Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 : A year of awakening....

I spent some time to look through my own postings on the SMRT and what my fellow netizens have said about the SMRT. More than 5 years ago people have discussed the deteriorating service quality and how the tension between the need for SMRT to generate profits for shareholders and meet rising demand from a growing population would lead a serious trade off in service quality. 2 weeks ago, when the trains broke down, many quickly understood the flaws of the current system.

Similarly, the problems with the GRC system has been discussed for many years - how such a system  allows new candidates to ride on the coat-tails of established ministers will not result in voters having the best people to represent them. In the 2011 elections, the flaws of the GRC system was clearly demonstrated when the PAP can't get its own foreign minister back into parliament while Tin Peh Ling rode on the coat-tails of ex-SM Goh Chok Tong into parliament. It remains to be seen whether the PAP govt wants to keep the GRC system. Without GRCs, new candidates will have to work the ground long before the elections to win support and trust. The public has already realised the flaws in the GRC system and most people, I believe, do not want it.

For the past 5 years, this blog discussed the rising income inequality in Singapore and around the world  2011 was the 'tipping point' that saw protests around the world against economic inequality. The Occupy movement that started in 2011 has not ended. In Singapore, there was much anger among voters surrounding this issue and the rising cost of living. While the Occupy movement did not spread to Singapore in the form of protests due to our political climate, income inequality continues to be a serious unresolved problem in Singapore.
Malaysia took a bold step to eliminate the ISA in 2011 as part of its political advancement towards greater democracy. It is hard to believe that Singapore was once among the most democratic nations in Asia where the rule of strongmen, military juntas etc was common. Today, the political progress in S. Korea, Thailand and our closest neighbor has left us far behind the curve. Why does one the most well-educated, well travelled and best behaved citizens anywhere in the world not deserve greater freedom , rights and democracy? Our men, committed to defend this country, deserve less rights than people in Taiwan, S. Korea and Malaysia?

2012 will be a critical year for the world as a number of serious political and economic problems have surfaced. The eurozone crisis remains unresolved and mis-steps can lead to negative implications for the rest of the world. Inflation remains high in Singapore even as our economy begins to slow. The US presidential elections will be conducted on 6 Nov 2012 and we cannot be sure it will be Obama as his popularity has suffered due to the economic conditions in USA. The global economy with the huge imbalances i.e. high debt, high income inequality may just crack leading to some serious economic pain but that will pave the way for change towards a more sustainable system. In Singapore, we have been put on this economic threadmill of GDP growth that no longer produce better quality of life as Singaporeans work longer hours,  experience sharp rise in cost of living and have less ability to save for a proper retirement.

Going forward, Singapore needs to raise its productivity level instead of depending on cheap imported labor to spur economic growth. Singaporeans are now well aware that expanding the labor input to achieve GDP growth will not deliver a better quality of life but has numerous deleterious effects of widening income inequality, overcrowding, rising cost of living, structural unemployment etc.  To make our economic growth more sustainable and to produce better outcomes for Singaporeans, our economy has to be restructured in the coming years.

2011 was a year when many Singaporeans were politically awakened to see that change is badly needed in our country. Many of the negative effects of PAP policies were felt  by ordinary citizens and social contract  under which Singaporeans gave up certain civil liberties in return for prosperity was broken. Ordinary Singaporeans today know they cannot simply trust a power-elite with diverse interests in businesses linked to it to undertake policies that will generate the best outcome for them and their families. A strong political alternative capable of taking on a larger role and an active citizenry with access to information can serve as checks on the govt. New emerging tools such as Facebook, blogs, internet forums and YouTube will help to overcome one-sided propaganda disseminated by state controlled media to allow citizens to aware of the change needed in this country.


Anonymous said...

happy 2012, Lucky...

i am your loyal blog follower.
not good in words, so always reading in the background.
i hope you can continue with your good analysis.


Lye Khuen Way said...

