Tuesday, November 21, 2017

TOTD: The Great Asian Political Idealist 12 Nov 2017

Thought of the Day - The Great Asian Political Idealist

Today is the Birthday of a Great Politician of Asia in 20th Century, Dr Sun Yat Sen.

In remembrance of this Great man, I shall dedicate my Thought of the Day to talk about his greatness.

Many people would have mistaken the source of greatness in Dr Sun. Rightfully, he is credited for bringing the fall of Imperial rule in China, although in actual fact, the success of 1911 mutiny and revolution wasn’t part of his deliberate efforts at all.

It was his inspiration, undaunted effort in advocating the topple of the Imperial Qing Dynasty that gained him great respect among his contemporary revolutionists.

However, his greatness in politics didn’t stop at that. He wasn’t exactly the top politicians in politicking and in fact, he had failed in his politicking efforts when he conceded his position to Yuan Shi Kai who tried to reinstate Imperial rule to modern China again.

His main contribution to the world, especially to the Asian political arena, lies in his political ideology of Separation of Five Powers and the Three Principles.

The concept of Separation of Five Powers is especially profound and herein lies the main difference he had against the Western Democratic ideology.

Although he was against the Imperial rule in China but he recognized the strength of the political administration which was installed and implemented by the Imperialists. This is a five thousand years legacy of Chinese wisdom in political management. He recognized that throughout history, China had always been the country which possessed the most sophisticated and advanced political management system as compared to their contemporaries. Many foreign states wanted to emulate its complex political administration and in fact, its neighbors were greatly influenced by its system. These include Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

The scholar system which Chinese dynasties had implemented throughout history ensured basic competency of the control and management of the country regardless of who was the Emperor. Even when the Emperor was just a 10 yea old kid, the scholar system would ensure basic competence in the running of the Empire.

The Chinese dynasties also valued the importance of Checks and Balances. There would always be periodic Audit checks carried on various local governance by Special Envoys empowered by the Emperors themselves.

In the inner court, they Emperor would appoint special officials empowered with the Power of Impeachment. They were allowed to speak up their mind and criticize court officials and even against Emperors without any dire consequences.

The most important institution of the scholar system was the Board of Examination. The Chief examiner would make sure the selection process for the brightest scholars from the country was done properly.

These selected students would then be fielded into the respective departments of the Empire administration.

The Western countries didn’t have such complex system of political administration until much later in the 18th or early 19th century. The idea Checks Andy Balances was actually first implemented in the Chinese dynasties as far back as 4000 years ago!

Thus even Dr Sun was heavily influenced by the western ideology of democracy, he realized that China itself had a much superior system of political administration.

However, the most common problem faced by past dynasties was the corruption of powers via full concentration of powers by One or few court officials, other than the Emperor himself.

Thus, he had raised the importance of the Separation of Five Powers, instead of the Three powers advocated by the Western world. Other than the Three powers of Executive, Judiciary and Legislation, he added two more powers that were inherently the most critical for superior political administration..... Power of Impeachment and Examination.

The Power of Impeachment is equivalent to the modern days Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau and Audit General. The Power of Examination was catered towards the important Board of Examination which was the gate keeper of selection and appointment of scholars to civil service positions. Basically it refers to the power of selecting, appointing and promoting those who work for the government. These two are the critical powers for clean, effective, efficient and competent government.

The contribution of Dr Sun in raising the significance of these two powers should not be underestimated. Many of the problems we are still facing right now, even in 21st century, is how incompetency creeps into the political management of countries when the Power of Impeachment is lacking coupled with cronyism infestation when the Power of Selection and Appointment is totally corrupted.

This is the reason why my comrades and I decided to form People’s Power Party using Dr Sun’s profound ideology of Separation of Five Powers as the pillars of our Core Value.

PPP will strive to pass on the legacy of Dr Sun’s greatest political ideology which will always be relevant to good governance in all centuries ahead.

Goh Meng Seng

Statement On The Disruptions to the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) System 16 Nov 2017

Statement On The Disruptions to the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) System

Our national transportation had been beleaguered with issues since 2011, which in the early days had mostly been only delays and unexpectedly longer travel duration. However, issues encountered recently by the SMRT were more varied, unusual and were of much greater concern.

Such concerns were overwhelming to the extent that the 30th anniversary of the inception of the MRT system in Singapore was not even mentioned as such.

It is appreciated that the Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan had recently cited overpopulation as being the root cause of these issues. The acceptance though is long overdue and patently insufficient. Mere acknowledgement of the possible effects of the overpopulation which could have led to the transportation system woes, should not simply end with just that.

A much more detailed and thorough study would be in order given the duration the problems pertaining the MRT system had been lingering. The study would enable the identification of the actual state of the system, especially the North-South and the East-West lines which were first opened and had been operating for 30 years.

The various avenues which could possibly have had caused the deterioration of the system should be subjected to detailed study by competent authorities with the appropriate expertise. Such expertise, if needed should be procured from other train operators with experience in handling systems of similar complexity. Failure to carry out the study could cause speculations to continue as a consequence of the specific causes on the disruptions not been clearly identified.

Not carrying out the necessary steps could also result in the gradual worsening of the system, as we had seen in the recent episodes of train service disruptions. These could cause a further waste of time and resources, and worse, linger on as a possible hazard.

As such, our Party is seeking the matter be studied by a commission tasked to inquire further into the causes of the train disruptions, in view of all the possible difficulties and the hazards faced by people.

Sivakumaran Chellappa
Vice Chairman & Head of Policy Research
People’s Power Party (PPP), Singapore
For CEC

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

TOTD: SMRT: The Instant Failure of Privatization

Thought of the Day - SMRT: The Instant Failure of Privatization

In Economics study, there is always a debate over the pros and cons of "Privatization" of companies providing public goods like public transport.

Companies providing public goods are natural monopolies because they need economies of scale. But the downside is, it tends to be inefficient if it is under government administration. However, this may not be always true.

Natural monopolies are preferred to be under government control because this will prevent them from "exercising their monopolistic power" to "overcharged" and gain abnormal profits through maximization of profits pricing strategy.

Even when natural monopolies are turned into private companies, they will be heavily regulated due to the enormous monopoly power over pricing. This is in the interests of the public.

However, there are other issues when you try to achieve "efficiency" via privatization a monopoly like SMRT. When it becomes a private company, it will shift its priorities from providing reliable public service to making good returns to its private shareholders to sustain its stock market value.

SMRT's privatization exercise in 2000 is a typical example of how such shift of priorities will harm public interests.

After its privatization and public listing on SGX in 2000, SMRT appointed Saw, a lady from DFS and with only skill set in retail to become its CEO. The motive is simple. They wanted to MAXIMIZE profits from the vast potentials of the properties it owns under its MRT stations.

But Saw went beyond extending the retail space in MRT stations. As a person without any Engineering skillsets but with vested interests in getting hefty bonuses by increasing profitability and cutting costs, she started to cut the "Cost Centers" of SMRT operations. Obviously, the Maintenance Division is considered as a huge cost center that doesn't generate sales nor revenue but costly to SMRT!

Just like any ignorant money smelling face, she thought she could cut down expenses in Maintenance by replacing "expensive" but experienced engineers and technicians with "Foreign Talents" who have only some paper qualifications (oh, never mind if these paper certificates are fake or not) but extremely cheap at a fraction of the experienced staffs. All thanks to PAP government opening the Floodgate to "Foreign Talents" so that SMRT could capitalize on this fully!

She thought she could just ignore the need of upgrading or replacement of critical assets of the rail system so to boost the profits of SMRT further!

Well, in the short run, SMRT did "extremely well" in giving out good dividends to shareholders. Dividends jumped more than 5 folds after 2002 in some years.

However, it is just obvious and common sense that such management of a company which is heavily depended on good engineering to keep the CORE business running smoothly cannot be sustainable. Eventually, the rail system broke down. This is also partly due to the "overloading" problem due to the extensive influx of foreigners which inflated our population up to 5 million and beyond!

