Monday, July 25, 2011
24 July 2011
SINGAPORE: National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said it will take 3 to 5 years to "substantively resolve" the problem of high resale flat prices and for prices to stabilise.
He said there is currently an imbalance between supply and demand - and new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats take three years to build.
Mr Khaw said this in response to questions from reporters on the sidelines of a community event on Sunday.
He also expressed confidence that resale flat prices will stabilise but stressed that the problem of high prices cannot be solved overnight. He urged Singaporeans to be patient.
On Friday, figures from the HDB showed prices rising by 3.1 per cent in the second quarter of this year, nearly twice the previous quarter's 1.6 per cent.
"Why do prices go up? It's very simple, because there's an imbalance in supply and demand. Supply means... build more. (But) you won't see the flat until three years later. New housing plans will have effect on the resale market. So the more I push out, I'm sure there's some influence," said Mr Khaw.
On the demand side, Mr Khaw advised young couples who have a place to stay in currently, not to get too excited and jump into the resale market. Instead, they should continue to apply for a BTO flat. He also urged upgraders who already own a flat to hold off on their plans, so as not to crowd the market.
Mr Khaw added that the property cooling measures implemented by the government have reduced unnecessary demand stemming from speculation.
Mr Khaw also explained why the HDB stopped releasing the median Cash-Over-Valuation (COV). The minister said the figure is "misleading" and cannot be used to judge if COV has gone up or come down.
He added that the median figure is dependent on the house type and location of flats that are sold, which can change from month to month.
Instead, the HDB will continue to offer a breakdown of COV according to location and house type, which Mr Khaw said, is the information Singaporeans need when they decide on whether to buy a home.
The golden question is why is there such imbalance now?
The answer is simple, it was done purposely to inflate the price so the government can maximised the profit.
Remember the ex-Minister for National Development who keep telling Singaporean we have enough flats?
Also the influx of Foreigner also adds on to the problem.
Then shouldn’t the million dollar Men In White do a simple math that if you keep increasing the population and not building enough flats you will have a shortage like now?
Well guess they did but were bochap but now they start to chap because they lost a few seats in the last election.
So this is a case of the Men In Whites putting themselves first before you and me as I am pretty sure they know the number of flats there will be in 2010 but as I’ve mentioned they just want to sell it at a higher price.
But they failed to realised that Singaporean will get impatient and shown their un-happiness in votes.
So Minister Khaw is tasked to be Mr Nice guy to clean up after the horse which screwed up but still taking his pension and $16,000 per month of tax payers money.
Good life indeed.
By Zakir Hussain
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last night pledged that the Government will improve the public transport service year by year, even as debate over a possible fare hike heats up.
The Government will also make sure that any fare hikes are reasonable, justifiable and not excessive, Mr Lee said at a National Day celebration in his Teck Ghee ward.
'From time to time, fare increases cannot be helped,' he said. But there are many schemes to help those in need, he added.
Members of the public are unhappy that transport operators are seeking a fare increase even though problems of over-crowding and long waiting times for buses and trains persist.
Last night, Mr Lee said: 'We will raise service standards and progressively improve them year by year... whether it's waiting times, crowding, frequency of the train services, particularly at peak hours, this is something which we will see to and improve.'
Another source of public unhappiness is that transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit want to raise fares in spite of earning good profits.
This guy never failed to amaze me by keeping scoring own goals.
Like many have expressed. The fare hikes in public transport is not reasonable and not justifiable as over the years the operators profits has been high and the service standard is going down south.
Cut the crap bout schemes helping the poor, the elderly can’t even get discounted fair during peak hour and are limited to a number of trips per day. And yes helping the poor 10% by charging more from the 90% equal more profit for you. Bloody blood suckers!
Also these comments have no value coming from this joker who may have never taken public transport in his life.
What he know about crowded trains, long waiting time and buses that are so packed that you cannot get on?
Of cause he has to side SMRT and SBS Transit. After all they are paying lots of money to the government in taxes and therefore sustained their million dollar salaries.
So the Elites here are screwing the Peasants for their own wealth.
Well guess this guys has 4 more years to screw us thanks to those idiots who voted for him.
Friday, July 22, 2011
It cites cost, uncertainty over what they can be used for among reasons
By Andrea Ong
THE Workers' Party (WP) will not be building offices in Housing Board (HDB) void decks for their Meet-the-People Sessions, turning down an offer from the HDB to rent such office space to them at the same rates it charges community organisations.
The WP cited as reasons for its decision, financial cost and uncertainty over what kind of community activities it would be allowed to hold in these offices, as the HDB requires that its consent be sought first for some activities.
The party also said that 'in view of the constant redrawing of electoral boundaries by the Government, the long-term viability of the construction of offices for WP MPs is open to question'.
