Sunday, March 21, 2010

US Health care Reform Fight to End...

UPDATE: The US health care reform has been passed. Americans will now get health care as a right and health care will become universal in the US. So guess which is the country now with the largest number of uninsured per capita in the developed world? Which is the country with the least universal health care in the developed world? .....



This bitter fight is nearing its end as the US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote for it later today. The last effort to reform this system was undertaken 17 years ago by Hillary Clinton when she was the First Lady. Her reform effort was quickly killed off by lobbyists, big businesses spending on ads to misinform the public and political opponents with ideological differences[Link]. 17 years later, the US health care system deteriorated to a point that almost everyone agrees there is a need for reform. What they can't agree on is how and what to reform. The main problem is the lack of universality of the system - 30 million Americans have no insurance. If you take away all the misinformation (Obama-care is socialist, healthcare is being nationalised, it will bankrupt the country etc) and all details about increasing overall efficiency what this reform is about is simply the extending provision of healthcare coverage to everyone paid for by increasing the tax of those earning more than US$250,000 by roughly 3% and not extending some of the tax cuts by President Bush. According to the Congressional Budget Office which is politically neutral, the entire package will reduce budget deficit by $138B in the next 10 years[Link] so the belief that this bill will bankrupt the country is the result of misinformation - the Iraq War that cost more than $1 trillion and the Bush tax cuts pushed the US govt deep into debt did not see strong protests by this bunch who have turned into fiscal conservatives to oppose the healthcare bill. The genuine opposition is on the issue of whether richer Americans should pay slightly higher taxes to cover the poor. In countries like France, UK, they have chosen the other extreme making healthcare completely free. France has the number 1 healthcare system in the world. Some countries like Australia & Taiwan do something in between - everyone pays for insurance but the richer citizens pay more and the govt pays for the poor to make sure everyone is covered. Obama's health care reform steers America's system only slightly to the left but is strongly opposed by the Republicans - not a single one will support this bill for political and philosophical reasons. Increasing taxes to help the poor (and sick) is wrong....uncapitalistic? and everyone should be responsible for himself. However, at a time when income gap is the highest in the last 100 years and health care cost rising much faster than income not everyone is can be responsible for himself medically. There is only one other developed country that leans further to the right and put more financial burden (as a % of total expenditure) on the sick than USA....so far no Republican has dared to ask an American to go to Mexico to get cheaper health care.

Yesterday, the New Paper reported a cabby who saved $6K by going to Malaysia for an operation[ New Paper Link :here]:


  • He saves $6,500 by doing op in JB
    By Ng Wan Ching

    March 20, 2010

    A Singaporean cabby is one of the first Singaporeans to go to Malaysia for medical treatment, after the use of Medisave has been allowed for elective hospitalisation overseas from 1 Mar.

    Mr Ali Ahmed has undergone a procedure called a laminectomy in Regency Specialist Hospital in Johor Baru with a Singaporean doctor.

    His total bill will be $7,050, which includes surgery, meals and a five-day stay in a single deluxe room at the JB hospital, which is air-conditioned, with an en-suite bathroom, a telephone and a flat-screen TV.

    He would have saved another $1,000 if he had opted for a Malaysian doctor. Accurate figures cannot be quoted because the cost depends on the Malaysian doctor.

    For an equivalent stay and single room in a restructured hospital here, he would have had to pay $13,500.

    For the operation in JB, Mr Ali can claim $5,150 from his Medisave. The rest he has to pay for himself as MediShield insurance cannot be claimed for treatment at overseas."


Mr. Ali is a cab driver. He is not poor enough to qualify for Medifund (you really have to have nothing to get some of this...absolute poverty!). The subsidy given out by the govt is does not even bring the cost of his operation at a Singapore govt hospital to the ball park of the cost of private for profit treatment in JB. Mr. Ali whom I guess is unimsured (like the other hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans) did the sensible thing of going to JB to save some money....

At a time when medical inflation outstrips rise in wages and when the benefits of our economic growth is distributed in the most unequal manner in our history causing our income gap to be the highest in developed countries, the PAP govt worsens all this by shifting more financial burden of medical treatment to sick Singaporeans and their families. This is seen from the reduction of healthcare subsidies over time. The goal of turning Singapore into a medical hub for the rich in the region means that an increase part of our health care system is turned into for profit private enterprises (Parkway, Healthway, etc) to cater to whoever is willing to pay the highest price and this drives costs up- Singapore has close to 1M medical tourists and Singaporeans like Mr. Ali have to go overseas to seek medical care. Singaporeans shoulder the most in terms of % health expediture than all other countries even more than Americans whose system is considered so broken they are in need of reform.