The MRT system was designed and built for a capacity of 3 million. It is supposed to have 8 cabins (like the Hong Kong MTR) in order to cope with a 5-8 million population.

While it is possible to mitigate the problem of overloading by building extensive by-routing rail network like the NW line, Circle lines and Downtown lines, but the stress on the main line NS and EW lines are still extremely heavy. Furthermore, the increase of the number of lines and stations would also mean the need to expand the maintenance division extensively!

How could SMRT keep the growth of expenditure on its maintenance division comparatively low while the number of lines and stations keep increasing in such a speed? You need time to train and get new engineers and technicians to familiarize with the job scope!

The proportion of money spent in maintenance as compared to Hong Kong MTR is extremely low. Do they really want us to believe that SMRT engineers are magicians or superman and women who could do wonders?

The entire system ended up in the current sorry state just because PAP screws it up with its Money-face-cronyism management strategy. They just anyhow send in someone who know nuts about running an effective and efficient rail system to become CEO just because she might be great in squeezing every penny out of SMRT!

And the most ridiculous thing is that they made the SAME mistake of sending in a replacement from the army who also knows nuts about running a rail system and hope that he could clean up the mess the previous idiot has done!!!???

What is worse than putting people who are totally clueless about the job scope to run an important rail company? And both just took in their own KAKIs from the same UNRELATED industry who similarly, CLUELESS and lack of the relevant skill set and in-depth technical knowledge of rail system to run the departments!

Instead of headhunting people with REAL Experience in running a rail system, we ended up with these mulit-million dollar parasites who are clueless of running a rail system!

This is how Privatization of such an important public goods provider cum monopoly ended up so wrong. I guess this will enter into World Wide Economic and Management Text Books!

On the side note, PAP has always treated GLCs as their "dumping ground" for their "scholars" who have expired their usefulness in SAF or civil service. Maybe it is time for us to rethink whether the extensive Scholar system we have right now, especially the SAF scholarship system, is still useful or relevant. We cannot just dump them anyhow into GLCs which they lack the skillsets and experience to work in!

Goh Meng Seng

Saturday, November 04, 2017

TOTD: WP's Struggle & Impact on Opposition Dynamics

Thought of the Day - WP's Struggle & Impact on Opposition Dynamics

Many people maybe confused by the statements made by WP SG LTK. First, he changed his previous stance about WP not going to form the alternative government made just a few years ago to proclaim that "WP has the foundation to form the alternative government if voters support it".

Then he announced he will be stepping down as SG of WP next year.

Why would a party leader making such an optimistic proclamation not so long ago would want to announce his retirement as the leader of the party?

Many hardcore WP and opposition supporters jumped in joy when LTK said "WP has the foundation of forming the alternative government" without much thought.

For me personally, I was stunned when LTK uttered such words about "forming the alternative government".

In Singapore's opposition politics, we cannot win solely based on hardcore anti-PAP-opposition supporters. We will need to win the middle ground voters over as well. But sometimes, there are differences in perspective the hardcore opposition supporters vs the middle ground voters. The views on opposition party forming alternative government is one of the biggest differences.

Most of the hardcore opposition supporters would very much like to kick PAP out and have opposition party to form the alternative government. But most of the middle ground voters would frown or even frighten off by such idea. The GE2015 results is one of the most indicative preferences of the middle ground voters who had swung their votes against opposition parties across the board for fear of a "Freak Elections result". Although they would like to see more opposition voices in parliament but they do not want PAP to lose power as ruling party!

Thus, we always thread very carefully on this fine thin line and the LTK whom I know, WILL NEVER MAKE SUCH CLAIMS or mention anything about forming alternative government because he knows this will be unhelpful and will not win him any votes from the middle ground!

And it is EXCEPTIONALLY STUNNING for LTK to talk like that from a position of WEAKNESS instead of Strength. The circumstances surrounding the AHTC saga is extremely unfavorable to WP and WP has exposed its pure incompetency at the very least in this whole saga. Would anyone in his right mind, from the middle ground, believe that WP is suitable to form the alternative government at all?

It is obvious that LTK is just playing to the gallery of hardcore opposition supporters instead of trying to gain trust and confidence from the middle ground. This may mean that he has already given up hope of winning back the support of the middle ground voters since the razor thin victory over Aljunied GRC with a margin not more than 1% in GE2015.

This could work to put up a sympathy bid of being politically persecuted by PAP in the AHTC saga. But the most important intention lies in his words. He said "WP has the FOUNDATION to form the alternative government". What exactly does that mean?

It basically means that WP has the resources to contest AT LEAST HALF of the seats in Singapore. That's what it means. It is a show of WP's intention to contest at least half of the seats for the next GE!

But why would WP under such bad conditions wants to contest MORE seats instead of focusing on less seats and trying to defend AHTC and Hougang?

The political calculation is simple. They have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to win Aljunied GRC, maybe NOT EVEN Hougang for the next GE no matter how hard they try. This is because they have lost all the goodwill, trust and support of the middle ground voters. That is the reason why they are turning to the hardcore supporters to consolidate their support by making such "bold statements".

This is also why LTK announces his retirement from the SG post in such early stage. The next OPC elections of WP's CEC is 9 months later in July 2018, why would he make such early announcement?

The situation may be very harsh on the AHTC saga. They might even launch their third legal attack on WP over AHTC. LTK may be hit very badly and as a seasoned veteran politician who has accumulated huge amount of political capital and legacy, he would sure not want to end his legacy in a defeat at the polls. Thus, I guess that he will not contest in the next GE at all.

But since the chance of winning next GE is so slim with the anticipation of the total destruction of WP's middle ground support, why would the party considering contesting more than 50% of the seats?

The answer lies in the 12 NCMP seats. The only way to ensure that WP continues to dominate the opposition presence in parliament is to win all the 12 NCMP seats. The only way of doing that is to spread the leaders to fight different GRCs so that hopefully, they could win enough votes to gain one or two NCMP seats each for each GRC or SMC battles.

This would mean that the recent announcements made by LTK should be viewed with great pessimism. The party is over for opposition like WP to win seats in next GE. The only thing left to fight among opposition parties are the 12 NCMP seats.

WP's intended "expansion" of contest has nothing to do with the hope of forming alternative government but rather, a desperate struggle to win the 12 NCMP seats.

Thus, we will be seeing a lot of three corner fights mainly with WP in the next GE and they are embarking on an early campaign to solidified hardcore opposition supporters' support by giving false hope, singing the tune of "alternative government" when there is seriously no way they could achieve that under the current circumstances, under the curse of AHTC saga.

Goh Meng Seng

Friday, October 06, 2017

TOTD: Awakening from the HDB-Asset Enhancement Myth

Thought of the Day - Awakening from the HDB-Asset Enhancement Myth




Several friends asked me "What is Lawrence Wong trying to do?"

They are referring to why Lawrence Wong keeps reminding Singaporeans that your HDB flat will have ZERO value when the 99 Lease hold expires.

They are confused and full of anxiety.

I simply told them, this is nothing new, I have talked about it more than a decade ago!

Almost all of them now consider to sell off their HDB flats in anxiety. Then I ask, where are you going to live?

Some ask me is that the reason why I sold my own HDB flat back in 2010? I said, yes, partly so but most importantly, I need the cash for the General Elections. I have no regrets.

Then they ask me, why didn't my relatives or the flat my mother owns in Ang Mo Kio sold? Here again, I said, where can they live if they sell their HDB flats?

The key difference here is that, my parents bought their flat in Ang Mo Kio, way before this nonsensical "Asset Enhancement Scheme" came about in late 1980s throughout 1990s, Goh Chok Tong's time. They bought it cheap. There is no anxiety of having a "costly HDB flat" turned into worthless ashes in the end.

