Saturday, January 21, 2017

TOTD: The Parasites of Elitist Cronism

Thought of the Day - The Parasites of Elitist Cronism

GLCs or Government Linked companies used to be the PRIDE of Singaporeans where many Singaporeans would like to work for them. We always thought that being "government linked", they are big and supposed to protect Singapore's and Singaporeans' interests, including those Singaporeans who work for them. And indeed, in the past, these GLCs set the high standards of employment, in terms of pay as well as benefits, in Singapore's labour market.

But now, we suddenly find more and more of these GLCs are actually in suspect of breaching the labour law or good HR and employment practices. Some even bully their lowly educated employees to take advantage of them, by deducting their over time hours consistently without giving any good reasons and making them working excessive overtime hours, much more than the 73 hours over time per month allowed by labour law.

Worse still, these entities play with figures manipulated the pay structure in their employment contract as contrast to their advertised salary. They set extremely low basic pay so that whatever overtime pay you claim would be based on a low pay structure. Furthermore, they will set unreasonable conditions to milk the employees, basically inhumane to take away the "monthly allowance" if the employees take Medical leave or annual leave in the month which were legitimately protected as entitlement under the labour law!

Basically such employment terms are MODERN SLAVERY to the max and it is really unimaginable that all these bad practices are actually coming from our once glorious GLCs!

And now, we have another GLC trying to disguise massive retrenchment as some "sacking of under performers" in the bid to avoid paying retrenchment compensation!

What is wrong with all these GLCs? Well, to me, this is the inevitable result of a government that runs on Ultra-capitalism mindset. The top management will only care about their own fat pay cheque and to meet all KPI (Key Performance Indicators) so that they could get more salary increment to their million dollar pay as well as asking for bigger "performance bonus". But these KPI or "performance" don't really add value to the company nor the economy as a whole. These are all based on exploitative unethical enslaving employment practices rather than real value add to the company.

This is the reality of PAP's entrenched rule of over 50 years. They have lost sight of their moral compass in running the country after all these years and ended up with a bunch of elitist cronies who are turning into parasites of the whole system. Instead of adding real value to the companies, people and country as a whole, they are only interested in feeding on the blood and sweat of the people.

When they screw up a GLC and cannot turn it around, they would just do lelong sale of valuable assets to show unreal "profitability and value", cut cost by cutting jobs to continue justify their big fat pay and eventually sell off the whole company to foreign ownership just to wash off their hands of the inconvenient truth of their failure! Well, never mind if that is an National iconic company!

This is the sad state of affairs in Singaporeans, run by a group of unethical, heartless and soul-less, undeserving and overpaid elitist cronies groomed by PAP's rule!

Goh Meng Seng

Monday, January 16, 2017

TOTD: Back to Fundamental of CPF

Thought of the Day -
Back to Fundamental of CPF

I was talking to a friend over CPF issues recently and it seems that I have some of the more "radical" thought over CPF.

CPF was supposed to be meant for retirement financing but in the end, it becomes some sort of "piggy bank" for PAP as well as Singaporeans for many purposes.

First, PAP allowed you to use CPF to buy properties. Most Singaporeans are happy with such arrangement as they feel that they will be able to own a property in their lifetime. I also used up all my CPF available to buy property but that is because I do not trust PAP with my money. This is another issue for another day.

Then PAP says that you can use your parents' CPF or your own CPF to pay for higher education. On top of that, you can use your CPF to pay for your parents, children, brothers, sisters etc medical fees!

Singaporeans thought that these are all "good arrangement" but the truth is, it will create two/three problems:

1) Over consumption of housing, education and medical care
2) Depleted CPF for your retirement
3) Kicking the can down the road

On top of that, it will create other problem of another dimension:

1) Over reliance on CPF money for anything, everything
2) Weakening of Financial management skills and planning
3) Total lack of saving habits

Most financial planners will tell you that you will need to save a certain percentage of your salaries every month for future retirement. It is normally set at 20% to 25% of your income, depending on your income level.

But due to PAP's conflicting policy needs, it has totally messed up the CPF system and in the end, it resorts to setting some unrealistic arbitrary "minimum sum" which many lower income earners could not meet mainly due to the over consumption of housing. i.e. they were allowed to buy properties which they couldn't afford and shouldn't buy in the first place, if they were to stick to the 25% savings rule for retirement!

The only right way to due with this situation is set the saving rate for CPF at 25% (contribution of employee and employer add together) while banning people from using it for just any other thing, especially for housing and medical fees for other family members!

Employer's CPF contribution should stay at 17% while employees' contribution should be cut from 20% to 8%. This would mean that employees or Singaporeans will have additional 12% of their income in cash. If they need to buy property and use it to pay their mortgage, they can use this additional 12% cash to do so. However, they should not use any CPF money for mortgage payment.

For young people, they should start to learn how to do financial planning and I reiterate this point that basic financial planning concepts and knowledge should be taught in the common school curriculum! They should make it a habit to save for down payment for their first property purchase and plan for their mortgage payment as well. In general, for middle-lower income earners, they should not be using more than 35% or 40% of their income to pay for mortgage. This will prevent them from over-consuming housing and it will keep property prices in check.

