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Celebrating Singaporeans
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13465
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr Goh Keng Swee

Dr Goh passed away this morning at the age of 91. He was famed for being the architect of Singapore and for laying a sound economic foundation that allowed Singapore to be what it is today. And many people now can claim credit when the tough part was done by Dr Goh and his generation of leaders. He was a great mover of people and resources.

One minute silence for this grand old man of Singapore.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of frugality, thrift and poison

In the MediaCorp tribute to Dr Goh Keng Swee broadcast over the its channels yesterday, three words stood out prominently to describe this giant of our founding fathers. He was known to all as an economist and steep in the values of thrift and frugality. He was saving cost everywhere and in everything, even in his own personal ways. He was said to prefer to walk several blocks to save a couple of dollars which people may find it amusing in a time when spending tens of thousands for a cooking class in Paris is just a weekend past time.

Maybe the country had underpaid him at a time when money was not easy to earn. Maybe he too did not see it right to pay himself as much as he would want it to be. Maybe when he was around, extravagance was frown upon to the extent that permanent secretaries were spoken highly of for driving around in a small Japanese jalopy. That was the ethos of the years of Goh Keng Swee.

He spoke about watching out for poison in investment and economic enterprises. Would he be worried looking at how we invited hedge funds and big investment banks to steam roll into our financial industry, adopting controversial systems that the Americans knew were dangerous and have started to curb these practices? Would he be angry with the poison that the people were fed in the forms of toxic notes and worthless papers called derivatives? Would he allow these to go on through repackaging and not called poison but something else, and let the people have it as long as they know the danger, that the danger is explained to them?

With the passing of Goh Keng Swee, would we be bless with another careful thinker to guard our national interests and remove or keep poison out of our system? The unfortunate thing is that history does not throw up great men too often for the benefit of human beans. Often, after the passage of a blazing meteor it is followed by a long interval of darkness.

Singapore has the exceptional good fortune of having a cluster of good men during its early years of independence. With the passing of Goh Keng Swee, we have yet to find another equally able and gifted group of individuals of their calibre to sustain our good run into the future.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Missionaries

As Dr Goh's body lays in Parliament House awaiting a state funeral, the people came from near and far to pay their last respects and tributes to a great and honourable man who had done so much for so little for his country. All the words were of the works that he had conceived and done. They remembered the times they met him when he was serving as a minister and busily doing what he had to do. And words would not be enough to describe all the things that Goh Keng Swee had done in his ministries.

One word was starkingly absent. No one mentions anything about sacrifice. No one tells how men of his time, including senior civil servants, slogged through days and nights just to get the job done. If I can recollect, even when he was a minister, he had never complained about the sacrifice he made for the people and country. For he did not need to justify for himself or what he was doing.

There were plenty of works to be done and they went about it like missionaries. A calling, a duty to the people and the country. And they did a damn good job for it without the glamour and the trappings of extravagant rewards to go with it.

They were men and women on a mission. Dr Goh was an exceptional missionary.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kwa Geok Choo

Breaking my morning silence to the passing of another historical figure in the history of Singapore. She stood shoulder to shoulder with the first generation of leaders including her husband Lee Kuan Yew and the likes of Yusof Ishak, Goh Keng Swee, S Rajaratnam, Toh Chin Chye, E W Barker, and the rest of the political leaders of the founding years.

Wife of a Prime Minister, mother of a Prime Minister and could be grandmother of another Prime Minister. Everything needed to be said have been said and will be said in the official media.

Over the next few days Singaporeans will say farewell to this quiet pillar of strength in PAP leadership.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chia Thye Poh deserves a Nobel Peace Prize

He is the longest surviving political prisoner in modern history, serving more years than Nelson Mandela. He was imprisoned without trial for 23 years and under house arrest for another 9 years, giving a total of 32 years in detention. Mandela served 27 years in all. Wikipedia describes Chia Thye Poh as a prisoner of conscience, a person who stood firm on his belief without wavering and sacrificing his freedom and the best part of his life.

If any one deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, it must be Chia Thye Poh. The politicians or political parties should nominate him as a candidate for next year’s award. He might be a communist, though he has never admitted to be one. But communist or no communist is no longer an issue with the award given to the first communist in China in Liu Xiaobo.

And if the Nobel Prize committee does not know where Singapore is, it will be an advantage by telling them that Singapore is part of China. It will give the committee more reasons to give the award to Chia Thye Poh, ‘to spite China again’.

And we can celebrate our own Nobel Peace Prize winner, our very own son.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Celebrating Julian Assange

I reserve the column Celebrating Singaporeans for notable Singaporeans who have done something really worthwhile to be recognised. This is my little equivalent of an Award, The Redbean Award in recognition of contribution to human beans in little Red Dot.

