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corporate governance and misplaced trust
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13853
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Singapore govt insurance business or racket?
The Singapore govt is going into the insurance business in a big way. After the trial run of two compulsory schemes, CPF Life and Medishield Life and facing no objection and opposition, it now feels free and unrestrained to legislate more compulsory insurance schemes for the people using their CPF savings. Now there are Eldershield Life, Careshield Life and dunno what more are in the pipeline.
Is this a business or a racket? What I would consider or define as a racket is a scheme that the buyer does not want, does not need, cannot afford but still forced into buying it, compulsory, cannot say no.
How many people need or want to buy so many insurance schemes when they could not even afford to live decently, not having three good meals, everyday trying to make ends meet?
How many people can afford to pay for so many insurance when life is a financial struggle?
How many people would want to empty or deplete their diminishing life savings in the CPF due to inflation, high property prices to buy and buy, pay and pay, for more insurance schemes?
When a person cannot say no to buy things that he does not want, does not need, cannot afford to pay for it, it is daylight robbery no matter under what guises. No one shall be forced to buy things against his wishes especially when he cannot afford it and to deplete his life savings against his wishes.
Compulsory insurance schemes are rackets, daylight robbery in disguise.
No, it is good for the people? Sure they are good for the people, if they are not forced to buy them and can afford to pay for them. When they are schemed by other people to dip into their life savings against their wishes, the schemes are not so innocent and altruistic. And worse, when the schemes would end up in a lot of surplus or profits that would not benefit the people being forced into paying for them.
Oh, the schemes are not profit making! Did you hear that, non profit making whoa. Then why insist on keeping the surplus for the future that may not come to many of the contributors forced to pay for them? Keeping for the future, the rainy day that may not come is a bad excuse. Period.
With the stroke of a pen, a few million policies were sold as a few million CPF captive members would be made to pay for the insurance they did not want. One compulsory scheme, say 2 million paying, multiply that by 4 schemes, how many insurance policies are sold? Imagine how tough it is for an insurance agent to sell 20 policies in a year.
Damn senang to make millions and billions without having to sweat the small stuff. Worse than ‘pah chioh’ if you understand this phrase in hokien.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chok Tong really knows what he is talking about



'Goh Chok Tong was reportedly quoted in an audio recording as saying that PAP Ministers are not paid enough, and people who earn S$500,000 annually are “mediocre”.'

Simon Lim made this quote in his article on how disappointed he was with Goh Chok Tong. He may be disappointed but Goh Chok Tong did not become LKY's first choice candidate as the PM of Singapore for nothing. It must be exactly for making such wise cracks, oops, I mean comments to be noticed by LKY as his number one choice. Pardon me, I am ageing and maybe getting dementia.

But Chok Tong need not be unduly worried about the ministers being underpaid since the recommendation by the nasty COI to reduce a bit of their grotesque out of this world salary. There are many ways to increase a minister's salary without asking for a pay revision. Let me be a smart alec for once and offer a few good suggestions that the govt can do to increase the salary of ministers without asking for a pay rise and without raising alarm and unhappiness among the daft citizens.

1. Just promote them, to senior this and that or deputy PMs. Can have 4 or 5 dep PMs. The increase in salary would be seen as due to promotion ie clever and deserving, not simply pay hike. Who can quarrel with that? Clever ministers must reward mah. If not every minister acts stupid stupid how?
2. Create more minister positions, like having more ministries, ministers without portfolios or having more ministers in a ministry. So instead of one minister, two ministers can be promoted to be paid ministerial salary.
3. If that is still not enough, appoint them to be chairman of GLCs, part time jobs with good monetary rewards.
4. Can also appoint them to be directors of companies, easiest is GLCs. If one directorship is not enough, offer 2 or 3 directorships, or 8 or 10 until happy happy.
5. And chairmanship and director fees need not be reflected in the govt's budget some more. The pay of the ministers would look unchanged and can look unchanged for ages. And ministers can pretend to look very unhappy and grumpy because got no pay rise or salary revision. This is like playing the sympathy card, so poor thing, so long no pay rise. Caveat, this is a tough act if ministers all eat until fat fat and chubby chubby, looking so oily, rosy and radiant, very difficult to have the hungry look of cleaners in kopitiams or cardboard collectors. They must not look like Napoleon.
6. Of course there is the annual bonus to add to the salary. Be creative, call it productivity bonus and tie it to some fanciful formula that always go up, or can be jigged to go up.
7. When productivity bonus still not enough, can create creativity bonus, leadership bonus, innovative bonus or PLP bonus. PLP stands for people in short, ie people bonus for being people caring like scheming compulsory insurance schemes using CPF money that the people cannot say no. Don't have funny ideas.
8. There are also other indirect bonuses or rewards in kind, like going for overseas trips, fully paid, for training trips, learning trips, fact finding trips etc etc. Go and learn how to manage MRT, how to manage the oldies, how to make our education system better than third world education system...QED.

