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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Made in Singapore?
Modi wants to turn India into another manufacturing hub and came out with his Make in India slogan. His vision is simple and clear, products and services made in India, ideas originated in India, and made by the Indians and sold at Indian prices.
China, the factory of the world, has Made in China products and services. The products and services are made in China, by the Chinese and at Chinese prices. There is a slight difference. Many of the products and services originated from the West, the ideas from the West, but copied and modified and produced at much lower cost to sell at much lower prices.
What is Made in Singapore? It used to be made by Singaporeans and to some extent Malaysians working here. The ideas were western and some from Singaporeans. Today, Made in Singapore is no longer what it used to be. Many have ideas originated not from Singaporeans, and the products and services are made and provided by Third World citizens. The only thing that is still Made in Singapore is the price. Oh, the system and infrastructure could still be Singaporeans. The delivery and execution are hardly or barely Singaporeans. Walk into any hospitals and you may think you are in some Third World countries served by Third World citizens.
The universities have been taken over by foreigners and literally run by foreigners. The banking and finance industry, the IT industry, some manufacturing products and services, the medical industry, the human resource industry and what else, God knows, are all made and provided by foreigners.
We used to laugh at the Proton car that the local content is very little. Now Made in Singapore brand, how many percent is Singaporean? Can we still call it Made in Singapore, Singapore quality, served and provided by Singaporeans and charging Singaporean prices?
What is Made in Singapore? What is Singapore?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No talent Singapore helping full of talent India
Singapore is going to help train 400 million skilled Indians by 2020. Should I say steady lah Singapore, or funny lah Singapore? We are now well known to be a little country lacked of talents and most of our talents are coming from India. We have imported talented Indians to fill top positions in banking and finance, in IT, in medicine, in law, in teaching, in the civil service, in every industry that you can think of. I thought Yaacob did a very good job cleaning up Singapore River and should be sent to India to clean up the Ganges. No? Did we send all our experienced train engineers to India and ended with the daily breakdowns with our own trains, no local talents left?
Now we are going to help to train Indians to upgrade their skills? How? Are we going to send back all the Indian talents we recruited from India back to India to train and up skill the Indians in India?
Does it make sense? On careful study and some deep meditation I found the answer. Yes, it makes sense. The key word is ITE. It is the low technical skill level that India needs and we have plenty from our ITE Education Service. At this level we are surely competent, more than adequate to train the low skill Indians.
For the higher skill and talented Indians, we would continue to import more of them here. We need them badly. Maybe the terms and jobs in the CECA should be extended for more Indian talents to work here to replace the no talent Singaporeans. And we can send our displaced no talent Singaporeans to India to help them and build smart cities for them. Oops, no talent Singaporeans to build smart cities? Make sense or not?
This is mind blowing stuff. The more I think about it, the more blur I get. No talent Singaporeans teaching highly skilled and talented Indians?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore’s PMs growing in stature and power

Sunday 16 Oct there was an article in the Sunday Times by a Chong Zi Liang on 'Spore's foreign policy in a challenging world'. What was written in the two page centre spread was nothing that we do not know. The only thing that gave me a leg up was the quotes of three PMs, one after another, on how Singapore should conduct its foreign policy as a small state. Let me just quote them and show the difference in the thinking and greatness of the 3 PMs and how their views changed over time.

Lee Kuan Yew said:
'Singapore has to take the world as it is. It is too small to change it. But we can try to maximise the space we have to manoeuvre among the big 'trees' in the region. That has been our approach and we will have to be nimble and resourceful to be able to continue doing so.'

LKY understood that we were a small state and we were price takers of sort. We had to accept the world and to adapt to the world, not to be too swell headed to think we could change the world. We must adapt and try to make the best of the situation by playing along.

Goh Chok Tong said:
'Singapore is a small country, but we do not drift aimlessly. We are not a piece of flotsam. We have a definite place in the world, and a definite view of life, and of what is right and wrong.

Whether it is 1985 or 1998, I expect that we will be guided by the same basic philosophy that every country, big or small, has a right to be itself. It has a right to live, a right to its own way of life.

From this philosophy springs our foreign policy and our defence policy. We will be friends with anyone who wishes to be friends with us. We are not, and will not, be aligned with any bloc, though our ties are closer with the West than with the Communist bloc of countries.'

So you see, Chok Tong is more garang. We would not simply be price takers. We want to be ourself, choose our friends but be friends to everyone who wants to be our friend but not aligned to anyone. But he clarified that we would be a bit closer to the West. Neutrality was still important though a little leaning to the West.

