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Social and Economic Development in Singapore
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Philippines is not the Sick Man of Asia
There have been many misguided comments that the Philippines is the new Sick Man of Asia. This is not true. The only semblance of a Sick Man is its economy, that is not doing as well as the Asean states. Other than this, the Philippines is every inch a proud sovereign state. The Pinoys are a proud people and had recently driven the colonial master, the USA, out of their country. They have reclaimed full independence of their national sovereignty, with no foreign bases and soldiers in their country. They are even standing up to fight China and competing to claim islands in the South China Sea as theirs. They even want to claim or take over Singapore as their new colony. They may not be rich, but the Philippines is anything but a Sick Man of Asia.
Reflect what qualified China of the 19th Century as the Sick Man of Asia, the conditions of the country and people. China was not only economically weak, the country was cut up by foreigners with foreign concessions where foreigners lived like they owned the country, in their own enclaves in Shanghai. The foreigners have more rights in China than the locals. When they ended up in court, the court would rule in favour of them. And the corrupt elites were sleeping with the foreigners, allowing more foreigners into the country, taking over businesses and anything that had economic values, even messing around with the govt. The foreigners were having all the good jobs and top jobs in the country.
What about the locals? The local Chinese were kicked aside, no jobs and begging the foreigners for jobs. The foreigners were in control of everything. the govt, the economy and jobs and wining, dining and partying everyday. The natives lost all pride as citizens of the country. Got bashed by the foreigners, kicked around by the foreigners, insulted and abused by the foreigners, as good as no talents. And the natives could not do anything and the govt could not do anything. The elites would not dare offend the powerful foreigners. The natives lost all fighting spirit in their own country. Many escaped overseas to find jobs and to look for a better life. The people lost hope in their own country and their elites.
Did the Philippines meet these conditions? Some, but not all. The Pinoys are still in charge in their own countries and foreigners could not boss around with them of abuse them. The foreigners know that in the Philippines, the Pinoys are the owners and they better behave well in front of the Pinoys. They would not dare to beat up a Pinoy. There is still pride in the Pinoys. How can they be called the Sick Man of Asia? It is not just about money? Money is dignity? It is national pride, the pride as a nation, as a people. Lose that, you become the Sick Man of Asia.

A Sick Man of Asia is when a country is taken over by foreigners, run by foreigners, foreigners could boss around with the locals and the locals are helpless when abused by the foreigners. When the foreigners formed and lived in foreign enclaves and sneering and despising the natives. And the natives lost all pride and spirit to live, lost confidence in themselves, all planning to run away from the country, when their very own govt cannot protect them, cannot offer them good jobs, and the good jobs were taken over by foreigners.
I definitely disagree that the Philippines is the Sick Man of Asia. They even despise daft Sinkies.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange things will happen to our property owners
The 99 year lease, be it for private properties or HDB flats, would morph into a snow man when the time comes. When the lease expires or about to expire, someone who owns a 2 rm or 3rm flat with a balance of 50 year or 70 year lease would be richer than one owning a 5 rm flat or executive flat or even a private property with a 5 year lease or lesser. For at the end of the lease, the value of the no life lease property technically becomes 0. The land plus the property would go back to the owner of the land.
What this means is that 99 year leasehold owners are sitting on a time bomb, a vanishing asset. SG100 will see many properties go up in smokes and the rich owners, if their sole asset is the 99 year leasehold property that is slipping from their grips, be it $3m or $1m, will go pooh pooh.
Maybe this is a good thing, when wealth of one generation will not be passed down to the third generation to continue to be wealthy without having to work, just living on the value of a piece of appreciating property. The diminishing lease and value of 99 year leasehold properties will be like a reset every 2 or 3 generation. And that will be a time when 2 or 3 roomers still with a substantial lease remaining, will become richer than those whose lease expired. They would be looking at the new poor neighbours whose private properties or big HDB flats just become no more, homeless.
SG100 will be a time of reckoning, when the poor becomes rich and rich becomes poor. Things will turn upside down.
Good system for the average Singaporeans. Only those with freehold properties and not subject to estate duties will be rich forever and live happily ever after. The rich have it all thought out, the system will protect them and their wealth for generations to come.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heng ah, I was not born in Singapore – FT

Ng Kok Lim wrote an article on this in TRE and I quote his first paragraph, ‘During the last election, Minister Lim Swee Say said heng ah, he was born in Singapore and many Singaporeans agreed with him. But the truth is that you don’t have to be born in Singapore to be heng in Singapore.’

