Tuesday, September 19, 2006

IMF Meeting - A Failed Branding Exercise


IMF Meeting - A Failed Branding Exercise

Many people have asked me whether it is "worth it" for Singapore government to spend over $100 million to play host to IMF - World Bank meeting while our citizens have to suffer another round of public transport fare hike?

I think we must look at the objective of hosting the IMF meeting before we could decide whether it is worth while for us to spend such money. In my view, hosting the IMF meeting is a branding exercise for Singapore. PAP government is trying to sell Singapore as the top choice MICE i.e. a place for Meetings, conferences and exhibitions to the whole world. If the IMF meeting is successfully organized here, it will argur well for us as a Nation. Singapore does have the necessary infrastructure and efficient system to position ourselves as a place suitable for international organizations and businesses to hold their conferences here. There are great benefits and opportunities for us in the long run if we have managed this IMF meeting well. This is a strategy in line with PAP's intention of building of the Casino resorts.

Unfortunately, PAP government has tripped itself numerous times in organizing the IMF meeting. The most fearful thing for a branding exercise is bad press and public relations disaster. This is something that PAP lacks good understanding. Maybe it is due to its long entrenched position in Singapore where the local media is in its absolute control. Local media will hardly give it bad press or create a public relations disaster for the PAP government. In such a "comfortable" environment, it would be very difficult for PAP to cultivate its Public Relations skills and thus it becomes very PR unsavvy.

First of all, PAP government should not have agreed to host the IMF meeting at all in the very first place. Branding needs consistency not only in its messages but in its structure as well. IMF meeting is well known for the accompanied street protests by social activists which may turn violent at times. This is totally incompatible to PAP's political culture or tolerance. I was furiously shocked when Mr. Goh Chok Tong said a couple of years ago that we may allow foreigners to hold street protests in Singapore during this IMF meeting. This practically means that Singaporeans would have become second class citizens in their own land because the PAP government has hardly issue any permits for its citizens to hold street protests in its rule, even though our constitution and law have provided such rights to us. I have taken the trouble to write a personal email to IMF, urging them not to hold thier meeting here for this particular reason. On hindsight, I should have been more persistent. True enough, SM Goh Chok Tong did a U turn and said just a few days ago that one of the primary reason why Singapore banned those NGOs and CSOs from conducting street protests during this IMF meeting is that they could not afford the political cost of discriminating against Singaporeans.

Secondly, the constant harping on the threat of terrorism to justify its refusal to allow some of the accredited activists to attend the IMF meeting does more harm than good to the branding exercise. If the main objective of this branding exercise is to attract more international businesses to hold their conferences in Singapore, the last thing you would do is to scare them away by saying we are constantly under terrorist threats! Those intimidating barb wires and steel walls built around the venue, Suntec, is not helping at all. It sent a mixed signals to the world that they will only be safe conducting their meetings in a cage like this!

The most critical blow come from the President of World Bank himself. His remark about Singapore Government renegades on the MOU signed three years ago has created tremendous damage to the standing and the reputation of this country! Although the PAP government tries very hard to justify its actions but the enormous damage has been done. Who wants to do business in a place where even the government could breach an important MOU with a big organization like the World Bank?

I guess no amount of huge posters with smiling faces will make us look good at the end of the day. The branding exercise is a total failure and I would say that those millions spent have been wasted. What we get in return is not a good brand name but bad press and bad reputation! What we are witnessing now is a self proclaim First World Government in a First World public relations disaster! Sigh.

Goh Meng Seng

45 comments:

DD said...

Dear GMS,

there's one point which I beg to differ.

"If the main objective of this branding exercise is to attract more international businesses to hold their conferences in Singapore, the last thing you would do is to scare them away by saying we are constantly under terrorist threats! Those intimidating barb wires and steel walls built around the venue, Suntec, is not helping at all. It sent a mixed signals to the world that they will only be safe conducting their meetings in a cage like this!"

Its a fact that Singapore is a country which really have to pay a great attention on terrorism, just like many other countries too.
As a host to the IMF-World Bank meetings, S'pore got to ensure that everything goes smoothly, regardless of whether is the branding exercise a success or not.
If putting in barb wires or steel walls can somehow or rather deter any assail, then so be it.

Mr Goh, everybody got to apprehend that security is an issue which can't be compromised at all.


Damien

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Damien,

Mistake me not, I agree with you that Singapore is under terrorist threat but saying the obvious in an inappropriate time is very bad PR.

For example, would a company talks about its weakness or some problems with its products in its advertisement? Car manufacturers sometimes face problems with the cars they have made and has to recall those models, but is it appropriate for them to talk about it in their advertisement?

In a branding exercise, one would avoid statements that steal the limelight of the good traits or characteristics of your products or services. If somebody or reporter asks you about the threat of terrorists, it would be appropriate then to answer that we are confident that our security measures are adequate to ensure the safety of the delegates.

But to offer the information on the terrorist threats ourselves is anything but media savvy!

This is the main difference in handling PR professionally. Truth will have no value if it does not enhance our branding effort.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

Critising ur own country when it's hosting great event. What a traitor r u.

Anonymous said...

I believe GMS is criticising the people in government whic made the decisions, not Singapore or Singaporeans. I have no problem with that.

Anonymous said...

Recently I noticed on many popular blogs that were many comments that are pro 'gahmen' for the sake of being pro 'gahmen'. (e.g. anon @ 1:09AM).

Maybe they were sent by the 'gahmen'? Just wondering....

Lao Xin Zhou said...

Hello. I am a 15 years old, happens to crossed to your blog.

I do like to share my views regarding your newest entry. No offensive intended.

But please pardon for my mass grammatical mistakes as I am rather weak in English, thank you.

>>Many people have asked me whether it is "worth it" for Singapore government to spend over $100 million to play host to IMF - World Bank meeting while our citizens have to suffer another round of public transport fare hike?

-->It is worth for Singapore government to spent large sums of money for the hosting of the IMF-WB Meeting in Singapore. The reason for hosting the IMF-WB meeting was to promote the name of Singapore to the global. The revenue earned from the meeting will doubled the times of the amount that was spent for this event. Do note that the recently increased in fare hike of the public transport, was due to the rising oil prices in middleast where Israel and Lebanon fought an one month war. The oil prices reached so high that the public transports in the world, have to rise their transportation fees, not only in Singapore. This event was hope that the world will have faith and trust for our country and the government. Therefore, we may allow to host even more international events in the future.

>>Unfortunately, PAP government has tripped itself numerous times in organizing the IMF meeting. The most fearful thing for a branding exercise is bad press and public relations disaster. This is something that PAP lacks good understanding. Maybe it is due to its long entrenched position in Singapore where the local media is in its absolute control. Local media will hardly give it bad press or create a public relations disaster for the PAP government. In such a "comfortable" environment, it would be very difficult for PAP to cultivate its Public Relations skills and thus it becomes very PR unsavvy.

-->Our local media was under control from the Singapore government, was reasonable. If you look at Hong Kong and Taiwan, where there are no controls or limits over the media. Their media press imposed extremely false and flawed reports on their government which may signal a very bad image to the outside world. Singapore, for the past 41 years, was making hard efforts to promote and sustain the good name of Singapore, therefore attracting MNCs and tourists to Singapore, so as to boost our annual income. All these factors are linked and shall linked forever. I do not know the reason why the local media has to give a bad press for the PAP government since opposition parties are already doing it for decades. We have alot of visitors in our "house" and yet we talked bad about our "house owner", isn't that ironic?

