Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Lessons from Egyptian crisis...

UPDATE: I was quite baffled when I read that Mubarak actually won the 2005 presidential elections. Given his unpopularity now, it is quite surprising that he won 80% of the 2005 election votes. Here is how he did it[extracted from Wikipedia]:

Under the election law, parties proposed candidates for the election, which were reviewed by the Presidential Election Commission. Of the 30 proposed candidates, only 10 were allowed to participate in the presidential election by the Presidential Election Commission. One prominent candidate not allowed to run was Talaat Sadat, the nephew of former President Anwar Sadat, who appealed his disqualification unsuccessfully.
According to a late August report by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies,[4] media coverage was biased in favour of Hosni Mubarak
there appeared to be official harassment of the leading opposition candidate Nour, who was stripped of his parliamentary immunity and arrested on January 2005, on what many observers regarded as trumped-up charges.

There were also accusations of vote rigging. Harassing and arresting political opponents to send them to jail, control of the media, and using various means to exclude strong candidates from running gave Hosni Mubarak 80% of the vote and a false sense of confidence. His support base was actually crumbling fast and he didn't even know.

After 30 years in power, Mubarak is not without supporters. Here is a report on a small pro-Mubarak rally : Link.

Here is a shouting match between Mubarak supporters and an anti-Mubarak crowd. The remarks below sums up why people still support Mubarak:

"Really," screamed a woman in a burgundy abaya and black hijab. "God damn you all, you stupid people. We'll all starve in less than a week if Mubarak goes. He is stable; we will be at each other's throats if he leaves." [Link]

Why Mubarak is opposed is summed up is the following paragraph:

"The government's self-declared crowning legacy has been its economic achievements: rising GDP and a surging private sector led by a construction boom and vibrant, seemingly recession-proof banks.

But many say the fruits of growth in this formerly socialist economy have been funneled almost entirely to a politically connected elite, leaving average Egyptians surrounded by unattainable symbols of wealth such as luxury housing and high-priced electronics as they struggle to find jobs, pay daily bills and find affordable housing
." - Full Article :here.

and this one:

The widening chasm between rich and poor in Cairo has been one of the conspicuous aspects of city life over the last decade — and especially the last five years. Though there were always extremes of wealth and poverty here, until recently the rich lived more or less among the poor — in grander apartments or more spacious apartments but mixed together in the same city.
- CNBC Protests in Egypt Expose Rift Between Rich and Poor [Link]

Reading this report, I gathered that Egypt's income gap has to be horrendous given than many observers feel that it is one of the main causes of the protests in Egypt.

Checking the Wikipedia on Income Gap[Link]:

Singapore RP 10%=17.7, RP 20%=9.7, Gini=42.5 (year 2008)
Egypt RP 10%=8, RP 20% = 5.1, Gini =34.4 (year 2000)

RP 10% is the ratio of the average income of the richest 10% is to the poorest 10%.

Although the data for Egypt is older, it shows that our recent figures for income inequality is far higher than Egypt's in 2000. The problem with Egypt is the median income level is much lower and those who are poor probably difficulty fill stomachs, the high unemployment levels drove many to desperation and recent rise in food prices was the last straw for the Egyptians[Read The Hidden Roots of Dispair].

Egypt may not be better off after Mubarak goes - there is a real fear the country may fall into the hands of more radical elements and destabilise the whole middle east but people whose hopes for the future are dashed and stomachs are empty have little to risk and will opt to reshuffle the deck through regime change.

Lets not forget Egypt 6 months ago was peaceful on the surface with little signs that protest of this scale would erupt. It is believed that the toppling of the dictator in Tunesia ignited the protests and only recently the deep unhappiness with Mubarak became clear and visible. Mubarak's first reaction was to shut down the Internet and mobile networks because modern communications is probably how people in Egypt come to the know to understand the real situation in the country.

Unless Mubarak opts to hang on to power by violent means, he has to go because the majority of people wants him out. He hung on to power for decades by controlling the media, repressing opponents and conducting unfair elections with rules heavily stacked against opponents. These methods commonly used by dictators can only repress the unhappiness among the people for so long. Although Mubarak did not try displace his own people economically by importing foreigners in large numbers, his propaganda machine is probably not as efficient as those in some other country and with a population size of 82 million, Mubarak has a far more difficult task keeping the country under control.


Divali said...


We have other Egyptian crisis stories here


Anonymous said...

Read today's letter in ST Forum.


Substitute "Egypt" with "Singapore".

hayek said...

Mubarak is the stooge of world wide bankster, while Nasser for all his flaws cared for the people.

But whereas Abdel Nasser’s socialist policies had led to a doubling of the average real wage in Egypt 1960-1970, from 1970 to 2000 there was no real development in the country. (Capitalism do not work)

Part of the problem was demographic. If the population grows 3 percent a year and the economy grows 3 percent a year, the per capita increase is zero.

