Thursday, December 15, 2011

Singapore : Why can't we seem to Innovate....

Steve Wozniak Apple's co-founder said this yesterday[Link]:

Look at societies like Singapore where bad behaviour is not tolerated and can get you extreme punishments: Where are the creative people? Where are the great artists, where are the great musicians, where are the great writers?

All the creative elements seem to disappear. Though, of course, everybody is educated and has a good job and nice pay and a car.

Thinking for yourself is creativity and that's goes right down to what we were talking about dress, the clothing that you wear - you wear what you want to wear.

If you read Steve Jobs biography there was a time he had long hair and was some sort of later day hippie. In Singapore he would have been stopped at the airport in the 70s and disallowed from entering Singapore. The founders of Apple had a earlier business that created boxes that allowed people to make illegal long distance phone calls. They were in every sense rule breakers.

Over the years, there were calls for Singaporeans to be more innovative. Be more creative. Be more entrepreneurial. Some  Singapore companies conduct "innovation drive" or "suggestion drive" to get workers thinking. But after a while it usually loses momentun because it is hard to build up the culture among Singaporeans and overcome the social factors outside the company that constrain Singaporeans to a pattern of behavior - the education system, the strict laws, various socio-economic factors.

The basic idea is this:

Wozniak is right to say that strict rules and heavy punishment for breaking rules is what stifles creativity in Singapore. I believe it starts with the political space. In the past, what happened to people with a different point of view had a chilling effect on the rest of society. Over time people became fearful of expressing their views and challenging authority. This behavior cannot be compartmentalised and over resulted in an obedience to all authority - students don't question their teachers, workers don't challenge their bosses, and people believe everything they read in the Straits Times.  The govt exerted control through harsh laws and punishment ...everything is orderly and we have obedient citizens who learn all the rules and are afraid to break them. This is great if we make our living working at assembly lines, doing routine work and the world never changes. Unfortunately, that is not the reality we are in and we either innovate and out smart our competitors or we go on Lim Swee Say's strategy of doing the same things faster, cheaper and better than them which is getting very difficult with China playing the same game..

The PAP's "cheaper and faster" growth model is a race to the bottom for workers. How do our lives and living standards improve by making Singaporean workers cheaper? The PAP's idea of building an economy dependent on cheap foreign labor has so many deleterious effects but the main problem is it is not sustainable. We already have a population density higher than that of Hong Kong, housing and cost of living as a whole has escalated and Singapore is becoming increasing more expensive. To compensate for the rise in the cost of doing business, Singapore looks for cheap labor - we used to have mainly Malaysians but now we have to go all the way to get workers from China, India, Burma and Vietnam. As wages among ordinary Singaporeans become depressed, inequality rose.

If you look at how companies survive and thrive over time, the ones that succeed are able to transform themselves over time to deliver innovative products. The Appes, the Googles and the Facebooks...the ability to evolve companies like these is one key to sustaiinable economic growth without the "cheaper, better, faster" strategy. Much need to be changed for us to get there including our education system that puts so much emphaisis on exam scores that it forces students to focus on doing well for exams above everything else. Students are sorted according to PSLE scores into secondary schools that now lack diversity in the student population - each school taking in student from a narrow slice of PSLE scores.

We should all take a page from Apple's comeback strategy when Steve Jobs rejoined the company - Think Different about the way we do things, forget the rules, the punishment, the pressure to conform and suspend our fear of authority.  Be open to alternative ideas, question everyting around you, remove the constraints on your thinking ....

Unfortunately we live in a country that has a dominant govt that is uneasy with alternative ideas. Ideas are censored  and books are banned not for obscenity but because they give us another perspective of Singapore.. How are we to innovate when some one decides which idea we should have and which we shouldn't...and what information we should know and what we shouldn't. know. Unless we free up this great resource, the creative minds our people, we will stagnate and decline going the way of others who also try to preserve the status quo in a fast changing world.


Anonymous said...

U have hit it right on all the issues.

Anonymous said...

The word creativity has lost its' meaning in Singapore. Very often talk about but has no meaning.
There is no doubt whatsoever that Singaporeans living and educated in Singapore have lost their ability to think independently and creatively. Don't look far. Just put a Singaporean living and educated in the West side by side to one living and educated in Singapore and u will see the vast differences in the way they speak, their attitudes and their thinking.
Just look at the papist ministers. They always seem to be strapped up in straight jackets. No natural flare, colour or personality. More like robots.
I am pessimistic of Singapore in the long run. The nation will eventually pay a heavy price for this excesses of LKY.