>>First of all, PAP government should not have agreed to host the IMF meeting at all in the very first place. Branding needs consistency not only in its messages but in its structure as well. IMF meeting is well known for the accompanied street protests by social activists which may turn violent at times. This is totally incompatible to PAP's political culture or tolerance. I was furiously shocked when Mr. Goh Chok Tong said a couple of years ago that we may allow foreigners to hold street protests in Singapore during this IMF meeting. This practically means that Singaporeans would have become second class citizens in their own land because the PAP government has hardly issue any permits for its citizens to hold street protests in its rule, even though our constitution and law have provided such rights to us. I have taken the trouble to write a personal email to IMF, urging them not to hold thier meeting here for this particular reason. On hindsight, I should have been more persistent. True enough, SM Goh Chok Tong did a U turn and said just a few days ago that one of the primary reason why Singapore banned those NGOs and CSOs from conducting street protests during this IMF meeting is that they could not afford the political cost of discriminating against Singaporeans. Secondly, the constant harping on the threat of terrorism to justify its refusal to allow some of the accredited activists to attend the IMF meeting does more harm than good to the branding exercise. If the main objective of this branding exercise is to attract more international businesses to hold their conferences in Singapore, the last thing you would do is to scare them away by saying we are constantly under terrorist threats! Those intimidating barb wires and steel walls built around the venue, Suntec, is not helping at all. It sent a mixed signals to the world that they will only be safe conducting their meetings in a cage like this!

-->I agree that there are some mistakes that our government has committed upon signing the agreement to allow demostrations and protesting from the civil society groups where in the end, our government banned 28 protestors and caused some outrages from the IMF-WB organisation. Singapore's constitutuon does provided such rights for Singaporeans to protest BUT only allows up to four protestors. Please get the facts right before being biased for saying "second class citizens". Other than the government could not afford the political expenses from these NGOs and CSOs, they are also concern about the security risks for both delegates and Singaporeans. We would not want to see bloodshed fightings in the streets of Suntec City, should the outdoor protest turns violent. The foreigner delegates are not stupid to be scared away from the terrorists threats in Singapore. For the past 5 years after the Sept 11 attacks in America, Singapore has constantly demostrates high end measurements to countered the terrorism network by first arresting the JI members and second stepped up the security checks to a extend that no bombs could be import into Singapore. With such an effective measurements against terrorism threats, those foreigners delegates are sure to have enough faith and trust on our government to host their future meetings here. About the so called "bird cage", that is just your point of one sided view. I repeat, those foreigner delegates are not children, they understand that this "bird cage" is to guard them against potential threats.

>>The most critical blow come from the President of World Bank himself. His remark about Singapore Government renegades on the MOU signed three years ago has created tremendous damage to the standing and the reputation of this country! Although the PAP government tries very hard to justify its actions but the enormous damage has been done. Who wants to do business in a place where even the government could breach an important MOU with a big organization like the World Bank?

--> Are you sure that the tremendous damage has been done? I do not think so. The President of the WB and the delegates themselves, must understand that "not allowing outdoor protest" is a law required in Singapore. Beside, our government allows 22 more protestors to come in, it is enough to cool down any dissatisfactory arguements. The government breach the agreement upon considering about the security and the safety issues. The government will never breach any business agreements unless it touches down on security lines.

>>I guess no amount of huge posters with smiling faces will make us look good at the end of the day. The branding exercise is a total failure and I would say that those millions spent have been wasted. What we get in return is not a good brand name but bad press and bad reputation! What we are witnessing now is a self proclaim First World Government in a First World public relations disaster! Sigh.

-->Please do not look on the extreme side. The delegates are happy about the 4 million smiles campaign and the efforts put up by the Singapore government. The foreigners reporters travelled around Singapore, reporting on our beautiful and impressive environment, muti-racialism cultures, unique history, friendly servicemen and other remarkable stuffs. These good reports are sufficient enough to cover the bad flaws of the NGOs scandal. We spent alot of money for this IMF-WB meeting but the returns will be ten times more in the following months and years as our name of Singapore, has spread to worldwide.

Lao Xin Zhou said...

Perhaps I am still young to understand political games.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Lao Xin Zhou,

It is never too young to give political views and I am grateful to you for spending so much time to respond to my article. You have given me some insights on how youngsters like you think.

If you read my article carefully, I actually agree with you that hosting the IMF meeting may give us long term benefits if and only if such branding exercise (your point about promoting Singapore to the world) is not destroyed by bad press and bad Public Relations skills. I think you are looking solely at the 20K guests we have here but I am looking at the WHOLE WORLD. It is not merely about the delegates that we are receiving here but how to promote to the WHOLE WORLD and people around the world is influenced by the daily news they read...i.e. the Foreign Press that they read. Thus even if the 20K delegates could be more forgiving to the things happening here due to the fact that they will "feel safer", but other foreigners who get their news from the foriegn press will form different opinion. Thus, the enormous damage IS REAL else, PAP govt will not back track and do a U turn in allowing 22 out of the 27 activists to pass our imigration.

I have touched on the transport fare hike in my other earlier article and I shall not repeat it here.

I think you must get your perspective right. First of all, HK attracted more MNCs to set up their regional HQ on their land than Singapore for more than a couple of years already, despite of the "bad press" they have. Why? Businesses are only worried about political stability and any issues that would affect their profitability. Breaching a contract IS a BIG THING for the corporate world. Security IS a BIG thing for them. By having a "cage" for IMF meeting, it could only mean two things: either Singapore is not confient in its security measures to keep out the bombs and terrorists or that there are already terrorists on our land. These are the mixed signals we are sending to them. You say that we have good security measures but if that is so, why need the cage? It is a matter of moderation and I believe our govt has overdone it.

I am really worried about your view on opposition as "bad mouth trouble makers" that you seem to suggest here. I may write an article on this when I have more time but since IMF meeting is about "good governance", let me share with you on what I think is "good governance" here.

PAP govt likes to stress that "good governance" is about having "good man" in control. This is only PARTLY TRUE. Human beings are imperfect and they tend to err. If any person is "perefect" then he will no longer be human being but God Almighty already. Thus, ironically, the fundamental basis for democracy is human beings' imperfection. How could you trust enormous power to human beings who are imperfect? The world has learnt from the past feudal system that it is totally flawed to entrust absolute power to a few men, least a monarch. But we still need a government run by human beings! Thus, the democratic system is designed in such a way that those people in power are checked and balanced by other people; be it the press, judiciary or the opposition parties. Only then, couple with good people plus a system of checks and balances, we could ensure good governance.

What it means that good governance could only evolve by two main critireas:

1) Good people in the government
2) Good system of checks and balances

I am not surprised at all you would think that all opposition did was to "bad mouth" the government. This message is all along subtlely drumed into us via PAP and the local media. This is what social engineering and brain washing is all about. The truth is, only with a good opposition plus good people in government, good governance will evolve. If not, it is only a matter of time NKF will repreat itself in our government. TT Durai when he first started, is a very good fellow. But this is not enough to ensure an organization like NKF will continue to enjoy good governance because the system of checks and balances have lapsed.

In fact, if you wish to know about how opposition has contributed to good governance, I could share with you alot of examples where PAP govt has quietly implemented some of the alternative policy ideas that we have brought forward to criticise the PAP govt in the past. In Education, small class teaching was first raised by Chiam ST. Medical Health Insurance (risk pooling) is first raised by WP in its 1990s manifesto. There are many others. Up to a point that PAP has admitted openly that they do not have the monopoly of policy ideas.

And the fact is, your so call "bad press" by opposition is not doing harm to any "branding exercise" as it does not make businesses "worried". Take HK for example, MNCs still go there and set up businesses because they take the constant political bickering as part and parcel of the democratic political process; as long as it doesn't threaten their business interests.

From another perspective, I put to you one simple question: could you ever learn anything new from people who constantly put up praises about yourself? Maybe the story "The Emperor's New Cloth" will ring a bell. Thus, mistake it not, opposition members are not "trouble makers" as PAP MP claims. Opposition members are as patriotic as PAP members but we understand our role very well. Only a horse that is constantly whipped will run faster and we are just performing as the whip on the ruling party.

Another thing that worries me is that you seems to get your fact about our constitution wrong; most probably you are misled by the local press that claims that street protests are "banned" by the law here. Our constitution clearly states that citizens have the right to legal assembly. Nope, it is not written that only 4 persons are allowed to assemble. You have mixed up the constitution with the law. The constitution provides us the right to legal assembly but the law states that any gathering of 5 persons or more must get a permit from the police. It basically means that if you want to have a political gathering of more than 5 persons on the street, you will need to apply for a permit from the police. The law did not "ban" such gathering but it is the PAP govt via the police that "bans" the street protest by refusing to issue the permit!

