Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Impact of New Citizens Voters

In one of the CNY gathering, someone expressed the view that opposition can no longer attack Foreign Talent policy because there are over 14% of New Citizen voters this round and by next round it may just continue to rise. It will be suicidal for opposition to attack Foreign Talent policy.

However everyone round the table agreed that this Foreign Talent policy or rather New Citizen policy is a double edged sword for PAP.

I opined that it is not only a double edged sword to PAP but also to Singapore social political stability as well.

Imagine that the conflicts we may have with the three biggest group of New Citizens, PRC, INDIA and Philippines. These new citizens may only be name as Singapore citizens but deep down their hearts, they are still emotionally linked to their "mother land". This was demonstrated by the overwhelming responses of some New Citizens when leaders of India or China paid Singapore a visit.

If there were conflicts between China and India (as they have fought border wars before) or China and Philippines over Spratley islands, whatever decisions made by the government of Singapore would not please all these New Citizens. These New Citizens will still be emotionally attached to their mother land and may react vigorously against any adverse decisions made against their mother land.

True blue Singaporeans will only care about our own country's interests but these New Citizens may not think that way. Conflicts between the different groups of New Citizens may arise and we will be stuck with internal strife.

That is a plausible and horrible scenario for Singapore but is PAP ready to handle such situations?

Goh Meng Seng

Sunday, February 07, 2016

2016年 丙申年 新年致词









2016 Chinese New Year Message

Normally at this time of the year, I would be happily preparing my Chinese New Year greetings for all my friends and supporters, but today, my heart is heavy and saddened.

Benjamin Lim committed suicide because of the inappropriate use of police force and this has made my party colleagues and I extremely depressed. I could not imagine how the Lim family could possibly feel anything good about this festive season with such overwhelming sorrows of their lost son. On behalf of my family and my party, I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the Lim family.

As a father of a teenage girl, it is my greatest joy to watch my girl grow up. However, if one day, my daughter was to be brutally abused and ill-treated by this ridiculous police state until she has mental breakdown, I would also be totally devastated. Thus, I empathize with the Lim family of the loss of their son. This system of overwhelming police power which was allowed to exercise the most primitive deformed kind of police procedure, based on the first premise of guilty before proven innocence, extended its power to use whatever force including mental humiliation to extract confession, is in fact our common karma.

Benjamin Lim’s death is not solely an insolated incident. His death is in fact an amplification of the absurdity of this system of excessive police power. Every year, there are numerous people who have suffered under this excessive police power. Thus, in the midst of sorrows, we should resolve to fight for our ideal system based on our belief in the balance of powers through the Separation of Five Powers.

On this eve of Chinese New Year, I am also shocked by the devastating impact of the earthquake in Tainan. I hope that our Taiwanese friends could overcome the pain and sufferings with their determination and willpower. I will pray for our Taiwanese friends, praying for the speedy rescue of the trapped and injured. most importantly I will pray for the minimum casualties for this unfortunate natural disaster.

Last but not least, on this Chinese New Year Eve, I sincerely wish every friends and supporters, good health and safe travel in the coming year. Thank you for all your support over the years and I hope we will have a better life in the coming one.

Goh Meng Seng

Saturday, February 06, 2016

The Rule of Law - A Matter of Principle

The Rule of Law - A matter of principle

Very few people really understand the term Rule of Law in Singapore and they are more emotionally swayed rather than looking at things from the perspective of Rule of Law.

When I decided to stand up and protest against the cruelty and ill treatment of Amos Yes back then, many friends privately tried to dissuade me from doing so.

They opined that he is an idiot, rude, no big no small, "deserve it" and most importantly I will risk losing support and votes by "defending" such an idiot.

It made me ponder for a long while. I told all my friends and well meaning supporters that I do not like Amos Yee as well and I agree he is really a spoilt brat. However I find the police and government abuse of the system, using the whole government controlled machinery to crucify him just because most people find annoyed by him, is more intolerable than his acts of defiance on the net.

I said that even if it is a big bad criminal who have raped or murdered anyone, he should still have the proper treatment under the rule of law instead of mental torture.

My protest of his ill treatment doesn't mean I support his rude behavior but rather I am defending a proper system of legal procedure which takes human rights into proper account. I am against Mob Rule and totally intolerable of it.

Obviously I am the only STUPID politician who sticks his neck put for Amos Yee which by political calculations, a vote losing move. Not even the MPs in parliament with lawyers care to talk about the intolerable systemic torture the police state exert on a juvenile, while should I bother? It is definitely not a "politically correct" thing to do!

True enough, there are lots of attacks from the White and Blue camp on my appearance in the protest held in HK but I care less. Sometimes as a politician of conscience, we will have to choose between being politically correct of making the right choice and our matter of principles in doing the right things. We have to garner our own Moral Courage to do the right things.

I stick to my guns and persevere. I may be made to look stupid once but at least I can sleep with my conscience clear at night.

A leader should not be slave to the votes he seek but lead the votes that seek him.