No, Julian Assange is not a Singaporean. But he and his friends have done something that is much more than another other human beans have done, and its impact can be felt across the world, transcending national boundaries, racial and religious barriers. Julian and his friends have taken on the world's most powerful evil empire disguising as the Empire of Goodness. The evil Empire has been lying by the skin of its teeth, claiming to be fighting for freedom, freedom of expression, human rights, the rights to fair trial, to be treated humanely and with dignity even as prisoners of war, and the right to live and choose one's own way of life.

Yesterday, Julian Assange and his friends have released nearly 400,000 war logs of American deceptions and atrocities in Iraq. It is revealing a truth that only exceptionally motivated human beans would dare to do, taking own the mammoth machiney of the Empire. They are risking everything, their lives and freedom, to tell the truth, for a better world.

They stood by the American Constitutions of Freedom and Free Press. They quoted this in their website.

'3.3 Should the press really be free?

In its landmark ruling on the Pentagon Papers, the US Supreme Court ruled that "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government." We agree.

The ruling stated that "paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell." '


In every chapter of human civilisation, when evil has taken over control of the human race, some exceptional men and women will appear to change the rule of the game and bring light to a world of darkness.

Though Julian Assange and his men and women would not be deemed worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, only war mongers like Obama and maybe George Bush Junior were found more worthy, they deserve to be celebrated by the freedom loving people of the world.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Professor Kishore Mahbubani

Foreign Policy Magazine Honors Professor Kishore Mahbubani as One of the World's Top 100 Global Thinkers

SINGAPORE, Nov. 29, 2010 /Standard Newswire/ -- The National University of Singapore (NUS) is pleased to announce that Professor Kishore Mahbubani, a distinguished diplomat and Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School) at NUS, has been selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of its "Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010", alongside prominent thinkers who shaped the world in 2010. Other prominent international global thinkers who were honored this year include Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffet, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Robert Zoellick, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, US President Barack Obama and Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan.

This is the second annual list of top global thinkers who shaped the world, and half of this year's top 100 Global Thinkers hail from outside the United States. Prof Mahbubani is honored by the magazine "for being the voice of a new Asian century." ....


He is in good company except for Barack Obama. He is lucky that George Bush Jr is not in the list.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tharman Shanmugaratnam

'WASHINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday named Singapore's finance minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, to head its key policy-steering panel, the first Asian to head the advisory committee.'

Though this is only an advisory committee, it is still a rare honour bestowed on a Singaporean.

Next target, head of the IMF. That will be something, but unlikely as it is reserved for an American, I think.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kishore Mahbubani - world's top 100 thinkers

Kishore has been listed as one of the world’s top 100 thinkers by a US based Foreign Policy magazine. It is a great honour to be there among the Europeans in an European centric magazine that only understands western language and thoughts.

Who is this guy? He is not angmoh. He is the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He got to thank the school for not replacing him with an angmoh to give the school greater credibility and be more believeable in the western intellectual circuit. Think of it, it is one of the rare corners of Singapore where the top dog is a Singaporean. For this reason alone, it is worthy to keep this School relevant as a pride of the country, that a Singaporean is found good enough to head the school.

I am not sure how long before the CEOs of the 3 local universities be headed by foreigners as obviously there are just not enough local talents of international stature to raise the profiles and rankings of these world class universities. Having foreigners to front these universities, like many of the Singapore institutions, is a good thing as they will spread the news of Singapore and how great this island is. Their presence will put the universities connected to the best universities of the West.

Then again, if we do not allow out Singaporeans a chance to take on high profile positions, how would they gain recognition by the international community? How would someone like Kishore be recognized if he ended up just another professor in the School of Lee Kuan Yew or any local universities?

Our angmoh is good mentality is a self debasing policy. If we keep giving the plump jobs to foreigners, our local talents will forever have their heads under water, to be another statistics and nothing more. We need to give more chances to the local talents and thinkers to be in the limelight, to be seen and heard, to be recognized.

Good that we have someone like Kishore. But he could be the last, just like we have a Lee Kuan Yew, and he will be the last titan this little island ever produced.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr Toh Chin Chye passed away

Toh Chin Chye passed away this morning at the age of 90. He was one of the founding father of PAP and modern Singapore. He was also a Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the PAP then.