Lucky, you summed up it very well.
I have promised myself not to wish anyone a "Happy " New Year. Why ? It is obvious to most lesser mortals Singaporeans, that 2012 will not be a happy one.
If we are Lucky, we may just live by.
As of last Friday, the PUB had came around to admit that Liat Towers was not at fault with its pump capacity & we heard that Gerard Ee's committee 6 month labour was finally presented to the PMO.
There may be light yet. Just hope that is is not a train coming our way....
Have a Healthy year with Good Friends and Nerighbours !

Anonymous said...

" ... PUB had came around to admit that Liat Towers was not at fault with its pump capacity ... "

What will happen if PUB continue to say Liat Towers management is at fault with inadequate pumps?

a)Insurance companies will not pay out for flood damages ... citing PUB's statement and the inadequate pumps

b)The affected tenants will sue Liat Towers management for flood damages

c)Liat Towers management will sue PUB to get a legal judgement as to whether it's inadequate pumps or inadequate canals that is at fault

d)a lot of laundry will then be on public display

Of course, all this is just speculation ....

Anonymous said...

SMRT & other similar situations
No point giving feedback to deaf frogs.
Just sit back and wait for the system to break down.
This is the only way to convince deaf frogs.

GRC System, ISA, Income Inequality
No point arguing with deaf frogs.
Keep voting wisely.
It's the only way to get change in Singapore

Raising Singapore Productivity
Does the Party Against People have the necessary values and mindset to do this? Seriously?
They are part of the problem.

It's time to change the old light bulb.
The rapidly dimming old light bulb cannot be salvaged by changing it from within.
It's time to replace the old light bulb.
And install a new light bulb.

Loyalty to Singapore does not mean loyalty to the Party Against People.

Anonymous said...

"A strong political alternative capable of taking on a larger role and an active citizenry with access to information can serve as checks on the govt."
Lucky Tan

Wait long long lah. Or "Tan Ku Ku"

Alan Wan said...

Why does one the most well-educated, well travelled and best behaved citizens anywhere in the world not deserve greater freedom , rights and democracy?

I suppose it has to do with the selfish political ambition of one single man who thinks he know what is best for himself above everyone else.

In the end when he asks for the highest political salaries in the world for himself & his son, that alone proves that there was really nothing noble about it anymore.

And when one asks why was it so important to increase the wealth of the country by squeezing instead of improving the lives of the ordinary people, suddenly one realise that it was for their political survival afterall ?

For the common people, it's really like you die your business.

Anonymous said...

Highest political salaries MAY ATTRACT the best talents to be PAP ministers.

But if political salaries are not high, DEFINITELY WILL NOT ATTRACT the best talents.

So may is better than will not lah.

But unfortunately may can become may not. Which can happen. Or has it happened??

Anonymous said...

What does the FARMER do when his PRIZED PUMPKIN begins to shrivel or rot away?

He simply pluck it out and thrown it away to grow a new one!

Let's do it, no need to wait until it is completely rotten or dead. We don't want to preserve it like what the Egyptians did.

Anonymous said...

"In the 2011 elections, the flaws of the GRC system was clearly demonstrated when the PAP can't get its own foreign minister back into parliament while Tin Peh Ling rode on the coat-tails of ex-SM Goh Chok Tong into parliament."
Lucky Tan

But with GRC, PAP can get 93% seats with only 60% votes what.

GRC is flawed to Lucky Tan (so what?) but not to PAP.

Anonymous said...

2011 was fantastic, all the trusted talented elites were re-elected to lead this First World State to even higher plane, no idea where or what's that actually.

More continental cars jam not just the roads, they ran out of carparks. More luxury yatchs are seen at our shoreline, more shopping centres sprouted like wild growth in Spring. Condos are everywhere and so are foreigners attracted to settle here to help the locals. There are large crowds and long queues at transportation terminals and restaurants. Sin has being managed to become a boom town.

Nowhere else in the World has been developed to such a peaceful and prosperous level as Sin.