Just ask any HR professional and they would be able to produce a long list of monetary rewards without increasing the basic salary or calling for a pay revision.

I think I have given a lot of good suggestions that the govt can consider without ruffling the feathers of the unhappy and very sensitive daft citizens. They would not know what is happening, not a clue that the ministers salary can be fatten in these ways and keep telling everyone the ministers are only earning $1m or the PM earning $2m dollars as officially said so. So 'cham', so poor thing. Like that how to become the highest paid politicians in the world with the highest dignity?

What do you think? My suggestions good or not? Oh, one trade secret, don't tell, don't talk about it. When smart alec asked, just be very transparent about the basic salary and buat bodoh about the additional perks, bonuses, fees etc etc.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

99.9% of Singaporeans are mediocre people
This is an assumption I made from Chok Tong’s comment here. 'Goh Chok Tong was reportedly quoted in an audio recording as saying that PAP Ministers are not paid enough, and people who earn S$500,000 annually are “mediocre”.'
I think I am not very far wrong. So in Singapore we not only have 3rd, 4th or 5th raters but more important, almost everyone other than the natural aristocrats is a mediocre. Extrapolate this world wide, all the political leaders outside Singapore except for one or two like the President of the USA, is also mediocre. Oops, no exceptions, I got to correct myself on this one, Trump is getting only $1, far short of the $500k, so must be mediocre also. And in his good company will be leaders like Xi Jinping, Putin and our neighbours like Mahathir, Jokowi, Duterte etc etc, all mediocre, for I don’t think they earn anything near the magical $500k to determined their ability or intelligence.
I know for one that first raters like Da Cunha would not want to be associated with 3rd, 4th or 5th raters as it would affect his reputation. What would our better than mediocre leaders be thinking of the mediocre leaders when they met? Would they also feel that their reputation would be tarnished? Or would they look down on these mediocre leaders and telling themselves what a waste of time being in the company of these mediocre leaders?
What do you think? Would you advise all the mediocre leaders not to come to Singapore to be insulted or to tarnish the reputation of our sikit atas, super talented leaders?
The population of the world are almost entirely made up of mediocres except the rich businessmen, the crooks, the cheats and of course the millionaire ministers of Singapore.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The flaw logic of one trick pony
The influence of LKY and his thinking is still very strong in the PAP. It would be alright if his thinking and logic were still relevant and useful. Unfortunately many of his policies based on his thinking and logic have proven to be flawed and no longer valid in the context of the new realities. And unfortunately, many of the unthinking would continue to parrot his thinking and logic as the gospel truth, word for word, without a thought, with no value add, to make them relevant or to discard them when proven unwise or impractical.
Many Singaporeans have seen the flaws of PAP’s policies but are keeping mum, not wanting to rock the boat or offend anyone, and letting the proverbial Emperor to strut around without his clothes. The flawed policies are not only going to down PAP in a matter of time, but also going to cause very serious damage to the country and people in the long run. Many of the flawed policies are already hurting the people very badly today but everyone is pretending that it is not happening and everything is fine. A good example is that CPF is no longer your money, spoken and endorsed in Parliament.
Recently the logic of paying ministers outrageous millions is being touted again as the golden rule. No one can see the flaw or reasoning of this policy. Oops, many did, but not wanting to say anything and let the one trick pony to go on as per normal.
Under this policy, the PAP leadership claimed that only by paying out of this world salary would they get super talents, and went scouting around for top earners in other professions assuming that a good surgeon or a top lawyer would automatically become a good politician. Just look at those professionals turned politicians and ask how many really did well as a political leader and how many fouled up the jobs so badly that the damages are hard to repair? Foreign policy with China is a good example.
By picking a top professional from a different profession and making them a political leader could result in a good politician and all is good. It could also end up with a round peg in a square hole leading to a profession losing a top guy and the govt getting a dud.
What is worse is that the dud would be paid millions as a politician and still unhappy because he could earn more in his previous profession and also excelled instead of failing in politics and looking so ridiculous. This is an injustice to both professions and also to the individual for making him earning less and becoming a misfit.
The other consequence of this logic is that because of one or two professionals that were earning millions in their professions, other average Joes would also be paid in the millions when they in their whole life time would never be able to earn that kind of money out of politics. This is wasting public money on the undeserving.
Incidentally, did Edwin Tong lose any income for joining politics? Please come clean on this. Politics is a part time job for him and he is still practicing as a top lawyer and earning big bucks like in the City Harvest case when he is a minister of state. Heard of fake news or misinformation? OK he recently got promoted to senior minister of state. Can anyone confirm that he is getting only $500,000 and not more, no other income like director or chairman fee or bonuses to make up to his millions? If Edwin Tong really took a $1.5m or even $500k loss in salary to become a politician, I will call him an idiot, but I would respect him for making such a big monetary sacrifice and losing $1.5m or $500k in dignity. His life style and his family will suffer in the quality of life for nothing making millions.
There will be exceptional individuals in other professions that would become good political leaders and willingly wanting to serve. In general, it is better to leave the top professionals in their own profession and making their millions instead of forcing them into politics and lose their millions and doing a bad job and wasting public money. This is a win-win situation that could turn out to be a lose-lose position for everyone.
What do you think? Repeating what LKY said can make one look funny if not silly if what LKY said is no longer relevant or has become obsolete. Many people don’t believe this crap about having to pay someone millions to go to politics and that someone from another profession earning big bucks would also make a good politician. This may still be touted by some as political wisdom here but is a joke in the whole wide world.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever caring govt scheming to help Singaporeans