Lee Hsien Loong said:
'Upholding international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes is a vital interest for a small country like Singapore....Nevertheless, Singapore must support and strive for a rules base international order. We have to depend on words and treaties. They mean everything to us. We cannot afford to have international relations work on the basis that might is right. If rules do not matter, then small countries like Singapore have no chance of survival.'

Now can you see the changes? LKY talked about accepting the world as it was and tried to manoeuvre to maximise to our advantage. Chok Tong in a way also accept that fact but would be friends to everyone that is friendly, but slightly aligned to the West. But he still did not dare to think he could change the world to like Singapore.

What is Hsien Loong's position? Upholding international law is a very forceful statement. Singapore now wants to uphold international law, not accepting it as a price taker. Singapore would not accept might is right. Another very powerful statement, meaning Singapore would stand up to it or something like that. Don't push Singapore, we would not allow it.

So, how to fight might is right? Singapore would depend on words and treaties, or military alliances I supposed? Correct me if I did not get this right. The basic position, Singapore would not take things lying down. Singapore will fight for its rights and its principles. You have heard it.

My conclusion, among the 3 PMs, LKY is the weakest. Chok Tong tried to take a firmer middle path. Hsien Loong no doubt is the strongest of the three PMs. He is confident to take on the world, take on any superpowers, to uphold international law and principles. And he would align himself with treaties, no more neutrality or not aligning with any super powers.

Singapore finally has a very strong PM, a strong leader to take on the world, to fight and defend its interests and principles. Singaporeans should be very proud of Hsien Loong, for having the guts to stand up to any country, big or small, on grounds of international laws and principles. His father and Chok Tong both did not have the wherewithal to stand up to big powers. Now you are seeing the real powerful Singapore punching above its weight. Go back and read the news and the comments by our diplomats and you will see how firm and steady they are in defending the interests of small states, defending international laws and principles against unprincipled countries that don't respect international laws.

