Friday, February 27, 2009

the sadist SBS buses!!


the time wasting procedure that keeps commuters waiting and hogging other buses behind.

the sadistic tripping steps.

when u board the new type of SBS bus, observe the awkard and comical action of senior citizens trying to steady and sit their butts on awkardly seats arrangement.

the new buses are totally senior citizens UNFRIENDLY. after boarding, commuters are suppose to move to the back. somewhere in the middle of the bus, the floorboard continues with 2 steps up. to continue moving backward, one must literally "climb" up 2 steps.

sadistic bus is aggravated by even more sadistic driver who drives the bus like jerking a train. u can observe almost tripping of commuters particularly the senior citizens, children and even unwary adults.

another sadistic bus model is even more torturous. it lines it seats in 2 parallel rows, one along each side of the bus interior. in order to trip more senior citizens, it is designed with another redundant nasty 2-steps i.e, u got to lift both ur legs before u can settle and sit on the crampy seats with obstructing holding bars. yes, the jerk driver would be just as sadistically glad to jerk u off balance.

this is the kind of pro-commuter, "excellent service" and later another reason to increase fares by avaricious SBS cos buying sadistic buses cost alot more than the formal good o' day buses.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

the infallible chiam see tong?

Spore's People Party Is Recruiting

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Chiam See how?
Filed under: Singapore Watch ver1.0 — Justina @ 3:08 am
ELECTRIC NEWS
The Clarence Chang Interview

There’s no successor in sight to take over from the opposition veteran, but the SDA chairman is calmly taking a wait-and-see attitude October 07, 2005

His name, Chiam See Tong, in Hokkien, literally means to ‘hang on, temporarily’.

It’s an old joke among his critics - something the old war horse has heard since first winning the Potong Pasir ward way back in 1984.

It’s an irony he relishes since he has enjoyed five back-to-back electoral victories in his beloved constituency, and is gunning for a sixth.

That’s Chiam See Tong.

‘I’ve given 41 years of my life to public service,’ the retired lawyer and now self-proclaimed ‘full-time MP’ told The New Paper at his town council office.

‘So my record speaks for itself. I’m not a fly-by-night politician.’

NOT EASY

At 70, Mr Chiam, chairman of the four-party Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA), is the country’s longest-serving opposition MP and the oldest backbencher in Parliament.

The obvious question then is one of succession: Without an obvious successor in sight, how long can Mr Temporary ‘hang on’?

‘For the opposition, it’s not easy to train or recruit a successor,’ Mr Chiam explained, hinting it’s not for lack of effort. This has been his lament for years.

The main reason: the political climate.

‘Up to today, I’ve never heard any minister say publicly - yes, there is a place for the opposition in Singapore… Privately, if you speak to younger people, they’re very pro-opposition. But to come out openly and stand on our side is another matter.’

Mr Chiam insists fear still exists - ‘not of being jailed, but fear of some economic disincentives’.

‘For example, if Ah Beng comes up to me and says ‘Mr Chiam, I believe in you, I believe in the opposition, I want to stand for election…’.’

He carries on with a laugh: ‘…I give him a form and he says okay. Then he must go home and talk to the wife, the parents, the brothers, the sisters. And probably one of them will say, ‘You can’t do that! Your brother is in a high post in the army or in the police or whatever’.

‘This is the reality of politics in Singapore.’

But whatever the obstacles, does he have a succession plan, we asked again.

After all, unlike the Singapore Democratic Party and the Workers’ Party, the SDA - which Mr Chiam formed just before the 2001 polls - doesn’t even have a youth wing.

NO FUTURE LEADER?

While the National Solidarity Party, which is part of the alliance, has Non-Constituency MP Steve Chia, 34, at its helm, Mr Chiam’s own Singapore People’s Party - with old faces like former election candidates Sin Kek Tong and Desmond Lim - still has no obvious future leader waiting in the wings.

Mr Chiam’s answer: Who says my time is running out?

‘The situation is (in a state of) flux. You cannot say that just because at present there’s no one in sight, there will be no successor.’

Referring to the next election, he added: ‘I’ll be standing again, and that’s another five years. Five years in Singapore politics is a long time.’

This is his message: Mark my words. When I eventually announce that I’m retiring from politics, that elusive somebody WILL be found.

‘You’ll see. I won’t say there’ll be a flood of people, but certainly, sufficient numbers will come in.’

His confident air of self-belief defies the naysayers who feel that his time is up - that after 21 years in Potong Pasir, with shrinking votes at each general election, the veteran but no-longer-as-energetic Mr Chiam is ripe for the picking.

And the man who hopes to do this is his much younger PAP opponent, accountant Sitoh Yih Pin, who’s only 42.

This is the same Mr Sitoh who, in his maiden campaign in 2001, fell short of toppling Mr Chiam by just 751 votes - the closest any PAP candidate has ever come to reclaiming the ward.

Mr Chiam’s cool and collected response: Write me off at your own peril.

If you don’t believe me, just come down to the ground and gauge the sentiments of Potong Pasir’s 15,954 voters directly.

‘Many people think if you want to be popular, you must get a high percentage of votes…

‘(But) the whole idea of elections is just to win. We don’t want to score 80 per cent, get A++ in your report card. There’s no necessity.’

However, few would deny that Mr Chiam is popular in his ward. For long-time residents, the sight of him smiling and waving from the driver’s seat of his trusty 33-year-old red Volkswagen Beetle has become as familiar as night and day. Residents may like and respect him, but will they keep voting for him?

Or will they think after 21 years, it’s time for a change? It’s not as if they don’t have an alternative.