Recently there has been a spate of caring for the people policies and schemes by the govt to help the people. And as usual, following every one of these caring schemings is how much more the Singaporeans have to pay or to cough out from their CPF savings. There are now 4 compulsory insurance schemes that Singaporeans have no choice but to pay.

Gan Kim Yong has floated the sugar balloon, to discourage Singaporeans from eating more sugar. The next policy change will be higher taxes on sugar and sugary stuff. See how caring and frightening is the govt when they voluntary schemed in the name of helping the Singaporeans, and the Singaporeans ended paying for the schemes?

Josephine Teo has joined the fun, oops, I mean caring for Singaporeans. She now realised that Singaporeans are living longer, so must raise retirement age so that Singaporeans would continue to contribute to the CPF to have more money for retirement.

"Minister Josephine Teo: Time to pay more CPF and increase Retirement Age

July 29, 2018


Claiming that Singaporeans are living beyond 90 years old, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo yesterday (Jul 29) told state media Straits Times in an interview that she will be raising the CPF payment rate and Retirement Age. The current Retirement Age is 62, raised from 55, while the current payment rate is 37%.
According to the newly-appointed “4G” Minister, Singaporeans will need to pay more CPF because they live longer:" thestatestimesreview

There could be many reasons why there is a need to raise CPF contributions and retirement age. According to the statestimereview article, it is because sovereign debt fund or is it sovereign wealth fund, is losing money and the hole needs to be patched up. Josephine's narrative is that people are living longer, so must work longer and contribute longer and more to their CPF. Is this a linear thing, an unending thing? It looks like it. Singaporeans can be 80, 90 or 100 year old and still have to work and contribute to their CPF. Do you think this is ludicrous?

I have another hypothesis. Singaporeans really don't have much money left in their CPF for retirement and the oldies are more vulnerable. Why?

Think of where their CPF money is going and how much left for retirement. A 3 rm HDB lease holder would have to cough out something like $500k from his CPF. Those in bigger flats would have to cough out more. Then there are 4 compulsory CPF insurance schemes to pay for, and maybe more schemes coming. Then the hundreds of thousands in jail house rock under the various minimum sum schemes. The oldies, if they are going to live longer, would be in dire straits with not much money left in their CPF for retirement and also to pay for many more caring schemes to help them to live to 100 years and have money to spend. I recap the last two points on the need to raise retirement age and CPF contributions, money not enough to retire and not enough to pay for more compulsory schemes.

