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Signs of decline
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13465
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAP is a forward looking govt, always looking and planning 20/30 years ahead
This is the greatest strength of this forward looking party. They are always looking head, planning ahead, though some have accused them of not looking at now and ignoring current problems. The Buddhists have this saying, the most important moment is now, the most important people are people sitting in front of you, the most important thing to do is what you are doing now. For the next moment you could be dead. How’s that for always planning for tomorrow?
Such philosophical sayings are just that. What is important in politics is about thinking ahead and planning ahead and don’t have to worry about the present or answering to the present. Both viewpoints have their strengths and weaknesses of course. Let’s just look at the strength of the PAP for being a forward looking party, like partying now and look forward to the glorious time in the future.
The first forward looking policy of the PAP is the fear of a rogue govt should the PAP lose power. They fear that the new govt could be rogue and would wantonly and carelessly spend all the savings accumulated by the PAP govt in the form of the people’s savings in the CPF now called the nations’ reserve. How much is there no one knows, don’t ask the President. Don’t think he knows either, or at least President Ong Teng Cheong did not know then. Not sure if Nathan knew or Tony knew when they were in office.
The point is that whatever in the reserves, it could be squandered or gambled away by a rogue govt in the future. So the PAP came out with a plan to prevent this from happening. The solution is an Elected President to do the job as the guardian of the people’s money. No govt in the world could be bothered about this dangerous thing that could happen to their countries. Only the PAP is prescient and responsible enough, and care enough to plan for this eventuality.
After cooking up this scheme to protect the people’s savings, the PAP started to look ahead again and came out with the idea that the EP could also be a rogue and could be in cahoot with the new rogue govt. So the power of the EP must also be constrained less he also did what a rogue president would do. This is NG.
Now a new wonder scheme has been found to as the solution to a rogue EP, ie a President Advisory Council of wise men, handpicked, full of integrity, to curb the power of the President. Though the EP is elected by the people, with the mandate of the people, unless it is a walkover than not elected and no mandate, the EP cannot be trusted and it is better to have a group of wise men, fully trusted, to advise him and check on him in case he becomes rogue, like the rogue govt he is supposed to check. This is double insurance.
This new power given to the President Advisory Council is good, at least for the moment. Once the dust has been settled, the PAP may start to look ahead into the next 20/30 years and may be worried what if the PAC could also turnsrogue. Now this will call for a new scheme to watch over the PAC isn’t it?
What would be the PAP’s solution to prevent the PAC from becoming rogue? Is this possible? Is it possible for an EP to turn rogue? Is it possible for a popularly elected govt to turn rogue? If the answer is yes for one, it must also be yes for the other two. Tiok boh?
What do you think? Another 20/30 year ahead scheme in the making to check on the PAC? Know how forwarding looking the PAP is and how much time they spent thinking and planning ahead to fix future problems, I think there is a good possibility for them to think that the PAC could also become a clear and present danger to the EP. Thinking and planning a head is to guarantee that the future is always bright and good.
PS. For those who are still kpkb about the train problems, not to worry, in 20/30 years time all will be fine. This one is guaranteed.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13465
Location: singapore