Singapore has arrived, and Hsien Loong is the One. The strongest of the 3 PMs we have so far. He is now a more powerful statesman than LKY and Chok Tong. Singaporeans got something new to be proud of. Singapore is now an international player that would take a stand, not just a little red dot trying to walk the tight rope. You can expect our diplomats to go around thumping their chests be it China, Russia or regional powers like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines to uphold international laws, freedom of navigation and to protect Asean unity.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore’s perilous dance with the USA
Singapore’s diplomacy and dance in the world stage suffered a double whammy with the election of Duterte and Donald Trump as presidents. Duterte’s refusal to play the role of American barking dog scuttled a well choreographed conspiracy led by the Americans and the Japanese and supported by the Little USAs against China. The game was to badmouth China, strangle its activities in the South China Sea and the containment of China in the international arena.
And then came Donald Trump who has pledged to drop the TPP, a pet peeve of Singapore as if its whole economy and future depended on it. If this is so, this would really be troubling time for Singapore as the last hope for economic recovery in a sagging economy would see its last flicker of light snuffed out by Trump.
What should Singapore do, send its two most vocal and powerful diplomats to Washington, to tell Trump how good the TPP is to the Americans? And add to that, to tell the Americans how good and useful Singapore has been to the USA and its pivot to Asia, and how important a role Singapore has or had played in support of American political and military actions everywhere, in particular the wars in the Middle East?
The raising of Singapore’s relationship with the US to a strategic partnership level, wonder what that means, culminating in a White House dinner in honour of the PM by Obama, reached an euphoric state with Singaporeans feeling so proud of the achievement and honour bestowed to their PM. Unlike in Malaysia, there is no charge or allegation of Singapore being ‘sold off’ to the Americans. In Malaysia, the opposition accused the govt of a ‘sell off’ to Chinese interests with the pivot or tilt towards China. The Channel 8 Singaporeans are not feeling uneasy and did not think that their interests have been sold out by the Channel 5 Singaporeans to the USA.
To be sure, it would be a mistake to cast Singapore’s cosy relations with the US as a zero sum game in the game of big power politics as doing so would ignore the deep fundamental relationship between Singapore and Beijing. There are strong historical people to people relationship as well as newly built economic partnership and Singapore’s support of the AIIB and OBOR.
While the US believed in a strong and constructive relationship with China, the same logic should apply to Singapore having a strong relationship with China and the USA.
The implications of Hsien Loong’s visit to the US, to Japan, India and Australia and how would these impact on the viability of the TPP and the American pivot to Asia would only come to light after Trump took office in a few months down the line. Would it bear fruits or would the fruit be still born is yet to tell. With no due disrespect, the trips by Hsien Loong would not have the same impact as that of LKY in his time but more a continuation of what LKY had paved in the past, a continuation of LKY’s legacy.
The elevation of Singapore US relations to a new high is not without challenges and risks for the two countries. Did the Americans learn anything from their fiasco with the Philippines, with poking in the domestic affairs of Thailand and Malaysia that have backfired? The increasing profile and meddling of the Americans in the SCS would not only come under scrutiny but would only raise tension that sensible Asean states would not want as it would destabilize the region. Many Asean countries have seen what and how the Americans were doing behind closed doors to agitate the Asean countries to go against China in the SCS. This kind of offensive meddling of Asean and regional affairs must have raised eyebrows and caution among the Asean states as to what the Evil Empire is capable of doing and has been doing all these years.
The Americans are jumping into the region to exploit the overlapping island claims by China and some Asean states, to stoke the fire to benefit from the tension and counter claims. Their attempt to front up for the Philippines had hit a blank wall and similarly facing the same fate with the other Asean claimant states.
In this context, the close relations between Singapore and the USA could backfire and become a liability when the Americans failed in what they wanted to do, and with Trump coming into the picture, the adventure of American intervention in the SCS as well as the TPP to contain China would simply fall flat. It would be an ironic twist if Singapore has to turn towards China to rebuild ties when the USA under Trump turns isolationist.
While the English educated Straits born are still thinking that they are in charge and could ignore the Chinese educated and those that still have favourable views of China, they really did not have a clue how these groups, the so called Channel 8 Singaporeans really think with the leaning towards the US and less friendly towards China. This could be a potential crisis awaiting to happen with the Americans pushing too hard in the SCS leading to open hostility and forcing the Channel 8 Singaporeans to take sides. Would the ruling govt still be able to count on the support of the Channel 8 people that form the bulk of its political base?
While the ascendency of Trump as the next American President takes centre stage and his isolationist policies take shape, how would these affect the military alliances with the Asean states and the relations with the Little USAs? Would Trump start to reverse the Asia pivot, reduce American military presence in the region? Or would there be a turnaround and Trump turns aggressive and pushing a fight with China in the SCS? How would the close military relationship between Singapore and the US play out in the big power rivalry? Would there be arm twisting by the Americans for Singapore to send military forces to patrol in the SCS or to support American provocations against China?
For sure, Hsien Loong has brought Singapore much closer to the USA than LKY whose legacy was to balance the interests of superpowers without having to take sides. The new Singapore US relationship is not necessary a bad thing as it is also Singapore’s policy to be friendly to all powers, except this time a bit more explicit in being more pro Americans. However, with the pushy Americans, at least under the Obama regime in his pivot to Asia, Singapore’s less than neutral position between China and the USA would become a distinct disadvantage when it comes to dealings with the Chinese and to clinch more economic deals especially in the OBOR Project. There would definitely be some expectations from the Americans as well as the Chinese for Singapore to toe the line with the sensitivity of the SCS situation and the competition for influence.
Singapore must be careful as the Americans could withhold the privileges for training grounds and military aids while Singapore still needs to secure China’s economic lifeline to solve the problems facing a slowing economy. Singapore is in a conundrum. How would Singapore maintain its political and strategic neutrality as it grows more dependent on American military support while becoming more dependent on China economically and for trade?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The orgy of globalization
After the Americans voted Trump to be the next President of the USA, the truth sinks in. What Trump had been saying during the run up to the Presidential Election were music to the Americans, that globalization is dangerous, bad to the Americans and needs to be canned. Obama too has come around to acknowledge that the madness of unrestrained globalization by insensitive govts must be stopped.
