Friday, March 31, 2006
In every mail box across the Singapore, lucky Singaporeans receive a gift from their caring govt - the Progress Package. The cash will come in on 1 May 2006. The progress package goes out to every single person of voting age, whether you are a millionaire or pauper. Coincidentally, I heard the elections will also be in May 2006.
Some cynics pointed out that the govt during the NKF saga said it is unable to help kidney patients because it has limited funds, yet it is able to give out hundreds of millions in cash handouts just before the elections. To these cynics, I would like to tell them that this govt cares about everyone above 21 years of age not just kidney patients.
For myself I'm going to put the money to good use - I plan to use the package to get an high end MP3 player or one of those fancy digital cameras. I guess election day will be a great day to shop because Courts, Harvey Norman, Best Denki will have big "Progress" discount sales in case Singaporeans don't know what to do with their money. Singaporeans really have power ....buying power!
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Yesterday night I finally understood what the pledge truly means. With all the articles in the Straits Times and the words of our esteemed SM Goh, the meaning behind these words are revealed.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Please heed the warning sounded out by our govt. It is for your own interest that you vote for them.... they care enough about you to warn you about making a serious mistake. Please safeguard yourself from alternatives that will confuse you. Instead of having a blissful 5 years ahead, the alternatives will highlight problems with our country day in day out- unemployment, lack of transparency, high medical cost, govt waste, poverty, high housing costs etc. Who wants to have these things trouble you everyday most of the time it concerns other members of our society anyway.
Take care of yourself, don't lose out on subsidised upgrading, do the sensible thing that benefits yourself.
Really outstanding advice from a govt that cares.
SINGAPORE, March 27 (Reuters) - Singapore's ruling party, which is likely to call an early election this year, has warned voters if they elect an opposition candidate their constituency stands to lose out on state-subsidised improvements.
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who visited an opposition ward at the weekend, told local reporters that it would be in the residents' interests to vote for a People's Action Party (PAP) candidate at the next election if they want their estates to be get new lifts and improved shopping facilities.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently asked Goh, a former Prime Minister, to help win back Singapore's two opposition wards. The tiny, fragmented opposition holds only two out of the 84 elected seats in parliament.
Chiam See Tong, chief of the Singapore Democratic Alliance, has led the Potong Pasir constituency for the past 25 years while Workers' Party secretary-general Low Thia Kiang has chaired the Hougang ward since 1991.
"I do not want the two constituencies to be left behind, especially Potong Pasir, an old estate. Five years down the road, assuming Chiam do win, there will be no upgrading," Goh was quoted as saying on state broadcaster Channel NewsAsia's Web site.
Goh's comments echo remarks he made before the January 1997 poll, when he told voters that those wards which elected an opposition candidate would be the last in line for upgrading and risked becoming "slums".
The upgrading of state-built housing estates typically includes a fresh coat of paint, new parks and playgrounds, and facilities for the elderly such as ramps and lifts that stop on every floor.
The ruling PAP has dominated parliament since Singapore's independence in 1965.
Goh told voters in the opposition wards at the weekend that if they elected a PAP candidate at the next poll, he would propose that those two members of parliament be freed of the party whip. PAP members of parliament are required to vote in line with the party. Analysts say the PAP's decision to put Goh in charge of winning back the opposition wards reflects the increased prominence of the opposition, which recently said it would contest as many as 57 of the 84 elected seats at the next poll.
"The PAP is now focusing on the opposition constituencies, putting them as top priority. This will force the opposition's two top leaders to defend their own wards instead of venturing out," political scientist Ho Khai Leong told Reuters. Lee, who took over from Goh in August 2004, does not need to call a parliamentary election until mid-2007, but many observers expect a poll in coming weeks or months as the government takes advantage of a strong economy. Last week, the PAP revealed three new candidates for the upcoming election as it plans to retire some of the older politicians.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
See how concerned SM Goh is for residents of Hougang:
"My own view is Hougang should be upgraded, otherwise another five years, another 10 years, it would become rather derelict compared to other estates in Singapore."
"He is worried that the opposition wards of Hougang and Potong Pasir would be left behind. "
"After that, we got to ask ourselves whether the estate is worthwhile upgrading. I'm talking about Lorong 8. By then, the estate would be around 35 years old and the lease is only 99 years, so economically, is it worthwhile?
"My own view is Hougang should be upgraded, otherwise another five years, another 10 years, it would become rather derelict compared to other estates in Singapore."
Some cynics might come out and say that he is threatening the people of both estates to get them to vote for the PAP and trying to appeal to their kiasu nature. My take is he is truly kind and genuinely concerned about the people living in those estates. He really wants to level the playing field for them when it comes to upgrading. See how fair and just the PAP is and how kind they are to the people in opposition wards. We should have great respect for our esteemed SM who is truly concerned for the people of Singapore. He too respects the choice and decisions of the people of Singapore.
The people of Hougang and Potong Pasir have been given a chance to become lucky all they have to do is understand what their vote truly means and vote accordingly.
SM Goh concerned Potong Pasir, Hougang residents will lose out on upgrading
SINGAPORE : Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has expressed concern that Hougang and Potong Pasir residents will lose out on upgrading if they do not vote for the People's Action Party.
He has also suggested that the party whip be lifted in Parliament for the PAP MPs if they are elected in these wards.
Mr Goh has been tasked by the Prime Minister to help win back the two opposition seats in the upcoming General Election. Mr Goh says: "To my right, I see across the estates of the 1990s and to my left, we have the estates of the 1950s. How can I come out of the 50s' zone?"
Upgrading and rejuvenating Hougang constituency were some of the key issues raised by some 500 residents and grassroots leaders at a dialogue.
Mr Goh says he is not there to offer residents upgrading but to hear what they want.
He is worried that the opposition wards of Hougang and Potong Pasir would be left behind.
