Sunday, November 27, 2005
What is wrong with Australians anyway? Just one small time salesman, they whole country stands up for him. When Singaporeans get death penalty, everyone goes on with their lives like nothing happened, just like that Shanmugum feller who was hanged for 1 Kg of cannabis. Cannabis itself does not kill. The logic is cannabis can cause a person to like drugs, then move on to hard drugs, then become hooked on cocaine afterwards risk death by overdose - therefore the cannabis trafficker must hang. For that reason, I support death penalty for gambling den operators - they cause the gambler to be hooked and then commit suicide when they are finacially ruined. I'm sure the intellectually superior PAP govt done their due diligence when they decide to allow the casino, they are confident no life will the ruin or lost otherwise the death penalty logic has to apply.
We are lucky to be Singaporeans, we have a govt that has applied cold logic consistently to ensure that our safety is never compromised. We should therefore resist the influence and flawed logic of those Australians who are emotional and can't see our pure rationality.
Australian PM Howard warns Singapore of resentment over hanging
Prime Minister John Howard has warned Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of the possibility that many Australians might feel resentment towards the city state if it goes ahead with the planned execution of a convicted drug trafficker from Melbourne.
Howard met with his Singaporean counterpart at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta on Saturday and discussed the plight of Nguyen Tuong Van, who is due to be hanged on December 2.
"I had quite a talk with him this afternoon. I told him that the feeling about the execution was intense in Australia," Howard told reporters, according to a transcript released from his office.
"I said that it would continue in my opinion to grow through the week.
"I did not get the indication that the Singapore government was going to change its position in any way in relation to the decision to go ahead with the execution."
The case of Nguyen, who was convicted of bringing some 400 grams (14 ounces) of heroin into Singapore as he travelled from Cambodia to Australia in 2002, has been the subject of intense diplomatic efforts, which have so far failed to grant him clemency.
Howard has refused to bring the matter up formally at the Commonwealth meeting but he and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark have raised the issue informally with Lee.
Howard said that he had informed Lee that public opinion in Australia, where boycotts of Singapore-owned companies have been suggested, would be against Singapore's decision.
"I... have an obligation to explain to the government of Singapore that there will be lingering resentment on the part of many Australians regarding this issue," he said.
Howard said he had "tried in all the appropriate ways" to persuade Singapore to spare Nguyen's life but admitted he had been in a difficult situation.
"I also have the responsibility of calibrating what I do on this with regard to the relationship between our two countries and the interests that both countries have in that relationship," he said.
"It's quite a hard situation. Singapore, of course, is a close partner of Australia but they do have attitudes on these issues that I don't share.
"I don't think a mandatory death penalty in a situation like this is appropriate."
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I was really thinking about the geese, I can understand that drugs are not allowed but geese?!
1. If the women have eaten and carried them in her stomach, it would be alright.
2. It is biologically IMPOSSIBLE for roasted duck to carry the bird flu virus. It impossible for any virus to survive even light cooking. Anyway thousands of people carry eaten duck/chicken meat in the stomach cross into Singapore.
3. The law states : "Beef, mutton, pork and poultry in any form cannot be brought in from Malaysia, Thailand, China, Indonesia and India - licence and a permit are required before importing meat and meat products into Singapore". Yeah but the woman was bringing in 2 geese....IMPORTING 2 geese, wow that woman heck of an importer of geese.
4. "She refused to hand the geese over and threw them on the floor instead". If anyone is subject to such a law, he should be forgiven if he does the same. Sir, you're not allowed to bring the meat you have eaten into Singapore, please vomit it before entering Singapore.
Yes, we should have sentenced this woman to death, by trafficking 2 roast geese, that might carry the bird flu virus, she could have destroyed many lives and families. Why did they let her off so lightly by fining her $3000?!
================================================================== Woman fined for refusing to surrender roast geese at Changi
SINGAPORE : A woman was fined $3,000 for trying to bring in two roast geese from China, and refusing to hand them over to the authorities.The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority said Tan Chai Peng was stopped at Changi Airport's Terminal 2 on September 30 and told to surrender the birds for disposal because she did not have a licence to bring them in.