The WP's decision yesterday comes two months after the HDB scrapped a 20-year-old policy that differentiated political parties from community organisations, with the latter paying lower rentals than the former.
With most People's Action Party (PAP) MPs holding their Meet-the-People Sessions (MPS) in kindergartens run by the PAP Community Foundation (PCF), which is considered a community organisation, opposition parties often alleged that the HDB's policy discriminated against them.
(See how ST phrase this!)
Three weeks after the recent general election, HDB announced that political parties would now be charged the same rental rates as community organisations, at $1.50 per sq m per month.
(PAP MP got pay?)
Just like what they did to Mr Chiam, PAP is using their puppet HDB to make life difficult for elected opposition by denying them a dignified location to hold their MP session.
As we all know, PAP MP are using their MPS in those PAP kindergarden for free!
So may I ask our dear man in white, do people in Hougang, Potong Pasir and Aljunie pay different tax from people staying in Ang Mo Kio, Tanjong Pagar and Marine Parade? Are grocery and transport cheaper in these opposition wards? (Ok no grocery as they closed the NTUC in Hougang).
Why must opposition ELECTED MPs have to source for location to serve the people paying commercial rental while the incumbent MPs got it free or at a huge discount?
The MPS are for Singaporean no matter where they stay in.
To me, all MP should be given a proper office to hold their MPS no matter which party he/she from.
All these underhand tactic by the PAP not only shows that you are narrow minded but also trying to differentiate those that voted for you and those that did not.
This is no the way to win vote Dear Mr Lee. Please show some class, be more gracious, show some real sincerity and walk the ground more and I am sure you will win Singaporean over.
Till then, I can assure you you will lose some more parliament seats in 2016.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wed, Jul 20, 2011
SINGAPORE - Rupert Murdoch praised wealthy Singapore for paying its ministers top dollar to avoid corruption, but a government-appointed committee in the Southeast Asian city-state is reviewing the million-dollar salaries because of public anger.
Murdoch, 80, was attacked by a protester on Tuesday while giving evidence to a British parliamentary committee at which he defended his son and his media company, News Corp , over a phone hacking scandal that has rocked the British establishment.
Murdoch described Singapore as "the cleanest society" in the world as the high salaries paid to its members of parliament precluded corruption, taking a gentle swipe at British MPs recently embroiled in a corruption scandal over expenses.
No politician in Singapore, a former British colony, has been charged with corruption in the last 20 years. But the high ministerial salaries were a hot topic during the May election in which the long-ruling People's Action Party was returned to power with the lowest percentage of the popular vote since independence in 1965.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the world's highest paid political leader with an annual salary of over S$3 million ($2.5 million), has set up a committee to look into resetting ministerial salaries.
Members of parliament, most of whom hold full-time jobs, get an allowance of about S$15,000 ($12,340) a month - or about three times the median household income.
Tan Jee Say, a former top civil servant and fund manager who hopes to contest Singapore's upcoming presidential elections, said public anger stemmed from the perception that ministers were grossly overpaid.
"They told us that they needed the high pay in order to get the most talented and competent people to run the government... We did not get the most talented people," he said.
"The broader issue is that politics is a public service. Other corrupt-free countries such as Denmark and New Zealand do not need to pay their ministers astronomical salaries to keep them clean," he added.
Singapore pegs the salaries of its ministers to two-thirds the amount received by top earners in the private sector, and Prime Minister Lee's salary is more than six times the $400,000 earned by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Many Singaporeans do not oppose paying politicians high salaries. The dispute is over how high.
"I agree with Murdoch. We have strict laws against corruption but the stick cannot work without the carrot," said market researcher Aaron Chew.
"(But) given that ministers get to decide on their salaries, aren't we in essence giving them a blank cheque in the name of preventing corruption?"
Stupid Murdoch is actually saying money can buy everything.
Paying top dollars for Top management in a profit making company is reasonable as they are tasked to generate profit and will be sacked if the company lost money.
Singapore logic of paying millions to the Ministers is crap, firstly they don’t deserve it with their screwed up performance (High cost of living, Shortage of Housing, screwed up transport services, Mas Selamat saga, Orchard road flood, over influx of foreigner etc.) And in-fact no one even take responsibility.
Those Ministers involved are still in the parliament.
Ok PM did apologised when he realised his party is losing vote during the election period.
A county is not a company. You have to attract the right kind of people into public services and if you use money then you are attracting the wrong kind of people and that is why Singapore is such sad place to live in.
On the surface we are wealthy and but in fact we are just slave with low quality of life.
The solution to stop corruption is simple, introduce the punishment of death penalty or to those who are against it, stripping one of citizenship and sent for exile is the alternative.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Former deputy prime minister Tony Tan favours a "Singaporeans first" approach to higher education here.
Wed, Jul 20, 2011
Former deputy prime minister Tony Tan favours a "Singaporeans first" approach to higher education here.