If they intend to start their own little business, they could save up these extra 12% of their income for future business plan!

Our property prices have been artificially pushed up due to the excess liquidity which PAP allows Singaporeans to use CPF in doing so. This applies to prices of Medical care as well. It is precisely that Singaporeans do not "feel the direct pinch" from using their CPF money to pay for Medical care or housing, they tend to not mind spending excessively on these products and services. Of course, HDB and hospitals alike, are also happy to charge higher prices because "it is affordable" to Singaporeans due to the excess liquidity provided by CPF!

PAP has abused the system in skewing the "affordable" argument. It is not affordable when Singaporeans are paying more than 35% or 40% of their salary for a 30 year mortgage. That is totally rubbish argument of affordability because if you purchase your property at the age of 30, by 60 years old, you will have very little left in your CPF account for retirement!

The proper way of inducing better financial management by Singaporeans is to make them manage their finances according to the fixed CPF retirement saving rate (which could be adjusted according to income level) so that they would make better rational choice in their spending in housing, education as well as medical care.

This may sound "radical" to many unthinking Singaporeans and they may just jump up and down denouncing such plan but this is the only right thing to do in the face of ageing population.

Goh Meng Seng

Sunday, January 15, 2017

TOTD: Terrex the Jialat Ministers

Thought of the Day -Terrex the Jialat Ministers

I believe many people may be wow or fooled by Defence Minister Ng's exclamation that it is "illegal" for HK to impound our Terrex by the argument of "sovereign rights" over these war vehicles but anyone with that bit of common sense will see through the fallacy of such naive and illogical argument.

First of all, HK Customs didn't even know who own these military vehicles when it first seized them. They were acting on their own law that any shipping companies which are doing transshipment should follow, regardless whether these are sovereign assets or not. Thus, there is no illegality in HK Customs' action but ironically, the one which has breached HK law is SAF and the shipping company, where both failed to make declarations and apply for proper permits.

Our Defence Minister has aggravated the situation by making such unfounded accusation. Instead of lowering the tension, he has instead heightened it! Imagine if you were the Chinese government or HK authorities, instead of having Singapore admitting that they have done wrong, you are being accused of acting illegally! How would you feel? Will you return the Terrex? It is no wonder that such irresponsible and untactful speech by our Defence Minister drew sharp retort and warning from China by saying, please watch what you are saying! Basically, the actual diplomatic message behind is, please stop talking cock!

So I guess our Defence Minister is not interested in getting back these Terrex at all but his only aim is to justify that he and his Ministry are not in the wrong!

If our Defence Minister is really interested in getting back the Terrex or at the very least, want to diffuse the tension, he should have put it in a more a tactful way.... let me teach this undeserving overpaid Minister how to talk skillfully....

"I believe it is a great misunderstanding between us and HK that resulted in the seizure of these military assets. There is a gross oversight on our part in working according to HK law but I believe we have sovereign ownership of these military assets, unlike any other cases of military transshipment. I hope that both sides could resolve these issues amicably...."

The above speech would convey the same message of sovereign rights but at the same time, give enough space for both sides to work out a resolution.

The second point is that having sovereign rights over these assets doesn't give you immunity from not abiding local law. For example, as Alex Au had agreed with me, if a country tried to send massive military weapons to a terrorist organization to carry out a war against another sovereign country, do you think your claim of sovereign ownership will work? This is a real life situation whereby the Americans or Saudi or other countries are sending arms to those terrorist groups in Syria!

The third point is, apparently this is more of a diplomatic issue rather than just a legal issue. But our undeserving overpaid Foreign Minister has instead tried to play it down by shifting the focus to legal issues! This will further agitate China and in the end, the problems may not be contained within this Terrex issue but may just escalate into some other issues later on. Please bear in mind that Singapore has over $100 billion investment in China!

It is apparent that China is not satisfied with our Minister's assurance of adherence to One China policy. However we cannot succumb to its demand of cutting all our ties with Taiwan. This will need, first, a show of commitment more than just reciting the mere mantra of One China policy. We need to add to that although we have military training in Taiwan but this is not a support of Taiwan's Independence movement. This is purely a move to meet our own military training needs. At no time will we support any Taiwanese attempt to declare independence from China, neither in diplomatic nor military terms. We are all for a peaceful progressive development of One China diplomacy which we have contributed in the past and will continue to support in the future.

By putting up such assurance and reminding China that we have been working and contributing towards the One China policy will in fact, subtly enhance our position that we need to maintain ties with Taiwan in order to continue to contribute towards this role.

Both our Defence and Foreign Ministers have failed badly, epic failure in fact, in handling this Terrex diplomatic crisis. Of course, the biggest culprit is our PM Lee who has ignored all well meaning warning from everyone including opposition of his dangerous diplomatic stunts against China.

While Singaporeans should stand up against big countries like China or US if they assert unreasonable demands, but we must also realize that all these could have been dissolved or avoided totally if we have more competent Ministers instead of these current undeserving and overpaid Ministers.

Goh Meng Seng

Supplementary input from a FB friend:


1) Ship manifest does not reflect armoured vehicles exist on ship. It is the same as smuggling, undeclared goods.

