Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TOC running low on funds

I had hope they wouldn't come to this but also am not surprised. In fact I think readership might even be falling counting myself and I presume many others sharing similar thoughts.

To me they have become more and more anti-PAP. You can't be anti anti-ISIS enough, but PAP? That party running the government can do a lot better and they are making good progress since the last GE So I expect them to be criticized less. Nevertheless I don't like the way they go about trying to fix the WP. Like many I wish they would rise above structure breeds behavior and move away from adversarial towards the cooperative and competitive. Be a gentleman or risk losing respect and eventually credibility.

Christmas at the Flower Dome.

Made a quick visit to the Flower Dome at GBB last evening after dinner. When a Christmas theme is on, you got to see it in the dark as well as during the day. Will come back and tarry longer when the exams are over and before leaving for Yosemite.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jover and his kind: Need laws against sociopaths

I agree with William Wan that Jover Chew deserves the due process of law but that is not the point. The takeaway from this episode and countless incidents before is that we do not have laws against sociopaths like him.

Hardly had the dust settle, we have in the media another hell giving person. We are only reading from the few the media picked up. There must be many more out there. In some countries e.g., Germany this fellow would be properly dealt with. Why not us especially when out of necessity we live cheek by jowl.

No amount of education will work on sociopaths. They must be dealt with differently and that can only be achieve with the teeth of the law. I don't know if this will work but getting them to live together just might help.

Security Guards: Ego destroying job

On Sunday wifey mentioned that there was an article on security guards in the papers that day. I replied it is an ego destroying job. Later that day I had the chance to find out what the article was about. I already know why, but I learned the details of how in the story.

I think one of the best places to be a security guard is in our public schools. The guards there get more respect and even responsibilities.

The pupils are taught to respect and obey them. Only a few parents treat them badly and most are kind to them. On the other hand some schools fail to keep them in the loop. Once a school security guard ask me when the exams are over so he knows when to open the gate!

Low but sufficient pay in theory is OK but not in real life. A lousy salary is almost always bundled with low status, poor treatment and for security guards ego bashing.

Lowly paid foreign workers pay brokers to come here. Top executives enjoy sign on bonuses. There are too many examples that to those who have more would be given, and to those who have little, even that would be taken away from them. Please don't say these were the words of Jesus. He was just stating what had always been. Will it always be? We try not to even if we can only sustain it for a while.

The industry will never get enough security guards. Who in his right might would offer himself or herself to be verbally abused every day?

The path this industry is on is a dead end. The way the job is done must be changed.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pres Jokowi flew economy here

Uruguay President José Mujica is an inspiration for some and a curiosity for others. Even a rich Middle Eastern oil sheikh wanted to buy his beaten up VW for a million bucks.

Now President Jokowi is different. Indonesia is not Uruguay, a country that you cannot ignore and has to be taken seriously. If Jokowi succeeds even Singapore leaders will feel the pressure on how to lead. He flew economy class to Singapore leaving his Presidential plane behind.

I heard he also gave a short 13 minutes presentation with powerpoint slides at the G-20 meeting.

This guy is new wine. That's good but he has to be careful not to burst old wine skins.

In an idealistic frame, I have asked myself if our leaders want to make their job many times easier they should not allow their fat pay to stop them, but watching the rest of the world you realize you can never find enough of such leaders. Nearly all poorly paid leaders are hypocrites of low salaries but amazing high incomes. Unfortunately and very risky, politics in public is always idealistic and impractical.

Jokowi is a man on a mission and Indonesia is at a point that is producing many more like him from the ground to the discredit of its elites. There will not be a place for the Jokowi types when Indonesia becomes a rich nation, but that is too far away to think about now. These leaders must be in a hurry because this moment and opportunity will be brief. Is it possible to grow Indonesia as quickly as China? I think that is what would be needed not to lose momentum and keep support high.

Power also have a stealthy way to change a man's character especially when he is very successful. Not even counting the obvious ones from parliament, Jokowi has many tests ahead to challenge him

Thoughtless law against engine idling

The law against engines idling  was passed long ago in 1999 but not enforced and forgotten. It was to me a poorly thought out piece of legislation. Only the NEA is interested, the primary law enforcers couldn't be bothered.

Don't we all see police patrol cars idling their engines all the time?

I just spotted one yesterday. I can find you a few every week since I am on the road so much.

Again he media failed to bring us up to date why was such a law passed. If it is to reduce carbon it is a good law but it mustn't stop here. They have to target the air conditioning in offices and homes too. Except idiots, nobody idle his engine for the fun but to keep the cabin cool in our hot weather. If you don't then you will go home hot and sweaty, take a bath and your environmental foot print would be far bigger.

The reason for stopping idling engines is the same for switching to electric vehicles - cutting local pollution. Now if that is the purpose why not just designate certain areas where you are not permitted to idle your engine?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Terrorism: We are indeed complacent

Across CNA, Today, ST and now Yahoo most of the comments were about severely punishing the two German vandals. I am just glad they weren't Americans as that would be very troublesome. Enough people over there didn't learn from the right lessons of Michael Fay's example.

I have come across only one comment questioning how these two fellows got in to spray paint a train. There could  be more similar comments but I have not time or stamina to go through all of them.

So how did these two passed security and get into the Bishan depot? SMRT lips are zipped and the Police is equally quiet. We might not know as there seems as yet no pressure for the public demanding answers.

I can't do anything if the Singapore public is complacent about the risk of a terrorist attack, but I can take precautions. The simple reason why we have not been hit is because these terrorists have higher priority targets than us. That is why we were so careful about how we should get involved combating ISIL. Truth is we are actually an easy target. Securing Singapore like Israel will exact huge economic costs which we cannot afford. Furthermore Israel is far easier than Singapore to secure. There is no need to explain this, just follow the news and use your head.

We have a reputation for being safe. How good is that until we are really tested. We didn't even need any terrorist, in person or cyber to take down SGX trading system. Everyone is so money minded throwing caution to the wind to make more money. Every business including SMRT earns money but won't even bat an eyelid to socialize losses. This must not continue.