Singaporean must be the luckiest citizenry in the World.

Wish All healthy, happy and lucky.

Anonymous said...

PAP will always be the arrogant "get out of my elite uncaring face" party.......and Straits Times will always be the propaganda machinery of PAP.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lucky Tan

Firstly, thank you for a great blog. Wishing you & yours A Happy & Prosperous 2012.

The past GE was a landmark victory for Alternative Parties that came forward to lead Voters to A Higher Plane Through Econmic Restructuring. To understand voter support, the Opposition Candidate with the narrowest margin of 114 votes is Lina Chiam, a newcomer. Second narrowest was 382 votes, the candidate, a newcomer, Yee Jenn Jong. Third narrowest with 3,529 votes is Jeannette Chong Aruldoss, a newcomer. YES, THERE IS AN AWAKENING IN SINGAPORE.

The rising cost of living is indeed an issue. Today, the first day of 2012, we are slapped with Electricity Tariff Increase. As the days pass, do keep a lookout for increases in price everywhere. Inflation in Singapore is on A RISING PLANE & WE NEED ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS OR OUR SAVINGS, CPF, MEDISAVE, ETC WILL ASCEND ON AN EVER RISING PLANE OBSTRUCTING RETIREMENT.


Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan as alternative party candidate for GE 2016 and defeat PAP.

Better still Lucky Tan to lead alternative party and win 93% seats in GE 2016.

Then it will be truly "The greatest Awakening" in Singapore history since 1819, when Raffles founded Singapore.

Anonymous said...

The Year is 2016. Prime Minister Lucky Tan.

Anonymous said...

Good article. It predicts the eminent fall of the PAP for all the mistakes they had made.

Anonymous said...

PAP > Pay Above People, and Sg > Suckapooreans.

Anonymous said...

The damage created by PAP is too deep and cannot be easily gone away. What I am afraid is come 2012, instead of getting into the root of the problems - mainly caused by reckless immigration policy - they just put on cosmetic changes to stall time, at most more rhetorics and motherhood statements. They will say that changes take times to effect, after next election. Adding insult to injury, as every reader will know, is our SPH's overly biased and unconstructive news hoping to save the but and faces of PAP.

I am not confident with LHL leadership, not since he became a PM. His father's shadow is everywhere the son goes, kind of freaky and annoying.

Anonymous said...

1. President Obama for another term.
2. The European financial situation will slowly stabilise and fad into from the headlines.
3. Watch out for inflation.
4. More worms will crop up in Singapore.

DanielXX said...

Did you read the 2011 world summary by Prof Tommy Koh last Saturday in the Straits Times? He noted the Occupy Wall Street movement and thinks it could lead to much more. He also said something really significant: that an autocracy no matter how benevolent, is not sustainable.

I think more and more elites and coming to see that the Singapore system is coming to an end.

Unemployed...still said...

Yes, we need to review our economic strategies.

We have become too dependant on outsourced workers. This is not because of the hocus pocus reasons of low birth rates.

There are too many industries that rely on labour.. unskilled and unproductive labour.


In the past, we had labour intsensive industries such as electronics and even now, shipbuilding or oil rigs.

We were confronted with our own population unwilling to work in them. Why?

beacuse, the leaders decided that the only engines of growth was:

semi conductors ( so we built 4 large faber fabrication plants)

Oil rigs ( we allowed them to recruit FT )

Casinos ( we allowed recruitment of PRC and Fillipinos )

At the same time we neglected our own population's education to handle more complex, analytical work.

So now we have ah soh and ah peks cleanining tables, retired army officers driving taxis.

Gross failure in identifying trends and neglecting training.

The days of mass employment within an industry is long gone... gone to China, Vietnam and now Myama will enter the ring.

It is now a fragmented niche economy where small number of people are employed within an industry.

This calls for thinking and analytical skills, both of which is absent from the curricula of schools, polytechincs and Univeristies.

