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Speak Your Mind, Singapore!
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 14049
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sizzling debate

The presence of foreign workers and the concerns of the people have been brewing for many years. Now it has come to a head and a sizzling debate is going on. As the number grows, as empty space near rubbish dumps and cemetries got used up, they will be moved closer to the residents. It has to be. The hardlanders are less vocal when their private space were encroached. Anyway they are seen as nothing much better than these foreign workers and their lifestyles should melt into each others quite easily. They might not look too different either.

Now the encroachment is getting a bit too near for comfort for the more well off segment of our people. And they are not going to take this sitting down. But can we do away with them? They have become integral to the well being of our economy. They may be here to stay for good, helping us.

One solution is to increase the dosage. Bring in more, another 3 million foreign workers will do the trick. That will dump the Singaporeans into a minority and drown their voices. And we can develop a bigger infrastructure to take care of the existence of this group of people. We can designate a Dep PM to look after the 4 or 5 million foreign workers, a Minister in charge of their welfare, another for their housing, another Manpower Minister to look after jobs for them. And more MPs to be elected from the foreign workers to represent them.

This will also help to bring our population to the optimum level of 7 to 8 million. Then no need to bring in any more. And our economy will then be sustainable, self sufficiency, and we can all live happily ever after.

Another option to dilute the great divide between them and us is to offer Singapore citizenship to all foreign workers. That will make them one of us. No more distinction and cannot call them foreigners anymore. All problems solved. And we can revive the great HDB building programmes and all properties will increase in value too.

Both are great solutions that are worthy of serious considerations.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 14049
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foreign talents feel slighted

Foreign talents should not feel slighted by the recent debate. Singaporeans are not xenophobic. Real foreign talents are welcomed and if they are, they should know this. It is the non talents, the pretenders and the conmen that are not wanted.

And the foreign workers are also welcomed up to a point, up to a level when they start to squeeze the locals for space and facilities. That point has reached in Serangoon Garden.

I have read in the media that PRs called this place their home as well. Well in a way. They are permanent residents. But this is only their temporary or secondary home. It is never the same compare to a citizen. The citizens are here for good while the PRs are here when the weather is fair.
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Grunt



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those Real Foreign Talents are having it good here driving their Posches
and Feraris. They are getting patted, carried and even living it up
better than most of our locals.

In fact, they are living in some of our most high and distinguished districts
and would not want to associate themselves even with our own
heartlanders let alone those Foreign Workers that sat by the five foot
way .................
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 14049
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The foreign workers and the losers must know their station in life. Then we will have peace on earth. And if the well off foreign talents or local talents want to be generous, the losers should be thankful. If not, they are living world's apart and each should not infringe into the other's territory. Unless we want to live by the rules of Communism.

As long as both sides do not encroach on each other or offend each other, let each live in peace. The rich should be allowed to enjoy their F1s and the losers should be allowed to enjoy their getai. The foreign workers can enjoy their grass patches and maids.

Peace to all.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Different interpretation of Serangoon Garden Incident

There have been different reactions to the Serangoon Garden petition with some calling them snobs while some raising the flag of racism. I see this rather as a case of social misfits where hardworking people, having worked for a better lifestyle and seeing what they have worked so hard for being threatened. Do we find this disgusting? Do we believe that people should work to improve their lives, their environment, and choose to live in an environment they are comfortable with? Do we want people to level up or to level down, accept the degradation of an environment that they have built all these years? Are we being fair to just look at the interest of the foreign workers at the expense of the residents who have been there first?

Are they selfish? I will say no. They are just decent human beings who want to live life decently. And if you raise your lifestyle to their level, you will surely be welcomed. No one who wants a better quality of life will want to live in the ghettos or the slums. And it is normal for them to protest when people want to bring the slum to their doorstep.

This is a microcosm of what Singapore is all about. We have move up to the first world in terms of quality of living and infrastructure. Do we want to level down? The influx of millions of poor workers into this first world city will definitely bring with it the graffiti culture along. Do we want that kind of environment or choose to be in a first world environment, F1 racing, fine dining, culture and concerts. Yes, snobbish appeals and past times. What do we want? Return to the third world?

Racism is definitely not an issue. It is social class. A mismatch of social class and a clash of social lifestyles and habits.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Time to stand up, time to speak up Reply with quote

Who says that Singaporeans are compliant sheep? We have seen the spontaneous uprising against the abuses in the old NKF saga. Now we are seeing another mass action against a potential govt decision that will adversely affect the people. Yes the sheep have spoken. They have rounded themselves to take a stand. They did not want to be pushed around.