As the area’s citizens’ consultative committee (CCC) adviser, Mr Sitoh is pulling out all the stops.

At last December’s PAP 50th anniversary rally at the Indoor Stadium, his supporters unveiled a giant banner with the words ‘Potong Pasir Wants PAP’.

DIFFERENCES

And this year, differences between the two sides have continued - over issues like planting trees, reserving state land for CCC activities, throwing lavish grassroots dinners, and yes, putting up more banners.

Mr Chiam’s take: ‘When we make our complaints, all we want is fairness. That’s all.

‘I mean, if you walked around here during the National Day period, you might think Mr Sitoh is the MP here, not me!’

His opponent’s face, he griped, had been ‘plastered’ all along the major roads.

A vandal even defaced one of Mr Sitoh’s 2m-long banners with black paint.

‘I’ve got nothing to do with that,’ said the MP, raising his eyebrows. But, he added: ‘Somebody must be annoyed.’

NOT OLD

You could say this 70-year-old, even with greyer hair, has lost none of his fighting spirit.

But can he win a record sixth term?

Can he keep up with his younger rivals in the hectic world of politics?

Can he finally find a successor?

The man himself would say: Yes, yes and yes.

‘Seventy is not old. Maybe when you come to 80, you’re considered old. But look at (Minister Mentor) Lee Kuan Yew. He never says he wants to retire.’

Clearly, Mr Hang On Temporarily wants to stay put.

HIS PLANS

ELECTION BATTLE PLANS

Mr Chiam said his party intends to round up other opposition parties and invoke the ‘by-election effect’ again.

This refers to the opposition strategy of contesting fewer than half the seats in Parliament, so the PAP would be returned to power even before the polling.

This way, the argument goes, voters in contested seats will be more willing to elect opposition candidates, without worrying about a change of government.

‘The trouble is, we usually don’t have enough time to promote or sell this idea to Singaporeans,’ Mr Chiam admitted.

The ultimate prize: to win a Group Representative Constituency (GRC), comprising up to six seats at one go, for the first time in the opposition’s history.

Mr Chiam, though, has vowed to stay put in his single seat of Potong Pasir - barring, of course, any electoral boundary changes.

While declining to reveal which other constituencies the SDA is eyeing, he did give a sneak peek at his party’s platform.

ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC PLAN

He wants an economic union with Malaysia, involving a free flow of people and goods, what he calls ‘the answer to much of our economic problems’.

An issue that goes back to the 1980s. He knows his critics will accuse him of flogging a dead horse.

But he said two trips which he and party colleagues made across the Causeway in the past three years convinced him he may be right.

The second trip, made in April this year, was to specifically discuss such a union with former premier Mahathir Mohamad - who, according to Mr Chiam, said it was ‘feasible’.

ELECTION ISSUES

Mr Chiam also spoke passionately about what are likely to be major election issues: the white elephants at Buangkok, integrated resorts, and the National Kidney Foundation saga. All of which the SDA is likely to capitalise on, in calling for ‘more opposition voices’ in Parliament.

On the two integrated resorts, he said: ‘Forty years of indoctrination that we should not have that kind of values, that kind of lifestyle.

‘Now they’re reversing it… It may bring some income into Singapore, but it’ll be painful income for us.’

OTC - revisited, PART THREE......

It seems the Singapore government does not know its own assets?

Yes. It's complicated. It's never been done before. And for the assets of land, I can understand why. Every piece of land, even a stretch of road, is probablysubdivided into many lots. There are 50,000 to 60,000 lots and every one has a number. If you want to value them all, it would take a long time. In the past, they have just locked everything up and assumed it is all there. But if I am to protect it, at least I want to know the list.

When they eventually gave you the list -- the incomplete list, did you have enough staff to do the checking and other work?

No, I did not. I only had one administrative staffer and two part-timers from the auditor-general's office. For things like approving the budget of statutory boards, the auditor-general's office would normally go through that for me. They are very good. They check on everything. And they query and ask for information.

For government financial policy matters that you had a veto over, did you get all the details?

They finally came with an executive summary to say that they had checked through all this, and that this is what they have, this is how much they are going to spend, and that it won't need any draw from the reserves -- or that there's likely to be a draw. There never was a draw during my time, but there were instances where it was a bit dicey whether the budgets of one or two statutory boards would require a draw. But finally we resolved that.

Eventually then, with the list of properties and the executive summaries, you were kept informed?

I wouldn't be able to say that. Even in my last year as president, I was still not being informed about some ministerial procedures. For example, in April last year, the government said it would allow the sale of the Post Office Savings Bank POSB to DBS Bank. In the past, when there was no elected president, they could just proceed with this kind of thing. But when there is an elected president you cannot, because the POSB is a statutory board whose reserves are to be protected by the president. You cannot just announce this without informing him. But I came to know of it from the newspaper. That is not quite right. Not only that, but they were even going to submit a bill to parliament for this sale and to dissolve the POSB without first informing me.

What did you do?

My office went to tell them that this was the wrong procedure. You've got to do this first, do that first, before you can do this. It was question of principle and procedure. We had to bring all this to their attention. That they cannot forget us. It's not that we are busybodies, but under the Constitution we have a role to play and a responsibility. Sometimes in the newspaper I came to know of things that I am responsible for, but if it had not been reported in the newspaper I would not know about it.

You must have been pretty angry that this was still happening in your last year as president?

Yes, I was a bit grumpy. And maybe not to the liking of the civil service. They did not like what I said. But I have to be a watchdog all the time, you see. So this is where they are supposed to help me to protect the reserves. And not for me to go and watch out when they do right or wrong.