She refused to hand the geese over and threw them on the floor instead.
She was fined $3,000 for obstructing Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers in the execution of their duties.
And another charge of importing two roast geese from China was also taken into consideration in sentencing. Under Singapore laws, a licence and a permit are required before importing meat and meat products into Singapore. Travellers are allowed to bring in small quantities of meat for personal consumption, but this must be limited to 5 kilogrammes per person and come from a country approved by the AVA. Beef, mutton, pork and poultry in any form cannot be brought in from Malaysia, Thailand, China, Indonesia and India. - CNA
"Howard's anger was palpable last week in South Korea after finding that Mrs Nguyen had been informed about her son's execution date yet Howard himself was not told of this during his meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, a meeting during which Howard made lengthy representations and asked for the death penalty to be reconsidered."
Don't these Australians get it? Hanging a human being is a small matter in Singapore, why get so emotional and worked up?
"The city state executes its own citizens and the problem in offering clemency to Nguyen lies in giving a foreigner a concession denied to Singapore's people."
Yes, see the problem? Singapore hangs its own citizen for trafficking plants like cannabis so how to NOT hang Nguyen for trafficking heroin.
Singaporeans don't know how to live outside of this mindset. That is why we have many laws such as anti-sedition and media control to ensure that we never ever get out of this mindset. We are lucky to be under the PAP who will ensure this mindset last forever....it is after all for the own good of Singaporeans.
The hanging of Nguyen will shock many Australians; it will be seen as a punishment out of proportion with the crime.
In Singapore, it will shock nobody. Our courts just jailed a woman 11 years for shoplifting. Heavy punishment makes Singapore a safer gentler nation.
Paul Kelly: Fatal flaws exposed
November 23, 2005
SINGAPORE has the most intimate ties with Australia of any Asian nation, yet the issue of Nguyen Tuong Van exposes the rift over principles and culture that bedevils Australia's ties with Asia.
There is little public awareness of Singapore-Australia closeness at the elite levels of politics, business and security. Singapore is our true partner in Southeast Asia. We share a common mindset about the region, China and the US. There is no other Asian leadership with which Australia feels as comfortable. Yet the impending hanging of Nguyen will expose the limitations of this relationship and the misjudgments made by Singapore.
All the signs are that Singapore will proceed to execution. The Howard Government, in private, believes the issue is settled. Singapore has executed several hundred people during the past decade and has withstood fierce retaliation from countries whose nationals have been executed. The policy of capital punishment is accepted within Singapore.
The city state executes its own citizens and the problem in offering clemency to Nguyen lies in giving a foreigner a concession denied to Singapore's people.
In truth, Singapore is trapped by its authoritarian mindset. The disciplined rigidity so identified with its success is now an obstacle to its progress. Singapore seems frozen amid a region in evolution, as shown by the democratic transition of Indonesia during the past decade.
Close Australia-Singapore ties are an orthodoxy yet such ties are not underpinned by sufficient popular consent. And Singapore is about to inflict grave damage on its reputation in this country.
The hanging of Nguyen will shock many Australians; it will be seen as a punishment out of proportion with the crime. It will highlight Singapore's authoritarian nature, its denial of civil liberties and the flaws in its awesome record of success. The execution will be a bad news event for Singapore to a far greater extent than its Government has grasped.
It is past time for Singapore to re-think its position. Indeed, senior figures within Singapore's Government are deeply unhappy about the situation and the policy.
While the Howard Government made representations for a long time on Nguyen's behalf it seems to have misjudged the intensity of the Australian public reaction. The dilemma created for Australia is revealed in the contrasting reactions of Alexander Downer and Kevin Rudd.
When Singapore rejected the appeal for clemency the initial Australian reaction was one of resigned acceptance.
"I am happy to do anything realistic to try to save his life but on the other hand I am very pessimistic," Downer said on October 24.
It is no surprise if Singapore interpreted such remarks as meaning that Australia was not prepared to compromise the bilateral relationship for Nguyen.