Obama's argument is simple - at the end of the day you either believe everyone has a right to good medical care in his country or you don't. If you do, you make it happen even if it means higher taxes for some people in the country. At the end of the day, it is about getting one step closer to an ideal called equality. Obama and Americans have to make a painful choice because the country is feeling the fiscal strain of the crisis and years of irresponsibility by an earlier govt. Here in Singapore we have had more choices - that 2% GST increase which went towards corporate tax cuts would have gone a long way to help the sick if the govt wanted to. But it does not want to...it believes in raising burden for the sick so that it can keep cutting taxes for corporations and the rich (inheritance tax was eliminated last year) even as our income gap keeps rising and corporate profits as a % of GDP is at historic highs. The recent move to get Singaporeans to go to JB and the hospital bed crunch[Link] are the results of PAP's policies to keep govt expenditure down even as costs rise by increasing the burden of ordinary Singaporeans who get sick.

83 comments:

John said...

Free healthcare is not necessarily good. If the hospitals or the health care workers' salary are being undermined, they will simply not provide any service at all. The taxes are fixed, so is the income for the whole year and the amount allocated to the hospitals are fixed too. Due to a constraint budget, the hospitals will NOT provide extra services and once the money is being used up, they will force the patients to wait till the arrival of fresh budgets. So it means you will have to queue and wait for a few months to remove that tumor in your breast. And by the time you remove it, you find that the tumor had spread and metastasize to the whole body and you are going to die soon. So pros and cons la~~hai~

LuckySingaporean said...

John,

There are many countries that run free healthcare services well and many who don't. France have house-calls for old folks and those too sick to get to hospital. It depends on how well they run and fund the system.

I did not advocate free health care for Singapore - just better health care and a better system that does not worsen the inequality in our system. We should improve the system and not shy from such improvements just because the govt wants to keep its expenditure down.

Anonymous said...

Just a minor typo:

It is the House of Representative that will be voting Sunday, around 2pm/Eastern.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1916432120100320?type=marketsNews

LuckySingaporean said...

Thanks ...fixed.

Anonymous said...

Please allow me to tell you a little short story here.

A few years ago , my friend's mother had all sorts of health problems and finally her kidney was affected and needed to go for dialysis. However, knowing that dialysis will have to cost the family a lot a money over an extanded period of time, she refused to go for it. They were not wealthy but do not qualify for subsidy from NKF. within a few month , she passed on.

The family did not have to put up with any debt or heavy financial burden related to mom's medical bill. They just sadly let their mom go.

This is the amazing thing about Singaporean. Since they did not pay financially in this ordeal, non of the siblings felt that there is a problem with the healthcare systems and needless to say , non blame the govt, for not giving proper and adequate treatment to their mom, who probably can live a few more years if kidney dialysis is affordable.

To the PAP, its just a useless life of a old lady, why spent money on her....Singaporeans deserve the govt they voted in!

Anonymous said...

Actually why stop at healthcare? Why not just go and live in Malaysia and things will be cheaper?

For instance Malaysia has a "Malaysia my 2nd home" scheme aim mainly at older foreigners eg above 50 who can deposit RM500K inclusive of a home and they can qualify to stay there.

Not a problem for most Singaporeans if they sell their HDB pigeon holes and take out all their savings and CPF. Easily more than RM500K, right?

Of course there are pros and cons of such a scheme or else all Singaporeans would have already packed up and go. So what are the cons?

Maybe other readers can elaborate.

yamizi said...

So as Singapore rise to become a medical hub in the international stage, Singaporeans have to go to JB for cheaper medical treatment.

So our hospitals' doors thrown open wide to receive 'medical tourists'?

Very sad leh.

Singapore Short Stories said...

I believe Obama can do something about it.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous, at 21/3/10 10:56,

There's a sticky thread here

http://www.sammyboy.com/showthread.php?t=35746

that talks about living in JB.

Anonymous said...

When you have a new car, and it got scratched or dented, you fix it so that it continues to look good. But when its 8 or 9 years old and the auto transmission needs replacement and it's going to cost a bomb... what are you going to do? Scrap it and buy a new car if that car is just a Jap or kimchi model but if it's a high end continental worth extending the coe for another 10 years then it make sense to repair and keep.

Healthcare can be liken to that car example. Money spent on healthcare to keep the young fit and productive is well spent. But to keep the old chronically sick and bed ridden alive is just a luxury of sentimentality.

Anony 10:50's story of that mother who rather die then deplete their children's saving makes good sense. It illustrated the unconditional love of parents towards their off-springs. She was in a sound mind to decide what was best for her and her family and she was courageous enough to take that decision. I would have made the same decision.

