Why we cried when Schooling our Singaporean champ won gold at the Olympics


Our Singaporean hero – Joseph Schooling who won the gold medal for the 100m butterfly event at Rio Olympics 2016

Tears flowed and there has been non-stop euphoric rejoicing by Singaporeans ever since Joseph Schooling won our country’s first Gold Olympic medal for the 100m buttefly event. The win was made even sweeter by the fact that this awesome champion is our homegrown talent and not an imported foreign sports talent brought here and given instant citizenship purely for the sake of winning medals.

Before the defenders of the “Foreign Sports Talent Scheme” and moralising minority start getting prickly and shout “Xenophobia” let me explain why the reaction by Singaporeans is so vastly different for Joseph vis-à-vis the foreign sports talents.

Firstly, let me state that  I understand why there may be a need to import foreign talents for sports and that this is done by other countries too. I also appreciate the fact that all these foreign talents who come here do train very hard (such as the table tennis player Feng Tianwei from China who has sustained serious knee injuries from her training). Most Singaporeans have nothing personal against these foreign sports people. These people took up a great offer from our government and one cannot and should not fault them for that.

Many footballers with talent have also been recruited by national football teams all over the world.  These talents add unique strengths and enhance the team play as a whole. It is acceptable to most when a large football team comprises some foreign players. There is no public angst over this here either because the football team is still viewed as a Singaporean team by virtue of the fact that most of the players involved are locals. And many of these foreign players like the former football legend Abbas Saad assimilate well with our home boys and our culture.

Where the public discomfort comes in and when we get turned off is when foreigner sports people are deployed by our government on a highly visible mass scale in small team events and in solo sports events such as in table tennis. IMO, it is time for our government leaders to start asking themselves why is it that so few ordinary Singaporeans (with the exception of people like MP Lee Bee Wah) celebrate when table tennis sports medals are won by PRC-turned-Singaporean players?

Why is there no euphoric explosion of national pride? Why are no tears shed by the people? Is it worth it to keep investing millions of taxpayers dollars to bring in loads of foreign sports talents if it doesn’t arouse our national pride in the same way that Schooling’s triumph has done for our country? I am not saying to stop completely but at least review the objectives, value and quantity to bring in under the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme.

On the difference between the euphoric response by Singaporeans to Schooling and the generally ice-cold non-reaction to the wins by our table tennis team, the answer is pretty clear cut. There is no heart-to-heart connection between us and these PRC-turned-instant Singaporeans.  There is little pride felt when a “bought” talent wins just like there is no pride in scoring an A if one had paid another to sit for an exam.

It also does not help that many of these table tennis PRC players behave like foreigners, they come across as unSingaporean and they do not even bother to speak English. I do feel sorry for these foreign players who slogged at training and at the Olympics but the fact remains that most Singaporeans find it hard to identify with them and feel no pride in such “bought” successes.

Instant new citizenships and wearing the Singapore T-shirt may make these foreigners officially Singaporean, but to the rest of the ordinary citizens our hearts feel empty when they win.

It is not xenophobia at all just to make it clear.

edgar Su

Euphoric celebration by Singaporeans (photo by Edgar Su Reuters)

When third-generation Singaporean Joseph Schooling won the gold medal, tears of joy flowed spontaneously on countless Singaporeans faces. It wasn’t that we (yes I cried too) decided “Oh we must cry because he is true blue local”. Not at all. Our hearts and minds simply responded with a burst of patriotic pride. The heart just knows when one of our own has done us proud. Our first gold Olympic medal by our local boy. Our local hero! Truly inspiring.

No matter how long it takes, no matter how few our Olympic medals, I think most Singaporeans would prefer grooming more of our homegrown talents than to keep importing foreign sports people enmass. Winning is great but we should take pride in how we win. Some things are just well worth waiting for.