During elections, political parties are allowed to hold mass rallies under this law. The police will only issue permits for political gatherings during General Elections and that's how we have mass rallies.

From a historical perspective, PAP govt has only issued ONE permit for street protest back in the 80s. The belated Ong Teng Chong has led unionists (from NTUC) to protest against the Americans from interfering in Singapore politics. Thus, if our constitution "bans" street protest, how could Ong Teng Chong held such street protest back then, legally?

I do not blame you for such misunderstanding as you are heavily influenced by the local media's inaccurate reporting.

Believe it or not, tremendous damage has been done by this saga. Else PAP govt would not have backed off. The citizens of the world read their own newspapers aka foreign news media. It would do you good if you could go and find out what foreign news agencies are reporting about Singapore as a host to IMF meeting for the past few days. Very few have any "praise" for Singapore but many have said bad things about the way we handle the saga. And please bear in mind this is not about the mere 20K delegates any more but the WHOLE WORLD. Those are the things the whole world reads about us during this period of time.

Put it this way, when the WB chief said that they would consider very carefully next in choosing any country to hold future IMF-WB meetings, what does it really mean? You still hope they will come back to Singapore? What would other big MNCs and international organizations think?

Goh Meng Seng

Lao xz said...

Thanks for your prompt reply.

>>It is never too young to give political views and I am grateful to you for spending so much time to respond to my article. You have given me some insights on how youngsters like you think

--> As age grows, more expriences will gain along the way. This is why adults often ignored what teenagers said about politics because they have this thought that teens are not mature enought to talk politics. And my comments does not feedback on what most youngsters think.

>>If you read my article carefully, I actually agree with you that hosting the IMF meeting may give us long term benefits if and only if such branding exercise (your point about promoting Singapore to the world) is not destroyed by bad press and bad Public Relations skills. I think you are looking solely at the 20K guests we have here but I am looking at the WHOLE WORLD. It is not merely about the delegates that we are receiving here but how to promote to the WHOLE WORLD and people around the world is influenced by the daily news they read...i.e. the Foreign Press that they read. Thus even if the 20K delegates could be more forgiving to the things happening here due to the fact that they will "feel safer", but other foreigners who get their news from the foriegn press will form different opinion. Thus, the enormous damage IS REAL else, PAP govt will not back track and do a U turn in allowing 22 out of the 27 activists to pass our imigration.

--> How sure are you, to conclude about their views on Singapore as a bad state? By their newspapers? I know you are looking at the whole world but really does the whole world, with all population, dislike Singapore for the NGOs/CSOs scandal? There are people who accept and unaccept Singapore's decision to banned the protestors. I believed that the PAP has made a mistake here but they had also hosted the meeting very successfully. Pros and Cons at the same moment.

>>I think you must get your perspective right. First of all, HK attracted more MNCs to set up their regional HQ on their land than Singapore for more than a couple of years already, despite of the "bad press" they have. Why? Businesses are only worried about political stability and any issues that would affect their profitability. Breaching a contract IS a BIG THING for the corporate world. Security IS a BIG thing for them. By having a "cage" for IMF meeting, it could only mean two things: either Singapore is not confient in its security measures to keep out the bombs and terrorists or that there are already terrorists on our land. These are the mixed signals we are sending to them. You say that we have good security measures but if that is so, why need the cage? It is a matter of moderation and I believe our govt has overdone it.

--> We have terrorists all over the world and terrorists everywhere. There is no countries that are 100% free out from terrorists. You have made your point down there, the cage might be seen as an "kiasu" image of the government. But the government do so is all for the sake of security, do appreciate it, so as to criticise it at the same time. I think the cage is not securing the delegates from terrorist attacks (because the security checks are so tight that NOT even a tiny bomb would slip through), it is rather to secure the delegates free from a possible protestors' strike(but given the police effectiveness, I do not think such will happen).

>>I am really worried about your view on opposition as "bad mouth trouble makers" that you seem to suggest here. I may write an article on this when I have more time but since IMF meeting is about "good governance", let me share with you on what I think is "good governance" here.

--> I think you have an extreme view of me. I am not saying the opposition parties as whatever you think of. I understand your stances in correcting the PAP's mistakes but you must also look at their bright side.

>>PAP govt likes to stress that "good governance" is about having "good man" in control. This is only PARTLY TRUE. Human beings are imperfect and they tend to err. If any person is "perefect" then he will no longer be human being but God Almighty already. Thus, ironically, the fundamental basis for democracy is human beings' imperfection. How could you trust enormous power to human beings who are imperfect? The world has learnt from the past feudal system that it is totally flawed to entrust absolute power to a few men, least a monarch. But we still need a government run by human beings! Thus, the democratic system is designed in such a way that those people in power are checked and balanced by other people; be it the press, judiciary or the opposition parties. Only then, couple with good people plus a system of checks and balances, we could ensure good governance.

--> We talk about politics and the government's policies, not theories on human beings and thier impefection. You kept picking on the PAP's imperfectation and used the imperfect sins of the human beings to judged PAP instead of their doings... Religious beliefs should not mixed with politics. The past flawed political systems does not means that it still flawed in the present modern era if the leaders are flexible enough to change flaws into pros.

>>Good system of checks and balances.

--> A need for a country to go far. However, what if a particular decision/policy is right but the opposition parties think it as wrong? If the checks on the policies made a mistake, there would not be any balances at all. I am not insulting any political parties here, just my point of view, please.

>> I am not surprised at all you would think that all opposition did was to "bad mouth" the government. This message is all along subtlely drumed into us via PAP and the local media. This is what social engineering and brain washing is all about. The truth is, only with a good opposition plus good people in government, good governance will evolve. If not, it is only a matter of time NKF will repreat itself in our government. TT Durai when he first started, is a very good fellow. But this is not enough to ensure an organization like NKF will continue to enjoy good governance because the system of checks and balances have lapsed.

--> Perhaps you think negatively too much to said that everyone thinks bad about the opposition parties. There are many people out there, who agrees and disagrees with you. Personally, I appreciate what opposition parties had pointed out to the government during policies making and Parliamentary debation as it is to maintain checks and balances as you stated. I know that sometimes, the local media has been known for their "pro-government" but do you need to care about these reports against the Opp parties? Bright people do things on bright side, not afraid of any false accusations. If you are fear of NKF-like incident will happen to PAP, then you and other opposition fellows, regardless of WP, SDA and SDP, must keep an eye on the ruling party as you mentioned several times, to prevent any misfortunate incidents from taking place by itself.

>>In fact, if you wish to know about how opposition has contributed to good governance, I could share with you alot of examples where PAP govt has quietly implemented some of the alternative policy ideas that we have brought forward to criticise the PAP govt in the past. In Education, small class teaching was first raised by Chiam ST. Medical Health Insurance (risk pooling) is first raised by WP in its 1990s manifesto. There are many others. Up to a point that PAP has admitted openly that they do not have the monopoly of policy ideas.

--> I appreciated your efforts to voiced out your alternative views. If your criticism can contributed to the good governance, then please go ahead. Give more constructive and long sighted views.

>>Another thing that worries me is that you seems to get your fact about our constitution wrong; most probably you are misled by the local press that claims that street protests are "banned" by the law here. Our constitution clearly states that citizens have the right to legal assembly. Nope, it is not written that only 4 persons are allowed to assemble. You have mixed up the constitution with the law. The constitution provides us the right to legal assembly but the law states that any gathering of 5 persons or more must get a permit from the police. It basically means that if you want to have a political gathering of more than 5 persons on the street, you will need to apply for a permit from the police. The law did not "ban" such gathering but it is the PAP govt via the police that "bans" the street protest by refusing to issue the permit!