Mr Goh says: "I do not want the two constituencies to be left behind, especially Potong Pasir, an old estate. Five years down the road, assuming Chiam do win, there will be no upgrading.
"After that, we got to ask ourselves whether the estate is worthwhile upgrading. I'm talking about Lorong 8. By then, the estate would be around 35 years old and the lease is only 99 years, so economically, is it worthwhile?
"My own view is Hougang should be upgraded, otherwise another five years, another 10 years, it would become rather derelict compared to other estates in Singapore."
To address concerns by Hougang residents for an opposition voice in Parliament, Mr Goh says he will push for the party whip to be lifted so that PAP's candidate Eric Low can speak up, if elected.
Mr Goh says: "You have a choice - if having opposition is more important, then vote opposition - but if there is a way to get my views put to parliament to somebody, then vote for your interests, vote for upgrading - and your views can be put across in Parliament and if you vote for Eric Low, I can tell PM to let him be the opposition in Parliament."
The Party whip ensures there are sufficient party members in Parliament to support the party's position and that MPs vote on party lines.
The Whip was lifted in 2002 for all PAP MPs on matters of conscience and certain other issues, except those affecting the Budget, the Constitution, no confidence motions and issues of national security.
Residents had mixed feelings about upgrading.
"It's 50-50, because if you upgrade, then our rentals will go up as well."
"I hope they can give this place a new lease of life and add more facilities, to attract more people to come here and shop."
One market-cum-hawker centre at Hougang Avenue 7 has not been upgraded for some 30 years, and Mr Goh has urged residents and stallholders to take a long-term view.
While rent may go up, businesses will also increase and customers too will welcome the move - all part of Mr Goh's hope to make Hougang look as beautiful as his own ward in Marine Parade.
Elitism is a belief or attitude that an elite — a selected group of persons whose views on a matter are to be taken most seriously, or who are alone fit to govern. Elitism sees an elite as occupying a special position of authority or privilege in a group, set apart from the majority of people who do not match up with their abilities or attributes.
Ordinary Singaporeans are so lucky to be governed by an elite group of individuals through a scholarship selection and grooming process that is now almost unique to Singapore. The Soviet Union used to have a similar process to select people for leadership, but after the fall of the Iron Curtain, they are now less systematic. It seems the path to the top in Singapore is probably through the SAF (military), and the civil service. Just look at the background of our leaders. We have refined our selection process alot since the good old days when leaders can emerge from anywhere. Now the process is very rigorous - scholarship, elite schools, service in the SAF/Admin Service etc. Through these processes we are able to select our current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who coincidentally is the son of LKY.
Our selection process is now so rigorous the election is just a matter of formality. A new guy whom the govt wants to bring into parliament simply gets a ride from a more experienced senior minister or some one better known. Unlike the US where they spend a whole year of campaigning, Singapore will spend about 9 days - most of the time we don't know who we are voting for in the PAP but it does not matter, we take it that the elite group of men and women are well qualified to represent our interest and that they truly care about us.
This selection process is far superior to a full blown election process where the candidate has to go to the masses and seek approval and acceptance for their leadership and vision. Talking about vision of a better Singapore, do you know what it is? Don't worry leave it to our elites who will take care of it for you.
Our elites who represent us in Parliament are apparently busy people with successful careers. That is why in a typical parliamentary sitting many seats are empty. Many also hold directorship in companies and sometimes GLCs. We can believe that these are the best people to understand our needs because they are so well exposed ......
Once election is over we can leave our country to these men and women who will make decisions in our interest. They have been selected on the criteria that they know what our needs are.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Meticulously chosen. Interviews, psychological testing, track record, grooming, grassroots work......what more can Singaporeans ask for? Teo Chee Hean said in Straits Times today that they are looking for people who are not doing it for self interest. I guess that is why when they become ministers they have to be paid millions of dollars to serve the people to compensate for the lack of self interest. The Opposition which is of full of self-serving men who end up becoming bankrupts, jailed and selling books on the streets, ....are mostly doing it (politics) for personal gains.
Once the selection process is in place, no need to bother much....the system is all set to pick leaders for our future. The selection process is like a Quality Control thing, once they go through it, you can be sure of the quality. The election is really secondary, they just need to put these new candidates together with ministers in a GRC and they will all get elected. Its like the instant noodles of politics - 2 days ago not a single one of us know these 3 people, about 1 month from now they will almost with 100% certainty be our MPs.
No other country ever has enjoyed this convenience of instant noodle politics except maybe the political monopolies of Soviet Union and Eastern bloc countries. They too had meticulous selection systems in place to pick representatives. The citizens of these countries are so lucky, they don't have to ponder over which person to elect to represent them. It is like a commercial monopoly telling you that their product is the best because their QC & processes are the best. See the advantage of having a virtual political monopoly, you don't have to think, you just have to trust that they done their best to pick the best people for you.
Some of you may get smart by saying that nobody ever give their best without competition - great governments are the product of having real opponents. Rubbish!!! Have you not read your Straits Times today! On page 31 an article "Are Opposition MPs a must have?", the Straits Times reporter concludes that because the PAP has a superior selection system, there is no need to vote for the opposition.
Once again lucky Singaporeans are the beneficiaries of yet another political innovation, the use of a meticulous selection process to pick suitable leaders. In other countries, leaders would have to work the ground for years to build a bond and trust with the people they represent very often facing strong opponents in lively debates .....but Singapore is different, we are able to get true leaders by selecting and grooming them. I've never seen a political debate in my 40+ years of existence here. Most Singaporeans would rather spend their time agonising over the next Singapore Idol anyway.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I can't believe my eyes when I saw pictures of our esteemed PM and his wife Ho Ching's being burnt by Thai protesters. PM Lee has nothing to do with Temasek Holding's purely commercial deal why drag him into it?! Besides there is no need to be so aggressive, they can just write complain letters to the forum page of the newspapers or send it to our embassy and go through the proper channels like what Singaporeans do when they are unhappy. Their rude actions are uncalled for!!!!