I fully agree with what Kok Lim said. He went on to quote those who were not born in Singapore and very heng here, like Boon Wan, Amy Khor, Piyush Gupta, Olivia Lum and many others including table tennis players, swimmers and half past six footballers. And there are more than 2m heng foreigners here helping to grow our economy by 2%, if not our economy will go into recession.

And all the foreign born Singaporeans and FTs must be singing in chorus, heng ah, we were not born in Singapore, no need to pay for the expensive and damn stressful education system only to end up with no marketable skills and good enough to be security guards, taxi drivers and crane drivers. And if still cannot get such jobs, to go for further training at public expenses of course. This one really heng, the govt is using public money to subsidise their trainings so that they can be useful in 3rd world countries, to take the place of the 3rd world FTs who are here, in their 3rd world countries getting paid 3rd world salaries with 3rd world currencies. See how heng are Singaporeans born here. And their 3rd world counter parts are here to replace them, get their jobs, their women, and get paid high salaries in Singapore dollars.

And the FTs are also saying heng ah, no need to waste 2 and a half year charging up Pengkang Hill, not sure if the hill is heng enough to remain there or mowed down to build HDB flats, no need to serve NS, no reservist training, just doing anything and tell the daft Sinkies, I also do NS and join the elite of this daft city.

Now, who is more heng, the Singaporeans born here or the foreigners who are going home after their stint in paradise to be rich land owners and living in big landed properties? And they need not worry about Benjamin or their sons doing NS to defend and protect the million dollar properties here that they cannot afford to smell.

Are Singaporeans heng or sway? You tell me lah. Sure some of you will be very heng but many would be very sway, like Benjamin and his family and those ended up as punching bags for the very heng foreigners here or losing their well paying jobs to the very heng foreigners.