Going forward, not only those in the 70s and 80s would need to work, they would need to contribute more to their CPF. Can you believe this? People in their 70s and 80s, on paper can live to 90s and 100s, must continue to work and to contribute to their CPF for their retirement, when the unpredictability of life could mean they could die tomorrow?

But this is besides the point. The important thing is that these people elected their representatives to scheme up more schemes to care for them. And the people they elected are doing exactly that, to appear to be very caring. How can you fault anyone when open mouth shut mouth says he/she is doing it to help the daft, the helpless and the unthinking? Well, er, since everyone is so mediocre, the immortals, if not the natural aristocrats, must help the mediocre right?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ho Ching’s salary – Everyone is asking

Ho Ching’s salary is the hottest topic in social media for the last few months. Everyone has a reason to want to know how much she is earning and there have been plenty of speculative figures being tossed around ranging from $20m to more than $50m a year. Given that she has been in the position for 16 years, if she is getting $20m pa, she would have made a salivating $320m till now for being the CEO of this sovereign wealth fund, oops Mahathir has another term for it, sovereign debt fund. But both are wrong as this fund does not belong to anyone it seems. Now everyone is also wondering who really own this fund and whose money is it?
Here are some comments posted in TRE and thestatestimes.
‘According to Ang, before Charles Goodyear was hired to be CEO of Temasek Holdings in 2009, he was already earning a salary of $54 million at BHP Billiton. Ang then said, “Logically, Charles must have been offered more than his $54 million salary to quit BHP Billiton”.
He also then calculated that “Conservatively assuming Ho was earning $54 million then and had worked without any break, this works out to $147,945 a day or about 25 times of the PM’s salary”.
After looking at the doubling portfolio value of Temasek Holdings, Ang then speculates that Ho earns “about $300,000 a day”.
Similarly, earlier this year, socio-political activist Leong Sze Hian questioned why Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek does not disclose its management costs such as the salary it pays to its chief executive.
He added, “To the best of my knowledge, I understand that Temasek does not disclose its “management costs” (such as the CEO’s annual remuneration) like Norway’s SWF (sovereign wealth fund).”
Leong also added that in 2017, it was reported that Temasek incurred “administrative expenses” of S$8.4 billion, against a net portfolio value of S$275 billion. The fund, however, has claimed that such expenses were not incurred by the fund alone, but represents the total “administrative expenses” of the fund and its subsidiaries.’
From the above once can feel the envy and unhappiness over the supposedly big salary of Ho Ching. I would like to take a different view that may sound similar to Chok Tong’s wise comment about ministers not being paid enough. Everyone Singaporeans subscribe to the point that if the ministers performed well, they would not mind even giving them a bigger pay rise. The caveat is if they really performed well, not scheming to take more of the people’s CPF savings or raising more taxes and fees. What is $10m, so they quipped. They, I mean the natural aristocrats. $100 is big deal to the oldies picking cardboards or cleaning tables in the hawker centres.
Take a look at Ho Ching’s performance as quoted above. Read this, ‘After looking at the doubling portfolio value of Temasek Holdings, Ang then speculates that Ho earns “about $300,000 a day”.’Many of you would be staring at the $300,000 a day with eyes turning green or red. I say, look at the other number in words, ie “doubling portfolio value”. Temasek is managing something like $200b! If Ho Ching could double the value, to $400b, what is $300,000 a day or $50m a year? I say pay her, pay her $100m. She deserves it. Caveat, if she could really double the portfolio through profit from her investment. No one will dispute with the principle of rewarding good performers.
And if she could double the $400b to $800b, I will say pay her $1b. And I am not being generous. True talent must be paid well. Of course fake talents should be not paid even a cent. I am very sure Chok Tong would fully agree with my suggestions.
However, the reward formula must be equitable to both employee and organisation. It cannot be a one way thing, when employee made profit, they want to be paid big bonuses, when they lost a fortune, they also want to be paid in the millions. The HR people are not that daft that they could not come out with a formula that is fair and just to all parties.
What do you think?
PS. I deserve a National Day medal.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patnaik - DBS foreign talent sent packing
DBS has reported that the foreign talent employee, a local from India, who posted a picture in facebook of a torn Singapore flag is no longer with DBS. This means he is not in DBS Singapore or DBS India or DBS anywhere else.
The posting by Avijit Das Patnaik stirred strong nationalist feelings among Singaporeans for violating their pride in Singapore as a nation. Some even threatened to close their DBS accounts. Hopefully this episode ends here and would not be repeated by any foreign talents be they local or not. There are several lessons to be learnt from this episode.
As I mentioned earlier, Singaporeans should not begrudged this Patnaik for his strong feeling and pride for being an Indian national. He should be proud of his motherland, India. Otherwise he would lose all respect as an Indian citizen. At least he can still be proud to be called an Indian, a patriot.
Many foreigners that are here are like Patnaik, be they locals, PRs or new citizens. This is a natural thing. Many of these foreigners came from big countries or bigger than this red dot and have strong ties and pride for their nation. They have long history and rich culture, not like our rojak dunno what way of life. They cannot be easily bought over by monetary incentives. They are not mercenaries.
Our little boys and girls must take note of this. Foreign nationals are not cheapskates, at least most of them, that they would betray their country and their nationalities just because we threw some money in their face. While there are Singaporeans who have this kind of thought, that money is everything, their childishness must not be used to influence govt policies. Money is not everything to these foreigners though it may mean a lot to some Singaporeans. Such Singaporeans are shameless and likely to sell their father and mother if given enough money, definitely their integrity and principles and their country.
Luckily many Singaporeans still have some pride in belonging to this island that resulted in an instantaneous uproar when their national flag was abused. Hopefully the naïve and childish boys and girls would wake up to the fact that a nation, a country and citizenship to a country is not something to be trifled with, to be compromised because of money. We don’t need foreigners that could be easily bought over by our money. Such foreigners or quitters that would quit from their country would quit from here when the situation changed. Call them locals or citizens but deep down inside them, many are still loyal to their motherland and Singapore is just a place to make money before they return home when time is ripe.
