Monday, August 3, 2015

Chan Heng Chee interviews the PM

I caught this program on TV last night. Impressed with Prof Chan as the interviewer even if I assume, the questions were prepared in advance for the PM. You always maximize a TV appearance.

When there are no easy choices, it is time to think out of the box. Often this will not work either then all good leaders cast their sight to the future and wait for changing circumstances to provide the opportunity to act. It might be controversial e.g., Obama's Iran peace initiative.

It is perfectly true that it is easy for us to criticize. The job of finding solutions is orders of magnitude harder.

I don't know about others but I criticize because.

1. There is inadequate questioning and criticism in parliament and the MSM.

2. A consequence of believing that only the paranoid survives.

3. We must always do better. The media keeps Obama humble. What keeps LHL and his ministers humble? A repeat of 2011?

4. The best leaders don't care if they are popular, so criticizing them do not hurt them and can only help them do better. These are the results speak for themselves characters.

On and off I praise their work in this blog too. The latest was how Shanmugam scolded US lawmakers publicly in DC.

In my parents' time it was futile for leaders to try to get them to understand the pressures of the job and the limits of policy making. In our time when it is clearer that the cognitive and judgement gap between the ministers and many well educated and traveled among us is narrower, government leaders must communicate much better. Give some opinion makers opportunities to understand your constraints (count me out). They will either provide out of box ideas or at least explain policies to others.

The solutions the PAP government suggest got to be better. Never mind if they cannot do better but keep trying. Sure the future is hazy as the PM replied to Chan Heng Chee's questions.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Should V. Balakrishnan be so confident?

I just read the above from CNA.

We are in his GRC and as far as I am concerned it not true that "town councillors attend to them promptly and get them resolved". The higher ups are no good but those at the working level is, going by our experience trying to get them to remove our old bulky items and watching them do their work daily.

I have a broken window which I jammed shut so that it will not become killer litter. I couldn't get the town council to help me fix it. Of course we start by calling them on the phone only to be told to call someone else from a list available on their website. When we tried that, we were told they don't provide the window repair service....I think I can solve this problem if I think over this carefully and come up with a plan. I could even email my MP, which I hadn't. Why should I for something so small? Anyway in the past when I emailed my MP each time, he had ignored me. I had to email Minister Balakrishnan before I could get a response.

I told wifey since we have lived with this for years, what is a few more months of waiting. Come closer to the elections, we shall try calling again. I think they will be much more responsive.

To NSP: This is not a card game

My view of the NSP is much more negative than the last GE. The last few years others and myself have had time to observe them. What these oppo parties do when elections are not imminent is telling. To me NSP is an unstable party and now also opportunistic. Someone left a comment with many "likes" describes how I feel completely.

You don't as you feel like it try to entice Nicole Seah back. Kudos to Nicole Seah for saying no. Perhaps she will offer herself some day but the path back is as important as the decision to stand for elections again.

Uncle ice cream cost pressure

I bought ice cream from uncle this afternoon and he told me that his supplier is going to up the their price to him by a $1 for each block. In other words he is going to hike as well.

I don't mind paying more. Like I wrote in an earlier entry, it has been $1 forever.

KTP hospital amusing loos

This is Khoo Teck Puat hospital loo. Do they recommend that you only use them at the last moment? Then it would be very de-stressing.

I am sure most people do not wait for their bladders to be bursting, not even near full.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tanjong Pagar GRC: Sing first; dance later

Sing first, dance later suggested Helen Lee.

Just speculating, I think Sing First would be the first to lose their deposits contesting Tanjong Pagar GRC. I don't think there is much of a LKY dividend in the coming elections but Tanjong Pagar GRC for sentimental reasons would be the exception.

Richard Lim reminded us of Tan Jee Say's reckless economic plan which I am sure remains his greatest brainwave which he will never give up. I have always asked myself how did Goh Chok Tong choose him to be his PPS at all? With that sort of mindset what did he have to contribute to his boss?

Just look at what is happening to Australia and New Zealand economically today? Both have been lazy and chosen to be single trick ponies One was seduced by the windfall exporting resources to China and its beautiful neighbor south by dairy products.

Look across the world, how many economies are one or two tricks ponies. They are the majority. Few have the depth of the USA, may be put that down as none. You need deep diversity to be resilient. It is very hard for small states to achieve that. I think only Switzerland and us has got it and we aren't doing it well enough and truly struggle to do better.

I hope people have a sense of realism and not be seduced by Tan See Say impractical and dangerous ideas. Didn't help that the PAP is so poor at explaining complex issues to the masses.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Plums after more than a decade

I haven't had a plum for at least thirteen years. Usually my mom would keep one for me when I visited her on Sundays. On my own I never buy them. It is one of my favorite and when I was still living with my parents, plums were a regular. So many things I stopped doing once I got married and moved out. Quite a few things she told wifey about what I prefer turned out to be untrue in her experience. Truth is I adapt to my circumstances.

Yesterday wifey spotted good red plums, 5 for $1.99 That was screaming stupid if you do not buy especially after not having any for so long. Now only three is left. I just had one for breakfast.

Yep, the reason why I haven't had them is because nobody else eats them.