Anonymous said...

"Wozniak is right to say that strict rules and heavy punishment for breaking rules is what stifles creativity in Singapore."
Lucky Tan

But why do we need creativity when we are already politically stable, peaceful and prosperous?

Or at least as prosperous as creative countries like America, Europe or Japan?

And isn't GRCs a creative system to win 93% seats in elections? Where can you find such creative system in other countries?

The Toy Deity of Conflict said...

I am entrepreneur meself, everytime I come up with a new business model.

101 authority in SG would shoot my idea / penalise my ideas all because they wanna anticipate what their political master wants.

I am still around. No thanks to my biz partners who helped me thru'.

Yes, I am pissed beyond words.

You, Sir have said the right things.

Anonymous said...

Likewise for China the most populous nation on earth but also an authoritarian society has to date produced no innovators. It all begins with politics at the top.

Anonymous said...

What do you expect when most people aspire to be only LKY. He keeps churning out back slapping books every month. No wonder the average Singaporean doesnt seem to have any other role models.

But that situation is fast changing.

Most people who for example play games have their own heroes. It is this new generation who will one day wipe out the staid and old.

Just you watch and see.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised Steve W said what he said abt Singapore. He is probably brotherhood.

They are all, every single one of them rule breakers.

Dan said...

Just comparing us against HK, Korea and Taiwan is enough to tell you we have failed very badly.Mind you, some of those countries were still under martial law 20 - 30 yrs ago. We only looked good because of our immediate neighbours and maybe our slowly eroding advantage of English language. Don't be too optimistic abt the S'pore story.

Anonymous said...

I am glad Steve hammered our yapayaya Singaporean leaders and put them in their place.

But this has been festering for so long. They are not happy as our gahmen keeps threatening to regulate the internet. So they got someone really influential and powerful to kick arse.

I am sure its them. They have people everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Conformative is the murderer of creativities. If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

Anonymous said...

Satire - Question:
What can MIWs do to increase the creativity of Singaporeans?

They can lose the General Elections in 2016.

Anonymous said...

PAP MP Yeo Guat Kwang displays amazing creativity!!!

See Straits Times, page B1, Dec 15, 2011.

Introduces price list to our local coffee shop.

Wah! What a fantastic idea!!
Got such big headlines in the Straits Times.

Must be running out of good things to say.

Anonymous said...

mnc in sg do r&d work in their own foreign countries of origin and their researchers are driven to produce results or else. Sg researchers are hired by local govt agencies called a star, dso etc must score their way in schools/college/uni to get into them. Once there, it is just another secure roosting govt jobs for them like other civil service Careers. There are no cause for innovativeness and creativeness maybe just finding ways to improve on existing machines like military equipment making it cheaper and better and faster.

Anonymous said...

This is the second time I am trying to disagree with Lucky Tan. The previous time my comment about workfare got deleted.

While I agree with the points on fostering creativity, Lim Swee Say has come out to clarify that "cheaper, better, faster" was meant to apply to the general product offering of Singapore, and not specifically to the individual Singapore worker. And I think Lucky unfairly fixates on the "Cheaper" rather than consider that being better and faster will lead to cheaper on the whole

Anonymous said...

Someone once said,'Singaporeans are trained, not educated'.

Sweeping statement, but with more than a grain of truth.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what Steve Wozniak or Steve Apple or what not said. Does it matter?

What matters is what 60% said with their votes at every election.

Anonymous said...


You are one of the deluded who believe everything our deaf frog minister said. Yeah, he is referring to products. I quote from Channelnewsasia 2009 news article:

However, even as they pledged their support, unionists raised concerns over how it would translate on the ground and impact workers. Some delegates at the conference were worried that the CBF strategy might lead to job cuts.

Mr Lim said: "They feel that it's very important that the management has the same understanding of the CBF because the CBF economy is not about downsizing the workforce.

"It's not just about applying them to manufacturing sector, it's not about just including the younger workers, better educated workers, but instead it should be inclusive for all workers - young and old."

Is it "cheaper, better, faster" workers or products? Is it logical to use the adjective faster on a product? It is depressing to have Singaporeans like you amongst us. No wonder PAP keep winning elections.

Anonymous said...

@ ANON 14.49pm

Good investigative work. Well done!

LSS should just man up (I mean frog up) and admit that he was referring to workers when he said "cheaper, better, faster".

Is LSS any cheaper today than he was 1 year ago?
Is he better?
Is he faster?

Clear eyed said...