Unfortunately, many people were caught by that TOTALLY MISLEADING Koyok of "Asset Enhancement Scheme" which was the Theme of PAP back in 1990s till 2000s that kept them in total monopoly of power. A few generations of Singaporeans have been misled into believe in such nonsense. Even up till GE 2011, PAP's MBT still tried to sing song about Asset Enhancement Scheme for "Monetizing HDB Flat" for retirement financing.

Well, lucky for MBT and PAP, he didn't dare to take up my challenge of OPEN LIVE DEBATE over his HDB-Asset Enhancement Scheme Policy, else he will be knocked out and black out totally. But their lucky is Singaporeans' misfortune. Most Singaporeans are still submerged in such devious myth of HDB Asset Enhancement Scheme for another 6 years, until Lawrence Wong broke the truth.

Lawrence Wong is simply telling the Truth, nothing but the Truth. Your HDB flat will become Zero Value when the 99 year lease expires. Why is he talking about this NOW?

This is because PAP government is not going to carry out SERS Enblock for most of the HDB flats, which is the only way to save you from the eventuality of Zero Value, because it is not profitable for PAP government to do it. They are just mentally preparing the massive Singaporeans living in HDB flats that they should not expect much from their HDB flats at the end of the 99 lease. They should be prepared to live with their whole life's saving in CPF being wiped off when the lease is nearing expiration.

The PAP government, if they still exist by then, will not renew your HDB lease at all.

Singaporeans should wake up from this TWO DECADES Myth about HDB-Asset Enhancement Scheme. This is especially so for the younger generations, those who are thinking of paying extraordinary high prices for their BTO or HDB resale flats.

I was amused and worried for those people who are forking out near to a Million dollars for a resale flat in some Prime location. You have to know that even if your HDB flat is located at Prime district or location, IT WILL DEPRECIATE eventually and BECOME ZERO in value when the lease expires.

Your HDB flat will start to depreciate when it reaches 40 year old. No banks will make normal loan when it passes 50 years old. When it reaches 70 years old, basically no bank will provide loan to  any buyer at all, regardless of where the flat is situated.

This is something PAP has been hiding from you while they were singing and praising themselves about HDB-Asset Enhancement Scheme as a political tool of Pork-Barrel politicking!  I would say that over 80% of all old HDB flats will not be Enblock. You just cannot "enhance" your HDB value when the eventuality of ZERO Value is definite!

The faster and earlier Singaporeans realize this FACT and TRUTH, the better it is for them. Else, you will end up destroying your own retirement financing plan.

I have not come to the CPF-HDB financing part yet.... that's for another article another day.

Goh Meng Seng

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Open Letter to Halimah

Open Letter to Halimah

Dear Madam Halimah,

At this very moment when I pen this letter to you, I still have the opportunity to address you as Madam Halimah instead of Madam Kelong President Halimah and I hope NOT to have that unfortunate opportunity to address you as such.

There is absolutely No Glory nor Dignity for you to become our First Lady President under the current circumstances. Your eventual "acceptance" of such farce arrangement of "Reserved Presidency", apparently meant for you, by submitting your nomination papers tomorrow, will be seen as an dishonorable act which will undermine the Presidency even before you begin your tour of duty.

Most important of all, your nomination and eventual acceptance of this Presidency now will cause more hurt and damage to the very Malay community which you claim to represent and lead. The implicit humiliation and hurt suffered by the Malay community will never recover fully due to the disgraceful ways of political manipulation by the power that creates unfavorable inferences upon the Malay community throughout the process.

You have said that you want to be the unifying figure for ALL Singaporeans but ironically, if you accept the "reserved appointment" of Presidency under such circumstances, you will not gain any substantial respect from any Singaporeans from any race. Your role of unification of Singaporeans would ironically be a figure head that every Singaporean stand in unity to disrespect or even despised!

The damage to our foundation of Core Values based on Meritocracy is just too great to quantify. This is one of the biggest damage your acceptance of such reserved appointment would do to our nation.

I would urge you to reconsider on submitting your nomination papers on 13 Sep 2017 because such move would only bring damaging consequences to everyone, to the whole Nation because it would be seen as the ultimate sophistry of rigging a simple electoral progress that would bring shame and disgrace to our Nation. A President-to-be who would put the whole Nation to shame and anger, is definitely not a good start for your six-years term which would be void of any legitimacy in the eyes of Singaporeans and the whole world at large.

I would urge you NOT to submit your nomination papers tomorrow so to trigger the mechanism to open up the Presidential Elections to contest by ALL qualified individuals from all races. Then you should contest in a fair and open elections to exemplify the values of meritocracy we hold so dearly for the success of this Nation.

Respect, dignity and legitimacy are earned, not Reserved in appointment. You will do yourself no justice as well as harm and damage to your Malay community as well as the Nation at large if you do not really understand this simple value.

Regrettably,
Goh Meng Seng

#MadamKelongPresident
#NotMyPresident

People’s Power Party (PPP) Statement on Singapore Presidential Elections 2017




Date: 12 Sep 2017

For Immediate Release:

People’s Power Party (PPP) Statement on Singapore Presidential Elections 2017

The Elections Department announced on 11th of September 2017 that Madam Halimah Yacob is set to be the 8th President of the Republic Singapore, having been the only potential candidate to have been issued both the Malay Community Certificate and the Certificate of Eligibility.

This means that the other two presidential hopefuls, Mr Mohamed Salleh Marican and Mr Farid Khan were not successful in their application to stand although both gentlemen had also been issued the Malay Community Certificate each. Both had failed to satisfy the ridiculously stringent criteria imposed upon private sector applicants.

The People’s Power Party (PPP), first of all, would like to express gratitude to both gentlemen who had bravely stepped forward to provide an opportunity for Singapore citizens to choose their next Elected President reserved for the Malay community. Mr Salleh and Mr Farid had subjected themselves to be scrutinised by the public with regard to their “Malayness” since they are of Indian and Pakistani by descent respectively. Madam Halimah, though technically an Indian by descent, have had her “Malayness” certified four times over in general elections previously.

PPP views this latest development of PE2107 as opportunity denied to both private sector candidates since the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) has discretionary powers. We also note the administrative manipulation of what could have been a participatory democracy.

First and foremost, the virtue of Reserved Presidential Elections had been eclipsed by the notion that the Malays are not capable of winning in an open contest. The Malays of Singapore are actually sick of such tokenism. To add salt to injury, the “Malayness” of Presidential hopefuls are being questioned by the general public and subjected to a special committee to certify that they are Malays.

Mr Salleh and Mr Farid should be lauded as successful self-made men who are truly non-partisan and independent. That cannot be said of Madam Halimah, who, despite of her claim to not be serving any political party after stepping down as Speaker of Parliament just about a month ago, would always be seen to be beholden to her supposedly erstwhile political masters. This indebtedness would forever be etched in the memory of Singapore for generations to come should she submit her nomination forms this Wednesday, 23rd of September 2017.

When victory is declared on a battle not fought, there is no glory nor dignity.

While we could grudgingly accept that this may be a Reserved Presidential Elections for the Malay but we definitely could not agree with the blatant political ploy to turn it into Reserved President for PAP’s Halimah!

While Dr Tony Tan was not the President of 64.8% of Singaporeans who voted against him in PE2011, at the very least he fought a battle and won by 0.35% margin against his closest contender, Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

PPP is disappointed without reservation that the office of the Elected Presidency is once again tweaked in forms and eventually, it denies robust electoral challenge that is the essence of our Democratic guarantee. In our view, Mr Salleh and Mr Farid who are prominent individuals of the Malay community with the exceptional capabilities to perform the role of the Elected President with full competency. The denial of their candidacy is really regrettable.

PPP shares the sentiments of Singapore Malays who feel insulted that they been taken for a ride. The community sees themselves, yet again, as a scapegoat for the political agenda of the Powers That Be. They are the ones paying the ultimate political price. They rightly feel used, betrayed, played out and stupefied now that they bear witness to political gains built upon Malay dignity.

