Friday, October 30, 2015

Haze: Names of suspect companies withheld

I think many of us aren't surprised that the Indonesian government will not be releasing the names of the suspects.

Thucydides commented that the strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must.

Indonesia isn't strong and neither is Singapore weak, but imagine if we do not try to keep tilting the balance in our favor, the future could be very difficult for us. Sure, publicly we wish them well and that they will prosper. Privately, realism dictates that a weak but stable Indonesia is easier for us to live with.

Therefore we must bear in mind the opportunity cost of the haze. That is a consequence of a weak Indonesia. We mustn't tolerate a repeat of this year's haze but neither is it in our long term interest to see this problem completely solved.

Unless the Indonesian mindset is transformed, a weaker rather than stronger Indonesia is better for us. Unless the relationship between them and us is similar to that between France and Monaco, a dominant and able Indonesia will threaten out sovereignty. I don't see that happening for generations if ever.

Indeed Singapore must always be exceptional especially when we are surrounded by unpredictable clowns in our neighborhood. What they understand is not soft but hard power. In other words the SAF.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Saving lives: China adopts 2 kids policy

We caught this news on TV while having dinner this evening. I said this will not help to reverse the ageing population in China because raising a child in China is now as expensive as Singapore, HK etc.,

Later in the evening other thoughts surfaced. I remember the Chinese authorities brutally forced women to endure abortions if they have a second child. This policy will save many lives! Especially the lives of baby girls.

Finally good practical tips from Kishore

So good to finally come across such ideas and analysis from Kishore Mahbubani. So simply stated too. That government should own public transport because we need to recognize that the ideas leading to its privatization are now old and tired. To me, the pendulum swings from one end to the other. Some day, we shall need to privatized it again. Why? No system is perfect and once we have subscribed to one, its negativity accumulate over time until it become counter productive to stay with the status quo.

He also aptly recognized Singapore existential stake in a constructive relationship between the US and China.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Haze: The rains have arrived

This morning thunderstorm didn't just brought rain to us but to Indonesia as well. So odd that I should read about it from the NYT than our own media. More rains are expected but not consecutive days.

Relief is coming!

Poland's elections: Huge lessons for us

I feel it is best to begin this post with quoting the opening lines of the article.

How can a government with the best economic record in Europe (indeed in the entire OECD) be humiliated at the polls by a Euroskeptic, nationalistic, and economically illiterate opposition – one deemed unelectable only a year ago? That is the question many Poles, and friends of Poland, are now asking, following the defeat on October 25 of the Civic Platform government. If creating jobs and boosting incomes can’t get you re-elected, what can?

Through our lenses, the Poles have voted for themselves a freak outcome of the sort we would have feared. Fortunately the Singaporean voters are far smarter than the Poles. The PAP and WP are also smarter then their Polish counterparts. Question is how do we keep this up? There is nothing we can do about the voters here except for the very long term. That take place in families, our schools and NS. On the other hand politicians must carefully study and dissect the lessons of the Polish experience and I hope not tragedy. Poles have signed up to learn a lesson the hard way.

Lao Zi was wrong. He said,

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

That was a mistake the governing party made.

DAP: Bilahari Kausikan had warned you

Link to article.

I didn't know when this would happen. I wrote I had agreed with Bilahari Kausikan analysis of the political situation in Malaysia.

I also said in Malaysia, all political vehicles once on the road eventually end up in race destination, an ugly and unhappy place. Why go there? It might already be too late. It was already before Mr. Kausikan warned them.

MCA is feckless corrupt and the DAP aren't very smart idealists. Meanwhile Malaysia's institutions are being eroded before our eyes.

Wrong Sin Kee Chicken Rice returns

I was puzzled when earlier this year Sin Kee quit the business. I thought they had punted on the Chinese stock market which if so, they could easily get burned and so must return to this business.

I went to the Mei Ling St food centre to check this afternoon. So I was right Sin Kee is returning but I was also wrong because this is not the same Sin Kee which left. This one is far inferior to the original even if both parties once served together on the upper floor of Margaret Drive hawker centre.

Well, we shall confirm by trying their dishes. They begin business on the 30th, i.e., this coming Friday.