I feel very strongly about what the Thais have done and wanted to protest at the Thai embassy over the weekend, I think many other loyal Singaporeans have the same idea. However, since Singapore laws disallow protests of more than 4 people, I decided to give that a miss and go shopping at Audio House instead of risk breaking the rules. I might write a complain letter to the Thai Embassy to express my dissatisfaction with their protesting citizens.
The Thais should be showing appreciation to Temasek Holding for pumping money into their economy through the pocket of their PM Thaksin. Why can they see the merits of the deal? It is obvious their education system has failed them. Don't they know the benefits of harmony between govt and the people. The value of obedience and trust for their leader. The protests also reflects the failure of the media to explain the deal to the people in a way they will accept and understand. ...some members of the media chose to be critical of Thaksin.
We in Singapore are lucky, the govt will tell us what is good or bad for us and all we have to do is believe with the help of the media such as Straits Times. Thaksin has been telling the Thais in Bangkok that this deal is above-board, they just have to believe and move on with their lives instead of standing in the hot sun and burning pictures of our esteemed leaders. ....they can be at one of the many shopping malls in Bangkok.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
And they can easily.
Yes, Singapore is a democratic country where fair elections are conducted to choose the people to represent us.
PM Lee says: "Whenever it comes to upgrading between the PAP and the opposition ward, it has to be the PAP first or else how do we explain to voters that they supported us and we did not pay attention to their needs? So that remains the policy. In Hougang and Potong Pasir, I think both Eric and Sitoh have ideas on what they want to do for their constituencies and these ideas include upgrading."
See how easy it is to decide. If you vote for PAP, the tax money collected from those who voted the Opposition will be used to upgrade your constituency. This is a system that both our current prime minister and the previous one stands for. It is a principle that the men and women who join the PAP support.
I wonder why no other country has copied Singapore's political innovation yet. George Bush would have won a bigger margin if he set aside the welfare and public infrastructure spending only for States that support him & the Republicans in the elections. Surely, American citizens are as smart enough to see that such such schemes can only work in their interest....if they want more infrastructure, they just need to vote for it.
Saddam Hussein had elections too where the citizens of Iraq get to vote. If you don't vote for him, your family disappears the next day. No wonder he won by 95%.
Yes, if you read the Straits Times, you will understand the PAP is a honest, highly efficient and effective govt that is well loved and supported by the people. That is why they are not afraid to conduct elections on a level playing field.
Singaporeans are so lucky to have real democracy. One in which they can vote for what they believe in during the elections.
It does not matter who the PAP put up as candidates.
It does not matter what their views on issues are.
It does not matter what past experiences they have or qualities to connect with the people and empathy for their problems.
It is not important anyway because the PAP govt only allows 9 days of campaigning, so you won't be able to figure out the character of the people put up for elections.
It DOES NOT MATTER.
Your vote is not for the PEOPLE who will represent you, your vote is LINKED to the upgrading of your estate. Most people will vote for the PAP because they want their estate upgraded with nice surroundings and lifts stopping at every floor. This is not an election about issues, problems and solutions faced by the country. It is to elect the UPGRADING PROGRAMME for your estate.
Please don't be confused what your VOTE is for okay. It is for the UPGRADING of housing estates and that is the primary purpose of us voting in May 2006.
The Straits Times, 11 April 1992:
"Minister Goh Chok Tong made public the government's intention to link the choice of housing estates to be upgraded to the strength of votes for the PAP in the general elections"
See how lucky Singaporeans are? Instead of going through a difficult decision making process, the trouble of thinking through important issues that will affect your family's future, you can make the decision who to vote for easily. What is there to consider when your housing estate will be left old and dilapidated unless you vote for the PAP. The PAP govt will take money from those who vote the opposition into parliament to upgrade the PAP wards. .....one has to be stupid not to see how lucky he is to be able to gain from this scheme.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
When that rebellious young NUS undergrad stood up and called our esteemed MM a despot, and demanded for more checks and balance in our political system, some of us fear that the new generation in Singapore will be unlike the previous generation. Our people's most distinct trait is the lack of desire to question the govt and willingness to follow instructions. The emergence of Jamie Han looks like a worrying trend.......but not to fear.... a recent survey done by the Straits Times is reassuring:
1. 40,000 young age 21-34 Singaporeans don't even know that the PAP is one of the parties in parliament.
2. Half of those survey shows a total lack of interest in politics.
3. Political issues like "need for more opposition" ranks below jobs, housing, education etc.
4. Many don't want to vote.
Thank goodness our new generation is the same as our old. Looks like our education system has not failed us. The PAP can continue to rule and control this country maintaining the status quo for more decades.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
The ambulance drivers have been through our education system and know the importance of obeying the rules - despite their all out effort to save the child within the rules, the child did not make it. From the first day of school, they are thought the importance of rules.
Barrier blamed for death
WHEN Christopher Lim, 31, came home from a business trip on Sunday, he walked off the plane to a father's worst nightmare â€“ a wake for an infant son he had yet to see. For almost a month, the telecoms engineer stationed in Nigeria had been waiting to see Ignatius, who was born on Feb 14.
But just hours before he boarded the plane at the airport in Lagos on Saturday, his wife called him with the bad news: Ignatius had died after suddenly turning pale in the face and bleeding from the nose. Officially the infant died from cardio-respiratory failure.
But what pains and angers Lim is whether his son's death could have been prevented.
The ambulance that was to have rushed Ignatius to hospital was held up by a parking barrier at the Singapore Expo that just could not be raised.
A trip to the nearby Changi General Hospital, which should have taken about five minutes, was delayed by about 10 to 15 minutes as the ambulance driver made a frantic but futile bid to get security guards to raise the barrier.