The simplicity in the thinking of our boys and girls is frightening and dangerous to the well being of our nation and our citizens. Patnaik has done Singapore a good service by telling the boys and girls to wake up from their foolishness. The foreigners don’t belong here, would not want to belong here, except for a few. They don’t call this piece of rock home. Stop wasting public money on the foreigners and giving them good jobs at the expense of Singaporeans.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patnaik is not going away
The main media is also dabbling in this Patnaik saga. Guess where they are coming from. It was reported that there are two camps on this episode, some finding the employer’s action too harsh and some disagreed.
I can think of a few camps and their views according to their vested interests and their backgrounds and their agenda. For the foreigners here, especially the Indians, their stand needs no introduction. They would be in the same boat if they have done the same and therefore would like Patnaik to be handled with tender loving care. Too harsh, a counseling and warning would do. Understandable.
In the Singaporean camp two groups stood up. The PGs or older Singaporeans, brought up with the idea of nation building, built the nation, served NS the hard way, raising the flag every morning, would not take kindly to any disrespectful acts against the country and flag. Their stand is that the sacking is appropriate, nothing more, nothing less. To them Singapore is a country, a home for Singaporeans they were taught and trained to protect and defend.
The younger generations, the millennia, are likely to look at things differently. These young people have had a good life, never experience hard times and how tough and painful it was to build a new country that they can call home and for their children. They inherited a country built by their parents and grandparents. And after years of being subject to brain washing, that foreigners are talents and here to help them, as long as they have their hamburgers and night outs and good time, nothing will shake them. Even if a million foreigners are brought into this island they would not see anything wrong with it.
In the Patnaik case, so what, small matter lah, don’t over react. Buy him a beer and all will be well. They did not call this generation the marsh mellow, or strawberry or whatever generation for nothing. Life is good and fun. They have not got into the cauldron of fire. There is no fire in their belly.
Patnaik is just having a bit of fun as far as the millenia are concerned. What flag? Just a harmless act lah. They could not see the importance of a national flag and its symbolism. They may use it as a table cloth or a mat to sit on, just a piece of cloth. The trampling and burning of a nation's flag is a very serious matter.
What about those people that everyday tell you how good the foreigners are and treating the foreigners like their darlings, calling them locals? Be nice to them, bring them into your homes, they are very nice people, never commit crimes? Be careful of this group of people. Don’t make them angry. They cannot be trifled with especially when you are unkind to their darlings, the so called locals.
Let’s closed this chapter quickly and move on.
PS. Is Patnaik still in Singapore? His PR still not revoked and looking for another job here? What about the rest that did the same thing? Only one scapegoat?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PM succession issue and the resilience of the Civil Service
Hsien Loong has said that he is going to retire soon. 5 or 6 potential PMs have been named but no one has stood out yet as the crown prince. With time running out fast, it looks like the next PM is not going to have much time for apprenticeship compares to the time taken by Chok Tong and Hsien Loong. One had about 5 years and the other more than 10 years. For the scholars who would like to do studies on the effectiveness of a Singapore PM measured against the time of apprenticeship, there are some empirical data to prove their case. For that they may want to throw in LKY and his lack of apprenticeship into the study, maybe as a placebo effect. Is there any correlation between performance and effectiveness against the time under apprenticeship? How relevant is apprenticeship to the performance of a PM?
Some people may be wondering why no one has stood out so far as the crown prince, the PM elect among the appointees? Is it that they are not good enough, or all about the same, too difficult to choose who is the better candidate? There is another unspoken question that no one dares to ask. What if none of them are better than their seniors like the two DPMs or Khaw Boon Wan, Ng Eng Hen or Shanmugam or Lim Swee Say for that matter? Another question, do the senior ministers respect the newly appointed PM elects?
I have been posing many questions on this issue without giving any answers as no one has the right answers and everyone will have his own view of the issue in discussion. What if no one is found good enough or identified when Hsien Loong quits as PM, I mean retires as PM suddenly? Would there be a leadership crisis? Would the govt ground to a halt? Boh cheng hu?
Some fearmongers may want to raise an alarm. How can the country survive without a PM? It must be critical and a crisis situation and there will be a loss of confidence in the country. It would be panic station. Jiat lat.
If such a situation occurs when no one is filling in as PM and everyone is second guessing and there is a power struggle, what would happen to Singapore? Would the police force or the armed forces stop functioning? Would the PUB stop operating? Would the HDB stop all its services? Would the hospitals stop treating the sick? Would the judicial system stand down? Would the MRT stop running, etc, etc?
I think nothing of these would happen. All the ministries and stats boards and public and private organizations would function as per normal, at least for a few months, until the next PM is found. The govt, the ministries, the Civil Service will not grind to a halt. We have built a very efficient and resilient system that would go on running, auto pilot in a way, without a PM or even a political govt in charge for a while. The country would not turn into chaos overnight unless there is a coup.
I am presuming that our Civil Service is not a house of cards that cannot function without a political party lording over it, at least during an interim period. Many of the top civil servants are better educated and trained and experience than the boys and girls in politics.
What do you think?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The AHTC case and the flaws of switching management
It is so obvious that the problems facing the AHTC case need not arise and must/would not be allowed to be repeated if the management of town councils remains with a statutory board or ministry ran by civil servants. The management of a town council, the complexity and operational details involved, and the importance of such services remaining in tact and continuou, demand that it must be run by a permanent body of staff. It cannot be otherwise.
The AHTC case highlighted the problems and flaws and unnecessary troublesome administrative handling over of funds, records, duties and responsibilities that could not be efficiently transferred from one management to another over a short spell of time. Such procedures and processes, the involvement of funds and monetary matters, necessitate very careful, arduous and detailed scrutiny and inspection before a transfer can take place. And worse, under the politicized nature of the system, when a different and often unfriendly party won an election and having to take over the function and running of a town council, in a way exposing the predecessor’s work to be scrutinized for wrongdoings, make the transfer of responsibility a hostile takeover with both parties placed in a very difficult and confrontational position. How could such a belligerent and antagonistic system be to the interest of the residents that expect a public service to continue to run efficiently, smoothly and without disruption?