--> So are you saying that the ruling party abused their powers to enforced a tight banned on the protestors/legal assembly via police un-permits?

>>From a historical perspective, PAP govt has only issued ONE permit for street protest back in the 80s. The belated Ong Teng Chong has led unionists (from NTUC) to protest against the Americans from interfering in Singapore politics. Thus, if our constitution "bans" street protest, how could Ong Teng Chong held such street protest back then, legally?

--> Perhaps the ruling party permitted the protest of the late President Ong Teng Chong was because he represented Singapore to fought against foreigners who tried to "busybody" on our politics. But if the protest does not do any good to Singapore, then permits will not be granted?

>>I do not blame you for such misunderstanding as you are heavily influenced by the local media's inaccurate reporting.

--> If I am brainwashed by local media and local newspapers, then you are also being brainwashed by foreigner newspapers that criticised our government from head to toe (no pun offensive intented). This is what I think of you as what you think of me. Fair enough? Before you said me as "heavily influenced", you should check on yourself, are you being influenced too much by the foreigner news that shot at us?

>>Believe it or not, tremendous damage has been done by this saga. Else PAP govt would not have backed off. The citizens of the world read their own newspapers aka foreign news media. It would do you as a host to IMF meeting good if you could go and find out what foreign news agencies are reporting about Singapore for the past few days. Very few have any "praise" for Singapore but many have said bad things about the way we handle the saga. And please bear in mind this is not about the mere 20K delegates any more but the WHOLE WORLD. Those are the things the whole world reads about us during this period of time.

--> Foreigner newspaper always reported bad about other countries and governments. But have you see other newspapers that praised Singapore for hosting this IMF? I guess PAP back off to allow the 22 protestors to come in may because of the possible bad images emerged among the delegates and the world. But that does not means that this IMF meeting has fail. Also, the newspaper may says bad things about Singapore BUT, the delegates are the point turning people. When they went back to their own countries, they may write good things about Singapore which will overthrown all the bad false and inaccurate reports in their newspaper as you believed deeply with.

>>Put it this way, when the WB chief said that they would consider very carefully next in choosing any country to hold future IMF-WB meetings, what does it really mean? You still hope they will come back to Singapore? What would other big MNCs and international organizations think?

--> He said that in the earlier meetings where he argued with Singapore government for the NGOs/CSOs. However, this was just his decision in the earlier part. After the whole meeting, he actually felt grateful and happy that this meeting in Singapore turns very successfully(excluding the scandal). He said "choose carefully" in the earlier section as angers of the scandal was very high, furthermore, he came from a democracy country, would he tolerate such things? But he has later seen the impressive side of Singapore and praised Singaporeans for its efforts. Do not believe so much in his "choose carefully" because he may be angry about the banning scandal in the first place but he maybe impressed about Singapore after the efforts he has seen and the successful IMF meeting 2006.

Overall, you have a good political insight. I shall not reply any more. Treat this as a chat between us. I will look forward of your greater involvement in the future politics and elections.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Lao XZ,

Here again, thank you for taking time to respond.

I may have the wrong impression of your view but this is what you wrote in the previous comment:

"I do not know the reason why the local media has to give a bad press for the PAP government since opposition parties are already doing it for decades."

And your assertions about press in HK and Taiwan spreading "falsehood" but the fact is that most of the time, they are not. Even if there is falsehood, it was corrected.

I have chosen to talk about good governance because it seems to me that you take the view of opposition saying bad things of the govt is not right. My point is very simple, it is a matter of necessity... a necessity of checks and balances. Of course, nobody could be always right and opposition included. However, since nobody could always be right, isn't it better for people to debate it out? If opposition is wrong, then they should be corrected but what happens if PAP is wrong? Has PAP apologized for policy failures before? Two is enough? Asset Enhancement Scheme?

You view that Opposition always pick on PAP's imperfection but isn't that what checks and balances all about? To remind those in power to be mindful of their mistakes and imperfections!

As for the so call "ban" on street protest, what I merely stated here are all facts. One should not mixed up Constitution, Law and the people who execute the Law. The Constitution and Law did provide for our rights to legal assembly; not only 4 but mass rallies. It is the PAP govt via the police that bans street protest. You must get this clear before you want a clearer picture of Singapore's politics.

I think you should not underestimate the power of media, especially the foreign media. If less than half of the foreign media talk bad about Singapore, then it is debatable about the impact. But when the almost 90% of the foreign media is talking bad about Singapore, then it is a disaster.

You may be very defensive about "they against us" but the truth is, if the branding exercise is to be successful, you need them more than they need you. The world does not revolve around Singapore you know!

I do not take foreign media whole heartedly but it is the consequences or the impact of what they reported matters most. You say maybe the delegates will go back and talk good things about Singapore, but how sure are you all of them will do so? Even if all of them do so, how far could such message spread? Half a billion people know? As compared to billions of people around the world that read the world media?

When I was just 12 years old, I was just like you. :) My world view changes tremendously when I reach 15 when I could not reconcile the official Singapore history as compared to the historical talks on the ground. From then on, I know how powerful the media could be. I may not trust the media totally but I am concerned about the impact of the media, be it local or foreign, has over us.

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

Eric said...

I refer to your article (IMF Meeting - A Failed Branding Exercise) posted on your blog.

I read with regret that you think Singapore shouldn't have host the IMF/WB meeting here. Singapore has grown from a trading hub into a financial center with thousands of investers. Our governemnt has made much effort in this transformation. We have merged into 2 big banks mainly DBS and UOB. This is so that we Singapore can compete with the rest of asia and preferbably the rest of the world. We understand the need to marketing ourselves further as a financial hub. That was why the government has hosted the IMF/WB meeting.

Hosting this meeting doesn't just gives us 1 or 2 benefits. It gives us much more than that. Many articles has reported that Singapore broke the agreement which was signed with the WB Body in 2003. However please note, that there were NO EXPLAINATION in ANY ARTICLE of which part of the agreement Singapore broke. Therefore, we are in no right to say anything about that as we do not know the exact details. In terms of security, it always comes first above anything. You mentioned about the "bird cage". Let us first undestand that we are hosting a mega event, the IMF/WB. This is not just an event pick up from the road side. It comes with pride and privilege to be the host country. This event can bring in unwanted threats. Protest that turns violent and terrorist activities are some form of threats we can expect. Therefore, I think the government has done an excellent job in keeping out these threats at bay. We have important delegates. Some of which have great power in their hands to control the world economy. It is the nation and police'd duty to protect them and our citizens. Let us not take for granted the peace we have and expect nothing is going to happen.

The press. Its indeed sadden to see that SDP Chee Song Juan has decided to betray the nation by organizing such a protest. Is it such a pity that he cannot have the support of our own people that he needs the "attention" of the world? It is obvious he has planned for this to "attack" the government during the IMF/WB meeting. Why did the world press decide to publish this protest march more so than the meeting itself? Its simple. Because this is something that the world wouldn't expect Singapore to be like. I think those groups of people who have attended the rally and protest has indeed embarassed themselves. We as citizens of Singapore should be proud of hosting the IMF/WB and not taking this opportunity to use the world press and make headlines for themselves.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Eric,

It is a cruel world out there! We must take the world as it is instead of using our yardstick here to judge the world! As I have said, the world does not revolve around us! This is what Public Relations all about.

Mistake me not, I support any attempt to host internatioal meetings or conference that could help us brand to the world that we are a top choice for MICE. However, for each and every investment, there are pros and cons, most importantly, RISK factor. You don't jump into an investment just because you see it "attractive"! You must apply judgement on whether you are capable of handling it, not only from the logistics side but also, political side!

Apparently, as I have mentioned in my article, by the known facts at that time, we know that PAP's political culture or tolerance or mindset is totally incompatible to the IMF/WB meeting. You don't marry a gal whom you know in advance that you are incompatible with, isn't it?

Else, you will end up like what we have here, a bad reputation and bad press. We have paid heavy price for nothing but bad press!