There is an article in the Today paper on 17 Nov by Agencies with the title ‘Globalisation must correct its course to address inequality: Obama’ and its content said it all in Obama’s polite way of saying it. Trump would just show his middle finger to globalization and he is going to hack it to pieces. These were said by Obama, ‘The global path of globalization demands a course correction…When we see people, global elites, wealthy corporations seemingly living by a different set of rules, avoiding taxes, manipulating loopholes… this feeds a profound sense of injustice.’ If Obama knew about these transgressions, what is he going to do about it, or what has he done about it other than talking cock?
Such injustice, global elites and local elites living a different lifestyle of abundance would be quite well accepted by Singaporeans. Singaporeans could not see any injustice and would accept the calls by the elites to tighten their belts, to take cheap jobs, while local and global elites party everyday without a worry about the high cost of living, about high property prices or high prices of everything, about Singaporeans struggling to find a decent job with a decent income in the most expensive city in the world.
In the case of the Americans the orgy of globalization is coming to an end. Trump, the white angel from heaven has descended on them to lift the gloom from their miserable lives, from losing their jobs to foreigners. Even Obama is afraid when Trump appointed a hard line rightist extremist in Stephen Bannon to a top post. Obama warned of the “rise of nationalistic tribalism…to guard against a crude sort of nationalism or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an ‘us’ and a ‘them’” thing.
There will be divisions in the US. Obama said, “In the United States, we know what happens when we start dividing ourselves along lines of race or religion or ethnicity. It’s dangerous…Not just for the minority groups that are subjected to that kind of discrimination or, in some cases in the past violence, but because we don’t then realize our potential as a country when we’re preventing blacks or Latinos or Asians or gays or women from fully participating in the project of building American life.”
Being a black himself, Obama must be feeling the chill in his spine harking back to the days of the Ku Klux Klan. There are similarities and also differences in the way Trump is going to approach globalization and making America great from that of Obama. One is sustaining the American Empire by foreign intervention and military bases and starting and fighting wars everywhere. Trump’s form of American greatness is inward looking, a great country for Americans, and maybe to hell with the world. It is America and Americans first. It is about charity begins at home, build a good life for the Americans, foreigners not welcomed until home America is in order and the Americans get their jobs and their good life.
The orgy of globalization promoted and praised by the elites is history at least in America and the UK.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One trick pony and unthinking ponies
In the 1970s, many Asean countries were manufacturing bases for western manufacturers making shoes, apparels, gadgets, PCBs, computers etc etc. In the 70s, China was still as poor as a church mouse, no industries, no foreign manufacturers in China. In the 80s, China started to open its doors to foreign manufacturers.
Today, China is the factory of the world, leapfrogging itself out of the Asean league and into making new products and improving on them. The Asean countries are still doing the same thing, some still making shoes, apparels and little gadgets.
What is the difference? Why is China running ahead and away, becoming a manufacturing powerhouse while the Asean countries that were ahead in the 1970s have lagged behind and still doing the same little things all over and over again?
The answer, many of the factories in Asean are very happy with the orders to make more shoes, more shirts or more of the same thing, to fill up the orders. They are contented just to be a supplier, to make and deliver products ordered. China and South Korea did something more. They copied the same successful formula of Japan, reverse engineering, to improve on the products and to make them at cheaper cost. They were able to add value to the products by lowering cost and improving productivity and quality.
The Asean states just continued to make shoes and products designed by he original manufacturers, nothing more, nothing less. No need to think of improving quality and productivity, no need to innovate or wanting to develop or build new products. Just be subcontractors, not OEMs or ODMs.
So, while China moves on to the next level, the Asean little factories remain stagnant, remain where they were 50 years ago, doing the same old things, making the same old products from the same production lines.
This is the difference and why China turns itself from a poor agrarian economy into a huge manufacturing base for the world and the Asean countries are still where they are, like before, unchanging. They are not only one trick ponies but unthinking ponies, unable to innovate and move to a higher level of manufacturing. Bring in the big MNCs and do as told, good enough, just provide the cheap labour and earn wages.
Japan is also losing out thought they were constantly innovating, losing out on cost. What the Japanese can do, the South Koreans and Chinese can do just as well and better and cheaper. Period. There is on competition. Asean countries are even worst, lagging further and further behind and unable to catch up with the change.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Critics and cynics to be invited to share their disruptive views
The word disruptive is now being floated like a new panacea to cure the ills of everything. I thought I was dreaming when the island’s top 5 govt spokesmen and women proposed that critics/cynics aka disruptors, should be invited to sit in govt boards to share their opposing and disruptive views and ideas. Kishore Mahbubani, Tommy Koh, Chan Heng Chee, Han Fook Kwan and Danny Chan gathered at a seminar organized by the SMU to share their new and disruptive thoughts derived from the success of disruptive technologies. It is time to slay sacred cows and bravely confront the new forces of disruptive change.
Kishore has this to say, ‘We need more naysayers. Singapore cannot take its formulas for success developed over the last 50 years and apply them to the next 50 years, as the world has changed drastically. We need to create new formulas, which you can’t until you attack and challenge every sacred cow. Then you can succeed.’
Heng Chee too agreed with Kishore’s view by adding this, ‘But it is in policies and leadership teams that Singapore needs people willing to challenge authority. more robust internal discussions on policies with a wider range of people from different backgrounds. We need naysayers in leadership teams who can think the unthinkable.’
Tommy Koh, another doyen of Singaporean thought makers did not want to be outdone and added, ‘When we appoint people to boards, we can also appoint challengers who are subversive and who have alternative points of view. That’s the kind of cultural change we want to see. It makes Singapore stronger, not weaker.
I could not believe my eyes reading such disruptive comments from the thinkers of the establishment. I am not alone. Danny Chan, one of the panelists, could not help himself and took a dig at his fellow panelists. ‘You talk so much to me but when the minister is present, in front of him, you’re absolutely silent. This habit stems partly from a fear of looking bad in front of others and of failing.’ Oops, maybe he was referring to the audience.
Danny Chan could not stand the hypocrisy of the session. Maybe the talk shop was just a talk shop without any minister around and the message would be different when a minister is around. Maybe there is really such disruptive talks going around in the circles the natural aristocrats, that it is time to test the unknown and the unthinkable. Disruptive thoughts and disruptors are the new darlings of change, the change agents.