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Democracy in a Straitjacket

This blogger hits the nail on the head with his analysis that GE 2015 might have been PAP’s high watermark (implying it is going to get harder to win votes after that). This would partly explain why the ruling party has set in motion a series of shocking dictatorial moves in recent months including the questionable ELD complaints and police raids and seizure at the homes of Roy and Teo Soh Lung over their harmless postings on Cooling Off Day; the warning to foreign companies not to sponsor any events including Pink Dot at Speakers Corner; and the latest whammy announcement on the ban on use of the Internet by civil servants (excluding the top guns of course) from next May.

Why is the government doing this? Let’s drop the pretense and face the facts. The ruling party is doing this because they need to tighten their controls over the people now that their Superman Lee Kuan Yew is dead. Without LKY around, the PAP is significantly weaker as their leaders have not earned sufficient respect from the people to win die-hard loyalty. Post-LKY era, the current crop of PAP leaders probably figured they need to show Singaporeans they are still the boss and on top of their game. Hence, the series of chilling actions taken by them over the past few months. It would not be farfetched to say that many of these actions are pre-planned to strike fear into the people’s hearts, just as how LKY used his knuckledusters in the past. The PAP-government is sending the same old message out – “Don’t mess with us or else…”. In many countries, much of what they are doing would be deemed illegal but here in a small island where they hold complete power over all the relevant agencies and where their word is law, the citizens are almost powerless against such tyranny.

What we are seeing IMO is but the tip of the iceberg. My gut feel is we can expect more repressive actions to be taken by the ruling party in the coming months. Having absolute power is a heady feeling and there are no boundaries as to how it will be wielded when the ones in power have no one to be accountable to. Absolute power corrupts absolutely indeed.


“The other day, someone told me the difference between a democracy and a people’s democracy. It’s the same difference between a jacket and a straitjacket.” – President Ronald Reagan, 1986

Ever the wry wordsmith, Reagan coined this phrase to reference the looming shadow cast on the peoples of Eastern Europe by the Iron Curtain. A very different time and place, perhaps.

Yet, the analogy hit uncomfortably close to home. The familiar buckles of political control have once again tightened on civil society. Early in May, underage dissident Amos Yee was arrested and hauled to court to face potential charges for sedition. Later that month, convicted murderer Kho Jabing was executed at 4.30 pm on a Friday, the first time in Singapore’s history any prisoner on death row was not hung at the break of dawn. It was rumored that the authorities were furious at his lawyers’ stalling tactics and…

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I would vote for SDP

Sharing this blog as it lists many valid and strong reasons to vote for Dr Chee Soon Juan. It also debunks the threats and myths that Bukit Batok residents may lose their upgrading if they do vote for him. Let’s get this straight, BB will still get the upgrading as they are already in the works. Secondly, please remember you are not voting in an estate manager but an MP who is involved in much bigger issues including debating vitall policies that affect all of us.

Some of you may have misgivings due to the negative impression created by the PAP and the MSM,. Ask yourself how valid is that stigma?

Do consider voting for Chee because it is indisputable that he does have the courage to stand up to the mighty PAP and the intellect to speak up for us in Parliament. He does have the determination to speak up against policies that are not good for us. Lastly, he has shown that he does genuinely have our interests at heart. We can count on him to add more diverse and balanced views to the debates in Parliament.

BB residents, this is a win-win situation for you. Vote for Chee and you get the loving attention of not one but two Parties. Vote for a better future for Singaporeans please.

Article 14

I lived in Bukit Batok from 1985 to 2007.  If I were still a resident of Bukit Batok, I would vote for Dr Chee.

For as long as I have been eligible to vote, I have voted for an opposition candidate for the primary reason that there is a need to bring some balance to Parliament.  The motivation has not been about replacing the PAP immediately as the government of the day but about having sufficient number of non-PAP MPs in Parliament.  2 reasons:  Diversity of views & Checks and balances.