Things for the ordinary Joe were actually worse after Nasser, because income inequality widen.

But those US and UK media keep parroting for Mubarak and denigrating Nasser's Socialism.

hayek said...

The sad thing about capitalism is that they are on terminal stage cancer nowadays.

Every economics data from MSM are phony out to convince the population things are much better than before--which is not.

On the meanwhile, the rich gets richer. The Egyptian elite are so greedy that they took away all cushions from the poor making them barely surviving.

Right now, the world bankster cabal having squeezed the poor dry found that speculating food is the last virgin land to make food profit.

They are playing a dangerous game.

Anonymous said...

Lessons from the Egyptian crisis.... The only lesson the PAP government will learn is to take pre-emptive strike. Nip the problem in the bud. Before any crowd can gather, round up all the potential troublemakers and charge them under ISA. Suspend the constitution and postpone GE indefinitely. Impose emergency rule. That's the lesson from the Egyption crisis. They will make sure same thing will not happen here. Singapore is not Egypt or Tunisia.

Anonymous said...

Sound like Singapore is like Eygpt liao.

Anonymous said...

"The problem with Egypt is the median income level is much lower and those who are poor probably difficulty fill stomachs, the ..."
-Lucky Tan

Lucky Tan you are absolutely right on this.

Some more the city of Cairo alone is 17 million people, and also one of the most densely populated cities in the world, so of course much more difficult to control lah.

Although Singapore also has wide income gap, the median income is much higher, way above filling stomach level. Also how many illegal hawkers can you see on the streets? Do you see any slums?

That's why we are so peaceful and stable.

Lucky Tan said...

anon 9:26,

Yes, we are unlikely to see Egypt type of protest, however, people may just protest with their pen - mark [X} on the alternative box.

VOTE PAP said...

Lucky Tan, you must be in a perpetual dream state. PAP will still win because we will have massive walkover.

Nobody will ever mark X if they have something to lose. with the barcode on the card and matching IC, those who do mark X on other boxes will be marked for life.

PAP must win! I support the necessary evil.

Anonymous said...

Hope is a powerful thing. The Tunisian episode gave ordinary Egyptians hope. What was once seen as impossible is now probable and change is coming to Egypt.

Anonymous said...

Only last year Tunisia won election.
Only last year Egypt won election.

Wonder Why? No reliable? Just "another statistics"??

Many people unhappy but "majority" still win or ???

If they (Tunisia & Egypt) could "resolve" their problems last year would hv been better.

Anonymous said...

Right now the PAP dogs are hoping that their gated paradise will not be affected......woe to them if property prices were to drop.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the PAP and its followers know how serious things would get if they continue to deny the fact of the widening wealth gap in Singapore.

" (ST Forum, 1 Feb 2011)
Egypt's lesson: Build prosperity on strong social fabric

THE sudden widespread unrest in Egypt has revealed that Egypt's so-called stability during the past few decades had masked simmering public discontent, which was exacerbated by a growing disparity in wealth.

According to the United Nations, Egypt's Gini coefficient is 34.4, making it the 90th most unequal country, in terms of income, in the world. While physically sharing the same country, many Egyptians, at opposing ends of the wealth spectrum, are actually leading completely different lives.

Unfortunately for Egyptians, the Egyptian government appears to have chosen to downplay the issue, an attitude which only added to the widespread dissatisfaction against the government.

As we watch the drama unfold, we should also remind ourselves about how a society which has been scrupulously developed and managed for so long can easily fall apart if socio-economic issues are not dealt with seriously in a timely manner.

After all, the physical facade of prosperity, if built upon a weakening social fabric, could easily vanish like a mirage in the desert."

Anonymous said...

//We just want our dignity.//


Goes to show the GDP growth is not ALWAYS a winning formula. Perhaps SGreans should "wait till we smell the burning tyres" before we mark X on the card. It will shake PAP to the core, and it will be a day of reckoning for Singaporeans. The "wait and see" attitude are the lame excuse for not ACTING. That's how Germany as a collective nation (millions of people can't be wrong mentality) allowed Hitler to triumph with his genocidal program.

Anonymous said...

PAP knows. They are reading this blog now, and calculating how to back pedal with more carrots in the coming CNY.

If Singapore ever falls down like Egypt, I think the Malaysian will volunteer to come in and take over for a merger! Because we have no other credible strong Opposition party.

Anonymous said...


You are making a very big assumption that PAP will handover power if they were to lose the election. Personally, I have less faith in you that there will be a peaceful change of government in Singapore. With all the levers of power at their disposal, PAP will stay in power regardless of the outcome of the next GE. I doubt people will go into the street if the election is not free and fair. We have been living in a de facto police state for too long. I am hopeful but I'm not delusional.

Anonymous said...

