Saturday, November 22, 2008

PAP : Change we ALSO can ...Part 1.

"CHANGE must come to Singapore - but within the ruling People's Action Party rather than in the form of having a two-party system "

Wow after 40 years, we finally hear this thing about CHANGE. But this change must come from within the PAP - one-party system is good for Singapore. For our own good, PAP will manage this change. The last change they made was the electric tariffs - they raise it to help us to conserve energy. They also allowed the SMRT to change its fares, then change the trains by taking out the seats. They change the healthcare system by introducing means testing. They also changed their own salaries and the GST. The PAP is certainly very good at change....but Singaporeans are asking if they have been shortchanged!!!!

Does the PAP looks like a govt that will change. With a 85 yr old Minister Mentor to mentor all his ministers and a Senior Minister to drill in the same ideas, the only change we are going to get is CHANGE ALONG THE SAME DIRECTION. The same changes we have been seeing in the past few decades....every leadership transition is a transition in the same direction. The PAP cannot break out of the box it created - this box is now ironcast and reinforced by the grand ideas of the MM. Everything has to align to his thinking otherwise it won't move....he is there to mentor the ministers and civil servants. The minibond debacle which saw the loss of lifesavings of 10,000 Singaporeans ....MM Lee said the people went in with their eyes open, they deserve those losses because they were going after high returns, legally "case closed"....So which civil servant/minister/PAP MP dares to propose better regulation, audit the banks' process and revamp the approval criteria of these products for sale to retailers.

Why should the PAP change? They have developed a system which is highly favorable to their own interests - the PAP men move from civil service/SAF to govt to GLCs the entire system is aligned the interests of these entities and creates an imbalance in policy making. The minister in parliament talks not about how he intends to lower energy costs, bus fares, medical costs to Singaporeans but about why they have to be higher. ...where the lines are clearly drawn in the minibonds saga - they defend themselves and the banks while ordinary Singaporeans have to find their own road to justice. There is no check and balance in the system and no transparency - the PAP only tells us what they want us to hear.

It takes a crisis for cracks in the system to show up. It is the collapse of Lehman Bros showed up which side our leaders stand on issues of social justice. The Town Councils losses tells us the importance of transparency and the enormous reserves they accumulated show us how willing they are to burden the people unnecessarily. We find a govt unwilling to share our burdens - the many policy tradeoffs they make are never openly and vigorously debated. Singaporeans tend to find out only when they wake up one day and realise they got the short end of the stick - seats in MRT removed after fares are increased, electricity tariffs hiked after oil prices plunged, billion dollar losses at GIC. etc etc.

The PAP claims that there is so little talent in Singapore that only one party can be formed. Any talent would have been found and recruited by the PAP. If the "talents" we see in the PAP govt are the best available....I would be very worried for the future of Singapore. They look so similar in their logic and thinking...I really wonder why we need so many of them. Let me ask you a simple question ...other than schemes and policies that forces Singaporeans to pay more money to the govt, give me one good groundbreaking idea that came from the PAP in the past 10 years. Ground breaking bad ideas plenty - 2 child policy, graduate parent scheme, etc. Please post a few good ones as comments....remember must not result in Singaporeans paying more money to the govt. There are plenty of highly paid admin officers in the public service who are suppose to research and formulate policies. As elected officials, our MPs/Ministers role is to make sure that the interests of the people are best served. Obama as an elected president does not need to have a PhD in economics what he need is basic intelligence to appreciate the advice of his experts to know what will work and plenty of leadership skills to get ordinary Americans to support his ideas and help make them work. The PAP saying that there is limited talent in Singapore and all of them are in the PAP is so unimaginably arrogant, elitist and not to mention delusional ......I can't imagine any other govt today ever saying that except for the one to the north of S. Korea. The PAP can't change itself if it believes it is already the best.... "emperor's new clothes" is turning into a coffeshop joke.

If ever Singaporeans want real change, they have to do something about it. We, the rest of the world, are thankful for the millions of young Americans who in the words of Obama "refused to accept the myth of the generation's apathy" and brought forth a promise of change in America. The PAP is a product of Singaporeans' apathy and complacency. If we want real change, we cannot sit around and mind our own business - we have to learn to care for those around us...only when we open our hearts and our eyes to see, only when we are willing to act on our convictions, change will come.