Last but not least, PPP further reiterates that we should not allow electoral rules to be manipulated in such divisive way and the Constitution should not be changed so frequently by the ruling party just to suit their own political agenda. An Independent Commission appointed by the Elected President should look into every attempt of amendment made to the Constitution and the Elected President should also be vested with Veto power to such amendment with the advice of the Commission.

Most importantly, we hope that Singaporeans should realize that giving PAP 70% mandate with overwhelming power via the dominance of parliamentary seats will not work in the interests of our Nation. We should deny PAP Two Third Majority in the next General Elections so that they could not just bulldoze any amendment to our Constitution at their fancy. This will ensure a truly fair electoral process and this will enhance the independent role of the Elected Presidency above and beyond partisan politicking.

Syafarin Sarif
Chairman
People’s Power Party (PPP), Singapore For CEC

Monday, September 11, 2017

TOTD: Sympathy to Madam Kelong President

Thought of the Day - Sympathy to Madam Kelong President

My deepest Sympathy to the Madam Kelong President to be. No matter how you try to prove yourself capable of being independent of PAP, you will always be FOOT noted in the History of Singapore as the Kelong President who is beholden to PAP for getting this disgraceful position of Presidency.

It may not be your fault but you are one who made the choice to play right into the hands of PAP and thus, rightfully so, you will have to be responsible for your decision to play the puppet of the power that be.

The circumstances under which you become the President bring no glory or pride to you, your family or your clan but only insults, shame and anger to the Malay community.

You have already been addressed as "Madam President" by your powerful colleagues even before the race and now, being made the Madam President as "planned" through administrative means. We cannot help to feel that this is all Kelong or an elaborated set up of a wayang.

Your colleagues have helped to set up barriers to all competition by making Reserved Presidential Election... yes, make no mistake about it, it is indeed RESERVED for you and nobody else. By doing so, your Malay community has suffered humiliation not only once but twice throughout the whole farce process. One, they have set on record that any Malay Presidential candidate, including you Madam Kelong President, will not be able to win in a fair and open Presidential Elections because you are a minority despite the fact that not so long ago, an Indian PAP candidate has just won a by elections against the Secretary General of the second largest opposition party in Singapore!

The Malay community is further insulted when their two very successful self-made millionaires were denied Presidential candidacy even though they have created their own business empires which are worth multiple hundreds of millions. Do they lack any business, economics or financial capabilities to perform the role of the Elected Presidency when they have basically built their own business empires through their own merits? Obviously not and I believe they are better qualified in business, economics and financial capabilities than you do, Madam Kelong President!

You are only qualified on the technicality of being the PAP appointed Speaker of Parliament which doesn't involve in managing any big business, lest a $500 million paid up capital entity!

These are the Business Elites of the Malay community but they were put down as not good enough to be the Elected President?! Only people like you who are beholden to PAP by working for PAP could be qualified as Kelong President?

How hurtful could that be to your Malay Community, which you proclaim to represent and belong to?

Madam Kelong President, you may think that you have brought glory to yourself and the Malay community but no, you have instead brought shame, hurt and anger to the Malay community.

I would have even more sympathy to you if you really think it is something great to become the Kelong President as you wish because you are living in a dream that lacks legacy and dignity. Even your predecessor Tony Tan has more dignity than you do despite the fact that he had won only by less than 35% but at the very least he fought the battle till the very end! But you? You will always been seen as appointed by the 16 persons and PAP and nobody else.

My heart felt thanks to the other two Malay candidates, Mr Salleh Marican and Mr Farid Khan for stepping forward to offer yourself to serve Singapore as President. Don't feel bad to be rejected by the political sophistry of PAP because it is not the people like us who have rejected you. Only 16 people plus the PAP have rejected you. All the best to both of you. Thank you.

Goh Meng Seng

#MadamKelongPresident
#NotMyPresident

Saturday, September 09, 2017

PAP's Political Miscalculation on Reserved Presidential Election

Political Miscalculation of the Day

So the cat is out of the bag, there will be no contest for the Presidential "Elections" because by the latest straw poll, PAP won't have the confidence of having Halimah winning the PE!

CCS has said that PAP "is prepared to pay the political price" but we all know all PAP cares is winning by all means, never to lose an election, especially the Presidential Elections whereby the one who is not endorsed by them may give them trouble and headache like what OTC had done to them!

The so call "short term political price" is merely the price of negative public opinion in the short term which may be overcome by giving goodies when GE comes!

This sudden groundswell against PAP's Reserved Presidential Elections strategy is totally unexpected turn of event for PAP. Instead of talking about how good the Reserved Presidential Elections is, people are instead debating on "spoiling the vote" vs "vote against PAP, anyone but Halimah"! This debate has taken over the public discourse and it will only snowball and cannibalizes on the support of PAP Halimah.

Although both sides of the camps are against each other and even evolves into calling each other PAP moles, BUT it has unexpected impact on the quiet majority middle ground swing voters. Both sides have a common belief that this RPE is BAD although we just have different approaches towards showing our unhappiness against it.

This unhappiness is contagious and has started to spread like wild fire. Our reasoning against REP is the same, it is against our Core value of Meritocracy and Racial Equality. The pathetic attempt by PAP Ministers to explain and justify their RPE has failed miserably to impress lest convince Singaporeans because their arguments are full of loopholes based on false premises or even untruthful "facts"!

PAP is pressing the panic button and making calculations on the least damaging options now. No matter what option it is, they are not prepared to lose the seemingly unimportant post of Electec Presidency but in actual fact, it is a small dagger hanging over their heads.

Thus, the only logical conclusion is, there shall not be a contest, at all cost... this cost is cheaper of having a non-conforming President sitting on their heads.

Goh Meng Seng

Thursday, September 07, 2017

TOTD: The Return of the Gold Standards?

Thought of the Day - The Return of the Gold Standards?

(This is going to be a bit technical in economics)

In Economics term, we are living in an ever inflationary world basically because we are all using "Fiat" money which government around the world could just print money in the short term without caring the long term consequences.

Prior to 1971, US dollars were "convertible" to gold at the Federal Reserves if presented by other government. The Gold Standard was changed significantly when the Breton Woods Treaty was implemented after World War II. People could no longer exchange Gold for their money via their governments. It was a necessary step as the Great Depression of the late 1920s throughout the 1930s gave the Americans a very tough lesson on Monetary Policy. The Gold Standard has its limitation as it would reduce Money Supply when people just convert their money into Gold. This created a spiral effect on the economy with a reduction of Money Supply.

Breton Woods Treaty solved part of the problem of instability of Money Supply. However, Monetary play between countries took another toll on the arrangement with the Americans basically ceased the convertibility of US dollars into Gold in 1971.

But US dollars remains as a strong international currency basically due to the "Petrol Dollars" arrangement. It means that all trades in oil have to be done based on US dollars. This implicitly means that due to the high demand of oil and petrol, the US dollars are basically "backed by oil/petrol". That is why it is called "Petrol Dollar". It would also mean that the American governments could basically keep printing money to cover whatever trillions of deficits as it wishes without significant impact on its economy as most of these US dollars would be used in trading oil and other international trades.

But will this arrangement be sustainable? Apparently not. Oil would either face drastic reduction in demand due to the rapid growth of alternative renewable/Green sources of energy or it would just deplete and dry up. There will no longer be high oil trade to back US dollars up!

In 2001, Dr Mahathir proposed the revival of Gold Standard in terms of Gold Dinars among the Muslim countries. The largest Gold owners among the Muslim countries were Libya and Iraq. These two countries were oil exporter and supported the idea to trade oil in Dinars. This would mean that they are going to end the concept of "Petrol Dollar" earlier than its inevitable natural death! Now you know why the Americans invaded these two countries and the Gold stored in these two countries are unaccounted for!

