Saturday, July 29, 2006

I'm a Singaporean!

The sonic boom from 3 F16s woke me from my siesta today and reminded that National Day is just around the corner. I went to the store room to look for the Singapore flag that was given to me 20 years ago. I hang the same flag every year outside my flat for the National Day celebrations.

The flag brings back many memories. Our young nation was born because we seek independence. The whole idea was simple - for ordinary Singaporeans to have a say in our own destiny. Nobody expected in those days that we will be so successful economically and that wasn't the reason why we fought so hard for independence.

I'm sure you have seen the images of Labanon being bombed in recent days on BBC and CNN. This country has been ravaged over and over again by various powers in that region. As the people were fleeing for safety from the southern Labanon, a young man with his family (wife and child) was asked if he will ever return, "He said of course". The reporter then asked him "Why? Everything has been destroyed.". "I will return because Labanon is my country", he replied.

This afternoon I took out my flag from the storeroom to hang outside. The flag was given to me by my father who saw our island progress from colony to nationhood, he reminded me to hang the flag every year. As I took the flag out from the storeroom and unfurled it, I noticed that the once pristine flag has somewhat faded.....especially the stars on the flag. I was just a toddler when my father ran my little fingers over those stars and told me each one represented an ideal that made this country worth dying for : democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. My father told me each specific star that represented the ideals. The star that represented democracy seems most faded along with the one that represented equality and justice.

I decided not to hang my flag this year. I will honour Singapore with a better flag not one that is already faded.

John Hopkins NOT good enough for Singapore!

John Hopkins Singapore Center will close after 1 year because it failed to meet the high standards set by A-STAR. ASTAR has given $82M of funding to date to John Hopkins.

Some people I met express total shock at the amount of money involved. I would think that researchers around the world collaborate with people because they have something to contribute to the research. I once met a researcher from a prominent US university at Summerset Jazz, he told me getting funding from Singapore agencies is quite easy if one has reputation, they will come knocking and offering money for collaboration. I told him rubbish! That is not how this our govt operates! The PAP is especially careful and prudent when it comes to giving money to needy Singaporeans so much so many fall into utter desperation when they get sick or become jobless. The researcher even calls us "Santa Claus" and said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the generous offer made to him which exceeded his highest expectation. I told him he must have gotten us mixed up with the NSF (US National Science Foundation) or had too much to drink - the Singapore govt is just to prudent to give him money to work on something that will just produce a pile of research papers. Our agencies are not so hard up to pay money so that they can announce "they are working with so-and-so" ...and buying big names and reputations for instant gratification is just out of the question because they are sincere in the painstaking rigorous scientific process research which requires only one thing - passion.

The bottomline is John Hopkins is not good enough for Singapore. That is why ASTAR had to impose those KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) on them and treat them like kindergarden children. All due diligence has been performed, the money spent has gone through the proper approval committes of elite men & women, so there is no need to harp on this honest mistake. There is no need to compile the lessons learnt or to demand full transparency from govt agencies spending tax payers money. As for the $82M, to you it may be alot of money but to the elites it is just peanuts ........

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Tribute to the censorship board!

I found this wonderful clip posted on singabloodypore is a great tribute to the censorship board:

The PAP govt has often told us that without the cutting sex scenes from films, our society's moral values would have been destroyed. Thank goodness Singaporeans are protected from nudity and porn. ....and harmful websites on the Internet such as are blocked to protected us from porn. Without this protection, our society will be DESTROYED....

The men and women performing censorship have undergone rigorous selection to ensure that their minds are robust against harmful material such as porn to be able to do their work of censoring films day in day out without being influenced. Ordinary Singaporean minds are more susceptible so they need the protection of censorship.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Singapore Idol Fan Lucky Tan wants Ken Lim SUSPENDED!!!

As a Singapore Idol fan, I demand that judge Ken Lim be suspended from Singapore Idol Contest!!

In the lastest episode of the Singapore Idol Contest, Ken Lim poured sarcasm on the performance of many of the contestants, bringing alot of negativity to this otherwise happy show. All the other judges are always full of praise and encouragement...... Ken Lim should behave like all the other judges and contribute positively to this joyous show.