Critics and cynics like Philip Ang, Leong Sze Hean, Cynical Investor, Richard Wan and company may be receiving invitation letters to sit in some govt boards as disruptors to throw spanners into the works and hopefully things would get better. I would not include names of opposition party leaders as it would be too much to take to think that they could be invited. The non political individuals may have a rare and a one in a million chance to see this happening, definitely not those politically connected. I may even add the out of question candidates like Amos Yee and Roy Ngerng.
After saying this, maybe it is just another wet dream, too good to be true. Danny Chan should know better for highlighting the hypocrisy of the talk shop. If only the thought leaders are the decision makers, then there may be a little chance of it happening. For the moment, enjoy the musing.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What’s wrong being a Communist?
Today I can ask such a question without fear of being taken away in the middle of the night and locked up forever without trial. There was a time when talking about Communism and saying things good about Communism could end a person being branded as a communist and never see daylight thereafter.
I just read Teo Soh Lung’s post in the TRE about her arrest with 21 others in 1987, accused of being communists. And she wrote this,
‘Today I categorically deny again that I was a communist in 1987. I deny that I was ever involved in any communist network. I invite the government to prove its case against me or charge me in court if they so wish. I know it will never convene a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the gross injustice done to those arrested.
What laws do the government need to fight fake news? It should put its house in order before it enacts more laws to blind and gag the people of Singapore.’
This prompts me to ask this question, what is wrong being a communist? Trump had dinner with Xi Jinping, the President of Communist China, so must also be a communist. Xi Jinping and his wife were invited to spend a few days in Buckingham Palace too and welcomed all over the world. The communists from China and Russia are every where as tourists, businessmen, professionals, students and whatever. There can’t be anything wrong with being a communist right?
But in those dark days of our history, associating with Communism, reading communist literature, being a communist, was like becoming a member of Satan, more frightening than being the enemy of the state. Communism is only a political ideology, an ideology of a perfect state, an utopia, where everyone is equal and live in prosperity like paradise on earth. The problems of Communism then were its militant methodology to achieve political power by force. Then Communism advocated the end justified the means and the violent overthrow of existing govts. Communism was associated with violent means.
Today, many western countries have communist parties operating legitimately as another alternative party. Would someone calling himself a communist today in Singapore be arrested? I am afraid I don’t know what is the official stand on this, because the daft could not move with the changing time and could not adapt to the new reality that Communism has in a way abandoned the violent overthrow of govts. It is western democratic capitalist countries that are using force and violence to overthrow govts, conduct wars and regime change. This is not funny.
This is also the reason why Teo Soh Lung is vehemently disclaiming that she was a communist. Is it important if she was or was not a communist then? Ah, yes and no. Yes because she is making the point that she and her group were not communists but arrested and accused of being communists, for being communists then was a crime or anti state. No, not relevant today because I think one cannot be arrested just because he is a communist, or else all the Chinese from China would not be allowed entry here. I stand corrected on this. There is no official statement on this point yet. A foreign communist is allowed here, but not sure a Singaporean can be a member of a communist party today.
Can one be a communist and would not be arrested here, and be allowed to live just like everyone else? Can one form a communist party and contest in the general election? Has the govt grew up and accept Communism as another political ideology and a communist party is acceptable here as long as it does not preach violence or using force to gain political power?
I don’t think anyone has addressed this issue or say anything for or against it. It looks like Communism is still taboo here though many are doing business with the communists, wining and dining, making deals and even jumping into bed with the communists.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conversation with a Chinese national
I was having my lunch in a kopitiam when this Chinese national came calling me uncle and asking for permission to share the table. I did not push him away, scold him or nudge him from behind. I said ok and we had a little conversation. I did most of the listening as there was so much to learn from someone who was willing to share.
He said Xi Jinping has stopped all educational trips of Chinese officials coming to Singapore to learn the Singapore way. China had learnt a lot in the early days and now found that the current Singapore way is not what China needs or wants.
He spoke on many issues but most important of which is how China treats its oldies. China also has their version of CPF system whereby an employee would contribute 2% of his income and the employer 19%. Then the province, county and town or village would contribute the balance 79% to the fund. And at age 60, the oldies would be paid an allowance for life. He mentioned something like 4,000 rmb, not sure it was a month or a year. He added that the oldies are the happiest people in China, and the richest, that is why they are indulging in all kinds of leisure pastimes and travelling. And their children love them as they are not burdens to them, when the state is looking after them.
The oldies need not worry about pawning their homes to keep themselves alive. It is the duty of the state to look after them. The longer they live the more they enjoy the state pension. How’s that compare to our CPF, used to be a model formula for others to emulate but now turning foul. Got money but cannot touch, your own money but now some said not your money.
And how’s that compare to our oldies having to collect cardboard and pushing trolleys, or spending time in kopitiams to clean tables and wash plates to past their times? Some said to exercise while the Chinese oldies are doing line dancing in the parks?
This guy came from Xian in 2003 and was earning about $3k to $4k as a lorry driver. Now he said things are not so good and he is getting slightly more than $2k. Oh, he said in Xian, public transport is 1rmb per trip regardless of how long is the journey. How’s that? And they need not kpkb every now and them to raise fare to improve quality of service.
This is China practicing its socialist ideas, that the country or govt’s primary duty is to take care of the people’s welfare and well being. As China gets richer, more will be distributed to the people for them to live better and to live well. Not to be distributed to their leaders to make them millionaires. Xi Jinping said, if you want to get rich, don't join politics.
The happy Singaporeans would say Singapore is better. Singaporean oldies have pride and love to work until they die, to be independent and can exercise some more. And happy Singaporeans would continue to vote for their efficient and caring govt to look after them the way the govt knows best, especially their CPF savings, always there even after they died. For the money can only could not be used except for compulsory schemes. Singaporeans would not want the way China is looking after their oldies and their lifelong savings.
Tiok boh?
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore China relations – Damage control mode