The Gold Dinars idea was destroyed with the destruction of Libya and Iraq. However, a BIGGER Challenge evolves and they are not easy opponents like Libya and Iraq.

The BRICS led by China and Russia have been discussing the setting up of an alternative currency for international trades among themselves. This would also mean the sideline of the US dollars as the main international currency for trade. This new proposed currency will be back by Gold, partially, with a basket of currencies consisting of Chinese RMB.

It would mean a medium shake up or even sending shocks to the international trade and financial sectors. BRICS will be able to execute such bold plan because Russia is one of the largest oil exporter while China is one of the largest exporter of goods and services in the world! If they demand all oil or goods purchased by other countries from them need to be paid in this new BRICS currency, the US dollars would be totally made invalid and redundant.

US dollars will suffer a nose dive if that happened and it will create an unprecedented inflation within the US economy because those US dollars which could not be used in international trades will have to flow back and create a real demand on US economy!

But with the Gold which the US army had captured from Libya and Iraq, they could do something to anticipate such financial disaster. They could just use their new found fortune of Gold to create the new modern Gold Standards to neutralize that impact. At the same time, they will require other countries to support their effort by lending their Gold to US to create this new US dollars.

This is exactly what the Americans are doing, creating a new currency issued by its Treasury (instead of its Federal Reserves) which is theoretically and supposedly backed by Gold.

The BRICS arrangement will affect not only the US dollars but the Euros as well. This is the main reason why Germany is quietly demanding and shifting its Gold back from US in anticipating the "New World Currency Order". Germany is the LARGEST economy among the European Union. It will either have to use its economic muscles to back the Euro currency or to return to a Gold Standard Deutsche Mark in the event when Euros collapses due to the evolving of "New World Currency Order".

There will be turbulence ahead in the next few years and nobody knows exactly how it will work out. Will the world face inflationary pressures to the countries which didn't peg their currencies to Gold or will there be deflationary pressure on international trade when international currencies for trade will be restricted and limited from expansionary path?

Or would BOTH happen and we will be stuck in stagflation?

Goh Meng Seng

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Don't Void Your Votes to Make PAP Halimah Looks GOOD! Anyone But Halimah!

Message of the Day

Don't make PAP Halimah look Extremely Good by voiding your votes! Just vote ANYONE BUT PAP HALIMAH!

Some people have been going around to urge people, especially Opposition supporters to void their votes. I hate to say this but this is an Extremely Stupid idea to start with!

First of all, do you know what will happen if these people managed to convince 10% of opposition voters to void their votes? It would mean that right after polling result comes out, the MSM media will have headlines screaming "Halimah has won a Glorious Victory with over 80% of valid votes cast!"

It would be even worse if both of the other contestants lost their deposits!

Do you want to make PAP look good with such a "Reserved Presidential Elections"?

Tony Tan is a Face-Losing President without much legitimacy or mandate basically because he got less than 50% of valid votes cast! The aim for this coming PE, IF THERE IS ANY CONTEST at all, is either to make Halimah lose or shame her and PAP by depriving her the basic mandate of 50%! This will be a tight slap on Halimah and PAP's public discourse of having a President who represents and unite Singaporeans.

This should be the ONLY Objective of this coming PE, to shame PAP for its political maneuvering and deprive Halimah the legitimacy and mandate of Singaporeans.

If we continue to have Elected Presidents who cannot even garner a simple majority of support from Singaporeans, then this Elected Presidency is basically flawed and we should then demand the amendment of the Constitution to have second round of voting between the two highest polling candidates if the first round of voting doesn't produce a winner who could garner more than 50% of valid votes cast!

Do not hand over the total monopoly of power to PAP so easily without a fight. The role of opposition politicians is to win votes, not to ask voters to void their votes and in the end making PAP looks extremely good with glorious results!

If PAP didn't even care about Barisan Socialists boycotting the GE back in 1960s, do you think PAP even care about people voiding votes?

Please do not repeat the stupid mistake which Barisan Socialists made when they boycotted the GE and handed over total monopoly of power to PAP so easily on a silver platter!

Goh Meng Seng

Monday, July 17, 2017

TOTD: Democracy in Destruction, Dictatorship in the Making

Thought of the Day - Democracy in Destruction, Dictatorship in the Making

Many people have spoken about bits and pieces of Conflicts of Interests in the appointment of AG and DAG, appointments of key positions in civil service and GLCs which are dubious with signs of cronyism and of course the "rigging" of the Elected Presidency by turning it into race based election which rules out potential strong contest from non PAP approved candidates etc...

Most people could only see the trees but not the whole forest. I was having dinner with a couple of friends and I explain to them that this is in fact a Dictatorship in the making but they couldn't really understand the whole picture.

As stated in PEOPLE's Power Party constitution, the fundamental principle which determine a Democracy is the Separation of 5 Powers. Most people would only know or familiar with the basic 3 Powers of Judiciary, Legislative and Executive but not the other two Powers. True enough my friends ask me what are the other two Powers?

I explain to them it is Power of Impeachment and Power of Appointment of civil servants (Examination).

In Singapore's context, the President who is supposed to safeguard our foreign reserves, is the key institution of Power of Impeachment together with CPIB. PSC which takes care of the civil service recruitment and appointment is the institution empowered with the function of Examination Power.

If we take a good look at what PAP is trying to do, we will realize that they are CONCENTRATING ALL THE FIVE POWERS under them by appointing their own people to the key positions.

They have controlled both the Executive and Legislative powers by default, then they started to influence heavily on the appointments of key personnel to civil service and a GLCs, sometimes even put their own family members in these important positions. Then they start to meddle with the whole judiciary system by appointing their own people to the AGC!

IF all these Five Powers are separated and independent of each other, we would have a good functioning Democracy with proper checks and balances. But the reverse would mean a total interdependent Powers tightly controlled by a centralized figure or organization. This would basically mean a total concentration of powers which in effect, turning our system into a live dictatorship!

Singaporeans should wake up to this fact that the Post LKY era will mean a tightening control of all Five Powers and the destruction of Democracy for Singapore will be completed without any effective system of checks and balances.

The Post LKY ERA is turning into a total nightmare for Singapore Democratic development...

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Oxley Temple Saga: Lessons on Separation of Powers And Good Governance



WARNING: This is going to be a "LONG BORING POST" if you are not interested in learning more about what is "Conflict of Interest" or "Separation of Powers". 

In this post, I am not interested on the Oxley House  itself but what came out from the whole saga; especially on the issue "Abuse of Power" and such.

Mr. Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling had made serious accusations of "Abuse of Power", among other things. PM Lee Hsien Loong claims that he has "answered" all these allegations in parliament and concluded that these are "baseless".

Many Singaporeans seem to be "convinced" that these are "baseless allegations" and even our opposition MPs in parliament seemed to think that these are just "calculated allegations" (sic) without much substance or substantial evidences made to undermine the Prime Minister. (Anyway, I do not think it is the job of opposition to defend the Prime Minister himself.)

From recent events in the appointment of Deputy Attorney General, Attorney General to this Oxley Temple Saga, it is clear that Singaporeans didn't really see any problems with the massive potential conflicts of interests as well as the breach of the simple rule of Separation of Powers. I personally feel that this is the main weakness of Singapore. Singaporeans lack a clear understanding of the importance of Separation of Powers and what constitutes "Conflicts of Interests". It is also apparent that even our opposition MPs have weak understanding or even lack of understanding of Separation of Powers and Conflicts of Interests; else they won't be found or criticized for the lack of proper handling of potential "conflicts of interests" in the management of their Town Councils. They have tried to make a case of Conflicts of Interests in parliament against the appointment of Hri Kumar and Lucian Wong as Deputy AG and AG but it wasn't forceful nor "convincing" at all. And it is not surprising that they did not see the case made out by PM Lee's siblings as convincing and important enough to call for investigations of any sort, but pass these allegations off as "baseless" or "lack substantial evidence" and conclude these as "calculated accusation to undermine the PM". They even gave the PM "benefit of doubts" over these issues!