Sending the unemployed for Workforce Skills Qualifications is a liitle too late and is merely reactive.

We need inter-active.

Allow the schools to run free to meet the demands of the market.
The managed economy model is not working for Singapore.

Lucky Tan said...


We can see for ourselves and don't need an elite to tell us. How many dictators and autocracies fell this year? I lost count. People will want a democracy. When you have a democracy, high inequality is less tolerable. Look at China, they have to suppress riots and protests ever so often and the rising inequality locks them into the use of force and this continues until the whole thing breaks.

American poltics has become highly polarised due to the inequality and policy deadlocks occur because politicians cannot find the middle ground anymore. This system is going to muddle along until it breaks and an even bigger crisis tumultously change the system fundamentally to reduce the the 1930s it was depression, and later war that produces an era of shared prosperity in the western world. It is not clear what it will take this time. There is no incentive for Obama to take America through the pain it needs to produce a more sustainable balanced economy given he is just there until 2016. It is likely that capital markets will force this we see in Europe, and when the market does this, the pain will be enormous.

Veritas said...

In Korea, Japan and Taiwan, government jobs are mostly done by private contractors.

One reason of our low productivity is due to the ultra inefficient and politiking ST, DSO, DSTA, NCS which have taken government contracts and sub-contracted to MNC without even developing indigenous technologies.

We need all these GLCs to close shop. Government contracts must be given to true talent.

Then productivity will take care of itself.

By 10 years, we will have our own Samsungs and tech giants.

One reason of our unproductive are because resources are being throw at the most useless cronies. These idiots knows only to backstab good and honest people, even at the expense of bankrupting the whole companies, to be bail out by hidden subsidies of exhorbitant value of government contract.

Anonymous said...

"We need all these GLCs to close shop."
Veritas 1/1/12 22:41

Alamak you telling PAP to "go and die" is it?

Only 60% can do that.

Anonymous said...

Obama sign NDAA.

Anonymous said...

Sinkies are still sleeping lah.

In occupy wall street movement, people shouted 'we are the 99%' Yes, it is true that top 1% has shared the wealth from the bottom 98% in the USA. The poor is therefore waking up. All the financial sector bosses are greedy capitalists. This is in fact a beginning of revolution in USA, a different form and a modern form of revolution that is not bloody at least at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Why vote for a political party,
whose founding father,
keeps telling you that your children are daft, complacent
and need spurs to work harder?

Anonymous said...

Alamak, I gave up pap about 10 years ago. Before that I am a strong pap supporter. Pap of yesteryear is not the same as pap of today. Anyway, Singapore is larger than pap

Anonymous said...

Don't expect LKY's pap to change. Even when he is dead, he will rise from his grave to ensure that Singaporeans are subjected to his harst ultra-capitalistic doctrine. There will be no free lunch and no free passenger on his boat. So long as the pap is in power, that will be the boat u have to travel in, even though it may be sinking. The only way to change is to change the government.


Story of the Year 2011 - Of Tall Trees (Leviathan) and Mushrooms

Anonymous said...

"I think more and more elites and coming to see that the Singapore system is coming to an end."

Anyone with a right thinking mind will be able to see it for themselves and not want someone to lord over them unless they are very sure that it is the right thing to do.

Only dogs will do that no matter what as long as the left-over bones are freely thrown to them. They will keep on wagging their tails to ensure this.

Anonymous said...

By 2016, there will so much foreigners including permanent residents that Singaporean becomes the minority in Singapore.
The consolation for Singaporean is that
Jobs are for Foreigners and National Services are for Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

"By 2016, there will so much foreigners including permanent residents that Singaporean becomes the minority in Singapore."
Anon 2/1/12 12:15

Doesn't matter, as long as there are still at least 60% of voters (including foreigners turn citizens) who are happy and satisfied.

michael13 said...

It will be a two-party political system for Singapore, come 2016. Weigh-in the PROs and CONs, it serves in the best interest of the ordinary citizens in the long run. No doubt about it! Go for it and ignore the opposite noise made by PAP and their elites.