Wah Singapore has the distinction of being mentioned by Steve Wozniak on BBC! But for the wrong reason!! But seriously, does the PAP really want creativity to flourish here? Can they hold on to power if the citizenry can think independently and are not cowed by fear? Even among its members in the Party, Cabinet and Parliament, do you see evidence of independent, bold and creative thinking? What LKY wants is a robotic, obedient people he can control and manipulate to serve his agenda.

Anonymous said...

"Even among its members in the Party, Cabinet and Parliament, do you see evidence of independent, bold and creative thinking?"
Anon 15/12/11 15:18

Even if they are not, at least they are united. They all agreed to and respect one "Chief".

The opposition has too many who want to be "Chief" and not enough "Indians". And worse still the "Indians", like frogs, jumped from one party to another. So can you blame majority voters for not voting them into power?

Anonymous said...

i miss those days when we practise Productivity. Now... Mr Lim telling us to be cheaper. How cheap do we want to be? Can we be cheaper when the housing and other cost of living remain sky high? No... it is impossible. It is like chopping our legs and demanding us to jump higher.

One of my friend told me yesterday, his company just hired one PRC as an assistant manager with only $1500 salary. Look how these FT has screwed up the job market.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,

Our gahmen are one of the most creative talents in the world. Just see talented they are in creative accounting in GIC, GLC, and TH, t-load assets in accounting book, and coming new tag line to bullshit their way (GST to help the poor ...), and get away with these 100% all the time.

It takes a lot of creative genius to do all these inethical thing in so called leegalised ways so how can Steve miss out that out !

Long live the PAP gahmen ! Long live Emperor Lee ! Long live Lucky Tan ! Long live Steve wonizak !

Anonymous said...

Wozniack is wrong about us.

We have mediocre job (which we hate to go to), okay pay and most people dun have car... just housing loans.

high income inequality is the cause, but everything is pricier when rich people get involved in the bidding.

Visakan V said...

"How are we to innovate when some one decides which idea we should have and which we shouldn't"

That's the challenge, the root of where innovation should happen! Circumstances could be better, but if you're serious about innovating, it's not going to stop you.

Anonymous said...

@ 14:49

It is pointless to read anything when you have already determined what you want to understand from reading it.

The post did not mention that CBF refers to product, it refers to "product offering", i.e. what Singapore can offer as a whole in terms of people, infrastructure, processes, etc. Faster in terms of a product would refer to being able to reduce the time needed to manufacture it.

Referring to the article you so blatantly read selectively, Lim SS also said CBF is "not about downsizing the workforce", maybe you missed that paragraph.

Earlier on in the article you quoted, Lim SS also highlighted examples of how this could be done, i.e. "The wafer fabrication sector had launched a national framework for skills upgrading in August". Whether or not these measures are effective is a different matter.

Perhaps it might be easier to achieve than all of us expect. Maybe if all Singaporeans could learn to read an article in its entirety instead of just every alternate paragraph, we would already have a "better" workforce

Anonymous said...

We are here to serve the wealthy.

The wealthy have needs too..
they want tutors for their kids: we provide

they want people to clean their homes?
we provide maid agency

they need to buy a new car?
we provide them with salesman

they need to eat nice food, we provide ambience and waiters

they need someone to guide their wealth? we provide them

These are the reasons we are here.
Not for creativity!! are you joking?.. a nation that only knows how to flip properties? and gamble on 4D?? creative?

Only the ah beng can throw a different type of paint to a debtor's door can be considered as creative..

the rest only buy cars and vvvvrrroom down CTE and get fined.. creative to approach MP for fine reduction!

Anonymous said...

@ ANON 16:43

So what is Lim Swee Say doing to ensure a cheaper, better, faster government?

3 consecutive years of once-in-50-years flood.
You call this CBF?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it makes you wonder....with lucky tan background...why would he make the mistake of parroting after an ang moh?

creativity is over hyped. move on to something more life changing than having our own steve job we can all worship.

steve job is that what you want?

Anonymous said...

I think it is precisely with lucky's kind of background...he can't think outside the box :)

Anonymous said...

PAP will not turn Steve Jobs away if he landed in Singapore with long hair etc.....Instead PAP will spy on him encourage him to innovate etc...then PAP will copy his ideas etc....and say it is PAP's just like China did with Souchow project...then the PAP will think of some ways to disgrace Steve Jobs and put him away for good not giving him any credit.....most are wrong about the PAP not letting creativity strives in Singapore! Think away it is the way PAP deals with creative talents that put people off! Just imagine Singapore is China you will get to the root of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Since young we are told to study hard, get a job, work hard, save enough money and then retire comfortably.