Parrots, please, I am not asking you. Stop parroting. Just repeat after me, ‘Heng ah’.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New rules for grassroot organizations
The popularity of grassroot organizations has taken an unusual turn for the better. Many are wondering how they could miss all the fun and happenings in grassroot activities. There are rumours that crowds and long queues are forming up, not to buy Toto but to join grassroot organizations and grassroot activities. And organizers of such organizations and activities are having a tough time trying to manage the crowd and the sudden surge in interest.
Because of exceptionally strong demand, new rules and regulations, new criteria are being mooted to limit and control the crowd. Among the new rules are things like female participants must be more than 60 years old. And for younger females wanting to join, for the singles they must get consent letter from their parents. For the more mature females they must get approval letters from their husbands. Oh, they must sign non indemnity forms as well as the organizers and organizations would not want to be liable for any mishaps or injury due to over zealousness and very hardworking members. Another condition is that all activities must end by 10 o’clock and office lights must be left on till morning daylight.
As for the manfolks, places are limited and will be on a first come first serve basis. It has also been reported that tussles and quarrels broke out in the queue because everyone is so excited and wanted to cut queue. Some have even paid their maids to queue for them overnight. Some more entrepreneurial foreign workers have been chopping places and selling them to the eager uncles for a good profit.
There is a new oomph in the air for grassroot activities. It is not just volunteering their time and services. People are paying just to be members and to participate in grassroot activities, locals and foreigners alike. And they are not asking to be rewarded.
Why not, many are using their skills future fund to pay for such activities so more.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Changi Resort beckons for the pioneer generation
The new Changi Prison was built on a sprawling piece of land, landed property, with the latest security system and gadgets, costing, if I can recalled, $1b or $2b! It is a really expensive piece of property but could turn out to be a welcome retirement home for the pioneer generation in time to come. No where in Singapore is there a free charity home providing free meals, free medical, a bed to sleep on and 100% security from terrorist attacks or being robbed or walloped by the rich and talented foreigners on the streets of Singapore. This is the safest fortress for the feeble senior citizens to retire.
There is a new trend developing in Japan, where the senior citizens took on petty crimes as a way of life, to get invited to stay in prison for free food, medical and lodging. The high cost of living in Japan is forcing the seniors there to think out of the box to live and to get by. The state pension of $9,400 per year for the retirees is just not enough to live on. The next viable and workable alternative is to get into prison for free food and lodging, and the answer to that is petty crime like shoplifting.
Singapore is now the most expensive city in the world. How can anyone expect the retirees without an income to get by? The Silver Support Scheme of $750 per quarter would just be too little to survive. And what about the super expensive medical bills in spite of the Medishield Life Scheme?
Would our pioneer generation survivors follow the trend set by the retirees in Japan? Our Changi Resort is the latest state of the art abode and is perfectly suited for the oldies, free food, free medical, good security and a warm bed to lie on. Maybe this is the foresight of the govt, to plan ahead for the pioneer generation oldies if they fall through the net.
The spacious Changi resort is beckoning to them. Just be a little creative, and with a little effort, the pioneer generation could be invited to spend their golden years in the comfort and safety of this billion dollar complex, well fed, looked after and secure for life, protected from the elements and the beasts in the streets.
The Japanese have started it and setting the trend. We have the Korean wave for the millennial. This Japanese Wave will be very suitable for the seniors. Would it become the next craze in Sin City? A pop culture for the oldies, a revolution by the seniors.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore’s successful formula for Asean Economic Community(AEC)
With the impending implementation of the Asean Economic Community, ChannelNewsAsia held a forum on 6 Apr to discuss the implications and concerns of free movement of human capital in the Asean states. The three main concerns raised were, the different educational system, the different quality of degrees and professional qualifications and the political will of the respective govts to get this free movement of human capital across borders flowing.
The President of SMU commented that it was unsustainable and politically difficult for any govt to allow the free movement of workers across national border. The domestic political forces would not allow it to happen. But all these concerns have proven to be nothing to Singapore and Singapore has embraced free movement of human capital, we called in foreign talents, like fish in water. With the right political leadership and political will, nothing is an obstacle. The different education system, degrees and professional qualifications too were non issues. These have never been a problem to Singapore and it has more than 2 million foreigners in the island to prove that all is well.
Singapore’s successful formula is best seen in the broad and sweeping CECA agreement with India. This is the most important formula to prove that freedom of movement of talents can be done. Singapore simply accepts all the qualifications of all the Indian universities, all the differences in educational system and standards with no question asked. This is not about stupidity or administrative convenience, but about building trust and trusting the quality of India’s universities and human talents. When these differences are set aside, there is no more problems to talk about.
In Singapore’s experience, all the foreigners hired are genuine foreign talents. No one has complained about hiring duds or fakes. Even if they were fakes, as long as they can do the job, the piece of paper is irrelevant. There were one or two cases of mistakes but too little and too few to worry about. Only stupid employers will be hiring duds and fakes. Singapore’s employers are not stupid and therefore have no stupid problems.
Singapore should sell this wonderful CECA formula to the Asean countries, that this is the way to go forward. Forget about the differences, ignore the differences, don’t look at them, don’t bring them up, pretend that everything is fine and all will be fine. And Singapore can use its 2% economic growth as proof. By bringing in 2m foreigners, Singapore achieved a 2% growth. And to prove that Singapore truly believe in this formula, Singapore will raise its population to 10m, ie, bringing in another 5m foreigners which will translate to another 5% growth.
Singapore has done it, see how successful Singapore is? Have no fear about free movement of human capital. With the right political leadership and political will, all problems will become non problems.
CECA is the miracle formula that Singapore has signed with India that benefits both countries greatly, economically. And Singapore now has so many spare and talented Singaporean PMETs to export to Asean countries, armed with certificates with courtesies from the NTUC, trained for export, to work around the world. Singapore would not have the luxury of sharing these spare talents with Asean countries if we did not bring in the better foreign talents to replace these no skill set local talents, or obsolete talents.
Singapore can be the leading light in the free movement of human capital in Asean. We have been experimenting and enjoying a surge of productivity with so many foreign talents to choose from. There are so many waiting at the door for Singapore to pick and choose, attracted by the good working environment and very excellent pay package and a very strong Singapore dollar. Singaporeans are so appreciative of these foreign talents that many are giving credits to the foreigners for building Singapore to what it is today. With the AEC, Singapore will have no problem boosting its population to 10m and all the property prices will go up 100 fold.
Singaporeans will all stand to gain, to rent out their expensive HDB flats and move out to live in Bintan, Batam and Johore. No need to work any more, except for the young doing two years of guard duties. The free movement of human capital with the implementation of AEC is the greatest thing that can happen for Singapore and Singaporeans.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Violating the sanctity and security of the heartland

The govt encourages the people to sub let their HDB flats to earn extra income. Many have taken advantage of this new avenue to ease their financial burden and obligation, and that is good. One or two rooms can be sublet out and the retirees can live on this new source of income to live through their retirement years.

When one gets into detail, this sub letting policy could become a bane to the average Singaporean families. Our rapid progress and changes in our lifestyle have altered the characteristics of our society. We have new small nuclear families. The three generation or two generation families are no longer the norm. Singaporean families are either very young, the newly wed, or small new nuclear families of one or two kids, and the solitary or two retiree families. The number of people occupying a flat is relatively small, mostly 2 to 4 persons per unit regardless of flat size.