Under the Constitution, you have the right to all the information available to the cabinet.

Yes. That's right. And I sourced much information from the cabinet papers. But they are not used to it. So I said: I understand, it's something new, and I know you don't like my interference and busybody checking up and so on. But under the Constitution it is my job to do that.

Despite all this, it was widely believed that you wanted to run again for a second six-year term as president?

No, I'd been telling my friends since late 1998 that my inclination was not to stand for re-election. But of course, life is unpredictable. In March last year, I went to Stanford and my American doctor confirmed that my cancer was in complete remission. He is very experienced, a world authority on my sickness. So I was fine after my treatment. I gave a complete report to the prime minister and we discussed it. I told him that my inclination was not to stand, but that I'd make the announcement later on. Then the cabinet met and they decided that if I were to stand again, they would not support me.

You had been given a clean bill of health, yet your former colleagues would not support you. Did that annoy you?

I told the prime minister over lunch: Well, I don't need your cabinet support. If I want to stand, whether I do or not, it will be my personal decision. And I'll make that decision nearer the date of the presidential election -- because I have another checkup in June, July, and I want to know my latest position. Also my wife was sick with cancer and we knew that if she died, it would be difficult for me to stand without a first lady. She felt very apologetic and that was another reason why my inclination was not to stand. I hoped that if I stepped down I would have more time to be with my wife, because her prognosis was not very good.

By waiting until July to announce your decision, were you ruffling the government for the way they had treated you?

Maybe so. Maybe it was my miscalculation that my stated inclination not to stand again had not been good enough for them. But I had been telling that to all my friends. And I did not want to tell people my wife was dying, either.

But the government worried that you might suddenly decide to run again.

No, I made it very clear and I called a press conference in July to tell everybody. But I believe some people were still afraid that I might turn up on nomination day. Even friends asked me if I might do that. How could they? I had given my word that I would not stand.

A straw poll apparently indicated you would beat the government's candidate, S.R. Nathan, if you had stood.

Yes. But I gave my word that I would not run. And I don't think it's right. I'm a very old-fashioned man. Also, my wife passed away in September. And I became more sceptical about all these medical reports. Well, not sceptical, but certainly I find life more unpredictable than I thought. Full of uncertainties.

In the end you were happy to stand down?

Yes, I'd been preparing for that psychologically since late 1998. I was quite happy when the decision was made, happy to return to private life to do the work that I enjoy.

How are your relations with PM Goh these days?

They are okay. I just had lunch with him last week. I can't invite him now, so he invited me. When I was president, we took turns to invite each other for lunch in the Istana.

Did Senior Minister Lee join you?

No, we did that separately.

Lee spoke out against you last year. How are your relations with him now?

We've never quarrelled.

It's said that your recalcitrance upset him and your former colleagues, leaving you estranged and bitter?

I would not call it recalcitrant. I mentioned some of the problems -- or many of the problems -- that I faced. If they regard that as an attack on the government and on the civil service, then that is for them to interpret. The prime minister and I spoke at my farewell reception. We agreed that we would say what we have to say. I think it came out well. He said that my statements, and his rebuttal in parliament, were probably a good thing. They showed the transparency of the system. I stand by what I said.

Published in the ASIAWEEK March 10, 2000.

OTC - revisited, PART TWO.....

The well-known oppositionist J.B. Jeyaretnam wanted to run against you?

Yes, but he was not allowed to because he did not qualify under the stringent criteria. Maybe too stringent.

You were glad Jeyaretnam could not run?

No, it's okay. I think it would have been more fun.

Some of your colleagues did not think it was much fun when your only opponent, a former accountant-general, Chua Kim Yeoh, got so much support?

Yes, all of them were quite worried. Some ministers even called me to say: Oh, we are worried about the outcome. At first, we were quite confident about getting over 70 percent of the vote. But there was a swing of support over to my opponent's side, especially in the educated class -- civil servants and the Shenton Way group. The issue was whether they wanted a PAP man as president to check on a PAP government, or whether it would be better to have a neutral independent like Chua. That's why they voted against me because I had the PAP government support. I would have been happier without the PAP's open support. I think I would have been better off with just the unionists' support and the Chinese-educated heartlanders. Without them I would not have been elected.

But you did win and you had to figure out how to do this new job as Singapore's first elected president.

Yes. At the first opening of parliament after I was elected, I was given a speech prepared by the government. I read the speech carefully. Besides ceremonial functions, it said that I'm supposed to safeguard the reserves and to help society become more compassionate and gracious. So I decided that, well, if that is what is said in the speech, then that's going to be my job. And I am going to do it. That's what I tried to do. In fact, during the six years I was president, I was very busy.

Doing what?

Well, I got involved in a lot of things. The Istana presidential palace and other places had to be renovated. All this had to be planned and these places got ready one by one, so that ceremonial functions and other business could go on as usual. I had to press the government to finalize the procedures for the protection of the reserves. A lot of the teething problems and misunderstandings were because there was a lack of clearcut procedures of what to do. Towards the end of my term, I pressed the prime minister for a White Paper to be tabled in parliament that would set out all the principles and procedures for the elected president. Then I will announce my decision to step down. I want to get the job done.

Initially, he did not want to do that?

It's not that he did not want to do that, but it had been dragging for a long time. They produced a White Paper eventually, tabled it in parliament last July, and that made the future president's job easier. We have already tested out many of the procedures during my term, except for asking the president to approve a draw on the past reserves during a deep economic crisis. That was never done. It's that part of procedure that was not tested. How to do it?

It was this issue that caused the dispute between you and the government?