Ken Lim's comments on the contestants distort what I perceive as the truth. I personally feel that all the performancers are excellent . His comments are calculated to encourage cynicism and despondency, which can only make things worse, not better, for those young budding talents he professes to nurture.

Ken Lim is entitled to his views. But opinions which are broadcast widely on national TV to such a wide audience should meet higher standards. Instead of a diatribe Ken Lim should offer constructive criticism and alternatives.

It is not the role of judges in Singapore Idol to champion particular contestants or campaign for or against the contestants. If a judge presents himself as a neutral commenter, while exploiting his access to the mass media to undermine a contestant's standing with the voting audience, then he is no longer a constructive critic, but a partisan player in the contest.

I strongly recommend the suspension of Ken Lim so that we only have those wonderful positive comments from the other judges.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Brownian Movement takes root in Singapore!

If you were at City Hall MRT station in the afternoon, you would have seen them. 30 or more people dressed in brown protesting the suspension of Mr. Brown. Clearly this is a violation of Singapore laws that state that protests of more than 4 people are not allowed. See what reading too much harmful & poisonous material such as those in Mr. Brown columns does to people - it turns law abiding citizens into illegal protestors!! Now you see why his column has to be suspended!

I strongly recommend these people be arrested and ordered to read Straits Times daily to correct their poisoned minds. Now you see the need to control the Internet. Obedient Singaporeans who are taught not to cross the line from the first day of kindergarden are now taking the law into their own hands protesting the decisions of our esteemed govt. What will happen to this nation - I shudder to think.

Govt explains why Mr Brown has to be suspended!!!

This is an excellent explanation by Dr. Balakrishnan. It is so kind for a member of the elite leadership to explain to us why Mr. Brown has to be suspended for the good of Singapore. I've read the explanation over and over and find that it is full of flawless logic from a higher intelligence.

You can watch the whole thing here :

Sunday July 9, 2:17 AM
Mainstream media has role in ensuring quality of debate: Dr Balakrishnan

Singapore's mainstream media has a crucial role in ensuring the quality and standard of discourse and national debate, says Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

Our media is scored 140 out of 167 for press freedom index. After they axe Mr. Brown we can be assured that they will get a higher improved score next time perhaps 150 out of 167. It has to ensure high standard of discourse and national debate not we cannot allow ordinary lay person like Mr. Brown without a masters degree speaking emotionally to join this discourse - it has to be driven by logic.

And he says as long as everybody understood their respective roles and respected each other, Singaporeans can have a useful dialogue going forward.

Mr. Brown has no respect and does not understand his role which is to explain the price hikes in a humorous manner. That is a problem. PAP leaders have always respected everyone's views. Just take the Worker's Party Manifesto, the PAP respectfully called it a timebomb and poison. As long as it is done in a respectful manner, everyone can express their view without fear of bankruptcy or harsh actions.

Dr Balakrishnan made these remarks when asked to comment on reactions by the foreign media to a recent decision by MediaCorp's TODAY newspaper to stop publishing a column by "Mr Brown" who was one of its regular columnists.
A recent article by the columnist about the cost of living in Singapore had drawn a sharp rebuttal from a government spokesperson.
Dr Balakrishnan said: "I am not at all concerned at all about what the foreign media thinks. We are not here to fulfil their agenda. Let me put it to you this way. We are all entitled to express our opinions.
"But we also have to be accountable for our opinions and to be prepared from time to time to stand by them or be called to answer them and from time to time to be rebutted. So I see this as part and parcel of the consistent position which the government and people of Singapore have taken."

Yes the PAP has been very consistent so that Singaporeans don't become confused with alternatives. All the price increases are accountable. Higher oil prices can be used to account for all the increases. Some of you are asking if the price increase serve to preserve the profit margins of companies some of them linked to the that is not consistent so it is not allowed to be debated. Anyway that is why Mr. Brown is not just rebutted he was suspended because he failed to be consistent as part of the complete parcel.

He added that what is important for Singaporeans, particularly on serious issues, is to have an honest constructive debate with no extraneous agendas involved.