How would the subletting policy affect the life of the average HDB dwellers? Subletting of one or two rooms would normally add a couple of people into an unit of flat, unlikely to be more than 4. A small presence of a few strangers living in a floor of HDB flats would be quite comfortable for everyone. The problem comes when 6 or 8 or more move into a flat. Some owners are subletting their whole flat to foreign tenants, and depending on flat size, it is quite normal now to have more than 6 tenants in a HDB rental flats. Quite often it could be more than 10 as the tenants find it economical to share the cost of rentals. The more the merrier.

The modest HDB flats are homes to the Singaporeans. They returned after a hectic day at work to seek comfort, security and solace within their four walls. The sense of home, security, familiarity, belonging and a safe sanctuary have been taken for granted as part and parcel of HDB dwellers’ life.

How would a floor of 6 or 8 units of flats, occupied by retirees or young families feel when 6 to 10 burly foreign men moved in? How would the parents feel when they are all out at work and leaving only a few retirees and young children at home, with 6 to 8 foreigners living next door when they have no clue of who they are and what are their characters? And what if the foreigners would make the common corridor as an extension of their flats since there are so many of them, and the young and old, and the women folks would not have to walk pass these foreign men, under the stare of their wandering glare?

There are personal safety concerns for the retirees, the women and the young children. There are also security concerns of their homes when the adults are out at work, often leaving behind empty flats, and the foreigners would know who would be at home and who would not be at home. Very likely 99% of the foreigners are decent and honest people and there is nothing to worry about. The problem comes with the 1%.

Have the HDB and the govt, the police, think through this social, safety and security problems of the Singaporean HDB dwellers when a big number of foreigners moved in to live side by side with them? It is no joke for the feeble retirees, young children and women to be straddling pass big burly foreigners in the sanctuary of their HDB homes daily. It is no joke for the parents with young children alone at homes and knowing the presence of many foreigners next door when the parents are not at home.
This violation of the HDB sanctuary, the homes of the average Singaporeans by the presence of big numbers of foreign men, construction workers or manual workers, is unacceptable and unwelcome for the well being of the HDB dwellers. When they are small in numbers, things are manageable. When the number is big, especially a large number of men in a unit, and with the neighbouring units often empty or left with young children, young daughters and wives and retirees, it is not only undesirable, but poses serious safety and security risks.

The Govt and the HDB must reveal this policy of having too many foreigners, especially men, in a unit of HDB flats. The sanctuary of the HDB as homes for the average Singaporeans must be protected and not violated by this subletting policy. There must be mote control and restrictions on the number of foreigners allowed to live in a flat in the midst of Singaporean families, in the heartland.

Singaporeans must feel safe and at ease with their homes, their dependents at home, when they are out at work, and also to feel safe at home, in peace and without having to worry about so many foreigners next door and what if they have bad intentions.

This is not a terrorist issue but a very basic right of the people, to live and feel free and safe in the heartland.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fixing Singapore’s meritocracy for the good or bad?
Kenneth Paul Tan wrote an article titled ‘How Singapore is fixing its meritocracy’ in the Today paper on 22 April. He described the history of how meritocracy first started in Singapore when education was the first leveler, where everyone of merit could get a scholarship and rose through the ranks and became a mandarin in the civil service. He then went on to describe how this innocent brand of meritocracy got corrupted and drawing cynicism when meritocracy transformed into elitism and cronyism of the elite. Here I quote him, ‘Today, the Singaporean idea of meritocracy is criticized for entrenching structural limits on mobility, for its overly narrow idea of merit and success, and for an increasingly self regarding elite that seems too interested in staying in power and that citizens perceive as arrogant and unresponsive to their needs.’
The powerful political elite took notice of the growing discontent and have put in some measures to redistribute the wealth by straying into a taboo area called welfarism, a slightly leftist leaning policy that was once frown upon. What is strange is this comment about anti welfarism. ‘To discourage free riding and maintain business competitiveness, the Government developed a strong anti welfare state rhetoric. It started to pay its top officials and political leaders some of the highest salaries in the world…’ Now what is he saying? To me isn’t this welfarism at the highest level, welfarism for the elite? It is a matter of perception of course.
What many knew but refused to talk about in the fixing of meritocracy is the entrenchment of wealth and power of the elite through the abolition of estate duty. Now the elite could own as many properties as they want, in the tune of hundreds of millions or billions to be willed to their natural aristocratic scions. The act of self preservation and protecting their wealth for generations to come, a practice that eventually led to the revolution in Europe, Russia and China and the rise of Communism, is now fixed into the Singapore version of meritocracy. A meritocratic family could now be meritocratic for generations to come with their wealth preserved and protected forever and ever, to live happily ever after, unless a bloody communist revolution cut them down to ground zero.
This piece of fixing appears to be well received by the landed gentry and elite, all owners of large properties and land and have nothing to complain about. They would not complain about its negative repercussion to the social cost of the people. When the rich know that they could go on buying up all the land and landed properties for safe keeping and to perpetuate their wealth to eternity, it simply leads to the hoarding of properties and the rise of property prices.
The poor and not so rich would never ever to be able to catch up with the runaway prices of landed properties hoarded by the landed elite. The elite know the rules of the games and how to protect themselves and their wealth. Landed properties are now worth several tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and would soon be the most expensive real estate on earth.
Social mobility and meritocracy appear to be thriving. But how many of the nouveau riche could make that kind of money in a life time to afford landed properties in the future, now in the hands of the rich elite, entrenched and enshrined as their inheritance for generations and generations to come? Even the civil servants and politicians of the future would have a hard time paying for such out of reach landed properties with their million dollar salaries.
But not to worry, the politicians of the future will know what to do if they want to lay their hands onto these prized and exorbitant pieces of landed properties. They could simply reintroduce estate duties all over again to level the playing field. In a democracy, this is the easiest part. Even dynasties could not hold on to their fortune forever. The landed gentry class of medieval era were wiped out when the extremism of inequalities reached a point of no return. The unproductive land and property owners would not have their cake and eat it. Les miserables would rise to overthrow a decadent system of wealth preservation at their expense.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