Onlooker said...

Yes We Can! too in Singapore

ICE said...

A real classic by Lucky.

mr wolf said...

one only wish for there to be a credible opposition party to cast one's vote for... a opposition party which doesn't merely challenges the ruling party for individual wards and GRCs in a piecemeal fashion, but capable of tackling the PAP on all turfs.

Otherwise, the PAP will merely change the rules in the subsequent elections if it loses even just a few wards/GRCs.

Until then, i'm certain that change will remain just a dream...

Anonymous said...

"credible oppostion"? Is the PAP itself even credible, i ask u!

Please don't buy into this credible opposition BS that is sown by the pap media, it is a red herring.

mr wolf said...

well, i regard the PAP as credible, capable, and reliable.. Singapore under the PAP is a decent place, but Singapore will never be truly vibrant and free as the PAP is ironclad in its paternalistic governance and this impedes much progress.

As for the opposition, I meant credible as in the qualifications or the ability of their party members. But rather that I find the opposition to be lacking in vision and leadership. The only opposition that the people will vote resoundingly for, is a opposition that confidently competes for all of Singapore, and is poised to assume leadership of of the government.

Instead of squabbling, complaining and and bickering over various minor issues and hope/pray for the changes that will never occur. Why not take matters directly into ones hands, and enact the changes that we desire?

Judging from the general sentiments on the blogosphere, one might assume that any credible opposition will be wildly popular amongst Singaporeans desiring change.

mr wolf said...


"I meant credible NOT as in the qualifications or the ability of their party members"

Anonymous said...

i really aint a pro, pap guy, but work fare is a good idea, although they have kinda not given enough.

Anonymous said...

It is sad that the country has come to this stage. Why is the PAP so afraid of opposition if they believe that they are doing good for Singapore.

also can said...

hey Lucky! where's the sense of satire and cynical humour of your writing that i enjoy long ago. Anyway, you're still the best read.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Lucky!!!!
Let the younger generation expose to more blogs like yours. We cannot live in denial ANYMORE. But I am still hearing this, "I can't do anything even I know." I believe the more we are exposed to the truth, we will gain the true power to change. All of us do have that right to make a change because the revolution of our assuming govt and our entire society are getting worse. The day WILL come. Forget about change within that one party govt, it will never work for the benefit of all Singaporeans. All we need is a strong opposition party, very strong public views on what is happening in our country and that bravery to question. No one's statement in the govt is the ultimate law!

TeE said...

Hi Lucky and friends,

Just want to share with all of you a paper by Prof Pfeffer from Stanford University, titled "FIGHTING THE WAR FOR TALENT IS HAZARDOUS TO

It is one of the readings for my university module. For me, it coincidentally and unintended describes everything that has been wrong in Singapore for the past 10 years. So accurate in depiction it's frightening.

Link here:


"What happens in a war for talent? There is:

• An invariable emphasis on individual performance (rewarding the
individual stars), thereby diminishing teamwork, creating destructive
internal competition, and retarding learning and the spread of best
practices inside the company;

• A tendency to glorify the talents of those outside the company and
downplay the skills and abilities of insiders, leading to a loss of
motivation on the part of those inside the firm and to their turnover
(thereby ensuring that the recruiting challenge will be even greater as
the company tries to replace those that has inadvertently sent packing

• The creation of a self-fulfilling prophecy where those labeled as less
able become less able because they are asked to do less, given fewer
resources, training, and mentoring, and become discouraged, in the
process ensuring that the organization has way too many people who
are in the process of dropping out of the competitive fray;

• A deemphasis on fixing the systemic, cultural, and business process
issues that are invariably much more important for enhancing
performance, as the company seeks success solely through getting the
right people in the door;

• And finally, the development of an elitist, arrogant attitude—once you
have successfully competed in the war for talent, you have the best
people—an attitude that makes building a wise organization almost
impossible; in wise organizations, people know that they know and they
know what they don’t know. Companies that think they are winning the
war for talent think they are so full of smart people that they know

Anonymous said...