You are right. They will still win the next GE. However, if enough people will have the back bones to cross an X on the alternative box, there's a chance Singaporeans have at least a few more alternative seats to

1) send a CLEAR signal to PAPies that the pple are unhappy with their governance these past years

2) allow a few more alternative voices to be "on the job" training at PAP cost! Why not, and quite frankly even if they are not that strong, we HAVE to start somewhere. LHL doesnt become an MP or PM overnight. Everyone has to start somewhere, and that's what I'm looking for = give other Opposition parties a headstart. Hopefully they will skill up along the way. And is not like we are asking PAP/govt to hand over the reins entirely..which I am not delusional as well.

With all the talk about giving the poor/disadvantaged a leg up, why wont we give our own Opposition candidates a leg up? At least they have the guts/courage to stand before everyone, and we dont need to wait for a PERFECT candidate like what PAP wants you to believe.

Anonymous said...

there are a lot of discontentment among the local singaporeans. So many foreign talents in the singpore and gradually threatening our rice bowl. There is certainly a storm in brewing.

Anonymous said...

DO or Not DO. There's no Try.

Hope is like a "Hopium"..sometimes you never get out of the addiction.

Anonymous said...

To annon 1/2/11 09:26
You mentioned" Singapore has wide income gap, the median income is much higher, way above filling stomach level."
I agree that is true but the rapid inflation will destroy alot of people. So if the PAP is unable to defend against the rising costs of food and commodities, they will definitely lose.

Singaporean said...

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ John F. Kennedy

Anonymous said...

no way sg gonna be egypt

90% of us are happy like never before


Anonymous said...

If you play music to a cow, the cow will not respond. But at least a cow is useful, it can cultivate and work on land to raise plants, vegetables and crops.

Although Lucky is playing music to
anon 1/2/11 09:06 and
VOTE PAP 1/2/11 10:22,
Lucky got negative reactions.

By playing music to them is completely useless for they are like worms which damage the cultivated land and turns all the plants, vegetables and crops into rubbish.

hayek said...

I was talking revolution, in lucky's post few months back.

Almost immediately, I was accused of commie and loser. And now, even lucky is discussing revolution itself.

Problem with PAP is that they have no cue how fast things move.

Brothers, just sit by and watch banksters speculate food by 500% hike. Enjoy the show.

hayek said...

What we are seeing now is still appetizer of what will actually came to pass.

Currently, the banksters put their own front man Md Elbaradei as "phoney" opposition.

Elbaradei will still be selling the people out. Eventually, people of the world is going to figure out what is actually going on and a real Marxist is going rise among the peasants.

That will spell the end of our current world order.

DareToAct said...

Who should learn from the lessons?
-- government
-- voters
-- political parties

What lessons?
-- Never overestimate oneself
-- You can never know when the tipping point is reached
-- Do not push your opponents (or people) to the wall

Anonymous said...

Just to share with the readers


Singapore's growth not so rosy for common folk

Ayako Hirayama / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer

This is the first installment of a two-part series about issues in Southeast Asia, a region that has attracted increasing attention from Japan as a promising market and rapidly growing political partner. The first installment looks at Singapore's open-door policy and one of its apparent results, brain drain.

Xu Yuan Shao was not satisfied with his life in Singapore. Year after year, his frustration grew with the city's crowds, shallow materialism and limited career prospects.

So instead of waiting for the government to provide a solution, he took action. He left.

"Residing overseas will definitely broaden our horizons," said the 28-year-old, who started a new career as a coordinator for international relations at the Kagoshima prefectural government in September. "I think this is especially important for Singaporeans, who are highly shielded by our government."

Singapore has been heralded by many as a model of success. Lauded for its graft-free business climate and highly developed infrastructure, it has successfully branded itself as a clean, safe and prosperous Asian commercial hub that has attracted both foreign firms and migrants. As the government intended, foreign workers have helped buoy the city-state's economy.

According to a Gallup global survey released in August, Singapore ranked for the second consecutive year as the country most attractive to migrants. If everyone who wanted to move there could, its population would triple, the survey showed.

"I would agree that Singapore is probably one of the best places in Asia to live, work and play, but that is only true for the rich and the financially sound," said Xu, who is also known by the name Kennard. "Ask the common folks who are trying to make ends meet, I wonder if they even think there is room in Singapore for 'play.'"

Ghost said...

"Unless Mubarak opts to hang on to power by violent means, he has to go because the majority of people wants him out."

Sorry Lucky but you are slightly wrong here. Most Egyptians want him out, most Americans, Europeans etc want him in. When push come to shove, having a stable Middle East is more important than freedom. That's why I will be surprise if Mubarak get push out. As long as the army is with him, he will be safe.

mjuse said...

I think it's important to point out that official statistics may not be accurate.

In Egypt's case, there may be a substantial black market or grey market economy dominated by the higher echelons of society.

It's likely that the rich do not report all their income. So an apples to apples comparison for the GINI coefficient may not be possible.

Anonymous said...