11 year old student commit suicide – So sad
Read this in the TRE. ‘According to the Lianhe Zaobao, an 11-year old boy had committed suicide by jumping off a block at 470A Fernvale Link yesterday (18 May). … the boy’s mother was seen crying next to the his body while his father apologised continuously. It is unclear why the suicide took place but the boy was supposed to go to school to collect his exam papers so that his parents can acknowledge his results and sign it.’
We are hearing more and more of such tragic stories of our young being stressed out and even committing suicide. We had Benjamin Lim, now this 11 year old, likely to be related to the stressful education system.
My advice to parents, please treasure your children. They are here for you to enjoy them, to share your love, joy, pain and unhappiness and whatever together. Love them and treat them well. Not every child will score straight As or do exceptionally well in school. A child is gifted in many ways, not just academically. Enjoy them, nurture them and look at their good sides and their blessings.
A child needs a lot of tender loving care and support from the parents and adults, including teachers in schools. The child is in the care of parents and teachers to grow up to be responsible and healthy adults, not just to score in examinations. They need to know that they are being loved and wanted by their families, precious to their families for what they are. And anyone that has no feelings or empathies for chlldren should not be teachers. The MOE must get rid of them from the system.
Do not take it out on the children. Do not mistreat children, do not leave them in the lurch, in the hands of beasts when they are in trouble when they are doing badly in examinations or socially. It is in such times that they really need the parents and the teachers. The last thing is for the parents and teachers to desert them like they are outcasts, lepers, to be left on their own in times of need when help and love are what they need most.
This 11 year old child and Benjamin would still be around if parents and teachers are there to give them a helping them in their hours of darkness and despair. Love your children, love the children. The last thing, do not treat every child as a hopeless case, a hardcore criminal. Only evil, wicked and irresponsible beasts would do that to hapless and defenceless children.
Do not let this incident and Benjamin Lim to happen again. Parents, adults, teachers, police officers, you better take note. Young innocent lives are at stake. Do not be the cause of tragedies of young lives. Do not take it out on young children. Do not abuse your authority. Do not be irresponsible.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does citizenship make any difference?
What is a citizen’s pledge to be loyal to a country, to protect a country when one becomes a citizen of a country? A citizen of a country, by virtue of birth or choice, by immigration, is supposed to be loyal to that country, to defend that country if it goes to war. What are the official definitions to tell you what a citizen should be? Oxford’s definition, a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized, nothing about defending the country and dying for the country. But would a citizen do that? Another definition, a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection. This one said owes allegiance to its govt and is entitled to protection, not the other way round. How about this one, person who is entitled to enjoy all the legal rights and privileges granted by a state to the people comprising its constituency?
In all the above definitions, I am hard put to find one that says a citizen must fight and defend the country, be loyal to a country. But it seems that these are expected, a kind of assumption by the populace. And what it quite clear is that a citizen becomes part of the country he took up citizenship with. He belongs to the country and can claim or should claim that this is my country. Legally this must be the case. Mentally as well. In reality this may not be.
In the case of Omar Mateen, yes he is a US citizen. The USA is supposed to be his country and presumably he must have said his pledge like Singaporeans do, to uphold the country’s constitution or whatever. The funny thing is that Omar Mateen told the 911 officers that his country is Afghanistan. No, he did not say it in that way, that my country is Afghanistan or Afghanistan is my country. Neither did he say the USA is his country although he is a US citizen legally.
He told the 911 officers to tell America not to bomb his country. He is an American citizen but his country…America or Afghanistan? What can we make out of this? A new citizen taking up citizenship and still calling his country of origin his country, not the USA as his country.
What lesson can we learn from this when there is probably a million new citizens taking up Singapore citizenship here, with the new citizens saying our national pledge? Would they call their country of origin their country and not Singapore? Would Singapore be just a convenient place to make a living and all the time their countries would be their countries of origin, like Omar Mateen?
Would a citizenship be just a piece of paper? Would a national pledge be just, yes, an inspiration, nothing to be serious about, meaning nothing. How many of the new citizens here would think in the same way as Omar Mateen?
Would citizenship change anything? Omar Mateen is a US citizen and must behave like an American and must call the USA his country not Afghanistan? If he called Afghanistan his country then it is wrong. Wrong? So what is right, what is real?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A nation of shopkeepers and taxi drivers…and natural aristocrats

