Monday, April 10, 2006

Why you must vote the PAP!

Here in my hotel room after a hard day at work, I begin to ponder the most compelling reasons for voting the PAP:

1. Totally discourage all opposition & tell them we don't need them. The PAP is trying to eliminate all opposition members especially Low TK and Chiam. Without these pesky opposition members, the number of questions in parliament will fall significantly, many PAP MPs don't even turn up given they are GM of this company, director of that company etc. If our ministers are given a hard time during parliament, we may have to up their salaries even more to keep them. We really have to keep the number of opposition members down otherwise our ministers will have to be compensated more for answering so many of their questions in parliament.

2. Approve the newly picked PAP nomininees whom we don't really know. They are picked by the most rigorous selection process you can trust the quality. Of course while probably not a single one of them will stand up in parliament and question why must bloggers be presecuted, all of them are men & women of highest integrity and will serve us well taking care of our interest. I notice that most (or probably all) of them are part-time MPs with full time careers to take care of, we can expect them to give 100% to their MP role. Take the example of the GM of Microsoft whom the PAP recruited, you can expect her to give 100% attention to the people who vote for her and still run Microsoft's Asia Pacific at the same time. see the high calibre of the people selected by the PAP.

3. Give them a strong mandate to rule over us. In 2001, they got 75% of the votes, it is time to push it up to 76-80%. ....better still 90-100%. We know for a fact the everything the PAP does is for our own good, so why not just give them the highest possible support? Everything from Foreign Talents, GST, ERP, ...ultimately benefits Singaporeans....why would the PAP ever do something that will hurt us, they are such kind, considerate people who work tirelessly for the interest of Singaporeans. In other countries, policy making is a complex process of balancing the interests of businesses & workers...the political expedience vs citizen's needs....we can take it that the PAP always decides in our interest.

4. Thank the govt for the Progress Package. Although the PAP has said many times the progress package is not an election sweetener, I can anticipate the sheer joy of seeing the money in my hands just before the elections. SM Goh has said the elections will be announced only after 22 April 2006. Given that a minimum 9 days to allow for campaigning, one can see that you will get the Progress Package cash just before polling day. Of course this is all coincidence in terms of timing, I can't help but feel the compulsive need to thank someone for my windfall.

5. And the STRONGEST REASON OF ALL - Upgrading. Singaporeans are so lucky to have their votes linked to upgrading so they have a 2-in-1 purpose for their votes. Not only do you get to support your favorite PAP candidates, you're also voting for those nice fountains, dolphine sculptures and lifts that stop at every floor. No other voters in the world have such a useful vote - use it wisely.


Capt_Canuck said...

your inspiring, so powerful, so full of heart...makes me want to move from this land of mine that the gov't obviously doesnt care for because they actually make us choice between parties and they dont give us progress packages...Obviously Singapore has the more superior, and caring, gov't...

you are truly a lucky individual in the world

gayle said...

oh you forgot one. we should also vote PAP to show them that we can be controlled and incentivized to obey. i mean, it's not easy ok! have to give out so much money, appear on TV shows, give out free abalone, threaten not to give upgrading, ban people from blogging about politics on the internet.. obviously being the PAP is not an easy task. we should show them that their efforts are not wasted and we really can be bought over, it's only polite.

Anonymous said...

of course the progress package is not a short term plan to gain wotes... it is part of a long term plot to keep power in the hands of the pap...

Anonymous said...

Written by a Fortune magazine journo and reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.....

Singapore's Temasek is rich, powerful and on the prowl. But it didn't count on the latest backlash from Thailand, Eric Ellis reports.
IF IT looks, walks and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck, as goes the old axiom.

And as effigies of Singapore's leaders burning in the streets of Bangkok suggest, millions of grumpy Thais haven't needed a zoology degree to work out that Singapore's Temasek Holdings is a government-owned duck.

Temasek's $3 billion deal to buy Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra out of his family business, Shin Corp, has precipitated Thailand's most serious political crisis in more than a decade.

Thais have poured into the streets demanding "Asia's Berlusconi" resign his five-year rule and pay taxes from the deal on his way out. Thailand's baht wobbles - its collapse prompted Asia's 1997 financial crisis - and worries economists, while deals are put off. The twitchy Thai military stays in the barracks, for now, while Thaksin toughs out this high-stakes game of brinkmanship versus the people.

But what of Temasek, Singapore's self-styled paragon of transparency whose opaque deal making has precipitated South-East Asia's latest economic crisis?