The more significant of this petition is that it is not against an individual but against the authority. They are saying no to the authority. In other countries, this is chicken feed. In paradise, this is a kind of uprising. And you can see that the people are not going to take no for an answer. They are up in arms.

Would the govt bulldoze its way through or would the govt back off and announce that it was only at the discussion stage? No decision has been taken and the workers will be sited elsewhere that are more suitable?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let it be other people's problem

See, I don't live in Serangoon Garden. Should I just support the plan and let the foreign workers be housed in that school and the problems stay there? This island is just too small and running out of space. Not there must be somewhere else. Maybe they will house them next to my estate. Ok, I support the location of the foreign workers in Serangoon Garden.

Another way of solving the problems of foreign workers is to engage them. Embrace them as your long lost brothers. Organise welcoming parties for them. Invite them to have dinner with your family. Recruit them to patrol and guard the estate. The problem becomes the solution. The people the residents fear become the people to help the residents.

What an ingenious strategy. Turning adversity into an advantage.

PS. Don't pray pray with unknown elements. My mother told me not to talk to strangers. Old mother's tale.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 14049
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More hugging and embracing may do the trick

MP Lim Wee Kiak, who sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for National Development and Environment, suggested that employers work with grassroots leaders to organise dorm visits for residents, to foster mutual understanding. Quoted from TodayOnline.

This is a good suggestion. We should organise more social activities, visit them more, have more parties with them to get to know them better. Then they will understand the locals and the locals will understand them. And with such understanding, they can live happily together. Problem solved.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wrong vibration

The mantra of foreign talents is still being sung in high places. We need a new vibration. We need more concerts, arts festivals, F1s, bohemian corners, pot parties, gay parties, yatch racing etc etc. We need to fill up the Esplanade and the museums. These are the kinds of vibrations we are expecting to befit a first world city. Black tie parties, wine drinking and beautiful women in their expensive fineries.

What kind of vibrations are we getting? The Geylang kind, the vibrations of litter, noise and stench. And we have little Geylangs aroung the islands. We are a first world city within a city of sleaze.

We have kept the foreign workers in dormitories in graveyards and secondary jungles or industrial parks. But when these run out, or when the number can no longer be contained, we are going to see them swimming in the plummest corners of paradise. Serangoon Garden is only the beginning. They will move nearer to us as a matter of time.

Nice vibration.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why no Tamil signages at the airport?

Red card was shown and a speaker was not allowed to talk on the above topic at Hong Lim Park. This is a sensitive issue on race. A K.Sabesan wrote to the ST and said, 'I wish to express my strong displeasure over the decision of the police to cancel a planned talk at the Speaker's Corner over the absence of Tamil signages at the airport and other tourist attractions...I strongly supported the initiative not out of hatred towards other races, but felt that the issue had to be addressed.'

I have full sympathy with such feelings. We have so many Tamils and Bangladeshis here who don't read English or Chinese. We also have so many Thais, Myanmese, Filipinos and Indonesians and people from other countries. And we also have tourists from around the world coming here, including Arabs, Russians, East Europeans, Japanese, Mongolians, Vietnamese etc etc.

As a global city welcoming the world to our home, we must show our hospitality towards our guests and our guest workers. We need to make our facilities friendly to all of them. And this is especially so to the valuable foreign workers and foreign talents sacrificing to build our countries and provide employments to Singaporeans.

We should have signages for all the languages of the world in our airports and tourist spots. That is not only natural justice, we can also claim another first to do so. Soon big cities like New York, London and Paris will follow our example as truly international cities and put up language signages in their airports.

If we are not going to do so, then we should do the next niciest thing, to cut down on the number of foreign workers and foreigners in our country. Then no one can be angry with us or complain that we are being unfair to them. We can't really blame them when there are so many of them here. We must treat them fairly, at least let them know how to go from A to B, in their own languages.

Where on earth can you find foreigners demanding rights to have their languages in signages in our airports and tourist spots? Only in Sillypore!
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The foreign workers problem in Serangoon Garden is like the traffic congestion problem. You squeeze at one corner, it will prop up in another corner. That is how small and how tight we are. We don't have the luxury of space. When your neighbour farts, you smell it.

What we need is a special path direct to heaven for the foreign workers. I mean have a special express like helicopter lift, from dormitory to work place and back.

You cannot have the cake and eat it as well. You want to eat all the fine food, be prepared for the smell when they are turned into shit.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thieves and Thugs

The thieves and thugs of today are not called Ah Seng or Ah Long. They don't have tattoos all over their bodies. They don't carry guns or knives. Very likely they come armed with a string of degrees from Harvard or Yale or some Ivy League Universities. And they are well connected and protected.