Yes, Mr. Brown is dishonest when he expressed frustration with price increases and lack of help for his autistic daughter. Seriously speaking, his feelings and opinions are just dishonest and unconstructive.

Dr Balakrishnan said: "If you feel there is a problem with cost of living, say so, let's collectively explore solutions. But don't in the name of humour distort or aggravate on an emotional level. That sort of discourse does not generate solutions. It generates more heat than light.

See how despicable Mr. Brown has become HE HAS DISTORTED OUR EMOTIONS. Before he wrote that article all of us were very happy with the price increases thinking it is good for us, after reading his article all of us are now angry. See how much harm Mr. Brown has caused!! He has played with our emotions to make us unhappy.

"So we should put this in its proper context. If someone says something which we disagree with, we will say so. If someone says something which is unhelpful we have a right to say it is unhelpful. We have a right to remind everyone that at the end of the day, this is not a fight.
There is no fight. Mr Brown is silenced. Thank goodness.
"We are in search of solutions and by working together and by engaging in an honest constructive dialogue we can do so and we want our newspapers to be a part of that process and also to be aware that, the mainstream media in particular. You are not an internet chat room." - CNA/ch

We are all part of this inclusive process and part of a collective solution UNTIL we use humor to bring about unhappiness and distort the consistent position of the govt. It is a happy process and no unhappiness shall be allowed to poison this process. The goal of the process is to make Singaporeans happy, totally convinced and satisfied that the price increases are inevitable. Mr Brown is clearly not part of this process and thus have to be eliminated.

Singapore an Open & Inclusive society!

"Our people should feel free to express diverse views,pursue unconventional ideas or simply be different ... Ours must be an open and inclusive society."
- PM Lee Hsien Loong, speech on 12 Aug 2004
There are many diverse and different ways one can praise the PAP govt and the PAP govt is kind enough to accept it in any form. I've always loved those Jack Neo movies. The theme is always consistent, while the going may be tough and there is pain & hurt, it is ultimately for our own wonder he received a National Day award last year. Mr. Brown poke fun at the govt policies, Jack Neo poke fun at the govt policies. Mr. Brown offers no solutions and alternatives, Jack Neo offers no solutions or alternatives So how come one person get honoured and the other suspended? .....The difference is in the ending, in every single Jack Neo movie the ending is always happy and everyone smiles at the end. Mr. Brown's articles conclude in cynicism and despondency, everyone is unhappy at the end. The PAP wants everything to have a happy ending.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Mr. Brown SILENCED!!! Part 2

"all these issues distort the truth. They are polemics dressed up as analysis, blaming the Government for all that he is unhappy with. He offers no alternatives or solutions. His piece is calculated to encourage cynicism and despondency", K Bhavini Press Secretary

How dare he express unhappiness with the govt?! How does he justify his unhappiness?! Did he compare himself with people of other countries such as Ethiopia?!

Imagine the tremendous amount of work that our elites and super-elites put in to introduce policies that work in the interest of all Singaporeans and here comes a lay person like Mr. Brown with no masters degree from Harvard and ordinary credentials pouring cold water on everything. Like what the honorable press secretary Bhavani said, "blaming the Government for all that he is unhappy with. He offers no alternatives or solutions.". One might think that as a citizen we can demand that the govt provide the solutions and alternatives ....but they (ministers) are only paid $1M per year, what do you expect from them....Miracles?

Of course bus fares have to go up. Utilities bills have to go up. There is simply no choice because the cost of oil has gone up. Of course, some of you cynics will say that they can make less profits instead - blasphemous blasphemous - how dare you suggest that our GLCs absorb the cost increases at the expense of profit margins. It is for your own good that prices go up to preserve the health of our GLCs that form a dominant part of our economy. You don't expect Comfort to hold fares while many vehicles lay idle and don't make money. you?

Mr. Brown engages in an dangerous and unproductive activity of pointing out what cannot be changed in Singapore. I hope that more is done to prevent such people from emerging from our society. I'm hoping for actions against Gayle Goh - I don't see why a 17 yr old should be exempted from harsh actions when Martyn See was police investigated for making dangerous films. Our society needs to be protected from harm and our citizens need to be assured that their happiness is preserved. Lets all act against forces that threaten our way of life.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mr. Brown SILENCED!!!