Anonymous said...

Satire Pledge/Aspiration:

We the PROUD ARROGANT PEOPLE of Singapore,
Pledge ourselves as one united PARTY AGAINST PEOPLE.

Regardless of race, language or religion.
To legislate more PRO ALIEN POLICIES.

Based on POOR ALWAYS PAY principles.
So as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for the elites.

TokyoSingaporean said...

Greetings and Happy New Year to one and all.

Anonymous said...

//Doesn't matter, as long as there are still at least 60% of voters (including foreigners turn citizens) who are happy and satisfied.
Anon. 2/1/12 12:33//

On surface, the figure (60%) looks good.

But on second thought, when a ruling party with absolute control of almost everything only managed to obtain 60% of votes, this indicates that its days are numbered.

The PE results that TT(backed by the ruling party) obtained only 35.19% of votes further confirmed the above observation.

Anonymous said...

As Lucky Tan has already said so many times, things are very bad, you know.

Yet PAP can still win 60% votes!!!

Some more PAP won all the SMCs except Hougang with also around 60% votes.

So if GRC is an issue and unfair to opposition, how come PAP also won most SMCs, right or not?

So if awakening means vote opposition, majority voters will never awake lah. But not necessarily a bad thing lah, considering that the opposition is worse than PAP.

Unless as one Anon above said, Lucky Tan become opposition leader and win 93% seats in next election lah. Then this will be truly "good awakening".

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see who is the PAP hero who will lead the fight to re-take Aljunied GRC.

I doubt any of the young PAP elites will volunteer/accept the assignment. They are used to spoon feeding disguised as "grooming." The Aljunied GRC assignment will be a kiss of death to their spotless career highlights.

Likely, another yoda (part of the Dad's Army from the 2G brigade) like Lim Boon Heng will take the job. Or maybe even Gerard Ee, now that he has finished his ministerial pay review.

I'd also expect Aljunied GRC's electoral boundaries to be changed.

Anonymous said...

Straits Times, 2 Jan 2012
Page B6. Headlines:

New Year,
New Policies,
New Measures.

...same old Proud Arrogant People from the Party Against People.

GE 2016.
Time for a real change.
Vote wisely.

Anonymous said...

As many people already said so many times, PAP has full control of almost everything, you know.

Yet PAP managed only 60% of votes !!!

Some more, many GRCs (Bishan-Toa Payoh, East Coast, Marine Parade, Moulmein-Kallang and Nee SoonTampines GRCs) won less than 60% of votes.

If GRCs are PAP’s stronghold, how come PAP won less than 60% of votes, right or not?

And some more, TT (backed by the ruling party) obtained only 35.19% of votes.

Unless as Lucky said, PAP should narrow the widening income gap, its days are numbered.

Anonymous said...

I sense something is wrong with PAP all these while. Something bad is brewing inside PAP organisation and organisations associated with the PAP, like SMRT, etc..... The whole lot of these PAP infrastructure is hollow inside already. Like our reserve no one know exactly how much is left. Only LKY and the famiLEE know. Maybe empty inside already.

Anonymous said...

Party Against People
is like a Chinese lantern.

Seen from far away,
it's big & bright.
But on close examination,
it's hollow inside.
With a lot of hot air coming out from the top.

Anonymous said...

US politics is unfortunately very the NOT polarized. Both parties are the same.

Obama with his much bigger election budget is sure to win.

Back to SG.

HDB dwellers (aka the poor) voted PAP.
Did u actually read 1984?
The poor cannot help themselves.
If the rich like Lucky Tan does not stand for election, PAP WILL WIN again in 2016.

Anonymous said...

Of course PAP will win again in GE 2016.
We just want to make another Minister retire.

They screw us for 5 years.
We fcuk back once every 5 years.

Anonymous said...