Thus, we all become not creative.

Anonymous said...

Take Today online,state news toilet papers, for instance. Just a few days ago, anyone was free to comment and even insult the idiots. It was fun when things werent "sanitised" for the religiously driven or people who are used to corporatized behavior. The good was that some brilliant insights came out of the liberty to say whatever you want, like here(not always because lucky practices a form of pseudo free expression).

But then, the stinking people from the top decided some regulation is needed and now.... One is forced to log in to Facebook before commenting.

Hey idiots. Comments, very precious, are already fiaking free. we anonymous commenters don't charge for insights or feedback and you want us to follow your pecking order or subject to your POLICING?

well, you can go wank or wayang with your facebook gang and can forget about CREATIVE COMMENTS

Anonymous said...

aiyah...why they worry so much. didn't elitist georgie boy said... people with no community standing where got rubbish talk sense..who cares muahaha

but this is SIN. everything must proper proper. people like hippy steve job where got standing in the community UNTILL he makes BIG BIG MONEY LAH muahahaha

Anonymous said...

In Amercia, the people used creativity to transform garbage into billion dollar business. That is meritocracy. Their innovation enhance the whole world productivity.

In Singapore, PAP used money to transform 60% people into garbage. That is hypocricy. We are not even near productivity let alone creativity. That made us 3rd world relative to HK, Taiwan,Korea and Japan before we even think of competiting ourselves with the west.

Anonymous said...

SMRT train service disrupted.

PAP Internet Brigade.
I see a drop in 60% in GE 2016.

What say you?

Anonymous said...

"...When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation...It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions...(publisher) Stewart (Brand) and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off...And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

Anonymous said...

How to stay foolish in SIN?

You need to stay WHITE.

Anonymous said...

Diversity is key to creativity. The issue in Spore is not laws and order. Germany is also very order but creative. It is the political environment and governance that are killing the creativity. It does not mean Spore has no creativity. They have, like COE, GRC but they use the creativity to a wrong place. It ended up a totally unaccountable, opaque and secret government. Information that are opened to the public in the advanced countries are kept top secret in Spore. Some Sporeans are creative but those in power are not so the creative ideas will never go far. For example, good creative people are often sidelined and leave while those 'yes' persons are moving up the management level and get retained even well beyond retirement age. This phenomenon is common in all Spore organizations including higher education institutes, GLC, government departments, etc. This is indeed a doing of an unaccountable and opaque government. Official Secret Act is not doing good for the country. That is why all advanced counties do not have this Act but freedom of Information Act instead.

Amused said...

Here are some suggestions to undo the damage:

1. The government getting out of competing against private businesses. There is a tendency for the government to get into an industry if it proves to be profitable.

2. Get rid of streaming in schools. You are killing your future geniuses in the process. Many geniuses are not great students, especially at the young age.

3. Get rid of media laws and allow publications without restrictions.

4. Get rid of NS. It has ruined many great dreams.

5. Allow protests and freedom of expressions. No more lawsuits and detention without trials.

On a personal level, you should tolerate disobedience from your children. It's no big deal if they "talk back" at you. You want them to grow up to be able to assert their rights!

It takes time to undo the social conditioning and mentality. So don't expect quick result. But it can certainly change (for the better) in a couple decades.

Anonymous said...

We are a factory mill. No hippy culture. Put it this way. Can you make a blockbuster movie like the Americans that keep raising the bar? Their souls are moulded by the furnace of controversies. They are great story teller and communicators.

We have jack Neo and mark lee. Gurmit singh, our phua chu kang is perhaps our best creative genius.

Please, learn to talk poperly first before you talk about being creative.

Anonymous said...

the Americans are great mockers too. they go on national tv to mock their leaders, can we?

better dig yourself a hole and save face lah. the most creative ppl in their industry are the MOCKERS lol

Anonymous said...

But theres One More Thing that is the source of creativity... drugs. Marijuana and other 'mind enhancing' substances are what fueled some of the brightest minds in USA.

Anonymous said...


It seems you are the one doing selective reading and bias reasoning. Quoting from you:

"The post did not mention that CBF refers to product, it refers to 'product offering', i.e. what Singapore can offer as a whole in terms of people, infrastructure, processes, etc."

-- My understanding of product offering is simply a range of products on offer. It baffles me that your understanding on such a simple term could stretch to include people, infrastructure and processes.