2) Military goods must have special permit to transit. Plus standard Export Control declaration, as required by international shipping law. Since there are no documents, means special permit not done. Export Control declaration not done.

Terrex armoured vehicle is being smuggled on the ship. Breaking Taiwan law, Sinkaland law, China law, HK law and international shipping law.

Could any white supporters please tell me which country would consider smuggling armoured vehicles without documents as legal ???

Friday, January 06, 2017

TOTD: The Misguided Education System

Thought of the Day - The Misguided Education System

I could really empathize with Aqil's family in not getting a place for his son in the nearby school.

When I was young, I face similar problem of not able to get a place in the primary schools in Toa Payoh basically due to the Two is Enough policy. As the 8th child of the family, I was systemically discriminated by the various institutions, including the schools.

My parents were worried that their young son could not get education and will end up as road sweeper one day. After the neighborhood schools have rejected my application, even though my kindergarten result (not PAP kindergarten!) was above average, my parents have to go all the way to upper paya lebar road Elling North Primary, to enroll me. Students at my age had already started school but I was still knocking door.

This school was the Primary School which brothers and sisters studied while we were still living in Tai Seng almost 7 years ago.

I was lucky that the Principal Mrs Chiang had agreed to accept my application. Though this was just a village school with limited resources and hardly a good reputation but quite a lot of "Sam Seng" or gangsters, I am extremely grateful to my Principal for accepting me despite the fact that the classes were full. This is despite of the fact that I needed to travel by bus to and fro for 45 min each on my own at the age of 7.

An education is an important start for any child in his or her long life journey. To deprive a child the BASIC education is just like taking away his future. Even more so for those with special needs.

I won't be what I am, going through the SAP school and graduating with an Honours degree if it was not for the grace of my Primary School principal, Mrs Chiang.

Thus whenever I see schools rejecting students for whatever reasons, forcing them to be out of education, I felt extremely sad and angry. Especially for those schools which reject or getting rid of students for fear of affecting their KPI, I just find it totally unacceptable. Those principals and teachers have basically lost sight of what education is all about... It is not about KPI nor plainly following rules. It is about helping to build someone's life.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

TOTD: Political Illiteracy

Thought of the Day - Political illiteracy

I had a nice chat with an alumni of my Alma Mater today over lunch.

We talked about almost everything under the sun but eventually, the topic comes back to Singapore politics.

He told me that many of the Singaporeans he came into contact with are basically politically ignorant. He gave me an example that two of his close associates did not think that it is wrong that PA or Town Council under PAP's control refusal to let opposition party use the facilities is wrong. The reasoning given was that these "belong" to PAP and it is purely politics that PAP should not allow opposition parties to use these facilities.

But when they were corrected that these facilities were built using taxpayers' money and do not belong to PAP, they raised doubts about it!

Such political ignorance is really deep rooted all thanks to PAP's deliberate effort in blurring the lines between itself and PA. Opposition controlled TC is expected to allow PAP to use whatever premises in their town via "grassroot organization" like PA or RC or CCC. But PA has all rights to allow PAP to use its facilities for whatever activities disguised as "grassroot events" while opposition parties were banned from using its facilities by using the excuse of "PA's premises should not be politicized"!

And you may wonder how could well educated Singaporeans who are graduates or diploma holders, actually agree and even support such blatant abuse of tax payers' money for partisan interests!

The conclusion my friend has made, most Singaporeans are not "Politically Educated" and PAP is very happy to maintain such Political illiteracy for Singaporeans. This I will have to agree. Do our schools teach our students on what is Democracy? Rule of Law? Separation of Powers? Judiciary Independence? Freedom of Speech and Expression? Well, only on some "abstract Highfalutin" National Pledge which PAP didn't even believe in nor respect!

Goh Meng Seng

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The Setup of Labour Task Force

After our initial effort in exposing the discriminatory hiring practice of Certis Cisco in its recruitment effort of Taiwanese to become Auxiliary Police officers in Singapore, Certis Cisco has tried to clarify that it is "paying the same" or "even more" to local Singaporeans.

We are dissatisfied with Certis Cisco's statement because apparently, it did not put up the full picture of its hiring policy in its public statement and it did not include the Free Lodging which it is providing to the Taiwanese employees. In addition, what Certis Cisco had said, contradicted the hiring advertisement and reports posted in Taiwanese media. According to the recruitment advertisement, it has specifically said that the BASIC salary is NT60,000 which amounts to SGD$2,700 instead of the SGD$2,575 which Certis Cisco has claimed. The recruitment advertisement has also said that there will be additional Over Time pay for the Taiwanese Auxiliary Police Officers.

However, we have cross-checked with various sources. For local Singapore Auxiliary Police Officers, they are receiving extremely low "BASIC PAY" while the $2575 as stated by Certis Cisco is actually salary ALREADY included Over Time pay and "Allowances". We were also told that no CPF was paid for these "allowances". These allowances are also subjected to stringent conditions that the Auxiliary Police should not take any Medical Leave during the month else the bonus will not be given to them.

From our various sources, we did not get any information of the "$10,000 bonus" given upon at the end of the contract. We would like to urge current Auxiliary Police Officers to come forward and verify on whether they have received this $10,000 bonus before or is it subjected to some ridiculously stringent terms and conditions.