Goh Meng Seng

Friday, February 05, 2016

The Murderous Police State

The job of the police in investigation, is to FIND OUT THE TRUTH and not "EXTRACTION OF CONFESSION". There is a fine thin line of VAST difference between the two.

Today some members of the public told me this, they are very angry about this case. When there was a riot in Little India, the police acted like wimps, didn't know what to do or just simply running away from the rioters. But when they handle a child, a teenager, they turned into big bully... simply bully kichi until the child committed suicide! The contrast is just too huge for them to be forgiving.

However, the problem is nobody thinks that way when the whole state machinery, including the state police, prosecutor, mass media etc came down hard on another teenager Amos Yee. If more people had made enough noise and protests, the police might have been forced to review their SOP but we failed to do so as a Nation. So the rouge police state carries on their SOP with the defence of the PAP ministers and MPs to deny anybody early access to legal assistance while in police custody and interrogation!

And a young life was lost with only patronizing statements from the state.

We as a Nation, have blood in our hands, for allowing such primitive and inhumane system which deny basic human rights of legal representation to extend unlimited powers of police intimidation, coercion for confession via interrogation techniques exerted by the overwhelming police power.

When Amos Yee was ill treated by the State Police, put through the torture of interrogation and remained in IMH, many people didn't see the problem of such act by the police state. Even when people like me protested against such treatment, even though I do not agree to his rude behavior, were scorned at and criticised.

When it comes to Benjamin, the same police state tactic was used upon this poor child who was even younger than Amos Yee. The only difference is that this young boy could not take the pressure and committed suicide. Then there is this uproar.

The irony is, the same old technique has been used by the police over and over again, regardless whether you are a teenager or adult. Cruel techniques were used to extract unwilling confession from the ISD detainees but nobody squeaked. Few people squeaked when Amos Yee was treated badly by the same police state just because people are more intolerant of his rude behavior than the rouge police state.

Few Singaporeans see the need to speak up against the rouge police state because they are blinded by their own fear and prejudice. Singaporeans have little sense of social justice until something really bad goes wrong. Singaporeans also lack the empathy to understand that by not standing up to the tyrannic police state, they will become part of the justification of the murderous system. Yes, Singaporeans, by keeping quiet all along with all the injustice happening throughout the decades, are guilty of letting this bloody system grow and take the life of a teenager.

Pastor Martin has this to say about the COWARDICE of the Germans under the Nazi:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

And the same can be said about Singaporeans as well:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Student Activists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Student Activist.
Then they came for the Opposition, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not an Opposition.
Then they came for the Social Activists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Social Activist.
Then they came for the Young Rascal Amos Yee, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Young Rascal like Amos Yee.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I do not think Benjamin will Rest In Peace when the whole society is guilty in part to the murderous police state.

Goh Meng Seng

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Response to PAP's change of political rules

Response to PAP's change of political rules

The Prime Minister has announced a few changes to our political system, basically centered around NCMP scheme, down sizing GRC, increasing number of SMCs and rules regarding the Elected Presidency.

People's Power Party is founded on the principles of political reform based on Separation (and Independence) of Five Powers, namely Legislative, Executive, Judiciary, Selection/appointment and Impeachment Powers.

The Elected Presidency

One important advocacy of our founding beliefs is to entrench and enhance the Elected Presidency so much so that, certain powers or government institutions should fall under the charge of the Presidential Office. We are advocating the institutions of Impeachment powers, Selection/appointment powers to come under the purview of the Elected Presidency. Namely, the Elected President should take charge of the following institutions and functions:

2) Election Department
3) Public Service Commission (PSC)
4) Appointment of judges
5) Ombudsman Commission
6) Equal Opportunity Commission
7) Appointment of key office holders in Temasek Holdings and GIC

On top of that, the President should have the veto powers to block any legislation which he deems detrimental to the nation’s interests. Such veto can only be overturned by subsequent two-third approval of parliamentary votes.

Thus, the reform for the Elected Presidency could be more extensive than what the Prime Minister has proposed.

Although we welcome the proposal of putting the racial balance into consideration for the Elected Presidency, but we object to the proposed increase of power given to the Presidential Advisory Council. The appointment of the members of this Council should not be decided by the ruling party or Cabinet. It should be the sole prerogative of the Elected President to appoint his own Council. Furthermore, the Elected President is elected and empowered by Singaporeans and he should have the full power to make decisions in the interests of the Nation He should be the one who will answer to the Singaporeans who voted him, not the Advisory Council. Thus, the Advisory Council cannot overshadow the powers of the Elected Presidency.

GRC, NCMP and Proportional Representation.

We welcome the announcement of downsizing the GRC. We feel that the correct size for the GRC system should be 3 to 4 seats per GRC.

However, we do not see the necessity of having any SMC nor NCMP if our proposal of Proportional Representation is implemented.

No matter how PAP tries to package it, NCMP has little legitimacy under the current setting. They will always be considered as second class members of parliament or just simply "backdoor MPs".