Presumably, this is exactly what Singapore did conclude. This goes to the nub of the matter: that any Australian government has multiple responsibilities.
The core conundrum is that a public campaign will only succeed if the bilateral relationship is called into question yet the more vocal and public the pressure the more difficult it is for Singapore to retreat in humiliation.
The Howard Government, therefore, is trapped in a dual stance: it believes Singapore cannot be turned yet it has a responsibility to make what efforts it can on Nguyen's behalf.
Howard has put Singapore on notice that it "should not imagine that this incident is going unnoticed in Australia". But Howard has drawn a line on where that responsibility ends. He will not countenance any substantive threats or retaliation on the trade, political or security relationship.
Singapore is our closest ally in the region; its armed forces train widely in this country; it works closely with Australia against Islamic terrorism; it served in the UN force in East Timor; it is our largest trade and investment partner in Southeast Asia; it is the first nation in the region that entered a free trade deal with Australia; and a proposed Qantas-Singapore Airlines merger is not very far from the negotiating table.
Howard and Downer can dismantle the Australia-Singapore relationship brick-by-brick as a gesture of concern and outrage. But is this a rational or responsible reaction? They believe such retaliation would only be a gesture and make no difference whatsoever to Nguyen's fate.
Such rationality and realism will be sorely tested during the next 10 days. It is likely that opinion in Australia will reach an emotional intensity at this execution.
This situation is a variation on an old refrain: the limits to Australia's influence when its nationals are entrapped in Asian laws that offend our values and human decency.
By contrast, Rudd has warned Singapore not just that Australian opinion is upset but that Australia-Singapore relations will be damaged.
"The Singaporean Government has treated Australia with contempt on this question," Rudd told the ABC's Insiders. "We've had representations from the Pope, from the Prime Minister, the Governor-General, the Opposition, a resolution of the Australian Parliament and representations from a huge cross-section of the Australian people. The Singaporean Government's response to that has been to tell us all to go jump in the lake."
Rudd's tactic is that progress is only possible once Singapore knows that damage is being done. Rudd, in turn, knows that for this warning to be credible it must be genuine. His logic is clear: Rudd is telling Singapore that its execution policy is inconsistent with the maintenance of public support in this nation for the Australia-Singapore relationship.
This is a far-reaching position. Singapore should reflect upon this point, which is easier to make from Opposition. It constitutes an assault on the Howard-Downer tactic as defeatist and reflects a different foundational judgment of the situation.
Singapore, of course, has mishandled the diplomacy of this issue with Australia. Howard's anger was palpable last week in South Korea after finding that Mrs Nguyen had been informed about her son's execution date yet Howard himself was not told of this during his meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, a meeting during which Howard made lengthy representations and asked for the death penalty to be reconsidered.
Downer says Australia won't hold out false hopes, yet he will be driven into further initiatives with Singapore in good faith to Nguyen and in response to public demands.
Meanwhile there are two other Australians on death row in Vietnam (two were previously given clemency), one in China, the Bali nine facing trial in Indonesia, a total of 228 Australians facing trial in 60 nations and 175 convicted and serving sentences.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Pork Barreling - is a derogatory term describing government spending that is intended to benefit constituents of a politician in return for their political support such as votes. Yes we are lucky that the PAP govt does not engage in pork barrel politics by linking votes to govt spending schemes.
Friday, October 7, 2005 at 07:24 JST SINGAPORE — Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday criticized the corruption and pork barrel politics that have bedeviled Japan's political system.
Lee, speaking at a luncheon organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association, said Japan is a good example of an Asian-style parliamentary democracy that has worked well. "But they landed into problems because of corruption, money politics, pork barreling, and then necessary changes were not made and the country, instead of making adjustments and prospering like America, just flew straight on and went into a storm. So how do we maintain our system and not end up like that?"