It is not that easy to see a change in Singapore. One of the reasons is that the voters' minds have been heavily conditioned by eroneous religious beliefs that everything that happens is predestined. With many religiously minded people in Singapore, more work needs to be expended to decondition and awaken them.


Gave up... said...

Can you read what they are saying again?

"Growth will be slow and longish..
GDP expected to be 3%..."

Its always about GDP isn't it?

Who benefits the most from GDP, regardless of plus or minus?

This continuing obsession with GDP, slow growth is very perplexing

Its not that we had minus growth ( only 1 year )every FUCKING year we've had plus+ and in 2010 we were the world champion!

But how is it that my pay is still so low? even though I have been given 1.58% increase?

Since I was able to read news, listen to speeches.. its always been

" tighten our belts"

" prepare for slower growth"

" we are not immune"

" there are dark clouds"

" we have entered a period of

" it all depends on USA"

" we cannot take things for granted"

" we have to work cheaper, better,faster"

For the sake of all... please talk about something else... like ponding, removing elite schools,
and allowing alternatives besides the SMRT.

The speeches, thoughts are all so predictable.. we probably have robbots cloned from one man.

Anonymous said...

"The speeches, thoughts are all so predictable.. we probably have robbots cloned from one man."

Is this the legacy we want to leave for our children?

For 5,000 years, we had Confucius said this. Confucius said that in China.

So now in Singapore. We gonna have LKY said this. LKY said that for the next 5,000 years? Is that what all his prolific books are for?

Leave a legacy of choice & a questioning mind for your children.

GE 2016.
Vote change.
Persuade your friends & family to vote change.

Anonymous said...

LHL will be swamped with problems in the next few years. He has to pay for the excesses of his father. The system LKY crafted for Singapore is badly flawed as we can now see. This system is too deeply entrenched. So it is impossible to change it so long as the pap is in power. Their mindset as well as the inertia of past legacies will inhibit their action n progress. The pap is heading into a dead end.

Anonymous said...

"....Since I was able to read news, listen to speeches.. its always been...

" tighten our belts"
* and news reports that more people are going for holidays,

" prepare for slower growth"
and we have ministers having paid same salaries,

" we are not immune"
Yes! we are!.. Sentosa Cove sold for $30mill,

" there are dark clouds"
Yeah right.. only for Citizens,

" we have entered a period of
Rubbish.. certainly the opposition can never take over!,

" it all depends on USA"
really? wat happened to Tianjin & Su chou?,

" we cannot take things for granted"
yes we can!.. the never ending fear mongering that we are daft!,

" we have to work cheaper, better,faster"
Thats why Geylang has embraced the concept,

Anonymous said...

We have ministers, PM and all other politicians regurtitating the same numbers and statistics from either the MTI,WEF or some other high browed instutution.

They think we cannot read the reports and they have to explain it to us.

Well, they do a very bad job of it.
It is always to threaten us or to aportion the blame to us

"We must expect that slowing the immigration inflows will have an impact on our growth.. we need to understand that"

Its a veiled threat to warn you: (the citizen), that its not me who called for this... its you!.. so dont blame me if you, the lower income and also the middle income have difficulties this year ( or next )

No offer to solve this
No idea to proceed
Just Zilch.

and you have a pay of... what?

Good god!.. we better call for an extra-ordinary meeting and collect votes of no confidence!

Anonymous said...

Let's greet 2012
the same way we greeted ole "Steady Hands" at the Presidential Elections:


Anonymous said...


Tell me something that I dont already know!

What is a Backhaul said...

Good luck for your 2012. I've been hearing a lot of good news from my friends and will be wonderful if everybody can feel the same.

Anonymous said...

Don't be surprise to see a major appreciation in stock prices in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Read about the real quitters of Singapore - Aljunied GRC.

Air Tickets Deals said...

Great point of view. I learn so much in your post, hope this new year 2012 is a great year for everyone.

Din said...

Lucky, I enjoy your insights and perspectives and wisdom I might add.