The advantages of Proportional Representation system coupled with the full GRC system will truly give Singapore's Parliament Plural Voices while prevent the loss of Ministerial caliber members of any political party which would become the ruling party or part of a ruling coalition.

Proportional Representation system guarantees intense contest and competition of ideas and ideals whereby multi-corner fights would not be frown upon or "avoided". It will enhance political competition and consensus building based on plural voice and representation in parliament.

The current system has tremendous flaws. Beside discouraging healthy competition and contests, it also post a danger of instability. If the ruling party lost a GRC, it may risk losing one or two of its good Ministers altogether. This will not provide the kind of political stability and continuity which we need.

The Proportional Representation system also mitigates the problem of the Tyranny of Majority Rule. It would allow individuals or groups with specific focus to contest and chance of getting into parliament to contribute to the plurality of debates. Example, if a group of Nature lovers or Green activists were to be elected into parliament, they will provide a diversity in the debates in various development plans, providing the Green Views instead of subjecting our Nation and future generations to the ills of a monolithic discourse pushed by the ruling party.

Thus, we urge the ruling party to reconsider their plans to change the political landscape to take a serious long term view on the Nation's political stability by adopting a more comprehensive and bold stance of political reform, which is beyond party politics, to ensure that our Nation adopts the best democratic system based on the fundamentals of Separation of 5 Powers.

Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General
People's Power Party

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

NCMP Saga --- The Backdoor Monkey Tussle

It is quite amusing to watch how the NCMP saga unfolded. Both sides just play politics.

As usual, one side White will play the big bad wolf bully while the blue side play victim card again. It is even more amusing that WP which has rarely moved motion of debates, had done it again just for its own party vested interests and agenda. Well, of course PAP forced it to. Well before you guys accuse me of being biased, can you find any other motion of debate carried out by WP on other more,important issues, like human rights issues or matters which concerns how PAP treated activists or imposed unfair measures on New Media or even shutting down TRS?

Personally I do not see any problem of Lee Lilian declining the NCMP seat. It is her prerogative to do so. I would also not take up NCMP seat because I view it as getting into Parliament via the back door. As far as I know, LTK used to hold the same view as I do. He has put on public record of his stance about NCMP.

So it is just very puzzling to me that LTK actually moves the motion of debate in parliament just to get his other WP candidate Daniel Goh to replace Lee Lilian as NCMP!

Well both LTK and I may not object to other people taking up NCMP seats while we ourselves would view it as a insulting backdoor path into Parliament, but to go the extend of an extra mile to FIGHT for a NCMP seat for another party comrade is totally shocking to me.

It is just like a dog begging for the backdoor to be opened for another dog to get into the main house! Pretty shocking to me for people to actually support such an act in the name of Democracy!

If it is all about Democracy, then we should instead debate about what kinds of political system we should install to enhance the Balance and Separation of Power. How the Election system and Electoral processes should be enhanced. Should we have Proportional Representation? Should we enhance the power of the President by putting Auditor General, Corruption Practice Investigation Bureau (CPIB), the Judiciary Appointment, Public Service Commission Elections Department etc, all under the Presidential Office and limit the terms of Presidency to a maximum of one term?

But instead, we have WP members wasting time in begging and debating on a feature which is invented by PAP as a means of mockery to our Democratic system! I am in total disbelief of such monkey show going on in parliament... well, the Chinese Monkey Year isn't really here yet!

Goh Meng Seng

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Drawing the Lines and Strengthening the Core Values

I had a meeting with a friend and naturally, the friend was concerned about my position on WP and its Town Council saga. This friend wasn't really a WP supporter at all but more concerned about the impact and repercussion my party and I would suffer if I kept my position and openly criticise WP.

I told my friend that I am reading Hitler's book, My Struggle and his argument against parliamentary Democracy is quite challenging to me, someone who have strong belief in Democracy. Hitler argued that politicians in the parliamentary Democracy spent most of their time in trying to appease the mass, instead of doing the right things. The mass, to Hitler, were mostly people who lack the knowledge, wisdom and intelligence. Thus, in the end, Democracy would end up with a bunch of actors trying to play to the gallery of "fools".

While in modern context, most people have decent education and with internet, information flow is fast and swift but the situation isn't that much different from the past. It seems that even when people are equipped with all these, most people are still more emotional than logically Thinking when it comes to politics. This works both ways towards the ruling PAP as well as opposition.

Ultimately, politicians or political players are more interested to play to the gallery and do or say whatever things that appease the voters while keeping mum on things which may be right but would most probably agitate the voters and thus, making them losing votes in the end.

On top of that, I have one baggage of WP. LTK is deemed to be my mentor in my early involvement in politics. The Chinese believe, once a mentor, always a father, (一日为师,终生为父)and I would be seen ungrateful if I attacked him and his party.

It makes me think hard and the story of how the Qing Emperor, Dao Guang (道光) convinced Li Zexu (林则徐) to take up the role as special envoy to end opium trade in China. Dao Guang arrested Lin Zexu's teacher and mentor, who happened to be the Emperor Dao Guang's teacher and mentor as well, for indulging in smoking opium. It was a crime for court official to smoke opium.  The teacher was remorseful and told Lin Zexu that the reason Emperor did this was to show his resolve in stopping the opium trade.