In the end, a second ambulance arrived. The infant was passed over the barrier and taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
An anguished Lim said on Wednesday: "It was pure incompetence... and I lost my son because of this"
He said Ignatius was born without any health problems.
On Saturday, his wife, Pauline Lim, 26, who is training to be a nurse, had taken Ignatius and his sister, Theresa, three, to Singapore Expo for a baby show.
While Lim was breastfeeding Ignatius, he suddenly stopped suckling and turned pale, prompting her to yell for help.
A nurse who was there resuscitated the infant on the spot while others called the emergency services.
An ambulance crew stationed in the grounds by the show's organisers responded, but it only got as far as the carpark barrier, which refused to budge. “ The Straits Times / Asia News Network
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
He runs but the 2 men go after him. He defends himself with a fishing knife which he had in the pocket stabbing a number of times the attacker on the leg, attacker dies. Court finds that excessive force is used in when defending himself so sends him to jail for 3.5 years.
Please Singaporeans when 2 or more people attack you for no reason, please don't panic and remember the law, do not retaliate with excessive force, try to stay within the law and react rationally as these people punch you.
What if the jailed victim (Neo) was dead in the first place?
Odd-job worker killed man two years ago. When dad learns truth, he says...'OWN UP, SON'By Crystal ChanMarch 14, 2006 Print Ready Email Article
Do you get him to surrender or ask him to hide?
That was the dilemma facing Neo Eng Kiat's father. Wanting to be known only as Mr Neo, he said he was clear what had to be done.
He told his son to surrender to the police, because he felt sure his son would not be charged with murder and end up on death row.
Eng Kiat, 26, was attacked by a man in a case of mistaken identity. He fought back by stabbing him. (See report below.)
His victim - Raymond Yap Choon Teck, 23 - later died from his injuries.
After the incident, Eng Kiat went home and told nobody. He even kept it from his father, who he is close to.
LOCK HIMSELF IN ROOMClick to see larger imagePolice officers at the scene of the crime after the killing on 29 Aug, 2003. --LIANHE WANBAO
But the father knew something was wrong. His son would lock himself in his room and leave their flat only to go to work.
Then the police came looking for Eng Kiat in May last year. It was almost two years after the stabbing.
Eng Kiat was at work at that time. When he came home, Mr Neo, 49, sat him down.
Said Mr Neo, a sub-contractor: 'I asked my son if he had done anything wrong. And if he didn't, why would the police be looking for him?
'That was when my son confessed that he had killed someone in a fight.'
Mr Neo was shocked and distressed. He said his son was not a violent person.
The question that went through his mind then: Now what?
'I told him that there's no point running away from the police because the law would catch up with him eventually,' said Mr Neo.
Be a man, he told his son, and surrender. His wife agreed with him.
Then they prayed.
Eng Kiat was eventually charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He had escaped the gallows.
He pleaded guilty and was jailed 3 1/2 years last Monday .
His mother, Mrs Neo, wept as she said: 'To outsiders, it is a light sentence. But to us parents, it seems like forever.
'Every time we sit down for a meal, we lose our appetite when we realise Eng Kiat's absence.
'It's enough that we're upset. We don't want our relatives to be sad too.'
Mr Neo and his wife, a factory worker, have another son who is doing National Service.
They still find it hard to accept that their elder son is now in prison.
They said that Eng Kiat didn't go out looking for trouble.
But he did stab his victim even after the man had fallen to the ground.
Mr Neo's only consolation was that the killing was not pre-meditated.
'I read the papers every day and I know the difference between murder and manslaughter. A murder is a planned killing while manslaughter is an unintended killing,' said Mr Neo.
Mr Neo said that his son had acted out of self-defence. If he wasn't charged with murder, he would escape the death penalty.
'My son was beaten up by two complete strangers. If he had been killed instead, who would be responsible?' said Mr Neo.
The family is now trying to keep his jail term from their relatives, especially Mr Neo's mother. They are Chinese-educated.
'My mother isn't in good health and she dotes on her grandchildren,' said Mr Neo.
'Eng Kiat is my mother's favourite grandchild and I don't want her to be dealt a blow.'
They have told relatives that he has gone abroad to work. They hope the lie will hold.
Said Mr Neo: 'Right now, my family just wants to put this matter behind us and look forward to my son's release from prison.'
Eng Kiat failed his O levels in 1995 and lost his job as an apprentice with an air-conditioning company when it folded. He ended up doing odd jobs.
Mr Neo said that after his son admitted the killing to him, they approached lawyer Kertar Singh and told him everything.
That was in June last year.
On 13 Jul last year, Eng Kiat, accompanied by his father and Mr Singh, surrendered to the police.
Mr Singh, in his mitigation, said that Eng Kiat, a fishing enthusiast, went fishing a few days before the incident and had left the knife in his jeans pocket.
He said: 'When the fight broke out, Neo suddenly found the knife on him and used it to protect himself.'
But Mr Singh also said that Eng Kiat had acted 'beyond the parameters of private defence'.
'My client stabbed the victim after the latter fell down and lay on his back. So there was definitely an intention to cause injury.'
The Neos are still bitter over the circumstances that landed Eng Kiat in jail but they hope to move on.
Said Mr Neo: 'If the victim hadn't beaten up my son, this wouldn't have happened. If you were attacked without reason, wouldn't you retaliate too?'
Neo used fishing knife to defend himself
NEO Eng Kiat was eating a snack and browsing through handphone accessories at a night market at Serangoon North Avenue 3 when he was approached by Raymond Yap Choon Teck, 23, at about 7.30pm on 29 Aug, 2003.
Yap, a salesman, mistook Neo, 26, for a man who had assaulted him previously.
Yap and his friend, Tan Boon Kwang, who was unemployed, then attacked Neo.
Neo managed to escape towards the junction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and Serangoon North Avenue 3, a short distance away. But he ran into the same duo there.