Monday, November 21, 2005
Support ... Friends place hands from their reach out campaign in front of the State Library in Melbourne / David Crosling
I sure won't like be a Singaporean in Melbourne these few days. I guess those Singapore students in Monash, RMIT & Melbourne U will be keeping a low profile. According to Straits Times & other Singaporean newspapers, these Australians are emotional people who are not seeing the totally rational argument of the Singapore govt. The logic is simple, the Singapore law states that people trafficking heroin will be executed, Nguyen trafficked heroin therefore Singapore must hang him no matter what. According to our esteemed minister Wong Kan Seng, Singapore laws have to be obeyed 'no matter what'.
Why are Australians spending so much effort trying to rescue an ordinary (non-elite) member of their society? If a Singaporean gets executed, nobody can be bothered - let me asked you how many of you have taken time off to protest to save the life of someone about to be executed. First of all, it is futile - the Singapore govt can never be swayed, secondly protests in Singapore require approval of the police will never be granted, third there are more important things to do like shopping and karaoke. Look at what the friends of Nguyen (see picture above) did to try to save his life outside Melbourne State Library - in Singapore they would have been arrested by the police.
Singapore will hang Nguyen for the good of Australians since the drugs he was trafficking is intended for Australia. They should be showering Singapore with thank you cards instead of protests for saving them from the drug menace.
What is wrong with these Australians anyway? ....and all the Singaporeans that emigrate there, don't these Singaporeans realise that migrating to a country without the death penalty will ultimately endanger their families?....
Many schemes were put in place to ensure equal and fair treatment for all serving NS. One of these schemes during my time was the "White Horse" scheme, which former Minister Cedrick Foo explained was put in place to ensure that no-one is singled out for special treatment. We are so lucky that such safeguards are put in place to ensure fairness.
After his heavy punishment of $5000, the pianist is now a free man and can come back whenever he wishes. I wonder if he had been working as a taxi driver or cleaner in Austrailia, whether he will get the same heavy punishment of $5000 or get a light sentence of 3 years jail or both.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
CPF withdrawal age keeps getting pushed up. This is done for Singaporeans own good so they won't get lazy and get to enjoy working well into their old age. People of other countries don't have such a privilege, once they reach about 55, they spend all their time hanging around parks, playing checkers at the community club and playing with their grand children.
When it comes to treatment of aged workers, no one does a better job than the public sector.
The private sector has to learn from the government's example on how to take care of older workers. The government really takes 'special care' of its older workers.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Yes we are all so lucky to be living in Singapore where things like fast food pricing is an important issue......
Same fries and drink but different combo prices
MY GIRLFRIEND and I were having dinner at Carl's Junior when she noticed that the price differences for the combos did not make sense. A combo consists of a burger plus fries and a drink.The differences between the price of a combo and the burger should be equal as the extras - fries and a drink - were similar in all combos. This was not the case.
For instance: It did not make sense that a customer would have to pay more for fries and a drink as part of a combo because of the choice of burger. After all, the only difference in the combos is the burger and they are priced differently.
If price were my primary concern, I would choose the cheaper combo. However, we decided to order a combo and a burger alone, and this was where the problem arose.
I ordered a Western Bacon Cheeseburger Combo and a Famous Star Burger and it cost me $13.10. However, if I had ordered a combo for the Famous Star and just a Western Bacon Cheeseburger, my meal would have cost just $12.40.
Essentially, both choices gave me the same items - two burgers, a pack of fries and a drink - but because of this irregularity in pricing, I ended up paying more. This price difference was also present in its other combos.
On further thought, I realised that something like this could also happen in other fast-food chains. A quick check on the prices at McDonald's supported this observation. However, the price discrepancies were not as significant.
Could the respective fast-food chains explain why is there such a price difference in the meals and combos when the extras we are paying for are the same things?
Are consumers aware of this? In my case, a more informed choice would have saved me quite a bit.
Justin Zhuang Yukang
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
People suggest that the one-off amount be about $1000, the monthly salary of these workers. Looking at my utilities bill, I realised this one-off idea has probably been in the works for some time - my electricity rate has increased 20% ahead of this bonus a few months ago. See how far sighted our leaders are?