Dr. Chee's protest rally is just another matter. In fact, I think there are two sides of the coin. Dr. Chee's protest rally has provided PAP govt the opportunity to show the world that it is just being "consistent" in not allowing foreigners to hold street protests as it did to its own citizens.

Of course, it turns out that Dr. Chee has successfully stolen the limelight from the Organizer of IMF meeting.

Mistake me not, I am all supportive of reclaiming our right to legal assembly but this branding exercise is very important for Singapore. PAP govt has tripped over itself in this branding exercise and we do not need another opportunity for bad press. That is why I did not support the protest rally this time round.

Goh Meng Seng

Warren said...

I have read this lengthy "argument" or "debate" between Mr Goh and the numerous commenter. I am quite impressed that Mr Goh M.S had taken time off to participate in this debate. I even more impress that comments belonging to "negative sentiments' towards Mr Goh's initial posts were also published. This had shown that Mr Goh (as a representative of the WP) is indeed keeping to their promises of real engagement. :)

I agree that branding was a major reason why Singapore hosted the IMF/WB conference. As suggested by Mr Goh, the conference came under the MICE concept, which was the major plus point in the IR's winning bid, and that, the conference was to kick start the whole concept.

dd mentioned about security. I agree with him that an efficient security is firstly necessary, and secondly a good security in place is likely to increase confidence in Singapore. Indeed, terrorism is a very real threat. I would like to make a point here. Have you been to Suntec in person or saw the pictures of the barriers, concrete blocks, uniformed guards and fence? In my opinion, they indeed looked intimidating. We can say it is deterrence to people who might breach the security; they really do make people feel uncomfortable. Imagine, the fences are softened with some posters(which is in place at certain sections), use less barbed wires, remove some concrete blocks (with less bight colours that blends) at less critical points, and allow a more cheerful security uniform to softened the intimidating uniform. This would make the delegates feel more comfortable, yet secure. This is something we can improve in future MICE events, among others

I believe, many Singaporeans were rather amused to read about NGOs, peaceful protests, accredited organizations, right to peaceful assembly etc. suddenly appearing in the headlines of the local dailies overnight when the conference drew near. This is indeed a very “new” thing in Singapore. Since the hock lee bus riots and race riots in Singapore’s early years, till modern times, the biggest protests in Singapore involved less than five which were quickly dissolved. It is indeed a dilemma the government faced when the government had to decide between maintaining fair treatments and accommodating the protests which were typical of such meetings. I agree this was an oversight when the government claimed the right to host the 2006 conference. Let’s see it through this angle: This is a small step in the development of Singapore (we are only 41 years old, remember?), I do hope this conference would open up discussions into such issues (freedom of expressions etc.) in the near future.

Indeed, this is among Singapore’s firsts in hosting a prestigious conference. This is indeed a very good first attempt; I believe fellow Singaporeans would agree with me. The goodie bags given to delegates which I saw over the news, was nice I would say, as well as the large variety of food prepared. Yet, there are many aspects we could indeed have improved on. Again, I hope this mega milestone event would open up more issues for national debate (yes, it is time for greater citizen involvement).

Warren Tan
Secondary School Pupil
(people say it is never too young to blog politics)

Anonymous said...

A whole load of rubbish!!! Whats PR? Project gd side of an apple, hide hte ugly side. Out to please people like those in opposition. PAP is in power today because it dont give a damn to what all these high class chaps talk, BIG WORD, PR. What u hv to do, jus do it. What are u afraid of? Act nice in front of people, when gone revert to ur simple self? Hyprocrisy. World no 1 traitor in u, breed instablity, mobs clashes with troops, gang rapes, burn down buildings, etc etc. So this end result then u happy? Then WP can assume power? fat hope!!! So u are saying we shld bluff the world by saying we r not a terror target even though we r one. No wonder forte of WP, produced great liar James Gomez. No woory, EDB got many capable staff in attracting MNCS. if really this is a flopped pR exercise, why r u so concerned? I think all the more u shld be happy, right?

Anonymous said...

The key to s'pore success is be DIRECT. LKY says "If we got pig swine, let the world knows." unlike china hides SARS. I presume GMS would adpot tht approach if WP in power.

Anonymous said...

Can never trust WP. all liars. Hide bad side show u gd side, lucky voters r smart, can tell the diference.

Warren said...

Everyone is entittled to his views

But hey, don't remain anonymous, and comment without evidence

this is flaming, and the credibility of ur posts are dwindled

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Warren,

Haha, I was about to comment on this and ask those who prefered to remain anon to put up at least a name or nick. ;)

Anyway, if this is what PAP meant by "managing" the internet, then we should be very very disappointed. They really lack PR sense!

Goh Meng Seng

timson said...

Goh Meng Seng

warren is right, pro pap readers are flaming you posts.

Anonymous said...

Please visit: http://lightamillioncandles.com

Its a project to help innocent victims of online child abuse.

Anonymous said...

i disagree that providing a nick is necessary. we should not give credibility to a post simply because the poster is known. posts should be judged based solely on it's content, with no fallacious influences.

i pity people who are unable to discern worthless flames from meaningful posts simply because no nick is provided.

Anonymous said...

I put myself in the shoes of a delegate, who has never been to Singapore. I have 1 entire week of meetings. So much work...

Then I see the beautiful flowers. The excellent service at my hotel. My wife told me she had a great day with others.

Protestors and demonstrators are absent. Only a small area is given to them to express their views. I only saw a couple of them. This meeting is unlike previous ones I attended, where there are always street marches.

After the meeting ended, I board the return plane with my wife. I have finished all my work in time. Again, I'm impressed by the airport and the courtesy of the staff. I bought many presents for my family and friends, and I would tell them what a great place Singapore is.

Thus, making a single delegate happy is far more important in the publicity campaign than the 'CSO thingy'. I'm sure this branding is a success, because small, little and minor things count more in their impression of Singapore than the fact that the government is 'authoritarian' et cetera.

fishyang said...

Hey rmb me! Anyway i blogged about politics and all again. Hope you can read it and give your comments and stuff.


www.fishyang.blogspot.com/2006/09/malaysia-racism.html



byebye!

Anonymous said...

Wish of WP is simple. They don,t want S'pore to hold this event, all out to make it a failure at all costs. What a real traitor.

Anonymous said...

Goh also supported Francis Seow, demanded tht the anti American march be cancelled. All these point to the fact tht he a willing low dog of the Americans.

Anonymous said...

My respect to Mr Goh and Warren. They raised very good and insight. It show that opposition party can really think and unlike PAP who manipulate newspaper to their advantages and twist story here and there. Until PAP play fair, they can stop talking about integrity and value. There are no such thing as be flexible in integrity and value. Either you have it or you don't. Yes, even corrupted ppl has integrity and value too !!!!

If Mr PM and LKY want to critise other countries and start thinking that they are best leaders in the world, in the region, in Singapore, tell them to "f@#$#" off. If they want to prove that, let them govern other countries like Malaysia, taiwan, america. These educated "i#$@#@$" are just simply lucky to have obedient dogs like us who never bite the master even they "mislead" us. Yes, we bark and bark, but that's all we do. We let ourselves get manipulate and be blind by propagada, and yet we put on a smiling face everyday and pretend nothing as happen. well, we are the real pervert !!!

Yes, Singapore leaders start to get arrogant as Mathair says, and unfortunately I start to feel so now having been a active supporter of PAP in the past.

Yes, young kid can go politics and start giving critical and rational reasons, but kid, please tell us your view when you start working for society and feel the pressure of PayAndPay. Yes, kid, stop behave like consultant who can just talk and talk but yet to walk the talk.

Maturity is about going through experience and learn from it, not just using rational mind to reason thing out. well, ppl can think and reason maturely doesn't mean that they are mature in their action, mindset and behaviour. Remember Enron ??? Isn't Enron's leaders very charismatic and yet end up been slut and corrupted ???

Cheers to Mr Goh and Warren.

Lao Xin Zhou said...

>> Yes, even corrupted ppl has integrity and value too !!!!