Whatever your worries and concerns are, no opposition party or for that matter a two party system will be able to eradicate the ravages of capitalism.
Any other party who takes power from the incumbent will also be accused of despotism and worse.
Looks like you guys are just going in circle.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Who disagrees that e decision to delay public transport fare adjustments aka hike till the end of the year has everything to do with the elections?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky

Are you aware of this movie?

Really shows the consequences of inequality.

Anonymous said...

Political Blog Turns The Table on Ruling Party
Nazry Bahrawi
Feb 01, 2011

If street protests in Tunisia and Egypt demonstrate a proclivity among the masses for greater democracy, then it is the blogosphere that works the magic for Singapore's citizens. Last month, bloggers from The Online Citizen, a critical news portal, made headlines when they agreed to the government's request to have the site registered as a political body.
This means the portal must operate within regulations that could make it harder for the site to continue as a community blog. For instance, it must not receive funding from foreign or impermissible sources and must maintain an open register of its employees. Had the site opted to close shop or operate clandestinely, free speech advocates could easily have touted this top-down imposition as a textbook case of Singapore's unflattering censorship policy at work.

Yet to pose as helpless victims of autocracy would not advance the fight for a more open society. Complying was a cleverer strategy; it turned the tables on Singapore's conservative policymakers.

For political opponents of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP), this surprise move signals that the latter's iron-clad grip on the media is somewhat rusty when it comes to the internet. There is little doubt that the opposition would strive to capitalise on this blind spot.

More significant is its potential eureka moment for the common man. The bloggers' bravado serves to puncture the myth that Singaporeans are politically apathetic. The epiphany for ordinary citizens is this: if the option to participate legally in the political process was before only desirable if one were to join the PAP, that option today is open to an ordinary citizen who wants to publicly air his criticism of government policies without joining any political party.

Indeed, Singapore's new media landscape suggests a leaning towards political activism. The Online Citizen is not the city-state's only critical blog, though it is probably its most popular.

Will a critical citizenry buoyed by the blogosphere lead to the end of the PAP's hold on power? Consider the harrowing experience of another long-lasting ruling coalition, the Barisan Nasional, in Malaysia during the 2008 election. After it lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time in almost 40 years, its then premier cited online citizenship journalism as a key cause.

Of course, dissimilarities between the two nations make any strict comparison spurious. For one, Singapore's state of race relations is not as precarious as Malaysia's.

But, regardless of the electoral issues, there is no denying the blogosphere's potential for breaking the grip of long-standing ruling parties in politically conservative nations. If The Online Citizen has set any precedence at all, it is that denizens of the Lion City can now roam freely as political animals. For a nation long postulated to be indifferent to politics, this is nothing short of a paradigm shift.

With speculation that general elections will be called later this year, nothing can be more encouraging for the future of Singapore's democracy.

//Nazry Bahrawi is a socio-cultural commentator pursuing doctoral research at the University of Warwick

hayek said...

We should stop talking about gini, which is an distraction, because gini give people an illusion that things are better than it seems.

Currently most gini measured "income" inequality while the most sinister part of Singapore society is "wealth" inequality.

For example, walking down orchard road, I would hypothesis Ng Teng Fong's scion probably owned 20% of real estate there. Other top 1% tycoon together with Ng probably owned 99% of orchard road.

90% of Singaporean own 0.001% of orchard.

The wealth inequality situation is worse than pre-French Revolution, Pre Bolshevik Revolution.

The last thing that keep peasants from rising is affordable food. Now, international bankster, speculator and elite are going to rob from whatever meager of what we have.

Food price hike is going to be the last straw that breaks the camel.

nevillelee said...

I have been enjoying reading your posts for the past 3 months, you’re insightful and the analytical skill in your blogs impresses me the most!

How to reach out the masses is my question here.
I was in Singapore weeks ago to pay visit to my in-laws and parents. I talked to my father-in-law about the situation in Singapore; we even went deep into the issue of wages and the influx of foreigners, at the end of the conversation he threw the question back to me,

‘What can we do about it; we can do nothing about it!’

‘Use your vote to effect the change, this is the only way you can change the life in Singapore!’ I replied firmly to his question, he looked into my eyes and kept silence for a period of time. Well, he is a hard core fan to PAP after all, so does the 66% of Singaporeans.

I am looking at a sad state of affair indeed if this situation continues.

Anonymous said...

As general Election is coming, transport fare increase is temporarily put on hold.
After general election, transport fare is going to be raised.
This is supported by the following article:

Published in TODAY on Feb 01, 2011

Transport fare review deferred
by Neo Chai Chin


Singapore Management University law lecturer Eugene Tan noted that the deferment - albeit for a different rationale - avoided putting "another potential issue on the table" as far as the coming General Election (GE) was concerned.

Political pundits are expecting the GE to be held this year.