In Chinese, it is termed as "大义灭亲",  placing righteousness above family loyalty.

All in all, what matters are principles and values I hold dearly, whatever else, come and go like the smoke in the wind. I have repeatedly said that I may not trust PAP at all but neither do I trust WP under the current leadership. I may be against PAP but that doesn't mean I am an ally of WP.

This is especially so, by words of LTK (walking his own path as he considered other opposition parties as not partners walking on the same path 道不同不相为谋 ) and actions of WP under his leadership during the last GE, have shown that WP does not consider others as its allies.

Most of the other opposition parties would only choose to keep quiet over many things which they do not agree with WP, for the very fear of losing votes, but I will not.

I do not want to end up like what Hitler has said about the politicians in a parliamentary Democracy, an actor who is only plying for votes instead of speaking up for the right things.

I may lose a lot of votes by doing this in the short term, but I will make this a strong foundation for PPP in the long term. A party that will not compromise on its integrity and role as the guardian of public interests as one of the primarily core values of its political struggle.

PPP believes in the balance and separation of 5 powers but keeping quiet and choosing not to speak up for fear of any repercussion, be it from the ruling party, WP, WP supporters or otherwise, is NOT an option at all. Speaking up with the righteous mind when we see something not right for the country or public interests  being compromised, is the only way to uphold the values of the party.

While some of my own party members are fearful that by making such a stance would make us "look bad" or worse, "lose votes", I would have to convince them that for every vote that we get, we must get it from the right cause, instead by means of cowardice and scheming political acts. If voters do not trust us, then it is only right for them not to vote us.

This may take a long time for us to win any seats, if any at all, but integrity of our belief should not be compromised.

So my clear message to all opposition supporters and voters, please do not expect us to keep quiet if we saw something which doesn't work for Singapore's interests or public interests. We chose to come into politics for that purpose, to safeguard Singapore's public interests and well being, not to be actors of political wayang shows.

And regardless of whether it is the ruling party PAP or WP or anyone else who is seen to be doing things which compromise Singapore's interests, we will speak up without fear nor favour.

In our belief of Balance, Separation of 5 Powers, we need to cultivate people with backbones made of steel in all aspects; i.e. The Legislative, Executive, Judiciary, civil service, newspapers reporters and editors, CPIB, PSC, citizenry and all. And we take upon us to start with speaking up with our backbones straighten and do the right things instead of just playing the right music merely to win votes.

So let the lines be drawn clearly. We will not tolerate anyone, be it from ruling party PAP or WP or even our own party members, to do things that compromise Singapore's public interests and well being.  Those in power, or entrusted with power, no matter how big or limited it is, should be kept in checked, regardless of whether it is White or Blue or otherwise.

Goh Meng Seng

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Uneasy Rise of the Mafia Superpower - China

The recent kidnapping of dissidents from Hong Kong by the alleged personnel connected to the Chinese Government or the Communist Party (CCP) is the last straw that breaks the camel back of the silent tolerance of Hong Kongers, after 4 staff and shareholders of the now famous Causeway Bay Bookshop were "disappeared" or "kidnapped" by means of "entrapment" outside of Hong Kong.

Naturally for Hong Kongers, they were more concerned about the breach of the "One Country Two Systems" when the Chinese cross its border to arrest dissidents without any legitimate warrant whatsoever. They are more worried about the impact on their Freedom of Expression and human rights violated by the Chinese authorities, which has promised 50 years of unchanging system for Hong Kong.

But for a Singaporean, a Singapore Politician having my family residing in Hong Kong, it means pretty much more than that.

China, under the current leadership of President Xi, aspired to be a Superpower under the slogan of "China Dream". It is no coincidence that China is going full steam ahead to build quite a number of Aircraft Carriers which would mean a sharp rise in its long term defence budgets and commitments.

The West, in particularly Americans, have openly put forward their worries of the "Chinese Threats", despite repeated "assurance" by the CCP leaders that they will be a peaceful rise of a new power in the East.

A weapon in the hands of the responsible will mean good, but if it ended up in the hands of the Mafia, it would mean disaster in the making. How do you determine whether a country is under a responsible government? It would simply from the actions it have taken in the past and present.

Unfortunately, the Chinese authorities have underestimated the negative impact of such covert operations against five dissidents in Hong Kong. Entrapment of these people within their own border (i.e. Shenzen) may be tolerated but kidnapping them in foreign country, Thailand, is totally an act of gangsterism.

The worse part is to violate an international agreement which it has signed for the peaceful return of Hong Kong sovereignty under One Country Two systems would raise eyebrows. If the Chinese government couldn't even keep simple promise like the Sino-British Declarations and keep to its own agreement of One Country Two Systems and observe the legitimacy of Basic Laws, how could anyone believe the China Communist Party could keep to any other international treaties or be a responsible member of the International community?