Another historical figure that has turned to ash. Another chapter of Singapore's history comes to an end.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize
This is the latest initiative from the city state that has yet to become a country. It is most appropriate and complementary to have a city giving out a city prize. This prize would eventually be as famous as the Nobel Peace Prize for recognizing talented people across the world for their contribution in city management. It would put the city state in the world map of recognizable names and another first for the city.
This is the kind of initiative and creativity that this city needs, not paying money to change a name and then have a change a mind and change back to the original name. Money must be well spent.
The famous Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is in the city to receive the honour on behalf of New York City, or is it on behalf of himself. The publicity value to have Bloomberg here, and got printed all over American and other international papers is really worth it.
Below is a quote from the official website of the LKY World City Prize.
‘The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a biennial international award that honours outstanding contributions towards the creation of vibrant, liveable and sustainable urban communities around the world. It recognises individuals and organisations responsible for urban initiatives that display foresight, good governance or innovation in tackling the many urban challenges faced by cities. …
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate will be presented with an award certificate, a gold medallion and a cash prize of S$300,000, sponsored by Keppel Corporation.’
Now which other third world country aspiring to be first world would want to create another prize in a similar vein? It is not easy to copy the act though. First they need to be first world and have the personality to lift the prize in high honour so that recipients will feel honoured to be honoured.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr Lim Hock Siew, on the wrong side of history

A man of principle, detained without trial under the ISA for leftist political belief, passed away on 4 June 12 at the age of 82. He could have walked out of prison earlier if he just said he would denounce the use of force to overthrow the govt. He refused on the ground that his detention was unjustified and chose to stand by his principle. He said,

"I am not interested in saving Lee Kuan Yew’s face. This is not a question of pride but of principle. My detention is completely unjustifiable and I will not lift a single finger to help Lee Kuan Yew to justify the unjustifiable. In the light of what you say, is it not very clear that I have lost my freedom all these long and bitter years just to save Lee Kuan Yew’s face? Therefore the PAP regime’s allegation that I am a security risk is a sham cover and a facade to detain me unjustifiably for over nine years."

Dr Lim was also a founding member of the PAP but broke away to join another party, the Barisan Socialist.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judge Philip Pillai

It is not often that I praise anyone in public or any public officer. The way Judge Philip Pillai conducted himself is highly professional and highly respectable. He knows his job, his rights and what is within his jurisdiction. By upholding the dignity and integrity of his office, he commands great respect from everyone, and I think even his enemies will respect him, for upholding justice and principles.

He has lifted the judiciary a notch higher in the international arena. And everyone in the judiciary and the legal profession, including Singapore as a country, has Judge Pillai to thank for.

Judge Pillai is the epitome of what a civil servant shall strive to become, and be respected in an honorable way. Be truthful and professional in the execution of your duty and responsibility, without fear or favour. This is the only way to command respect and bring a good name to the profession and to oneself and to one's country.

Anyone who compromises his professional integrity will live to regret it later and no amount of money can make it look right again.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pang Yingfen - The “heroine” of Henderson Road
‘In June 2010, she helped 13 needy households pay more than S$10,000 in expenses. Now, she has helped 60 needy families pay more than S$30,000 in utility bills, expenses and rent.
One of these families had an outstanding utility bill of S$8,500, and water and power supply have been cut for some time.
The “heroine”, Ms Pang Yingfen, was particularly concerned when she met the family. The golf club membership agent has been actively involved in charity work for the past 20 years, Lianhe Wanbao reported….’ Copied from Insing.com.
Among the families helped was one with 12 children with the oldest aged 14 and the youngest in nursery. The parents are in prison and the utility bill was $8,500. There are people in very tough times and there are very kind people out there who are living angels to those that need help. Pang Yingfen works with a group of helpers who are doing their part to help the less fortunate. Bless the samaritans and the people in need.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In celebration of foreign tycoons
There were many headline news of the increasing numbers of foreign tycoons making Sin City their homes. These are the genuinely super talents that have made it good in life in their own ways and are filled with money and riches, and life was meant for living and pleasure. They are here for the right or wrong reasons but one thing for sure, they will not be here to take away plum jobs from Singaporeans. The only unsavoury sin they could commit would be the buying of a few ethereal priced properties. But this would not have too much negative impact on the general populace as their numbers, and the sale of landed properties is limited by legislation and a thinking Govt, are small and remote, a world of their own. They could in their own ways contribute positively to the economy if that is what the Govt desires. I don’t think anyone has any issue on these tycoons.
What this group of tycoons will not do is to feast on the success of the country built over the last few decades. They would not be parachuted down from nowhere to take over top jobs and be paid millions when the jobs could have gone to the local talents. Many Singaporeans see this as a betrayal. I am still scratching my head as to the number of top jobs going to foreign talents and watching what they are doing and what a local could not do much better.
The paying of millions to foreign talents for positions that were created locally is something that will not be taken lightly by the aspiring local talents. The question is why, after building up this place, the credits and benefits ended up in the pockets of foreign paratroopers and mercenaries. This is not just a matter of envy. There must be many local talents that can fill these jobs or be groomed to take over these jobs. I would faint if, after building up a banking empire like UOB, the top job ended up with a foreigner because no local is deemed good enough. It is plain silly to do so, all the hard works of several generations in building a business empire only to see someone coming from no where to reap the rewards. What has this foreigner contributed to the creation of wealth and the business to have the good fortune of being paid in the millions, delivered on a silver platter?
We should welcome the tycoons and their businesses and the jobs they created for the locals. Why should we welcome foreign talents who are here for the feast?
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