Diversity of views and ideas is sorely lacking in our Parliament and debates in Parliament regularly echo the same thought processes, the same arguments and the same assumptions.  Non-PAP MPs from multiple parties will help to introduce that diversity into Parliament.  WP MPs do provide alternative ideas in Parliament but they tend to be weak-voiced not due to the…

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A Mud-Slinging By-election, again


This witty drawing by Cartoon Press aptly captures the character assassination of Dr Chee Soon Juan by senior ministers and the Prime Minister no less during the Bukit Batok By-election. What kind of appalling values are they imparting to our youths and Singaporeans in general? That it is ok to behave like goons and to hurl insults at opponents to get what you want? How can the leaders of our country behave in such a deplorable manner when they are supposed to be role models? 

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On Integrity, Hypocrisy & Setting Bad Examples at Bukit Batok By-election


When leaders set a bad example – PM Lee and Minister Grace Fu continues the demonising of Dr Chee Soon Juan during the Bukit Batok by-election.

For those who are unaware, the persecution of SDP’s chief Dr Chee Soon Juan has been going on for over 20 years! And the PAP leaders are still at it, doing their unethical best to demonise this man without any regard to how their attacks would affect Chee’s wife, his children and his parents.

It was really shameful to see our Prime Minister and senior ministers behave in a despicable manner during the Bukit Batok by-election. Ministers Grace Fu and Halimah Yacob continued the PAP’s bashing of Dr Chee Soon Juan last night at the Bukit Batok rally. They threw various slurs at him such as mocking him for being “unemployed” and for being rude to former PM Goh Chok Tong, something that happened eons ago.

It is very ironic and hypocritical that we have highly educated Singaporeans buying into the character assassination of Chee based on what the PAP-govt have claimed and what the local MSM have reported including over some flimsy allegations. Yet these same people have never spoken up against the numerous unethical actions committed by Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP against the citizens (including likening us to dogs)  and against hundreds of innocents who were jailed for opposing them.

So it is really laughable to hear PAP supporters and some Ministers bitch about petty little things like Chee being rude to Goh ONCE when they have never objected to the numerous reprehensible injustices committed by the PAP leaders against the people of Singapore.

The top leader of this country PM Lee Hsien Loong also joined in the demonising of Dr Chee during a support visit to Bukit Batok the morning after the BE rally. During media interviews, Lee disparaged Chee (which was unsurprising). What was shocking was he actually called Chee crazy when there is no truth to it!

Quote LHL: “So, when I read the Wanbao interview with Dr Chee I was saddened but not surprised. Because he is not sorry for anything he did. He is not – he is proud of his record, he is proud of his craziness streak. And yet when he comes today, he presents himself as a changed man.”


Does he look or sound crazy in any way?

Bad habits die hard indeed. LKY used to excel in sticking labels on people to stigmatise them and now Lee junior is continuing with this tradition. In 1988, ex-President of Singapore Devan Nair wrote in his letter to LKY :”Your genius for sticking labels on people does Singapore no good. The truth of things often requires the removal of the labels on them. Nowhere more so than in the brand of politics you have developed. Thanks to you, Singapore has rapidly become a vivid illustration of the political adage: ‘Give a dog a bad name and hang it’.”


As a citizen of this country, I hope my fellowmen and women realise that such leaders who indulge in ad hominem attacks set a deplorable example for their country and even more so for their supporters. When they behave deplorably in an adversarial manner in attacking their critics it sets the tone for their supporters.

This may explain why the PAP supporters have also adopted such an unpleasant adversarial behaviour online.  It is evident online in the increasingly hostile way in which they defend the PAP and in the way they attack in droves in an arrogant and  patronising manner to mock those who dare criticise the ruling party.

The growing nastiness of the PAP and their supporters is troubling. This is becoming a nation increasingly divided. We do not need such hostility to worsen the cracks. Where is the civility and graciousness that was preached by the government? What will happen to the unity and harmony of Singaporeans if such hostile behaviour continues to be encouraged by the ruling party?

PM Lee also called Chee hypocritical.

There are no greater hypocrites than the PM and his PAP gang in the way they constantly preach integrity while abusing their power and indulging in actions that smack of no integrity.