"Referring to the article you so blatantly read selectively, Lim SS also said CBF is 'not about downsizing the workforce', maybe you missed that paragraph."

-- Nope, I didn't miss this paragraph. My argument that CBF refers to workers still stands even "with" this paragraph since CBF stands for cheaper, better and faster workforce, NOT smaller workforce.

"Earlier on in the article you quoted, Lim SS also highlighted examples of how this could be done, i.e. 'The wafer fabrication sector had launched a national framework for skills upgrading in August'. Whether or not these measures are effective is a different matter."

-- "Skills upgrading". Does it applies to the worker, product or product offering as you insist? Conclusion. Seems you are the one reading selectively, not me.

Anonymous said...

You need a degree in creativity in order to be creative . that's why we have so many creative people creatively trying to set the record straight.

exploited sg male said...

there should be some creativity in solving this creativity vacuum in sg.

above all else we must abolish NS for it sure is making all creative people skip out of sg whether they are citizens or FT.

Anonymous said...

This just came in, so I'd figure I shead some light as to what's going on in SMRT lately.

SMRT is buying more trains. The first 2 generation of trains were gotten from Japan and Germany. Guess where these latest trains come from?


Moral of the story:

Trains disruptions is getting common and will continue to get more common. Not only that, SMRT took the old trains and refurbished them with new interiors. These trains are old and word has it that there are a lot of technical issues with these old trains, particulary those running in the north-south line. The new ones on the south-east line do not have a train driver and is run by SBS and not SMRT.

Thought I shed some light on what is to come.

The trains are now running at full capacity and the rate of degradation is increasing with more foreigners in them.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Tan,

You need to read: Revolution in Education by OSHO when you get the chance.

Anonymous said...

"But why do we need creativity when we are already politically stable, peaceful and prosperous? "

To be fully human is to be creative. The alternative is mediocrity or a clone.

Anonymous said...

Where there is conditioning, there is no freedom.

Anonymous said...

"We have mediocre job (which we hate to go to), okay pay and most people dun have car... just housing loans. "

I was wondering the same too. Where the hell did Wozniak got the impression that we all have got cars? COE is $70K loh!

Anonymous said...

"For example, good creative people are often sidelined and leave while those 'yes' persons are moving up the management level and get retained even well beyond retirement age. This phenomenon is common in all Spore organizations including higher education institutes, GLC, government departments, etc. This is indeed a doing of an unaccountable and opaque government. Official Secret Act is not doing good for the country. That is why all advanced counties do not have this Act but freedom of Information Act instead. "

This is so true.

Anonymous said...

The diagram suggests that there is a destructive or rebellious side to creative people. This is rather true with musicians,and in particular rockers, in the west. These people are or were heavily into drugs and sex. They would have been castrated in SIN before they enter into adulthood. They would never be a musical legend with millions of followers and their creative genius smothered in their infancy.

Read the long list of famous or infamous artistes here( and this is not even exhaustive)

I don't think these kind of people are welcome here.

Anonymous said...

Those SMRT train commuters went in with their "eyes opened".

They got what they deserved because they assumed that the train ride will be trouble-free.

Like our once-in-50-year floods.

Time to form another committee of experts to "investigate" the problem. Bring in the foreign experts again to give it a veneer of transparency.

I say don't bother. Stop spending tax payers money on yet another "wayang" study.

Just accept that MRT trains will break down regularly and "move on".
This is the new standard.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:39

The christian secular leaders in government,business and civil societies will never allow "unchristian behavior" to take roots here, especially the women.

But loving money supernaturally is fine.

Anonymous said...

Why Steve Jobs may be the Devil!

      The following blog is why I came to the conclusion that Steve Jobs, head of Apple, is the true Devil. First and foremost, I would like to explain that I don’t really have a religion. Thus, the Devil reference is merely to counterpoint the accusations that Bill Gates is the antichrist from the Bible. Also, I am a supporter of Apple products. Therefore, I guess you can consider me the Devil’s advocate. In addition, this is mostly based off representation.

      Now, onto my reflection as to why I consider Steve Jobs as the leader of the dark casted, soulless defectors of this universe. (Maybe that sounds a little too epic.) Anyways, according to the Bible, the antichrist would be someone unexpected. Someone who would charismatically come out and take the world by surprise once he reveals himself. However, this person was under our noses all this time.  If people believed that Bill Gates was the antichrist, how come Steve Jobs wasn’t on the same playing field?

      Lets look at some symbolism and parallels of the Apple Company with that of the Bible.