--> If corrupted people has good values, then they won't be corrupting in the first place.

>>If Mr PM and LKY want to critise other countries and start thinking that they are best leaders in the world, in the region, in Singapore, tell them to "f@#$#" off.

--> Based on my knowledge towards the world, I can easily say PAP leaders are best in the world. Go figure it out. If you hate them so much, then you should be government yourself and stand in the same shoes as them before you talk blindly.

>> If they want to prove that, let them govern other countries like Malaysia, taiwan, america. These educated "i#$@#@$" are just simply lucky to have obedient dogs like us who never bite the master even they "mislead" us.

--> They already proved it, 41 years of Singapore's history and success is a good evidence. If they go governed Malaysia, it will be dramatic to see Singaporeans begging Malaysians for money. Don't ask me why.

>> Yes, we bark and bark, but that's all we do. We let ourselves get manipulate and be blind by propagada, and yet we put on a smiling face everyday and pretend nothing as happen. well, we are the real pervert !!!

-- I think your daily life are being too smooth and too free that you can't even bear the stress of the realistic world. Blame this and blame that.

>>Yes, Singapore leaders start to get arrogant as Mathair says, and unfortunately I start to feel so now having been a active supporter of PAP in the past.

--> Every leaders are arrogant, not only Mahathir and Singapore leaders. George Bush and Tony Blair are both arrogant piece of jerks but yet they have large support from their people. I don't understand why not in Singapore.

>>Yes, young kid can go politics and start giving critical and rational reasons, but kid, please tell us your view when you start working for society and feel the pressure of PayAndPay. Yes, kid, stop behave like consultant who can just talk and talk but yet to walk the talk.

-- You said arrogant Singapore leaders are bad and unpleasant but based on this quote, I can straight away say you are even more idiotic and arrogant to accused others' arrogance but yours left much to desire. At least people in our teen age, are trying hard to speak up and learn more, so as not to lost their way when comes to national affairs, unlike you, whine and whine over again.

>>Maturity is about going through experience and learn from it, not just using rational mind to reason thing out. well, ppl can think and reason maturely doesn't mean that they are mature in their action, mindset and behaviour. Remember Enron ??? Isn't Enron's leaders very charismatic and yet end up been slut and corrupted ???

--> From what you wrote so far, I can say you are not mature at all. People who are the real mature will keep very low profile and watch how things went and not shooting out at others before they can even explain to you. A mature person is also a good observer, not complaining here and there. If you accused Enron's government for their ill action, mindset and behaviour, well, I feel the same for you.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Lao Xin Zhou,

I could see from your blog that you are quite well verse in Chinese and I will use a term to discribe the situation here:

无常。

This is the budhist concept of "impermanence", meaning, good people could also turn bad. Nothing is "permanent" in this world, the only permanent thing is impermanence. Thus, it is possible for corrupt people to have integrity and good values initially!

As for your blog's title, I would suggest otherwise:

以人为本,以民为先。

It means that the political system or ruling elites, must treat citizens first as human beings and citizens must come first. This is the fundamentals of a democracy.

Your blog's name:

以国为先, 国家之上

means that as long as the ruling party could say it is all about National interests, individuals' rights and interests could be sacrificed. This is normally an extreme case of socialism... The Communist used to use such logic.

Yes, we need to take national interests into consideration but national interests is about the people's interests, not the interests of few, least the ruling elites' own agenda. The two phrases may sound the same but in essence, they are different.

Goh Meng Seng

human book said...

List of racial discriminations in Malaysia, practiced by government as well as government agencies. This list is an open secret. Best verified by government itself because it got the statistics.

This list is not in the order of importance, that means the first one on the list is not the most important and the last one on the list does not mean least important.

This list is a common knowledge to a lot of Malaysians, especially those non-malays (Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli, Tamils, etc) who were being racially discriminated.

Figures in this list are estimates only and please take it as a guide only. Government of Malaysia has the most correct figures. Is government of Malaysia too ashamed to publish their racist acts by publishing racial statistics?

This list cover a period of about 49 years since independence (1957).

List of racial discriminations (Malaysia):

(1) Out of all the 5 major banks, only one bank is multi-racial, the rest are controlled by malays

(2) 99% of Petronas directors are malays

(3) 3% of Petronas employees are Chinese

(4) 99% of 2000 Petronas gasoline stations are owned by malays

(5) 100% all contractors working under Petronas projects must be bumis status

(6) 0% of non-malay staffs is legally required in malay companies. But there must be 30% malay staffs in Chinese companies

(7) 5% of all new intake for government army, nurses, polices, is non-malays

(8) 2% is the present Chinese staff in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), drop from 40% in 1960

(9) 2% is the percentage of non-malay government servants in Putrajaya. But malays make up 98%

(10) 7% is the percentage of Chinese government servants in the whole government (in 2004), drop from 30% in 1960

(11) 95% of government contracts are given to malays

(12) 100% all business licensees are controlled by malay government e.g. Approved permits, Taxi permits, etc

(13) 80% of the Chinese rice millers in Kedah had to be sold to malay controlled Bernas in 1980s. Otherwise, life is make difficult for Chinese rice millers

(14) 100 big companies set up, owned and managed by Chinese Malaysians were taken over by government, and later managed by malays since 1970s e.g. MISC, UMBC, UTC, etc

(15) At least 10 Chinese owned bus companies (throughout Malaysia, throughout 40 years) had to be sold to MARA or other malay transport companies due to rejection by malay authority to Chinese application for bus routes and rejection for their application for new buses

(16) 2 Chinese taxi drivers were barred from driving in Johor Larkin bus station. There are about 30 taxi drivers and 3 are Chinese in October 2004. Spoiling taxi club properties was the reason given

(17) 0 non-malays are allowed to get shop lots in the new Muar bus station (November 2004)

(18) 8000 billion ringgit is the total amount the government channeled to malay pockets through ASB, ASN, MARA, privatisation of government agencies, Tabung Haji etc, through NEP over 34 years period

(19) 48 Chinese primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(20) 144 Indian primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(21) 2637 malay primary schools built since 1968 - 2000

(22) 2.5% is government budget for Chinese primary schools. Indian schools got only 1%, malay schools got 96.5%

(23) While a Chinese parent with RM1000 salary (monthly) cannot get school-text-book-loan, a malay parent with RM2000 salary is eligible

(24) 10 all public universities vice chancellors are malays

(25) 5% - the government universities lecturers of non-malay origins had been reduced from about 70% in 1965 to only 5% in 2004

(26) Only 5% is given to non-malays for government scholarships over 40 years

(27) 0 Chinese or Indians were sent to Japan and Korea under "Look East Policy"

(28) 128 STPM Chinese top students could not get into the course that they aspired e.g. Medicine (in 2004)

(29) 10% place for non-bumi students for MARA science schools beginning from year 2003, but only 7% are filled. Before that it was 100% malays

(30) 50 cases whereby Chinese and Indian Malaysians, are beaten up in the National Service program in 2003

(31) 25% is Malaysian Chinese population in 2004, drop from 45% in 1957

(32) 7% is the present Malaysian Indians population (2004), a drop from 12% in 1957

(33) 2 million Chinese Malaysians had emigrated to overseas since 40 years ago

(34) 0.5 million Indian Malaysians had emigrated to overseas

(35) 3 million Indonesians had migrated into Malaysia and became Malaysian citizens with bumis status

(36) 600000 are the Chinese and Indian Malaysians with red IC and were rejected repeatedly when applying for citizenship for 40 years. Perhaps 60% of them had already passed away due to old age. This shows racism of how easily Indonesians got their citizenships compare with the Chinese and Indians

(37) 5% - 15% discount for a malay to buy a house, regardless whether the malay is poor or rich

(38) 2% is what Chinese new villages get compare with 98% of what malay villages got for rural development budget

(39) 50 road names (at least) had been changed from Chinese names to other names

(40) 1 Dewan Gan Boon Leong (in Malacca) was altered to other name (e.g. Dewan Serbaguna or sort) when it was being officially used for a few days. Government try to shun Chinese names. This racism happened in around year 2000 or sort

