.

By their active engagement in the public for feedbacks and studying suggestions made by us, I am impressed and found myself liking our government sector that little bit more.

I believe they should have a good team behind, toiling behind the scene at IDA to make this website a "Good Face" for our Government.

Lets hope to see this new site soon.


Some of you must be wondering why I went for such stuff? Or even post like as if I became an agent for PAP. Nah~

I am politically neutral for a start. I simply got interested to be part of a web development process for the government's website, hoping that I could help make it a more user-friendly and helpful website for everyone (but I then realise what I wanted to help improve is

Another reason is that I am curious about how the Government conducts their feedback and consultation sessions.

In a way, I find it - again - efficient, organised and that bit less SAF-like. I kindda almost brain-washed by how SAF conducts their stuff, especially by MCMD's courses... So felt kindda happy that at least I taste something different from another Government agency.

Just one interesting thing to note - I realised some do take the opportunity to make this a networking session....OMG... I got 3 namecards. I gave none. Because I didnt bring mine (an outdated one).