Yes. But I don't want to go into details and upset everybody. The thing is that the elected president is supposed to protect the reserves, but he was not told what these are until five years later. From the day the Constitution was amended in 1991 to provide for an elected president, he was supposed to fulfil that role. My predecessor, Wee Kim Wee, although he was not elected, was supposed to play that role during the last two years of his term. But he did not actively check. So, when I came in in 1993, I asked for all this information about the reserves. It took them three years to give it to me.

The holdup was for administrative reasons?

Either that or they did not think there was any urgency. You see, if you ask me to protect the reserves, then you've got to tell me what I'm supposed to protect. So I had to ask.

Why did they not want to tell you?

I do not know. Don't ask me, because I don't have the answer. I've been asking them. In fact, in 1996, exactly halfway through my term, I wrote prime minister Goh a letter. At that time, everybody was expecting a general election in December or January. After the election, a new government would be sworn in. When that happens, all the reserves, whether past or current, become past reserves and are locked up on the changeover date. As president, I have to safeguard them and they can only be drawn upon with my permission. So I said to Mr Goh: It's already halfway through my term, but until today I still don't know all these figures about the reserves.

So the government had been stonewalling you, the president, for three years?

Yes. What happened actually was, as you know, in accounting, when you talk about reserves, it's either cash reserves or assets reserves. The cash side is straightforward: investment, how many million dollars here and there, how much comes from the investment boards and so on. That was straightforward -- but still we had to ask for it. For the assets, like properties and so on, normally you say it's worth $30 million or $100 million or whatever. But they said it would take 56-man years to produce a dollar-and-cents value of the immovable assets. So I discussed this with the accountant-general and the auditor-general and we came to a compromise. The government would not need to give me the dollar-and-cents value, just give me a listing of all the properties that the government owns.

They agreed?

Well, yes, they agreed, but they said there's not the time for it. It took them a few months to produce the list. But even when they gave me the list, it was not complete.

prataman vs OTC - who'd win? PART I

this excerpt was an interview with the late OTC. reading it now brings on a new insight of our prataman's comparison.....

RELATED: President Ong went most unwillingly ASIAWEEK DEC 1999


ASIAWEEK March 10, 2000.

'I Had a Job to Do' Whether the government liked it or not, says ex-president Ong

ONG Teng Cheong will go down in history as Singapore's first elected president. But for twenty years before that, the Chinese-educated, foreign-trained architect was a stalwart of the nation's People's Action Party government led by its first PM Lee Kuan Yew. Ong, now 64, was minister of communications, of culture, and of labor; he was also deputy PM, secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, and chairman of Lee's PAP. By common consent, he was the man who kept the Chinese ground loyal to the party; indeed, his command of the language was such that Lee always asked Ong to accompany him whenever he visited China. In the 1980s, Ong was one of the party's four senior 'second echelon' leaders who were considered as possible successors to Lee. It was Ong's longtime friend, Goh Chok Tong, who got the nod for the job. Ong, who was diagnosed as suffering from lymphatic cancer in 1992, chose instead to run in the first elections for the presidency the following year.

He won -- and soon became embroiled in a six-year long festering dispute with his former colleagues in government over how much information he should have in order to fulfil his role in safeguarding Singapore's prodigious financial reserves. The altercation came to a head last year when Ong and his mentor Lee and friend Goh clashed publicly and rancorously in a rare display of disunity among PAP heavyweights. He decided not to run for re-election as president -- but not before he had spooked Goh's men by leaving the announcement until the last moment. He has now returned to the private architecture firm he set up with his late wife, Ling Siew May, and which is now run by one of his two sons. His doctors have given him a clean bill of health after a debilitating bout with lymphatic cancer -- though he still wears a cap to cover the baldness caused by chemotherapy treatment. Last week, he gave his first in-depth interview about his presidency to senior correspondent Roger Mitton in a nearly two-hour long talk. Extended Excerpts:

It's now six months since you stepped down. How do you feel about your time as president?

I am satisfied with what I did. I hope it was all for the best. I was elected to do a job. And I had to do that job whether the government -- or anyone else -- liked it or not.

It seems that often they did not like it, but let's go back: How did you first get into politics?

In the early 1970s, Lee Kuan Yew asked me for an interview to get me involved to stand for election. I stood in 1972 and I won and became a PAP backbencher. A year later, Lee asked me to take up ministerial office but I turned it down because my younger brother was dying of cancer. I had to assist him and to settle his affairs after he died at the age of 25. Then Lee Kuan Yew approached me again and this time I agreed to take up office. Lee is very persuasive.

He must have been impressed to make you a minister so quickly -- you were a young architect with no experience of politics.

Yes, I was not trained to become a minister or a politician, but you learn on the job. Whenever I went to a new ministry, I always asked myself basic questions: What is this job all about? What am I supposed to do? That's what I did in 1980, for instance, when I became minister of labor, in addition to being minister for communications. I went through all the legislation and I decided that the trade unions should not just be designed to organize and finance strikes, but instead should help improve the workers' social and economic wellbeing.

You became head of the NTUC and also remained a cabinet minister -- and Singapore remained strike free.

Yes. But in January 1986 I did sanction a strike, the first for about a decade. It was in the shipping industry where the management was taking advantage of the workers. I did not even tell the cabinet about santioning the strike. And some of them were angry with me about that. The minister for trade and industry was very angry, his officers were very upset. They had calls from America, asking what happened to Singapore? -- we are non-strike. I said: if I were to inform the cabinet or the government they would probably stop me from going ahead with the strike. It only lasted two days. Then all the issues were settled. It showed that management was just trying to pull a fast one. So I believe what I did was right.