The presidential hopeful, who gave a public lecture at the Singapore Management University yesterday, said: "Whatever initiatives we launch, we must always put the interests of Singaporeans and Singapore first.
"Our primary responsibility is to Singaporeans - to give Singaporeans and their families every opportunity to be first."
This is why Singapore citizens have priority in getting enrolled at primary and secondary schools, which lay the critical foundation for success in higher education, he added. There are also many subsidies and scholarships available to Singaporeans to study locally or abroad, he pointed out.
Dr Tan, 71, who was minister for education in the 1980s, explained that "Singaporeans first" differs from "Singaporeans only".
He said that Singapore should not shut its doors to international talent, as that would "restrict our ability to engage in the kind of collaborative research that has put Singapore universities in the very top ranks of universities in the world".
Finding the right balance would not be easy but we must try, said Dr Tan, who had earlier qualified that he was speaking in the capacity of a "private citizen".
Higher-education policies guided in this direction sits well with Singaporeans, such as lawyer Lim Kia Tong.
Mr Lim, 58, whose son will sit his A-level examinations this year, told my paper: "If Singaporeans can't get into local universities, (their parents would be compelled) to spend substantial sums of money to send them overseas, and even though we are citizens, we would feel second-rate."
Two 19-year-old former classmates from Anderson Junior College told my paper that they were disappointed when they were rejected by three local universities this year despite obtaining grades which they felt were deserving of admission.
The luckier of the pair, Ms Chan J. Y, will pursue a course at culinary school Le Cordon Bleu's Sydney campus next year, paid for by her parents. Her classmate, Ms Sonam Damani, whose parents are unable to send her abroad, plans to apply again next year while studying at a private university such as UniSIM.
Dr Tan was also quizzed by reporters on the controversial graduate mothers' scheme, which he scrapped in 1985 during his tenure as education minister.
The scheme gave priority to children of graduate mothers for school registration.
Netizens have recently criticised Dr Tan - who supported the scheme initially - for discontinuing the scheme only after public displeasure was expressed at the 1984 polls.
He said: "When I became education minister, it was one of the first issues which I took up. I felt that it was not fulfilling its purpose. It was unfairly disadvantaging certain segments of our (society).
"I don't think it was going to achieve the purpose for which it was intended."
As suspected Tony is getting hell lots of media coverage compares to the rest of the president hopeful.
Tony is a nice guy and he is one of my favourite PAP guys like George (maybe I am bias as we have the same alma mater) but in my opinion he joined the wrong party and even though he had quit to me he still breath, sleep and sound like the PAP.
First I don’t know why was he invited to this event the only reason is to give him a chance to speak in public.
Then his stand for higher education is just echoing what the men in white’s stand which we all know. There is absolutely unnecessary for Tony to reiterate it.
This government policy is just to pacify Singaporean, just like the housing issue. The real reason for letting in the foreigners was and will always be the dollar sign. Oh and they are not too happy that parents are sending their kids oversea and this is view as lost revenue by the Men In White.
The problem with this country is that we are swarmed with foreigners. They are here to compete with us for food, job, housing and education and they don’t serve National Service. (Hell some MP also did not serve! WTF!)
Cut the crap about Singaporean being first, to the PAP we are just a digit, a profit making object and we and all the foreigners are here to pay their million dollars salaries.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Yahoo! Singapore is running a project, Singapore9, for you to vote and recognise 9 Singaporean who really made a different for the past year.
I choked on my breakfast when I saw the no.1 Guy on the list and strangely his picture is bigger then rest.
He quote really top my list of JOKE OF THE YEAR.
Mmm… maybe he did really makes a different.
Guess the grassrooters are starting to click on our dear friend button.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
He is talking rubbish and seem like Raymond Lim is going to have a majong kaki real soon.
Ordinary people like me can't even make sense out of what the hell is this million dollar scholar minister trying to say.
'Serious downsides' to WP suggestion
Transport Minister says taxpayers, even those who do not take public transport, may end up paying more
Jul 14, 2011
Singapore - The Workers' Party's (WP) suggestion to nationalise public transport "might seem like a very attractive idea" but it has "serious downsides" in reality, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said yesterday.
Chief among these "downsides" is that "commuters and taxpayers - yes, even those who don't take public transport - are likely to end up paying more, and possibly, for a poorer level of service over time", Mr Lui added.
This is only HIS opinion and yet again we see the PAP using scare tactics tell you that YOU WILL PAY MORE even before studying how to implement this proposal.
Mr Lui's remarks on his Facebook page came a day after the WP reiterated its call for a National Transport Corporation.
The Transport Minister pointed out that, an entity that depends on Government funding and which operates on a cost-recovery basis, "would have little incentive to keep costs down".
