Saturday, May 31, 2014

New KDK fan

Bought this KDK fan for $98 at Best Denki this evening to replace the super quiet Iona that was thrown away last week.

Clash: CSM vs Cedric Foo

I read online some people asked why Cedric Foo was attacking Chen Show Mao over immigration when his speech was about ageing successfully and working happily as we grow old. The link people missed from Cedric Foo is that the former MOS and his party are cynical about CSM's vision which is based on laudable values and urging us to fight for it to become reality. And it is not even half as untenable as making improbable Singapore probable. The old PAP and the present only shares a name but not much else. The WP is trying to pick up what the new PAP threw away and many Singaporeans want the old PAP.

So this what they meant by CSM's mumbling and incoherent.

But I think they have completely misread the man because the way to understand him is to go back to his maiden speech in Parliament.

CSM took every opportunity to fight for the elderly. He respected and thought highly of them and is always persuading the house how they are wells of experience, wisdom and social capital. He was farseeing as we can see how the PAP government dim attitude toward older people was forced into a U-turn resulting in the pioneer generation package.

If CSM appear hesitant debating with Cedric Foo, I read that as an exasperated man rejecting many easy repartee from his mind and trying to figure out how to stop this senseless and time wasting debate. Meanwhile his ever wily SG had time to think and took over to silence Cedric Foo. Of course some saw that as LTK coming to his aid. Carry on, the WP love its opponents to underestimate them so that they would continue with their predictable behavior and they could roll out more Trojan Horses.

If you do not share LKY's public view of  CSM as "not so brilliant" the man is easy to read because the guy is so consistent with only one main message: create a supportive and conducive environment for the elderly to continue working. Even many of his Facebook pictures are with senior citizens.

The PAP trapped in their arrogant frames cannot and will not read their opponents correctly. They will pay a very heavy price eventually.

CSM never articulated this: he doesn't believe people should retire if they can have meaningful and enjoyable work. He just skipped that because no-retirement is impossible to sell politically but given the chance would create that environment and give these greying folks time to catch up and realize that they could not afford to retire. I could understand CSM because I belonged to the smaller group who had worked through this issue and realized most of us simply cannot afford to quit working. PAP policy makers think otherwise and are blindsided. Naturally they insisted on high rates of immigration to support disabled and unable old people. Of course there will be more disabled people tomorrow but the numbers will not be a large as feared.

The fatal weakness of the PAP beside its failure to communicate (until recently they never needed this skill) is that it takes us for granted. Anytime they would choose the policy option that is easier for them to be successful with no regard to the hardship the people have to endure. We are just simply fed up being brutalized by their policies, by their scare tactics. I imagine visiting leaders in private must envy what an easier job this government is having because its people are so "听话". I am sorry but this cornerstone they counted on has cracked and they have been scrambling ever since 2011 giving the WP what they want for us. If this is what's happening, why would CSM want to have a fight with any PAP MP? Especially hidden behind the curtain he is one of the brain trust for the party.

Update: June 2 10:50am 

Come across two naughty ministers, will there be a third and so on? They are all the same eh? I had expected this two ministers to be smarter especially Shanmugam.

Update: June 2 11:00am

Ah, two interesting comments accompanied that clip above. Now what do the PAP have to say to Jack Yiak and OC Yeo. I think they will ignore both of them - big mistake.

Repeating till I am already hoarse, this is what happen when the PAP is just top boy in a class of failures among governments. You can have no opposition in Parliament if you are able to earn it but you hadn't. You can make it difficult for them to get in but the will of people can only be resisted for so long.

