Nicole Seah should sue SPH then donate the compensation to help the poor

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How often do you see the Singapore Press Holdings apologizing unreservedly to an Opposition member? Never, and in fact this is the first time in history Singapore’s 149th ranking only press media company apologize. From a strategic point of view, Nicole Seah should not be soften by SPH’s offer to settle the matter through a simple apology.

Nicole Seah should capitalize on this. Sue SPH in an open court, and donate the compensation to help the poor in Macpherson constituency.

Singaporeans are prepared for 2016 but it is clever and honest politicians we need to turn the country around. Crying on public TV (done by LKY and LHL) and taking photos of yourself with babies, children, old people and even rubbish is so yesteryear.

wayang

Singaporeans need MPs who are able to debate, strategize and the guts to push limits in Parliament. What we have in Parliament today is so mild, boring and criminally-silent, with the PAP clearly dominating the floor of course, it makes me lose faith in the future. I do not think Singapore is ever going to change with politicians who are only interested in gaining popularity. My idea of a good politician is one who is unafraid to challenge boundaries like Obama. I have been watching US politics ever since Obama got sworn in 2009, he is one politician every country wish to have. Such astute choice of speech and clarity of direction, I hope Singapore has such a leader one day.

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Reducing Singapore’s population

From train breakdowns to expensive cost of living, overpopulation in Singapore has caused a myriad of problems that has contributed largely to a tank in standard of living for citizens born and bred here. In the recent years, the PAP government reacted to alleviate the impact of the foreigner influx by introducing patch policies like the Fair Hiring Framework, increase in property levies and the Progressive Wage Model. They have also tried to ramp up on housing and the public transport infrastructure so they can appease the angry people. These patch policies and knee-jerk reactions however do not solve the real underlying problems of overcrowding.  Reducing the population is Singapore’s only solution left to savage the country from an imminent social and economical destruction.

Before you see the solution, we must first understand the real reasons why did the foreigners come to Singapore in the first place. Being safe and multi-racial are some of the very superficial reasons why they chose Singapore, here are the in-depth analysis of what Singapore possess that attracts foreigners from different income gap:

Type of foreigners Reasons for coming to Singapore
Rich Foreigners
1) Income above $120K or,
2) Net worth above 1 million
a) Income tax for those earning above $120K is just between 15~20%,
this is much lower than what first world countries like Australia and US
would charge

b) Singapore abolished estate duty, aka inheritance tax

c) Singapore do not have capital gains tax

d) Singapore technically do not have dividends tax*

e) Free to purchase any Singapore private property

Middle Class and
Poor Foreigners
1) S pass, E pass and
Work Permit holders
2) Foreign students
a) Most of them pay little or no tax

b) Lax immigration policies: No English Test required,
No Skills required,
No Qualifications required
Accredited qualifications not required

c) Strong SGD exchange

d) Easy to find employment

e) Easy to secure employment passes

f) Easy to by-pass MOM law by paying employer in cash in exchange
for employment

g) Foreign population in Singapore is large enough to form a small
community, there is no need for integration with Singaporeans

Permanent Residents and
New Citizens
a) No need to serve National Service

b) Easy to get PR if you are Chinese

c) Enjoy full citizenship benefits like BTO flat subsidies and voting rights
Immediately

d) Sg citizenship is a good springboard to Australia, Canada and US

e) Reduced CPF contribution for first and second year PRs

f) Option to withdraw CPF in full for PRs

As such, the solution for reversing Singapore’s population is to found in the following fish bone diagram:

Reducing Singapore population

 

By Alex Tan

Alex Tan to Nicole Seah: Ground Zero

Dear Nicole

Long time no see, this is Alex Tan previously from SPP. I read about your little revelation and would like to share my part what happened after the GE2011. Like you, I was the youngest candidate in GE2011 and I’m now 26. There are a lot of expectations from us young politicians and it is indeed suffocating hearing advice from different well-intended people. But unlike you, I resigned from SPP and do not wish to commit myself to the party, because that means a lot of walkabouts, meeting the people, writing stances, expressing opinions and basically just doing anything to get popularity. Hah. It’s a drag, I’ve tried for a month or so, it’s tiring. We are not elected MPs, we don’t draw a salary and everything we do is out of goodwill. Simply put in, we are just like volunteers.

But like volunteering, we could only afford spare time and resources. I notice you have made it a full time job with a tuition centre and NSP matters. Like you, I teach tuition too, but I charge a fee and it is at my own leisurely time. Perhaps it boils down to our primary purpose, for mine is just to remove the PAP out of power, contesting in GE2016 or not does not matters to me; whereas for you, is to get voted in by next election.