"I have been informed that TODAY has suspended my column"- Mr Brown 6 Jul 2006.

Thank goodness! Singapore is much safer now that Mr. Brown cannot write those harmful articles in Today. Dress up as satire his writing has been disrespectful to our elite PAP leaders failing to show appreciation for their marvelous accomplishments and ideas. He should be thankful that he has not been made a bankrupt through defamation lawsuits for all sorts of insinuations.

"It would have been too taxing on the brain if those price increases were announced during the election period, thereby affecting our ability to choose wisely" - Mr. Brown

In a recent article Mr. Brown insinuated that the PAP waited until after the elections to announce price hikes. What baseless rubbish! Every Singaporean knows that it is sheer coincidence that these price hikes occur after every elections. How dare Mr. Brown insinuate that the PAP plan these hikes to occur after the elections?!

"I also found out recently that my first-born daughter's special school fees were going up. "- Mr. Brown

In his article Mr. Brown also complained that there is a lack of help for care of his autistic daughter. How dare he ask for more help?! There are numerous parents far poorer than him of kids with celebral palsy or Down's syndrome who are struggling to survive with little help from the PAP govt. Since when it became his turn to complain?! If the govt gives out too much help for his autistic daughter that would mean they have to give out fewer scholarship to foreign students....can Singapore afford that?!

"His piece is calculated to encourage cynicism and despondency, which can only make things worse, not better, for those he professes to sympathise with." -K BHAVANI Press Secretary to the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts.

Mr. Brown has undermined the happiness of Singaporeans especially those who are at the bottom 30% of our society whose incomes have fallen sharply in the past few years. It is totally unforgivable that Mr. Brown has shattered their optimism and hope by highlighting their plight and reality of their situation. This is so cruel especially when the PAP govt has just given out progress package to make them feel better during the elections. It is important for them to think that the PAP govt will safeguard their interests over those of its own businesses such as the GLCs. Mr. Brown has disrupted the order and harmony in our society by introducing 'cynicism and despondency'. It is better for our poor not to know they are poor and simply don't worry (about price hikes) and be happy.

Singaporeans are so lucky to have a govt that secures their happiness by ensuring that those who spread negative feelings of cynicism and despondency are silenced so that we get to read only good news that will make us happier. Recently the PAP government has organised a "4 Million Smiles" show the IMF delegates how happy Singaporeans are....please put on a happy face, just look at mine.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Conversation with an ice cream man....

"Singaporeans money no enough because they spend too much on luxury goods"
- PM Lee to Jack Neo on a TV discussion when asked "why money no enough"

I went to Bugis area ...... it was a sultry Sunday and when one of those ubiquitous ice-cream scooters stopped right in front of me, I just couldn't resist. When the man handed me the ice cream, I immediately recognised he was my primary school mate Samuel ! I haven't seen him for 2 decades but his smile and mannerism was simply unmistakable.
Samuel said became an ice-cream man when he lost his job recently. He told me with an A-level certificate and 40+ years old makes it near impossible to get a decent job these days. Employers have an unlimited supply of young foreign workers which they can employ from China and India. These workers are willing not just to accept lower pay because when they go home after one year here, they can stop working for 5 years or buy a landed property as things are cheap back home.
"Singaporeans should not be choosy about jobs" - Minister Ng Eng Hen

I told Samuel not to be too fussy and that things will improve because Singaporeans had the wisdom to vote the PAP into power in the recent elections. Samuel told me he is actually worried about what will become of him in the coming years - he has no savings because housing is extremely expensive in Singapore. I told him not to worry the govt has assured us that everything is well planned and the cost of living is well contained. The HDB probably keeps the
price of flats high because Singaporeans can afford it.
Samuel is also worried that if he gets sick, there will be no one to look after his family. I told him there is absolutely nothing to worry about, the PAP govt has billions in reserves for helping needy Singaporeans ...these reserves were accumulated squeezing Singaporeans through endless price/fee hikes. The PAP govt understands this fully and will never deny Singaporeans help in their time of need the money after all belongs to the people......

Singaporeans are so lucky to have a govt that cares so much about them.