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

Reactions to the EP walkover
The no contest for the EP is quite expectable given the aristocratic elitist barriers raised to block the average citizens from their rights to be elected to the office of the Presidency. This is more than a sick joke if this country is to be called a democracy when the basic rights of the citizens are taken away from them, that not all men are equal under the law but some are more equal than others based on their jobs and wealth. Now that the show is over, let’s see how the citizens react to the whole farce all for nothing.
For the activitists, there was a sit in vigil at Hong Lim Park, where they protested in silence, nothing more nothing less. Anything more could be dangerous. The turnout was good enough for the govt to take notice.
The next group of citizens simply said, it’s over, let’s move on. This is the typical boh bian group of Singaporeans, resigned to their fate.
A deviant group would grudgingly said, what to do, what can you do about it, and end the story there.
Then there is the usual large group of tiada apa group that just go home with whatever they are doing as if nothing happens. Life just go on with or without the EP show. The boh chap type.
And there is the very disappointed hedonistic group that are cursing and swearing that they did not have a free holiday. That is about the most important thing in the life of this group.
And you will have the happy group all celebrating and congratulating the PAP and Halimah for winning the EP election, for working so hard for it.
And let’s not forget another group that would give up a big yawn.
This is Singapore and how Singaporeans react to this EP reserved for the Malays.
It is a non event. Who cares? Nobody cares, really. The govt can do whatever it wants, change the Constitution for what it thinks fit and whatever it claims will affect Singapore in the future, whether the people agree or not, it does not matter. The govt said counts.
Oh the Malay community will be celebrating the second Malay President of the island after 47 years. Gratitude man.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why was Wee Kim Wee called the people’s president?
Other than his easy ability to connect with the average Singaporeans, Wee Kim Wee was acknowledged to be the president that open up the Istana ground to the public on public holidays. The people held him dearly for this act of generosity and sharing with the common folks. Yes, giving the people more open space and offering the Istana, once the privilege of the president and the natural aristocrats, to the average Singaporeans to roam was admirable.
How is Halimah going to do better than Wee Kim Wee, to connect better with the people and to be accepted as another people’s president? For one, instead of opening up more space for the average Singaporeans, her choice of resident as the EP, to remain in her HDB flat, is doing exactly the opposite. The HDB estate that she lived in is a public area where people can move about freely.
Her assumption to the presidency has resulted in her neighbourhood being locked down in a way. The police and security people are all around, around the clock, to check on visitors and even the residents living in the same block as her. For security reason, for protocol and the privilege of being the head of state, many things have to make way for her. Car parks are reserved for her and the police.
People, relatives visiting people in her block would be subject to rude and uncomfortable checks and scrutiny. Yes, the vicinity of her Yistana is no longer a public place where people have free and easy access. How’s that for depriving the people from their small comfort of freedom of movement but instead turning her neighbourhood a restricted area?
I think she should think carefully about the inconvenience caused to her neighbours and move into the Istana instead of turning her Yishun flat into another Yistana for the good of her neighbours. After all as president of the state, she deserves to be living in the Istana. No one else deserve more to live in the Istana than the President and her family.
Come on get moving Halimah, and be a real people’s president, to give the people more space and convenience than inconvenience, for the sake of the people. You can’t put the blame on the police and security people for doing their jobs to protect your safety and convenience. And you can’t blame your neighbours and the public for being annoyed, burdened and subject to checks and the watchful eyes of the police. When such interference in their lives becomes excessive and daily, it is no fun anymore no matter how much they like you and respect your new status.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 13465
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an EP was supposed to be
Anyone can recall the original ideals of what an elected Presidency was supposed to be? There was a time when there was a fear that an elected govt could turn rogue. So a second key in the form of an elected president was conceived to check on the elected govt. Please register this word ‘elected’ into your brain, hard wired it as it is the crux of the whole elected presidency. The elected president must be elected to have the mandate from the people to check on an elected govt. Simple to understand? A non elected president, one that is not elected, does not have the moral and legal authority to check on an elected govt.
The reason is simple and logical. How can a president that is not elected, does not have the mandate from the people going to check on an elected govt? The elected govt will show the president the middle finger. Who do you think you are? Where is your authority? Who gives you the authority when one is just appointed by political convenience to be the president? See, an elected president is the key to what an EP is all about. If a president is not elected, on what ground could he check on the elected govt?
So the EP schemed was born and an election is mandatory, even if against a non interested candidate in the first EP election. The people must cast their votes to give the president the authority and mandate, even if it is 35%, it is better than none. Some may question whether a 35% EP has more mandate than a publicly elected govt with more than 60% or more popular votes. See the slippery part about this thing called elected and mandate of the people?
We have seen two walkovers in electing an EP. Both Nathan and Halimah were not elected by the people. So got mandate over an elected govt?
Things get more fuzzy and slippery when an EP, elected by the people, with the mandate of the people, can be overruled by a Presidential Advisory Committee made up of appointees that were not elected by the people. What mandate or authority does a bunch of appointees, unelected, over an elected President, elected by the people? You tell me lah? Gila or not?