Why can’t it be done? Just put the right person as the CEO and I am sure he can run the company well as a cost-recovery basis. Note the two companies currently are earning $161M and $54M profit and this a very big buffer.
Said Mr Lui: "Cost increases will be passed on to commuters. Over time, this will lead to higher costs for the same level of service, which means commuters pay higher - and not lower - fares. Not only would people have to pay more, nationalising the operators could result in a stagnation of service quality or efficiency over time."
Who is asking you to run the pubic transport company at a lost? You just have to operate it with minimum profit. In fact we have nothing to lose as now we are paying higher fare and no service.
Stagnation of service quality? Like PAP you meant? Bullshit lah! If quality drop just sacked the joker running the company and replaced with someone who can do it. I am sure you have lots of talented scholar in the civil service.
On Monday, SBS Transit and SMRT applied for the maximum increase of 2.8-per-cent for bus and rail fares. Responding to media queries, the WP reiterated on Tuesday its proposed transport body would not be driven by profit but would operate on a cost-recovery basis.
Mr Lui noted yesterday that "the profit incentive" of commercial enterprises "spurs efficiency and productivity improvements".
Huh? Now this Lui is really talking rubbish. Efficiency and productivity are method to increase profit, he don’t even mention service quality which I find is the most important factor in a service orientated company. Please don’t treat the public transport provided like a factory and commuter are just products.
Yes currently there are efficiency and productivity from the operator view point. By filling the bus and train to maximum capacity! This definitely improve the companies productivities.
While some have argued that the public transport operators should not be making high profits, Mr Lui said Singaporeans should also "recognise that as public-listed companies, it is not unreasonable for the (operators) to earn fair returns from the sizeable capital investments required to sustain their operations and to invest in future public transport needs".
So that is why we need to delist these companies and nationalised it! Are you listening to WP proposal at all Ah Lui? Or are you arguing for the sake or arguing?
A Ministry of Transport (MOT) spokesperson added yesterday that experience elsewhere has shown that privately operated public transport systems bring about greater efficiency. The spokesperson said: "This is why many cities around the world, like Melbourne, Tokyo, Stockholm and Seoul, either have or are moving towards commercial enterprises providing public transport services."
I don’t know about the rest but I can vouch that the Train service in Seoul is both CHEAP and efficient so how come ours are expensive, overcrowded and inefficient even thought it is a privatised company?
Mr Lui reiterated that commuters' interests are "safeguarded": A "robust framework" is in place to regulate bus and rail service levels through service quality and operating performance standards so that public transport operators do not pursue profit at the expense of commuters. Also, the Public Transport Council (PTC) regulates fares based on a fare adjustment formula that takes into account macro-economic factors, namely the Consumer Price Index and average national wage increases.
If the 10% of the (Like the minister who never take pubic transport) salaries skyrocked, this will bring the national average wage up and if we use this to justify public transport fare increase then it is both stupid and dumb. I suggest you take the average salary of the bottom 50% of the national as a benchmark to decide whether to increase the fare my folk.
"The fare adjustment formula protects commuters by capping fare increases - (public transport operators) are not free to simply pass on their cost increases to commuters," Mr Lui added.
Yes there is capping at each increase only. There is no cap on how often they can apply to increase.
While SBS Transit and SMRT have asked for the maximum fare increase this year, Mr Lui noted there have been some years when the PTC approved fare increases that have been less than what the public transport operators proposed. "We should let the PTC deliberate on this properly and make its decision," he added.
Please remind us when was the last time fare was reviewed and reduced? And of cause PTC have to wayang a bit to proved their existence.
On Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport chairperson Cedric Foo's call to relook the fare adjustment formula, the MOT spokesperson noted the fare formula "is not meant to be static".
In 2008, for example, the revised formula factored in higher productivity gains. This revised formula is valid until next year. "The PTC will review the fare adjustment formula for subsequent years bearing in mind the interests of commuters as well as the long-term viability of the public transport operators," the MOT spokesperson added.
With the Government investing another S$60 billion in new rail lines by the end of the decade, Mr Lui reiterated the Government's commitment to invest heavily in the public transport infrastructure. "Government funding of public transport infrastructure is a key reason why public transport fares continue to be affordable," he added.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
It will enable them to carry out official work when called upon: PMO
THE Prime Minister has decided that the Government will continue to provide staff support to Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong.
Both men, who stepped down from the Cabinet in May, continue to make significant contributions to Singapore, especially internationally, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The PMO also said that the staff support will enable Mr Lee and Mr Goh to carry out official work when called upon by the Government, as well as their duties as senior advisers to the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
The elder Mr Lee, 87, was in Government for 52 years, including 31 years as Singapore's first prime minister. In May, Mr Lee also relinquished his post as GIC chairman. He is now its senior adviser.
