Call for stricter regulations on PAP Ministers

Former assistant director of the Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau(CPIB) Edwin Yeo’s $1.7 million misappropriation has proven that high salaries do not stem out corruption. Like former PAP MP Choo Wee Khiang who was jailed 2 weeks for corruption charges, PAP Ministers and MPs are likewise as exposed to corruption as any other ordinary civil servant drawing a fraction of their salaries. Most exposures and scandals relied heavily on whistleblowing, which pretty much means that the present system itself is not comprehensive itself in preventing corruption and there isn’t a watchdog monitoring the usage of resources. In Edwin Yeo’s case, CPIB is going to implement a casino ban(which of course brings the question why are civil servants and appointment holders not given such restrictions in the first place). The ban is a good move in the right direction, and we should consider implementing more austere measures to prevent corruption and nepotism in our appointment holders, the PAP Minister.

Drawing more than a million dollars, the integrity and conduct of PAP Ministers should be of diamond-grade, and in no instances let up of austere. It is amazing how Singapore’s system could rank highly on non-corruption when it doesn’t have preventive measures as comprehensive as those of governments in the West. Nonetheless, the following regulations practiced by other countries are worth adopting:

1) Gambling ban
Both local and overseas gambling dens and casinos. No appointment holders must be allowed to place a single bet.

2) Large transactions to be declared
Existing large purchases or investments exceeding $100,000 must be declared and profiled in a centralized server that is openly accessible to the media and public. The net worth of each Ministers and MPs must also be declared and likewise monitored.

3) State-sponsored benefits to be denied for family members
Scholarships and government grants made commonly available to average citizens should be denied for family members of Ministers and MPs. The remunerations of Ministers are more than sufficient enough of them to see their children through a good education system.

4) Corporate appointments and shareholding before/current/after service
No Ministers should be allowed to own any shares or corporate appointments during his time of service. Before and after service appointments and shareholding must be declared and profiled.

5) Limitation of Premiership to 10 years
No Prime Minister should stay in premiership for more than 2 terms.

6) Constituitionalize a referendum signature to call for fresh elections in a constituency
A referendum signature collection from at least 10% of the citizen population in the particular constituency to call for elections be mandated under the watch of the Electoral Department.

7) Remove Prime Minister’s power over CPIB and Electoral Department
No one single person or party should have control over the CPIB and the Electoral Department.

The rationale of these initiatives is patch the loopholes of the existing framework and hence reinforcing a standard of governance worthy of the trust and resources Singaporeans bestowed to. They are especially highlighted because these areas are most likely subjected to abuse, especially when there are no watchers on the watchdogs. Political sales talk about how robust and dignified our politicians are is not sufficient, we need to design the structure in a way that it not possible of appointment holders to corrupt. Singapore is especially lacking in system design when it comes to governance, partly because the only party with experience have no active interests in rocking the boat out of fear of falling into the water. Ironically, the only way the power-hungry and change-resistant PAP can maintain power is to re-design its system that re-appeals to confidence loss in its ex-supporters.

Like in the past, Singaporeans are thinking “this is the party that assures my prosperity and future well-being in your leadership”, but things are not the way it is. Retirement is non-existent, family-planning is unaffordable, and the livelihood of average Singaporeans are threatened by the influx of foreigners. It has come to a point that Singaporeans have to fight the PAP to ensure they have a chance of survival under, hopefully, the Workers’ Party government in the near future. Also, tussling the PAP out of power is only the first step. The road to a truly first world Singapore is only possible how much of a change the new government can be. And here, we are talking about decades of sacrifices, dedications and creativity by the likes of ordinary citizens both online and offline.

Meet your credible writers

Straits Times’ top dogs – Ensuring you read the right things

tessa wong1) Tessa Wong
Political Reporter
Started in 2011
She is currently the star hound of the Straits Times covering online current affairs sites after GE2011. Aside from being an avert propaganda artist,  Tessa is also a blogger at SingaPolitics – a SPH-funded current affairs news site created to carry pro-PAP commentaries and news opinions. She is currently next in-line vying with Rachel Chang to take over Jeremy Au Yong as the next Deputy Editor, who according to a reliable source, is leaving the SPH by the end of this year.