On top of that, there are more complains of the couple of companies which employ Auxiliary Police Officers by former as well as current employees of their Human Resource policies which we think may possibly contravene our Singapore Labour Law.

PPP is extremely concerned about all these labour issues arising in the hiring and Human Resource management practices. In view of the seriousness of the various issues raised by the public over these companies' hiring practices, PPP has decided to set up a small Labour Task Force to investigate and look into the various labour issues arising from the hiring of Auxiliary Police Officers.

The Task Force will be led by our Organizing Secretary Mr Augustine Lee Zixu. This Task Force will investigate thoroughly the truth of the matters with regards to the hiring practices of these few big security companies which manage and supply Auxiliary Police Officers. It will embark on a fact finding mission and would make formal complains if there is any lapse or breach of the Labour Law by these big security firms.
We hope that former and current Auxiliary Police Officers who have suffered any unfair treatment by their employers would contact us through Private Message, to provide or furnish us with details of their employment terms and conditions as well as their working conditions. We will seek professional Human Resource advice to evaluate and make assessment on the situation. All identities of informers will be kept private and confidential unless they are ready to lodge formal complains.

These leaders of the security industry should lead by example as a role model to implement good HR management system for all other smaller security firms to look up to.

We empathize with the plight of the employees in the security industry and we just want to make sure that none would be exploited in any way by their employers.

Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General
People's Power Party

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

TOTD: The Failure of PAP's Scholar-System

Thought of the Day

No matter how smart, intelligent or brilliant you were in your teens, scoring As and A stars in your exams, once you are being "anointed" with the label "scholars", you may just find yourself entrenched and kept in a environment which will not be conducive to your proper development of mental and social faculties.

That label of "scholars" along with the mindset of "Natural Aristocracy" will destroy your common sense and empathy towards the people you were supposed to lead.

It has proven in history, the best leaders come not from the group of "elites" but rather the intelligent people from the streets.

In our Singapore's system, the PAP government tries very hard to "monopolize" all the talents we have in our system by installing the elitist streaming in our education system. They will give scholarships to those identified "early talents" and bond them to civil service or statutory boards. It is one way to monopolize talents and keep them for PAP's selection so to prolong its monopolistic rule over Singapore.

However, just look at the numerous scholar-Generals, or rather, what we call "Paper Generals" we have today.

These scholars were holed up in SAF and lack the exposure of the "REAL WORLD" out there. They have wasted their time in SAF without exposures to the REAL world outside their war gaming computers. Their administration of the SAF is based on simple top-down military command hierarchy without the need of more sophisticated management skills.

Thus, it is no wonder that when they were treated like some Elitist Gods and sent to the various GLCs or statutory boards, they screwed up badly. No matter how intelligent or smart you are, as long as you are not groomed in a proper way, in the most appropriate way but only the SAF way, you will be made redundant and useless outside of SAF in the end, regardless of your rank. This is the sad state of affairs for Singapore. We have wasted so much money and most importantly, these "once potential talents" by keeping them in the worse place for development, so much so that they are causing harm to our whole country as a whole.

These Paper General cannot survive beyond SAF. Even when they were posted to the GLCs and private entities, they expected to be in top management positions, even though they have no REAL WORLD Corporate experience whatsoever, and know NUTs about running the companies, worse, the country! However, they have this "Scholar-Entitlement" mindset. They were "helicopter" into such positions and eventually, they would find that they cannot manage such corporate unless they get their own KAKIs from SAF who knows the exact "military style" of management! This is exactly what happened in SMRT and PAP leadership!

I would not mind if these "retired" Paper Generals were willing to start from middle management to learn the corporate way and work their way up but no, they were expected to be able to "plug and play" which is quite ridiculous! It can only happen in Singapore because PAP government has created a web of GLCs to allocate these paper generals nice management positions to stroke their ego of "natural aristocracy"!

Singapore will definitely decline in the coming decades basically because SAF or the civil service is not exactly the best or right place to nurture our talents for running corporations and the country.

And all these, are the wrong doings and mismanagement by PAP.

Goh Meng Seng

Friday, December 16, 2016

TOTD: EZ-Link and Cash Card Redundancy

Thought of the Day

I was driving a friend's car the other day and found the car braked suddenly while I was cruising, my foot wasn't pressing on any pedal. It nearly gave me a heart attack and a RED LED indicator popped up CTBA... and I got worried when the "Temperature indicator" jumped from the usual 34 degree to 37.

I asked my friend why was this so, was the car having some problem. I got a smacking that I am just too OLD generation and didn't know "NEW (CAR) Technology" at all. I was using "old driving method" to drive a NEW HIGH Tech car!

Cruising is a method I learned from my late father to save petrol and this works especially well for manual gear car.

But I learn from Google (yes, please check Google before asking "High Tech" question, else, will get another suaning... :D ) that the "High Tech Car" nowadays will put brake on if it detected no contact of either the brake or accelerator pedal! Or that when the car was travelling at low speed and there is potential accident, it will apply brake on its own! This is to prevent drivers who are too tired from getting accident when they fall asleep with their feet off the pedal!