CCP is acting like a Mafia, through and through, using such despicable methods which only gangsters will use to deal with their adversaries or dissidents. Could you ever believe the words of a Mafia, or a Mafia government in this case?

Thus, if you look at these events, which may seem to be a "domestic" issue to Hong Kong, you will realize that we are dealing with the uneasy rise of a big and powerful country under the rule of a Mafia party. They will disregard any international treaties signed, lest verbal promise of any sort to anybody. They will disregard other countries sovereignty by doing whatever they like in and out of these countries, covertly. They will disregard all principles of rule of law and they basically don't have any in their land.

And yes, we in Asia, especially a small country like Singapore with massive investment in China, should start get worrying about the rise of this big gangster in Asia.

It would seem to me that the rise of China's military power will indeed spell trouble for Asia if we continued to have a bunch of gangster communists running it. If CCP ever has its dream of building 4 or more aircraft carriers in the next one or two decades materialized, it will sure flex its muscles recklessly in the region, in such an irresponsible way as it has shown in this few cases of abduction of dissidents.

I believe this case will definitely further caution the Taiwanese of this rogue regime and strengthen the perception that the Communists cannot be trusted at all. Taiwanese will be even more wary about reunification with China under such a Mafia rule.

Having said all these, I believe that the decision of abducting dissidents from Hong Kong and Thailand was made by the middle management of the Chinese government. It would be unimaginable to have President Xi to make such stupid decision because the potential international political repercussions will definitely be too great a price to pay for just getting their hands on a couple of unknown dissidents outside its borders.

Xi must understand that the growth of power must be accompanied with the evolution of a responsible government which will be highly regarded by its international peers. Else, it will only spell instability and distrusts of CCP and China for many years to come.

Goh Meng Seng

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Singapore SHOULD NOT loosen those "Property Cooling Measures"

A very Happy New Year to everyone! This is my first political post for the New Year 2016.

Right before 2015 ended, REDAS  (Real Estate Developers Association), in anticipating a slow down in the property market for 2016, has openly urged Singapore government to ease off the "property cooling measures" so that property prices may not dip too far.

PAP government has responded that it is not going to ease the cooling measures any sooner but I guess they do not really understand that these so call "cooling measures" which they have put up are actually "anti-speculation" measures.

They do not seem to understand that these measures should be a PERMANENT feature for Singapore instead of a policy option for manipulating the property market.

REDAS represented the developers as a lobby group and obviously, they are lobbying the government when they are going to lose money. But they did not make any noise when speculation was riff and property market booming and overheating with them, the developers making tons of money!

We have to get the fundamentals right when it comes to housing and land policy for Singapore, especially so when Singapore is just a tiny little red dot with limited land resources.

The "Anti-speculation measures" (what they call or misrepresented as "cooling measures") are the right tools to prevent the following:

1) Turning Singapore into ATM for foreign and local speculators. When a country has limited land, it is obvious that there will be a lot of money to be made by speculating on the property market. Foreigners and local filthy rich people with huge amount of funds will buy up properties to stock and expect it to rise in near future so that they could reap off quick profits from such speculation. The side effect is that property prices and rentals will skyrocket and it would become out of reach of locals as such unhealthy inflationary pressure on the property prices are totally unrealistic and out of sync with the salary levels of local normal Singaporeans who just need a roof over their heads.

2) Lopsided funding to the property market will increase risk to the Financial system. This is especially so when the prices of properties were pushed up due to speculation. The Financial system will become extremely vulnerable if too much funds were channeled into the property market. If there is a crash, the problem of negative assets and insolvency may just collapse our whole Financial system.

3) A crowding out of financial resources, due to overheated property market, from productive commercial and industrial activities may be detrimental to the healthy development of the country's economy. When people think that there is quick money to be made by property speculation, they will divert their resources into property speculation instead of investing in productive economic activities.

4) Speculation in property market as in rapid transactions is unhealthy for the Economy as it does not really produce anything substantial except inflationary pressures for the economy. i.e. It is the same four walls of bricks that went up from 300K to 1 million, without any substantial productive additions to the economy.

5) Suppliers or Developers should be prevented from HOARDING properties so to manipulate property prices. Thus the additional stamp duties imposed on developers if they could not sell the properties within 5 years, is justifiable. This will prevent property prices to be "sticky upwards".

We have only a limited land size and the government's priority is to make sure that land is properly distributed so that every Singaporeans could afford a roof over their heads. The government's priority is NOT to make sure property developers or speculators make money. It is definitely NOT the government's responsibility towards foreign "speculators" disguised as "investors".

Property transactions and speculations may be a quick addition to GDP figures but it basically does not produce anything substantial to the economy except inflation via inducement of asset inflation to rise in rentals.

The two main measures of moderation on the overall debt-salary serving ratio and additional stamp duties are good in curbing speculations by keeping out speculators while making sure people do not over stretch themselves in buying a property they could ill afford to.

However, contrary to REDAS expectation, such measures are basically not enough.