 

2) Rachel Chang
Political Reporter
Started in 2011
raccPolitical correspondent of the year. The new blood is a SPH scholar whose main line of work is to garnish PAP Ministers’ and MPs’ quotes, supporting and making supplementary political interpretations to put the PAP in the best light they can be. Minister Lim Swee Say who is widely known for his gaffes and inability to defend himself, is a great beneficiary of Rachel’s linguistic talent.

 

 

 

Jeremy byline

3) Jeremy Au Yong
Political Deputy Editor
Started in 2007
Hetak-taki in his position for 6 years, Jeremy Au Yong is rumored to be leaving Straits Times quietly by year end. Where will he go…no no…where can he go?

 

chua mui hoong4) Chua Mui Hoong
Opinion Editor
Started in ???
Former Internal Security Department agent. You can definitely trust her to shape your opinion given her position as an “Opinion Editor”.

Oh she’s still single.

 

 

 

chua lee hoong5) Chua Lee Hoong
Political Editor
Started in ???
Leading the pack is the best of them all and also the better of the 2 sister. Being really long with the state press, Chua Lee Hoong is in the best position to explain why Singapore rank at 149th in press freedom, and probably after her explanation, you will realize press freedom and independence is not important after all.

Oh she’s single too.

 

 

 

 

wf6) Warren Fernandez
Editor
Started in ???
Don’t be taken in by his goofy look, this leprechaun is responsible for every article in Straits Times. He is the professional gatekeeper who ensures that Straits Times will forever be a credible source for window cleaning. $7000 cab driver. $1000 household income for a HDB. Warren is that good.

Leslie Chew should have gone anonymous like TRS

954635_538859042817762_1787826189_n“Contempt of court”, so the charges read. But everyone knows there is more than meets the eye when we go through the great satirist’s work at Demon-cratic Singapore [Source]. Every single post embarrasses the PAP government with inconvenient truth. Leslie Chew has hit the PAP where they hurt most – and the best part –  he is doing it everyday! A lawyer’s letter from whichever corner of the giant PAP mechanism is expected, and Leslie himself is prepared for it: every episode of Demon-cratic Singapore has a disclaimer stating the series is fictitious and anybody relating themselves to such ridicule has only their insecurity to blame.

Unfortunately for Leslie, he couldn’t get away with the disclaimer. Other bloggers like Lucky Tan, Molly Meek and the team of writers from The Real Singapore, are no milder than Leslie. They have been consistently writing critical pieces of articles that tear down every piece of propaganda that PAP has been churning. But unlike Leslie, they have stayed anonymous throughout. Nobody knows who they are because there isn’t a need to. If Leslie Chew had stayed anonymous, he could have done away with the pesky disclaimer space and freed himself from holding back in his productions out of fear of prosecutions.

Writers are basically common folks living among ourselves relating their perceptions to a mass. So when any of them contemplates a writing hobby, more of them are going to consider crafting out an anonymous persona to ensure whatever they write online is not going to impact their real lives. And under the cloak of anonymity, writers are embolden to produce whatever their mind brings them. Accusations and revelations of corruption and nepotism will achieve the similar impact of the PAP Ministers flustering mad but without the letter of demands from their lawyers. It is like throwing a stone from the dark –  a perfectly logical move given the disproportionately amount of firepower the PAP welds compared to that rock you have. Leslie wouldn’t have ended up having Goliath crushing down on him then. The exercise of “contempt of court” is pretty much like section 377a – a law left over by the British Colonial legal system which criminalizes homosexuals. The government should not be actively seeking out people to sue under the section, even though it is supportive of the law in principle. In Leslie’s case, his work is good taste that leave people smiling unlike that of xiaxue. Leslie Chew should instead be awarded the National Day Award for his in-depth humor and apt insight in Singapore’s current affairs. And having him going full time and living off donations reflects how great this Singaporean son is in his resolution to move the country forward. In fact, the PAP would be better off engaging Leslie Chew alone than meeting up with grassroots leaders in their pretentious Our Singapore Conversation sessions.