Mr Goh, 70, served in Government for 35 years and was prime minister for 14 of those years. Previously MAS chairman, he is now the central bank's senior adviser. He also has an honorary title - Emeritus Senior Minister.
Both men had chosen to step down from Government in May to give Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his new team a fresh, clean slate to carry the country forward in a more difficult and complex situation, they had explained in a statement then. Both remain Members of Parliament.
From Channel New Asia, each of the ex-PM will have one special assistant and one press secretary part-time, plus one secretary and two clerical officers full-time.
I hope the PMO will disclose how much are their salaries are in total. Well we don’t need to know exactly how much the 2 special assistant salary as salary are still a sensitive in Asian society but at least they should let the tax payer know how much are we paying to support these two ex-PM.
In fact, this two ex-PM are actually retired and are talking a role as part time advisor to the Singapore government so I think it is fair that they should be given part time assistant and come one, it is more then enough for both of them to share one full time assistant since now they are part timer too.
Don’t forget these two also travel frequently on First Class with tax-payer money to do what I also don’t know.
In fact the government should also give us a break down what and how did the two ex-PMs have contributed after they step down from the cabinet.
Moreover these two has accumulated enough wealth over the years to last 3 or more life times so can’t they afford to hired their own assistant?
Too stingy perhaps?
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
These people decide on your public transport fee.
Transport operators seek fare increases
GPC chairman to ask Transport Ministry to review fare adjustment formula
SINGAPORE - Public transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT have applied for the maximum fare increase of 2.8 per cent for rail and bus fares, citing "uncontrollable" and "significant" cost pressures but a more fundamental review may be on the cards.
Beyond this year's exercise, Member of Parliament Cedric Foo, who took over as chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport, has signalled his intention to engage the Transport Ministry to review the fare adjustment formula.
With public transport playing a bigger role in Singapore's land transport system, Mr Foo toldMediaCorp a review of the formula would be timely as it was drawn up in 2005. The fare adjustment formula was last reviewed in 2008.
The Public Transport Council (PTC) - which is responsible for regulating fares - said yesterday it would study and deliberate on both operators' applications and would inform the public of the outcome as soon as a decision is reached.
Commuters can expect some time to adjust to any fare changes, as it was said this year - once by the PTC in February and again by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew in June - that any consideration of fare increases should be done in relation with the opening of the Circle Line's final two stages in October.
SMRT executive vice-president for trains Khoo Hean Siang said yesterday that non-fare businesses from commercial activities - such as retail rentals and advertising - have contributed to productivity gains but they could not mitigate the "uncontrollable cost pressures due to fuel prices and manpower costs".
SMRT's energy cost increased 17.5 per cent for the year to March 31, due mainly to higher electricity and diesel prices as well as the expansion of rail network with the opening of the first two phases of the Circle Line.
The SMRT said a higher employer's CPF contribution rate contributed to higher manpower costs.
"In addition, more staff had to be hired due to the opening of Circle Line Phase 1 and 2, and to operate additional train and bus trips from various service enhancements efforts implemented to meet the rising commuting demand," the SMRT added.
Besides rising fuel and energy costs, SBS Transit said it "continues to face significant cost pressures despite increased efforts to lower costs and increase productivity".
In particular, SBS Transit cited its investments in new buses which began in 2006, with some 600 buses - bought at a cost of S$268 million - scheduled for delivery over this year and next year.
"In all, our 2,050 new buses are costing us some S$854 million," SBS Transit added. The company said more details of the application, which is subject to the approval of the PTC, will be announced at a later date.
The PTC's fare revision formula takes into account inflation, average wages and productivity of the operators to arrive at a cap to fare adjustments.
Mr Foo felt any review would need to look at two objectives - balancing an affordable public transport system with operators earning enough to invest in improving service.
"I would like to look at it holistically," he added. "We need to ask ourselves what has worked, what has not worked, how we may re-look at this formula and make it more relevant to its objectives."
Last year, overall fares were up 0.5 per cent. In 2009, the transport operators decided to reduce fares by 4.6 per cent because of the severe economic downturn, even though the formula allowed for a 5 per cent rise.
In 2008, fares rose 0.7 per cent. And in 2007, the council approved a 1.8-per-cent rise in bus fares but kept train fares unchanged.
SMRT's net profit dropped 1.1 per cent to S$161.1 million for the year to March 31 as staff, energy and operating costs rose.
Meanwhile, SBS Transit's net profit for the full year ending December 31 last year was S$54.3 million, down a marginal 0.6 per cent from the year before.
This is what you get when there is complete monopoly of the market. It’s the same for politic.
With “rising cost” as a reason both SMRT and Transit Link wanted to raise fare. Note last year both companies have a profit of $161.1miilons and $54.3million respectively.
So I guess the real reason for fare increment is to protect or increase this profit.