The kind of CHANGE in their system:

NS always 2.5 years, but CHANGE we must: cut short NS by half a year when it's time for their precious Horny Lee to serve NS and wayang a bit.

ichng said...

I think for change to happen it must necessarily be gradual. You know, people eventually go one day, and when people go, things change. I'm not saying that they must go, just that the truth is that people do pass on. So I think we wait out and exercise a bit of patience. It works for the rest of us too. I mean, if you're willing now to make allowance for a generation older, in years to come you can be justified expecting that from a generation younger. I hope I'm not scripting off from some archaic text, like the Chinese Book of Changes or something, just what I think is plain sensibility.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, change will not happen because our mainstream media is a joke. unless we have a popular media that is read by enough readers and is regarded as credible, no one can voice out their problems with issues in singapore that reach enough people (and, more importantly, quantifiable numbers of people can support) and the govt can pretend that problems don't exist.

there is no accountability because no one can hold them to account, and unless the media serves as the vanguard of the people our problems are...

well, lets just look at Zimbabwe and you get a very good idea of what spin a sycophantic media can do. at least there people are aware that their mainstream media is bs--in SG, some people still regard it as the gospel truth. which is unfortunate.

Lucky, i like your blog, keep blogging :) but i think until alternative news (i hate the supplementary way the term sounds) reaches enough people who are intelligent enough to differentiate between credible and self-serving reporting nothing is going to happen.

i think the leadership Tan Kin Lian has taken in the minibonds saga has changed something; people realise that the papers are trying to smother his presence, or at least paint him in a poor light, and that there are alternative sources of the news to be found online. and speaking of shakeups, i'm watching closely the hellhole they've dug themselves in with las vegas sands.

yamizi said...


You're losing your more and more of your sense of humour! Anyway, for real change to take effect, there must be some alternate parties for us to vote in. However, not all wards are contested. So when election comes, we can only pray for not having our wards get walkover-ed, then we can do the right thing at the ballot box.

Anyway, one 'good' policy without us paying more is that the service period for NS has changed from 30 months to 24 months.

Anonymous said...

Singaporean, do not cheat yourself. There is no need to change the current government. The change should be the Singaporeans themselves. Change your environment, change where you live, change where you work, change your lifestyle, change your thinking are all you need. Blame yourself if you think the government has to be changed.

If you believe the government will change, you are too childish. Why should the people in power want to change to make their own life more difficult?

Anonymous said...

The most funny thing here in Red Dot is that after Obama won the presidential election, some dreamers start to debate about possibility of a non-Chinese PM here. The obvious fact is that have you found any non-Chinese, such as an India or an Ang Mo, became the emperor of any dynasties in China history? Likewise, in other countries?

Please stop those wayang because Sinkapore is no USA. The media please spend more time on local burning issues.

Anonymous said...

TeE has provided a good paper. Just look at how our so called world class top university treated its staff. Dirty politics created by the elite groups in the management are covered up and victims are continuously harassed till their resignation. In contrast, originators of such dirty politics are rewarded with promotion and upgrade. Victims are further isolated and blocked by the management so that the victimized staff could only show poor records in performance. There is no level playing field in such place. No matter how well these victims are performing, there expects no extension of their contracts or promotion. Victimization and harassment are real there but the top will hear nothing. Change?

Anonymous said...

Haha! A very good simple example, companies taking care of the disabler’s interest. Now, it is clear that this “excuse” is more like a shield to make profit. No objection to help the disabler but objection to use them as an excuse to make profit. Don’t you guys see that that the number of disabled bus had increased to the level that seems they are using the disable as a shield to put more people on the bus?
Monopoly means power. Power is given to the bus companies to take away interest from its people. This time are they hiding the intention to earn more money?
Now, it is rational for Singaporeans not to give up sits for the elderly and the pregnant women. It is not funny for the foreigners not to give away sits. The gahman is acting less gracious by allowing MORE THAN ENOUGH disabled buses yet wanting people to be more gracious. That sounds stupid. I seldom see disabled people on the buses but frequently see elderly people standing at the standing bay. Did you guys see?
If they really want to help the disabled, giving high fare discount for them to take a taxi. That is much more rational than reducing the welfare of the mass.
Don’t you that that this simple issue that affects people’s life not being sufficiently debated in the parliament? Policies that are created and implemented without sufficient voice from the public are negative policies. As the current MP from the ruling party failed to represent the people, more oppositions are need to sit in the parliament to take care of the people’s interest.
Simple policy like the transport system policy is already showing the need of the opposition. Claiming that single party system is the solution is just a one sided affair.


yamizi said...