During Lee Kuan Yew’s times, his rule of engagement is Singaporeans either do not interfere with politics or face consequences. Under Lee Hsien Loong, he explicitly said that he hopes to see more Singaporeans speak up but implicitly, he is saying he wants more Singaporeans to speak only things he wants to hear. The rate of lawsuits and lawyers’ of demands letters issued under Lee Hsien Loong’s administration in 13 years is no less than those issued during his father’s 25 years reign. Interestingly, people are claiming Lee Hsien Loong is opening up Singapore with the number of million dollar projects and foreigners he is bringing in. The truth is the present PAP administration is no different from the past when it comes to dealing with criticisms.

Anonymity is the only shield that is effective with the PAP. The Real Singapore has previously snubbed letters of demands from ministers like Minister Shanmugam, MP Zaqy, MP Irene Ng and several other PAP Ministers and MPs. If not for its anonymity, The Real Singapore would have seen its editor busy apologizing and spending time having coffee sessions in Tanglin Police Headquarters. Being anonymous has also not affected TRS’s readership as well, in fact it is the fastest growing current affairs site that exceeded the likes of TOC and TRE. Also, given how TRS values anonymity, whistleblowers and occasional writers with sensitive identities are more than happy to submit their work to reach a substantial reader base.

More anonymous writers will keep a power-hungry government busier because they will be fixated with coming up with New Media Regulations and denouncing how unreliable the online media is, than thinking and implementing solutions to help Singaporeans. More diverse views with more powerful messages are going to influence and outreach to more Singaporeans and further dampen the PAP’s image. It is going to take more than a White Paper or some PAP-approved specialists and experts to deliver an effective propaganda message. The mainstream media will lose credibility further given that it is going to work harder than ever in giving Singaporeans the “right” thing to read.

Debunking the lies about Our Singapore Conversation

1072442_551202608275783_327636180_oOur Singapore Converation(OSC) seems to be the PAP’s only solution to create a facade and falsify an impression that it is a consultative government. Like all PAP policies, the intentions could be good, but the implementation, impact and significance are terrible. Implemented since September 2012, the OSC saw more than 12,000 participants over 155 sessions as of March 2013. It physically delivers propaganda messages and official responses through the PAP MPs and Ministers to a group of audience. Nothing better than an interactive Straits Times where perhaps you may get to see how these highly-paid MPs and Ministers fidget and struggle to defend their positions. Most often than not, these OSCs revealed the personality of the officials, which naturally ends up repulsive to the public given that these MPs were only voted because they belong to the PAP party and not because of who they are and what they stand for.

Over here, we will debunk what OSC do not stand for, no matter how much praises and accolades the state media are crediting it for:

1) Credibility

What credibility? Is it made any more credible when PAP MPs and Ministers regurgitate standard answers in person than when they do so over state-controlled media? Hearing from the horse’s mouth and their impromptu responses give you a false sense of acceptance. The OSC is nothing more than a sales presentation with the selling done by the money-grubbing salesman himself. The fancy set ups with buffet lines and awesome audio equipment are there to impress upon you that this is really an important event with really important persons speaking about really important topics. Given how Singaporeans have been typically ignored by the ruling party over the decades, this actually spoils the forsaken first wife – and yes every word the compulsive liar the husband is will be taken in without questions.

2) Quality of discussion

You are a great commentator or writer on the internet but your OB marker to remain civil oppresses you from pursuing burning questions in a crowd. You have questions that could embarrass that idiot in white, but you held back because you do not want to be identified as a “noise” so conveniently painted by the PAP when they have no answers. So, you picked a moderate difficulty question for the minister peppering your question with “I support the policy in principle” to make you sound moderate. Fortunately for you, the Minister replied a standard answer with assumptions like “Singapore was a fishing village ravaged by racism, riots and communists” but this is where the OSC is structured to cut you off – you are not allowed to response because this is not a debate. The OSC is designed as a one-way communication tool because you are only allocated one opportunity to ask and the Minister/MP will always have the last say. They could be spouting untruth and nonsense but you will not be in the position to highlight them because the next person’s question asking what does the Minister think of Hello Kitty queues is more important than yours about housing price control or the state of elderly on the streets in Singapore. The OSC is not meant to be a debate – because a direct debate would kill off every flawed response built on massaged statistics from the Straits Times. If you are looking for quality discussion that bears productive insights, go to The Real Singapore. The OSC is simply a gaffe bait for you to ask interesting questions that we hope the Minister/MP would make some weird and senseless comment The Real Singapore could quote and make an ass of.