The last few weeks Singapore leaders have been gloating about the good relations between China and Singapore, going back to the days of LKY and claiming all the credits for Suzhou, Tianjin eco city and telling China that we are old friends, honest and reliable, we have common interests, that our good relations have deep roots and small differences should not derail this relationship.

All the negative reports and articles about China have disappeared to a trinkle, though still one or two appearing to irritate the Chinese. There was no need for such pleadings to remind the Chinese that we used to be good friends if only our diplomacy was based on more sensible approach, knowing our place instead of being khongcum and everyday wanting to punch above our weight, to poke China in the eyes. Oops, no we did not do that, according to Tommy Koh and several other highly talented Singaporean diplomats. Even Vivian has been saying all the nice things about how honest we are in our dealings with China and the South China Sea dispute. No, we never do anything bad or harmful against China. And the Chinese are so stupid, thinking Singapore was anti China!

See, relationship with China is now on even keel, back to normal. Everyone is smiling now. Forget about the Terrex incident or the non invite to OBOR. These are normal things and would soon be blown over.

Let’s see how long we can keep the media and the politicians and diplomat’s mouths shut. Let’s see how long Singapore can restrain itself from wanting to punch above its weight and wanting to poke China in the eyes. In diplomacy, they don’t invent such words called diplomatic for nothing, everything is about being diplomatic and not about punching above one’s weight when there is no need to.

Did Singapore learn anything from the hot headed cocky approach prior to this damage control exercise with China? George Yeo better tell his former colleagues to know their places and stop being ‘boh tua boh suay’ in the international arena. The rule of the game is different, oops, in a way the same as domestic politics except that the person holding the big stick is not Singapore, so be prepared to be clobbered if one steps out of line

The horse has bolted from the barn, is it a bit too late to close the gate? Oops, more military exercises in the South China Sea, this time anti submarine exercise with India.