It marked a trend -- that you have never been afraid of doing something your ministerial colleagues might disagree with?

No. If they don't like it, I can always come back here to my architecture firm.

Around this time you were discussing the succession to PM Lee?

Lee Kuan Yew had been discussing this since about 1983. At that time, the second echelon was Tony Tan, S. Dhanabalan, Goh Chok Tong and myself.

Were you a candidate for the top job?

I was considered as a member of the group. At that time, we did not know who would be the successor to Lee. We finally made the decision to pick Goh Chok Tong. He agreed on condition that I agreed to be his number two. So I was the second DPM; he was the first DPM. In 1988, Lee asked Goh to take over, but he was not ready. He said: two more years. So two years later, he took the job.

Lee did not agree with your decision to pick Goh.

No, he did not disagree. He said he would leave it to us. His own first choice was Tony Tan. Goh Chok Tong was his second choice. I was his third choice because he said my English was not good enough. He said Dhanabalan was not right because Singapore was not ready for an Indian prime minister. That upset the Indian community. There was quite a bit of adverse reaction to what he said. But he speaks his mind. He is the only one who can get away with it.

Personally, you felt Goh was the right man?

Well, among the four of us, he was the youngest. Tony Tan said no. I said no. And he sort of accepted being pushed into the position, on condition that we stay on to assist him.

Soon after taking over, Goh called a snap election in 1991 -- but the PAP's vote slipped and there was talk he would quit.

Well, we did discuss about that. But he didn't indicate that he wanted to step down.

At that time, you were no. 2 in the executive after PM Goh.

Yes. Well, no. 2, no. 3, doesn't matter.

So why run for president?

The elected presidency was Lee Kuan Yew's initiative. He came out with the idea way back in '82, '83. After parliament passed the measure in 1991, I considered it seriously. At that time, after 20 years in politics, I was thinking of a way to ease myself out, to exit the political arena. I wrote to the prime minister twice to say that I'm prepared to go.

You saw the presidency as a way to do that?

Yes, the unionists egged me on. They came to see me a couple of times and they suggested that I take it on. I discussed it with the prime minister, being old friends, and he gave me his support.

Friday, February 13, 2009

10 preparations to JB nursing homes

From: chickenwingx Feb-13 6:19 am
To: ALL (1 of 2)

21654.1

Khaw Boon Wan's proposal to build nursing homes in Malaysia made him the hottest minister in town, many Singaporeans are repulsive by the idea judging by the vigorous posting and commenting in various blogs. bbqchickenwings also feels it hard to accept staying in a foreign land after spending a lifetime in the little red dot. bbqchickenwings thinks Minister Khaw can get more Singaporeans to accept this eventuality by doing the following. Minister Khaw, please consider the following suggestions.

1. Replace the Jobs Credit Scheme with a Sell Ship-your-parents Scheme (SYPS). Children who volunteer to ship their parents away gets a one time fee of $3000, this only applies to the lower income households with monthly income below $1500. This RRS is a win-win situation for both the government and the people. We can save on the subsidy for healthcare costs to low-income households, and at the same time give lower-income groups some financial help.
2. Introduce another Relocation Assistance Plan(RAP). Elderly folks, above 55 or certified unfit to work, can volunteer to move out of the country into JB and get a one-time payment of $500 and a subsequent $250 per month. This is another win-win since it is a cheaper scheme than the $330 Public Assistance, and yet the elderly feels richer with more spending power.
3. Allow withdrawal of CPF for nursing home residents. For those elderly who like to spend more money, they can withdraw their CPF which is otherwise untouchable for them. They can remain as Singaporeans and yet withdraw their CPF. But of course we cannot let the elderly anyhow use the money, its their hard-earned savings. bbqchickenwings havent thought of a way to transfer the money from the left to the right pocket, so that Mr Khaw don't feel the pinch. Readers, please contribute.
4. Kopi-Money Rebate Scheme. (KPRS) Hi Mr Khaw, sorry that the measures up till now all talk about money. It is a trickle-down effect from the government's obsession with making money. In KPRS, Singaporeans can apply for a full rebate of Kopi-Money given when dealing with corrupted immigration officials and policeman from the other side of the Causeway. Of couse, issues such as how to prove the amount of kopi-money given has to be ironed out.
5. Speaking of the causeway, it is too congested for people to want to go visit their parents frequently. We need a new bridge to ease congestion. This bridge will only be for people who intend to go to the nursing homes. Drivers will have to provide evidence they did reach the nursing homes by signing in and out the homes. They can go wherever they want but must return on the same day. To provide further incentive, the 3/4 tank rule for cars can be abolished for this bridge.
6. Launch a huge PR offensive. Get international superstars like Jackie Chan to visit the nursing homes and talk about all the great things to do inside. Better still, ask him to commit to stay in the home when he retires. People may jump at the chance to stay with stars like Jackie, boasting: I am staying under the same roof with Jackie Chan and practising kung fu with him everyday.
7. Request Mediacorp to produce a serial drama on life in JB from the early 1900s to the 2000s. It must include the big casts like Qi Yuwu, Fann Wong and the 7 princesses to ensure high viewer ratings. The drama can be modeled after the Little Nyonya. People may feel less repulsive if the nursing home is in Malacca since they can enjoy the Peranakan culture and all the goody food like Rembah Udang. This is all due to the good effort of Little Nyonya. But the problem is that children will have to travel too far to visit the parents. Commision Mediacorp to produce another drama on JB with the focus on delightful JB food. The most important reason why Singaporeans can accept a nursing home in JB will be because of better food there.
8. Launch a 'Speak Bahasa Melayu' Campaign. Singaporeans are worried of moving to the nursing home since we don't know the national language in Malaysia. Have a 5 minute segment after the daily news broadcast where a pretty lady will teach everyone a little Malay everyday. The peasants will feel calmer when they know they can understand their landlords.
9. Control the news we are getting on mainstream media about Johor, actually maybe even Malaysia as a whole. It is not pleasant hearing for Singaporeans to know that they have to stay in Malaysia when they are old when we get news on the same day such as SBS bus driver getting slashed in JB. Even though security is not very safe there, people can be made to feel safer by not hearing and seeing anything at all.
10. How about the entertainment? We need a mini integrated-resort. The old folks need a way to spend their time and what better than gambling? Its' in the genes (refer to my previous posting). Oh, don't forget building the Singapore Pools outlet.