Let me go through the various issues one by one, giving a contrast by putting up examples from Hong Kong. Why Hong Kong? Well, both Singapore and Hong Kong adopted the Common Laws as the basis of our legal systems. It is comparable in many sense.

Inappropriate Appointment of AG and DGA

It is a fact that the appointed AG Lucian Wong was PM Lee's personal lawyer as stated by LHY and LWL. It is a fact that the appointed Hri Kumar was a PAP MP. PM Lee tried to brush away the accusation of him appointing his own personal lawyer as AG as non-issue because he opines that Lucian has "provided good service" to him!

Now some people pointed out there is "Conflict of Interests" but didn't know exactly how interests could be "conflicted". This is why PAP could get away with such blatant act.

There are actually TWO GREAT Problems here, instead of One. Conflict of Interests is only one of the problems. The other is the breach of the Democratic Principle of Separation of Powers.

Let me give you an example and you will see clearly why there is a potential conflict of interests here.

If you are the Director of a Stats Board or department in the civil service. You made the recommendation of a lawyer as the legal advisor of the department, without declaring that he is your personal lawyer, would that be permissible? Obviously not.

In the world of good governance in public sector, all related interests must be declared before the decisions for any position or any contract is offered. Else that would be considered as a breach of proper procedures and the omission of such declaration of interests or relationship would be considered an attempt to hide critical information and will automatically trigger criminal investigation procedures.(Remember the NEA Brompton Bike case?)

Why would that be considered as "Conflict of Interest" in the first place? Well, as long as there is a relationship (close relationship) or business dealings between the Director and the lawyer, there will be a possibility of transfer of tangible or intangible interests which may be suspected to result in the favorable decision to appoint or give the contract to the lawyer. For example, hefty discounts or even "Free Service" provided to the Director for his personal matters and in return, the Director decides to appoint him as legal adviser to the department. These possible events may not have happened but as long as there is such possibility, the relationship must be declared. i.e. If there is nothing to hide, you should declare such relationship.

Now, regardless of whether there is any "favors" transacted between the PM and his lawyer, which means, we do not need to prove there is such transactions of goodwill or favors, PM should declare such interests or relationship when he proposed and made decision to appoint him as the office holder of Attorney General.

The question now is, did PM Lee make such declaration in the process of appointing Lucien Wong as AG?

I believe that after the Hotel Property saga which PM Lee was implicated, PM Lee should now be extremely careful to accept any "discount" or even "free" service from anyone, but still, in the system of good governance, such potential conflict of interests should be dealt with proper declaration in the process of selection and appointment. This is especially so when there is no indication that PM has recused himself from this decision of AG appointment.

Thus, what Opposition MPs in parliament should ask is, did PM Lee declare this critical potential conflict of interests in the process of appointment? He did not mention it nor make proper declaration of such relationship when the previous parliamentary sitting had a debate on the appointment of Lucien Wong as the AG! 

The second aspect of such appointment of Lucien Wong as AG, together with Hri Kumar as DAG, is the breach of the Democratic Principle of Separation of Powers.

In People's Power Party's concept of Separation of Powers, there are Five Powers. This is more stringent requirement but even for the normal concept of Separation of Powers which involves mainly Three powers or maybe even the forth state of Freedom of Press, it is important to note that the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative powers should observe a strict separation to effect Independent functioning of these institutions of the Democratic system, without fear nor favour.

AG office is an important part of the Judiciary system and it must not only act Independently but also SEEN to be Independent of the Executive and Legislative arm.

The appointment of Lucien Wong as the AG has breached the rule of independence of the AGO from the Head of the Executive Arm, i.e. PMO! The appointment of Hri Kumar as DAG, who was ex-PAP MP (or what we call legislative member) is also a breach of the rule of independence of the AGO from BOTH the Executive arm as well as the Legislative arm! (PM is effective the leader of the ruling party PAP which dominates the parliament, the legislative arm).

Thus in any way we look at it, these appointments are totally inappropriate and smack of effecting a non-Democratic rule because the basic principle of Separation of Powers has been seriously breached!

Thus, the important question we should ask is, do we still want Singapore to be a developed Democracy or just regress into a system of authoritarian or dictatorship whereby Separation of Powers is basically non-existent? 

In Hong Kong, such situation will never happen, especially for appointments of important positions in the Judiciary system, be it AG or Chief Justice.

Even for positions which are less sensitive like Board of Directors of university, if the Chief Executive appoints people who have direct relations with him, the whole society will criticize such moves. It has happened before during CY Leong's term. But as this doesn't breach the Principle of Separation of Powers (Board of University is not part of the 3 powers) and such appointees are WELL KNOWN to be politically connected to the CE and no obvious transactions of service nor interests, no further actions were taken.


Obtaining Official source of Information for Private Use

LHY and LWL had accused PM Lee of obtaining the Deed of Gift via his official capacity as Prime Minister and (passed it to his lawyer) used it against them.

PM Lee had explained that as one of the inheritor of LKY's assets, he has the "right to know" or have the Deed of Gift.

However, whether the PM has the "right" to the Deed of Gift or not, is PRIVATE matters between him and his siblings. This is purely a PRIVATE matter.

To make use of his official capacity of PM to get the deed, which Minister Lawrence Wong has confirmed that LHL received the Deed via his official capacity as PM, and pass it to his PRIVATE lawyer to settle his private matters with his siblings, is already a breach of procedure and official protocol.

I believe there are laws governing the proper use of information obtained in official capacity as we have seen in recent cases, police officer was charged for accessing information in their official capacity but pass these information to his friends for their private use.

Any information obtained by any civil servants or political appointees in their official capacity, should only be used for official business instead of private matters! That's the basic protocol of any good governance for the civil service!

The evidence provided by LHY and LWL had clearly shown that LHL's PRIVATE Lawyer has indicated that LHL has passed the Deed of Gift to the law firm while Minister Lawrence Wong has confirmed LHL received the Deed via his Official capacity of PM. This is a clear breach of protocol.

The proper way for LHL to get the Deed of Gift to settle his private matter is to ask his lawyer to write in on behalf of HIS OWN CAPACITY as one of the inheritors of LKY's estate to get the Deed from National Heritage Board.

Having the right to the Deed doesn't mean that you can use the wrong channel or your official capacity as Prime Minister to get the Deed for your private use.

Thus, it is very disappointing to note that Opposition MPs didn't make this point clearly in parliament in objection to his flimsy and unconvincing defence.

In Hong Kong, there were cases of politicians or political appointees being charged and imprisoned for misusing information obtained in official capacity for private use. There is a clear cut line in maintaining good governance.
 

The "Secret Ministerial Committee"

Whether the Ministerial Committee is "secret" or not, or whether PM Lee recuse himself from this Ministerial Committee or not, does not clear the fact that such arrangement of having "direct subordinates" to meddle or investigate into the DIRECT Boss' matters is a total upheaval of hierarchical ethics! And obviously, it is a messy conflict of interests in itself!

We only have superior conducting investigation into subordinates' matters but direct subordinates investing and meddle in superior's matters is really hardly heard of! This is also a clear breach of Separation of Powers!

Besides the declared members of this Ministerial Committee are neither history experts nor heritage preservation experts! Thus on what basis or merits do they have to convene such a committee to determine the "options" for the Oxley house in terms of heritage preservation?

LHY and LWL had accused the committee of focusing on the attacks on the legitimacy of LKY's Last Will instead of the Options. And unwittingly, PM Lee has put up the summary of his Statutory Declaration which confirms that his main submission to the Ministerial Committee is all about putting doubts on the validity of LKY's Last Will.

How could anyone come to the conclusion that LHY and LWL have put up "baseless" allegation in this case? 