Singaporeans are so lucky to have such far sighted leaders to give them one-off bonuses.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
The BEST idea is to cut down the CPF contribution of $1000 per month workers so they can affort the rising utilities and transport costs - brilliant idea indeed !!! Yes our PAP elites have been debating for days on this very important issue. We can see from their deep thoughts the high quality of leadership that rule over us, here is a summary:
Halimah Yacob (NTUC taskforce) : Those earning just $1,000, or even a little less, may be better off if they can take home more in cash, and not see one-fifth of their pay channelled into CPF .
Ng Eng Hen (Million $ Minister) : : 'If they don't own homes because they don't have enough in their CPF, then what happens if you have a whole class of homeless low-wage workers?
Profound indeed - either you have enough to live OR you have enough to pay HDB to buy a home. Looks intractable to me, but don't worry in few months the PAP will figure out what to do.
The debate demonstrates the superior intellect our PAP govt. This superior intellect of the PAP elite is confirmed when I spoke to an ordinary average Singaporean with only 'A' level qualifications. This is what he said, my comments in brackets:
1. To solve the low wage problem - allow wages to rise then it won't be low (ooi, so simple why we pay minister million $ huh?!). Economic costs consists of capital goods, rent and wages, + various govt costs such tax etc if the govt can hold the other costs steady, a growing economy can sustain higher wages. (waliao, you mean you want our govt and GLCs to make less money?! That is a dangerous idea!).
2. Our wages are kept low by the floodgates of foreign workers (Hey! Blasphemous! Time to call the thought police on this guy, the PAP already said foreign workers are good for us.).
3. Necessities contributing to rise of cost of living such as transport, utilities, food, various fees should be keep in check and linked to the bottom 20% of income earners (how can?! you want our SMRT, SingPower, SingTel profits to be linked to the poorest performing segment of the population?...like that how to grow profits year after year and raise the CEO pay?).
I conclude that ordinary Singaporeans have nothing new to add to the debate. Their point all run counter to the interest of the PAP party which says it works for the good of the people. These ordinary Singaporeans who don't even have a Masters Degree, should keep their mouths shut. If the problem can be solved in the simple manner they describe, the PAP which hold the people's interest as its highest priority would have done it. There must be some flaw in this ordinary chap's economic reasoning - it is best for him not to endanger himself and his society by speaking up. I can see now why Singapore needs the Straits Time to constantly correct the wrong thinking of ordinary Singaporeans.
Friday, November 04, 2005
I had other incorrect thoughts about why so many FTs are needed in Singapore, I'm so glad that those thoughts have been corrected by the Today newspaper (you can click on the article to read it) - FTs are brought into Singapore because Singaporeans are picky!!
I read today's Straits Times about a worker in Beijing who died after working continously for 24 hours. Her pay was $210 a month. Singaporeans are indeed picky, the govt has highlighted the problem of 300,000 workers earning below $1200!! If we are not picky, we would have 500,000 workers earning below $800 per month. Isn't that more desirable a bigger pool of low wage workers to give our companies higher and higher profits?
The good thing about Singapore, is our govt is concerned about the good of Singapore. They have opened the floodgates for FTs to combat this picky problem. Other govts would be forced to implement minimum wage to ensure the lowest paid workers have sufficient for basic necessities and plan for retirement. The Singapore approach is smarter - we teach our workers how to live on $1000 per month:
1. Maggie mee tastes good.
2. If you run out, borrow from your richer relatives. If you have no relatives, your neighborhood loan shark can also help.
3. I have one neighbor who is so poor, his children watch TV from their window....by looking at the plasma in the neighboring block! There are many innovative ways to save money. Singaporeans have been told by the govt to think "out of the box".
4. Buy 4D. I've never met a poor person who never buy 4D. One lucky number and the pain of poverty goes away for a few months.