Said Assistant Professor Tan: "We are assuming that price adjustments would lead to an increase, which is likely to be the case if you look at oil prices, wages and everything. It defers this issue being added onto the list of concerns about cost of living."

Anonymous said...

Price increase will happen after GE.
As predictable and certain as death and tax.

Nofear said...

To Nevill

I understand how you feel.

At the end only you can effect the change with your own vote. After all we are the generation that is going to face the outcome after our parents are gone. They remember LKY and vote for sentimental reasons. We on the other hand has a different experience. There is a season for everything. This is OUR time, and we have to VOTE now or we will become them in 30-50 years, looked back and say to our children/grandchildren = What can you do. There's nothing you can do. Is that what we want?
What is the right thing to do, is what I will ask.

I Say to myself is TIME to COME HOME.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr "Impressive Insight" Lucky

Btw, you do know that Mubarak is a US stooge right?

Oh dear. Your beloved Obama has lost Tunisia and soon Egypt.
His spin doctors are already working overtime ... ie its all Bush's fault. Giving up already? But looking on the bright side ... less blood will be shed due to his incompetence. The *slightly* less incompetent Bush would have sent in the US army on some pretext.

But enough of foreign affairs.
How about answering Mr Lee's million dollar qns?

"How to reach out the masses is my question here."?

After all your fanboy's arse-kissing, you owe him an answer, no?

Eh, smoke "hopium"?

Anonymous said...

... almost forgot ... Mr Khaw says he has heard your moaning (re ur prev post). I guess this means Medishield premiums to go UP after the erection?

Anonymous said...

Read the comments,just comments alone. Conclusion? Assbrains.
If countries rest on them and their vote, die Liao.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Lucky

UPDATE: Jordan's King dismisses govenment ... another US stooge in trouble ...

Obama is really liberating the Middle East!
Probably not the countries he had in mind though ...

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...1/2/11 15:50
Whatever your worries and concerns are, no opposition party or for that matter a two party system will be able to eradicate the ravages of capitalism.
Any other party who takes power from the incumbent will also be accused of despotism and worse.
Looks like you guys are just going in circle."

Sad to say but at least, it (the power) get circulated and the nepotism (& its attending "benefits") does not stay concentrated with one group for too long.

The citizens (voters) must know this game plan and must ensure the game is balanced by playing off the candidates (potential representatives) against one another.

Counter checking mechanisam is very important and no one will self check oneself better than a third party (outsider)

Anonymous said...

"""""If countries rest on them and their vote, die Liao.""""""

Good one.
Based on your logic, it is better to replace those voters. They are "no-brainers"??

Anonymous said...

sheep don't lead,understand?

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky,

I'm a civil servant and a regular reader of your blog. Many in the Civil Service share your sentiments too about how things have gone awry in the past decade. Even civil servants have lost faith in the PAP. There will be changes in the next election. (You can ignore the PAP trolls' comments trying to put down your work or sow fear among Singaporeans.)

I wish you a Happy Chinese New Year. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Sad that wife & sisters of Egyptian will soon become maids in other countries once Mubarak is toppled.

Anonymous said...

I too work in the civil service.

Many of us are fed up with the work practices within the civil service. We too concluded that unless PAP is voted out, nothing will change for the better.

We will just take whatever goodies PAP gives to us and still vote against them!

Anonymous said...

Good to see that some civil servants here are not beholden to the ruling party. In a normal functioning democracy, civil service is non-partisan. They are day to implement the policies of the government of the day. Individual civil servants are free to vote according to their preference.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the Administrative Service, who had the opportunities to work with many Ministers. If not for the PAP's control of the media, many civil servants would love to share true stories on the pettiness and idiocy of these Ministers.

Anonymous said...

If not for the PAP's control of the media, many civil servants would love to share true stories on the pettiness and idiocy of these Ministers.)))

Then we would lose confidence in the leadership and in the worse scenario, productivity grinds to a halt.

Surely you have an internal feedback system to weed out incompetence?

Anonymous said...

Surely you have an internal feedback system to weed out incompetence?

You know the chinese word "引蛇出洞"? Voicing dissent in civil service would immediately result to being "condemn".

Your opinion will be deemed "not positive", "not supportive"..etc

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky,

Wonder if you've noticed the Increase in Prices b4 LNY. Food, etc. has increased. I think this is not due to the LNY, but people may mistake this. Likely to remain. As usual this will tax the low income hard as they have pretty thin wallets.

Keep up your wonderful blog, Lucky. Never let the wet blankets win. Last but not least wishing You & Your Family 'Xin Nian Quai Le! Nian Nian Fa Cai!'

Anonymous said...

How to "fa cai" when you want to skin the " golden goose" LOL

David Teo said...

I wish you, family and fellow netizens a meaningful and eventful 2011. May the Forces of Good be with the people. dt

Anonymous said...

Didn't the AO just say that the PAP Ministers are petty people? You think they'll be receptive to criticisms, even if these are constructive/justified?