Wah, I say... but seriously, that's too "intrusive" for my "Old Method - Petrol saving driving"! And that temperature indicator is not about the car temperature but the surrounding temperature! Well, I told my friend I didn't know the street temperature can get as high as 37 and why do we need to know the "outside temperature" when we should be more concerned about the overheating of the car itself?

My friend scolded me, don't use "Old Method" to deal with "New Technology"!

Actually, this makes me thinking for the day. My friend has a point. When New Technology is evolving, we should be mindful to use new methods of operation to deal with it.

One fine example was the bloody redundancy of "Cash Card" and "Ez-link" card. Why would we need TWO cards when we actually could combine them into one-for-all usage Cashless card?

Cash card can be used for purchases but very few people use it because it was cumbersome. It came up with two types, one with Sim the other "Flash" card.. But some carpark can only use one of them! Such redundancy is caused by the "Old Method Mindset" using "New Technology"!

On the other hand, we have a handy EZ-Link card which we could just Tap away but it could not be used for purchases at 7 Eleven or supermarket! And it can only be topped up at the MRT/Bus stations or ATM machines.

Same for Cash Card. When you go to petrol station, they can't just top up the cash card for you but required you to top up at the ATM machine!

What the Heck! What's wrong with these people at LTA and those in charge of "Cashless cards"?

In Hong Kong, one Octopus Card, can do it all! Carparks, Supermarkets, 7 Eleven, Bakery Shops, Bus, MTR... and you can top it up at any 7 eleven shops or OK shops!

Apparently, these High End Natural Aristocrat Scholars sitting up there are only concerned about their "turf" instead of consumers' convenience and services! In fact, both cards evolved because of transportation needs, be it ERP gantries or public transport. LTA should have combined them all in the first place by setting the protocol and standards!

This is the "Old Methods" using "New Technology" stupidity we are seeing in Singapore... and we still want to pride ourselves as "First World High Tech Cashless City"?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

An Open Letter to President Xi of China




















Saturday, November 12, 2016

Why Singapore PM Lee is so concerned about TPP?

I happened to read about an article on TPP posted on TOC (The Online Citizen) website
but I found it has misrepresented some of the things on TPP. I have written the following in response on my Facebook:

There are some erroneous or inaccuracies written in this TOC article. Apparently, it is not written by someone who is well verse in Economics.

First of all, TPP is not just about Trade. It is about Free Market Globalization. i.e. Besides the free trade of goods and services, it also includes free mobility of capital as well as labour.

The reason of "Protectionism" vs such Free Market Globalization is not only because it protects companies and their products, but it also protects its wages for the labour as well as certain sovereignty issues in prevention of critical assets of a country being acquired by foreign countries.

While the article is right to say that most of the time, it is the more well off countries which will resist such agreements, but there are also costs to poorer countries. For example, there is "Economic Colonization"; i.e. all critical resources would be exploited or plundered by the richer countries.

As for wages, it is not a guarantee that workers will benefit from TPP just because companies can sell to a larger market or consumer base. In fact, more likely so, workers will be exploited by wage suppression as they could be replaced by a larger and cheaper source of workers among the countries. i.e. supply of workers suddenly increased many thousand folds. This is actually what is happening right now in Singapore.

Moreover, bigger companies benefit the most as compared to the local companies. All these will result in great wealth and income disparity. i.e. Big companies shareholders will be richer while workers suffered lower wages.

There is also an issue of structural immobility. In Keynesian Economics concept, Free market is good as the invisible hands will solve everything. But the truth is, this doesn't take into considerations of many things. Product life cycle is becoming shorter and thus, we see a lot of structural displacement of skilled workers who will suddenly find themselves irrelevant. Talking about re-training and restructuring is easy but execution will be difficult.

The only reason why Singapore needs TPP badly is due to the fact that it is a small open economy without much agricultural sector. Not even much organic industrial sector to start with. We all depend on MNCs and GLCs. MNCs needs mobility of funds. GLCs and our sovereign funds like Temasek and GIC, needed ease of mobility of capital to effect greater returns with less cost in capital investment. These are the main REAL benefits for Singapore.

Small and Medium companies may benefit from bigger market but the truth is, as stated in the article itself, we already have quite a lot of FTAs with most of the individual countries listed in TPP!

But the cost to us, Singaporeans, in return for GIC, Temasek and all those big GLCs to have more investment opportunities, is continued suppression of our wages. Income and wealth disparity will continue to be widen and only those ruling elites and their cronies in these GLCs will earn higher exorbitant bonuses and salaries.

On top of that, as the article says, we will face HIGHER cost of medicines with the elimination of generic drugs.

BTW, when Japan can sell more cars to USA, it doesn't need to use our port facilities. That's utterly wrong to say that. They could well ship direct to US across the pacific. (For anyone who want to doubt me on this point, please refer to this website on a freight forwarding shipping company specialized in car-cargo transhipment)

In short, the reason why our PM Lee is so concerned about TPP is not about Singaporeans'  well being; in fact, TPP will make most Singaporeans worse off, with bigger wage suppression from a larger pool of foreign labour from the Third and First World countries. Singaporeans will face higher healthcare cost and we will face a deepening of income and wealth disparity in Singapore.