      The Logo: Apple’s logo is an Apple that has been bitten into. Why? What does that stand for? Simple, the forbidden fruit that Eve bitten into.

      The Comeback: When Jobs came back to Apple, he brought light to the ailing company with one simple product, the IPOD. The IPOD was based around one thing initially and that was music. In the Bible, Lucifer was the head of the choir. Coincidence? Steve Jobs = Lucifer (which btw, means light bearer in Latin)

      The Product Placement: Why does everything that Apple produce, start with the letter I (i.e. Ipod, Ipad, Iphone, Imacs).  I am probably reaching on this but I have two theories. 

      First theory, Apple likes to use the letter I because it subconsciously develops a sense of not wanting to share their I products with others…Which in turn, makes those who don’t have I products jealous and those who do have, selfish…(really I know a lot of people that don’t like sharing their I products) This theory has the 7 deadly sins written all over it…Lust, Greed, Envy and it does turn us into Sloths in some ways.

      Second theory, the I is to make you realize, once the Apple truth is exposed, Steve Jobs is saying unto those who own his merchandise – (the first commandment)

      There you have it.  I certainly hope that this makes you think a little and was an entertaining read. (btw, if I disappear after this writing…blame chizaaang and bunniexoxo )

Anonymous said...

@ 00:41

Assuming your blinkered definition that product offering refers only to what you sell to your customers, can any discussion of products be independent of the factors of production? Product offering, which includes products and services, are a culmination of all the materials and labour that the producer puts in, and naturally includes the people, infrastructure and processes. It seems the products you are familiar with simply drop from the sky.

Whether we like it or not, customers are continually looking for cheaper, better, faster, but a combination of those things, not just cheaper (that’s probably just the govt tender process). Part of the reason we continue to attract FDI is because investors see value in Singapore’s product offering (i.e. the compliant labour force, lack of industrial action, good infrastructure (MRT failures notwithstanding), etc.)

Lim SS has never said we must have a CBF workforce; he refers to a CBF economy. In order to get to a CBF economy, the workforce must be sufficiently skilled.

To entertain your ludicrous question, of course skills upgrading refers to the workers. But skills upgrading and CBF are not the same thing, skills upgrading is a means towards achieving the end of a CBF economy. Please try to avoid being confused.

You are one of those people who, if Lim SS says we should buy better machines and enhance process, will immediately proclaim that he is out to replace the entire workforce with machines... selective hearing and understanding.

To those who continually question what Lim SS is doing to become CBF himself, let’s be clear that there are two related issues being discussed. Firstly, what the minister is saying, and secondly, how he is going about doing it.

Any meaningful discussion on the minister’s idea needs an agreement on what the idea is. I disagree that the way to go is to cut workers’ wages, but I also disagree that this is what he is saying.

I will not comment here yet on whether he is actually doing it or whether he is succeeding.

Anonymous said...

Does the anti-Christ wear white?

Anonymous said...

one rocker licked pussy for hours. hhhmmm..I like to hear him make political speeches here since gays are in politics now

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:14 must have licked pussy for hours before he wrote that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 09:23 - classic comeback of a feeble mind

Anonymous said...

correction...of a creative mind haaaaa

The Toy Deity of Conflicts said...

By the Way, I forget to add Singaporean are innovative.

It is just that they are all driven Underground.

They know they cannot exist openly with the current state.

Anonymous said...

LSS should tell SMRT to be cheaper, better, faster!

Anonymous said...

They can't even handle one demand and you want them to take three, at the same time? You want the CEO's head to explode?

Anonymous said...

Things we can all probably agree:

1. He has problems with the English language.

2. He has problems communicating with the electorate.

3. When LSS retires from politics, it's probably not a good idea to appoint him as an ambassador.

If we want excitement, try LSS as ambassador to Malaysia.

Anonymous said...


I am amazed at your persistency. But to clarify once and for all who or what Lim Swee Say is referring to when he talks about CBF, this link contains the entire transcript from that speech:

Read point 5, 6, 8 and 9. It is quite apparent that he is referring to both companies and workers in his speech. But since he is representing the workers' union, when he used the word "we", he is pledging on behalf of the workers' commitment to a CBF economy, not the employers.

In any case, the argument in itself is moot. What is important is the end result. Are Singaporeans working longer for lower pay? That I am interested to know.

Anonymous said...

What is CBF? Chee Bye Fuck ah?

Anonymous said...

Satire / Joke

Singapore Book Titles I'd Like to See:

"Re-engineering for Success - A Cheaper, Better, Faster Government for all Singaporeans" by Lim Swee Say

Anonymous said...