John Papers said...

Thanks this post..
keep writing your blog will be more attractive. To Your Success!

hayek said...

Islam has shown the whole sissy world what real balls is. They could do even better by confiscating all ill-gotton wealth of the elite.

Currently, the elite class in Egypt tries to wiggle out by changing Mubarak as their front man.

Mubarak has offered not to seek re-election. The elite class will then put another person of their own tribe to power. The revolution will then be hijacked.

What Egypt needs to do now is a great purge against all rent-seekers, confiscation of ill-gotton wealth. On the same time, productive elite like industrialist not only be left unmolested, but promote to higher status, because they are all one who for all these years bailing out the people.

If that happens, Egypt will be on the way to a true democratic and first world country, in a very short period of time.

Anonymous said...

Wishing you Lucky and all brithers a Happy And Prosperous Lunar New Year. May we be those who can bring about peaceful change to Singapore for the good of all.

ghost of Ramses said...

there is great opportunity from the Egyptian crisis, i.e for LKY and son. The famiLee can offer Spore as safe haven to Mubarak and all his filthy rich cronies, with Ho Ching acting as their personal wealth manager.

Anonymous said...

Only Singaporeans are unfortunate enough to be stuck with Ho Ching to manage their sovereign wealth. Mubarak and cronies would be better off putting their money with real fund managers. With Ho Ching, their wealth will disappear faster than the Egyptians can confiscate.

Pop quiz. How do you create a $1 billion dollar investment fund? Take $10 billion and let Ho Ching manage it.

Cheers and Happy New Year to one and all.

Anonymous said...

Watched the video ""UFO hovers over Jerusalem""??

UFO also visited our GMS??

May be one day he could become somebody, and help people to better life??

Anonymous said...

with more FTs coming in in the next 5-10 years, they needed to be "helped" to find jobs so that they would stay.

So if u are ""let go"", u better "help" yrself to find new job for the next many years b4 anybody can really come to "yr help".

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

( sorry for going off tangent. Unlike Lucky liberal stance on self expression, tan kl does not allow anonymous posting on his blog - probably can't take the heat) 

Tan Kin Lian wrote: The legal system in Singapore benefits the lawyers and business corporations that can afford lawyers. Consumers are badly treated in Singapore and they do not have redress. This leads to poor social justice in Singapore. @

Years ago, I highlighted a case involving a local Goliath developer and an ordinary couple. The couple took issue with the developer for shoddy workmanship and unfinished works. The unit, brand new and supposedly "move in condition", had poor quality flooring and in some areas of the house, uncompleted, which is hardly livable.

Put it this way, a reputable developer will NEVER risks its reputation by delivering a brand new apartment in that deplorable state - entire marble floor unpolished and covered in powdery white calcium deposit - a sign of moisture in the tiles. Furthermore, this was a developer with inflated reputation in service and quality and with  privilege links to "you know who" which makes it even more infuriating. 

To cut the long story short, their  customer service personnel , from customer service director to the service manager and her team of toadies assistance, who were mostly graduates in High heels - if you know what i mean -  were technically incompetent.

The purported A-team, comprising also of contractors,private consultants and engineers, couldn't get the floor right - because the white powdery calcium resurfaced with every polishing even after long period of drying - and among other repairs. In fact, any area involving tile replacement  usually required several attempts to get it right. Even then, the repaired works never attained  industry standard because of poor supervision and workmanship. 

As a result, much time was wasted and the couple were terribly inconvenienced. Inevitably, it led to heated exchanges because ..it seems the more you complain, the worse the situation gets ( sound familiar?). This is because of the behemoth bureaucratic system the couple is up against.  The couple, being astute at probing and uncovering inconsistency which puts the entire team on a defensive with lies, cover ups and lame excuses. Unfortunately, an invaluable lesson learnt too late. You cant be blatantly HONEST nor show righteous indignation  that put their professional integrity in question. If you insist on treading very fragile egos, be warned. These people are experts at FIXING their customers. They don't blink and show little emotion for their crime. If they can ruffle you, you lost half the game. If you can't remain cool, polite and eternally forgiving and grateful, like a saint, when slapped on the face, the service level and workmanship will be greatly compromised. 

But the couple, like many, had no prior experience dealing with big bullies. And why should they  tolerate such corporate elitist attitude or culture? Eventually, the case landed on Case's desk. CASE, being "kaki Lang", played PING PONG with the couple and dragged the case for more than A YEAR( unnecessary long) before the couple,eventually, gave up - a sly tactic?

And you know why? 

The cowardly developer, with powerful links to "you know who", refuse to meet the couple at CASE's office. The arrogant CEO, taking side with his sly and LYING customer director (a dowager in her own right - heard that her very submissive subordinate, on her way up the corporate ladder,had to fetch tea for her,  while they discussed about the nature of complaint with the couple ) refused COST FREE mediation with an independent panel, which comprises  CASE legal team etc. 