Mutating the SG govt

ST reported an example of how the civil service have changed and is changing with the example of how the Tanglin Halt SERS was carried out. This is better than mouthing something aspirational. Now it is a matter of turning this example into a habit across the whole of government. Scholars who are keen on policy work but not the people who must live with those policies should think about switching jobs.

Coordination between different government agencies must become second nature. Makes me wonder why they didn't give this higher priority before. Then I realized what happened when the PM sometime back in passing let on that sometimes ministers "compete" to out perform each other. Isn't this just like the silos outcome in our GLCs? This is the bad turf mentality but also the reality across the world. Others can live with it but we mustn't. Instead we must have this software which other cannot copy and install over their systems.

So now we have coordinating ministers whose task must not just be to coordinate successfully but create that culture of coordination.

Post GE 2011 regardless of GE 2015 looks like they have a game plan that goes well beyond a GE.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Indonesia seeks to join the TPP

What to do? When you have so many detractors at home blocking you, you gotta to take a page from Zhu Rongji playbook. Premier Zhu used the WTO to reform China. Jokowi must be trying to use TPP to do the same for Indonesia. Obama of course welcome this as the fight at home is not over yet.

Question is can Jokowi pulls this off? Meanwhile to put it mildly the haze debacle at home is getting interesting. This must be the straw that broke the camel's back but this rapacious business people are worse than demons. Totally selfish.

Update: Nov 1, 2:20pm

Must have alarmed SBY so much eh? Indonesia cannot pull this off for a very long time. Obama was very polite and did not want Jokowi to lose face.

McDonald's prices at Gardens by the Bay

Vanilla cone is not $1 but $1.50.
Sundae is not $1.50 but $2.20.
That is what you have to pay if you buy them at the Gardens by the Bay McDonald's outlet.

For a moment I thought McDonald's had hiked prices but no, these are only for their GBB outlet.

I don't think patrons will take kindly to this. It is alright to ask for more but never so much more as to make your customers feel stupid paying.

Surprise Tea Bag from online purchase

This nice tea bag came in the mail when we received the "clicker" I bought online for the daughter's school use.

Well the gesture is appreciated. In fact, I had already used it!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Kong Hee says sorry to con-ready members

Incredible they still manage to keep 17,000 members with them, but I shouldn't be surprised. We have a religion gene in us, some more so than others. This was a con-ready congregation. No rules could have be enacted to prevent them from personally contributing to their legal defense funds which likely exceeded $10 million. Chew Eng Han left the church and without the funding had to defend himself. He is the most repentant of the lot, but not enough.

This is a very expensive "I am sorry" which meant nothing.

The con job continues with CHC 2.0 The business was simply minting cash too well to give up.

Still waiting for the leaders of other churches to stand up and condemn him. To publicly make a stand they will never run their churches like Kong Hee had and will continue to do by stealth.

Actually I am not waiting because I don't think that is coming. That is why these two last paras were inserted later. So always be suspicious if you must stay with a church. Pastors are often far more human than spiritual. Ditto for Buddhist monks, Muslim leaders, Hindu priests etc, All the religions share this weakness.

Bishops defeat Pope Francis on divorce/remarriage

Well that is how people with no spiritual insight report on such events right? Losing is necessary for winning in such struggles. In this sense trading is also no different.

The greatest victories often comes from overcoming defeats. They are the plots of our greatest stories.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Long Live City Harvest Church?

If this is typical reaction of CHC members then I think the church will survive. In fact it might even continue to do well depending on the quality of charismatic leadership. Of course this has nothing to do with true faith or spirituality. It is closer to Karl Marx's observation of opiate religion.

Outsiders will think CHC members are gullible and brainwashed. Well bear in mind they have their right to act as they saw fit as long as they do not develop a seditious mindset. A close friend of Kong Hee, Phil Pringle has already styled our government as Satanic. Who knows what is coming next from them? With enough time the unimaginable can happen. If members are gullible enough they can be turned against the government too. As always it begins with giving away your time, followed by money. Some religionists are already abusing Islam for this and watch how difficult it is for that faith to fix the problem.

Meanwhile what Singapore society and the government must do is consider how to make it really difficult for them to get new members. Our worry is how would the Protestant Christians community react? Are they with Kong Hee? If so, we have a nutty problem. Look at those senior clergymen laying hands on Sun Ho. What is their influence in Christian circles?