Germany is exceptionally strong in industrial engineering basically because they curb property speculations. They impose more drastic rental and property price controls to prevent people from property speculations. It controls the percentage that the rental or property prices could increase annually.

This not only curb speculations but in fact, prevent too much financial resources being drawn into property speculations. Instead, people are more willing to invest in industrial production and engineering.  This is how Germany grows to be the strongest economy in Europe.

In contrast, Japan used to be a industrial giant but due to excessive speculations in its property market, it just collapsed and didn't manage get back into shape after more than a decade.

Singapore should not use property speculation as a means to boost economic GDP figures. It should learn from the Germans instead, to impose more stringent measures to curb property speculations. If the government's priority is to Singaporeans' affordability to a home for their families, then it is only logical to make sure that increase in property prices should not be more than the increase in the salaries of normal Singaporeans:

The valuation of property prices should be indexed to the salary index of Singaporeans. This is especially so for HDB flats.

Goh Meng Seng

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Challenge to Rule of Law – Mob Rule

A police report has been lodged by the Organizing Secretary of People’s Power Party, Mr. Augustine Lee, against Calvin Cheng over his remarks that we should kill off family members and children of terrorists. I supported Augustine’s move to lodge this police report. The police has confirmed that there are several police reports made against Calvin Cheng.

It took me quite some time to ponder over this issue of Calvin Cheng. I believe in Freedom of Expression with responsible speech towards the society. There have been lots of cases whereby both PAP and activists have raised issue with hate speech. Most of the time, PAP-related offenders were just let off with just mere warning whilst offenders who were critical of PAP governance were charged. Eg. Amos Yee. The Sedition law has somehow been over used by both sides. When someone lamented that we should lodge a police report against Calvin Cheng under Sedition law, I hesitated.

I felt that what Calvin has done is MORE than Sedition. What he has done is actually inciting violence against innocent children and he is basically challenging the well established Rule of Law we have in Singapore.

Well, not everyone who challenge the current rule deserved to be charged and put behind bars. Eg. Those who are against unfair law or simply law that people feel out-dated. It is definitely alright to challenge laws which we think need to be changed for the better, but not for the worse. Definitely not to challenge the law to become illogically violent.

Most people may just laugh off Calvin bigotry logic of wanting to kill children of terrorists but the truth is, such practice of killing whole family, extended families, associates, teachers, classmates etc was practiced in Ancient Chinese dynasties. This is called 诛九族 (massacred the nine relations of the offender). This is the subtle cultural mindset we had in our Chinese blood, to believe that it is “officially legitimate” to have such practice as the ancient Emperors have legitimized it. I believe Calvin must have thought that such method is legitimate as Chinese Emperors had used such method before.

The danger lies here. Singapore has a huge population of Chinese who might buy that kind of logic from Calvin even though our law is pretty clear that the family of criminals, less so of children, should not be regarded as criminals and punished as such. Some people may just extend that kind of logic and started to take law into their own hands and turn it into Mob Rule.

During this period of sensitive time, our multi-racial and multi-religious society is at its most vulnerable. There are already Chinese heard berating Islam loudly and deliberately in front of Muslims. We do not need public figure like Calvin Cheng to add oil to the fire, knowingly or unknowingly.

Due to the nature of Chinese inherited culture, it is easier to convince Chinese that it is legitimate to kill off innocent family members of criminals. We even have idiom to describe the legitimacy of such act, “斩草不除根,春风吹又生” (literally means if you do not cut off the roots while clearing the weeds, it will grow again when spring comes). Calvin Cheng might have mistakenly taken this as that "profound logic" that he professed to support his proposition of killing the children of terrorists.

We definitely do not want our society to turn into chaos like what happened in US, England and Europe whereby people mindless attack Muslims with the belief that they have everything to do with the terrorist attacks or terrorism, just by the mere supposed association of religion with the terrorists. Such situation of Mob Rule once started, is difficult to stop.

Thus after weeks of thinking through this issue, I come to the conclusion that such advocacy, which sound ridiculous to some, is dangerous and pose a potential problem in breeding Mob Rule in Singapore. It should be stopped and as a public figure, Calvin Cheng should retract it else the state should make its stance clearly against it.

Goh  Meng Seng

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ideological Fundamentals of Democracy

Is PAP "Indispensable" ? And thus Opposition parties are "Redundant"?

These questions were raised in one of the discussions I had with some opposition members. Some have started to doubt the value or "righteousness" of the existence of opposition since 70% of voters have voted against opposition. And they felt that these voters see PAP as the GOOD government which is "indispensable" and opposition parties are just "trouble makers" or "bandits", the "bad guys".

Opposition members may of course think we are the "good guys" but 70% of voters have "voted against" us. Thus in absolute terms, are we really the "bad guys" and PAP the "good guys" who are indispensable for the good of Singapore?

It is an interesting question put forward to us in the midst of facing "massive rejection" from voters.