What is the point of suffering the pain and discomfort of dialysis and the low quality of life for just a few more years and depleting the savings of her children which would be better used for her grandchildren's education?

People who argue here just for the sake of scoring political points have probably not faced such problems first hand. I have seen 90+ great grand mother, bed ridden for years, senile, totally 100% dependent, fed through tubes, being keep alive with a cocktail of drugs and frequent hospitalization ... for what? Just so that some children can enjoy a sense of filial piety (those with deeper pockets) while others bitch about not having enough savings for their own old age! If that old lady can decide she would have chosen euthanasia.

It would be sad to have an aging population with many old and sick kept alive because of free or cheap medical care... because it is a greater burden to live with one such dependent than to just paying for his medical bills.

Btw...I am a retiree!

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

Weren't u singing praises of Mini-star Khaw not so long ago? U know the cheap treatment for your leg?

Our public healthcare is expensive crap.
No need for comparison.
And Money isn't the main issue even for public healthcare. The lack of beds and poor quality treatment is.

Having said that ... I think its fair enough to say that u know shit about Obamacare and U healthcare in general.
Its out of the frying pan into the fire.
Thats why many Yankees are against it.
Seriously, Obama is going to make Khaw look half decent.

Anti-Lucky

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.13.

You are sick. Real sick.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:31,

You kana that time, then you know.

Anonymous said...

There are many elderly Singaporeans who are suffering in silence.

The more the government increases its suppression of the people, the more the resentment and anger of the Singaporeans will increase. It won't disappear over night as people have been grazed will remember the bullshit forced choked into them.

I don't even think PAP will win this coming election. Let alone by a landslide.

But given the tempered optimism, Mah Bow Tan is definitely gonna disappear from the TV screen. So is Wong Kan Seng, Raymond Lim and Lim Swee Say. The people will never forget Wong Kan Seng release of Mas Selamat. And Raymond Lim' constant gantries and transport hikes.

The people won't forget this time.

Anonymous said...

PAP will win at least 50% by default lah. Because opposition have not enough money or candidates to contest mah, unless got sponsors from some posters here.

Another 5 or 10% win also no problem lah. Got so many civil servants and those who depend on gahmen to "tan chiak" what. Sure support one what.

So PAP no lose one, that's why old man can ka ka scold you daft and stupid also not scared what.

Anonymous said...

This is why the rich foreigners are finding Singapore increasingly attractive. Singapore under the PAP turns a blind eye to inequality and looks after these rich people better than their own governments would.

Anonymous said...

Rich foreigners come here to spend very good for economy. That's why govt welcome and take care of them so much. Poor, sick and old locals no value to the economy, that's why govt don't care much. Some more their anti PAP votes only 33% or less, so of course more reason no need to care what.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 12:31, the retiree,

I don't believe you are one of the MIW's. If you are you would have the potential to be one of the ministers based on your heartless comments.

You are a retiree now so technically you are a burden to the society regardless of how rich you are. You are consuming resources. You should get rid of yourself as soon as possible!

Curious said...

I've seen this chart before, but I've forgotten where.

Can you be so kind as to provide the source?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 12:31, the retiree,

retiree has a point. it would take an enlightened mind to understand for some cases,

euthanasia is now legal in holland

E said...

@ Anon 21/3/10 17:26

I agree. We should respect the wishes of some ppl who want to die with dignity. It should not be an absolute rule that ppl with chronic or terminal diseases be saved at all costs if the only way for prolonging life hinges on the life-support machines etc.

Anonymous said...

If is hopeless case, sometimes even the doctor will "persuade" (put pressure on) the patient's loved ones to take off the life support for the patient.

It may be the best and only way, unless they have loads of money to keep patient in comatose state for as long as possible.

the retiree said...

I am glad that there ARE some enlightened people who can understand what I am saying!

To those too young to understand, be you sons or daughters, I challenge you to take care of a bed ridden father or mother, without passing the buck to a maid, to feed your dependent 3 times a day, give the medication, change the diapers and clean the shit 2 -3 times a day, bath him/her, clean and medicate the bed sores...and refrain from the temptation of shipping your burden to a nursing home for 1 year...no just 1 month, then you come back and I'll say you have every right to say I AM SICK!!!

