Who is Indranee to tell us to be grateful?

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At a recent Parliament session, Indranee Rajah, a senior minister of state said “We should be grateful that a person of such standing has agreed to dedicate himself to the public cause” in reference to Ex-MP MP Hri Kumar Nair’s appointment as deputy Attorney General. Her reasons on why we should be grateful included citing how he took up the job “despite the considerable personal and financial cost to him” and that he “earns significantly less than what he used to earn”.

She had said this in response to Workers’ Party MP Sylvia Lim comment that filling a constitutional post with a party politician is not ideal as the appointment “carries a risk of undermining public confidence in the AGC’s stated mission of fair and independent prosecutions, and it is a risk that is best avoided”.

Veteran lawyer Hri Kumar Nair, known for his vociferous comments on the opposition when he was a PAP MP, is the first former politician appointed as DAG.

My post here is not about Hri but about Indranee’s patronising response. It is irksome as it is not the first time PAP leaders (and their fervent supporters)  have told us we should be GRATEFUL to them for making “sacrifices” when they take up a top dog government job. Saying this simply reflects their elitist and calculative mindset.

Like everyone, we make a career choice after weighing the pros and cons. Everyone of us forego something when we let go of one job for another. We make the choice, we live with it.We do not tell those who benefit from our employment to be grateful no matter how taxing that job is.

The poorly paid elderly aunty and uncle cleaning public toilets do not ask for gratitude so why should those in high-flying jobs?

Fact is those in high-flying jobs like Ministers and top guns in government posts have many benefits including high pay, power (lots of it), fame, recognition and access to a  vast network of who’s who in business and politics. What then is their sacrifice when weighed against what they gain?

Sure, some may lose a bit in pay when they move from private to public sector (but how many of such people are there?)  and they may lose some privacy being a public figure. Here, we have to ask them about their intrinsic motivation which is supposed to give greater satisfaction than tangibles like money. Are they not getting heaps of satisfaction by doing a job of their choice? It’s not like they were coerced into it.

Do teachers tell their students to grateful?
Do doctors and nurses tell their patients to be grateful?
Did Obama tell his people to be grateful when he was President?

NO.

Respect has to be earned, Gratitude has to be heartfelt. Both cannot be demanded.

So, can PAP please stop telling us to be grateful? We will let you know when we are.

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Fake alarms from fake news

Indeed, we expect the PAP-controlled government to seize this Trump-spawned opportunity to scaremonger and lead Singaporeans into thinking that anything critical about the G and the PAP is “fake news”. They and only they are the unadulterated truth, the way and the holy grail in their minds. From implementing the Protection from Harassment Act under the guise of protecting the vulnerable to trying to define the Government as a person to benefit from the POHA law to suing and jailing vocal dissentors what wouldn’t the PAP do to protect its power? Watch next how they will use the political tactic du jour to shoot down critical blog posts and online articles as “fake news” while trying to cover the real truth with their own “alternative facts”. Actually our G is already adroit at doing this kind of dirty politics. But they will step it up while riding on the Trump battlecries. – .Jentrified Citizen

Yawning Bread

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As the contestation over the “alternate facts” so beloved by the Trump administration crescendoes — as it surely will over the coming months — the Singapore government will see more opportunities to import the same arguments into Singapore as a means of heightening censorship. The twist will be that our government will claim that their “facts” are facts, whilst their detractors’ views and statements are “fake news” or falsehoods, conveniently swapping the positions of government and opposition in the American debate.

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Ministerial Promotions: What Lee Kuan Yew Preached vs How Lee Hsien Loong Practises

The PAP-style of meritocronyism is not only continuing but has become a huge joke and a global embarressment with its frequent promotion of paper generals and unproven persons without the relevant experience to top posts of great responsibility. How do these PAP leaders live with themselves? How do they not feel at least some shame from the disgusting hypocrisy practised by them and their leader the PM? How can they preach meritocracy and urge us to be a cheaper and more productive workforce while they are getting promotions and sky high salaries without having proven themselves? As a Singaporean you should be concerned and you should be disgusted if you are not. These people are being paid using taxpayers money and these people are being groomed as our future leaders. Open those eyes and think about it – Jentrified Citizen

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I never cease to be amazed at how fast novice PAP MPs are appointed ministers – even faster how their promotions are confirmed. A whatsapp message sums it up, ‘Do nothing and can get promotion. I oso want .’

PAP’s leadership renewal is conspicuously planned so ‘that Singapore…continue to have honest and capable leaders’ (Lee Hsien Loong) or ‘the best people in government’ (Goh Chok Tong). Or leaders who will not ‘succumb to corruption’ (LKY).

Carrie Gracie, BBC, reports, ‘to steel its…members against temptation‘ or corruption, Xi JinPing (by LKY’s assessment, ‘a man of great breathe…in the Nelson Mandela class of persons‘) started revolutionary tours for its key cadres. The PAP, however, prefer a shortcut, paying the highest salaries of any government worldwide.

Here’s how LKY sold to Singaporeans the key intent for the high salaries:

So it was an unending quest for the right man…

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

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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.

Banalysis

“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.

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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

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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

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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.”

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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’.”

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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

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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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