One of the world's most powerful investors, boasting an $US80 billion ($110 billion) portfolio, its Thai adventure is looking increasingly like a spectacular misjudgement for its boss, Madame Ho Ching. She's the wife of Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, whose family's authoritarian 50-year rule of Singapore inspired the inner autocrat in Thaksin that could now prove his undoing.

Temasek's tactic is to effect an air of "Crisis? What crisis?" and deny it has anything to do with Official Singapore. Indeed, its descent to duckdom is never more absurdly displayed as when its army of immaculately groomed spinners demand the world's press and market analysts stop referring to it as "Singapore government-owned" and call it instead an "Asian investment company".

But Thais simply join the dots: Temasek is 100 per cent owned by Singapore's Ministry of Finance. Singapore's Finance Minister is its Prime Minister, Mr Lee, and his wife is Temasek's chief executive.

Thais would probably be furious with whoever did such a backroom deal with Thaksin. But every insistence by either Singapore side that they have nothing to do with the other simply further ignites the Thai touchpaper.

"Come on," says Professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University. "We Thais aren't idiots."

Indeed, as Asia moves to wind back government involvement in the private sector, Thais view with alarm what they see as Thaksin's sell-out to the Singapore Government of their economy: hotels, banks, airlines, property and, now, the main telephone company, a strategic communications satellite and a popular television station. Notes one columnist in the Thailand's The Nation newspaper, "Singapore might change Bangkok's Sathorn Road into Orchard Road and declare it a bubble-gum-free zone".

Sometimes Temasek is its own worst enemy. As Thais raged, a placatory Temasek presented its "managing director, investments," Mr S Iswaran, as the go-to guy to explain the Shin deal.

As a veteran Singapore civil servant, Iswaran was once responsible for Singapore's negotiations at the World Trade Organisation and APEC. He is also the Parliament's deputy speaker and a loyal lieutenant of the Lee family-led People's Action Party. A more faithful flack of the ruling clique would be hard to find.

Singaporeans aren't Thais but they know a good deal when they see one, and many would like to see Temasek out of Singapore's economy too, where government companies control as much as 60 per cent of the action.

They privately question what in fact it was that Ho brought to Temasek in 2001, apart from a powerful husband they already knew. She was hired in 2001 to enliven Temasek's sluggish returns but, in Bangkok at least, the value she purchased for Singapore disappears by the day as protesters vote with their pockets by cancelling subscriptions to Shin's main asset, Thailand's leading mobile phone company, AIS.

Shin shares have fallen 25 per cent since Ho's deal. Her stewardship of Temasek since she became CEO - an appointment her spinners insisted was on merit - has been unremarkable, with some big misses offsetting a handful of medium successes.

Many of Temasek's deals have a strong whiff of national interest about them and Temasek's forays abroad come as Singapore's political leaders worry their developed but tiny economy is maturing, exhorting its business community to secure the city-state's future offshore.

In Jakarta, influential politicians want the Singapore Government to exit its two-year-old investment in one of Ho's better deals, the communications giant Indosat, particularly as another Temasek company, Singapore Telecom - owner of Australia's Optus - already has half of Indosat's competitor Telkomsel. That's too much strategic telecommunications in Singapore hands for their taste and Jakarta has offered Temasek $1.2 billion to buy back the Indosat stake.

But as dissent simmers with the threat of political sanction hanging over it, Temasek has so far refused to sell.

In Beijing too, bureaucrats are questioning last year's wisdom of allowing Temasek a $2.5 billion stake in the Bank of China, believing it might have got it too cheap while wondering what Singapore brings to the table apart from cash.

In New Delhi, the Indian Government recently denied Temasek approval to buy into mobile operator Idea Cellular, India's fifth largest, because SingTel already part-owns another, Bharti, the largest.

Temasek struggles too in the US. It paid $US250 million in 2003 for 62 per cent of ailing cable operator Global Crossing, believing it got a bargain for a fibre optic network that cost $15 billion to build. But the company has since been dogged by one disaster after another and Global Crossing lost $US600 million in 2004-05.

There have also been setbacks in Australia, where Canberra recently denied Temasek's 57 per cent owned Singapore Airlines access to the lucrative route between Sydney and Los Angeles.

Surgery is needed at home too. Temasek-controlled DBS Bank recently took an unexpected $700 million charge on its Hong Kong operation, the former Dao Heng Bank.

Its wafer business, Chartered Semiconductor, has been a headache on Ho's watch, accumulating losses of more than $1 billion, while its share price has fallen 90 per cent since 1999.

Temasek's own figures described shareholder returns of just 1 per cent over the five years to March 31, as against the gain in Singapore's Straits Times index of 2.7 per cent over the same period.