To those holier than thou...if you are filial show it to your elders when they are young and fit enough, invite them into your homes (I am talking here of your parents not strangers) to live with you, bring them out for regular meals with your family, bring them along when you go for your annual holidays, let them enjoy the company of their grandchildren without accusing them of spoiling junior... Show your filiality by deeds and not just words in a forum such as this! Then I'll say I was wrong about you!

skeptic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Those who are defending the papist leegime harsh policies which adversely affected the life of ordinary Singaporeans are either the rich and successful elites or those dogs who lick the papist arses for contracts, business, promotions and rewards. Or they are extremely ignorant.
Simple as that.
There is no reason for a sensible Singaporean stand up to defend such wicked policies like FTs,expensive medicals, cpf lockup, scholorships for foreingers.

Anonymous said...

I am the anon that wrote the little short story above.

@ the retiree. you are entitled to your view but I think its a rather pathetic one.

It might be debatable if this is a case of terminal illness, but we are talking about a case where doing simple kidney dialysis regularly will give you back a relatively normal live.

Just take the case of my own father. He was diagnosed with kidney problems 2 years ago and needed to go for kidney dialysis as well.

Fortunately, my family is in a better financial position than my friend. After using medisave and medicare and what not, and also a token subsidy from NKF, my dad still have to come out from his own pocket, ie. paying in cash, about $800 every month.

To pay for the dialysis, he sold his terrace house that he had lived for the past 40 years and move to a 4-room flat last year. The money cash-in will probably be enough for his treatment for the next 10 yrs, provided the cost for dialysis does not shoot up.

With kidney dialysis, my dad is now living a relative normal life and can even take very short trip to HK and Malaysia( Max 3 days). I can see a good 6-7 years ahead for him.

Mr retiree, we are not talking about some very complicated illness here, just kidney dialysis. Are you saying that just becos some one cannot afford dialysis deserve to die early. They desevre to rot to death?

I am almost 50 and I know what you are trying to say, as the Chinese saying goes,久病无孝子,but filial piety is not what we are discussing here. There are flaw in our healthcare system, and a very serious one at that.

private banking said...

It is simple logic here. the highest bidder win, why must the govt provide cheap healthcare to people who dont bother to better themself.

How else will the doctors buy audi, mercs, volvo, BMW and Jaguar if they are being forced to charge dirt rates.

exploited sg male said...

my view on this is that obama is an idealist that will ruin the country.


there is no such thing as healthcare.

To see what I mean , consisder the paradox , the okinawan who went through the depravity of world war two is the healthist people on earth. Whereas the american who won the war are the world most obese people and dropping like flies.

somewhere inside the above lies the solution and not blindly throw money like what obama is doing.

obama father finally ended his life in drunken sorrow. look like his son following the same path of destruction.

SG Girl Next Door said...

The U.S healthcare system is messed up. Instances like are those who have insurance were diagnosed with cancer and need treatment, the doctors of their insurance companies would reject the coverage stating they were fine. (before they could seek treatment at hosipitals, they must seek approval from their insurance companies).

Some have to go through law suits against their insurance companies in order to go for treatment. Whereas some, while waiting, died before treatment could begin.

I hope our healthcare system would not follow their system. Even now, though the medicine are subsidised by the govt and with only four group of dieseases that can be deducted using one's own medisave (correct me if I'm wrong), for those low income level group ($500-$800 a month), it is still a toil for them.

Anonymous said...

About 1 hour ago, Representative Paul E. Kanjorski, one of the last undecided Democrats, has announced that he will vote for the health care bill.

Here’s his statement:

Today I will vote for legislation designed to improve the affordability and accessibility of health care. Americans already spend more on health care than the people of any other nation. If we take no action, health care costs are expected to double over the next ten years, just as they have over the last ten years. It is not the bill I would have written if it were up to me alone, but it is the best we can do at this time.

“This was one of the most difficult votes I have ever cast, primarily because there is a great deal of confusion about what this bill will do. Senior citizens do not have to worry about losing any benefits because of this bill. In fact, their coverage for prescription drug costs and preventative care will improve. No federal funding will be used to fund abortion. The bill does not empower the federal government to take over health care. If people are happy with the insurance they have, nothing needs to change.

“However, this bill allows the American people to choose the health insurance plan that best fits individual and family needs by creating a marketplace of insurance plans. For too long, private insurance companies have monopolized how health insurance operates. This bill attempts to rein in those private insurers by prohibiting their most egregious abuses: denying coverage for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, imposing a lifetime cap on medical care, and limiting the ability of individuals to change jobs without the fear of losing insurance coverage. It will also enable young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.

“I thank the many Northeastern Pennsylvanians who have shared their thoughts with me on this important legislation over the past few months. When you are sick, the last thing you should have to worry about is how to pay the bills. Insurance is supposed to relieve this worry, but instead the current system has made that worry worse. Today, we are working to reverse this course.”

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/

Aurvandil said...