  • These politicians draw the highest pay in the world for a government while mocking Chee for being “unemployed” (in reality he has been working hard by supporting his family through his writings despite being demonised by the PAP).
  • They play the race card in politics and at BB by-election while claiming that Singapore is not ready for an Indian PM.
  • They use all sorts of dirty tactics to destroy their most vocal critics and to fix the opposition parties.
  • They go against our Constitution in oppressing the people’s right to free speech; they have jailed hundreds of innocents without fair trial.
  • And they shamelessly milk the state-funded island-wide People’s Association resources to promote PAP and their leaders while dispensing questionable benefits in return to supportive grassroots leaders.

These are but some examples in a long list of their litany of sins.

In closing, allow me to quote PM Lee who said it is”completely wrong and bad” in reference to those calling on Chinese voters to pick a candidate on racial lines. I agree.  It is indeed “completely wrong and bad” to pick any political candidate – including the next Prime Minister – based on race. It is also “completely wrong and bad” to call an opponent crazy when he is not.

Hypocrisy and Integrity? You, PAP leaders, are not worthy to even mention these words.

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Disgraceful, Grace Fu

Agree with Andrew Loh that what Grace Fu said was most unbecoming of a senior minister. What kind of example are such leaders of our country setting for our people? By their action they are showing that the means justify the ends. This is deplorable behaviour by our leaders.

Andrew Loh


So, as I had expected, it didn’t take long for the PAP to resort to below-the-belt attacks on Dr Chee Soon Juan – again.

Just a day after Nomination Day, at her party’s first rally for the Bukit Batok by-election, the Minister of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Grace Fu, apparently launched an ad hominem volley at the SDP secretary general.

“He wants to be a full-time MP,” Ms Fu said, referring to Dr Chee. “As far as I know he’s not held a full-time job for a long time… The work experience is essential. It’ll be interesting to see if there is a referral letter from Chiam See Tong.”

First, it is a rather uncultured remark from a minister of culture. Yes, ironic.

Second, Ms Fu’s remarks would actually bring the same question to her colleagues, many of whom are helicoptered into ministries and GLCs and associations without any…

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Individuals can discuss Elections online on Cooling Off Day according to Govt’s rules

There’s no need to gag yourself even though many Singaporeans are self-censoring, frightened by the Cooling Off Day. Read the press release issued by the Govt on this matter.  From the release it looks clear that the cooling off is for campaign activities and not to gag individuals. So it is safe to go ahead and discuss as we well should as it is about our country’s elections.

Confirm it for yourself by reading the latest ELD press release here http://www.eld.gov.sg/pressrelease/ParE2015/Press%20Release%20on%20Cooling-Off%20Day%20and%20Polling%20Day.pdf#zoom=100

Extracted from ELD rules on Cooling off day and Polling Day. Refer to point “F”.

“There are some exceptions to the prohibitions of knowingly publishing or displaying election advertising on Cooling-off Day and Polling Day:

a)Reports in the newspapers, on radio and television relating to election matters;

b)Party Political Broadcasts scheduled from 9pm onwards on Cooling-off Day

c)Approved posters/banners lawfully displayed before the start of Cooling-off Day;

d)Election advertising that was lawfully displayed or published before the start of Cooling-off Day on the Internet and that was not changed after its publication or display 2; However, programmatic advertising, i.e. using technology to automatically deliver digital ads online and on social media platforms, should not be conducted on Cooling-off D ay and Polling Day.

e) Distribution or promotion of the sale of any book if the book was scheduled for publication independent of the election and the
book is not sold at less than its commercial value;

f) The transmission of personal political views by individuals to other individuals, on a non-commercial basis, using the Internet, telephone or electronic means;

g)The wearing by candidates, of a badge indicating affiliation with a political party or replica of the symbol allotted to them.

So discuss all you want as individuals as it is our right. It would be just too ridiculous if we can’t even talk or chat online about our country’s elections right?

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Don’ts and Dos of Marking Ballots, Don’t Waste Your Vote!