Still, at least Singaporeans now know what's happening to their money. Notoriously secretive, Temasek only first publicly revealed its accounts in 2004.

Says Thai academic Pongsudhirak: "This is the last straw. Temasek has underestimated the political fallout here. This deal has not been transparent, everything has not been fully accounted for. Whether they like it or not, Temasek has made itself a player in Thai politics and that puts its investment at risk."

Meanwhile, Asia looks on with a bemused combination of mild concern that Thailand's worries could again spill outside its borders as in the late 1990s but more Schadenfreude at Singapore Inc's discomfort. As many in the region tactfully like to say, wealthy Singapore is admired by its neighbours if not necessarily always loved.

Eric Ellis is Fortune magazine's South-East Asian correspondent.

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of Singapore Government and Temasek Holdings. Ho Ching is doing a great job, slowly but surely taking over the world. It seems like Singapore is destined for world domination.

I can't wait for the day when the likes of Mercedes, Microsoft or even Real Madrid get takeover by Singapore.

It feels so good knowing I'm contributing in form of paying tax. If possible, I would like to pay more tax to accelerate Singapore's domination of the world.

All Hail Almighty PAP!

Anonymous said...

Current we are ranked 7th, we need to pay more taxes to push us up and be number 1.

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
1 Japan $ 845,000,000,000
2 China $ 795,100,000,000
3 Taiwan $ 225,800,000,000
4 S. Korea $ 210,400,000,000
5 Russia $ 181,300,000,000
6 India $ 145,000,000,000
7 Singapore $ 123,500,000,000
8 Hong Kong $ 122,300,000,000
9 Germany $ 97,170,000,000
10 United States $ 86,940,000,000

Anonymous said...

The time has come to make singapore into a theocracy. It shd be clear to all Singaporeans by now, that govt is our religion and its leader our god.

Anonymous said...

I fully support Lucky's view of our future PAP MP. They are brilliant chiefs of very profitable companies and will use their expertise to ensure that the govt is very profitable. We the citizen customers will not waste our $ to outside world and instead contribute to the wealth of the country.

As a result, I have to be and can be economically productive & useful until I reach 100 year old.

Anonymous said...

I thought money is the official religion in Singapore?! :)

Anonymous said...

peanut is the official religion of PAP. PAP is the official religion of peasants.

Anonymous said...

What's the problem with you guys and what's up with all these stupid sarcasm. You guys think it's funny to joke about and bash our government?

Show some respect and learn to appreciate the hard work and effort our government has put in over the years. Without them, you guys would probably still be living in slums.

You want excess democracy and freedom? You like to see open protests, demontrations, people throwing eggs, politicians fighting one another, or wish to get shot by some deranged sniper, go ahead and leave this country. Singapore don't need you.

I'll stay here to enjoy the of and stability of Singapore anytime.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7.30pm

We cannot leave, our ex-god, present Senior Priest Holy Goh told us to be "stayer" and not "quitters". We cannot betray our religion.

Capt_Canuck said...

Anonymous 7:20 PM

Spoken like a true Singaporean. Who needs freedom of expression, freedom of speech and freedom of life. Just give me my 'gov't flats, gov't control and tell me what to do or else, god only knows what I might do with my freedom.'

Keep your head low, your sights on trying to keep your head above water and out of debt.

Thea said...

Anonymous 7:20 PM,

Indeed the PAP did a good job in bring stability and prosperity to singapore. I do not think anyone here would deny that (sorrect me if I am wrong). The problem lies more in their way they have been conducting themselves... do ask yourself if what they are doing is fair and morally right? I am refering to their linking of votes to upgrading (in which the subisdies "incidently" come from all Singaporean taxpayers). There are many other parts of the playing field that is not level which is actually too many to state here. Perhaps you can go do some research?

Also, is it right to encourage a one party state? do read your history books and it is known that no one party/one ruler state can last for long. There is a need for check and balances and that is part of the reason why a democatic country created.

Lastly, I think everyone is entitled to their opinion... that includes you. So do not take everyone's words here too harshly.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, will you be back in time to show your gratitude for our great government?

I would cast two votes for the PAP, only if I could..

Anonymous said...

"open protests, demontrations, people throwing eggs, politicians fighting one another, or wish to get shot by some deranged sniper"

But, how can this be? I mean, protests only happen when people are unhappy with the country and gov't, but by the PAP having the full control of the seats for so long, that must mean everyone loves them. Open rebellion? in Singapore? makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

"But, how can this be?"

That'll happen when PAP gets ousted by ungrateful Singaporeans and people like Chee Soon Juan takes over.