Goh Meng Seng did an analysis on the hospital bed crunch.

http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.com/2010/03/sorry-no-enough-minister-khaw.html

The findings were pretty consistent with what we had observed in public transport.

From 2003 to 2008, the total population increased by 17.6%

This caused admissions to from 2003 to 2008 to increase by 21.9%. The admissions increase is larger than the population increase due to aging of the population over the period.

The hospital bed crunch we are now observing is because there was a decision to decrease the number of public hospital beds. From 2003 to 2008, the number of public hospital beds fell by 5.8%.

Anonymous said...

"Free healthcare is not necessarily good" agreed. But in our subsidised public healthcare (which is way above the private hospitals in ost countries) system, the same is happening. The waiting period for dental appointment is 6 months, heartscreening is 4 months and to get a bed after being admitted is about 14hours. So i guess we should make it more expansive

lim said...

My take is that with "TALENTED" people running our TH/GIC, then it should be expected that they should be able to achieve minimum 3% returns every year.

Assuming we have 300 billion in GIC, that works out to 9 billion return per year, so we can return 3 billion to continue to grow the reserve, while the remaining 6 billion can be used for social welfare, healthcare, etc.. And TH returns can also contribute to the pool..

OF COURSE, we know what kind of "TALENTS" are investing our reserves, "sigh"....

Anonymous said...

"Free healthcare is not necessarily good"


Don't create a non-issue.

The issue in SG is not even about this. The issue here is the PAP is not spending enough on healthcare and instead wants to wean health spending further.

Anonymous said...

Haha...what happens in this forum should happen in the parliament.

This is what really drives and improves the country. The fact in life is that most things are not an extreme left or right or right or wrong.

There are provocative views and conservative views. Then we got a fair representation of people who think critically and then vote which should theoritically be a better decision than someone with vested interests.

Do we see in Singapore? I do not think so.... : ) we got only a group of demi-gods here...

Anonymous said...

Any spending by the government on medical and healthcare has to come out of public funds. I don't think any government has a bottomless pocket. Invariably some form of taxes or other will have to be increased. As someone has mentioned about the Americans and the Okinawans, good health is a personal responsibility.

If hospital beds are so plentiful and cheap what is there to prevent people from dumping their old and sick family members to the care of hospitals?

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans going to JB for cheaper medical attention...Indonesians coming to Singapore for more expensive medical treatment.

Which country would you rather be in?

the retiree said...

@ anony 00:23

Let me ask you just this one question. Ask your father which country would he rather be living in right now?

Sick and Poor said...

If in a family, a member of the family is not working and fall sick, what does the family do? Just let that member be sick and perhaps die quickly just because he or she cannot pay for medicine and treatment?

And if a country is to evoke a sense of home and belongingness too, should not the metaphor of a family applies to it too?

And thus the rich will bear or subsidise in one way or another - eg less or no subsidy for the rich - the cost of looking after the poor and sick. And that have been the principle of the income taxation. So too it ought to be for national medical care.

But if a country is so desirous of courting the rich to remain in the land, and so fearful of them leaving and shunning you, and even to pander and pamper the rich, at the expense of the poor - for what does it cost to alienate and suffer the poor? - then the country, is no more a country, and is more a akin to prostitutes who do anything and everything just for the money.

Sheik Fuluus said...

lim said " ... Assuming we have 300 billion in GIC".

Maybe it is negative 300 billion.

Yes indeed if GIC have actually successful there ought not to be a problem of enriching Singaporeans, even including a healthy does of foreigners, talented or not, and even manipulate in secret conditions that we vote PAP, or even openly declare a monarchy.

And GIC would have to us what oils would have been to the sheiks.

But of course that is a fairy tale.

Anonymous said...

Not everybody can afford high end prostitutes right so what to do? Got Desker Road also right? If still cannot afford got Mr Right and Mr Left right?

End result all same...

Don't use stupid extreme examples lah.

How many cases of death from neglect of medical care in Singapore can you come up with?

Anonymous said...

@ Sick and Poor,
WELL SAID! 5 STARS FOR YOU!

Anonymous said...

HAha, Mr retiree, what kind of question is that?

Does my father have a choice? he has lived in Singapore all his life, where can he go to?

Its just fortunate enough that he has got a house to sell, but even if he doesn't , he will still have to be in Singapore, and my Siblings and me will just have to pick up the bills and maybe, go into debt. Yes, life goes on for us.

To tell you the truth, if 20 years down the road and I have to do similar treatment, well, guess I just have to rot to death. Down grading from my 4-rm to a 3-rm probably would not have enough by than.

the retiree said...