And the latest Malay President that is technically and legally not a Malay, at best half a Malay, is the elected President. Oops, not elected, because it is a walkover. Got mandate or not? What happened to this crucial mandate that was necessary to have the authority over an elected govt? Never mind? Not important anymore? Walkover also can as long as he/she is the EP. Never mind for he/she can be overruled by a non elected PAC.
What is happening? Is this the EP that was originally designed, to have the mandate of the people to exercise a veto right to checkmate an elected govt? Does a walkover EP have the moral authority over an elected govt? Or this is no longer important anymore since the EP, even if elected, can be checkmated by a non elect PAC?
What happened to the word, ‘elected’ and mandate of the people? Walkover also means got people’s mandate, elected by the people?
What do you think?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gang raping truth
What is the truth? Only the truth and nothing but the truth. It sounds so simple. The truth must be the truth, anything else is not the truth. The recent events surrounding the elected Presidency seem to tell a different story. The truth is nothing but the truth? It seems that there is not only one truth but many truths over one subject matter, over one fact or a series of events. Truth is subjective, up to the interpretation of the one speaking the truth. It is called my truth and your truth, or as Donald Trump's spokeswoman said, it is just an alternative truth.
Is this confusing enough? I am sure everyone knows what I am saying and knowing how confusing truth has become. And those getting confused are adults, thinking adults. And they in a way have come to accept that truth is not like what it was like before. They can’t even tell the difference between a rogue and an honourable man. There are many truths and every honourable man would swear to it that he is telling his truth and cannot be questioned or challenged, because that is an honourable man's truth. Honourable man does not tell lies and would never make a lie into a truth. So does the rogue.
What about the children? Could they understand that truth has many versions and depends on who is telling the truth? How would adults explain to the children that truth can be in different forms and not necessary the same? And everyone can tell his truth with a straight face when it is different from the truth, far from the truth.
This is a uniquely development in the little red dot. And as usual no body is questioning why it is so. They simply accept the truth and the truths in all forms and all shades of colours. Nowadays it is easy to accept black is white or white is black. After a while everyone would get use to it. It is the new normal.
Perhaps the word lies in the dictionary should be amended to truth. There is really no difference in the meaning of the two words. Truth = lies.
Talking about gang raping truth with no hint of guilt.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parliament sovereignty versus the Constitution
Shanmugam raised the concept of Parliament sovereignty in his answers to the issues raised by Sylvia Lim in Parliament. He is right, absolutely right in the interpretation of Parliament sovereignty, that the Parliament makes laws and can repeal laws, annul laws by legislation. That is the role of Parliament, the law makers.
Thus, when he said the govt made a policy decision to start counting from Wee Kim Wee, it has the right to do so, even to start with any other president or something like that, because the govt/Parliament is sovereign, can do as it pleases in a way. It writes laws and strikes out laws, it is the law maker, the law, the sovereign.
I would not dare to challenge Shanmugam on his brilliant interpretation of Constitutional Law. If he is wrong, I am sure many other brilliant lawyers would point it out, or at least the AGC would be there to keep watch, or the Chief Justice. Interpretation of the Law is the precinct and responsibility of the Judiciary, which I think includes the Supreme Courts and the AGC. Please excuse me if I am wrong, I am only a layman and this is a layman’s simple view of the govt and judiciary.
Just one point that I am still not very clear. Parliament may be sovereign, but it must still respect and abide by the Constitution. The Constitution is supreme in a way and the govt must work within the Constitution. If it does not like any law in the Constitution, it has to repeal/annul or strike it out and replace it with a new law. It cannot make a policy that is against the Constitution. It cannot violate the Constitution or it would be lawless, against the rule of law.
The interpretation or policy decision to use Wee Kim Wee as the reference point, as the first Elected President, to rule that the latest EP election is due, does it violate the Constitution? The Constitution also said that a reserved EP for minority president is due only after 5 terms when the minority did not have a president. To use Wee Kim Wee as the reference point, it is violating the provisions in the Constitution, the intent and spirit of the reserved EP in the Constitution?
A govt policy decision cannot violate the Constitution if I am not wrong. It would become unconstitutional. The govt should seek to change the Constitution first, using its sovereign right to repeal the law and then act on it under the new law. Can the govt suka suka say it is a policy decision to use any past president to determine the 5 terms provided in the Constitution, or ignore the 5 terms, or declare a reserved EP for a minority president anytime if wants under the present Constitution?
Any brilliant lawyer thinks he is up to it to explain the above? Making a policy decision ultra vires the Constitution is definitely unconstitutional. Tiok boh? Parliament is sovereign but still bounded by the Constitution. Otherwise it is lawlessness. Remember the meaning of Rule of Law? What did the Constitution say about the 5 terms requirement? What is the spirit of the Constitution on the need for a reserved minority president?
PS. This is what Shanmugam said in his response to Cheng Bock.
‘Here is what I said in full, as reported in CNA (link below).
“Q: When would the circuit-breaker (to hold a reserved election after a racial group has not been represented in Presidential office after five continuous terms) come into effect?
Mr Shanmugam: The most direct answer is actually, the Government can decide. When we put in the Bill, we can say we want it to start from this period. It’s… a policy decision but there are also some legal questions about the Elected Presidency and the definition and so on, so we have asked the Attorney-General for advice....’