The only reason why PAP wanted TPP so badly is because TPP could enhance its GLCs, Temasek Holdings and GIC investment opportunities overseas. We have seen this in CECA which we have signed with India in which we promised easy access and migration for Indians to come to Singapore and work, in return for investment opportunities in Indian's financial industry and such.

This will only help to enhance the ever rising salaries and bonuses of the top management of these entities, the elite cronies of PAP.

These are the crux of the matter, not so much about "free trade" alone, lest about jobs creation for Singaporeans.

Goh Meng Seng

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Lesson from US Presidential Contest - A Robust Democracy

Thought of the Day

Folks, it is NOT END OF THE WORLD to have President Trump! Unlike Singapore, US has a more ROBUST Democratic political system with Separation of Powers institutionalized and embedded to effect REAL Checks and Balances. No matter how moronic or idiotic the President is, he or she will be checked and prevented from doing too much bad!

An idiotic or moronic President may not do much good, but at least for the next 4 years, he or she won’t do too much bad as well. 4 years later, if he could not perform or basically screwed up, the voters will just kick him out!

So instead of feeling devastated for Trump victory, we should learn something from this saga: It is more important to build a robust political system which has Separation of Powers institutionalized to effect Real checks and balances instead of betting on the hope that we could always choose wise and good guys into government!

Goh Meng Seng

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The Rubbish Bin and Aim-less Standards

Thought of the Day

The Rubbish Bin and Aim-less Standards

To Opposition Supporters, especially people like Gilbert Louis

Politics is not just about Anti-Whichever Party. It is the selection of both parties and individuals who are relevant to our ideas of how the country should be managed and run. It also involves in choosing the parties which will set up a proper system which we desire.

In short, whichever political party we support, it must perform the two basic functions:

1) Safeguarding Public Interests
2) Performing Public Service

In the Democratic system we desire, we would understand that nobody is perfect and thus, proper Checks and Balances should be installed, in whichever means. For me, I chose to believe that Separation of Powers is paramount in effecting Checks and Balances.

What WP has erred, is a serious breach of my belief and I hope, it is your belief as well. It is ok to make mistakes as in our belief of Democracy, we expect human beings as imperfect and the tendency to make mistakes is perfectly normal.

However, WP has shown that it refused to admit the fact that what they have done is a serious breach of trust and Democratic principles. They are recalcitrant in every aspects. Do I want to show any support to such a party which does not even know where it had done wrong or plain refusal to admit its own wrong doing? Nope. Not for me.

Can you defend WP in any way? Yes, you can, but only when you throw away your Democratic belief, throw away any high expectation of Moral standards and Integrity. You can do that by using the Rubbish Bin Standards to justify the over payment of consultancy fees to their own people, FMSS. You can justify their massive conflicts of interests by using the AIM-less Standards.

However, what will that make you to be? You are lowering the standards which we expect any political administration to maintain, to such despicably low standards. The Rubbish Bin and Aim-Less standards. You have to give up the higher moral grounds which we depend upon to keep PAP in checks, just to defend WP.

What will that bring us to? We will degenerate into a dysfunctional Democracy whereby both ruling and opposition parties are as filthy as the shit hole. There are many such dysfunctional Democracies around the world and we won't even be unique in any sense. We will be spending time to hurl insults of "You also like that!", "You are corrupt too!" etc etc and nothing gets done, and Public Interests will definitely be compromised in the end.

Each and everyone of us will have to decide for ourselves, whether do we want to accept the Rubbish Bin and Aim-less Standards as the norm or we have to get it right, do it right from the start. I for one, will refuse to be dumped into the Rubbish Bin standards.

The implications of discarding the Moral High Ground and adopting the Rubbish Bin and Aim-less standards are really vast. It is not just about WP anymore. It is about your life, my life, our future generations' lives.

You may think that we should save WP's seats in parliament is something we must do at all cost. You may think that this is the only way to save whatever little "Democracy" we have, as in having an opposition in parliament. But I guess we must first understand the FULL Cost of doing so. The Full Cost, is the Total destruction of our Democracy development process, ironically speaking. It will derail our aim of building a functional Democracy. It will encourage crooks and charlatans to infiltrate into our political system because they see that they can just get away with their greed EASILY just because they have this little label "Opposition " put on their foreheads.

If you wanted that to develop, that's your choice, but not mine. I would rather we have a proper cleansing and rebuild everything proper right from scratch again. It is painful in the short term, but at the very least, we can be sure whatever fruits we will get later, will not be toxic, not only for us but also for our future generations.

I take my Mission and Vision very seriously in opposition politics. These have never changed from the very day I decided to step into it. But I won't stop anyone to disagree with me nor my methodology. Each of us will always have the choices to make. You may disagree with me and I don't intend to have everyone to agree with me, but I only ask for your understanding.

Ultimately, if you don't clear off the rubbish, you will always stuck sleeping with the rubbish dump. I chose to clear the rubbish, no matter what it costs.

Goh Meng Seng

Monday, October 03, 2016

SMRT AGM - A Reflection of Singaporeans

So many small investors made noise and shooting angrily against the SMRT CEO and his management team of the rationale of selling the rail assets back to Singapore government LTA as well as Temasek Holdings privatizing plan but eventually, 98.84% voted yes to the sale of rail assets to LTA and 84.83% voted yes to the privatization of SMRT by Temasek Holdings!