You gimme gimme people still don't get it do you?

Pharmaceutical companies charging an arm and a leg for their drugs. Medical equipments costing millions, doctors and healthcare workers expecting sky high remunerations otherwise they migrate to where the grass is greener. Health insurance skyrocketing.....
and all these while you people expect free if not heavily subsidized medical healthcare! Who is going to pay? You think money just fall from the sky?

It will be current and future tax payers...your children and your children's children. That is if you have produced enough children to maintain the replacement rate. What with falling birth rate. And Singaporean kpkb over FT policy. That means in the years to come fewer and fewer tax payers having to bear heavier and heavier tax burden and with inflation...

American can resort to printing more greenbacks to cover their government's over-spending and get away with it...for the time being. Can Singapore do that?

If you fear for your future medical expenses you should have started saving years ago and start teaching your children to save for their future and your needs!

How would you like it if the government uses your money now (increase income tax) to meet ever increasing subsidies for all those people who do not bother to make provision for their medical needs but expect the government to provide for them. These people who don't save but spend on expensive renovations, cars, holidays, dining out...just enjoy lah and government will take care of your needs when you can't work.

Easy what...government just have to make 51% of the voters happy and will get re-elected and they can also enjoy earning their million$ salaries.

You think socialist government better? Government for the people by the people... Go to China lah... ask your father if he thinks China is a better place to live?

Be careful what you wish for...in this world there is a price to everything. If just 20% of the population have this mentality that government should take care of all their needs, free education, free housing, free medical...people like you and I who worked hard and pay taxes, will be crying...

Anonymous said...

Mr retiree,

My father is not complaining. As I have told you, for now, my family is perfectly ok, we are within our means, and I am pretty sure my dad is taken care of for the rest of his life.

But when there are other people around you, who are sick and poor, and they cannot afford treatment when treatment is very much available, and you think its perfectly alright that these people don't deserve to be help. I feel sad for this society as a whole, when you have to put a price tag on a life.

And I said it is perfectly all right that you hold your pt of view, and we can just agree to disagree. We just have to wait and see what will this country turn out to be.

Anonymous said...

i think those are fair and even polite comments.

surely mr retiree has all the time to rejoin and present his counter view?

Anonymous said...

Retiree: "You think socialist government better? Government for the people by the people... Go to China lah... ask your father if he thinks China is a better place to live?"



Again what is the issue here? It is one of rising inequality and making efforts to adress them instead of accepting or promoting it.

Just to add on a sidenote. Have you been to China lately? I have friends in their 30s and 40s who are professionals now working in China and guess what? They are seriously considering retiring there. So perhaps your impression of China is rather dated hehe.

Anonymous said...

in most cases, it is down to money. got money almost anywhere is almost heaven. no money, can sg be livable? i think can lah

side note. one thing. you walk around public places. hardly can tell who is poor or desperate. amazing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Lucky can share what does the passed Health Care reform means?

Anonymous said...

it's sickening. the way 154th tried to paint a rosy picture of a singaporean seeking medical treatment elsewhere.

hell, if singaporeans have to seek cheaper alternatives, be they medical treatment, retirement homes and groceries, what the hell is there for their children to defend in singapore.

singaporeans are like disposable toilet paper. to wipe the elites' asses when they are useful, and to be thrown away when they are soiled.

wake up, man!

Anonymous said...

We should have our own health care reform. Our reserves, temasick and GIc to form the main pool in insuring everyone who has gone thru national service for token premiums or foc. Let no one be left behind, but only those who did not serve national duty, they should be left out. This is only fair! The stingy foreigners action party shoud be thrown into the sea for looking after their own arses.

Anonymous said...

even the great tun question democracy :)

time to change the political model

Anonymous said...

Bit despite the contradictions, the despot still believes in political contest. LOL.

Anonymous said...

power leh. plenty of steam and molah. shiok mah so must contest lor. ha ha ha

IlovePAPLHLisright said...

Anon 18:50,

Well put. I've often wondered about this. On one hand, the despot wants no contest to his decisions, even when they are wrong. He wants everyone to agree that he's always right.

On the other hand, he wants political contest. You can see his hypocrisy.

I'd say we forget about any elections. Let's call off the 2011 elections. We should allow PAP to rule forever and allow the handover of father to son and to grandson, and basically to the whole Lee lineage.

I'd say we're wasting time with politics in this country. There is no politics. We should just forget this idea about voting. Let's recant our right to vote. It's silly knowing PAP will rule again and again. Why make so much noise? Let's embrace the reality and fact that they are always right and are here to stay and rule us. In fact, we should save our taxpayers' money from having an election. It's a waste of time really. Don't you think so?