We must never allow the Christians to see Kong Hee to be a martyr of sorts by defending the rightness of the courts decision. I do not worry over the other five, he is the one that is most dangerous, unrepentant and should be locked away for a long time. He must never be perceived by his congregation to be going to jail obeying God's laws but was unfortunate to have broken man's laws.

Update: 8:15pm

I completely anticipated this. Do you expect Kong Hee to live down by confessing his guilt? Unless the entire church desert him that is never going to happen. Don't waste your time. The way to break this guy is to draw away the majority of his congregation. Whittle it down to only hundreds until it makes no business sense.

Reputation is more important than life to someone like him and he is not even facing capital punishment.

Mothership article is better than any of the MSM.

My dear, this ain't going to happen. If you expect an apology you have completely misunderstood their mindset. These self deceived types still believe they are servants of the Most High.

To me Kong Hee is on the verge of history, what is worrying are the other pastors from the various churches. Why didn't they stand and be counted that Kong Hee had done wrong?

It is all about wealth and power isn't it? Fear that the Commissioner of Charities will tighten financial governance? With their hands tied it is harder to be successful using worldly methods (like CHC Crossover project) to grow their congregation and so their tithe base eh?

So they are using a pastor beyond Singapore to demonize the government? Trying to instigate the congregations that the churches are under attack by the authorities?

I think we need to nip this problem in the bud quickly before it becomes impossible.

City Harvest Church: Protecting the Business

I think the public expected this. For me now that it is nearing the end,  I wished this nightmare never happened. Does nothing for Christianity especially the mega churches which have plenty of potential to do much good.

Here is a crazy pastor Phil Pringle, purportedly pastor to Khong Hee. He comes across fully dressed in a colonial attitude. I think his country has got a lot to learn from us, and please to do not use God's name in vain. There are severe consequences for that sin.

See Mothership article on this friend of the Devil. What to do? I have to decide if our criminal justice system is not a product of Satan, the accuser (Satan is one who accuses) must be.

Why did Phil Pringle do that? Business of course, what else? He is trying to protect his religious investments. He doesn't care what people outside the church think. What he needs to do is minimize the people leaving his church.

Update: October 21 2:10pm

Naturally. Just protecting the business and their reputations among the clueless sheep.

Update: October 21 8pm

Take note of these folks who didn't think the six had done anything wrong. I think if you are not a sucker and have sound judgement, you ought to go find yourself another church.

I know one of them in the photo. Canon James Wong as a chaplain of SAJC long ago and he had also mentored the teenage Kong Hee. What a shame.

Excellent story telling: Our Guardians, Our Home Team

I like this alternative media site Mothership. SG very much. They were quite helpful and useful during the last GE and I have never registered my appreciation. I think today is the right time to do so. They have very often brought me the stuff I need to read.

I hunted down on YouTube the two clips the Home Team had produced: Our Guardians.

Episode 1

Mothership shared Episode 2 which led me to discover Episode 1 above.

Of course these videos are idealized but if they are seen as motivational and aspirational they would have exceeded their purpose. Wasn't it MOE who first started something like this for teachers? They no longer have problems hiring their share of the best. Some of my children's teachers were former police officers and judging from their recollections of their experience in the force, I think MHA must do more. It is not just the pay which must be adequate. It has gotta be meaningful as well.

SGH: A developing Hep C conspiracy?

What a twisted sequence of events over the Hep C contagion at SGH. Last night my phone flashed that SGH had filed a police report. I later discovered that two US doctors have been enlisted to help investigate this. This is no longer simple. I always like conspiracy theories to remain fictional but this one is now worthy of a mystery movie. Agatha Christie were she alive would love to turn this into a novel.

Smells of a sophisticated sabotage at SGH. Will it surface again at SGH and perhaps even other hospitals? Most important, what was the motive? Simple revenge? Politics was involved, I mean to embarrass the the government?

Need to get to the bottom of this.

I wrote about his earlier on October 9. I had thought it was something quite simple.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Trend of childlessness in SG

This problem continues to defy solutions. I think we are not ready to pay the price for a solution.

There is no longer anything new, not even insight into this problem. To me a solution will come when enough people understand the consequences of not having enough children.