My answer to this question is not so simple. First of all, voting PAP may not mean "voting against" opposition. There may be a lot of varied reasons that voters voted for PAP although they might still think we need opposition. The fear of losing PAP as government is one of such reasons. From the look at some of those "guilty conscience" eyes while doing our rounds it is really possible that they didn't know their voting pattern may end up this way. It may be a "freak elections results" to many swing voters.

Fear of losing PAP as government may be construed as PAP to them, is "indispensable" as a "good government" but this may not be "right" although 70% of voters think this way.

From a philosophical point of view, there are two schools of thoughts in Chinese Confucius teaching. You either believe human beings are inherently "good" people or "bad" people. I believe human beings have the tendency of turning bad, no matter how good he or she was initially.

That is also the basis of Western concept of "Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely".

Since there is no "absoluteness" in the "good" of any human beings, then it must be the case that there is no "absolute" good governance of anyone, any kind, over time. If that is so, how could any ruling party be "indispensable" in any sense?

Thus the value of Democracy exists. Democracy is built upon the unreliability of human goodness and the belief that the tendency is for human to become bad over time, under the spell of power. This has been proven empirically in history. Even the BEST Emperor of Qing Dynasty might have been a "Good" Emperor for the first few decades but the last decade of his rule, became "Bad", partly because he turned senile or that he was too full of himself or over confident that he started to refuse to listen to his court officials.

To extend such belief of the unreliability of human good nature, we will conclude that what we need is a whole system of governance must be constructed with the concept of Separation of Powers so that Real Checks and Balances are being institutionalized in it. It would mean that parliamentary diversity as a means of Checks and Balances is totally inadequate.

This is the ideological foundation of People's Power Party's Democratic Vision for Singapore.

Goh Meng Seng

Thursday, December 10, 2015

SGH Hep C Outbreak: Systemic Deficiency, Human Resource Mismanagement & Proper Compensation

For Immediate Release Date: 09 Dec 2015

SGH Hep C Outbreak: Systemic Deficiency, Human Resource Mismanagement & Proper Compensation

We refer to the report put up by the Independent Review Committee (IRC). We are glad that the report has shed some light on the timeline of events and the weaknesses of the current system.

However, we noted that all the stakeholders, including the various departments in SGH and Divisions in the Ministry of Health, lack a fundamental sense of urgency in handling this outbreak. It took more than two months for SGH and the divisions of MOH to determine that this outbreak is a serious case that warrants a Serious Reportable Event (SRE). It is even more amazing that it took more than one month for the CEO of SGH to decide to hold a face-to-face meeting with MOH to report on the seriousness of this case and to decide on whether to make public the outbreak.

The key method of controlling the outbreak of such diseases is first to isolate or quarantine the source of infections followed by timely announcement to the public of the outbreak. It is apparent that both the SGH and MOH staffs and management did not regard timely public announcement of the outbreak as an important measure for public safety.

This is unacceptable as we expect MOH and its group of hospitals to have learned from 2003 SARS outbreak that timely public announcement is one of the most important measures in curbing further massive infections. We view this as a serious systemic problem inherent with the current bureaucratic practices which needs to be addressed thoroughly.

We also note that the IRC has stated that there were serious lapses in the hospital’s staff whereby they have not adhered to established protocols as basic as hand hygiene which subsequently caused contamination to other medical equipment. We suspect that this is a symptom of a bigger fundamental problem of MOH’s Human Resource policy.

Our hospitals have employed a substantial number of foreign healthcare providers over the decade. This is due to various reasons which include increasing demand of hospital care due to explosive population growth in the past decade. We also learn that many locally trained nurses have left the industry due to unfavorable shift work schedule.

Nursing is a professional job but apparently the salary scale for nurses in Singapore is only half of the salary scale paid by Hong Kong hospitals. It is apparent that MOH has allowed hospitals to employ cheap foreign substitutes from Third World countries instead of making the effort to look into the shortage of Singapore nurses seriously. Training and certification of nursing in these foreign countries may fall short of our expectations and this might have compromised the safety and standards of our healthcare system. This may well be the reason why SGH nurses have breached even the most basic requirement of hand hygiene.

People’s Power Party strongly advocate a change of mindset, HR policy and hiring practices. Nursing is a profession that involves the matter of life and death. It is not the so-called “low skilled job” as opined by PAP Minister. Nurses should be professionally remunerated and at the same time, more stringent requirement, far more demanding than the mere paper qualification from Third World institutions, should be set out in the employment of foreign nurses. They should be put through the similar tests or examinations that our local nurses have gone through before they become qualified nurses. We also recommend that the shift scheduling system be standardized according to other uniform groups and essential services.

It is only when our hospitals start taking nursing as a serious profession which makes a great difference to life and death, instead of treating it as “low skilled job”, then we could avoid the risk of having more unfortunate medical incidents such as this current Hepatitis C outbreak.

Last but not least, we urge the Minister of Health Mr. Gan not to avoid the important issue of compensation to the victims as well as their families of the dead patients. This is a serious healthcare crisis and a proper compensation should be made to all those affected. This is the least SGH and MOH should do in being accountable to the whole saga.

Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General
For People’s Power Party CEC

Saturday, December 05, 2015

PAP's Elitist Entitlement Mindset and FAILED Meritocracy

Prime Minister Lee has recently lamented about "Singaporeans' entitlement mindset" but I would say that he should take a good look at himself in the mirror as well as his backyard of Elitist cronies.

Through over 50 years of autocratic rule, his party has created a whole system of pseudo Meritocratic Cronism which lacks the very fundamental principle of ACCOUNTABILITY that TRUE Meritocracy is built upon.

Those so call "High Flyer Scholars" along with the various cronies in the whole system has taken the strong foundation which our forefathers have built up, for granted. These people milk and feed upon the wealth of the system with no accountability nor shame with FULL ELITIST ENTITLEMENT mindset. They abuse the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to the max by setting dubious standards which put up pseudo accountability system which most of the time rewards themselves with undeserving salaries and increments. Worse of all, when they indulge in doing whatever they can to meet these KPIs so that they could gain their perks and rewards, instead of doing good to Singaporeans as a whole, they have instead brought more undesirable results to the Nation as a whole.

It started right from the Top Political Leadership. When GDP growth is the single most important KPI used to judge whether the Ministers should get hefty bonuses and salary increment, we end up with the Growth At All Cost strategy which resulted worse quality of life for Singaporeans.

The same applies to many other sectors under PAP Government control. Look at SMRT. The trouble started when Saw just have that singular pursue to increase profit so that she could increase her bonuses and salaries throughout the years of her "glorious years". She went to such an extent that SMRT maintenance has been grossly compromised.

We thought that with her departure, we would get better people to run the system but we were proven wrong by PAP. They sent an Elitist PAPER GENERAL who has ZERO Corporate experience in running a train service to run the show! This elite continue to enjoy increment in his salaries while the train services continue to suffer numerous small and major breakdowns throughout the years! Yet, by using some OUT OF REALITY TOUCH KPI, he tried to justify how the train system and services have "improved"!

He has totally disregard the reality that Singaporeans have experienced on the ground and SMRT just avoid the label "breakdowns" whenever they can by putting up a false front of "delays" to mask away the reality! This is how they tried to GAME the system of KPI!

Similar thing happened to other GLCs like NOL. Another PAPER General was sent there and he continued to enjoy millions of dollars paid every year, with increments, while the company continues to bleed profusely! How? By showing that he is able to "cut cost"! But that doesn't help as the company continues to suffer great losses over the years and eventually, Temasek Holdings is going to sell it off!

It is a total shame that we are going to sell off our Nation's Flagship and key assets. NOL has special iconic value for a nation like Singapore which pride itself to be one of the busiest port in the world! But these Elites have no shame. Why? It is because they only have this Elitist Entitlement Mindset and they could just explain their GROSS incompetency away by hiding behind that KPI system.

PAP must understand that KPI should be a means to an end, to serve the people and Nation, not just a silly ploy for people to get hefty bonuses and salary increments. One may excel in ALL KPIs set but in the end, due to the methodology used in achieving these KPIs, they may create more harm than good to the Nation as a whole!

Most importantly, PAP must understand that no matter how elite you are in paper qualifications, if you do not have the necessary skill sets and knowledge of the business, you will fail! This especially true for top civil servants, government scholars and Army Paper Generals! If PAP continues to abuse the system of GLCs to feed their elitist cronies instead of assigning such important positions to people with real talents and expertise in the various fields, Singapore will be doomed with the fake Meritocracy buried under the dubious KPI system.

Goh Meng Seng

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

HDB ISSUE~ Unfinished Business

I was having coffee with a couple of friends and they started to talk about HDB issues. One of them is actually a property agent.

As usual, most of the time Singaporeans will just complain. But these friends are slightly better because they somehow have some ideas what are the root problems.

When they started to say that PAP won big because they have solved most of the problems raised in 2011 GE. I laugh. What about HDB prices?

They know the prices are sticky upwards. It is a concept in economics which is less well known. Well, why sticky upwards?

I told them the reasons and how it could be solved. And I told them I didn't bring this up since 2011 because people have this free rider mentality, be it voters, political parties or otherwise.

2015 GE results are not that unexpected to some party in retrospect. It is because there are too many opportunistic free riders waiting to ride on the waves of issues created by others. Contrary to popular belief, PAP has not solved the fundamental problem of HDB as basic public housing. But no one knows how to pin point the problem straight.

I didn't want to do it because I have to focus on the Minister I am tackling. I also think that for any opposition who is worth his salt, should show his own strength and should not be opportunistic in being mere wave riders.

Well, HDB issue is definitely an ongoing problem which cannot be solved by the current PAP methodology of merely increasing supply and policy tweaks.

Let PAP cracks their heads over it or young Singaporeans continue to suffer from their incompetency. It will come to a day of reckoning when the system collapses. It is a painful lesson needed to wake PAP up.

Goh Meng Seng