Anonymous said...

(part two)

The gang of bureaucratic corporate elites wanted to 'fix' the couple through another COST exacting medium instead. This other  mediating body( forgot the name)unlike CASE, costs much more and  get this...  CASE, the toothless lip service  tiger, even suggested/hinted to  the couple to engage a lawyer( bleed more money to fight the big boys, will you if the damages were not that substantial to cover legal fees - if you win that is) . HA. Now why was that necessary when CASE has all the resources,experiences  and legal expertise to handle  a very straight forward dispute? Why need to go the COSTLY way when all the evidences needed to nail the mighty developer were on CASE's desk? 

I tell you why.

That filthy rich and megalomaniac establishment knew that the costly and tedious time consuming  legal battle will deter most people except for the more sophisticated and wealthy clients. You see folks, the ELITES in these mediation centers will not and cannot take side - even presented  with incriminating evidences . Because Singapore mediation centers are a NEUTRAL body, their kind of justice is dispensed without apologies. They exist so the big guns will not be humiliated and your case will be kept - hush hush to protect their reputation. The developer NEED NOT submit to its "impartial assessment" of the case if the outcome is unfavorable to them. When that happens, what's next? Sue them? Do you have the means and time to fight them all the way?

The couple were no fool and did not walk into a time and money wasting process. They were, like most, " denied justice" because it makes no financial sense to pursue it( cheaper to get your own contractor to fix defects).They knew that, despite a very strong case against the lying and hypocritical Goliath.... mediation, being NEUTRAL, CANNOT force  judgment on them - these corporate giants are too huge to be trashed.

With their financial power and their bestest  legal advisers money can buy , they can easily wear you down and burn a very very big hole in your pocket if  you dare challenge them.

The couple didn't take the bait. Already, they had wasted an entire year with CASE though the couple's case was far from complex. 

The case was even circulated to the press and all the relevant gov bodies, even involving the mayor of REACH(crap organization) at one time, via email.

Nobody REALLY care, other than a POLITE acknowledgment and bid you to take the recommended route of mediation and what? Eventually, the END GAME - a probable costly legal battle??

Tan Kin Lian was right. But his enlightenment, surprising for a one time elite and  corporate individual, came only now?? when such injustices have been around for decades??

That said, to be fair, many obtained justice i am sure. Otherwise, we would have very low rating for corruption. But a LOOPHOLE in the legal system exists to protect those with the means and connection.
You maybe smarter and more decent than these parasites of society but without standing and means, forget about taking them on.

ps: so if you ask me whether I believe in the government's social engineering and the vertical kampong and what have you? I say crap! As much as MM is skeptical about Islamic insurgency and its effects on society , elitism is a social disease that's not only insidious but far more damaging.

Anonymous said...

Someone should get Capital punishment for landing such lessons.

Anonymous said...

"... elitism is a social disease that's not only insidious but far more damaging."
Anon 3/2/11 18:54

Anon above, if it is being insidious and damaging, so if not "treated", what is the consequence?

For various diseases we know, but for elitism, the so called "social disease"?

Anonymous said...

"... elitism is a social disease that's not only insidious but far more damaging."
Anon 3/2/11 18:54

Anon above, if it is being insidious and damaging, so if not "treated", what is the consequence?

For various diseases we know, but for elitism, the so called "social disease"?

Anonymous said...

The day I see the self promoting parasites of society kissing the foot of the righteous is the day the sun rises and salvation becomes the bread of the people.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"Because Singapore mediation centers are a NEUTRAL body, their kind of justice is dispensed without apologies. They exist so the big guns will not be humiliated and your case will be kept - hush hush to protect their reputation. The developer NEED NOT submit to its "impartial assessment" of the case if the outcome is unfavorable to them. When that happens, what's next? Sue them? Do you have the means and time to fight them all the way?"

That is why you need to allow people with genuine grievances to protest / demostrate and shame big boy bullies for their unethical behaviors.

Justice (the kind you need to engage lawyer and go through the expensive legal process) does not come cheap here especially against big boy bullies - unless you have a deep pocket to burn.

Anonymous said...

""Tunisia President won landslide victory in election in late 2009, but ousted barely 15 months later."""

From Internet, we can learn a lot of the "Truths" & "Half-truths".

Anonymous said...

Anyone promoting superiority is promoting war.

Anonymous said...

There are many lessons from the Egyptian Crisis. The important one is that the Middle Easterners are liberating themselves.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans? Liberate what? Majority are happy because Singapore is a good place to live.

And if you feel it is no good, you are free to liberate yourself by emigrating to a better place.

Anonymous said...

lucky to hear that most Singaporeans are happy here.
May we have peace and prosper in the Rabbit Year and beyond!

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 5/2/11 12:00

Life in Singapore might be good for YOU. It is not so for MOST Singaporeans.