This is not a problem that can be solved at the level of individual families. It goes way beyond mindset to our values, priorities all the way to the meaning of life. In other words enough people have to learn the hard way that our present way of life leads to sadness. This will disabuse us of our present lifestyles and pursuits and return us to want to have children very strongly again.

There might be struggles ahead in the order of blood, sweat and tears especially if we are very late. I just hope we don't end up copying the Japanese self defeating attitude.

Bought Dr. Lee Wei Ling book

We got the last copy of Dr. Lee Wei Ling's book last night at Popular Toa Payoh.

Its title might be, "A Hakka woman's Singapore" but to us it is just Dr. Lee Wei Ling's book.

The book is in the cupboard now and we could see pass the glass at it. It is like a reminder to unwrap its protective plastic and turn the pages, but I have no time to do that.

Wifey wanted to buy the book I think it is our way of emotionally connecting with her. I am sure many Singaporeans love her even if she will never know most of us. I think many like to emulate her values especially on how to treat people and animals. We admire her many other convictions especially on material wealth but we are afraid to go to the extremes like her.

She used to be noted for her early over achievements but now is just Lee Wei Ling and that is best. I think Singapore should become something like this too. We must continue to achieve but never pay too much attention to our trophies. The continual improvement of people's welfare is our prize.

For me, I also feel her pain and loneliness. I wish she accepts the Gospel story but the difficulty is that she is more authentic and courageous than most Christians. So who is touching whose lives then?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Goldman Analysts failed to cheat well enough

Let's get real here. In the first place Goldman Sachs have ethics but no morals. That is only true if you redefine ethics. Just to name some of their biggest con jobs. They cheated the Libyan sovereign wealth fund; they taught Greece how to deceive the European Union; nearer home they try to help 1MDB to put it mildly cover up unacceptable activities.

The problem with these 20 weren't thatthey were dishonest but they were clumsy and stupid about it. You should have kept your defrauding skills for the big jobs and work honestly to pass such mundane in-house tests.

So these analysts weren't fired for cheating but for not knowing how to be long term greedy and cheat better!

Didn't know I haven't thrashed this yet. This was four days ago. They ought to suffer the same fate as the late Arthur Andersen.

Talking Johor secession again

They are still talking about secession? One shot across the bow is good enough. Why do you have to keep firing?

That is the problem with Malaysia. You can't take what they say or even promise seriously. That is why you have to be prepared for absurd possibilities.

This is not Scotland trying to get out of the UK or the the Catalans trying to separate from Spain. You take those very seriously. With Malaysia nothing is serious until there is action. Even that could just be wayang.

I am waiting for some to declare they were misunderstood or misquoted.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thumbs Up! Singapore Mouse

On the right is the wrong mouse (Logitech), and on the left is the right mouse (It is a PowerLogic and cost me only $13.50).

The battery for the Logitech mouse doesn't sits properly and so occasionally it will lose battery power and I have to open up that compartment and stretch the spring.

The new cheapo mouse is very light and is equipped with a Li-polymer battery which I can charge with a micro-USB cable. It charges fully in 2 hours. It is also available for use when it is being charged.

I am now using both mouse to manage the strain to my palm but I think I will eventually fire the Logitech one. They are expensive and no good. My problem is not unique either as my daughter's Logitech mouse has the same loose battery problem as well. They are just poorly built.

I just turned over the mouse to learn that this is a PowerLogic and a product of Singapore as well :-)

May be try Uber eh?

I almost never ride the cabs here unless it is to and from the airport. Usually the trip to Changi is pleasant but from the airport to home is almost always much less so. Never understood and never bother to find out why the cab drivers are so unhappy going the opposite direction, and it is not like I live near the airport.

Now I have become curious about Uber. This article from The Middle Ground is a good introduction to why I should try them sometime. Especially when friend recently returned from San Francisco told me Uber service there was excellent and the price right. Remember once we took the cab from SFO to Fisherman's Wharf late at night. We were tired from the long plane trip and last thing in the world the cab driver wanted to bargain with me over his tip!

Looks like traditional taxi services services deserve to be dis-intermediated and out-competed.

Now I wonder what the new Transport Minister would do. Doesn't make sense to fall on the side of old style taxi companies. Look, who are the customers here?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Farewell Dr. Miranda Yap

Good bye Dr. Yap, RIP.