Below are two comments I picked up from TRE.

1. Sinkieland will be reduced to become a nation of shopkeepers and hawkers. By Oxygen
2. Israel…are able to produce top scientists and top info tech engineers…while SG …of PAP rule have reduced us to be shopkeepers and taxi drivers and foodstore vendors and security guards. By ‘empty ricebowl for us’.

How true or meaningful are these two statements? Look at our economy and ask, what are the industries that are of high tech in nature, what are the industries that are making great profits? The industries that are really churning the fake growth, mostly due to inflation and inflated prices, are housing/properties and the service industries like finance, legal and medical services.

The govt has been working hard to reinvent ourselves, from a nation of shopkeepers to low wage industries, to high skilled knowledge industries, and now to services, financial services, legal services, medical services, and back to shopkeepers, hospitality services, hawkers and driving taxis. And everything has been maxed out and nothing new is on the horizon to drive the economy except to import more heads to balloon the housing/property sector.

The services are facing stiff competitions from around the world. Financial services are competing with lower and lower fees. Medical services would soon price themselves out of business and so is our hospitality and shopkeeper business. Even the taxi services are going to be priced out with new players flooding the market.

What’s next? Luckily the author of our next lap is out of ICU but his bags of tricks would have to wait as he is still out of action? Looks like we are running out of ideas and maybe a nation of shopkeepers and food vendors/hawker centres and food courts would be the last line of defence. But what’s wrong with being a nation of shopkeepers? We were doing very well as a nation of shopkeepers in the past, the shoppers’ paradise, the jewel in the East. Now a new Jewel rising in Changi Airport has risen.

Back in those days our cost of operation as shoppers was low. Housing and rents were low, labour cost was low, and we could sell quality products at competitive prices. Good and cheap. Today we are still good but not cheap. And shoppers can go anywhere in the world to buy good and cheap luxury goods. Why should they come here to buy good but expensive stuff?