Let's see the election results.

Anonymous said...

Oppositions no fight lah!
How to fight power?

Anonymous said...

Anyone read Rachel Chang article, In search of new traditions(ST,Feb 3)

She wrote...everywhere I look., there are many who opt out, in their way own way and for their own reasons////

I see it everywhere too. There is no " soul" in people and the kampong spirit, either has been replaced by channel 8 wayang layang spirit displayed in variety shows or gone the way of dodo bird.

People are getting sick, and dying inside, amidst of " success" and prosperity.

Except, there are those who still, blur like sotong, think channel 8 exuberance spirit is the real thing. LOL.

Welcome to SOULESS in Sg, Rachel.

Anonymous said...

They are neither hot, they are neither cold....they are NEUTRAL...... pui pui pui haaaaa

Anonymous said...

Even if the election results favour the opposition, I think the PAP will still hold shadow power. For so many years, the PAP had inserted so many of their people in various companies and institutions. Even if the opposition gets majority, the PAP will still have a lot of $$$ and connections to fight against them. I think Singapore will become another Phillipines where the power is held by several big families. No choice people, they have the money. To reverse 30 years of damage in a few years is impossible, I think it may take another 30years!!! Don't be stupid and naive thinking a change of government is going to improve life qualities of Singapore. It would only become a slight different version of PAP with a different guy in power. Look at revolutions from the past, the man succeeding the king before him was often a high-ranking official himself. You think an ordinary guy can seize power from the dictatorship? The PAP can only crumble by itself, and I personally favour Lim Swee Say to succeed MM Lee especially after he said, "I feel so rich looking at my CPF statement". Ordinary Singaporeans God bless you, maybe Malaysia would become a more habitable place for ordinary Singaporeans. Vote for the PAP to speed up their breakup.

Anonymous said...

Vote the PAP.

A very good suggestion indeed!

Anonymous said...

Changs will come in any sort of ways. just a matter of time. I think most of the PAP ppl have their money parked in overseas bank already. However, the problem is no place is exactly safe at this point of history. Hence, they will probably fight hard to ensure the status quo.

Sg no matter how hard she try is only a small prawn, subjugated to the big fishes out there.

no need revolution, changes will happened. in the course of nature.

Anonymous said...

/"Anonymous said...5/2/11 12:00
And if you feel it is no good, you are free to liberate yourself by emigrating to a better place./

Just because you said so huh. People like you are dying for such thing to happen. You must wait long long.

Liberation can be done within the country if you do not already know. Why must it be done outside the country.

Alan Wong said...

Political parties in power come and go.

The Republicans & Democrats in US, LDP in Japan, KMT & PPP in Taiwan, Thaksin's TRT, BN & PKR state govts in Malaysia, etc.

Surely PAP has to go one of these days for the sheer hypocrisy & arrogance that it resembles.

It's only a matter of time, sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

"It's only a matter of time, sooner or later."
Alan Wong said...7/2/11 16:50

Alan,you study history? Some can last hundreds of years, like the dynasties in China. Or the Roman empire.

So maybe have to wait long, long.

Anonymous said...

We have to make a stand..I will definitely vote opposition and will make it a personal challenge to educate those around me.

Now how many of you making these comments, are willing to make such a stand

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky Tan, you have touched on an issue which I have found increasingly disturbing in Singapore - the gap between the rich and the poor. Your citing the Gini index coincides with something I have asked some of my friends to read from the CIA World Factbook where the rankings of countries are published.
Almost every instance of civil unrest, revolution or disturbance has arisen from class division - the rich and poor gap becoming wider. I fear for our country where the pursuit of GDP growth has overtaken compassion, kindness, a listening ear and empathy. When the less well-off get left behind, it becomes an issue which is heading towards disaster.

Anonymous said...

Interesting quote from a BBC blogger ..

An authoritarian regime depends on fear. A security machine can appear all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing. But, in the face of a popular revolt, can disintegrate swiftly. The sheer numbers on the streets of Cairo have given people a sense of their own power. Their fear of the regime has gone.

Sounds familiar? Read on http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/notes_on_revolutions.html

Wiser said...

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth,” Marcus Aurelius

Truth. What is it?

Anonymous said...

Me think maybe there will be a "crisis" of sort between now to the run up of elections. Either PAP will come to the rescue and show they are the heroes..or say maybe MM lee couldnt make it to this election, then they will get more sympathy votes. I just pray not..

Me think they are working the grounds now, sussing out the dissenting voices by blocks/zone, then rezoned them into the bigger GRC. Those sure-win single wards will have a strong PAP satisfaction votes, and they can confidently send their young fresh bloods into the battle field for a taste of first victory - easily hands down. That my dear voters, are PAP rezoning strategy. Is all in the probability and number games. Only in SGP does the election zones can rezoned every other 4-5 years.

Rachael said...

Quite effective information, thank you for your post.

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