There you have it Mr Khaw. It hurts to know that Singaporeans have to move to nursing homes away from our beloved island but you can make it much less painful. You don't have to thank me, just make sure I have my chicken wings every other meal during my stay there.

another "fantasick" scheme the paps gabramen has missed out?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

dump the aged over in JB - it's cheaper!!

what a sad sad day that health ministar is hinting to sinkieland.....;9(

主题:星洲选读:林明华—来新山养老作者:韦春花 06:00am 13/02/2009
林明华‧来新山养老2009-02-12 19:36
农历新年期间,新加坡卫生部长许文远在未惊动媒体的情况下,悄悄进入新山依斯干达特区“参观”当地的医疗机构,並会见了一名即將在那里建造一所拥有200个床位的疗养院的新加坡人。几天后,他在新加坡国会谈到他此行的心得时,建议新加坡人考虑把家中老人送去新山的疗养院养老,因为“在新加坡疗养院住一个月的费用,相等於在新山疗养院的2个半月的费用;何况,新山离新加坡不远,老人的家属可在週末到新山去探望他们”。
这个建议看来很现实,也很实际,但却受到该国反对党议员的严厉批评,他们讥讽许文远以“赞赏”的口吻介绍收费低廉的新山疗养院,似乎已默认该国的医疗费过高的事实。他们也质问许文远,新加坡政府是不是要把她负担得起的医疗服务的责任,“外包”给其他国家?
面对反对党的质询,许文远的回答似乎有点“无厘头”;他说:“消费者都有选择的自由。你可以在新加坡吃海鲜大餐,或到新山吃团圆饭。你可以在新加坡添油,或者越过长堤(添油)。你是在花自己的钱,一切由你决定。”
马来西亚人看新加坡,总是出现两大极端,李光耀家族和政治生態、高薪养廉和高效率、南洋大学和华文教育,都可以引发喋喋不休的爭辩。像新加坡老人入住新山疗养院的课题,也无可避免的引发口舌之爭,而且可以是非常情绪化的爭论。
但情绪化的爭论,有时也有值得反思的一面。例如我的一个朋友便说,为甚么我们的人才和投资都被新加坡吸引过去,而我们能够吸引的,却只是被新加坡遗弃的老人和被新加坡淘汰的夕阳工业而已?
也有朋友不无感慨地说,在他们的许多新加坡朋友眼中,马来西亚简直一无是处,只有在想要购买廉价物品,想要添购廉价汽油,或者想要花钱少少但却要举家出游时,马来西亚才成为新加坡人的最佳选项。
新加坡是世界上第一个將“赡养父母”立法的国家。1995年,新加坡国会通过《赡养父母法令》。此法令下,被控未遵守《赡养父母法》的子女,一旦罪名成立,可面对罚款1万新元或判处1年有期徒刑的惩罚。据说,该国的赡养父母仲裁庭在法令生效的首半年內,便接获了152宗由父母要求子女赡养的申请。
新加坡人对父母真的如此无情无义吗?不是的!据我向一些新加坡友人和亲戚瞭解,把家中老人送入疗养院,对新加坡人来说,迄今还是一个相当避讳的课题。他们说,大多数的新加坡华人还是非常重视家庭伦理道德的。如果不是迫不得已,把家中老人送入疗养院,始终是他们最后的选择,何况是送来新山的疗养院。其中一位朋友甚至这样说:“这样做(把父母送入新山疗养院),不只不孝,而且还丟尽了我们(新加坡人)的面子!”
新山的疗养院收容新加坡老人,事实上也早已不是甚么秘密了。当然,经济考量是原因之一;另一原因,是很多这些老人原本就是马来西亚人,入住新山疗养院,也方便这里的亲友探望和照顾。
老人问题不是新加坡人的问题而已,国內的疗养院愈开愈多,说明我们的社会確实有此需求。至於把家中老人寄养在疗养院,是不是等於遗弃他们?是不是就是一种不孝行为?所谓家家有本难唸的经,这要看具体的情况,不能一概而论。
不过,不可否认的是,今时今日,“养儿防老”的观念已不可靠,遗弃老人的问题日愈严重也是事实,像新加坡这样把道德標准变成立法政策,通过立法来保护失去依靠的老人,或者建议把老人送到邻国去“寄养”,“虽然看起来有点可笑又可悲,但也是非常无奈的现实选择!”
星洲日报/情在人间‧作者:林明华‧言论不代表本站立场‧2009.02.12

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

auntie empress dowager

Ho Ching in better position to support PM
I REFER to last Saturday's report, 'Ho Ching to leave Temasek', which stated that Ms Ho Ching was relinquishing her post as chief executive officer of Temasek Holdings.