The land and property owners still think they could raise rentals and the shopkeepers could go on raising their prices and the shoppers would continue to come to this shopper’s paradise of good but expensive goods. Would that be the case? Why is rental so high? It goes down the line, when the natural aristocrats everywhere demands to be paid in the millions. And someone must pay for them. It eventually reflects in rentals and all other costs that go to the price. The pay for a natural aristocrat can hire an equivalent of 100 workers or more. Imagine there are at least 10,000 natural aristocrats in the midst, maybe more. And the hefty rental cost, transportation cost, cost of living, how can the shopkeepers and the hawkers survive to sell their wares at competitive prices? We would even lose our shopper’s paradise industry if we cannot keep the cost and prices down.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacDonald reviewing its non halal food policy
Read about this on the news and recalled another piece of news about this policy over the weekend. Cakes or food that is not halal cannot be brought into MacDonald restaurants. I felt guilty as I used to buy takeaway char kway teow or roast pork for dinner and then queued at MacDonald restaurant to buy hamburger, or actually beef burger with the takeaways in plastic bags. I did not know that MacDonald has such a policy and that I had unintentionally violated this policy. My apologies, would not do it again.
For MacDonald to announce that it has such a policy is a good thing so that its customers would know and would not break the policy unknowingly. MacDonald as a business should have its right to have whatever policies to make its customers happy. Just make the policy known, put up big banners at the main door so that no one could miss it and would not bring non halal food into the restaurants.
Now, why is MacDonald reviewing this policy? I have no problem with MacDonald having no halal food in its premises policy. I either don’t bring non halal food into MacDonald or just don’t patronize MacDonald. No big deal. There are other choices available.
What is the point of making a policy public and within a week and starts to talk about reviewing it? We used to have the very popular Banquet Food Court that sold only halal food. It was their policy and preferred choice of doing business. I used to patronize the Banquet Food Court too. Unfortunately all closed down.
Let the restaurants make their policy choice and the customers make their own choices who to patronize or where to eat. Everyone happy. Singapore is a multi cultural and multi religious country with plenty of choices for everyone with each free to do what he pleases.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ong Ye Kung – Multi party system not for us
This is the headline in The New Paper. The Today paper has this at the front page, ‘Multi party political system could ruin Singapore, Ong Ye Kung.’ I am a greenhorn in politics, coz I have never been a politician, so I am not sure what the ‘us’ meant. Who is this ‘us’? Multi party system not for us?
I disagree with the one party system is good for ‘us’ as I have a better system for Singapore, better than a one party ‘democratic’ system. I have Plato the Greek philosopher to back me up. It is a kingdom, a state ruled by a philosopher king. A king ruling a state, even not a philosopher, is half way there. A single party ‘democratic’ system does not have a king so not good according to Plato.
Ok, I can write a hundred books on the weaknesses and demerits of a kingship. But I am selling the kingship idea so I must ignore these bad things about the kingship and tell you only the good stuff. Please don’t say I am biased. If I am selling the one party idea I will say the same thing and don’t say the bad things. I am just trying to be honest, by telling things that I want you to know, the good stuff and not the bad stuff.
Why is a kingship or kingdom good for Singapore? I won’t use the word ‘us’ as ‘us’ can mean only a small group of elites. The problem of most political systems is the politicians. Politicians tend to fight for their own interests. In a democracy, one party or multi parties, they would still face the problems of infighting, fearing that they would be voted out or be ousted by a conspiracy. They would always be on guard, or trying to fix other politicians so that they would not be fixed in the end. By so doing they would be spending more time politicking than trying to work for the good of the people.
In a kingship, the king will be very secured, life time hereditary position, so no fear of be ousted by voting, maybe a coup. The king, being secure, would then appoint the best jesters to work for him. King needs jesters to humour him. But he would also have many good ministers appointed by him and no one can accuse a king for nepotism or cronyism. That is what kingship is all about.
A king would write the pay check for the politicians and would not allow the politicians to write their own paychecks. The king would also check on the politicians and would not allow the politicians to check themselves.
See, so many good points in a kingship that could prevent the problems of a single party ‘democracy’ already. Basically the king rules over the politicians and would behead any politician that is corrupt, so no need to pay million dollar salaries. I could go on and on about the goodness of a kingship especially for a small country like Singapore.
And Singapore is ideal for a kingdom. We have already developed an aristocratic class here, the natural aristocrats can assume their roles as lords, dukes, counts and of course as kings, princes and princesses. No need to hunt for such noble men and women. To turn this island into a kingdom is a piece of cake.
Yes my Lord, I am your humble subject. God bless the king. For those who love the English can look no further when we have our own king or queen and can sing God Save the king/queen with gusto.
And the children in schools can read all about the handsome princes and their white horses, not the kind in NS, and the beautiful princesses every day. So beautiful, full of enchanted stories for bed side stories too.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore does not need FDI


It was reported that Singapore attracted $9b of foreign direct investment in the year 2016, or was it 2015? This is about the lowest FDI ever attracted to invest here. Duterte paid a short trip to China and went home with $24b and more to come. Najib did likewise and was rewarded with $40b not taking into account the hundreds of billions poured into Malaysia in the last few years. Forest city alone accounted for something like $30b or $40b.


Is this pittance of $9b going to be meaningful to our economic growth? There is this obsession for FDI as if it is the steroid that all countries must have to register growth and a sign of growth. Even China is talking about attracting FDIs while investing trillions of its own resources overseas. In reality, the sum of FDIs attracted into China or Singapore are really insignificant to the sum they invested overseas.


There are definitely benefits to have FDIs coming into a country as these are new money. But when little FDIs are coming in, it is not the end. Just retain a small sum of local capital going abroad would be a handsome sum to replace the FDIs. How much is China investing overseas, trillions. How much is China receiving as FDIs, a couple of hundred bilions? How much is Singapore investing overseas? Hundreds of billlions! What is $9b? Just invest less of our capital overseas and plough them back into the local economy, $20b, $50b could be had to self inject and pump up the local economy.