I'd rather go on a holiday or something. Since we all know they are here to stay, we should spent our time on more worthwhile and worthy pursuits than blogging on an anonymous name.

lim said...

@IlovePAPLHLisright 23/3/10 09:44

Be very careful what you wish for..

If we abolish the right to vote, and pap given the "mandate" to rule forever, you can forget about having holidays, high salary, etc...

It will be a race to lowest salary, or better still, work for 3 meals..

You can forget about having schools here, for what do you want to educate singaporean children when you can import degree holders.. More tax savings, right?

Also, why care for the sick in singapore? Do away with public hospitals, polyclinics, etc, again we can always replace population with foreign imports..

So, be very careful what you wish for, for the current generation and as far as I can see, even future generation of pap leaders are lacking morality..

Anonymous said...

23/3/10 09:44

You are funny. LOL

Anonymous said...

Actually, the whole concept of voting is to elect someone to do our thinking or be our mouthpiece.

No wonder the people become apathetic or unthinking and without political spine when comes to affairs of the nation.

The vote actually puts people in the hands of cunning politician - to be manipulated.

Is that what we want?

I think there is enough examples of what can go wrong to rethink the whole process.

Anonymous said...

Many countries have abolished the monarchy but I think the best for us to introduce the constitutional momarchy. We already have King and crown prince in power.

Anonymous said...

the monarch still rules the day. it has just taken on another form.

Anonymous said...

"Many countries have abolished the monarchy but I think the best for us to introduce the constitutional momarchy. We already have King and crown prince in power."



You must be a familee crony.
Sorry lor, Spore don't have royalty hor, as much as the familee secretly wishes to accord itself such status. They are just mud emperor (土皇帝) no class no pedigree.

Anonymous said...

u r wrong. MM position is better than an emperor.

Anonymous said...

why be emperor when u can be MM. siow one.

lim said...

@anon 23/3/10 10:25

>>Actually, the whole concept of voting is to elect someone to do our thinking or be our mouthpiece.

Not exactly, mouthpiece, yes, but not to do the thinking for us.. the person you voted for is actually your representation in parliament.. He should consult with his constituents on major policies/bills, and based on majority views, reflect those in parliaments (basically to vote for or against)..

Sadly, with majority of our mps being pap stooges, we can't get our views across.. Are you consulted on cpf life? Hota scheme? We should have a referendum whenever a major policy is introduced, but we will never get this...

Just look at what happen when a pap mp passed away.. No by-election, simply because pap is afraid that in a by-election, it will lose the entire GRC seats..

Anonymous said...

lim,

The contradiction lies in your first and second paragraph. Potentially, depending on the topic, your voice can be filtered away before the MP filters it a second time.

Which means to say, the MP, multi tasked to death, will not be able to represent most of your concerns which do not fall under their deliberated purview.

Mathematically, it is an impossible task for a VERY busy MP to represent everyone in his or her constituency.

The so called "less pressing" issues go through other sometimes useless channels.

Anonymous said...

tats why we also hv useless forums like tis to tok cok mah. ha ha ha

The Pariah said...

"Doing right" as opposed to "Being right" - Singapore Gahmen need to understand the difference.

Obama is focussed on "doing the right thing" - that's the essential difference, eh?

Do read about the parallels with Singapore's en bloc laws at:
www.singaporeenbloc.blogspot.com

lim said...

@anon 23/3/10 11:25

I don't see any contradictions.. My first paragraph is stating the ideal case, for what else is the mp for? It is to represent the people who voted and get him "elected", ie, he/she is their representation in parliament..

My second paragraph states the current situation.. With walkover mps, these pap mps don't really "represent" the people..

Talking about busy mps.. We know that they can be absent during parliament sessions, and from what I heard, even the meet-the-people sessions are sometimes handled by their "assistants".. Perhaps we should ask why are the mps so busy, and multi-tasking.. Can it be because they are holding so many directorships in as many companies?

Anonymous said...

lim,

There is no ideal case. There is only one person representing thousands - always the case.

It is not possible for an MP to articulate your localized grievances.His duty is to represent the collective interests of the estate and any other matters within his areas of expertise.

But more damping is that the MP is beholden to his/her party.

Irrespective of any party he/she serves, such a system of governance will never find total acceptance because it can never be deemed just and righteous.

Anonymous said...

seriously, how many have met their mps?

not me any of my familee member,relatives or friends.

not happy with system, keep to selves

mp job very the SINang

lim said...

@anon 23/3/10 15:59

Granted there are no ideal case, but every system is based on ideology..