Is this a friendly or unfriendly act against China? Why not anti submarine exercise with China’s navy in the Indian Ocean?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore China relations – who is being simplistic
I read this first paragraph from an article by Dotseng aka Darkness in his blog titled “Why Mr Chee Hong Tat is simplistic and flawed in his conclusion”.
Chee Hong Tat recently blasted critics who suggest that Singapore should align more closely with China so it would stop investing in competitive projects in neighbouring countries are drawing “a simplistic and flawed conclusion”, Mr Chee pointed out that Beijing is making investments in the region to enhance its connectivity and energy security, and that these decisions are based on China’s own national interests. What is your take on that?
Darkness went on to ask many more questions and provided his own answers on why it was Chee Hong Tat that was simplistic and flawed rather than those who wanted Singapore to align closer to China to benefit more from the better relationship.
In Chee Hong Tat’s comment that China was doing it all for its own interests as if this is something unusual and unacceptable. It also kind of implies that other countries were doing things not for their own interests and securities but more for altruistic reasons or for the interests of other countries. And I presume it also applies to Singapore, that Singapore did things, said things not for its own interests or security? Do I make sense?
What is so wrong about China or any country doing things for their own interests and security? And for all the projects that China has embarked, be they bilateral trade agreements or investments or the OBOR and AIIB, the countries that participated in these agreements or in OBOR and AIIB cannot be doing them for the sake and interests of China but definitely more for their own interests.
Would Singapore be silly enough to participate in such ventures and agreements not for the interests of Singapore and for Singapore’s security? Did Singapore built Suzhou Industrial Park, Tianjin Eco City and now another city in Szechuan not for Singapore’s interests? Should Singapore be chided for doing all this for the interests of Singapore?
What is new? What is new is to say something that is nothing new as if it is new. What is new is to say something that is the norm and to put a slant into that it is not right to do so.
What do you think?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hsien Yang and Wei Ling leaving Singapore
From Yahoo News.
‘The siblings of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have issued a statement of “no confidence” against their brother, saying that they felt threatened by his pursuit of a personal agenda ….
Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling, …made the open statement through their Facebook accounts in the early hours of Wednesday (14 June).
In the statement, Lee Hsien Yang said he felt “compelled to leave” Singapore “for the foreseeable future”.
“This is the country that my father, Lee Kuan Yew, loved and built. It has been home for my entire life. Singapore is and remains my country. I have no desire to leave. Hsien Loong is the only reason for my departure,” the statement quoted Lee Hsien Yang.’

Wei Ling is also saying the same thing, that she did not want to leave Singapore as this is home but will also be leaving.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark clouds over Red Dot
The open letter by Hsien Yang and Wei Ling took all Singaporeans by surprise. The allegations were serious and Hsien Loong would probably in a state of shock. Could he have seen this coming? Not likely as he is on holiday mood. He would not have gone on vacation if he has seen this coming.
What were the allegations?
1. Abuse of power
2. Fear of personal safety from state organs
3. No confidence in Hsien Loong’s leadership
4. Disagreement between Hsien Loong and LKY over the demolition of 38 Oxley Road house
Details of the allegations are in the open letter by Wei Ling and Hsien Yang at http://statestimesreview.com/2017/06/14/original-letter-what-has-happened-to-lee-kuan-yews-values/
The allegations are very serious indeed and Hsien Loong would be compelled to make a defence to clarify the matters raised or he would not look good. His integrity is being questioned. In other cases that were slightly similar in nature when Hsien Loong’s integrity was questioned, a legal letter on defamation would be delivered to the alleger in double quick time.
Would Hsien Loong follow up like before after returning from his holiday? Many things, negative things, are now on the table. Not disputing and clearing them would put Hsien Loong in a very bad light and Singapore’s reputation too would be affected. He has replied with a 41 points argument today.
How would this family saga continue from here? And the matters are not only just about a family feud, many of the allegations concern Singapore as a free and democratic state, transparent and rule by law. There is now a dark cloud overhanging the bright little Red Dot and the whole world is watching, not just Singaporeans, in silence. The whole episode would describe what Singapore is all about, warts and all, baring all, for all to see. This will be the ultimate hard truth about Singapore that no one would be able to read under normal circumstances. The shocking revelation and truth that all Singaporeans and the whole world would finally see and read about are surfacing.
Who is going to sue who? Hsien Loong definitely has ample grounds to sue Wei Ling and Hsien Yang if the allegations were untrue. Do Wei Ling and Hsien Yang have any grounds to sue Hsien Loong before being sued? And whichever happens, more beans will be spilt for sure. This is Battle Royale uniquely Singapore that no one could expect coming from the near perfect family.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ultimate test for Singapore and all Singaporeans
A family feud is now in centre stage in Singapore’s plastic squeaky clean politics. Everything is now on display and the media could do itself more harm to attempt to take sides as the social media is there to offer the truth in its purest form, uncensored, as it is. Two opposing views will be aired unrestrained for all to see and judge. Every Singaporean, every foreigner living in the little island would be watching and would have his views and opinions plus a generous dose of gossips and wild interpretations of the event. The good, bad and ugly would have no where to hide but be exposed or exposed themselves.
Right at the very top is the integrity, honesty, conduct and honour of the PM at stake. What he said and what his siblings said would all be weighed and he has to come up clean and shining as before the event. Anything else would not be good for him and his party and govt. The PM is put on the spot light, put under severe test and severe examination and cross examination in the public court of the people.
Then the members of his Cabinet/MPs too would be watched carefully on what they said or what they did not say, what they did or failed to do right. They cannot be neutral or hide under ‘no comments’. They will have to take positions, legally, politically or morally on this feud. Can they afford to be neutral, to hide in the toilet? They are not just politicians but deemed honourable, righteous and responsible leaders of the country, to stand up, to speak out and not to hide under the table. How could they have no opinion or no view on this affair? Would they take positions based on political convenience, morally right or legally correct? My guess, the parrots would have lost their voice and remained ‘diam diam’ for good measures. No comment! Eh, this is not just a family affair, many aspects of it concern the govt of the day, the integrity of leaders.
The opposition political parties and politicians would also be expected to make their comments and keeping mum is not an option especially for those that have made this a second nature or a policy.
Govt organs and civil servants too would be watched on what they do or say. Making a wrong move, choosing the wrong side, could be deadly, a misstep can be very costly, pun intended.
And the people, the supporters of the PAP/govt, the grateful hoi polloi of LKY, and those that are in the opposing camp would be watching closely on the happenings and would be making their own judgement, not just on legal issues but moral issues and the issues of filial piety, issues on honouring their idol and fulfilling his last wish. Would they grant their hero his last wish or would they refused him his last wish now that he is dead and gone? Worst, when the lion king is dead, would they devour his young lions?
This is an occasion when the whole country is under watch, put to a test. Singapore is a nation under a microscope. What is Singapore all about, what kind of govt and leaders are ruling this island are now being questioned. Is Singapore the honourable, rule by law, morally upright priesthood nation, or it has all been a myth, a bad dream, and the truth is ugly and embarrassing to talk about?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lee Family Feud – petty or grave