  • Jack Yiak there are two principles brought up in the exchange which probably warrant a more critical look. 

    first is the idea that we need a bigger working population to pay for the needs of a bigger retired/older population. it follows from this line of thinki
    ng that if this working population is to be supplemented by immigrants, then the immigrants would contribute to the retirement of the older population. i guess we probably need to agree whether or not people should pay for their own retirement. if we agree that people should pay for their own retirement, then why would we need to tap taxes from immigrants to pay for the needs of a bigger retired/older population. if we are indeed under-saving for retirement or under-taxed for future needs, then the right if painful actions should be towards looking at how to increase savings/ current taxes rather than looking to fund it through external sources

    second is the implied concept that as the working population drops, we need more workers to replace them, and therefore we need immigrants. this is putting the cart before the horse. all else being equal, if we have half the working population, then we need half the number of jobs. people need jobs, jobs don't need people (of course, this is assuming we agree that people should pay for their own retirement, which we seem to be in the way cpf is set up (segregated accounts) and probably culturally as well)

    apart from these 2 points, more fundamentally, having more immigrants in itself is a stop-gap solution in the sense that as long as fertiltiy rate is below 2 or if productivity remains constant, it becomes the fall-back. there is a finite number of people for the space we have whether the number is 6.9, 10 or 20. the only ways out of this cycle is either increased fertility or increased productivity (what i can think of anyway). without these changes, it is reasonable to think that come 2030, we would be talking about a population white paper that recommends [8,10,12] population. (happy to hear arguments why this wouldn't be the logical sequitur)
    Like · Reply · 7 · 10 hrs
  • OC Yeo Sir. I have to wonder first about MediaCorp's purpose of this extended news clip that lasted minutes when typically they would telecast just seconds. Was it because they thought viewers would be very interested in CSM's view on this hot issue? Or because they saw that the manner in which he handled the question was most newsworthy? Same questions would apply when ministers start to propagate the clips. To what end? 

    If it were because of the first reason, that viewers would be very keen to know WP's position, then fine. But sadly, because of the out of the usual extended coverage, I suspect there is something else.

    I would say this. Clips like that may not put the WP in good light, but like Bertha Henson noted, it sure does not make the PAP any likeable. GE2011 was a turning point of our history. You can't deny that. Rightly or wrongly, people have also seen that this makes the PAP stay on guard. Can't prove it but the purported shift of your party to left of centre would NOT have happened without GE2011 and WP. So the people have already gained. 

    There is no turning back to the days of a single dominant party. A significant segment of us wants to see a Parliament that has a much better balance than even today. So clumsy blatant attempts to discredit your political adversaries can only backfire. After all, supporters of the opposition also know the great odds they have to work against. You accuse them of not stating alternative policies. When some do, you ridicule them, not without good reasons though the manner stinks. Why this state of affairs? Because the opposition parties do not have access to the information and data they need to craft credible alternative policies at this point. Because they are disadvantaged by a lack of a large machinery to digest through the data and problem analysis to see what's a better alternative. And yes, because they do not have better people today.

    But does this change the supporters view of the opposition? Barely so. In fact, you can only succeed to make yourselves appear more obnoxious. 

    The mood for a significant opposition is here to stay. If you truly believe there is such a thing as "constructive politics" then please for the good of my children's generation, start working to create a more conducive environment and system. I am not asking that you support them for their opposition work, but build the basics as a matured democracy would have ... constructively for the future so that we all gain. That would be my hope.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr

Update: June 6, 1:35pm

Very often seen with senior citizens. I don't even have to look. Here's one I just came across.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Upgrading my Micro SD card

Got this from the SG Tech Show at Suntec yesterday for $48.80. This 64GB card replaces my present 32GB one.

We have so many 1GB and 2GB SD cards. I do not know what to do with them, they are practically obsolete. In many instances you can't even fit a HD movie in them.

An absurd defamation suit

We are seeing a new low in defamation suits. This is a return to ancient times when you could get into trouble for bad mouthing the monarch. I can understand if the PM sues another politician; a professional of standing or a media person because that fellow is credible. But who is Roy Ngerng? Furthermore there are so many homophobic characters out there and Roy who had publicly declared himself to be gay cuts no ice with this large segment of society - that's why 377A still exists.

To me it is laughable to suggest Roy could defame the PM with his blog posts. Far too many of us do not think he analyze the CPF issue correctly anyway. How many readers of his blog are so inane to only read him and not others including expert views before making up their own minds. We are no longer in the Middle Ages or a very undeveloped country where people believe and spread silly rumors.