Another fight broke out.
This time, Neo realised he had a knife in his jeans pocket and stabbed Yap repeatedly on his legs after the latter fell.
Yap and his friend took a taxi to Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital but he died at 8.10pm.
An autopsy showed that Yap had died of stab injuries to the arteries in his left thigh.
In his mitigation, Neo's lawyer, Mr Kertar Singh, said that his client was at the mercy of his assailants, whom he described as 'a bunch of bullies'.
Mr Singh also pointed out that Yap had taken ketamine on the night of the attack.
'The accused, who had never been placed in a situation like this, acted on impulse when he found his personal safety and life in danger,' Mr Singh said.
Neo was charged with one count of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Another charge of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon was taken into consideration during sentencing.
He could have been jailed for life.
What if you kill to protect yourself?
CAN you walk away scot-free?
Lawyer Amolat Singh said: 'The judges would look at the amount of force and the means used to defend oneself.
'If a man punches me with his bare hands and I take out a parang and hack him to death, the force I use would be disproportionate.'
Mr Amolat said the judges would also assess what the defendant was thinking when he committed the act.
Issues such as whether he had meant to kill the other party would be taken into account.
'On hindsight, we may think it was rash to stab the other man in self-defence. But sometimes you don't have the luxury of time to rationalise your actions,' Mr Amolat said.
Lawyer Subhas Anandan said: 'Nothing is an offence if it is done in the exercise of self defence.
'But if you had the time to call the police, then your actions can't be justified as self-defence.'
Mr Anandan said the actions of Neo Eng Kiat exceeded the right of self defence.
'He had undue advantage as he had a weapon and acted in great cruelty as he stabbed the other man repeatedly.
'So he couldn't invoke right of self-defence.'
Lawyer Kertar Singh, who defended Neo, said everyone has the right to self-defence.
'But you also have to consider the circumstances. In my client's case, he stabbed his attacker repeatedly after the latter fell down.
'So his actions were beyond self-defence as there was definitely an intention to cause injury.'
During the trial, Mr Kertar cited similar cases where defendants received light sentences of between 3 and 3 1/2 years after killing someone in a fight.
One was the case of cleaner Katun Bee Ibrahim, 56, who was jailed 3 1/2 years on 6 Jan, 2004, for culpable homicide.
During a fight with her lover G. Subramaniam on 13 Jan, 2003, Katun fatally stabbed him in the abdomen after blinding him with chilli powder.
Another case was of durian seller Lim Boon Seng, 40, who was jailed 3 1/2 years on 27 May, 2004, for culpable homicide.
During a fight with loanshark Keng Yew Cheng, 42, on 5 Nov, 2003, over a $1,800 debt, Lim fatally stabbed Keng in the chest.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Once I invited a friend from overseas to my flat, he had that surprised look on his face when we got off on the 5th floor and walk up to the 7th where I stayed. He was totally amused. In his entire life he has stayed in 5 different countries in all types of housing and he has NEVER seen a building more than 10 floors with a elevator that does not stop at every floor. I told him that it is probably an effort by HDB to keep public housing affordable. But when I told what affordable means in terms of price of my HDB flat, I could see his jaws dropping. After hearing how much my HDB flat cost, he asked where's the swimming pool and tennis court located. His jaws drop some more when I told him that it is about 5 km away.
Anyway I figured that there are many good reasons why the HDB lifts don't stop at every floor. The govt wants some of us to exercise a little more for our own sake, stopping at every floor would mean some people will get caught peeing half way when they can't "hold it", ....also they bought those slow lifts that would take forever if they had to stop at every floor.
These lifts have become an election issue. You see, it was alright when you are 25 years old to climb the stairs but when you're 60 years old, you really need the lift to stop at your floor. Chiam See Tong has served as MP for 22 years. Many of his residents voted for him when they were in their youths and now they have grown old. It is getting hard to walk up the stairs. Chiam has done everything diligently for 22 years since he was elected. He had a strong belief and worked the ground gradually before he won the people over. Once elected he worked hard to keep the cost of running the estate down, conservancy charges have been lower and Chiam is
popular among his residents who see him a sincere down to earth character who interacts well with the residents.
Chiam recognised the problem of lift upgrading pretty early. Being an Opposition MP, however means he is not lucky enough to get Potong Pasir on the HDB upgrading programme. Of course, it is just coincidence that Opposition wards are not upgraded, since the PAP is an honest govt that does not practise pork barrel politics. Chiam proceeded to accumulate sufficient sinking fund under his town council to upgrade the flats without residents paying a single cent. However, it was disallowed by the Ministry of National Development. The main problem was Chiam said he was able to upgrade the lifts at a substantially lower cost ....and that was not possible - how dare he claimed he is more efficient than the HDB/PAP people!!! Impossible...so he is not allowed! Anyway please click on this link and read about the exchange between Chiam and Cedric Foo (of White Horse fame), after reading 10 times I still can't understand why Chiam is disallowed from upgrading those lifts except for the reason he is able to do so cheaper.
The people of Potong Pasir are about to get lucky. They are give a real democratic choice. If they vote for PAP's man Sitoh, their luck will change and the national upgrading programme will land in Potong Pasir and they will get their lifts upgraded. Of course, the PAP is not so despicable to hold old folks hostage and force them to take the stairs just to get their votes. It is all a matter of luck. The PAP together & Sitoh are not hypocrites - they are men of high principles and integrity. They truly care about the Potong Pasir people and just want to improve their luck when it comes to upgrading.
The people of Potong Pasir have a chance to get lucky. So do the people of Singapore!