The thing with buses that are designed to ferry physically handicapped individual is that the places meant for wheelchairs are often taken up by other passengers standing there. My feeling is that no one would be bothered to give the 'standing area' to the wheelchairs!

It's afterall the quality of Singaporeans. How many are really gracious? I find graciousness is in total oppositions with the kiasu/si culture that runs deep in the roots of the Singapore society.

Anonymous said...

If you think you will vote for opposition only when a credible opposition is found then I think you have fallen into the trap set by papee.

A party will become stronger when there is more support. We can see that in papee.
Conversely a party will become weaker when there is little or no support. We can see that in our opposition.

Papee become more and more highhanded and arrogant because people continue to support their highhanded policies. It is not wise to continue voting a party that has become more and more dissatisfactory, more and more arrogant, and more and more out of touch with the ground.

Due to the strong support, Papee have managed to create such an unlevel playing field that it is almost impossible for any other party to create a credible opposition in this environment. Papee knows this, that is why it goes round telling people to only vote for an opposition party only if it is better than papee.

I see the only practical way out of this deadlock is to support whatever little opposition we have now regardless of how good they are now. They will become stronger and better once there is more support. Change will come gradually.

Sgcynic said...

In Singapore, we give new perspective to "More for Less".

khlui said...

PAP is right on one thing. Any changes must be made from within, not from outside. The place, the gov has been there for more than 40 years, what makes u think it will change tmr, or next year, or next election? What needs to be changed is our thinking, our mindset.

Storm will past. Sunny days will come again. When u weather thru this storm, are you ready to go where u want to go, to move on to a place where u want to be? I like what 745am has said. If u dun change yourself from within, dun bother to change the outside.

This is no USA or Taiwan where there is such thing called "power rotation". If u wait for it to happen, u can wait till u die. Face the reality.

I too am getting sick of reading news on why the sg gov do this, or dun do this, etc.

Ppl are reluctant to change themselves coz that means they have to take the risk of failing, such as doing things that ppl ard u normally dont do or have nv done b4. So they want "other ppl" to change so that u can get whatever "change" u want risk-free.

U let other ppl take the risk, then u dun expect to get them to share the fruit when they ripe.

I am getting ready to leave this island. It may take years but I just want to do it even if it may fail. In that case, I just have to try again. As in "cast away", if Tom Hanks wait for someone to pick him up from the island, he can wait for his entire life. Getting away may means he get drown in the ocean, but he wants to take that risk, instead of complaining everyday on the standstill island.

Good luck to everybody on the island.

mr wolf said...

why leave the island? like so many others... why should Singaporeans chased out of their own country? lol..

Anonymous said...

I have always maintain the position that one should vote for the opposition no matter how the incumbent govt leaders claim how good they can be.

The simple reason being we need someone to check on the govt's policies and actions on our behalf. Just imagine if LKY is another Chen Shui Bian, then we only have ourselves to blame if our govt can just get away with any murder (literally I mean).

I think it's about time that we ask for some change as to how we want our Govt to be run, not to be told that our govt knows what is best for us all the time and certainly not to be told what we cannot do with our own savings when we have reach our retirement age.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.48am has an interesting point: ... vote for opposition only when a credible opposition is found then I think you have fallen into the trap set by papee

If the role of the opposition is check and balance, and not to take over the whole government machinery, then u actually don't need an almost equal opposition b4 u vote for them. Same idea as the auditor will not be able to run the business he audits right. Especially with the PAP's strangle hold on resource, it is not possible to have an opposition of almost the same size as PAP until they start to grow to 1/4 size first. As for there is only one viable team to run Singapore because talent is so short in supply, that is a brilliant insight. Looking at the current team, we are certainly ... sigh, u see for yourself lah. We should remain a British colony or better still become a province of China (they have the most population, so must have a lot of talent right). No wonder they say LHL has deep intellect, I am sure u all must agree right.