What do you think? Or any brilliant lawyers out there think otherwise, or all agree with our brilliant Law Minister?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hsien Loong - I did the right thing

A few weeks back Hsien Loong said he did the right thing by changing the Constitution to entrench race as a key factor in the election of a president. The statestimesreview has this to say,

'In his speech addressing to PAP grassroots leaders on Friday (Sep 29), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong claimed that Singaporeans are unhappy that he did the “right thing” to create a race-based election leading to his choice of candidate winning without a contest:
“Did I know that this subject would be a difficult one? That it would be unpopular and cost us votes? Yes, I knew. If I do not know that these are sensitive matters, I cannot be in politics. But I did it, because I strongly believe, and still do, that this is the right thing to do.”'

This thing about doing the right thing regardless of how the people thing is a LKY legacy. It was relevant then as most of the people were either illiterate or not well informed. Today, with so many people educated to tertiary level, many are more well informed than those in govt and this kind of thinking can only get increasing irrelevant and misplaced.

How many people agree with Hsien Loong that he did the right thing? It all depends on who you ask and under what circumstances. The answer will be yes if the right group would to conduct a survey, for sure. If social media were to conduct a survey, it will be unanimously NO.

Hsien Loong admitted that it was a difficult one, an unpopular one and very costly politically. So what is so right about this EP thing? That the majority of the Chinese population is racist? That the Malays would never be voted to be the president? Why not do the simple and right thing and go back to square one, return to the system of a president appointed by the Parliament?

Practically every ‘racist’ Chinese is rooting for Tharman to be the next PM. Queer isn’t it? How about this? ‘According to Yahoo survey, almost 70% hope Tharman to be the future PM’. Tharman, do you think the Chinese are racist by voting for you and wanting you to be the PM? Oops, maybe Tharman is a ‘Chinese’ and only the racist Chinese know about this secret.
What about this comment in TRE:
NC Tay wrote, “Stop accusing the Chinese of being racist just to push your agenda! I’m all for a minority PM now as Long as he’s capable. Mr Tharman is much more capable than you, why don’t you step aside and let him be the PM. Are you oppressing the minorities?”

Why so gungho about wanting to do the unpopular, the difficult and the costly thing? Is this stylo milo, a show of statesmanship, great leadership, a show of great political thinking?

What is going to happen down the road following this highly controversial and to a certain extent bizarre decision is very serious. In the first place I don't think the Malay community is amused or won over by this funny walkover EP in Halimah. As some Malay leaders had said before this event, we did not ask for it, we did not want it, but since it is given, we will accept it, but not really happy about it.

This change, in my view, did not win the Malay votes but actually undermine the trust among the Malay to serve a political agenda. The Malays are not daft. They could see everything clearly in black and white.

As for the rest of the races, it is a no go from the start and many are fuming. What did Hsien Loong gain to push this through? Political wisdom or what?

Just because Hsien Loong said it is the right thing does not make this the right thing to other people. This could be the worst mistake that he had made in his political career. Not to mention the indiscriminate influx of foreigners and the withholding of the people's 'blood and tear' money in the CPF.

History will be the judge. If this is not the right thing, history will be very harsh on him. But that is not the point. The point is that the people will have to bear the consequences of this constitutional change, and our politics will not be the same again. Race is entrenched in our Constitution when we are singing and pledging regardless of race language or religion everyday
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