Category Archives: Politics Related – Current Affairs.

A good article regarding the Edward Snowden saga.

I will be quoting a some excerpts from the article which I find are enlightening.

Like any journalist, I am a fervent believer in freedom of information. But I also believe governments should have secrets – and also secretive methods of finding out what is going on over the horizon. That’s what intelligence is for: to protect citizens against unpleasant surprises.

This hits the sweet spot. There’s always spying going on between countries, and there’s no need to “over-publicise” the fact that it actually happens. Look at what happened between Indonesia and Australia. The vicious backlash from Indonesia is kinda overboard in my opinion. The ex-spy chief of Indonesia stated himself that it is natural for countries to spy on each other. It isn’t like Indonesia doesn’t do any spying on its own.

Snowden, Assange and Manning are more information anarchists than whistle-blowers, the products of the Internet generation, which shares the naive conviction that citizens should know everything their governments do. It does not seem to matter to them that too much public knowledge of official secrets puts their governments at a disadvantage to states such as China and Russia, where free flow of information is not encouraged and can often lead to draconian espionage charges.

Another paragraph which sums it all up very nicely.

After saying all that, I am not fully against what Snowden is doing, what he has bravely done definitely goes a long way in enshrining the privacy of the general populace. However, the information which he chooses to release could be given a little more thought. Well, I acknowledge that it is easy to say since I am not in his position, but  yeah, it is a tight rope he is walking on.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Seriously, the Merry-Go-Round again over transport fares..

From what I have gathered from reading several news articles concerning the Fare Review Mechanism Committee (FRMC) fare review, it is the same Merry-Go-Round again. Why would I say so ?

Firstly, there potentially might be subsidies for Polytechnic students (yay!) and the Senior Citizens. However, the subsidies are to be borne by full-paying commuters. Well well, isn’t this the same story all over again ? Subsidies are provided to a particular group, and then fares are increased for another.

Isn’t this akin to a “back to square one” kind of situation ? You give some, and then you take back ALOT. The proportion of full-paying commuters should outnumber the polytechnic and elderly population by a fair margin. Wow. Fantastic ploy to recoup the “losses” due to the increased concessions ?

I believe we all know that the Public Transport Operators (PTOs – SBS,SMRT) are listed and private companies whose main purpose is clearly to make profit, but sometimes, can’t there be the one time when they lose a little ? To my memory, there is no Fare Review which doesn’t involve a fare increase one way or another.

On a similar tune, remember during the National Rally, PM Lee emphasised on the increased coverage of MediShield etc ..  Yeah it sounds good and all, but who pays ? Everyone’s insurance premiums shot up by a significant amount, and there is no opting out.. Obviously when you pay for it, the insurance companies would be more than happy to give you better coverage. Not sure why does PM Lee make a big fuss over this.. This isn’t a big achievement for the government at all.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Definition of Poverty.

I came across this great definition of poverty from the 18th century economist Adam Smith in last week’s Straits Times :

” By necessaries, I understand not only the commodities which are indispensably necessary for the support of life but whatever the custom of the country renders it indecent for
creditable people, even of the lowest order, to be without. A linen shirt, for example, is strictly speaking not a necessity of life. . .  But in the present time . . . a creditable day labourer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt. “

In other words, a person falls below the poverty line when he isn’t able to afford necessities which would support life ( food etc ) and also anything which the custom of his country deems indecent to be without.

A succinct definition, I would say.

Tagged , , , , ,

School building in Singapore being named after a student due to donations..

Nothing new these days eh ? Yet another building in Singapore being named after someone who has donated money..

No doubt in this case it has a distinct difference from the other cases, as the building is named after a student who died due to a heart attack. The dad of the student donated S$1 million for the school to construct the building.

Anyone, as human beings, will definitely symphathise with the loss of his son. However, I draw the line at naming a building after a student just so that people will remember him. The dad’s name could be commemoratively stated in an honour list which I am sure most schools would have. A plaque on the new building stating that this building is funded by the dad sounds alright too. I just don’t think it is right to name a building after someone just because he died, to put it bluntly. What did the student actually do to have such a great honour – a building named after him ?

It would be pretty scary if more and more school buildings end up being named after dead people with family wealth.

Tagged , , ,

Haze 2013: What’s Happening Behind The Scenes in Singapore?

Haze 2013: What’s Happening Behind The Scenes in Singapore?.

An interesting analysis on how the current haze is affecting governmental decisions behind the scenes.

Tagged , , , , ,

The story of an Indonesian Minister’s attempts at being a comedian.

Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise,” Agung Laksono, the minister who is coordinating Indonesia’s response to the haze crisis, told reporters in Jakarta.

“This is not what the Indonesian nation wants, it is because of nature.”

The minister for people’s welfare also said Jakarta would reject any offer of financial aid from Singapore unless it was a large amount.

“Unless (Singapore) wants to give us a large amount, we won’t consider accepting it,” he said. “If it is only half a million, or one million dollars, we don’t need that. We would rather use our own national budget.”

Wow please, I can’t even .. fathom how amazing he is at creating better and better jokes.