What does that tell us?

I was told that there were many applause to people who raise pointed questions against the CEO Desmond Quek and Koh Yong Guan. Although Temasek Holdings did not have representatives voting in the privatization plan and did not put up sales pitch of why shareholders should sell their shares to them, SMRT management under the leadership of Desmond Quek were the ones trying to convince the shareholders to do exactly that!

It was so ridiculous until a shareholder actually asked why is the management making such advocacy for Temasek Holdings and who are they working for?!

But the final results speak volume of Singaporeans' mentality. They may make a lot of noise, putting up strong pointed questions against the authority, especially when their self interests have been compromised, but ultimately, when it comes to voting, they just too afraid to vote in protest! There was a shareholder who had made the point during the AGM that small retail investors should vote in protest but his call was somewhat grounded and overcome by some irrational fear.

So it seems that this is the nature of Singaporeans at large and I do not think Singapore as a Nation would vote courageously for their rights or for any reforms or Change. After making noise, they will just resign themselves to status quo. Just like the many taxi drivers who will complain high and low, day in day out about PAP government but when it comes to voting during GE, they will quietly vote PAP again.

If one does not fight for their own interests, don't even expect others to fight for you.

Goh Meng Seng

Monday, September 05, 2016

Speech at 9th ICAPP Assembly - The Challenges of One Asia

The following is my speech delivered at 9th ICAPP Assembly:

Greetings to our Hon Madam Chairman, Hon Jose, Hon Chung, all the Distinguish Guests, Hon Delegates and politicians from all over Asia.

After listening to all the speeches made by the previous speakers, there is no doubt that we are extremely thankful to the Standing Committee of ICAPP for organizing this forum and the extremely warm hospitality of the host, UMNO and the Government of Malaysia had extended to all of us here. Let everyone of us put our hands together for one last time, to applause the tremendous efforts and time put in by the Standing Committee of ICAPP and the host, UMNO and Government for Malaysia for giving us such a wonderful conference.

The People’s Power Party of Singapore is a very new and small party in Singapore and this is the first time we are invited by ICAPP to this conference. As a new participant of this conference, I am extremely impressed by the ideology of inclusiveness of ICAPP.

No matter how small the political party is, or how small your country is, they will extend the invitation to you to participate in ICAPP forum. Both Ruling and Opposition parties from the respective countries were invited and this is an extremely rare example in the international platform. Even UMNO, the dominant party of the ruling coalition in Malaysia, has extended invitation to the opposition parties in Malaysia. I am truly impressed by such open minded inclusiveness demonstrated here.

I also believe that small parties do matter in contributing to the Vision of One Asia. The potentials of small parties should not be limited to their physical size, but only limited by their vision, ideology, political will, determination and of course, their brains.

Just like Singapore, my homeland, we may be a small country in the world but we have contributed tremendously to the world in various aspects far much more beyond the limitations of our physical size. I am sure ICAPP also believes in the importance of inclusiveness and potentials of small parties in Asia in contributing towards its Vision of One Asia as well.

After listening to the 50 speeches made by the various esteemed delegates and interacting with some of you out there, I concluded that there are basically TWO pertinent issues constantly revolving around the engagement. As politicians of Asia, regardless of the size of our parties, or whether we are in the opposition or ruling parties, we are all concerned of the sufferings of our people and the prospect of developing our economies to bring wealth, prosperity and happiness to them.

The importance of Peace and Stability could never be over-emphasized for Economic development. In the last century, some of our fellow Asian countries had suffered great sufferings in wars and destructions accompanied by great instability. I am extremely happy to hear some of the delegates from these counties to emphasize that they have walked out of political turmoil and instability while going on the path towards economic development and prosperity. Countries like Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar etc, have walked out of their past political woes and making progress in economic development. However, there are still some of the countries represented here, suffering from great instability in their homeland; eg. Iraq and Palestine. My heart felt prayer is with them.

Nearer to my homeland, the current instability in South China Sea is of great concern to Singapore. As a small and open economy, it is Singapore’s CORE interest to see peace in Asia, especially the South China Sea which is critical to our status as a trading port.

Fortunately, it is reassuring to hear from Hon Rufus Bautista Rodriguez, the delegate from Philippines, to make the point that the new President of Philippines is taking a pragmatic approach of conducting dialogue with China to achieve mutually beneficial win-win outcome for both countries in collaborative effort of managing the disputed territory. Most importantly, war is not an option for Philippines.

Having attended the IPDA conference which talks about disaster assistance to various Asian countries, I applaud ICAPP for having the vision of providing such humanitarian aids to fellow Asian countries in times of disaster needs.

However, something ran through my mind while listening to the delegates in deliberating on the various Natural Disasters their countries faced in the past, present and potentially in the future.

Disasters, in my humble opinion, appear to have three types. First, Natural Disasters which we are quite familiar like the yearly typhoons, hurricanes and earthquakes etc. The second type of disaster refers to disasters created by humans and unfortunately to say, mostly due to some fellow politicians around the world. These include wars, conflicts and sufferings happening around the world. The third type of disaster refers to disasters created by both humans and nature, in particular, climate change and environmental issues.