This is news I have been hoping for, not because I do not like her. On the contrary, I think she is a capable corporate leader and has been managing Temasek Holdings well.

I hope she will not take up any other corporate post but instead stay by the side of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to assist him in the way that her mother-in-law, Madam Kwa Geok Choo assisted Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in his political life.

PM Lee, I feel, is somewhat handicapped in that his wife is not with him most of the time and this is a disadvantage which should not be. Now that Ms Ho Ching has decided to give up her own career, I hope she will accompany the Prime Minister on his duties. With her intellect, she can give good advice or feedback on certain matters which others may not be in the position to do.

Let us hope she will emulate Madam Kwa, without whose support and advice, I believe, MM Lee may not be as successful as he is.

Albert Tye

above was a letter sent to ST FORUMS. it's satire and quite amusing. temasek last updated reported losses was about S$58 billion. how real or astronomical the figures could be is still a mystery how it was derived from. there is no transparency nor accountability. it's just a frivolous general statement that sweeps the accounts clean and briefly to peasants.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

not even local elites can take on TAMASICK

the real talents are actually the common folks who survive all the hardship. real talents are selfless genius who's ideas are more practical to peasants but helplessly and sadly were put down by another species of talents - the fake talents.

fake talents are the one who would not hesitate to take credits for successes drawn up - maybe by real talents.

finally, the foreign talents. they are simply paid millions to hold high post in names or position only but manipulated by FAKE TALENTS. in the event of failure such losses in billions $ investments, the FOREIGN TALENTS would be blame for it. life for the FAKE TALENTS continue. LEEgime remains "uncorrupted" and clean.

FOREIGN TALENTS are just like REAL LOCAL TALENTS who are disposable but FAKE TALENTS of the same feather flock are not.

Friday, February 6, 2009

PEESAILAND TUA DAI JI!!!

Peesailand tua dai ji!!!

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JOKE CREDIT & ho jinx jobless - co-incidental?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

16:18 Reuters Temasek CEO Ho Ching to leave; replaced by ex-BHP's Goodyear

another report just in:
Temasek, which had S$185 billion ($123.2 billion) in assets as at March 2008, has been hit hard due to its 40 percent exposure to banks that have slumped in value due to the global financial crisis

Temasek's US$5 billion plus investment in Merrill alone has resulted in a loss of more than US$2 billion, said Reuters.

co-incidental or something bigger is brewing??


Re: JOKE CREDIT & ho jinx jobless - co-incidental?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

compare to lehman minibombed victims,

IT'S PEANUTS!!

to them, of course
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Ho Ching to leave Temasek

Temasek Holdings on Friday announced that its chief executive Ho Ching (right) will step down and be replaced by former BHP Billiton CEO Chip Goodyear (left) on Oct 1. -- PHOTOS: ZAOBAO & http://www.whartonhongkong07.com

TEMASEK Holdings on Friday announced that its chief executive Ho Ching will step down and be replaced by former BHP Billiton CEO Chip Goodyear on Oct 1.
Ms Ho Ching, wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, joined Temasek as a director in January 2002 and has been CEO since January 2004.

'The team has already embarked on a different stance since mid-2007, and has begun to review its long-term plans under different scenarios prompted by the economic downturn,' Temasek chairman S. Dhanabalan said at a media briefing.

'If we are to bring in new leadership, it would be just as good a time as any to involve a new leader in this review.'

Mr Goodyear, 51, stepped down as CEO of BHP Billiton in January 2007. He joined Temasek's board on Sunday.

He will be appointed CEO designate of Temasek on March 1.

Temasek had $185 billion in assets as at March 2008.

The sovereign wealth fund's key investments include 28 per cent of DBS Group , just under a fifth of Standard Chartered Bank and about 3.8 per cent of Bank of America (BoA) following BoA's takeover of Merrill Lynch.

Temasek's US$5 billion plus investment in Merrill alone has resulted in a loss of more than US$2 billion, said Reuters.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Temasek lost almost US$2 billion of a badly-timed US$3 billion in Shin
Corp
at a peak of 49.25 baht(Shin shares are now trading at around 15 baht)
in
2006.
This state-linked investment company committed S$401
million in ASX -listed ABC Learning Centres at near the peak price of
A$7.30 and then averaged down at between A$1.20 and A$4.00, bringing
it's commitment to over S$500 million. That investment is now essentially
worthless although Temasek has yet to write it down.
The company also bought 19% of LSE- listed Standard Chartered in 2006
only to see the market value of that stake melt 55% by November 21st.
More fiascos include a 975 million pound stake in Barclays Bank bought
at
the peak of 740 pence(with a further 100 million to subscribe for a
rights
issue at 282 pence), which have now sunk over 70% at 138 pence.

Most heinous of all is its US$6.88 billion stake in Citigroup bought
with a
minimum conversion price of $31.34. Citigroup has since plunged 88% to
$3.71, singlehandedly delivering S$9.11 billion of red ink to Temasek's
books .
Overall, the paper loss on these bank investments has exceeded S$35
billion
as of October 21st.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

leetahbar, my evil brother is shifting soon

my evil big brother, leetahbar will be shifting to a new condo soon. just how many hideouts he possesses are still a mystery to me. my headache now is what should i be giving him as a house-warming present? he got almost everything....hmmm...maybe i give him a this:


a self-designed and planted dish-garden of cacti assortments

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

should i laugh at the joke or the joker?

Mouse who barked
By Li Xueying

Labour chief Lim Swee Say recounted the tale of a mouse that barked like a dog to get across a solemn message: it is important to upgrade one's skills. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

A MOUSE met a cat. The mouse barked like a dog. That scared the cat away.
To great levity in the House on Wednesday, labour chief Lim Swee Say recounted the tale to get across a solemn message: it is important to upgrade one's skills.