PS. Lucky, you are loosing your satirical touch, and I am not even 1/4 as good as u.

"r" said...

the worst case scenario wld b that all the singaporeans who believe in the necessity of change wld leave over time and they wld b replaced by immigrants who r attracted to PAP's ways of getting things done. so then over time, its a self selective process and this wld b an island of 6.5 million PAPpies

Anonymous said...

I can think of 2 good things that came out of our singapore gov:

1. NLB

2. NPB

That's all. Enjoy :)

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are suckers for the paper chase.

The moment they see that the politician is a scholar, scored striaght As in his O and A levels, got first class honours in Cambridge U, they will vote for him, regardless of his track record in office.

Singaporeans will continue to vote for the party that has the best paper credentials.

Change my @$$!

Anonymous said...

We as Singaporean must give the opposition the chance to grow.
It does not happen over night. Only when we give more opportunity to the opposition then more able men & womem will join their rank.
We can start by voting in 5 - 10 opposition in the next election.
This will also put PAP on its toe to formular policies that benefit the people of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

you guys don't know meh? Cambridge will mail out degree to people who can afford to buy it.

Their MA is for sure just worth 20 pounds. And I know a person who receive his cambridge doctorate via postage. no kidding.

so back to the topic: for change to come, we need the blood of the PAP leaders to be spilled on the streets. Those NS guys with WEAPONS: do something AWESOME, like rape the CHUA strait times sisters

Anonymous said...

Yes,we can?

Obama victory gives a lot of hope
to the poor and middle class.

I heard all his speeches and realise that it is only in American that is possible.

In Singapore, the recent comments
of change within is a total bullish
trying to prevent any alternative voices.

I think support MR Tan Kin Lian Presidency is a step forward.I will personally gather some names for him. But I know Singaporean are still very scared of PAP! Don't dare to put up their names for support. But I will try!

You are totally right, Tmeask MD should fired and GLC should apoloise to Singaporean for investing in UBS,Standchart, Citi Meryril lynch and thaksin telco. They have lost at least 75% of the money. I think is excedd 25 billion. What a money.

No wonder, they stopped paying gaurantee 4% in Special account. Very smart, get out of it and Singaporean are on the hook of very low interest in the retirement account.

The last comment I will be on HDB.
Buying an asset that you got no say in how the money in town council is send! The so called asset is a huge scam. You did not own it. it is leased and Singaporean is still buying it like freehold. How can value a house that is 30 years old and left with 70 years and still worth equal to the new house nearby. Very funny!

HDB value the house with their own measurement!(not market reality)and I conclude as long as 80% of the Singaporean believe in it, it is real!

It is time for change

I am fired up! Ready to go!

Anonymous said...

As a PR in NZ, I got to vote recently to change the gahmen ! New PM was a banker and quite new in the political scene. He took one week to get a team going and went off to APEC. Labour is the opposition now and have immediately started their job of checking on the new government , questioning their decisions etc. The problem with Singapore is that they electoral system has been "tweaked" so "well" that it's hard to get opposition voices eg Tang Liang Hong , CSJ etc. Btw, Lucky I guess it's gotten too hard to be satirical. No way to put a "positive" spin to inane things like losing $16m of sinking funds; lol !

Anonymous said...

Some of the greatest Chinese emperors like Kang Xi is not Chinese. LiSimin is only half chinese.

tar-man has been on the only half decent minister in SG for the last 10 years. Possibly because he is not chinese as therefore apparently no threat to the throne.

Maybe he and TKL can team up.

sanguis_frigidus said...

i mean. i don't like them at all. but i am of the view that most systems are not better or worse, just different.. so i think even this one has some good points, if considered objectively..

1. up to a point(beyond that the need for r&d and creativity is involved), we might have a really good education system.

2. up to a point(when we start thinking of transport cost as a % of disposable income,particularly for those below median income), the transport system(not just public transport,everything..roads,coe,sbs,mrt..) is rather good.