Haven't they learned from what happened to JBJ? BTW, what did JBJ say that cause him to become a bankrupt? ....I suggest these people have their rally speeches vetted by lawyers to avoid breaking our defamation laws. You see, if they say the PAP is not doing a good job, it means they are saying the PAP are liars since the PAP insists they have done a good job - that would expose them to lawsuits. If they say medical costs are high, that will contradict what the Minister of Health said, that again would mean they are calling the PAP liars, that would expose them to the risk of defamation. If they say there is high unemployment, that will contradict what Ng Eng Hen said, that will again expose them to more defamation lawsuit for calling Ng Eng Hen a liar.
I suggest the Opposition send their 57 candidates on courses to learn how to make non-defamatory speeches so they don't end up like CSJ.
Most Singaporeans aged 40 and below have never ever voted. It will be so troublesome for them now to go to the polling station queue up then mark an [X] in a box. I think they prefer to go shopping with the goodie money or to the movies instead of doing that.
I see the Worker's Party has appeared in my GRC. This means I've to carry my Straits Times around to shield myself from their blasphemous material in the Hammer. I must be on the alert to avoid bumping into them and giving them a chance to corrupt my mind with unapproved ideas. I caution all Singaporeans, they are likely to see Opposition candidates hanging around hawker centers and bus interchanges. It is best you read your Straits Times twice daily to avoid getting influenced by harmful thoughts that will undermine your happiness.
Opposition parties unveil plan to contest 57 seats in next General Election
SINGAPORE : It looks like the opposition has answered the PAP's call to contest as many seats as possible in the next General Election.
Based on a plan the opposition parties had worked out on Friday, the PAP may not be returned to power on Nomination Day.
The opposition has decided to contest about 57 seats out of 84 parliamentary seats.
These will be all nine Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) and nine Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs).
The nine single member wards are Bukit Panjang, Chua Chu Kang, Hougang, Joo Chiat, MacPherson, Nee Soon East, Nee Soon Central, Potong Pasir and Yio Chu Kang.
The Singapore Democratic Party's chairman Ling How Doong will most likely stand in Bukit Panjang, while the SDP is also planning to field a candidate in Nee Soon Central.
The Singapore Democratic Alliance plans to contest four SMCs, namely Chua Chu Kang, Potong Pasir, Yio Chu Kang and MacPherson.
Both the SDA and the Democratic Progressive Party have indicated their interests in contesting MacPherson, but they hope to resolve this soon to avoid a three-cornered fight there.
The Workers' Party is targeting Hougang, Joo Chiat and Nee Soon East.
And the nine GRCs that the various opposition parties are eyeing include Aljunied, Ang Mo Kio, Sembawang and East Coast - all to be contested by the Workers' Party.
The Singapore Democratic Party is trying to contest two GRCs - Jurong and Holland-Bukit Timah.
And the Singapore Democratic Alliance is planning to field at least three teams to contest Pasir Ris-Punggol, Jalan Besar and Tampines.
This means there could be a contest for at least 48 GRC seats if the opposition parties stick to their plans.
But they remained tight-lipped about exactly which candidates may be standing in which constituencies.
And they say that things could change in the run-up to Nomination Day.
Mr Chiam See Tong, Secretary-General of Singapore Democratic Alliance, says: "This time round, I think we have got our act together. It would appear we have more than 50 percent and if that is the case, then it appears we will have no by-election effect."
Ms Sylvia Lim, Chairman of Workers' Party, says: "The four GRCs we have named, we may not go to all the four as we are still deciding which are our priorities - that is the likely scenario." - CNA/de
Friday, March 10, 2006
Unfortunately those crazy Thais fail to appreciate our generosity and kindness pumping money and creating jobs in Thailand. Instead they accuse us of "buying their national assets". Temasek says it is purely a business transaction. I guess Ho Ching must really be confident of this purchase because the bought Shin Corp close to the historic peak of its stock price. Those ungrateful Thais now want to revoke the concession and boycott the telco. This is really silly because nobody will ever have the confidence of Temasek Holding to buy Shin at such a high price. This $3B move does not need the consent our parliament. I guess there is no need since the MPs especially those from the Opposition will not be able to appreciate the wisdom of the financial wizards at Temasek Holding. It is also important to keep some level of secrecy so that nobody can copy and emulate Ho Ching's investment acumen.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
As the election draws nearer, a number of Singaporeans are lamenting the fact they will have to vote for their MPs....they are probably not going to get them through effortless means like walkover. How troublesome, many say. Why can't those opposition guys go to some other constituency and cause trouble elsewhere instead of their ward? See the headaches and problems the Opposition brings to this country. Instead of telling us nothing but good news like the PAP, the Opposition likes to dwell on problems like rising costs, rising unemployment, rising income gap, lack of check and balance etc to make us worry. Singaporeans don't like to hear bad news especially if it has nothing to do with them but some other unfortunate person who has to dig the thrash for aluminium cans to put food on the table. So what if 20% of the households have to live on less than $1000 a month as long as you're not one of them, you don't have to think if the influx of foreign workers has caused wages to be depressed to the detriment of local workers.
Whatever it is, PAP MPs are already paid $13,000 a month to look after our interests so we can all relax and leave it to them. If anything goes wrong in the coming years, the govt will rectify with an even bigger goodie bag before the next elections to relieve your unhappiness. This is a govt that cares about you, they need to keep you alive and working until age 70 to pay for your HDB, ERP, GST, COE etc, so why would they do anything that is not good for you. Singaporeans are so lucky.
Residents are ready for a contest
By Veena Bharwani, Electric New Paper.
March 05, 2006
BRING on the fight.
That's what one resident, Mr Lim Kee Song, said when asked how he felt about his area - the newly-created Yio Chu Kang single seat - seeing a contest.
Said Mr Lim, a grassroots leader in the neighbourhood: 'I want to see who comes and challenges this area and the PAP. It will be fun to see.'
An ardent People Action's Party (PAP) supporter, Mr Lim, 56, is confident that even if the opposition contests the seat, the PAP will win.