Did you know that you could end up giving your precious vote to the party you dislike or end up spoiling your vote if you drew or wrote something rude in the box next to their logo on your ballot paper? You may think you are being funny but such actions could make the difference between a Win and a Loss in closely contested constituencies such as in East Coast, Marine Parade and Holland-Bukit Timah GRCs.

Every vote counts so take care not to end up spoiling your vote or giving your vote to the wrong party by mistake. Resist the temptation to draw or write something rude.The temptation will be MAGNIFIED this year as the Government will be printing the photos of all candidates on all ballot papers.sample

An example of the new look ballot paper with candidates photos

Examples of the new look ballot paper with candidates photos

Yes, horns will look lovely on your “favourite” target but please exercise restraint and DO NOT draw or write on the photos of the candidates nor on the party logo! No horns, no moustaches, no “FU”. Period.

Many of us know that we should mark a cross X next to the party that we want to vote for. Sounds simple enough? But few know that there are many ways to unwittingly end up spoiling your vote or, worse, giving the wrong party your vote. Take a look at this.

Image from Nicole L's FB page

Image from Nicole L’s FB page

The image on the right was taken off a Facebook post. The negative messages are clear but that does not matter as there are rules to be followed and PAP may get the vote if their appointed counting agents are able to argue a case for the vote.  And believe me, they WILL. And so they should, just as all counting agents for the opposition parties should fight for every ambiguous vote that is up for adjudication.

As a backgrounder, each counting place that counts the ballots will have counting agents  representing each political party and government officers to do the counting. There are Assistant Returning Officers at each counting place and they will adjudicate unclear votes and their decision is final.

Read these two blog posts by blogger Yawningbread to know more about the process and to see more images showing examples of valid votes and spoilt votes. One of the images below shows votes that were apparently considered acceptable at a counting centre during GE 2011.

Images extracted from Yawningbread bloggers post

Images extracted from Yawningbread bloggers post

These 2 oddly marked ballots were accepted as valid at one counting place in GE2011 (Image from Yawingbread blog)

These 2 oddly marked ballots were accepted as valid at one counting place in GE2011 (Image from Yawingbread blog)

Surprised by how ambiguous or questionable markings can count as a valid vote? Me too.  Blame it on a badly drafted rule issued by the Singapore Elections Department (ELD) that gives rise to many grey areas as to when a marked ballot can be rejected or accepted.

In the ELD 2015 guide for Counting Agents, there is this grey clause 5.12 under “Counting Process” that states:

“But a ballot paper on which the vote is marked elsewhere than in the proper place, otherwise than by means of a cross or by more than one marking will not be treated as void if the intention of the voter as to which candidate he/she wishes to give the vote to is clear, and the way the paper is marked does not in itself identify the voter.”

Basically, this says the vote can count so long as it can be argued that the voter’s intention was to vote for the party which contains a marking in the box next to (or on) the party on the ballot paper.

This vague rule gives too much room for what is considered an acceptable marking which could trigger adjudication. As there is no clear guidance on how to adjudicate some of the ballots that are marked in odd ways,  except that of determining voter intention (which is like trying to read a crystal ball in some cases), there will be inconsistency in interpretation across the counting centres.

According to counting agents who have witnessed the counting of votes in the past, even drawings of a turtle, a squiggle or an “FU” can count as a spoilt vote or a valid vote depending how hard a party counting agent argued and the decisions of the AROs at the counting centres. And at the same time, there are eyewitness accounts of votes where the X was marked faintly for the opposition party and yet were rejected by the RO at the counting centre despite protests by that party’s counting agents.  Obviously, the ELD needs to redraft the law to make it fairer and clearer for the counting officers and voters.

But until then what is ELD’s guideline on what counts as a spoilt or rejected vote?  Ballot papers that are rejected:

(a) a ballot paper which does not bear the complete official mark for the authentication of ballot papers;
(b) a ballot paper on which votes are given for more than one candidate;
(c) a ballot paper on which anything is written or marked by which the voter can be identified (e.g. a voter signs or writes his name or NRIC number);
(d) a ballot paper which is unmarked; and
(e) a ballot paper which is void for uncertainty.