I received a lot of threats and tonnes of trolling too, from both pro-PAP supporters, Opposition supporters and even foreigners.

Image

I even have stalkers befriending me, downloading all of my photos and creating a fake profile to make seditious comments:

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All these are people with their political agenda trying to affect us mentally. You could ignore these threats because most of them amount to nothing at the end of the day.

For my personal life, I faced the same problems as you when I date Singapore girls. They all know what I’ve been up to and the topic will just go round and round about current affairs and politics. I realized that soon enough and chose to date a foreign girl. And it was great, she befriended me and love me as a person. We got engaged last year and we are planning to leave for Australia.

When it comes to employment, I encounter many differences with people and threw resignation letters changing between 3 competitors of the same engineering industry just in 2013 alone. Now I am comfortable with my current one, and it surpasses in terms of remuneration and relations as compared to the other companies. You should never stop seeking to settle down. Since hire and fire is part of Singapore’s employment culture, job hopping and moving to greener pastures should be the natural response.

For politics, I choose writing. I believe Singaporeans will change if they are exposed to both emotional and rationale articles, instead of walkabouts and meeting the people. However, despite the different approach we have taken, both of us have the common goal of wanting Singapore to be a better place for Singaporeans. I have instead dedicate my time in constantly writing articles for The Real Singapore despite not being paid a single cent as well. 2013 is great for me because I am getting my degree and driving license soon too, but it wasn’t that smooth. I had my brief period of unemployment, like 3 weeks, and at the same time my mom was on wheelchair for 2.5 months over a fall and I had my exams to clear. Throughout the difficult period I just soldiered on, and it worked out.

Keep calm and carry on doggedly. Everything will fall right in place. You might have seen this video from Steve Jobs but it never fails to inspire me everytime. 2016 is within sight, the ground is very bitter now, go for a SMC, and you will become a MP sooner than you think.

“Sometimes life can hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I convince myself the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You got to find what you love.”
~Steve Jobs

Wiki Temasek
Alex Tan Zhixiang

Time to privatize SMRT

automotivator

They have the market monopoly, they have benefited from a $1.1 billion government handout and they are already raking in hundreds of millions of profits. But that is not stopping the greedy corporation from wanting a fare raise.

So what justified the fare raise? Have SMRT provided better services like how the PAP will only encourage a salary raise for workers provided productivity increase? Nope, the services have worsen. There are more train breakdowns than ever before and the overcrowding problem has worsen. The photo below was taken yesterday 6pm at City Hall station:

IMG_20131118_182343

 

The queue was so long that it stretched from one platform to another. What is more absurd is having to wait for 5 trains or 20 minutes, for me to finally board a fully packed train.

Such insanity.

It is really unbearable to live in Singapore with so many people. I applaud the PAP’s guts to call for a 6.9 million population, it seems that they are deliberately screwing themselves up so they can be voted out of power. But let’s just leave the usual rambling for a new government another day.

Let’s lay the facts on the table:

1) SMRT is inefficient in operations i.e. breakdowns
2) SMRT does not provide value to the public because they earn a premium off every ticket
3) SMRT is a monopoly

The above 3 facts showed that SMRT does not need a new management, given that it has already gone through 3 CEOs. The latest CEO, former army chief Desmond Kuek, made a lot of promises about fixing the breakdowns. But all he have achieved so far is to turn SMRT into an army camp by bringing former regulars into the train trade, and nothing else really change. There is no point firing Desmond Kuek because the new management is going to be the same.

Singaporeans should not be charged higher fares just because they are not earning enough profits. Corporate greed is immoral but legal. We need a complete overhaul of the train system to make it productive and value-for-money for the people, and we should be looking at nationalization of the train system.

Singapore’s train system was formerly nationalized and it worked for the period 1987 to 2000. There is no proof to show that the nationalized train system named MRT then was corrupted or inefficient. In fact if we compare the present with the past, a lot Singaporeans will agree that train services were a lot better when it was nationalized.

It is time the PAP stop looking at the profits SMRT can bring in for Temasek Holdings and start looking at the dismay performance of SMRT. Such incompetence is embarrassing for a self-proclaimed first world country.

Comparing LKY, GCT and LHL

people's welfare under diff PMs

 

Lee Kuan Yew Goh Chok Tong Lee Hsien Loong
Employment 9 8 4
Freedom 2 4 5
Education 8 7 6
Retirement and healthcare 7 8 2
Purchasing power 7 9 4

How good is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong?