(41) 0 churches/temples were built for each housing estate. But every housing estate got at least one mosque/surau built

(42) 3000 mosques/surau were built in all housing estates throughout Malaysia since 1970. No churches, no temples are required to be built in housing estates

(43) 1 Catholic church in Shah Alam took 20 years to apply to be constructed. But told by malay authority that it must look like a factory and not look like a church. Still not yet approved in 2004

(44) 1 publishing of Bible in Iban language banned (in 2002)

(45) 0 of the government TV stations (RTM1, RTM2, TV3) are directors of non-malay origins

(46) 30 government produced TV dramas and films always showed that the bad guys had Chinese face, and the good guys had malay face. You can check it out since 1970s. Recent years, this tendency becomes less

(47) 10 times, at least, malays (especially Umno) had threatened to massacre the Chinese Malaysians using May 13 since 1969

(48) 20 constituencies won by DAP would not get funds from the government to develop. Or these Chinese majority constituencies would be the last to be developed

(49) 100 constituencies (parliaments and states) had been racistly re-delineated so Chinese voters were diluted that Chinese candidates, particularly DAP candidates lost in election since 1970s

(50) Only 3 out of 12 human rights items are ratified by Malaysia government since 1960

(51) 0 - elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (UN Human Rights) is not ratified by Malaysia government since 1960s

(52) 20 reported cases whereby malay ambulance attendances treated Chinese patients inhumanely, and malay government hospital staffs purposely delay attending to Chinese patients in 2003. Unreported cases may be 200

(53) 50 cases each year whereby Chinese, especially Chinese youths being beaten up by malay youths in public places. We may check at police reports provided the police took the report, otherwise there will be no record

(54) 20 cases every year whereby Chinese drivers who accidentally knocked down malays were seriously assaulted or killed by malays

(55) 12% is what ASB/ASN got per annum while banks fixed deposit is only about 3.5% per annum

There are hundreds more racial discriminations in Malaysia to add to this list of "colossal" racism. It is hope that the victims of racism will write in to expose racism.

Malaysia government should publish statistics showing how much malays had benefited from the "special rights" of malays and at the same time tell the statistics of how much other minority races are being discriminated.

Hence, the responsibility lies in the Malaysia government itself to publish unadulterated statistics of racial discrimination.

If the Malaysia government hides the statistics above, then there must be some evil doings, immoral doings, shameful doings and sinful doings, like the Nazi, going on onto the non-malays of Malaysia.

Civilized nation, unlike evil Nazi, must publish statistics to show its treatment on its minority races. This is what Malaysia must publish……….

We are asking for the publication of the statistics showing how "implementation of special rights of malays" had inflicted colossal racial discrimination onto non-malays.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god!!! What nonsense is Goh spouting? Corrupt men hv integrity? Well what Goh is implying is non corrupt men in PAP has no integrity. Why do PAP wear white? Go back to history & u will know. Not many in the world can claim to be non corrupt and yes indeed they r non corrupt. If u pay a traffic policeman with a salary he cant even feed his parents, dont blame him for corrupt. Stop seizing the moral high ground, its an honour & prestige to wear tht police uniform!!!

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Human Book,

I think we are just a small country and we should not meddle with other countries' politics. We would not like other countries' politicians to comment on our politics or tell us what to do right?

As for the Anonymous at 8.42pm, I must say that even PAP with its white uniform, could not escape from corruption scandals in the past. Zheng Zhang Yuan in 1980s is one prime example. In 1990s, there was PAP MP who was jailed for making false documents to get financial loans for his friend. Nobody is perfect unless he is god. And no political party, with so many human beings inside, could be perfect as well.

But I think if you are talking about relative terms instead of "absolute" terms, then it would seem that PAP as ruling party may be better than many other govts in the third world countries. But opposition exists for the fact that nobody is perfect and we need checks and balances.

Besides, could you guarantee PAP to be forever so clean relatively speaking? This is the meaning of impermanence.

Goh Meng Seng

老星洲 said...

>>以国为先, 国家之上

means that as long as the ruling party could say it is all about National interests, individuals' rights and interests could be sacrificed. This is normally an extreme case of socialism... The Communist used to use such logic.

Yes, we need to take national interests into consideration but national interests is about the people's interests, not the interests of few, least the ruling elites' own agenda. The two phrases may sound the same but in essence, they are different.

Goh Meng Seng

--> 以国为先, 国家之上, is means to said that country above self. I won't be unloyalty to Singapore just because of the ruling party, etc. And beside, the ruling party is doing a good job. Because of the communist uses such logic, it managed to rised large amount of patriotists fighting for their country. By the way, how you know about my website?

Anonymous said...

For those who keep comparing us to other countries, saying that Malaysia is this and that, and that thailand is this and that, and Singapore is so far the best . I say go and fly more kites.

Because next time, if the transportation and GST increased, PM can perhaps just say : "
"Why not ?? Singapore is safe and sound. Increasing price is the price you pay for this privilege if not entitlement." Well, of course, all tactful PM would not say this, but perhaps ppl who compare us against the countries, if one day become PM, will perhaps think like that.

I say move on, globlization has hit us and demand place on us is getting heavier and heavier for each passing years. Soon we be oldman working for Macdonald.

We need to do things to reduce the cost not increased cost !!!! Building upgrading ,and building vibrant city will increase the expenditure and lack of accountability will put back the pressure on the republic. This is not withstanding of large salary draw by MP.

I respect the MP if they come out solution to resolve not distract them.

Corrupted ppl don't have integrity and value ???? I say wake up guys, all ppl have integrity and value at moment in time. Goh say it right. Value and integrity will be put behind if interest benefit them greatly. Afterall ppl can become self-righteous if no one dare to confront them at all.

If PAP do have integrity and value with flawless characters, I will probably worship them more than KuanYin.

Country is country, ruling is ruling. We love our country but not the practice of gov. But the rules of authorian gov here determine the future of country. so Country=gov.
it is bad, but what can we do ? If I can bring back the leadership of LKY, I will probably be happier, but his son show weakness in leadership and definitely not a leader material after decades in these fields.

LKY = Wise, strict but with good leadership
GCT = Understanding, kind, caring leadership.
PM = money-orientated, BS leadership (That's probably the kind Enron has for top management)

We need leaders like LKY and GCT not clown who can't even fake a lie.

Phantom Prospero said...

Every country's government has its flaws. No one government is perfect. What works for one country may not work for another.

Anonymous said...

Mr Phantom,
exactly that no gov is perfect that check must be in place from third party to make sure decision is wisely made, not for other person's agenda or group own interest.

Anonymous said...

For a huge party like PAP, its hard not to hv a few broken branches. At least these people r severly dealt with & Tay Cheng Wan pay for it dearly for his life. If something like this happen in WP, wonder what would happen. Signs of nepotism r already revealing despite the fact they not in power. Jus do a count of opposition members holding on to town council jobs u will know.

Anonymous said...

As someone already say, even if WP opposition party may not be perfect, at least, PAP and WP will keep each other in check. Rather than one-party country which are given free rein to do do what they want, (who know how MP salary is graded ???). At least having a system of check is better than none at all.

The point is that not to be direct anything personally but be concern of what the valid point/insight an opposition party can bring. Can anyone say Dr Chee is stupid and trouble-maker ??? Well, at first, I thought so as the newspaper indicated. Not until, I hear and read in internet that I realized that what he said is intelligent and true to some point. Believe in yourself and judgement, don't believe in propagada. Propagada is for dummy and brainless ppl.

Be critical of what PAP party say. LKY say that they need a president good enough. But anyone smart enough what he means and the reason that he want to retain Nathan as president. Yes, sometimes good ppl can have own personal "motive" that beneath his righteous image.

Anonymous said...

"For example, would a company talks about its weakness or some problems with its products in its advertisement? Car manufacturers sometimes face problems with the cars they have made and has to recall those models, but is it appropriate for them to talk about it in their advertisement?"