3) The Government is listening

The PAP has all along been covering up their short-falls by pretending that they did not listen. Truth being told, given the amount of taxes made avail to it along with a comprehensive grassroots and corporate mechanism, there is no way the PAP is not hearing the ground even more accurately than the average folk. They have people working in all areas giving them constant updates on what is happening on the ground. So failing to listen is a convenient excuse to mask the real intentions of profiting and maintaining their power over the people. The truth is they have an unspoken but blatantly obvious agenda: to remain as the ruling party forever. The influx of foreigners to make up for young citizens voting against them, the GDP-first approach to coddle privileged Singaporean employers, the oppression of the average folks and the active censorship to ensure the people read the right things, are all dots on the same vector pointing to political dominance. The OSC is meant to be a public relations exercise to improve the image of the ruling PAP which have been battered by its own gaffes and poor governance. In the PAP’s opinion, the train can break down, foreigners can steal jobs an opportunities, housing and car prices can be expensive, income gap can increase, inflation can be out of control, Singaporeans can be jobless, unemployed and debt-laden – but so long voters have a good impression of them, they will stay in power. OSC is perception management into making you believe that the PAP is doing what is the best solution in the interests of the people.

The fact remains that even after rigorous objections to certain policies, the PAP still bulldozes their way out. The 6.9 million population White Paper is an example. The New Media Licensing Regime is another one. Rest assured problems like income gap, retirement worries and falling birth rate which have surfaced more than a decade ago will continue to worsen – so long you have a good impression of the PAP.

Who is behind The Real Singapore?

Like the now-defunct Temasek Review, the conspicuous success of The Real Singapore has caught the PAP’s attention and they are now asking who are the ones behind the site leading the onslaught against the slew of propaganda in the mainstream media. Tessa Wong, from the PAP-controlled national media, The Straits Times, was dedicated the task to do some “investigative journalism” into TRS, neutrally, in the PAP context of course. She has contacted several former editors and contributors of TRS including Alex Tan and Dr Joseph Ong – the two “prime suspects” as leaked by a certain “reliable” source the propaganda running dogs engaged.Unfortunately, the two had already long distant their involvement with TRS, and both are largely uncontactable and hardly leaving any trace. Gossips, hear-says and “reliable” sources are the best of what Straits Times have now, and given how little or no information, the credible-wannabe paper have is apparently trying very hard to put a face behind TRS, by running an article with less than 500 words by Tessa Wong. This brings me to my second point, is the Straits Times any more credible by making all these assumptions?

Which brings the question: Who is interested in knowing who is behind TRS?
The short and sweet answer is that the PAP wants someone to be on the receiving end of their litigation letters – similar to what happened to Richard Wan when he declared himself as the face of Temasek Review Emeritus. Do you think the judgment of TRS readers will be skewed just because TRS tend to write perceptually “wrong things”? Given that TRS’s readership have surpassed the total of two well-established and popular sites, TOC and TRE, the point made here is telling us what credibility is and is not. Signing off every article with your name on it is not credibility, and certainly putting a $50,000 bond and subject yourselves to the MDA’s censorship isn’t either. TRS has proven that being anonymous and can be credible at times too such as the Brompton Bike Saga leak as well as the recent Staircase-Accident saga with MP Zaqy. Anonymity is only a grave concern for the PAP because they have no phone numbers they can dial at 12 midnight, and no one to serve a letter of demands to.It is only through reading TRS that I found out about the website of good quality bloggers like Andrew Loh, Roy Ng, Alex Au, Lucky Tan and Molly Meek. Recently, I am also following a few other new and promising young bloggers such as TeenGirlandPolitics, LimpehFT and ASingaporeanSon also thanks to TRS. TRS offers a platform for any Singaporeans to get their blogs featured and if you are good you can get instant recognition and followers right away…In the past, bloggers need to blog for years to even get a mention in the mainstream media. I am sure many thousands of Singaporeans out there also came to know and follow other like-minded and good bloggers out there because of this.