As politicians, we yearn for power because power to us, is the necessary tool to govern and make good use in dictating the direction of our countries in accordance to what we believe. However, Power Corrupts and many human-induced disasters were caused by the corruption of power.

If you happen to have my People’s Power Party name card, you should notice that at the back of it, the very first two CORE VALUES written are Public Interests and Public Service.

I believe that all of us, when we first make that decision to join the political field, we have made this solemn vow to uphold Public Interests and give our best to Public Service. We should not forget these important solemn vows which we made when we first get involved in politics. As long as we adhere to these promises, we would resist the enormous temptations that come with Power. These would prevent us from fallen into the wrong side of history in making disasters for our respective countries and humanity. We should always remember that Public Interests and Public Service could also be applied to the responsibility towards humanity of the region or the World or Asia as well.

Power needs to be controlled in order to work well to enhance public interests instead of being corrupted to create great sufferings to humanity. As my contemporary opposition member from Singapore, Hon Kenneth Jeyaratnam, has made about the importance of Democracy in political and economic development, I would like to raise the real substance of Democracy as stated in People’s Power Party’s Core Values.

The Third Core Values of my party, People’s Power Party, is Separation of Powers and this refers to the Separation of FIVE Powers instead of Three. Contrary to most belief, this is the concept of Democracy promoted by the late Father of Modern China, Dr Sun Yat Sen. It is a truly Asian version of Democracy in Checks and Balances.

The Five Powers include the three commonly know one, i.e. Legislative Power, Executive Power, Judiciary Power, Impeachment Power and Power of Selection/Election (Examination).

In ancient Chinese dynasties, all these powers had already existed for thousands of years in the system of governance and this is why, the Ancient Chinese political governance was regarded as one of the most advanced in its time before the Western ideology of Democracy prosper.

This is especially so for the Scholar system where Examinations were held to select the talented people to help in governing as court officials. In modern context, elections department should be independent and the Civil Service Commission which selects applicants to join the civil service in various departments and positions should be independent and separated from the meddling of the Executive as well.

The less talk about function or power in Ancient Chinese Dynasties is the Power of Impeachment which a group of court officials were given SPECIAL Immunity to speak their minds against corrupted officials in the system. This is similar to the functions of Anti-Corruption Bureaus which we have in modern times.

The only problem was and still is, all these Powers were subjected to interferences and manipulations due to the structure of governance. Dr Sun and members of People’s Power Party believe that these Powers should be separated and given Independence before functional democracy could be institutionalized into the system of governance.

No mater what system of governance we have in our country, we should institutionalize the Separation of the Five Powers so that effective checks and balances could take place and thus, prevent ambitious politicians to go astray from the Good Politics of serving public interests and make decisions which will become disastrous to the country as well as the world at large.

We in People’s Power Party believe that this is important for an effective government. We also believe that this is one of the most important safeguards against corruption of power and disasters induced by politicians.

The next important concern most Hon delegates in this conference have in mind is economic development for their countries and rightfully so, because only with economic development, we could bring prosperity and happiness to our own people.

I would like to share our Singapore’s experience in economic development to everyone here. As I have mentioned, peace and stability are paramount prerequisite to our economic success. Apart from that, we have good neighbours like Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei which are extremely important for our success. Without the support and cooperation from these good neighbours, we would not be where we are today.

Singapore has benefited tremendously from the support and cooperation of our neighbours. Can you imagine how Singapore could even survive without the generous supply of water from Malaysia? We have collaboration with Indonesia in developing Batam into an extended industrial arm and our friendly terms with Brunei had provided us with the important oil supplies for our oil refineries.

As a small country scarce of natural resources, we depended heavily on the supply of natural resources from our neighbours for trading even before our country was founded in 1965.

Cooperation and collaboration of countries in emerging countries are even more important for Economic development in modern era. This is especially true when Globalization with rapid information flow and demand of efficient logistics and financing in trading has posed tremendous challenge to countries which are trying to catch up in economic development.

Singapore is fortunate to be one of the pioneer in developing an efficient logistics and financial hub for our region so to provide the necessary service to our neighbours to achieve mutual beneficial economic returns.

Similar development model could be replicated in other Asian countries but this could only be done through sincere cooperation and collaboration between neighbouring countries. For example, a great potential would emerge in Indo-China if Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos could work together to develop a common free trade zone which utilize the comparative advantages of each countries to amplify each other’s economic growth. Of course, my country, Singapore, would naturally be able to provide the necessary know how in developing industrial parks in the Free Trade Zone as well as port management expertise.

In short, my message to all my fellow Hon politicians here is simple. We all strive to seek peace, stability, economic development, prosperity and happiness to our own people. But this could and should only be achieved through mutually beneficial collaborations and cooperation instead of conflicting contests of interests.

In this new era of rapid Globalization which poses great challenges to all of us, we should instead think big and realize that our respective countries’ interests could only be achieved by having good neighbours which are willing to work together for greater benefits for all.

One Asia is a Great Vision of ICAPP and a starting point for all of us. We need to realize there is also an One Politics which all of us share in common, that is none other than to achieve stability, economic development thus prosperity and happiness to our people. Thank you.

Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General
People’s Power Party of Singapore.