I have no confident in the Public Transport Council as well. The council are all made up of Elites, we have several professors and directors. How many of these people take public transport daily? So any fool will predict there will be an increase in fare and after this more increase in private bus fare too and then taxi maybe.
So folks welcome back to reality, Election is over and cost of living is going up and wages are coming down. To those who voted for PAP in the last election you have no right to complaint as for me I can still say #@!%$!$#@!%$!@$#.
Monday, July 11, 2011
DRESSED in a traditional Peranakan costume and sparkling jewels representing wealth and family status, the bride walks slowly swaying side to side to the music, accompanied by an elder woman who guides her on the strict wedding rituals.
The groom wears a Manchurian-style robe and holds a scholar's fan in one hand, fanning constantly as he walks down the aisle beside his bride, in front of more than 500 guests.
This is not an actual wedding but a celebration of the Peranakan Association's 111th anniversary.
Speaking at the event, guest of honour former Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tony Tan said that the Peranakan culture is distinctive because of its ability to embrace other cultures and also its taste, beliefs, rituals and language that are a blend of Chinese, Malay and colonial British cultures.
I am curious on what capacity Tony is attending this function.
Technically he is jobless and his title is Ex-DPM, not even Emeritus. So how did he ends up as a VIP of the Peranakan’s clan.
Since Tony left the cabinet and became the GIC CEO he has been rather low profile and suddenly when he announced he is running for this year President Election we have this kind of report surfacing.
Indeed the spin doctor have started working.
10 July 2011
SINGAPORE: Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, the Speaker of the last Parliament, will lead a four-member delegation on a visit to New Zealand from July 10 to 15, at the invitation of Dr Lockwood Smith, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives.
Mr Abdullah will be accompanied by Members of Parliament Ms Ellen Lee, Mr Patrick Tay and Mr Vikram Nair. The delegation will visit Auckland and Wellington.
The Office of the Clerk of Parliament said the Singapore delegation will meet the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to discuss bilateral matters.
It will also attend a parliament sitting at the New Zealand House of the Representatives and observe parliamentary proceedings.
The Singapore delegation will also be meeting overseas Singaporeans in New Zealand.
Correct me if I am wrong but I though this guy has retired? He even got a thank you note from PM.
So why is a “Speakers of the last Parliament” (Which did not participate in the last election) leading a team of MPs? Doesn’t sound right to me. Maybe the New Zealander Smith invited the speaker of parliament but since we still have no idea who will that be they just got the previous guy there.
It is OK if he is still the speakers but hey isn’t he suppose to be gone and enjoying his pension.
So now tax payers still have to feed this retired guy?
Come to think about it how come they still have not appointed the new speaker since Zainal has already lost.
Thursday, July 07, 2011
More info on the case can be found here.
I also read from the newspaper that the victim has no case against the government. Three words came to my mind. WTF?!
I extra some key point from the report.
The judge was Justice Woo Bih Li.
SSI Zainal also breached rules governing the conduct of police officers when he recorded the first statement on a slip of paper and transferred it to his field diary much later in the day - a move Justice Rajah said was 'clearly unacceptable'…..
Justice Rajah said the prosecution had not been able to give any plausible reason for why SSI Zainal, a seasoned investigator with 28 years of experience, failed to comply with the rules. He said Mr Ismil was in a vulnerable state when his first statement was taken as he was under the influence of drugs. He was 'prone to be vulnerable to suggestions and manipulations when... under stress or threat'…..
What exactly happened when the statement was taken? Any other witness beside SSI Zainal?
Why his conviction was overturned
•Mr Ismil's first two police statements confessing to attacking Madam Tham should have been found inadmissible.
After they were recorded in a police car and the police station, they were not read back to Mr Ismil. He was also not given the chance to make corrections, and neither statement was signed by him. This is a breach of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Very scary. This imply anyone can confess a crime for you.
Mr Ismil's first statement was not recorded in the investigator's pocket book or field diary but on a slip of paper, and the entry was transferred to his field diary much later in the day. His second statement was also not immediately recorded in the pocket book or field diary.
Police not following procedure.
Mr Ismil, a drug abuser, was under the influence of drugs when he was first questioned. The trial judge preferred the evidence of the prosecution psychiatrist and found that his withdrawal symptoms had lessened by the time he was questioned.
I thought a judge should be unbias and take need to take all evidence into account why hey preferred the prosection psychiatrist report? IF in doubt should a 3rd party psychiatrist be consulted?
But the appeal court said the trial judge was wrong to determine that Mr Ismil 'miraculously recovered' just before giving his statement.
Defence psychiatrists said that Mr Ismil, who has an IQ of only 73, was vulnerable to suggestion and manipulation, so it was likely the confession was false. But the prosecution psychiatrist disagreed.