When a political party takes over the running of a state after winning a general election, all the staff of ministries and stats boards remain in tact, with all the systems and procedures, including software and hardware, remain practically unchanged until such time when the new govt is ready to make changes. The services of the respective ministries and stats boards will not be affected in anyway or in any serious ways. Assuming the same terms of changing all the staff and systems in ministries should take place like the changing of the guards in the town councils, there is no way the new govt can start to administer a country and all its ministries and stats boards given the time constraints.
The expectation of a new town council management to start operating and running a town council almost immediately is insane. An incoming town council could insist that all the documents, accounts and system be proper and free from errors before taking over and this would lead to an endless explanation and bickering of what is being handed over. This is simply plain impossible and unacceptable.
It is time the town councils be returned to be managed permanently and continuously by a stats board with permanent staff and system for the good of the residents. No one or party or politician need to be put through running a town council to prove themselves to be able to run a country. This is a red herring, a myth. It does not happen in any other country and historically, new govts are form in democratic countries after winning an election with people that came from all walks of life except running a country and they ran the country and doing no less better than people who had the experience of running town councils.
One does not have to run a small company to run a big company or organization. Running a small company or organization like a town council has very little relevance to running a country. If that is the critical experience to run a country successfully, then the first generation of leaders would have failed or must fail. They did not, without the experience of running town councils. So did the leaders of all the countries in the whole wide world.
This town council thing must be put right for the good of the people and country. All the political bickering is unnecessary, stressful, silly and a waste of public funds and resources that could be put to better use and more important things.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oxfam’s finding on Singapore’s inequality ‘simplistic and prescriptive’
SMU don Eugene Tan commented on the Oxfam report on Singapore’s income inequality that the ‘methodology was simplistic and prescriptive’. It ranked Singapore 149 out of 157 nations, just one notch above Laos. Singapore’s position fell from a high of 86 last year to near rock bottom, a ranking comparable to the ranking for Singapore’s main media. How atrocious! Would the comments be more friendly if the rankings were like those for our world class universities? Incidentally the rankings for our world class universities have received a few condemnations and they have started to think of a more realistic and relevant way of ranking our world class universities, ranked in the same ethereal realm of existence as the top universities of the world.
With such bad ranking on income inequality, this report rightly deserves to be rejected and dismissed. How could Singapore be lying so low down there in the company of Laos and not right up there with the top European countries? Must be very biased, or yes, simplistic and prescriptive. And Minister Desmond Lee was also unhappy with the report and was offended. He said, ‘We think it is more important to look at the outcomes achieved instead.’ Yes, agreed, these people coming from nowhere, never lived here before, making such unruly comments on our domestic affairs and so critical and simplistic some more.
Let me just make one quote from the Oxfam report as reported in thenewspaper to support a case against the unstinting and unfair criticism of this best run state in the world. ‘Singapore could tackle inequality at home by spending more, strengthening labour rights and enacting anti discrimination laws.’
But Singapore has been spending a lot more to help the poor students, including many from other countries to study in our world best schools, polytechnics and universities, with scholarships covering fees, living expenses and housing. This is in the tune of several billions over the years. How much more must Singapore spend before Oxfam is satisified? The govt even legislated to spend the poor people’s life savings, otherwise they would not spend, to protect them from health and life expectancy problems. This money spent the Oxfam sure would not know. They must add this as part of the social spending to help the poor, to level up the income inequality.
As for strengthening the labour movements and labour rights, how much more is needed when the govt assigned the PM to be to head the labour movement? This is damn powerful ok, to protect and to fight for the workers’ rights and interests. No country would put such a high power minister to work for the workers. So the comment by the Oxfam report is too simplistic or ignorant.
More anti discrimination laws? On what, sexual inequality or wealth inequality? Ok, sexual inequality is now gaining support, especially for the LGBTs. Give the govt some time and all sexes and bisexuals will be equal, no more discrimination. Oh wait a minute, I read about this on sexual inequality, ‘Singapore has no equal pay or non discrimination laws for women, its laws on rape and sexual harassment are inadequate and there is no minimum wage except for cleaners and security guards.’ Holy cow, where did this come from? See how many women ministers we have and think the top salary earner in Singapore is a woman. Ok, I have no statistic to back this up. Caveat.
Laws on rape? Come on, Singapore is virtually free of rape crimes against women. Why do you need more laws on this when it is quite irrelevant? You need more laws on rape if the country is infested with rapists, not safe, safe Singapore.
As for wealth inequality, the best legal provision is the abolishment of estate duty so that everyone can inherit their homes after the death of the owner of the estate. Rich or poor, all are treated as equal. Poor Singaporeans need not lose their estate as a result of death, and can pass on their HDB flats to their descendants forever.
See how simplistic is the Oxfam report? They did not know that our poor are so rich and happy that all the poor in the whole world would want to be poor in Singapore. This is a fact, a spoken fact. Why is it a spoken fact? Because no one in Singapore dispute this fact when spoken.
Whew. I said my piece for Singapore. I defended Singapore’s integrity.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Workers Party MPs’ appeal for fund – A mini referendum
‘Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh revealed in their blog, entitled In Good Faith, that they have raised SGD $477,653, as of 10pm yesterday evening – just over 24 hours since the trio appealed to the public for help to fight the multi-million dollar lawsuits they are facing in court
On Wednesday, the opposition party leaders revealed in their blog that they have “depleted our personal resources,” having already paid $600,000 from their own pockets to their legal team as the trial progresses.’ Posted in theindependent