I check this blog since this is what this blog was meant to do - she had a brain aneurysm in 2012, almost three years ago.

Update: Oct 17 8:50 am

ST has a story on her this morning. Perhaps now is the right time to record something about her. Strictly I needn't need to because I have not forgotten after all these years.

She was the only lecturer in our four years at NUS that invited the whole class to her house. I have a group photo of that occasion too.

She was the teacher who never allow you to feel stupid because she wasn't afraid to make mistakes or try to look good in front of us. I still recall her confused and laughing as she tried to figure out the models of molecules in her hands explaining their structural significance. Unlike some of my professors she never came across as brilliant but those who twinkle with brilliance never achieved as much as her. No comparison. Action speaks louder than words. I could ask her any silly question. There were some professors you decide it is better to ask a better student for help than them.

Once I asked a professor a really profound question but he was too one-tracked mind despite his brilliance to understand. You need more than brains to excel at research and a lot of people skills to herd tigers.

It is a small world. Her husband taught my good friend and ex colleague in NTU. He has kept a blog of his journey caring for her over the last few years.

Update: Dec 7 4:35 pm

In the ST today. I can just summarized what this story is all about in one line: She always loved.

New Palm Oil Politics

The point is simple: Indonesia cannot afford not to burn its forests. The fact that Najib visits Jokowi to cooperate on Palm Oil policy is just to increase their heft to the point of 85% of market share. With the power to name prices (wishful) they hope to get others on board. Never mind if they do not. If I were them, I wouldn't even bother. Why not get them to come knock on your doors?

If the choice is presented as being abjectly poor, going hungry and preserving the rain forest for the world, the Indonesians hope to have gained the moral authority to burn their forest while "trying their best" not to over do it. Can they? To begin they are committing to buying a few big water bombing planes.

To me Najib is the side show. He is facing difficulties at home and hope to score point coming to Indonesia aid. He caught Jokowi at a vulnerable moment. I don't believe the Indonesian leader is enjoying this.

As for Singapore, we must be prepared that the haze problem is not going away. Just as in school it is impossible to help a failing student with insufficient authority, there is nothing we can do with the self defeating habits of the Indonesians.

Of course we must also think through those scenarios which we have to bite the bullet because the health and economic costs of the haze is prohibitive.

Update: Oct 19 8:40pm

I don't know how Indonesia and Malaysia is going to play ball with the rest of the world if they permit "controlled" burning of their forests of palm oil and pulp wood. These commodities are no way as strategic as crude oil. I also suspect consumers can afford higher prices and with time and effort they can cut demand for palm oil bu turning to substitutes.

Update: October 21 9:05pm

These are out of this world acceptable numbers. One callous country burn and the whole world pay a huge price. What is the point of the rest of us working so hard to limit emissions when you have utterly irresponsible nations like Indonesia negate all the effort? see Yahoo article. I bet they are going to crucify and hang Indonesia out to dry at the end of year climate conference.

Khaw Boon Wan savvy about train issues

Khaw Boon Wan surely picked up the smart things to do really quickly. In fact no new ideas are needed for our rail issues. It is just a question of selecting the smartest suggestions commuters have surface in the last few years. All bus rides free during major rail disruptions? I heard that more than once on radio.

A picture of his predecessor is invariably him standing alone in the train or bus looking solemn. KBW is savvier. Look at the photo of him connecting with a commuter and not just any commuter. This chap has a clearer idea on how to communicate with the public and manage expectations. If he keeps this up there will be no calls for Hara Kiri.

Why was the LTA director of public transport security standing so far away? You are protecting people ahead of assets you know. He ought to have been talking to the commuter as well.

Playboy Magazine: More than Sex

This article first appeared in the NYT and as usual I am quite unhappy. I have an NYT subscription and yet so often I read the story in the ST.

This article wasn't interesting until I came across a line which explained that its competitor Penthouse had taken the opposite route toward more crazy sex and crashed. I quote:

Penthouse, perhaps the most famous Playboy competitor, responded to the threat from digital pornography by turning even more explicit. It never recovered.

That is why Playboy is more than sex, way more. It is a brand. Sex could never stand on its own and it always had to belong to something bigger. It could and should be love but more often than not it is perverted in countless ways to such a degree that people are confused.