So he is attributing all these haze to natural forest fires ? That must be one hell of a forest fire. And coincidentally, it usually happens at certain times of the year, like now.

Guess what, 1 million cash to him is chump change, I wonder how much he has in his personal bank accounts. Being his ATM isn’t easy, you need to have a substantial amount before you can request to be one. (Y)

“There are Indonesian, Singaporean and Malaysian companies there,” he said, echoing previous comments from officials in Jakarta seeking to shift the blame away from solely Indonesian firms.

Hmm yeah.. so what if there are Singaporean or Malaysian companies there ? Can’t your laws deter or stop them ? Seriously too funny. So, if a Singaporean/Malaysian murders someone in cold blood in Indonesia, they can get away with the fact that they are of Singaporean/Malaysian origin ? * Claps *

“It has only been a week of smoke but people are already making so much noise. What about all the oxygen that (Indonesia) supplies to them during the rest of the year?” – An Indonesian government spokesperson.

^ * A round of applause please * . Wow, simply wow. You beat any comedian hands down, anytime.

Tagged , , , , ,

Some really hilarious comments made by people regarding HDB COVs..

COV

COV

Seriously. This is the epitome of an epic comment. So if he is selling his flat, he is trying to say that other people ( the buyer of his flat  ) should bear the renovation costs of his future home via the payment of COVs ?

Wadafuq. The renovation costs are for your own future home, so it should be paid for by yourself. If you have no $$$ to renovate that extensively, then simply don’t.

Do not rely on others to foot your renovation costs via COV. Anyway, COVs in itself is already an atrocious policy ..

It does nothing but bring flat prices up to ridiculous levels. $100k+ COV for a flat in Bishan, anyone ?

Tagged , , , ,

Re-emphasis of the fact that cars are only for the wealthy.

With reference to my previous post – The government will NOT revamp the COE system. Period. , the curbs for future car buyers in the Government Budget 2013 released today further proves the point that only the wealthy can own a car; the rest should survive with public transport.

Not only is the maximum timeframe for the car loan decreased ( from 7 years to 5 years ) , future car buyers will have to stump up more cash upfront according to the OMV value of the car they are eyeing on. This is due to the maximum loan amount being decreased from 70% to 60% or 50% based on the OMV value of the car.

If this signal isn’t clear enough to potential car buyers, I don’t know what is.

Tagged , , , ,

SMEs, taking things for granted since eons ago.

Really, I am now very annoyed at the bosses of SMEs who kept lambasting the curbs in Foreign labour and etc..

Initially, I sympathized with them, but some complains are getting overboard.

It is a fact that SMEs can’t afford to provide their staff a salary comparable to MNCs as they are a small company. I am sure everyone realises this fact and accepts it. However, it can’t be that drastically low to the point where it isn’t enough for a Singaporean residing in Singapore to get by.

From the complains I see, some SMEs seem to only want to pay the same amount of pay which they are giving to foreign workers such as those from Malaysia etc. Take for example, when the Government announced that they are building a rapid railway line from Malaysia to Singapore, some SMEs bosses immediately thought of the idea of saving more cash as they can potentially pay future Malaysian workers even lesser as their accommodation can be in Malaysia, which is cheaper. This first thought in the bosses heads’ is telling, eh ?

Oh come on, some SMEs have been thriving based on the low wages they gave to their staff. It is time for a change. A curb in the foreign workers will ‘force’ them to hire Singaporeans, which would naturally demand a higher salary. If the company finds that it can’t sustain, it jolly well finds a way to keep itself afloat. Some SMEs have been leading the good life for too long, paying dirt low wages to staff to boost profit margins. It is time they woke up to the new reality.

SMEs that cannot survive this new reality will simply sink. It is the harsh truth. They can shift their businesses overseas, by all means. The Government should not pander to them anymore.

The decades of wage suppression should be squashed. It begins now.

Tagged , , , , ,

The hidden agenda for the 6.9 Million Population White Paper ?

I’ve just happened to be listening to the radio today, and there’s a political analyst making a thought-provoking statement, ” In a democratic country, a political party will protect its own interests when it is under threat, not the national interests. ” (  something along those lines , I can’t exactly recall )

This brings about some hypothetical ideas regarding the White Paper. Is it coincidence that the White Paper is established right after the PAP lost Punggol East to the Opposition ? Hmm.

PAP might have a hidden agenda behind this. The higher-ups in the party may have realised that pleasing Singaporeans does not translate into votes for them. Promising childcare centres and so on for Punggol East doesn’t seem to work. On a national level, the Government has been increasing the foreign levies as well to stagnate the number of foreign workers entering SG etc at the ire of SMEs and other businesses..

Thus, they may have come up with a last-ditch solution to this issue. By bringing in more ‘new citizens’ , they can guarantee a certain % of people who will most likely be voting for them in the future. This is to ensure the party’s survival and nothing more.

Furthermore, based on the figures from The Straits Times, a 6.9m population will result in only 55% of the population being native Singaporeans. Hmm.. food for thought ?

Tagged , , , , ,