The 3 senior WP MPs are facing charges in court for dunno what and facing bankruptcy to the tune of $30m. The legal fees so far came to $600,000, paid out of their pockets and from friends, not from party fund. Defending one's honour in court is no cheap stuff and one who cannot pay would likely have to accept defeat and a guilty condemnation even before going to court, or unable to proceed for short of fund.
The WP MPs have made a public appeal and the money came fast and furious, nearing half a million within 24 hours. The latest count after two days is more than $900,000 from more than 5,200 donors and counting. What does this mean?
The charges, based on the amount they were accused of mishandling or mismanagement or dishonesty is a staggering $30m. For those who willingly donated to the appeal is as good as saying that they believe that they were doing it in good faith, the WP's defence in court, or else they would not be forking out the money if otherwise. For those who could not afford to support the 3 MPs financially, they have good words to share and to keep their spirits high.
From the political perspective, this is like a mini referendum for the people of Hougang and Aljunid to cast their vote of confidence for their MPs. Two days have passed and more than 5000 have voted with their pockets. The two constituencies have more than 100,000 voters. If the 51% that voted for the WP were to contribute $10 each, 3 plates of char kway teow, that would bring in another $510,000 to the fund. But it is not so much the money that counts. It is the people showing their faith and confidence in their MPs, an affirmation of their trust and support for them.
How much would the WP be able to raise and how many people would donate is still too early to tell. The picture would be clearer in a week or two.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GE 2020 - Election of Estate Managers