What Singapore has is money, though not in trillions like China, but in hundreds of billions and relatively a considerable sum. Bring the money home, just like bringing the Singaporeans home instead of hoping for FDIs or foreign talents when we have our own stuff. FDI is something good to have but not critical except for countries that did not have much of their own capital to start with. There is no need to throw our money crazily all over the world and begging for a little FDIs to come ashore.

Singapore has hundreds of billions in the reserves but investing in funny stocks and ventures overseas, dunno making money or losing money. Why not invest in our own people and industries and no need to fear for the lack of FDI when it is so little to be meaningful? We can provide our very own steroid to boost the economy. What is there for foreigners to dump their billions here when there is really nothing to invest except properties, shopping centres and food courts?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Committee for Future Economy – CFE
It is very easy to make comments about the CFE reports. Just sit down and put a comb over it to pick put the white hair and the fleas and dust. It is also just as easy to make 7 or 10 motherhood statements about what should be done in the future. Just gather a few heads and within a day or two you could get all the motherhood statements you want. The big question, how real and how useful are these motherhood statements?

To gaze at a crystal ball, to foresee the trends, developments and challenges, is not the normal cup of tea for anyone not armed with the width and depth of intellect to look into the future. You need very serious thinkers and dreamers to make out something from nothing or from what we have today. Who would be up to it to make such great insights into the future and come out with workable recommendations to benefit from the changes? If only you can find someone who could make the right intellectual and educated guesses, this guy would be as good as God..

As a small little country with limited resources and limited aspirations, we need to be real and practical about what we want to do and what we can do. No doubt having big and wild dreams and wet dreams are ok, as these are just dreams. It is better to look at more realistic and practical targets and solutions like capitalising on our strength and how to fit into the changing world, and make the best of it. We have several good starts but due to the lack of foresight, the lack of dreamers, the lack of support, we let them passe. Sim Wong Hoo's sound card was at the fore front of the computer industry. Hyflux's water purification system too was well ahead of its time. Now they are just ordinary, one among many and fading away. If only the govt had invested and supported them in bigger ways, they could be the Samsung or the Xiaomi today. Samsung and Xiaomi did not have any proprietory products to start with. They simply copied and improved on what others have done and make it big time. We were the leading transportation hub for many decades but now going to be eclipsed too.

A more down to earth and more mundane model to understand how we have gone wrong and missed the opportunities, and missed the boat is public transportation, the train. When we laid the ground work for the first MRT, China was still an impoverished country. Transportation in China was Second WW train system, running like tortoises on coal. Today China is the front runner in high speed train system, an authority and a big mover in building international train network and infrastructure. They have developed many in house expertise and patents in every aspect of the train system, from design to manufacturing, turnkey projects to operations. They are building the train infrastructure for the future and for the world.

What have we achieved in managing our train network? What have we achieved for having a head start in mass rapid transport? Nothing. We are still struggling to make sure the train runs without fault daily. We did not have any expertise in anything concerning mass rapid transport. When a fault occurs, we start looking out for outside expertise for help, even stupid enough to pay for expertise from third world dysfunctional train systems calling themselves experts in modern train technology. We have not acquired any expertise in mass rapid transportation to turn it into a business except as an operator. After 50 years in the business, no experts in the business.

This example applies to practically every industry. Should not Singapore be exporting our expertise with our own experts in areas of air and sea port management and development? No, we are dependent on foreigners to run our ports, to manage our ports, to find new directions for our ports. We have zero expertise to talk about when we have been big operators for decades ahead of other countries. We are top air and sea ports but have no expert in these fields.

Look at the banking and finance industry. This is another joke. We are the financial centre of Southeast Asia and competing with Tokyo and Hongkong to be the top financial centre of Asia. Ask what kind of expertise we have, what kind of local experts and professionals we have that are sought after by other financial centres? It is a joke that we have to import all our top financial talents from abroad, even from the third world countries with rudimentary financial system and village banks. Soon there will be no local bankers left in the finance industry and all the top bankers would be foreigners. And I remember someone saying we are starting to develop our top bankers that would come on stream in 50 years time. No need to talk about the IT industry.

What is this CFE all about? Should we be bothered with gazing at the crystal ball of the future? How could such an exercise benefit the country and people when there are very serious challenges facing the country that no one could see or want to talk about? We may not have a thriving Singapore in another 30 years if we don't address the serious fundamental problems of the country and the shallow mindset that is supposed to be driving the country forward. We have happily awarded the contract to build the HSR terminal to foreign contractors when we should be building it ourselves and bidding for such contracts overseas like the Korean companies. Maybe we should start to bid in a big way for contracts in other countries to build hawker centres. This is about the last area of expertise we still have, but not for long. Is there anything that we are good at today to compete with the rest of the world?
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