In an impromptu speech to rebut criticisms of the Jobs Credit scheme, Mr Lim said: 'We must never hope for a no-pain solution because there's no painless way out of global recession.'

He then told the tale of a kingdom of mice that 'lived very peacefully' until a cat appeared. The mice Parliament convened to discuss how to overcome their new fear.

One mice MP proposed a very simple solution: hang a big bell on the cat's neck so that it can be heard wherever it goes. Another suggested that it be big and heavy 'so that by the time the cat sees us, it will be so heavy, it cannot keep up with us'.

But there was a snag in implementing it. Who will bell the cat?

'There was no volunteer,' said Mr Lim.

The idea failed and the cat continued to move around freely while the mice lived in fear. One day, a mother mouse and her baby were hunting for food when the cat cornered them.

Trapped, the mother did the unexpected: she stared at the cat and barked, sending the feline fleeing.

To laughter from the MPs, Mr Lim said: 'The mother mouse turned and told the baby mouse: 'See, now you understand the importance of upskilling and re-skilling'.'

the joker is funnier than the joke itself! he's sillier!!

the fisherman and the fishing rod
the fisherman went fishing in a lake once flourished with fishes. soon, the lake was deprived of any fish cos the fisherman caught too many fishes and didn't even spare roes laden ones from further breeding.

along came a joker lim suay suay. he gave another rod to him: "this is my magic rod. it's branded and would definitely help u to catch more fishes. use it diligently and wisely..."

so the fisherman now uses 2 rods - his own and the branded one from lim suay suay. but there is still no fish that can be caught.

THERE ISN'T ANY MORE FISH IN THE LAKE!!

lim suay suay's story is of course a fairy tale. is he hinting that the JOKE CREDIT could be a joking "fairy tale" too?

why isn't losses not being updated?

Why Singapore need to dip into its reserves for $20.5bil. It 'lost' $24bil in US.

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Says Worst Yet to Come
February 1, 2009
By Shamim Adam and Haslinda Amin
Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — Singapore, whose state-owned funds invested about $24 billion in UBS AG, Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. in the past 14 months, said the worst of the credit crunch is yet to come.
The world's biggest banks still have toxic assets on their balance sheets, which are clogging up their ability to lend, Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday. The finance ministry oversees Government of Singapore Investment Corp. and Temasek Holdings Pte, each managing more than $100 billion.
Banks are still focusing on replenishing capital "and estimates of the extent of bad assets on their books are still on the upswing," he said. "We haven't seen the worst yet."
Bank losses worldwide from U.S.-originated bad assets may reach $2.2 trillion, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday, more than the $1.4 trillion it predicted in October. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration and federal regulators are considering setting up a "bad bank" that would absorb illiquid assets from otherwise healthy financial firms.
Governments across Europe have injected capital into banks to ensure that lending to companies and consumers doesn't freeze up. European Union regulators yesterday approved France's plan to increase its funding for recapitalization of banks including BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA to 11 billion Euros ($14.5 billion), from an initial proposal for 10.5 billion Euros.
Ireland's government last month said it would invest 2 billion euros in Allied Irish and Bank of Ireland, the country's biggest lenders.
'Foot the Bill'
"It's right that governments are focusing on recapitalization in the West and they're trying their best to incentivize new lending," Shanmugaratnam said. "It's too early to say how successful this will be. Governments have to take more risk, and that means taxpayers have to be willing to foot part of the bill."
The IMF report released yesterday signaled that write-downs and losses at banks totaling $1.1 trillion so far are only half of what's to come. Losses on that scale would leave banks needing at least $500 billion in fresh capital to restore confidence in their balance sheets, the fund said.
Singapore's leaders have defended the performance of the city's state-owned investment companies after a plunge in the value of their stakes in Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and other global banks.
GIC, which manages the country's reserves, invested about $18 billion in UBS and Citigroup since December 2007. Temasek, which has a $130 billion portfolio, increased investments in Merrill Lynch and Barclays Plc as the credit market collapsed in 2007 and 2008.
'Well Diversified'
Temasek was the biggest shareholder in Merrill Lynch before the securities firm was taken over by Bank of America Corp. It is also the largest shareholder of banks including London-based Standard Chartered Plc and Singapore's DBS Group Holdings Ltd., and has holdings in India's ICICI Bank and other lenders in Indonesia, South Korea and Pakistan.
Temasek and GIC remain "well diversified" enough in their portfolios to offer the long-term returns the government seeks, Shanmugaratnam said.
"We would be very worried if global banks comprise a large proportion of the portfolios of GIC or Temasek, or for that matter, any of the highly vulnerable industries globally," the minister said. "But these are diversified portfolios."
Performed 'Credibly'
Temasek and GIC have performed "credibly by international standards," he said. Temasek had an average 18 percent annual return on investment since its inception in 1974. GIC said in September that annual returns in the past 20 years averaged 7.8 percent in U.S. dollar terms, compared with about 6 percent for the MSCI World Index.
GIC last year also said it's boosting investments in emerging markets, private equity and other asset classes to raise returns after cutting back stocks and holdings in developed nations.
"I'm comfortable with the actions both Temasek and GIC have taken early in this crisis to reduce risk, to move into more liquid asset allocation and to prepare for opportunities in this downturn," Shanmugaratnam said. "We've got to make sure we maintain that record of prudent investments for the portfolio as a whole, diversifying risks, and being prepared for crises from time to time."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009