The appeal court said the trial judge erred in preferring the evidence of the psychiatrist, who did the interview without a Malay interpreter. The appeal court noted that there was no objective evidence linking Mr Ismil to the crime.
If you asked me the police and the Judge really screwed up man.
By Selina Lum
IN A dramatic twist yesterday, an odd-job labourer was released from prison after he was cleared of murdering an elderly housewife six years ago.
Mr Ismil Kadar - who spent six years in prison including two years on death row - was acquitted by the Court of Appeal, which issued a strongly worded judgment highlighting 'serious lapses' by police and prosecutors.
Describing the case as 'extraordinary', Justice V. K. Rajah said the 42-year-old's confessions were obtained 'in troubling circumstances' which appeared to be deliberate breaches in procedures rather than mere carelessness.
He added that investigators had been 'less than thorough' and said there was a 'startling lack of any objective evidence' that tied Mr Ismil to the crime.
Mr Ismil - who has an IQ of only 73 - had been in jail since May 2005, when he 'confessed' to murdering Madam Tham Weng Kuen, 69, in her Boon Lay flat. The IQ level of a normal person is between 90 and 110.
The housewife was stabbed and slashed 110 times in the brutal attack while her husband, who was bedridden from a stroke, was in the bedroom. He heard what was happening but could not do anything about it. Madam Tham's body was discovered a few hours later when their only child - a daughter - checked on them.
Now this is scary.
Firtly Kudo to the lawyer Mr R. Thrumurgan.
The screw up by police and the prosecutors wasted 6 years of a man life and nearly cause the death of an innocent man.
Note that Mr Ismail Kadar was force to confess 'in troubling circumstances' probably being abused physically and psychologically.
This could very well happen to you and me.
I believe the police and the state own Mr Ismail Kadar an apology and are going to offer him some compensation.
More importantly it should also investigate and make public what when wrong and how to prevent in the future. And also please find out is there any similar cases now.
Question I can come up with:
Why did the police force a confession out of Mr Kadar who is low in IQ? What method did they used that can cause a man who confessed in a crime that has the death penalty?
Was there a KPI to be met then? Were they trying to take the easy way out by closing the case when they can’t find the real culprit?
Who was responsible for this lapse and is anyone being held responsible for it?
What is being done to prevent it from happening again?
Was Wong Kang Seng the Home affair Minister then? (OK a cheap shot)
It is sad that this sort of thing is happening in Singapore where the police and State prosecutor pride themselves for fair and efficient.
I personally had heard other stories similar to this case regarding the Men In Blue so I am really sceptical about the efficiency of the Police.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
By Joy Fang
WATER is a valuable and limited resource, and Singapore needs to price its water at a level that would make people understand its worth, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.
"You have to get the price right so that people understand that this is a scarce resource and will value it," he said, adding that producers of water should also be able to get economic return on their investment.
"If you make it free, nobody will bother to turn off the tap... They can leave it on since somebody else is paying."
Today, water tariffs are about three times those charged before 1997.
When water tariffs were raised yearly from 1997 to 2000, the Government was worried that people would not accept it, Mr Lee said.
"But one reason people accepted it was because, at that time, regularly, there were reminders from various quarters in neighbouring countries that if we were not compliant, they will threaten to cut our water off," he said.
Still, low-income families will not be left behind, he said.
There are schemes, such as the U-Save subsidies, to make water affordable for them.
This is not a very clever plan coming from the Prime Minister.
Price water expensive just to make Singaporean understand its worth? Bullshit lah! Education is more important then anything.
Pricing high is only for the Gahment to profit more that’s it.
I paid so much for the Cabinets and I still don’t think its worth it.
Well done Mr Prime Minister, you just shown us your true worth.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Whenever his name came up, I forever have a picture of him taking over LKY bodyguard job during his speech on nomination day 2011.
He sure is one of the best ass kisser around.
Chan Chun Sing: Offer ideas, instead of attacking gov’t
MG Chan Chun Sing urged young people to ask themselves whether their ideas could move the country forward.
Should you see litter on the ground, you have three options, according to Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing.
Pick up the litter and throw it away, write to a government agency and complain that the foreign workers are not doing their jobs, or take a picture of the litter and post it on citizen journalism portal Stomp, declaring that "Singapore is a dirty place!"
What if you picked up the litter and there are 10000 more? What if you are charge $80 a month by the town council but only a small percentage of it go to the cleaner while the rest goes to the town council sinking fund where they happy used your money for investment and hold parties during Nation Day for VIP?
Explaining his analogy, Major-General Chan said the third option is to "tear down", the second to "outsource the problem" and the first is to "take charge of your destiny, control your environment".
I tried to take care of my destiny by voting you out. But you came up with the stupid GRC system to ensure people like Chan Chun Sing and Tin Pei Ling get to be Minister and MP.
It is the third option MG Chan recommended, reported The Sunday Times (ST).