Well I think 1043's post clears the air. The speech clearly indicates that the goal is so that "our workers can look forward to better jobs, better pay and better lives."

A discussion on the approach would be a totally different and much larger topic

Anonymous said...

The system LKY put in place is rotten. Singaporeans are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of the shortcomings of this LKY system. Its' collapse will be sudden.
The pap cannot even attract the talented Singaporeans to join them. So the pap ended up with second rates. Just look at the bunch of monkeys leading us and u will know what I mean. One failure of the mrt after another and where is Minister Liu ? Hiding in his bomb proof bunker ?

Delighted! said...

Absolutely wonderful topic!

Entertaining contributions and also engaging aruguments too!
( some nonsense in between, but that is normal anyway!)

My contribution:

With many if not all of the ministers having technical backgrounds, they are certainly very much focused on administration and results.

Furthermore, the results are key performance indicators associated with economic activities:

Economic Value Added
Return on Investments
Cost controls

Even at museums, the singapore symphony orchestra.. these KPI are omnipresent.

If only they added: People happines and satisfaction.
Not only that, elevate it to first priority and not bury it under some customer affairs dept.

Learn from Ritz Carlton.

How do they score the highest with the Service Excellence surveys conducted by the SMU? for 4 years running?

How does SIA keeps slipping in rankings of customer experience?

Learning will not occur if the reflection does not ammount to application.. and this time I really think they need to be guided.

So, the 1st step would be that the internet brigade could help by telling the truth. Not to us!

But to your clueless superiors who monitor your work by looking at how many hours you have logged on and how many postings..

Its never been what you say
Its always how you say it.
and that requires a creative slant.

Cheaper, Better, Faster is not creative.. it sounds absolutely rude!
Did you, dear internet brigade, tell the truth to LSS?
or you just kept within your KPI?

And keeping within KPIs means....?

Anonymous said...

Lim Swee Say is a fuckup minister. He speaks English like Teochew and Mandarin like an European. He tried to be colourful by dressing up as Zoro and ended up making a complete fool of himself. Everytime he opens his mouth, poison sphews out. He has poisonality. How to progress with monkey like this leading the labour union ?

Anonymous said...

The trouble with SIA is they decided to let HoJinz dictates the interior of the planes. Look at they way she dresses and u cannot but be aghast at such an important decision.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans must purged the country of traitors like these.

Anonymous said...

From the mostly strait jackets contributers here, who are your typical judgmental singaporeans, i think lucky can resign to the fact that we aren't going to be a creative type ppl without being too long winded about rudimentary affairs.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 7:39

The christian secular leaders in government,business and civil societies will never allow "unchristian behavior" to take roots here, especially the women.

But loving money supernaturally is fine"

Concur. A lot of christians are hypocritical in that they say one thing and they do another. They talk about afterlife but they lust after money and these days modern day christianituy is rewriting the Bible using a capitalism as its lens.

Jesus was so poor, he died with hardly anything. In fact, he said: "A rich man can enter the kingdom of heaven just as a camel could pass through a needle." But today's christians in our country are busy chasing for wealth, fortune and greed. Take a look at the controversies of City Harvest Church - one of many. Many young children rebel their parents to join church groupings, get-togethers and gatherings for fun.

Anonymous said...

Even today, a hint of a tattoo will garner comments like "troublemaker, pai kia, angkong kia" etc.
If you are not a yes-man in your workplace - you will be viewed with suspicion as a potential troublemaker.
Also if you have good grades in A-Level, parents and teachers will coerce you to select mainstream courses like Accountancy, Law or Medicine at university. How to innovate?

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with PM Lee that the first thing Singapore needs to do is to get the politics right. Unfortunately what is right to him and the60% may not be what the other 40% thinks is right! For me I think e did not get it right but then I am the 40% minority.

cow138 said...

The sad thing is that ppl affected are not even aware. I had my awakening when my American friend asked me for an opinion on some govt policy and I realized that my mind was blank, I didn't have any opinion.

That shook me when a foreigner knew how to form an informed opinion better then me on policies that affected me directly. I still see this behavior among Singaporean around me.

Anonymous said...

Hello Cow138 above:

So what if you or the foreigner have an opinion?

What are you going to do and what's the big deal?

What difference does it make to PAP's 93% seats in Parliament?

What difference for the better does it make to your life?

Anonymous said...

Some bloggers are apparently well versed in political, economic/financial, human resource matters. They are highly intellectual and vocal, however, what impact do they have in national affair? All they could do is 'fa lau sao'(whine/grouse).
Most are doing 'ci shang dan ping'(NATO) or theoretical warriors.