What Playboy had done is since the 1950s have brought sex outdoors. It was a long journey and I believe it was never Hugh Hefner's intention but there are some potential positive outcomes in future. Because sex is no longer under the sheets and unseen any perversion can now be openly discussed and fixed. Indeed it was through sin that grace is found. Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more. Never mind if you think this is misplaced. My take is if you think so, you never understood in the first place. Definitely you have some hang ups as well.


I thought ST could have used the same magazine cover as the NYT which would suggest history, cultural evolution and depth. They didn't know the lesson from Abercrombie & Fitch, Sex No Longer Sells.

The Christian Right had too little faith in the other no birth cert children of God eh? Well this is actually quite complicated.

B. Kausikan please learn from B. Desker

Read this by Barry Desker yesterday in the ST. I thought that was a shrewder way to talk about our closest neighbors. In this instance it was Indonesia. Bilahari Kausikan ought to have done something similar with Malaysia. It was foolish to live down their stereo type of us. It only served to lend credibility to their prejudice when in reality that sort of personalities are declining in our system.

Mr. Desker choice of story was brilliant. Not only telling the truth but also displaying our knowledge and intimacy with our neighbors. Permit me to quote him especially when ST might void that link to the article eventually.

I had the experience of meeting a friend from my posting in Jakarta at the Nadaman restaurant in Singapore. He owed his creditors US$500 million and was a fugitive but had left Indonesia legally and was carrying a valid Indonesian passport. He left the restaurant after paying my bill with his diamond credit card! I was hosting some of my former colleagues and was surprised when I wanted to pay at the end of our meal, so I asked the manager to see the bill. As the credit card was from one of his creditor banks, I concluded that we had all enjoyed the hospitality of his bankers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Driverless Vehicles definitely coming

I remember clearly Khaw Boon Wan talking about self driving vehicles sometime back. That stuck with me because I am among those who are very enthusiastic about this. I look forward to not owning a car.

From the public policy perspective, this is a real boon. No wonder the government is spending big bucks on this.

Each time I study a financial or economic crisis, I see world leaders at best only try to attempt partial solutions. Most time they kick the can down the street. Then I told myself throughout history societies simply wait for technology to solve their problems. Any other way caused too much pain. In fact without advancing technology, democracy would never work. Who is mad enough to vote for austerity much less suffering. A successful democracy and an strong technological capabilities go hand in hand.

If we are wildly successful (not reason why not) using AVs (autonomous vehicles) in public transport, I think making it available for private-public use is only an easy step away. I bet Uber would have a ready solution to make this a breeze at that time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Khaw's first MRT breakdown

This is news but it is no surprise. The new Transport Minister had already told us to expect this. Even if he didn't say so, we already know but it mattered that he did say so. He is a far more savvy politician than his honest to goodness predecessor. When dealing with the public you need the political chops to succeed. Basically Khaw Boon Wan had asked us to be patient and reasonable as he gets used to this new pair of shoes. Except for the persistent anti-PAP types, I think he will succeed.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

938LIVE REPORTS: Inderjit "On Record"

Every minister ought to read this interview Inderjit Singh gave to 93.8FM

Our leaders suffered from willful blindness. Sure they invited Margaret Hefernan to help them understand better what that is but it didn't help them until they got humiliated in the 2011 GE.

The problem with our ministers is that most of them act humble but are not truly humble because they suffer from spiritual poverty. Fortunately when they are stupid they are often smarter than when leaders elsewhere are smart but for SG that is living dangerously for nothing.

Bersih 4: Bilahari Kausikan reckless show off

Bilahari Kausikan appeared on my radar years back when he made some ill advised remarks about killing senior citizens as a policy option answering a question in ACJC. To me he is the most arrogant permanent secretary. Even Kishore Mahbubani isn't his match.

I agree with his analysis in the op-end, "Singapore is not island" which started a firestorm of exchange between him and the DAP MPs. I learned nothing new from him. I am fairly convinced that those who might have benefited from that article most likely did not read it and those who read only to discover they already knew learned those hard facts of life many times over before. So I don't know why he even bothered except like many senior civil servants he is just another one who is out of touch with Singapore's society. He should go to Inderjit Singh for lessons but I guess he is too proud to do that.