Anonymous said...


"Also, is it right to encourage a one party state? .... There is a need for check and balances ..."

This can be easily solved by using SM Goh's idea of lifting the whip on some MPs and getting them to be the opposition. This will ensure a stable one party rule that incorporates checks and balances.

Thea said...

Anonymous 3:30 AM,

"Also, is it right to encourage a one party state? .... There is a need for check and balances ..."

This can be easily solved by using SM Goh's idea of lifting the whip on some MPs and getting them to be the opposition. This will ensure a stable one party rule that incorporates checks and balances.
well i find this highly contradictory on the PAP part.

Firstly, i find it highly likely that political parties w/o a party whip will eventually not be credible in the eyes of the people. Think of it this way? If political parties are suppose to work together in the face of opposition during election time then when they get elected and form a different camp (question the govt from another perspective) isnt that very hypocritical? Logically, they have to be seen as united or it would be hard for the people to trust what their party is trying to do/say.

Another point is the quality of questioning in the parliment. Is it credible and right for a PAP elected MP oppose for the sake of opposing? Isnt that a bit too much wayang? Isnt it more effective for there to be actual competition and genuine criticism/questioning on new policies?

I doubt you can find any political organisation in the world w/o a party whip for that might be disasterous. Take Bush's party that had lost their party whip and had their two top men stating contradictory statements (even arguing in front of the press) (you can read up on this issue online). This is pushing the Bush admin is lose even more credibilty.

There are many other reasons why the party whip is not fesible and i suggest you should read up before coming to the conclusion that it's workable.

gayle said...

does anyone remember the 'Shadow Cabinet' the PAP wanted to create? I believe it was in 2001. When was the last time we heard anything about their alternative views, or when was the last time they disagreed with party policy? It's a pacifier, just like lifting the party whip is -- no rational party would jeopardize themselves by allowing for inconsistency within its ranks.

Anonymous said...

I've watched "My vote matters" interview of Mr LKY with 8 journalist last night and i thought it will be better if it was a live telecast and see how Mr LKY answering those difficult questions "live", as I'm sure the questions were "screened" on this interview.

But i'll take my hat off and respect Mr LKY as he openly challenged the opposition party to contest the GRCs. Let's face it, the opposition parties in Singapore are weak... too bad

P.S. I'm not a pro nor anti PAP :P

Anonymous said...

Yes let’s show forums such as "My Vote" live and also let the invitation be open to all the youth (especially to the ones that can stand up and ask the real questions like Jamie Han) and not a passive selected few.

What so impressive about an open challenge to the opposition to take on the GRC which is based on PAP rules. Why doesn’t PAP take the challenge of the opposition instead and combine both Potong Pasir and Hougang into a GRC as it is with no redrawing of boundaries?

There nothing impressive about all the childish challenges the PAP has been making lately. It just shows how immature the party has become and further proves the need for competition in our political system just like any other system, business or environment.

gayle said...

there's little point in calling for more and better opposition candidates if they continue to create conditions that are stifling for such candidates to be willing, able and forthcoming. or rather, that might just be the point -- say one thing and do the other so they appear perfectly reasonable and superior while at the same time doing their level best to suppress the opposition party with their upper hand as incumbents.

Anonymous said...

the calling for more and better opposition candidates is a smoke screen.. didn't u hear LKY said walkover is also a mandate for PAP? oh, we do not want walk over, let us vote even without contest from opp candidates, and anyone who does not get 25% vote cannot by our mp. that's it.

being walk over, no chance to vote does not equate to mandate! Sure LKY knows that he is a shrew man.

its main aim is as few can contest as possible and the man in white can stand at a high platform to mock at those few contestants who had to play by those rules set against the Opp.

He said the gahment is in no position to help the Opp to contest with them. True, then don't use taxpayer money for political campaign and don't tide upgrading to vote.

Voting is about sovereignty of a country. The future of a country, not about progressive package, upgrading! Stupiding singaporeans is a great sin into the history!

-- angry singaporean --

Anonymous said...

I am very kuai.
I will vote for PAP cos MM, my almighty God told me so.

I won't sin and I will be forgiven because PAP is my religion!


Stupid Singaporeans who think that way.

Anonymous said...

I wolud like to come up with few comment about our government, it just like employing someone to and pay them to work hard. But instead of working hard to solve internal problem or creating a better Singapore, we are getting more problem with our neighbours. Everyone knows that we had problem with Indonesia, Malaysia and now Thialand. Now I don't feel safe travelling to those country, their people may not like Sinagporean anymore.