A vote is supposed to be considered spoilt and thus not counted if both boxes (or more if there are more than two parties contesting in that constituency) are clearly marked. One box may contain the legit X for the voter’s chosen party but whether that that vote would be valid or rejected is debatable even if the voter had made other markings in the box next to the party you are not voting for.  All very, very grey no thanks to clause 5.12 as stated above.

By now I hope you understand the perils of trying to be funny or unclear when marking your ballot paper. Play it safe and do nothing more than mark a X next to the party of your choice. Explain and emphasise this to your family and your friends.

When you cast your vote this Friday – please vote with your conscience for a party/candidates with ability and integrity and vote properly with an X.

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9/11 – Vote with your Conscience for people of integrity

Much has been said by the PAP candidates about honesty, integrity and character in the heat of elections campaigning. PM Lee Hsien Loong has also declared: “If good men can’t get elected…then we have a problem.” I agree.  But are the PAP leaders really good men and women with integrity and good character?

Before I go on, let me state that I believe that many of the PAP MPs are decent people in their personal lives. However, they appear to have shelved their conscience when it comes to their political roles. By partaking in the wrongdoings by the government, they are party to the deceit and this reflects poorly on their character and it shows a real lack of integrity.

Is this the sort of people we want to vote for to be our future leaders and role models to our children and youths?

Just today, I saw a posting on Facebook of a note posted on the door of a flat in Tanjong Pagar. It warned the PAP not to knock on their door and it explained that the occupants of that flat “cannot support a party that bullies, intimidates and mud-slings its way into Parliament”.  For good measure the writer added “since from back in school, we have never voted for bullies to be prefects”.letter

Seeing such reactions from Singaporeans gives me hope that people are disturbed by the PAP’s despicable behaviour and that they want to vote in people with integrity to lead our country.

Indeed, voters must go beyond bread and butter issues and examine closely the character and integrity of  the PAP which is the dominant party (and other political parties of course) before they decide on who to vote for. This GE, there are many excellent quality candidates in the opposition parties with many hailing from prestigious universities and from professional or corporate backgrounds including lawyers and doctors.

What then should the deciding factors be when choosing who to vote for when we have such a wide choice across the parties? For me, it is the integrity and character of the party leaders and the candidates.

For far too long, too many Singaporeans have closed their eyes to the abuse of power by the PAP-dominated government which has run the country with much deception and hypocrisy. I worry that if this continues, our people will become inured to the wrongdoings so much so that even the children and youths may come to believe that PAP’s way of doing things – the ends justify the means – is the right way when it is not.

It is high time that voters, young and old open their eyes and start voting with their conscience in addition to their head for the sake of our people and our future.  If the online comments and the letter by the TP GRC resident is anything to go by, it appears that more Singaporeans are voicing their anger over the hypocrisy and double standards of the PAP leaders.

So what has the PAP-Government done to incur the people’s wrath?  The list is long as it spans 50 years but let me highlight eight key ones.

  1. Manipulating and lying about our country’s history
  2. Abusing power such as through blatant gerrymandering
  3. Creating and nurturing a culture of fear in the people of the Government
  4. Conflict of interest and double standards in the application of laws and rules.
  5. Misusing our state-funded resources notably the People’s Association
  6. Using outrageously dirty tricks to fix the opposition and vocal critics
  7. Creating repressive laws to suppress our civil rights and to control the people
  8. Their total denial of any wrongdoing and shameless hypocrisy

Let’s start with the manipulation of our country’s history. It is one thing to hurl mud at opposition parties and it is another for the PAP to exploit and denigrate our country’s proud history by twisting the historical facts for their political advantage. What kind of First World politicians would do this? Are the PAP leaders truly proud Singaporeans as they claim?