I would prefer a frank and honest views...

Nothing new said...

"Anonymous said...
Recently I noticed on many popular blogs that were many comments that are pro 'gahmen' for the sake of being pro 'gahmen'. (e.g. anon @ 1:09AM).

Maybe they were sent by the 'gahmen'? Just wondering....
9:26 AM "

Go to read a news at Lian He Zao Bao dated 23 May 2005 Page 16, at the end of the right hand side corner of that page, China gahmen train pple to do this kind of things already -- post pro gahmen comments.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, I do notice that there seem to be many pro gahmen in this forum. Could it be because Mr Goh is WP member ??

I do read very interesting view on Lao Xin Zhou who say
--> From what you wrote so far, I can say you are not mature at all. People who are the real mature will keep very low profile and watch how things went and not shooting out at others before they can even explain to you. A mature person is also a good observer, not complaining here and there. If you accused Enron's government for their ill action, mindset and behaviour, well, I feel the same for you.

If this is true, then why Lao Xin Zhou even come to this site and comment ??? Perhaps he should keep low profile and retire in rural faraway land and don't have to understand what going on around the world.
We are not complaining here, Mr Lao. We are raising our view, that is what blog is all about, giving opinion and view. If Mr Lao doesn't know that and probably most gahmen don't, Mr Lao must have probably been a gahmen himself perhaps since most gahmen always contradict themselves somehow very well.

Perhaps Mr Lao does not complain at all, this is exactly kind of ppl needed for company, so that they could overload him with work and exploit him because he can only observe silently and don't complain, and could not even raise one. Any moment, he try to say overload and raise his opinion, his boss will say that to him "Why are you complaining, you are lucky to work for my company to give you a job."

HOw I hope all Singaporeans is like Mr Lao, so that company continue to enjoy prosperity and exploit these "obedient" and compliance workers, and never receive a complain. Our society need more clone like him to be more competitive, productive, and work till died of old age.

Mr Lao may have well-worked for Enron-type company and will feel happy working for them without complain.

Long live Lao.

老星洲 said...

>>Hmmmm, I do notice that there seem to be many pro gahmen in this forum. Could it be because Mr Goh is WP member ??

--> Biased. It does not mean that I opposed towards an opposition member means I am pro-government, pro-PAP, etc, etc. I and Goh were exchanging our views to each other, so as to "keep check" to each other's point of views, not stepping on him because he is an opposition member. Please get this point right.

>>If this is true, then why Lao Xin Zhou even come to this site and comment ??? Perhaps he should keep low profile and retire in rural faraway land and don't have to understand what going on around the world.
We are not complaining here, Mr Lao. We are raising our view, that is what blog is all about, giving opinion and view. If Mr Lao doesn't know that and probably most gahmen don't, Mr Lao must have probably been a gahmen himself perhaps since most gahmen always contradict themselves somehow very well.

--> Perhaps you are that annoymous who got stomped by me, was that you? The meaning of low profile is to keep away from expressing too much that attracts unwanted attentions from the government, angencies, town concils, and many others. However, it does not isolate from comment exchangings in blogs and forums. Please stop denying your complains. It is so obvious that you are complaining. If you are saying that you are just raising your point of view, let me make this clear: making point of view, is to make with constructive, logical, calm and positive, not attacking the government in a negative manner which belongs to complaining.

>>Perhaps Mr Lao does not complain at all, this is exactly kind of ppl needed for company, so that they could overload him with work and exploit him because he can only observe silently and don't complain, and could not even raise one. Any moment, he try to say overload and raise his opinion, his boss will say that to him "Why are you complaining, you are lucky to work for my company to give you a job."

--> I think you are quite wrong in comparing a company to a Republic. Let me make this clear, a nation is vast different from a company. I seriously felt that you did not even read through the rest of my comment exchangings with Goh. Yes, I supported the government but also against some of their policies. When look at the bad side, one should also look at the positive side. Debating poltics is not the place for emotional screaming, complains and harsh scoldings.

>>HOw I hope all Singaporeans is like Mr Lao, so that company continue to enjoy prosperity and exploit these "obedient" and compliance workers, and never receive a complain. Our society need more clone like him to be more competitive, productive, and work till died of old age.

--> I am also disagree that Singaporeans should not make any complains. Yes, there must be complains to light up the mistakes that may committed by the government. However, please do not overdose your complains. cBy omplaining mini-minor issues are completely a waste of time which many Singaporeans failed to understand. Please think before you lodge a complain on the government.

Anonymous said...

As long as gov doesn't come clean with truth, and just "not telling the truth of being", speculation will arise and happen. First of all, the PM say he won't have time to fix the opposition party, then why is he holding two post ??? PM and Finance minister. Perhaps, if he become PM only, he will have more time to fix the opp party.

Yes, the PM will be much better to explain that , and also put on light on how GIC place investment. This are important to us. it is our taxmoney.

We are not complaining to gov. We are trying to find out what happened to the gov that is once about ppl. But it seem to me now it is all about $$$,$$$, $$$. Yes, how much growth we have, how much profit country make, business investment ... and blah, blah, and social issue seem to be afterthought.

Is it a cause of bad or poor leadership or internally, the gov has lost touch with ppl ???

These are not minor issues. These issues do grow big if there are too much authority on gov to place decision especially we have no idea how our gov is currently been run.

Why gov always want to fix opp party when opp party member just only raise concern ??? Could gov explain that ?? Why declare opp party as liar or even poltical gangster without further evidence ????

Coud someone explain this ????

Why broke the agreement with IMF on protest ??? If the president of IMF never mention it, perhaps, the world will never know ???

Why hide everything from us ???? We are all Singaporean, and we have a part in growth of Singapore, why even pretend that we are non-existent ???

So much questions but never answer, all they want from us is to believe in them ???? Words are cheap, action are real. We have seen what happened around us.

Ppl are fallible that why we demand accountability and transparency. Is that wrong ???
Why are gov not willing to do that with third party ???

Why our ex-president, Ong Teng Cheong, which I respect deeply, even question PM, and not happy with gov policy ??

We Singaporean is not complaining, we are simply trying to find answer. If the anwser doesn't come straight from gov, it will simply come straight from the ppl. The ppl are fedup that many things are covered up and it is sad that other foreigner newspaper covered it instead.

Isn't that pathetic for us Singaporean who need foreign news to understand and realize what going on ??? What really happened to our gov ? the gov that I envy and used to tell my foreign friends about ?? Now, whenever they mention our gov, I hope to find a hole to hide. The criticism here in this blog is nothing compared to theirs.

What so constructive about criticism if so much of gov is shrouded in secrecy ???

Why not play fair in election ???

Yes, Singaporean can think and unless gov come clean, there will always be "complains".

Rahim said...

I am saddened to read your comments on the IMF meeting. I am a police officer in charge of security in the area. Do you know how many sleepless nights we had just to make the event a success? What are you doing when we patrolling the streets at midnight? Sitting in front of the PC and typing such rubbish! Singapore don't need opposition like you around who only NATO.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear Rahim,

I think you have shot the wrong person here. I think nobody doubt the effort that police officers have put in trying to make this IMF meeting "successful".

However, it is not me nor you that will determine whether it is "successful" or not, but rather on people who decide on critical decisions on the various things; in short, it is the PAP govt that has made a blunder on its PR strategy in organizing this IMF meeting.

Thus, if you want to be angry, you should not be angry at me as I am simply stating the obvious facts on how our international image has not improved despite all the money and effort like yours being put in.

Goh Meng Seng

老星洲 said...

>>I think you have shot the wrong person here. I think nobody doubt the effort that police officers have put in trying to make this IMF meeting "successful".

--> This meeting had suceeded if you have been looking at the big picture.

>>Thus, if you want to be angry, you should not be angry at me as I am simply stating the obvious facts on how our international image has not improved despite all the money and effort like yours being put in.

--> He was right to be angry at you. Your so called "obvious facts" are just looking things on the surface. Read back the comment written by Eric.