We compare him to his predecessors based on the 5 basic aspects to a Singaporean’s well-being and summarised them in the radar chart above. The 5 aspects are specifically selected to determine the performance of the 3 PMs at different times. Here are the in-depth rationale how did the PMs fare:

Lee Kuan Yew (1965 – 1990)

Employment score 9: Singapore was a thriving port then but there were still many unemployed people. Along with Dr Albert Winsemius, Goh Keng Swee and other PAP old guards, the PAP team then managed to secure employment for many Singaporeans during the turbulent times.

Freedom score 2: Operation Coldstore, Operation Spectrum, exile of Devan Nair, use of Internal Security Act to arrest political dissidents…the list is endless. There is little or no freedom under Lee Kuan Yew’s iron-fisted rule. Things were so bad nobody dare spoke badly about the PAP government even in private conversations.

Education score 8: Most Singaporeans were uneducated back then, and through his numerous education campaigns like giving free food to children who attend school, helped shore up education level. By the 1980s, Singaporeans have became one of the most educated workforce in the world then. One of LKY’s most controversial yet successful education approach was an all-English medium. Chinese schools and other mono-lingual schools were stopped and everyone go bilingual.

Retirement and healthcare score 7: Most Singaporean elderly were able to retire and do not really face much problems paying off large medical bills. Unlike today, the people don’t have to be bankrupt first to get help in the name of means testing.

Purchasing power score 7: The cost of living was low then, most Singaporeans pay off their housing under 15 years of mortgage loan. A 3A room flat in Tampines costed only $43,500 then. Cars were cheap and there was no COE. Salaries were sufficient to upkeep a single-income family.

Goh Chok Tong (1991 to 2004)

Employment score 8: Outdoing his predecessor, Goh Chok Tong is credited for opening up Singapore’s market to the world. Public sector services were improved significantly and he has to be credited for the development of the train and transport system.

Freedom score 4: His predecessor and himself were still suing people into bankruptcy, most notably Tang Liang Hong and JBJ. Most oppressive rules remained but they were not as aggressively executed as during LKY’s times.

Education score 7: Education opportunities were further expanded through the opening up of the university sector to overseas universities. Although there was the implementation of the streaming practice, students were not half as stressed as they are today.

Retirement and healthcare score 8: Goh Chok Tong’s times is considered the Golden Years by many Singaporeans and one such reason is due to the ability of Singaporean elderly to retire without worries during the 1990s. Healthcare costs were heavily subsidized and help was readily available.

Purchasing power score 9: During the 1990s, Singaporeans see a rise in wages that we were officially declared a first world country. Housing was rising then, but still remained affordable with morgage servicing period still at a comfortable level of below 20 years.

Lee Hsien Loong (2004 – Present)

Employment score 4: The influx of cheap foreign labor caused many Singaporeans to lose their jobs. Professionals, Managers and Engineers were the hardest hit as foreigners with dubious degrees flooded the labor market to compete for jobs at lower salaries. Retrenchment age dipped further with more Singaporeans becoming taxi drivers and self-employed.

Freedom score 5: Defamation suits are still a trademark of the PAP government. The mainstream media continued to be controlled and now the PAP wants to control the internet too. People still get arrested if they protest without permit.

Education score 6: Lee Hsien Loong further expanded the private education sector but did not increase the number of local university places in tandem with the population growth, which grew more than 25% in less than 10 years.

Retirement and healthcare score 2: More elderly Singaporeans and poor are sleeping on the streets and picking cardboards for a living. The new PAP administration remained oblivious to the problem even as voices are getting more and more vocal. Most Singaporeans do not get to retire today because of the relentless rise in Minimum Sum, Retirement Age and the depression of CPF interest rates. Healthcare for Singaporeans is a complete screw up and the people develop a saying goes “rather dead than sick”.

Purchasing power score 4: The bottom 20 percentile income earners see a drop in their salaries under PM Lee’s leadership. The median income earner barely see a real income growth over the same period, but the top 20 percentile income earners see a sharp rise in their income. Income gap continues to widen, which again is neither reacted nor responded to from the PAP. Housing mortgage servicing period stretched from a minimal 25 years to 35 years. Car ownership has become virtually impossible with COE prices alone ranging from $65 000 to $90 000.

One of Lee Hsien Loong’s biggest failures: CPF Interest Rate

The CPF interest rate is one of the most important aspect for Singaporeans to achieve retirement. It’s role is not only to beat inflation, but also to grow a fund for a decent and dignified retirement. Through a compulsory monthly contribution, many Singaporeans are able to gather a large sum of CPF and there were hardly any problems with retiring in Singapore during the 1980s and 1990s.