Anonymous said...

@ ANON 23:29

"Most are doing 'ci shang dan ping'(NATO) or theoretical warriors."

So what the fook are you doing here?
Minister Lui needs your help.

Minister Lui. Where the Tuck are Yew?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Lui will resign or get sacked due to the worst SMRT failure in 24 years. Nor will the SMRT CEO. At least not so fast lah, say within weeks.

When Mas Selamat escaped, did Wong Wong Kan Seng resigned or was sacked?

We must know that talented million dollar ministers or CEOs are not easy to be replaced, if their talent is measured by their pay.

You cannot just suka suka and cepat cepat get another and pay them million dollars, right?

Of course those lower level staff are easy to replace lah. Which is why they are replaced fast when there is a big problem and it is their fault.

Anonymous said...

See. I told you so!

Simple operational problem involving 4 trains.
Blur like sotong.

And still want to talk about Singapore going to nuclear power for electricity.

These turkeys cannot be trusted with operating a nuclear power station in Singapore.
Vote wisely in GE 2016.

See google links below for Singapore's nuclear vision.


Anonymous said...

Singapore major problem is employing technicians and service people from third world countries to do critical maintenances. They are cheap and hardworking but they are used to lower standards and they don't think independantly. To me it is so clear to those manning the station to communicate with those stuck in the tunnel to reassure them that helps are on the way. Do u need SOP to tell them this ? Workers in Singapore have lost their commonsences.

Anonymous said...

Wozniak was wrong. The PAP have the monopoly on talent, creative or otherwise. Wozniak was looking at the lesser mortals doing the menial work. He only need to look at the creativity they displayed defending the 12 year NS deferment or their astronomical salaries. Even our TPL displayed more creativity (fat finger Denise) when compared to their ex-President Bush Jr.

Anonymous said...

You are hereby ordered to be creative!


Anonymous said...

While Woz was mostly right about freedom and society being linked to greater creativity and innovation, he conveniently skips the fact the presence of freedom is no guarantee of creativity.

There are many societies much freer than Singapore, but equally mediocre. Why is that so? The people. Most Singaporeans are of poor quality. It doesn't matter if there is more freedom or less. Singapore's net creativity wont' be significantly greater.

It's quite simplistic to declare that lack of freedom is the root of all evils. Take Iran, for instance. A harsh Islamic state that has produced some of the world's best films in the past 20 years.

Singaporeans should start with accepting the fact that maybe they just aren't good enough.

runroad said...

The MRT has a nervous breakdown. Hundreds sit passively in pitch darkness, suffocating in the stifling airlesss carriages yet still helplessly unable to break through their obedience conditioning to smash their way out. There is your Singaporean of 2011, timid and fearful of authority literally to the very death. Like docile lambs waiting their turn at the abattoir. Little different from the incredibly brainwashed lemmings lamenting over losing the horrid Kim Jong-Il, the architect of their misery. Doubtless when we are finally rid of LKY, some of our local masochists will also howl and beat their breasts in a show of public grief.

The FAP has little to fear now. Most of the fight has been knocked out of the populace. There can be no creativity in a police state, just repression and torture and heartbreak while the morally unscrupulous eat their fill of your flesh and drain the last dregs of your blood.

Xianlong said...

Many managers are looking for a yes-man or yes-women to work for them because they are threatened by the traits of the highly creative. Consequently, insecure managers tend to promote people who aren't highly creative.

What is the best example? One need not look any further than our 'Pay & Pay' with many yes-people infesting it.

Anonymous said...

Well, i rather have a squeakly clean, crime free and orderly singapore than to have US social ills and a apple inc here.

What has apple brought us? Nothing but materialsim and addiction. See how kids are so addicted to iphone and ipad nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Its all in the Education system dummy!!!

The same education system I went to 40 yrs ago is still around! Start Pri 1 at 7 yrs old;PSLE at agr 12, 4 yrs in secondary, then another 2 yrs in pre-U, and 3/4 yrs in Uni.
And all in govt controlled schools.

After 40 yrs, its still the same now for most people (only the exams have been made harder)

And YES, I more thing, class size is still 40 !!!

Yes, govy has intoduced some variations, but thats only for thr elites (IB, Straight-thro, etc etc)

This stranghold on the education system, devised when most Sporean were factory workers, has remained the same.

So know suddenly to become "knowledge" workers, were are struggling, and wondering why at that!!!

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