Unable to match Bilahari tumescent language Tony Pua far more modest in language ability had resorted to calling us a "mercenary prick". Again nothing new here. It is just an intemperate way to declare they have no confidence competing against us successfully, otherwise the most delicious response is simply to win. Not if we can help it, after so many years of separation the Malaysians are just too discouraged.

The irony of it all is that the DAP ideology is so similar to the PAP but I cannot say the same if the talent benches were compared.

Bersish 4.0 is not about race but the other side has turned it into a racial issue in order to muster the support of Malays. This is Malaysia and all roads lead to race eventually. If you don't want to get there remember to hop off the bus in time. If you want to fix Najib, it is much wiser to let the Malays do it because you will not be rewarded but severely punished for such acts.

As for Bilahari he is brilliant but his usefulness is limited because he is such a show off. At the end of the day what have we gained from this public spat? Speak for yourself Bilahari Kausikan. Don't claim to be speaking for Singaporeans. Malaysia would be Malaysia and we are price takers. Even if you stop talking, writing and begin praying you have no power to influence future outcomes across the Causeway.

Update: 11:15pm

I quote the wise chairman of the PSC Eddie Teo from his speech given on September 24 in Melbourne.

How Eddie Teo had said and now printed in the ST is good enough and will be picked up by far more readers than Bilahari's op-ed because people are more interested in PSC scholars than foreign affairs.

Unless we have the equivalent of the poor names christened on Indonesian warships, we must take care not to over react. We thank the Indonesians for showing us beneath the veneer of a warm friendship what they truly are. We took the opportunity to educate our young thoroughly on that evil chapter of our bilateral relations which at other times were tricky to teach our young. Come on, we are all pretending to be friends for mutual benefits.

Unhappy Dental Scene here

This is good and I am happy for these foreign workers. This is also worrying as it is obvious demand grossly exceed supply but I suppose the majority of foreign workers might in the end not know about this or something else will prevent them from showing up at this clinic for treatment. I hope to be totally wrong here and be ambushed by media reports later to the contrary. At that time how are they going to meet demand? We can't even meet local demand without stratospheric prices now. I am faulting MOH for botching up on this.

These days I try to avoid the private dental clinics because I find increasingly they are become less dental practitioners and more business people in the beauty trade, too eager to recommend unnecessary procedures. We tried NTUC denticare and to be generous to them are no better. I am now with the polyclinic but the waiting time is very long. At least they don't try to con you into doing unnecessary jobs.

Dental care here is going downhill. When is it going to turn the corner, if ever? Some people have crossed over to Johor Bahru to get their routine scaling done. A friend also went there to replace his dentures because his dentist here insist on doing an implant costing a few thousand dollars.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Woman's hand severed by HDB flat lift

I am shocked by this piece of news. There are safety features which should have prevented a terrible mishap like this. To think that sometimes I use my hand or arm to knock and trigger the lift door to reopen for neighbors to share the elevator ride. Now I am feeling this is a potentially risk act.

The HDB must give a public accounting why this had happened and what measures are put in place to prevent this from recurring. It is very bad if people start to become afraid to use our lifts. The overwhelming number of lifts would operate fine but you never know which one will chop your arm off just like this one.

SGH Hep C outbreak: Looking good most important

I didn't have time to follow this very important public health crisis carefully. Of course the priority cannot be more different if a family member or friend is warded at SGH. Most likely I think most of us do not pay close attention to this, but it is an issue of utmost importance.

Dr. Tan Cheng Bock asked the right questions. Something like this should never have happened and also whey did they keep mum about this for months? I think these worried and courage scarce (increasingly a problem with our leaders) leaders want to mitigate this disaster before coming out. Helps them look better.

I saw this in the ST yesterday.

I won't be surprised in the end SGH confirms that multi-dose vial with an infected syringe turned out to be the cause of Hepatitis C spreading in those wards. If it weren't so it wouldn't be October that they confess but perhaps December or anytime not too far away that it becomes totally inexcusable.

If it were Dr. Lee Wei Ling in charge, we will know about this earliest practical. But smaller characters run the show at SGH. The moral of this story is with SGH you cannot simply trust them. You have to watch them and keep them honest or we will regret.