5. Take bus to JB once a month for groceries, dental and haircut etc.
Other countries have stupid methods for solving the low wage problem like welfare, jobless benefits and special schemes for utilities & health care. I was shocked to find the Hong Kong govt gives welfare to its citizens - have they learned nothing from the PAP govt that giving this welfare will result in lower competitiveness. We are sure to beat them in the coming years. Cheers to the PAP govt for making Singapore so competitive for our own good. We are all so lucky to be Singaporeans!
Thursday, November 03, 2005
In the coming weeks, Singapore will hang an Australian drug trafficker. There are many interesting facts surrounding this case not published in the Straits Times - I guess XiaXue's toilet controversy is more important than the circumstances leading to Singapore applying its death penalty. Singapore has the highest per capita execution rate in the world so taking away a person's life well is just routine and not really newsworthy. Death penalty for drug trafficking is mandatory (compulsory) above a certain amount so judges don't even need to think when they pass the death sentence.....judges have no choice so its not their fault. Even if you inadvertently bring morphine through Changi Airport intended for pain relief for earthquake victims in Pakistan, you can be hanged!....Indeed our laws are helping us to set records for capital punishment.
This Nyugen guy is really interesting:
1. This feller is a twin. Yes, there is another genetic copy of him who turned to the dark side and became involved in the underworld. He is the good twin - who was trafficking drugs to help his brother who is in debt.
2, The drugs were intended for Melbourne not Singapore - he was in transit through Singapore. So it is ironic that Melbourne is trying to rescue him and Singapore is trying to hang him....when the intended crime would harm Melbourne more than Singapore.
3. This guy studied hard to get an IT degree. He could have entered Singapore as a valued FT, made plenty of money and send it back to his brother.
4. This guy is a completely unprofessional. He carried one pack in his hand carry luggage easily caught by our highly efficient officers at Changi Airport.
5. This is his first crime. He has never been in trouble for anything. I guess it will be his last.
6. This guy has friends many friends. Friends to write to him in prison, people who will vouch for his character.
Well, it seems that he met his fate in Singapore. Anywhere else in the world, the many mitigating circumstances surrounding his crime would have allowed the judge to exercise some discretion and save him from the gallows ....but not in Singapore where the death penalty is mandatory for his crime. ..Perhaps he met a few happy lucky Singaporeans, and seeing how happy they are, he never imagined the drug laws to be so harsh. In Australia, he would have been jailed 6 to 10 years. According to the Singapore govt, our drug laws are necessary to prevent our society from being ravaged by drugs - oh yes Australia which doesn't use the death penalty must be totally ravaged - I'm so amazed by the numerous Singaporeans quitters who emigrate to Australia when they can live in Singapore...and enjoy the beneficial results of our death penalty laws ...oh they are so silly to emigrate to a dangerous country like Australia that does not use the death penalty - don't they know they are endangering their own lives!!?!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I've already studied his speech and here are my favorite parts:
"Even though Singapore is now more developed and our population better educated, it remains crucial for Singapore to maintain our own unique system of political governance and media model".
Of course the main uniqueness of our system is it is dominated by one political party. So it is necessary for the media to help maintain this for the good of Singaporeans.
"Nor should the media parrot the Government position."
Parrot the govt position? No it should enhance the govt position to serve the national interests. If the govt come up with a position, they should find examples and arguments to support the position. Sometimes it is even good to debate a little bit and then conclude the opposing views have no merits. As an avid reader of the Straits Times, I can say for sure that it does not merely parrot the govt position.
"As for economic prosperity, Singapore is way ahead many countries with better press freedom rankings".
Doesn't surprise me one bit. Sacrificing freedom for economic prosperity is a way of life in Singapore. Well take the example of a govt scholar, he takes the govt scholarship in exchange for a bond with binds him to work for the govt. Of course, from these scholars we choose the best for our MPs and ministers. So when they need to formulate policies, what will they trade off?...Freedom or Money?...You can't eat freedom. ...
Enhancing our economic prosperity takes precedence over our freedom. This prosperity can be seen in the magnificent govt buildings, outstanding infrastructure, excellent income of our top civil servants and ministers.....and of course the profits of our GLCs. What more can Singaporeans ask for? ...Overall, we are an affluent society.