3. as mentioned by someone else, the library system is not bad.

4. cpf is a good idea, considered objectively. its very hard to make regressive taxes sound describing it as a savings scheme, it makes the regressive tax regime much more acceptable to the public.

5. likely, jtc, edb and maybe ie singapore are among the best in their respective businesses..

6. i'm tempted to say hdb is also not bad objectively..i think its mostly to their credit that most of us have our own houses.

ichng said...

'i'm sorry, change will not happen because our mainstream media is a joke. unless we have a popular media that is read by enough readers and is regarded as credible, no one can voice out their problems with issues in singapore that reach enough people (and, more importantly, quantifiable numbers of people can support) and the govt can pretend that problems don't exist.'

I think The Straits Times has done well in some areas; if you want the kind of material I think you're looking for you should read the 'Review' section just under the editorial, or readers' letters.

'well, lets just look at Zimbabwe and you get a very good idea of what spin a sycophantic media can do. at least there people are aware that their mainstream media is bs--in SG, some people still regard it as the gospel truth. which is unfortunate.'

I must assume that you're Zimbabwean or that you've stayed in Zimbadwe for a very long time to be able to make that statement about what the people there think of their 'mainstream media'. Nonetheless, what I would like to say is that when people read 'mainstream media' here like The Straits Times, especially its articles on local issues, they're reading it to know its take on local events and developments. They form their own opinions after that, depending, for instance, on their personal interests. So I think it's very arrogant to think that readers are undiscerning and do not have a mind of their own.

As it is, some of the most avid readers of The Straits Times and other media considered 'mainstream' in Singapore are those who offer 'alternative' views in Internet media. Likewise, some of the most avid readers of alternative media in Singapore write for mainstream media. I think what we're looking is something related to some critical theory, one that is relevant and applicable, like 'reader-response' or something like that.

Anonymous said...

The media exposed Palin as a candidate lacking the ability and talent to lead the country. If only our media played the same role (not only for the opposition) we would not have so many self-proclaimed talent in Paliament. Judging by their comments and statement it does not take Einstien to know that we have many Palins in our midst. Can they stand up to scrutiny like Obama did. This is why we have so many policies put in place to protect the elite sheeps from the people.

Anonymous said...

Well said. Even the DPS scheme requires us to pay cpf money first. Actually nothing is free in singapore and could not think of one policy that benefit us without paying a single cent to the gov.

PAP has lost alot of ground these days, even uncle and aunty at coffeshop tlak bad about the gov. I think their PAP arrogance has hurt its support base greatly.


Anonymous said...

My greatest fear is this: parliament changing the constitution to enable PRs to vote in the next election. With our population increasing day by day, the ratio of PR to citizen could be 1:1 by Feb 2009. PRs would vote for PAP because they are currently benefiting from their policy. If I recall correctly, in the UK, all citizens from commonwealth countries residing in the UK could vote. The PAP would anything to ensure that they get into power.

tewniaseng said...

PR can vote but 2 votes consider as 1,so it is possible.Anything is possible under Pap, such as creating GRC, COE GRC can have 10 men, or even one huge GRC covering whole Spore, like this better change the rule having election every 50 years !!

feedmetothefish said...

Hey Lucky, though you don't sound so lucky anymore, this is another awesome piece.

Can't blame you for being a wee bit serious and angry nowadays.

The perpetual hubris and smartaas talk by kiasu & kiasi chenghu can really suck the sense of humour and satire out of anybody.

Sad that the Happiness Index among Singaporeans is heading down south while Anger and Frustration Index is hitting an all time high!

Well, nothing lasts forever and for every life, a little rain must fall.

The current investment fiasco of GIC, Temasek and PAP Town Councils shows that it's raining in PAP's parade.

Do not be surprised when more storm clouds gather and lightning strikes its own circle!

It'll be Showtime!

Cheer up! The times, they at a-changing . . .


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Wolf

You are very naive. Don't you know the PAP do character assasination with their state-owned media, slander and sue the opposition into oblivion so that you will believe they are not credible. I am very disappointed. As an educated Singaporean you ought to open your eyes and put on your thinking cap, and not be lied to by the PAP propaganda machinery.