The PM stand to lose more by suing this nobody for defamation. And if he thinks Roy is the monkey he is out to kill as a warning to the rest of us, I think he has achieved some success. However this is not worth it because in the privacy of our votes, we will "defame" him with our choice which he cannot sue us. Especially those who are 33 years old and younger, who did not lived through the dangerous times that brought us to today.

Nobody except the PM's lawyers is going to gain from this lawsuit. In fact Singapore also lose.

Update: 7:35pm

Man i.e. the PM, is seriously out of touch. Did he foresee this? It was a no brainer. Has it only been a day or two only, and Roy has raised almost $15K. It is not just the money but the each few tens of dollars is a vote of disapproval of this absurd lawsuit the PM is bringing against a small guy.

And what is the PM's likely response? Most probably he would pretend not to notice, in which case folks out there would have to make it deafening, i.e., everyone is talking about him that it is embarrassing for him and his ministers to pretend this is not happening.

But like I said earlier, there is no upside. Whatever the outcome Singapore lose and the PM was the guy who started it all. Sure one could also say Roy started this but if it weren't Roy, it would be someone else eh? Anyone can be a blogger and defame the PM or his ministers. Nearly all of us, me included have no credibility and only the really stupid would take what we have written to be gospel.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

When PAP changes the meaning of words

"every" and "all" must never be used by overwhelmingly dominant political parties like the PAP. Their forebears never use them or at least very rarely. Instead of "every" and "all" it ought to be "Singaporeans" or "people", any equivalent but never the totally inclusive "every" or "all"

When you first used the words "every" and "all" people believed you. Then they discover you actually mean "many" or sometimes "most" people. For years I heard the disappointed voices of callers to FM 93.8 during Talk Back sharing how they felt let down. Nobody does that anymore. They have learned how the PAP have changed the meanings of those words. Now they are attempting to narrow the meaning of "Constructive Politics" which they will fail.

If the PAP wishes to continue indulging in this habit, they must be prepared that they will be less believed and trusted just like we do not believe the message from advertisements. They will also at the same time be digging holes to fall into since this is tantamount to over promising. They will never be able to deliver. The US President can rightly blame his opponents in Congress for blocking him but the PAP has nobody to blame. Of course they like to blame us, which as a matter of course we shall return the insult. Never blame the voters especially when you do not have stature. Leave that to their parents and religious leaders to do that.

And never scold us unless you have earned that right and that is a very difficult right to earn. Top boy in a class of failures doesn't cut it. That's the verdict on this government and education system. This is more than good enough for most countries but none of them is risky and vulnerable Singapore. No more heads you win, tails we lose.

Update: 10:50am

More examples and there are many more I am too busy to dig up but none was as egregious as "every" and "all"

How we feel: LHL vs LTK in Parliament

I think these top comments represent how lots of people here feel over the verbal jousting between the two men.

  • Elle Toh Re the last para where PM says govt has to massage things and opposition only talk. Of cos govt has to do it. You mean they will allow the opposition to go into their ministries to meddle with their policies?? 废话。
    Like · Reply · 26 · 50 minutes ago

  • Dominque Yue I think the most constructive politics is for both parties to stop arguing the definition and just go out to make policies to help the nation and people.. I do not want the country to turn out like thailand , taiwan, europe, america..
    Plus singapore cannot afford to fail even once.
    Like · Reply · 26 · about an hour ago

  • Nash Ayemz LHL.. was nvr my PM.. he's just a lucky guy whose dad was a PM and follow whats been blueprinted by his dad and follow ups on his one sided policies..
    Like · Reply · 20 · 44 minutes ago

The PAP is a bully in parliament and the WP have mastered the art of dodging them. The PM challenged the WP to be the PAP equal but that is absurd. Nine WP MPs versus too many to count PAP MPs. The PAP have so many MPs they can afford quite a few dud ones! And that is the fatal weakness of the GRC system.

The smarter move is for the PAP to ignore the WP or better to treat them as adolescent which they are. They are taking their time to grow up properly and then we will see a different WP. I hope it will be something that we like. In the meantime we just have to accept and live with what we have. The PM strategy trying to take LTK and the WP down is a loser from the start because Singaporeans aren't looking to the WP to form the government yet.

You guys can quarrel but remember who is watching outside Parliament and that is what will matter in the end.