Despite how some stupid Singaporeans mistook Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s openness to foreign investments, the rule of engagement and conversation with the PAP remains as what we have adopted during the dark age where Opposition members are jailed under the Internal Security Act:
1) If you want to criticize the PAP, be anonymous.
2) If you want to praise the PAP, sign off your name and leave your contact number so The Straits Times can feature yet another model citizen like Jason Chua Chin Seng.
The rationale behind these 2 simplistic rules is common sense. Singaporeans are neutered. They are not going to organize an “illegal” protest for you if you are jailed. Heck, Singaporeans wouldn’t even fight for themselves when we see them getting bullied by the exploitative PAP and their money-grubbing employers. Forget about relying on Sinkies for help, protect yourself. Do your national duty by voicing out, because we know everyone including MPs are reading our articles. Likewise, if you are going to praise the PAP, do leave your contact details because the PAP loves to reward their loyal dogs, especially vocal ones, of which they called “the silent majority”. The PAP wants to hear praises shouted out loud like a cult, and they play their sermons everyday on every mainstream media. New citizens, Permanent Residents, Foreigners and Grassroots Leaders are doing it right. A few stroll down PM Lee’s facebook page and you would see these lackeys heaping blessings for their esteemed leader. Show the PAP how you wag your tail and if you obey their every order, you will be welcomed with perks not enjoyed even by NS-serving Singaporeans. Oh well, this is after all, Meritocracy – because being more equal to minions who keep them in power is more important than being equal to patriots who will keep them out of power.
Going back to the point of anonymity, it is a known curse that wearing the TRS crown will only invite nothing but trouble. Straits Times is tangling the bait of limelight and receivable tributes for the editor to show himself. While I would like to clarify I am certainly not an editor of TRS, I can safely vouch that the real editor is not that stupid. The modus operandi of the incumbent is very simple, well, since they have to maintain their pretense that they are not the Nazi state everyone make out them to be. First identify the person, proceed to ad hominem attacks, slap some plagiarism/lies/cheating/rumor-mongering charges and gang up with other credible-wannabe alternative sites against TRS, and people will stop reading it.
How easy, or so, they wish.
For people like me without a blog, I really hope TRS would continue operating and allow small fry like me to reach out to a large audience of Singaporeans whenever possible.

Does the Republic of Singapore Navy uses private emails to request for quotations?

A certain Seah has signed off as the Chief Logistic Coordinator of the Republic of Singapore Navy, and sent an open email request for quotation using his yahoo-hosted account to supposedly computer vendors. This email was brought to The Real Singapore’s attention by our anonymous contributor, who believe it is unprofessional and inappropriate of the high ranking Navy Officer to openly disclose the email addresses.  Business contacts, especially email addresses, are chief targets of malwares and advertisement spams from commercial hackers and data mining companies.

A check with the cc list of the email indicates a few names that coincidentally are related to salesmen, engineers and directors of computer companies in Singapore. Just a few clicks with google on Linkedin, Anna Soh is a supply chain professional with HP Singapore, Hingkuen is a senior engineer with AMD, Eric Lim is a director of Esco AV, Catherine Chang is a senior technical coordinator with DSTA, Lina Lim is a senior technical account manager with Microsoft and revealing a few companies like Transtek Computer System and Proton Wisma Computers.

If the email is true, the real questions would be:

1) Why did Seah not use a RSN-based email address? As a Chief Logistic Coordinator, was he not given one?

2) Why isn’t the quotation going through an open government tender?

The Real Singapore has since forwarded our query to the Republic of Singapore Navy for comments.

By The Real Singapore

Getting out of Singapore

Cornering Singaporeans into options is what the PAP is very good at. Take for example the recent argument about inequality and Lee Hsien Loong defended it by framing it into 2 somewhat mutually exclusive options:

1) Have more billionaires to reside and of course spend in Singapore but it will raise the gini coefficients

2) Have less billionaires and it will increase equality, but of course the economy will receive less of their spendings

It doesn’t make sense at all. First thing first, Singaporeans are not gripping at the number of rich people here. Rather, Singaporeans are asking why are the low income and middle class facing stagnant wages in the light of relentless inflation especially happening over the period in the past decade where the population and domestic demand ballooned. In a truly equal society, the wages of everyone across all income earners rise and fall at the same rate. Unfortunately, the rate of income growth of the top 20% have instead risen higher than the rest. Worsening inequality is the point of argument, not inequality itself. How scheming or ignorant is this Prime Minister of him to dismiss critics without understanding the issue.