Previously, the area surrounding Yio Chu Kang MRT station was part of Ang Mo Kio GRC, which was the Prime Minister's constituency.
Now, it's a new seat on its own, up for grabs.
Other residents said they were taken aback when they heard about the split from Ang Mo Kio GRC.
Said housewife Pearline Lim, 46: 'At least I'll get a chance to vote. I have never voted before.'Mr Hong Heng Hoon felt the same way.
Mr Hong, 40, a grassroots member said: 'I am very surprised and a bit sad that we are no longer under the GRC.
'I've lived here for 16 years and I've only voted once and that was long ago.
'So it will be very special for me to vote again.'
Since Ang Mo Kio GRC was formed at the 1991 elections, it's never seen a fight.
But resident Henry Han, 52, is not so excited.
'I just wanted there to be a walkover and PAP to come back to power. Now, I might have to go and vote, it's very 'leceh' (troublesome).'
Sunday, March 05, 2006
After Thaksin was elected PM in Thailand, the stock market tripled. The IMF debt was paid up in full and the economy has never been better. The farmers in the rural areas never had it so good - a micro-loan scheme that Thaksin implemented delivered a better life to numerous villages in the north. These villagers form his stranglehold on power.
Any Singaporean looingk at this will think that the Thais should be delighted with Thaksin. Under Thaksin, they have more money than ever to go shopping at MBK (Ma Boon Kong) , the biggest shopping center in Bangkok, eat at the numerous restaurants and of course enjoy the wonderful nightlife that puts our Crazy Horse to shame.
With so much going for them these Thais in Bangkok are so silly. They are spending their time protesting instead of shopping. So what are they protesting for? Something intangible and abstract - Democracy. See these Thais have nothing better to do than to worry about the concentration of power on a few men despite their track record. Among other things, they are worried about the demage to democratic process, cronyism, checks & balance etc. Many fear losing their say about the future of their country.
Coming from Singapore, I would like to tell the Thais to relax, stop protesting and go home to watch TV. Why exhaust yourself to improve the democratic process? Concentration of power? Loss of say in the country's future? Just look at successful Singapore. We gave power to a handful of elites who slowly controlled our media until we totally forgot what Democracy is, yet we are all so happy. We let the elites decide for us the future of our society be it casinos, floodgates of foreigners into the country, etc. Instead of troubling yourself trying to figure out what is good or bad, someone is always there to tell you what to do. Check and balance, transparency? I'll tell the Thais this and many Singaporeans believe wholeheartedly : What you don't know won't hurt you! If the NKF wasn't exposed, we will all still be happily donating our money and we will still be enjoying those wonderful NKF shows.
I believe Thaksin will win big in the coming elections, his opponents who chose to boycott will see their influence diminished after the elections. Unfortunately, due to the protests, Thaksin has promised to undo and reform the constitution for greater democracy, so it will take a much longer time for the Thais to be like Singapore. See I'm allowed to write about the elections and politics of Thailand while their elections is on the way, but once the Singapore elections is announced, I've to take my blog down to avoid violating electioneering laws. See how far behind the Thais are compared with us? Their political system will take a long time to catch up with the advances that the PAP has made to our system.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
However, the ministers pay has been lagging behind this benchmark set by the PAP govt. No wonder he does not want to tell us, he doesn't want us to feel sorry about our ministers who have to work so hard to earn pay that is "below benchmark".
Singaporeans are so lucky to get a discount from their ministers. Since the PAP is so kind to give us so much goodies, lets give the ministers what they rightfully deserve after the elections. It is the logical thing to do.
Ministers' pay lags behind salary benchmarks: PM
Thursday • March 2, 2006
DECLINING to reveal exactly how much each cabinet minister is paid, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday shot down the suggestion that ministers who hold multiple portfolios are paid multiple salaries.
In a written response to a question from Non-Constituency MP Steve Chia, Mr Lee said: "They receive only one salary based on the salary grade they are at."
But the Ministry of Finance — which publishes the manpower expenditure for each ministry's political appointment holders in the budget book annually — "does not intend to disclose the salaries" of individual cabinet ministers, he added.
Mr Chia, who is also the Secretary-General of the National Solidarity Party, had tabled a question on this, asking for the ministers' pay for FY2005 to be disclosed in bracket ranges of $250,000. He also asked how this salary compensation compares with the last disclosed figures in 2000.
To this, Mr Lee, who is also the Finance Minister, said: "The framework for setting ministerial salaries and the salary benchmarks were debated openly in Parliament when they were first formulated in 1994 and again in 2000 when they were revised."
The formula for the ministerial salary benchmark has remained unchanged since the last revision in 2000, he said.
"The benchmark is pegged to two-thirds of the income of the 24th highest earner (median) among a group comprising the top eight earners from six professions (bankers, accountants, engineers, lawyers, MNCs amd local manufacturers)," Mr Lee said, adding that ministers took wage cuts in November 2001 and July 2003.
Although these cuts were restored in July 2004 and January 2005 to pre-Nov 2001 levels, ministerial salaries have "lagged behind" the salary benchmarks compared to the year 2000, he added.
Singaporeans should have faith in the legal system instead of wasting their time thinking too much. Took's lawyer says about the petition, "The signatures will show what a portion of Singaporeans think."
What are these Singaporeans troubled by? ...Actually some technicalities. See when Huang Na died the cause of death cannot be established, she could have choked on her own vomit due to fits or strangled by Took. Without establishing the cause of death, according to the law, we cannot say that Took murdered Huang Na.
My message to these Singaporeans is : Does it matter? We hang the Australian chap Nguyen although he did not kill anyone. Well, whether Huang Na choke on her vomit shouldn't concern us too much, it was Took that cause her to choke on her vomit. So he must die. Similarly, cigarette importers who bring in the stuff that cause people to die of lung cancer should also be hanged.