In my first paragraph, repeated here
"He should consult with his constituents on major policies/bills, and based on majority views, reflect those in parliaments (basically to vote for or against).."

I don't expect my mp to listen to my grouses, but to feel the "ground", the majority view..

Anonymous said...

lim,

The point here is, I don't think you can accurately sense the rumbling ground without dismantling the disproportional ratio representation.

Anonymous said...

basically, we don't have a "correctly educated" electorate to steer the economy in a more just direction.

you can say, we have been "steered" as opposed to the "ground steering" the course.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the whole concept of voting is to elect someone to do our thinking or be our mouthpiece.

we are swarmed with 1/3 foreigners without any safety network support. Unequal term abounds, foreigners do not have to do NS and NS liabilities while we have to. Container loads of china students were given free scholarships that sinaporeans can only salivate at. If screaming about these unfairness goes unheeded, then who are these elected working for?

Anonymous said...

I like to point out something about surveys and graphs in general.

I was discussing with my Japanese colleague (Yes, I work in Tokyo)
who felt that it was not fair that another fellow Japanese male colleague was getting the longer end of the stick. She cited that she graduated from the University of Tokyo which makes her better than the rest of colleagues who graduated from Meisei University. It got me thinking about my own university and about surveys and graphs in general.

Let's take a look at where our local universities ranked.

http://www.4icu.org/top200/

NUS is ranked 19 in the world. NTU is ranked 141.

http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/asian-university-rankings

In the Asian Ranking of Top Universities, NUS is 10th and NTU is 14th.

http://www.socialcapitalgateway.org/eng-rankingstechasia.htm

Here NTU is ranked 9th and NUS didn't make it to the top 15.

The Science University of Tokyo is ranked lower than NTU but its main academic thrust, i.e. considering all the faculties in the University of Tokyo (of which the Science University of Tokyo is a part of) is ranked higher than NUS and NTU.

I always believe what my economics lecturer told me in JC: "Statistics lie, they'll show what you what them to show insofar as that's what you're looking at" He also mentioned, "Privatisation is a dirty word."

I would that we should take things with a pinch of salt. And that comparing who is better and who is not is just an ego trip.

At the end of the day, if you do what you love, that's all the education you'll ever need. But if you end up doing what you don't love in life (even if it means more $$$), then no amount of education has set you right.

In Singapore, we have a carpenter doing a doctor's job and a doctor's doing a carpenter's job. Imagine if you force a rose to turn out to be a sunflower. That rose may die...

Anonymous said...

If all of you end up doing what you love, you'll complain less in life. When you don't do what you live, you'll always complain. Which is a pity, really.

Anonymous said...

i remembered a newly anointed nmp made an impassioned speech about some highfalutin idea and got browbeaten by mm.

so yah, be free to "represent".

Anonymous said...

yeah, fellow tail went between the legs and thanked the old man for teaching him a lesson.lol.

so who is next? lol

Anonymous said...

Someone told me that the 33% who want change should give up hope that the other 66% would use their brain. So the suggestion was that we all pray that the emperor and the prince dies soon. That is the only way.

Anonymous said...

Let's take a step back and observe what's happening.

LKY is a human being. All human beings die. Therefore, LKY will die.
[Arguement 1]

LKY rules Singapore with an iron fist.
All people under LKY have to follow LKY's iron fist.
[Arguement 2]


All people under LKY have to follow LKY's iron fist.
LHL runs on LKY's instructions.
Since LHL runs on LKY's instructions, all the people follow LHL because they all the people under LKY have to follow LKY's iron fist.

When you combine, A1 and A2, you can infer that not everyone will follow any other leader with an iron fist when that same leader is no more.

So cheer up, there are many Singaporeans who want a "fresher" Singaporean and are tired of a boring PAP. And what makes you think that all civil servants vote for the PAP party? I know many friends who are in the civil service and they vote for the opposition. Do you really think we could have gotten 33% simply from the non-civil service voters? This is rather fetching given that 60
% of Singaporeans are civil servants. You mean to say that almost all the 40% non-civil servants voted for the opposition simply because they're not in the civil service. A large part of any conuntry's countrymen will work for the civil service by default. So, if we have 33% non-PAPies voters, it would suggest about at least 15% of the civil servants do not vote for the PAPies. There are many media reports of former civil servants declaring their anti-establishment notios. And what we get from these ex-scholars in the service is that there are many more in the service who do not agree with the government's policies of late.

Anonymous said...

you should be concern. this kind of political system requires a strong man to run. lky is defintely a worhty strongman like mao though they do not share the same ideology. if we continue in the current system, someone must fill his position - eventually
it has to be another strongman

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