The tragedy of all this propaganda is that many Singaporeans, including well-educated youths, are blindly parroting these completely wrong narratives which is a great insult to our country’s illustrious history and heritage. It is not uncommon to hear intelligent young adults claiming mindlessly that LKY founded and even named our country which they blindly believe was a mere fishing village 50 years ago!

For years now, the PAP has been blasting false propaganda such as telling people that Singapore was nothing but a kampong/fishing village/swamp 50 years ago.  By downplaying our history, they aim to reinforce a political narrative that they had transformed our country from nothing to a metropolis.

Fact is 50 years ago, in 1965, Singapore was already pretty developed with a financial centre, busy port, many modern buildings, hotels, good schools, bustling shops and restaurants and a strong civil service. Many of us who are old enough to remember the good old days can attest to this. Yes, we had kampongs and some swamps in parts of our lush tropical forests but to claim the entire country was a fishing village and swampland? Comon’ does one call Malaysia a fishing village just because they still have many villages? Of course not!

Our island, by virtue of its excellent geographical location, was already an important and

Raffles City in the 1920s

Raffles City in the 1920s

thriving trade hub centuries ago. By the early 1900s, Singapore was a prosperous city, one of the most modern in Southeast Asia, and it had one of the world’s busiest ports.

I urge Singaporeans, new citizens and PRs living here to make an effort to learn about our real history and to watch YouTube videos of Singapore taken in the 1900s. For more information, you can click on this link  – a blog post I wrote on why Singapore was not a barren island 50 years ago.

Moving on, let’s look at how this government has abused its power. For starters, why is the Elections Department headed by PM Lee Hsien Loong when there is clearly a conflict of interest? For years now, we have been facing flagrant gerrymandering by the PAP-G which redraws the boundaries of constituencies at every General Elections for its political advantage. Why are places like Holland Road and Orchard under Tanjong Pagar GRC and parts of Serangoon under Marine Parade GRC?! LHL-poster-1-484x650And why are posters with Lee Hsien Loong’s picture placed all over Singapore when it clearly contravenes one of the elections statutes that states candidates can only place their posters within the constituency that they are contesting?

For more examples of double standards and power abuse, let’s look at how the they go to extreme lengths to fix the opposition parties.  Almost everyone here knows by now how they have been attacking the Workers’ Party over the ongoing Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council saga. ahpetc The PAP-Govt has wasted tax-payers money and used government agencies including the Ministry of National Development to try to bury the WP in their bid to wrest back Aljunied-Hougang GRC.  But despite their best efforts at mud-slinging over the past 10 months there has been no proof of corruption.

As a reminder, right after the WP won the Aljunied GRC in the 2011 elections, the government did something shocking.  It used the HDB to literally seize 26 plots of land from WP and leased them to the People’s Association instead.   This was obviously politically motivated as WP is the elected representatives of these two constituencies and no reason was given by the G for the decision. Subsequently, all community events at these sites had to be approved by the PA instead of WP’s town council and there was another scandal when it was leaked that community event organisers were told not to invite the WP members to their events!

This history of fixing the opposition goes back many decades with the G having sued, bankrupted, jailed and also exiled many of their most vocal opponents and critics.  Notable political events where many brave Singaporeans were persecuted by the PAP-government include Operations Cold Store and the Marxist Conspiracy.

Today, the fixing of their critics continues, albeit on a smaller scale. Actions du jour include filing police reports and suing citizens such as Lee Hsien Loong’s lawsuit against blogger Roy.  They have also created more laws such as the Protection from Harassment law, a law created supposedly to protect innocent citizens but which ironically has been used by the Government against their critics. The Amos Yee saga was an example of how this law was invoked when 32 supporters of the PAP filed police reports against the boy for his video mocking Lee Kuan Yew. It also showed how the Government can,  in its haste to protect its leaders and its party, even persecute a 16-year-old boy by placing him in remand/jail and even in a mental hospital for several weeks.

Such ridiculous persecutions have been reported by the global media and made us a laughing-stock. And it makes Singaporeans wonder if PAP is a Party Against its People?