The AHTC trial clearly demonstrate how important is the role of Estate Managers to the MPs than attending Parliament to debate about govt policies and matters of the state and interests of the people. Maybe the often absence of MPs when Parliament was in session is enough clues and hints to say that they must be very busy running their town councils and taking care of the estates instead of wasting time in Parliament.

MPs would not be sued for not attending Parliament. The most got scolding from the Speakers or be barred from attending a few sessions of Parliament. If they failed in their duties as Estate Managers, then it would be a very different story, can be bankrupted.

The term MP, meaning Members of Parliament may need to be changed and they should be given a new job description with estate management as their primary duty and attending Parliament as members of Parliament a secondary duty. It is a misnomer to call an elected representative a Member of Parliament, MP, if his main duties are estate management, making sure the dustbins are cleared, the roads are clean, people pay their dues for cleaning the estate. How about calling them Estate Managers? Or if it is important to retain the word MP, just add a E behind, eg MPE, Manager of Public Estate?

Whether the name be changed, the opposition party hopefuls would now be very clear as to what their primary jobs would be when elected, yes, concentrate full time to be an Estate Manager.

Now is this not queer? Do the people need to go to the vote to elect Estate Managers? Must MPEs attend courses in estate management to prepare themselves for the job? If they don't have such experience and did not know how to set up a team quickly to manage an estate, they will be in big big trouble. No one would want to be in the shoe of the WP MPs.

Looks like the General Election for political office needs a new definition and the people going to stand for election should be a different kind of people with different skill sets. Civil servants and ex civil servants would be most qualified for this job.

What do you think?
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