The proper place to question the validity of the Last Will is to challenge the probate of the Last Will in court. If PM Lee is reluctant to go to court for fear of tarnishing his father's good name, then why would he bring it up to his subordinates in this Ministerial Committee?

The proper way of dealing with determining the OPTIONS is to call in REAL INDEPENDENT EXPERTS from the academic field to look into it instead of the ministers! Why isn't this so? 

Thus the pertinent question should be asked in parliament is that why isn't an independent penal of experts set up instead of the Ministerial Committee which is bound to breach basic hierarchical ethics tainted with conflict of interests? 

In Hong Kong, when they are looking into heritage preservation of any buildings or landmarks or sites, they will convene an independent penal filled with REAL experts in the respective fields, instead of Ministers. Just simple as that.



Inappropriate Use of PMO Official Authority 

This is the MOST Ridiculous part of the whole saga. The Prime Minister Office  is neither the official owner of ANYTHING from the Estate of LKY although Lee Hsien Loong the son, is one of the inheritor. And Ho Ching, PM Lee's wife, has no official appointment in PMO but yet, she can be listed as the person for contact representing PMO to give away something that doesn't even belong to PMO!

And our dear Prime Minister just brush it off by saying that they were just excited to find something of "historical significance" to give it to NHB for its exhibition, without prior informing his own siblings! How could this be a convincing explanation of such lack of clear differentiation between what is Official and Private?

LHY and LWL had provided the clear documented evidence of such blatant misuse of official capacity in this case but yet, people are saying that they didn't provide "enough" evidence for this?

In Singapore, even if the Prime Minister wanted to sue anybody for defamation or anything, he cannot use the letter head of the Prime Minister Officer (PMO) or his title as Prime Minister! This is a clear cut between Official business vs Private matters.

Thus, apparently, the Prime Minster has totally ignored BASIC Official protocols and blurred the lines between his Official political appointment with his private matters! The PMO doesn't own any thing from the estate of LKY and it should not be used to process any things obtained from the LKY estate!

In Hong Kong, Donald Tsang who was former Chief Executive and Finance minister of Hong Kong, was chided for using official letterhead of his office to write to government departments to request for information and help for his private matters. This is a big taboo in Hong Kong.

Conclusion

Good Governance and Separation of Powers are inseparable.  All civil servants are expected to have a clear concept of "Official Capacity" vs "Private Matters" and what will possibly constitute conflict of interests. More so for top civil servants as well as political appointees like Ministers and Prime Minister. On top of that, the only why to avoid conflict of interests is to maintain proper Separation of Powers.

Conflict of Interest does not mean there must be real wrong doing of any sort but by virtue of POSSIBLE undue influence based on any close relationship of any kind, one must declare such potential conflicts.

Beside the consideration of Conflict of Interest, the OVERALL system of Separation of Powers must be maintained.

PM Lee clearly lacks the strong sense of "Separation of Powers" and most important of all, has blurred all lines between what is Official business vs Private matters. There is a CLEAR consistency demonstrated in all the issues brought up by PM Lee's siblings that suggests that PM Lee himself lacks clarity in differentiating what is "Official" vs "Private" matters.

He is setting a terrible example for the whole civil service and I have serious doubt that with such aptitude and attitude, he couldn't possibly maintain Good Governance without any concept of Separation of Powers and avoidance of conflict of interests.

If such things happen in Hong Kong, such evidence along with the self-admissions made by either the Ministers or the Chief Executive himself would be serious enough to trigger or warrant an immediate thorough investigation, either by an independent commission convened by the Legco or any appropriate authority, like ICAC.  But just too bad, this is Singapore which doesn't follow such strict and stringent rules set upon the civil service as well as political appointees.

For the Prime Minister to brush it aside by saying "no evidence" at all and to state that he himself will ask for investigation if there is evidence, is just totally unconvincing and ironically, lack of the very principle of Separation of Powers and avoidance of conflict of interests! It is not for him to decide whether there is enough evidence thrown against himself! It is should come under an independent panel to decide on that!

Separation of Powers and avoidance of conflict of interests must not only be maintained but must also be SEEN to be maintained. There are laws and mechanisms available within the system to make things transparent and these should be strictly followed. Sad to say, the TOP boss, the Prime Minister himself, is now seen to breach every important part of this system. 

The Prime Minister doesn't deserve any "benefit of doubts" because it is totally unacceptable to let any DOUBT on his own conduct and management to exist and linger in the minds of Singaporeans. All doubts should be cleared and none should left lingering. Else I would regard that as a sign of unfit for the top public office.

Thus, I maintain my call for Lee Hsien Loong to resign as Prime Minister for the sake of Singapore.

Goh Meng Seng

Thursday, July 06, 2017

TOTD: Oxley Temple Saga - PAP, why?

Thought of the Day - PAP, why?

Many people have been "misled" in this Oxley saga that it is a "Private" matter but apparently, it is not.

The WHOLE Cabinet of PAP Ministers wanted the Oxley House to be preserved and no compromise on just having a garden, why?

While PM Lee and his siblings LHY and LWL may have called for a "cease fire" and wanted to "solve the issue in private", but to me, this issue cannot be solved without looking hard at what these PAP Ministers want.

First of all, why did the FIRST Will of LKY signed in Aug 2011 stated so clearly that he wanted the house to be demolished immediately after his death? This was done right after the 21 Jul 2011 Cabinet Meeting which he was "invited" (I would refrain from using "summon") to the Cabinet to "discuss" about the fate of the Oxley House.

It is in my view that this is part of PAP's reactions and "strategy" to cope with the bad GE result in May 2011. PAP has never been so "enthusiastic" about "Heritage Preservation". It has demolished quite a lot of important landmarks in Singapore without much consultation or even winking. These includes the National Theater (I doubt many younger generations know what it is!), National Central Library etc.

But why LKY's Oxley house suddenly become so important for them? It is only about PAP's history and not much of value as a "National Heritage".

Thus, it is my view that PAP has its own self vested interests in mind, in a direct response to the dwindling popularity of its rule. Someone must have come up with the brilliant idea that LKY's political capital, embedded in the Holy Temple of Oxley, could help PAP in retaining its perpetual rule! Thus, this is the reason why that Cabinet meeting was called and basically telling LKY that they need to preserve his Oxley house to create his temple.

LKY, though throughout his life, he has been no short of a dictator, didn't like the idea. He knew that his system of rule could only be sustainable with good people as "benevolent dictators" but apparently, this is almost impossible to get in real life. He didn't want his name to be linked to any foreseeable failure of PAP's dictatorial rule in future, or even become the political milking machine for these incompetent PAP Ministers who cannot even hold their own fort and ground without depending on him, as a dead man!

Thus, he decided to add that demolition clause into his First Will, right after that Cabinet Meeting. This is the response he made against these PAP Minions.

Thus, Singaporeans must really understand the FULL Context of this Oxley saga. I am rather worried to see some people being "indifferent" or even "supportive" of setting this Oxley Political Temple of PAP! People have been mistaken this issue as some "National Interest" but there is absolutely no "National Interest" in it, only PAP's interests of perpetual rule!

In fact, the REAL National Interest is to prevent the PAP from creating the Oxley Political Temple, making use of LKY as the idolized God in it. It is in National Interest to prevent ANYONE from continuously milking a dead man for political capital to sustain his rule.

Although I am not a fan of LKY but I guess on this point, I have to agree with his decision.

This is especially true that after PAP has tasted "success" in milking a dead LKY for all his possible political capital in GE 2015, right after his death and achieving an exceptional result of 70% in the polls, PAP's minions will definitely be more determined to use all means to preserve the house and turn it into a permanent Oxley Temple for them to milk the dead man indefinitely! They would even threaten to say, with total disrespect and disgraceful that they have the power to over write LKY's last wish through forceful land acquisition or gazetting that house!