The list of interest rate under 3 different Prime Ministers is found respectively on this CPF link [Source].

This is the CPF interest rate during Lee Kuan Yew’s time when he was Prime Minister from 1965 to 1990.

LKY CPF

CPF interest rate went as high as 6.5% during Lee Kuan Yew’s stewardship. It certainly beat inflation by at least 2% during the 1973 oil crisis. Those were the good times where putting cash in CPF certainly makes sense than investments in the stock market. Notice how the interest rates were rarely adjusted, it reflects LKY’s leadership as placing the people as priority regardless of the state of economy.

Then the next Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, CPF interest rate’s performance were pretty decent averaging about 3.5% with a consistent up and down.

Goh CPF

The returns look decent and there are consistent updates every 6 months to reflect the true state of the market. When times are good, interest rate were higher and Goh Chok Tong then ensured the people enjoy an interest rate higher than that of inflation rate. It was a very nimble and volatile approach like how Singaporeans were used to be given Singtel shares then.

Now we look at Lee Hsien Loong…tsk tsk tsk…

I wouldn’t bother with a screenshot because every single year, the Ordinary Account interest rate is 2.5%. This is even lower than the yearly inflation rate 2 to 4%.

Lee Hsien Loong was supposed to be a Mathematician [Source] from Cambridge, but why did he allow the interest rate to fall below that of a yearly inflation?

LHL CPF

His excuse was of course mathematically blamed. Apparently he devised a formula for calculating CPF interest rate, and going by his magical formula, interest rate is always at its lowest [Source]. It has been a full 10 years since the interest rate were sitting on its mandatory minimum rate. The “formula” is not working at all, and its implications for Singaporeans is disastrous.

A person so good with numbers should know retirement will be impossible with such interest rates, especially when they fall short of inflation as I’ve highlighted in red above. There is no real return from the compulsory CPF. In fact it is such a bad idea putting your money with CPF, most Singaporeans are taking a risk with their retirement by putting their CPF in one of the many CPF-approved funds in the open market.

To make things worse, under Maths genius Lee Hsien Loong, Minimum Sum jumped 85% in the 10 years under his leadership.

min sum

This is world class calculation by the Mathematician. CPF interest rate stagnate while Minimum Sum keeps jumping.

The issue here is not about a Mathematician who can score straight As in Cambridge being a Prime Minister. How could any Prime Minister jeopardize his people’s retirement?

The severity of this issue is still at its infantile stage because we have only seen a decade of low interests today, and the effects can only be felt some 25 years down the road when Singaporeans in their 20s today retire. If Singaporeans in their 20s still vote for Lee Hsien Loong and his PAP administration, they have better buy their wheelchairs early while they could afford it.

Alex Tan Zhixiang

Medifund applications jumped by at least 45% over 5 years

Medifund

The number of Medifund approvals have jumped by 45% over the past 5 years for the financial year period FY2007 to FY 2011. As the number of people seeking Medifund’s help were not revealed by the state media, the number of applicants should be higher than that of 45% given how infamously stingy PAP is as an anti-welfare government.

The PAP government have on several platforms consistently stated their disdain of giving anything free to the people. Just recently, The Real Singapore received a letter from a 69 year old elderly who have to skip a $77  vaccination jab recommended by her doctor [Source] because she couldn’t afford it. Stories of the elderly and poor who have skipped medical attention go unreported by the state media. In June 2013, an unemployed mother murdered her son who was diagnosed with severe liver problems [Source]. Elderly Singaporeans are also often seen collecting tin cans and cardboards for a living in the GDP-first nation state, which is ironically praised for having the world’s highest GDP per capita in the world.

In his recent National Day rally speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made grandiose plans about having a new airport terminal and a $1 billion garden right next to the new airport. This is after spending $1 billion on Garden by the Bay with a princely $50 million yearly maintenance fee. Minister Chan Chun Sing, a widely speculated candidate to take over the Prime Minister, even stated proudly that there is no need for a poverty line in Singapore. Setting a poverty line, he claimed, will have more truly needy people falling through the cracks.

It is hence evident that the PAP has become a leadership with misplaced priorities. The new administration have been paid too much and divorce themselves from the real Singapore. Unfortunately, a good 60% of the population along with the yearly 20,000 new citizens intake do not think so. They are comfortable with the status quo and are quick to telling people who disagree with the PAP to emigrate. It turns out all problems from increasing Medifund applicants to overcrowding, are endorsed and indirectly caused by these selfish Singaporeans. Singapore can never improve with narrow minded and self serving individuals like them.

Alex Tan Zhixiang