Singapore will not be dragged down by Lee family's 'petty disputes': ESM Goh

'Grave concerns' about how Lee Kuan Yew's last will was prepared: PM Lee

Above are two headlines in Channel News Asia online appearing one above the other on 17 June as if the editor intentionally placed them there to let the readers see the contradiction. Whether this is petty or grave is a matter of opinion, and depends on whether one is a party to the feud or just a bystander watching with disinterest on the sideline.

Many have been saying that this is a petty family matter and should not be out in the public as it concerns the inheritance of LKY. Is it that simple, about whether his family home should be demolished or to be gazetted as a national monument? Or perhaps it is like what Lee Sheng Wu said, if one’s million dollar salary depends on not understanding an issue, then it is petty to them. The second issue would be of public interest for sure. The squabbles between the siblings could be private and personal that the public need not know.

The open joint letter added a few other factors to make it a public concern, ie the abuse of power charges, using state organs and threats or fear of personal safety. What would these allegations mean to the public? Petty or grave? The PAP likes to talk about the intent and purpose of an issue. The allegation of abuse of power is no petty matter, or is it? The abuse of state organs too is no small matter. What about the fear or threat of personal safety? This last part is more a digression from the main issue.

Hsien Loong is going to Parliament to defend these allegations. So, do you think it is petty or grave? Hsien Loong even lifts the whip and encourages all the MPs from both camps to question him vigorously. Not sure if the format of questioning is still the same, that MPs must submit questions one week in advance or something like that, or would they be allowed to throw questions at him off the cuff, on the spot? Whichever, this is the first time that a PM has volunteered to be challenged and questioned vigorously, ie giving permission for the MPs to ‘tarok him jialat jialat’ in Parliament. He must have believed in the saying ‘genuine gold not afraid of fire’ or 真金不怕火. The MPs can light all the fire in Parliament but he would stand out unaffected.

See how grave is this matter? Hsien Loong even apologized to the people. Now who is saying that this is petty and the people are tired of it?

The next big question, would Hsien Loong dare to sue his brother and sister, the children of Lee Kuan Yew, or put them behind bars for whatever charges? The loyalists and the old guards would not allow it, the cabinet ministers would not allow it, the people of Singapore would not accept it. Doing so would be the downfall of Hsien Loong and the PAP, I think.
There is a stronger message in the joint statement that was made public. What did Wei Ling and Hsien Yang want the public to know that is more important than the status of the family home and the family squabble? What is the message? I would not venture further than where the angels fear to tread. Obviously Hsien Loong and those that could see that this is as not a petty family dispute can see the picture very clearly.
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