Actually they are all very nice people. Dressed in designer suits and can be seen in all the high places. And for sure, they don't kill. They don't cheat people of a few dollars or a few cents.

They only talked about millions and billions. They don't rob. They just reward themselves for their talents. Their rightful claims.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Selling ice cream!!!

Not everyone is a super talent. Not everyone can perform multi tasking effectively. Not everyone can wear 10 or 20 hats and still get the jobs done competently. And not everyone has the privilege of holding multi jobs and can get away with doing very little, or doing nothing, and still being paid handsomely.

As each profession or job gets more complex, it will require higher level of knowledge and skills and attention to details. And if several professional jobs or trades, perform by different professionals, are lumped together and expecting people of diverse professional background to be able to execute them efficiently, what we are going to have is superficiality. It also insults the complexities of the nature of the jobs and the professions.

The financial industry has undergone this phase of transition when insurance agents and stockbroking agents were ‘encouraged’ to cross train, to allow insurance agents to sell financial products and stockbroking agents to sell insurance products. What a silly idea. But it was done.

So what can be expected? Each profession is governed by a series of stringent rules and regulations, laws and technical expertise that demand professional devotion. But some jokers thought that both professions were like car or ice cream salesmen, and a little training will do the job.

So what we have eventually is the blurring of roles and the blurring of products. And there are many such products to complicate matters. And these inadequately trained people were out there trying to sell additional things which they are not familiar with.

And they called them Financial Advisers, I think. And I think some of these financial advisers are now involved in the minibond fiasco. They are presumed to have the professional knowledge to sell financial products but now found inadequate. Some are going to be screwed till their anus burst for failing to exercise professional due diligence. Ignorance or inadequacy will not be an excuse.

Financial products and instruments, derivatives etc are complicated stuff and cannot be administered superficially. There are many technical, financial and legal terms and conditions governing such products and these are not easy to understand. It is not like selling cars or ice cream. I have even been approached by bank tellers to buy such ‘ice cream’.

Selling such products is not a once off the shelf, its over. They are dynamic products that require constant monitoring and attention. And the consequences for misreading, misjudging and mis selling can be very serious.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time to acquire local banks

With the stock market going into a tailspin, with banks and blue chips companies at fire sale prices, it is time for GIC and Temasek to consider buying them up in the cheap.

The American govt is pumping in US$250b to buy up bank stocks. GIC and Temasek should find value to acquire or build up their holdings of local banks and blue chips.

And with DBS now the smallest local bank, why not buy up the number One or number Two banks?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New and sounder system

'We are in the midst of a once-in-a century credit tsunami. Central banks and govts are being required to take unprecedented measures. In 2005, I raised concerns that the stock market mechanisms were flawed and the protracted period of its existence, if history was any guide, would have dire consequences. This crisis, however, has turned out to be much broader than anything I could have imagined. It has morphed form one gripped by liquidity restraints to one in which fears of insolvency are now paramount.

Given the financial damage, I cannot see how we can avoid a significant rise in layoffs and unemployment...All of this implies a marked retrenchment of consumer spending as households divert an increasing part of their incomes to replenish depleted assets and stocks.

A necessary condition for this crisis to end is a stabilisation of stock prices...the ultimate collateral support for much of the commercial backed securities....'

The above is a doctored version of Alan Greenspan's testimony in Congress. But it does reflect in some ways to the crisis in the financial system and the stock market today. Greenspan had admitted that his blind belief in the free market and how financial institutions will protect their shareholders' interest was wrong. And every party in the system is an accomplice to this failure, from regulators, financial institutions, rating agencies and watchdogs.

When greed is in the minds of management, regulators, and all concerned, the system will crack. Or when false premises or untenable missions and goals were set, things will go wrong.

Perhaps this financial crisis is a wake up call to review what we set up to do, to achieve, and whether these are right, attainable, or flawed from the start. Do we want to be an international financial centre? Yes. Do we want a stock exchange that is number one is Asia? Yes. Do we want all the international financial institutions to be here, the hedge funds and all? Yes.

Can we manage them? Or would we allow them to dictate to us how things should be to our detriment? Or should we scale down our lofty ambition and admit that we are small and there is a limit to how big we can grow before we get choke to death?

We definitely need to reveal the existing structure, mechanism, rules of the game and the goals we set for ourselves. All organisations are run by human beans. And human beans are selfish by nature. They will think of their own interests first and the interests of the organisations they are in charge. As long as these organisations are profitable, the rest can go to hell. Doesn't matter to them. And that is what is happening today.
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