The meritocratic system in Singapore is a perverted version created by the PAP to ensure that there will always be a class divide. On the extreme spectrum of it, the state ignores the rationale behind unemployment and put forth the mantra that everyone has to earn their keep. Everyone including the disabled, the weak, the elderly and those stuck in the poverty cycle. Helping this people out of the poverty cycle is on the least priority of the PAP because they are simply not incentivised to do so. In other countries, their government spend billions of dollars funding their social security system to ensure that the lowest rung of the society are still able to get a decent upkeep to feed their family. Not so in Singapore, the PAP doesn’t have to spend a single cents on unemployment benefits or even healthcare. They do not even have to worry about their re-election every 5 years because of the extensive gerrymandering tactics and propaganda control they have over the media.

Why have Minimum Wage and anger the foreign businesses, when getting a slave wage is better than having no wage? Why have a social security system to help poor, when there going to be people to abuse the system? Why fix inequality when the rich people are the ones contributing to the economy? Why change when everything has been well for the past few decades?

People who disagree with these notions find it astonishing, and the only logical reason I could explain is the nature of the person. Generally, people’s perceptions could be grouped into 3 nature based on time. People who dwell upon the past, live in the past and work with the past. They are change-adverse and they make decisions based on what happened in the past, and I am referring to the bulk of PAP leaders today. The second type are those living in the present. They see only what happens today and decide on decisions based on what is happening. They don’t think about the past nor the future, hence they don’t plan nor do they grip. They are largely apathetic and believe in instant gratifications. They don’t believe in change, but rather make do with whatever they have. These people are generally the PAP voters. The third type are those with the eye for the future. They are looking at what future they are going to have and they are always planning. They could be as young as in their 20s, but they are looking at their career path, family planning and retirement. They analyze the present and past and take them as history lessons, they are not obsessed with the latest iphone fads and are very into change. These are your Opposition voters. Superimposed on Singapore context, they see an unreliable and broken system and they want to change it so much that they are seen as opposing for the sake of opposing in the eyes of those living in the past.

Naturally, the old batch of PAP leaders are very much people living in the future of their time too. If the old batch of PAP leaders had been contented living as a British colony, they wouldn’t have invested heavily in MRT and Singapore’s infrastructures which Singapore get to enjoy today. Do not be mistaken as compared to Lee Hsien Loong’s era of building fanciful projects of Garden by the Bay, the Flyer, the casinos and what-nots. These are short term revenue-generating projects that looks good numerically on papers. None of these investments have raised the educational qualities or standards of living of Singaporeans, and have instead worsen Singaporeans’ overcrowding and gambling problems.

Henceforth, based on the analysis, the present batch of PAP is not expected to make any groundbreaking changes that will propel Singapore forward to be the model country the world is looking up to. Media freedom? No way, strict media control have benefited the ruling government over the few decades. Inequality? A rising tide will lift all ships, the poor are better off being in a rich Singapore than a poor Singapore, and that what the PAP believe in. The poor in Singapore are going to have it worse as the years go by no doubt. Nationalizing profit-mongering monopolies like the SBS and SMRT? They are making profits, and that is all it matters. Change is the last thing that is going to happen in Singapore if the PAP remains in governance.

So what about the rest who want a better life? The best advice is to get a degree and get out. Thanks to the old batch of PAP leaders who fought Malaysia and promoted English here, we are in a very good position to get out because we beat all Asians hands down when it comes to English. Don’t look at the pull factors, I’m very sure no other countries have good food like ours in Singapore. Rather, look at the push factors. Look at the elderly on the streets selling tissue papers, think retirement. Look at the housing price and think about the amount of debt you might be carrying. Look at the number of people leaving office at 9pm and think about your family. And if you are concern about the country’s future, take a hard look at the PAP leaders and laugh at their intelligence – Lim Swee Say can’t speak English and yet he is a Minister. All these are good enough a push to swing ourselves out of here. Being the future kind of person will serves you well.

Co-editor of Wikitemasek