This shows how desperate they are in wanting to create that Oxley Temple for their own political interests! But they just want to be seen "nice" and this is the only reason why they didn't act straight away. They are just trying to have the cake and eat it as well.

Thus, having this true context in mind, would you expect the Lee family could possibly settle this issue amicably in private? The answer is NO. Whether we like it or not, it is PAP's political will at play and it will become a "National Issue", no matter what superficial agreement could be reached between PM Lee and his siblings.

Many people cannot see the point why LHY and LWL had accused LHL and his wife of having this intention of making use of their father's name for "Dynastic Rule" because they do not see the whole context of this Oxley saga.

If you understand the full context why, in the first place, PAP has insisted of turning Oxley house into a Political Temple and why LKY resisted, you will understand why LHY and LWL would see LHL's anger and objection to the demolition plus attempts made to preserve the house, even to "rewrite" their father's history to achieve that, as an attempt to get his son to become a successor in future.

This is because, in LHY's and LWL's perspective, if LHL and wife didn't have that intention, why would he be so assertive and even emotional in wanting the house to be preserved as a "Heritage Site"? In LHY's and LWL's view, if LHL has nothing to gain from it, why would he be so anxious about the intended demolition of the house?

I would urge all Singaporeans to oppose PAP's intention of turning this Oxley house into PAP's Political Temple. It is LKY's foresight in not having it and I must admit, this time round, he got it right.

LKY knew that his system of political rule is not sustainable and it should be abused, definitely not in his name. He was prepared to subject PAP to a more democratic system after what he saw the true colors of his PAP Ministers, after that Jul 2011 Cabinet meeting.

We will just have to trust his political judgement for one last time and oppose this blatant attempt of PAP creating that Oxley Temple.

Goh Meng Seng

Monday, July 03, 2017

Who would expect The Black Irony?

Who would expect The Black Irony?

Some call it Straight Instant Karma, some would just call it Black Irony.

Once a powerful man on the island, feared even by his own political minions in the party, had eventually suffered great humiliation and disrespect, only to become a puppet political tool for his own son and party to milk to the fullest.

Who would imagine that such great shrewd politician of his time, who was exceptionally street smart to milk the political capital of his contemporaries like Lim Chin Siong, would end up nothing more than a "sacred political cow" to be milked eternally by his own party, against his own will after his death?

Who would imagine that a ruthless politician like him who had locked up thousands of his detractors and dissidents, breaking their families and soul in solitary confinement, forcing many others to run road as well, would end up with the very machinery or rather, Monster he created, instilling that same fear in his own son, forcing him to consider the Run Road option?

Who would expect a man who had undaunted will power that created Singapore under his will and likings, couldn't even get that little respect from the very party he created, to grant him that simple wish to demolish his own house?

Who would expect a man who had used his expertise in law, to create draconian laws which were deemed necessary for forceful land acquisition for urban renewal, would possibly end up at the end of this huge stick, to have his own Minister openly declare that his own house and property could be forcefully acquired by the government against his will?

Who would expect the mantra "for the greater Nation good" which he created to justify all bad policies against the people, be used against his will eventually?

Who would expect that a man renowned as the First among equals, top lawyer graduated with top grades from Cambridge, could be so blatantly insulted to be a senile fool who couldn't even understand his own Will that he has signed?

Who would expect a man with such great mastery of words, twisting and turning his words just to get what he wanted, could be subjected to such Third class wordy abuse of twisting himself?

Who would expect a man who had preached about Confucianism all his life ended up with filial piety treated as trash while his children fought among themselves under his name?

For all his life, he diligently worked hard and created his dream system of semi dictatorship and Asian authoritarian rule, but in the end, he was so helplessly turned into the victim of his own pet monster, under the control of his own son.

For those who are in the system enjoying every bit of that power of tyranny, don't be too happy yet. What can happen to him, could well befallen upon you one day.

That is Black Irony of the Day

Goh Meng Seng

Monday, June 19, 2017

TOTD: Who do I believe?

Who do I believe?

My political mentor had always taught me this simple methodology of Criminology... always look for Motive first before you do anything else.

There are many accusations and counter-accusations flying around. Now the Pro-PAP-LHL people are saying Lee Suet Fern is a "puppet master"... manipulating behind the scene of the will... etc. But I ask, what is her motive, if any?

Allowing her husband to get slightly higher share when LWL's share is reduced to be equal to the other two siblings? But this will in fact, benefits LHL as well! So why would LHL complains?

People are not looking at things in proper context. All three children of LKY are MULTI-Millionaire (if not billionaire), at least tens if not hundreds of millions net worth. Their families most probably could live for generations without doing anything! When you are that rich, the marginal utility of additional wealth is really marginal.

In fact, if it is really about money, LHY won't have agreed to pay 150% for the Oxley house (50% for charity) to buy it from his brother, just to have it and allow his sister to stay in this house and later, demolish it! Thus, I do not believe money is the issue here and Lee Suet Fern has no obvious motive to gain anything out of all these bickering.

So what's the beef here?

I do not think Lee Wei Ling mind how much she will get from LKY's estate. Having read her past writings published on newspapers and her FB, rightfully or wrongfully, she has great emotional attachment to things, to people, to her parents, especially her father. She is single and has no family. All she has now, in terms of money, is more than enough for her to live till the end of her life. But there is only one motive and desire in her, the desire of living in the old Oxley house due to her emotional attachment. And of course, she will guard her family's privacy with all force and thus, insisting that the house should not become a public place whereby other people could throng in and out of it.These are after all, her precious memories of her life.

Thus, when her relationship with LKY was frosty, for whatever reasons, she was more upset that she wasn't allow to live in the Oxley house after LKY's impending death, than having less share of his estate.

Lee Suet Fern just happened to become the mediator between the father and daughter. She managed to secure the most important part of the will, to allow LWL to stay in the house and to have it demolished after her passing.

From the emails released by LWL (the one LSF wrote to Shanmugam), I could see that Lee Suet Fern's only concern is to mend the ties between the father and the daughter.

Thus, it is totally unfair and uncalled for to make Lee Suet Fern to look like an "evil puppet master" or "evil manipulator" of any sort.

To accuse LSF or even LHY to insert that Demolition clause into the Last Will sneakily without letting LKY know, is totally absurd. For this Demolition Clause, they gain absolutely nothing! Why would they risk the wrath of LKY by doing such thing?

LWL is the one who benefits directly and emotionally to have this Demolition Clause to be reinstated. And this is why she fought so hard against LHL when LHL tried to preserve it. Even felt sour when this Demolition Clause, for whatever reasons, was taken out in the two preceding wills.

LHY didn't make noise openly against his brother until now, which I think is because he and his wife felt THREATENED. LHY didn't even make noise of his unhappiness when he was made to pay 150% for the Oxley house, because basically money isn't really a big problem to him. It is only when his and his family's lives are THREATENED, he would openly put up such devastating joint statement.

On the other hand, LHL has been shown to be inconsistent.. as LHY has put it, saying different things at different times. But one thing is very clearly consistent, his desire and motive to keep the Oxley house intact, against his father's wish even when LKY was alive!

For what motive? LWL and LHY had provided the reason: to make full use of LKY's political legacy to extend his own political agenda. Do I believe in their assertion? Yes, I do because there isn't any other plausible reason other than political reasons.

Thus, if you ask me who do I believe? I would say I believe LWL, LHY and LSF. I empathize LWL's position of wanting to stay in Oxley house for sentimental value. I believe LSF genuinely wanted to mend ties between LWL and LKY. I also believe that there is no monetary motive on LHY's part to want to fulfill his father's wish. In fact, he has lost quite a bit of money here but yet, he felt betrayed by his brother, PM Lee, after paying so much money but still the brother wanted to use his power to keep the house via administrative powers.

As to whether Oxley house should be preserved for "heritage" or "historical value", I shall comment another day.

Goh Meng Seng