He was speaking at a two-hour dialogue organised by the People's Action Party's youth wing, where MG Chan dealt with questions ranging from liberalising the rules on civil society to more transparency in managing the national reserves.
He urged the 100-odd young people present to ask themselves whether their ideas could move the country forward, rather than just "throw stones, cast doubt and tear down institutions", reported the paper.
Yeah you still have not answered the question. How much of our money are still in the reserves and how much GIC has lost over the years. Ordinary Singaporean the opposition parties has came up with some good ideas for making Singapore a better place buy what have you done to them? Police had harassed them. You already has the idea of “either you are with us or you are all against us”. Too proud to hear anything and only like to hear what you want to hear so how go give you suggestion?
Instances of youth energies being ill-utilised during the General Election saddened him, said the 42-year-old.
He said, "They were caught up in the heat of the moment, attacking the government or attacking the opposition. I want to know ... after you attack, do you have better ideas to bring the country forward?"
Did they attacked for the sake of attacking? Did you listen to what are they trying to say? Do you know these things may already been there long before the election and you only realised it during your campaign? Hell your PM even apologised and admitted some of you mistakes and even some senior MIW cried!
He repeated often his conviction that young people must ask less what the government can do for them and more what they can do for themselves, reported ST.
But you are paid a lot of money for doing nothing if everyone do the job for you Ah Chan.
MG Chan said he would rather see young people telling the government: I believe in this, give me some help and I will do it.
I believe many have tried and will still try but are you willing to listen? Ask yourself that.
When asked about the tenor of social media discourse in Singapore, MG Chan urged the audience to "go and reclaim the space for reasoned discussion" after only two people indicated they were proud of the discussion that dominates local cyberspace.
MG Chan also dealt with policy suggestions.
Asked why Singapore cannot have a welfare system like in Australia, he replied, "We can. But are you willing to pay for it?"
Will you accept an Australian MP salary?
He later told reporters he did not want to give the participants any solutions but to "work through the solutions with them so everybody understands the choices, the consequences the trade-offs".
Own self also don’t know what to do still dare to give lecture to the people.
"Even if they don't agree with a decision at a point in time, they will understand the considerations behind it. So in the future, when circumstances change, they are in a better position to make those new decisions."
Monday, July 04, 2011
Sun, Jul 3, 2011
President S R Nathan, who will not be seeking a third term, receives high praise from present and former government …
Following President S R Nathan's announcement that he will not be seeking re-election after his term ends on 31 August, current and former government leaders paid tribute to the President.
They called him a people's President who served Singapore with dignity, care and charm, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan described Mr Nathan as "a very active people's president". As a former social worker, Mr Nathan helped uplift the status of these workers and showed the importance they played in bringing society together, he said.
Mr Nathan also "paid special attention" to integrate the different religious and ethnic groups, added Dr Balakrishnan. "In his sincere way, he reminded all of us of our common humanity and our need to get together and in a sense, he exemplified one crucial role of the President, as a unifying factor for all segments of society."
Dr Balakrishnan said, "He also showed me the true meaning of humility."
"The one point which will always stick with me is his reminder that political office is temporary. It is not something you grasp but it is a responsibility that you temporarily have. You do your best and you do it sincerely and honestly and then you leave quietly. This is a man who has done so much in a quiet and effective way," he noted.
Former Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi commended Mr Nathan for his contributions, reported CNA.
"I know him personally and how he really puts in everything in his job. ... He is one President that we can call easily to be Singapore's President. President for all, in that sense. He has contributed a lot and he deserves to rest," he said.
Mr Nathan served with "dignity, with lots of care, charm", said former Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zainul Abidin Rasheed. "He will be well-remembered, not only by Singaporean's as the people's President but indeed by all those whom he has visited in countries overseas."
Former Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Hwee Hwa echoed Mr Zainul's views.
She said, "President S R Nathan is really a people's man and he's got wonderful love. He is very giving, he has a very special touch for every strata of society. I can't help but notice his special way with people and I think he has in a way shown what a wonderful President is and I wish him all the best."
OK he may be a nice guy but I did tried very hard and google what SR Nathan did for the people of Singapore (Note not for the men in white) and I can only come up with one thing.
He started the President Challenge to challenge the people of Singapore to raise fund for charity.
When S R Nathan announced that he will not be running in the coming President Election, suddenly we see may “tributes” from the men and women in whites and heck they even got a few Ex-men in women in whites giving their 2 cents worth.
Funny that there is no comment from the opposition parties or the ordinary Singaporean on the street. Maybe the media think our comments are worthless.
These people make me sick will they ass kissing.
Also please don’t forget he is paid $4miilons of tax payer's money every year for “his job”.
Did S R Nathan did a good job?
Let me asked you, if the very person he suppose to check on are singing praises for him, what do you think my friend?