The PAP-G constantly preaches integrity and good character when they behave like hypocritical tyrants without a conscience.  They can attack the WP over the AHPETC matter while downplaying the Auditor General Office (AGO)’s report on financial lapses committed by many government agencies, stat boards and Ministries every year.

The most damning finding in July found that 40 per cent of the 115 grassroots organisations it “test-checked” had financial irregularities, including the case of the chairman of the Admiralty Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC) who was involved in approving awards of two contracts to a company in which he had an interest. In addition, he was also found to have approved “his own claims amounting to $114,767.”

The irregularities found by the AGO involving the PA amounted to a princely sum of more than $20 million. And this was based not on a thorough audit of all the grassroots organisations but on only 40%.

The G declared that the PA’s investigation (ownself check ownself??) of the Admiralty CCC chairman found “no evidence of dishonesty”. This was followed by the PA’s Deputy Chairman Lim Swee Say (also Manpower Minister) declaring that most of the lapses arose “out of good intentions” and not dishonesty.

Now if only the G could be as understanding with the Workers Party which faced daunting obstacles when they took over the running of the AHPETC – 26 sites were seized; the entire computer system in the town council was removed and sold to AIM a $2-company owned by PAP members; and not a single company dared to tender for the job of Managing Agent of the estate (likely out of fear of upsetting the mighty PAP-G)

Finally, how ethical can these PAP leaders be when they blatantly misuse the People’s Association network and state-funded resources to promote their party and their MPs? The entire grassroots network from the CCs to the RCs has been compromised to be partisan. It is a fact that numerous grassroots leaders have benefited from supporting the PAP such as gaining priority for their kids at schools and even getting to reserve the best units in unlaunched HDB projects.

I could go on and on about their litany of sins against Singapore and Singaporeans but that would make for unwieldy reading. For those interested to know more, click this link to read about their boundless hypocrisy, tab here to read about the AGO report on the G’s financial lapses, and click here for an example of repressive laws introduced to control alternative online news sites and its critics. You may also be interested to read how the PAP-G often does not walk the talk when it comes to practising meritocracy.

Despite growing condemnation of their unethical behaviour it is disturbing that the PAP leaders are impervious to the people’s laments. If anything, they are becoming more militant and defiant in their response. Do they truly believe the ends justify the means? Is economic success all that matters? Is no price too high to pay to retain their power even if it means denying their conscience? If they truly do believe this, they are taking us down the road, not to paradise, but to hell.

Fellow Singaporeans, you have a choice to sit back and let them to do so or take action to change to change the direction in which we are headed.

Come September 11 let it be the dawn of a fresh new beginning. Vote wisely. Vote with your conscience. Vote for a government that has both competence and integrity.

“Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it” – Albert Einstein

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Butter in the balance

Why it matters that we should not have a dominant one party rule in Singapore. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely…..”Consider this: Malaysia’s UMNO-led coalition isn’t as dominant in that country’s political landscape as the PAP is in Singapore’s. UMNO and its Barisan Nasional partners do not even have a two-thirds majority in parliament; BN does not run all the state governments. There is a far more active civil society there than in Singapore. Malaysian sultans are not appointed by the government and have had a history of tension with it. Despite these handicaps, Najib has been able to block investigations, sack those who stood in his way, and issue the most asinine of ‘explanations’. We thus cannot naïvely assume that, should a future scandal brew under the surface in Singapore, where currently the government remains even more dominant than that in Malaysia, truth will out and wrongdoers punished.

A year ago, no one could have imagined the crisis of confidence that has since engulfed Malaysia. The thing about rot is that it can remain invisible for a long time, only to be exposed and turn dangerous very late in the day.”

Yawning Bread


Even as signs of an election were building up in Singapore over the last few months, an incomparably absorbing story was unfolding to our north in Malaysia. However, the scandal at the sovereign wealth fund One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) speaks to our election too. It shows how the lack of sufficient checks and balances is a bread-and-butter issue.

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