25,000 sign Took petition
Convicted murderer's parents, wife hopeful he will be granted clemency
IT HAS been more than a month since Took Leng How failed in his appeal against his conviction for the murder of eight-year-old Huang Na.
But the hope that Took will be spared the gallows has not abated.
In fact, with the help of Took's aunt and a few sympathetic people in Singapore, Took's parents and wife say they have collected about 25,000 signatures on a clemency petition to date.
Took's lawyer, Mr Subhas Anandan, is hopeful that double that number of signatures could help his client get clemency.
"I don't think that the public has ever shown support to such an extent before," said Mr Anandan. "The signatures will show what a portion of Singaporeans think."
The rare split decision at the Court of Appeals on Took's sentence could also play a significant part. Chief Justice Yong Pung How and Justice Chao Hick Tin dismissed Took's appeal against the death sentence, but Justice Kan Ting Chiu disagreed with them, the first time such a split had happened in 10 years.
Disagreeing with the actual cause of Huang Na's death, Justice Kan felt that Took should only be convicted of the offence of voluntarily causing hurt, which carries a maximum jail term of one year.
But the Court of Appeals carried through the decision on the two-to-one majority. Despite this, Took's parents are hopeful that Justice Kan's words will have some weight when the clemency appeal goes to the President.
The records show that only six people sentenced to death have been granted clemency since 1965. The last time clemency was granted was in 1998, when then-President Ong Teng Cheong pardoned a 19-year-old youth who was sentenced to death for murder, commuting his sentence to life imprisonment.
Mathavakannan Kalimuthu had pleaded that he had had no intention to kill, and had submitted a petition accompanied by five letters, including one from his mother.
Took's family and their supporters will continue to gather signatures for another two months before submitting the petition in May.
"Anywhere there's a lot of people, we will go," said Took's aunt, who declined to be named. "There have been people who have said nasty things, but a lot of people have been very kind and supportive."
The group have staked out temples, MRT stations and HDB estates to gather signatures. Apart from locals, they have also got the signatures of foreigners from China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
"A lot of people have been calling me, telling me that they want to help, and I even heard something about putting this petition on the Internet," said Took's aunt, who is in her 70s.
"I get their signatures if I can, but if they are overseas, I can't do much."
An online petition has also surfaced, with 746 signatures.
"Of course it is an encouragement to us," said Took's father, Mr Took Long Lai.
"I have told my son to have hope. We will continue to get more signatures to help
Straits Times Interactive March 1, 2006
Thank you for the Budget goodies
OUR Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has come out with a $2.6b help package for all Singaporeans. I'm so happy.
I've three children. My eldest son attends a Minds school. My second daughter is in Primary 1. My third son is going to a childcare centre soon.
My husband is the only person in the home working. He earns $1,500.
The Government's offer is a great help to people like us. What we earn is from hand-to-mouth.
Now I can happily enrol my third child in the childcare centre with the help of the subsidy. I'm so proud to be a Singaporean. I'm very happy and pleased with my Government.
I'm not so highly educated. But I really appreciate my country's government very much. It is always here for us. It may be Sars, bird flu or any problems, but it always stands by us.
If I'm given a chance to migrate, I would never do it because my country Singapore is the best. Thank you Singapore for your generous support.
Singaporeans thinking of migrating must be out of their mind with such good caring govt that helps the poor, who would ever think of migrating. Of course some of you might get smart and say that people like Mdm Amutha would receive more aid in some other countries because of minimum wage laws, welfare and the lack of foreign talents to depress wages, what I can say is ultimately what is important is whether a person feelis happy. As long as they feel happy and believe the govt is acting in their interest, nothing else matters.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Come on Low who are you trying to bluff? Our PM, has explained that the budget is for the long term not short term. I guess the PAP has done a thorough job to think through this budget, they did nothing much since the Asian crisis occurred and people lost their jobs in big numbers - now 8 years later, our highly efficient PAP govt thinks there is an urgent need to help Singaporeans. It is just coincidence that this goodie budget coincides with the impending elections. After we collect our goodies this time we should all be better off in the long run.
Singaporeans are so lucky to have a govt that thinks long term and does not practise pork barrel politics. Once we get those goodies, we will all start paying back in the long term, in the form of higher ERPs, fees and GST.
Singapore PM Lee says budget not vote-buying scheme
SINGAPORE, March 1 (Reuters) - Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday that generous cash handouts announced in the government's 2006/07 budget were not just designed to win votes. Rebutting opposition charges that the budget was a vote-winning ploy to boost the ruling party's new leadership ahead of a potential early election in the coming months, Lee said the budget was meant to prepare Singapore citizens for the long-term challenges of globalisation.
"This budget is not a mere Hong Bao to get votes," Lee said in a speech to parliament, referring to the Chinese tradition of giving money in red envelopes to the young during the Lunar New Year.
"This budget makes the right long-term commitments so that the government wins not just the next election but also the mandate to govern over successive terms," Lee said.
On Feb. 17 Lee announced a S$2.6 billion ($1.6 billion) budget spending package flush with handouts, including a S$200 handout for every adult Singaporean, discounts on housing and utilities charges and up to S$400 for all army conscripts.
But Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang, who holds a seat in parliament, said this week the cash giveaways were an election ploy and that these one-time cash handouts were only a temporary way of alleviating Singaporeans' financial burdens.
Low also accused the government of repeatedly giving out money before elections, only to take it back after the polls.
Rebuking these allegations, Lee said the government has spent about S$10.5 billion on measures to assist the poor since 2001.
The lavish budget, which also included huge investments into research and development, is expected to drag the city-state's fiscal position to a deficit of S$2.9 billion in 2006/07 -- the biggest deficit in at least 20 years.
But Lee said the fiscal position was sustainable as the government had accrued funds from previous years.
Lee -- whose ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has had a stranglehold on parliament since independence in 1965 -- was appointed prime minister in August 2004 and is expected to call early elections this year.