Friday, July 31, 2015

Principles to Electoral Contest and Negotiation

I have met some friends today and I was pretty surprised that they were worried of me going into 3 corner fights with other opposition parties.

For those who really know me would have known that I have made the effort not only for my team to avoid 3 corner fight but also advocate against it for other opposition party members.

For the record, I have pulled back the NSP A team from Moulmein Kallang GRC to avoid 3 corner fight with WP during last GE with the belief that WP might have extraordinary good candidates to field in this GRC, deserving a good fight to win and get into parliament. I was disappointed in the end that WP didn't field a strong team there but that's life.

I chose to be in opposition politics only for a few reasons:

1) Break the GRC fortress
2) Deprive PAP two third majority
3) Help to send people whom I think are deserving to get into parliament

It is with these guiding objectives that I chose to stay on and fight. Thus, as long as there are good or better candidates contesting, I do not mind to give way.

For each and every contest, lots of money are spent apart from the time and effort candidates have put in. This is why candidates prefer to contest in the same ward again. Personally, I do not mind to give way, in effect wasting all previous efforts and money altogether, as long as there good candidates from other party wanting to contest.

I would also refrain from getting into other people's turf just to "chope" places without any good reasons. We should be fighting to win, not just to chope places with people whom we ourselves have doubts of their ability to contribute to parliamentary debates and public interests at large.

I believe most potential 3 corner fights could be resolved if the leaders of every opposition parties are rational and could make considerations and decisions according to good reasonsing rather than emotions.

Goh Meng Seng

Singapore - Our Lychee Island

During one of my visit to my parents' homeland in Hainan island, I learned how the farmers grow lychee trees.

They will have to trim the branches periodically so that the tree will have good bearing of fruits as it does not waste too much nutrients to sustain the excessive branches and leaves.

Singapore is just like an old lychee tree. There are too many excessive branches to be fed and thus, the tree produce less than optimum fruits for the people. Worse still, some of the deep old roots are so rotten and it deter healthy growth of the country.

The only way to make this little country Vibrant and healthy again is to trim off all those excessive crony tree branches and even dig in, cut off and remove the rotten roots while keeping the healthy ones.

Else this old lychee tree of ours will just die slowly by getting infectious rotten roots and over burden by the crony branches which suck off excessive nutrients from the fruits for our people.

We only have this little lychee tree which we call Singapore. No matter how hard it is to get rid of the excessive branches or deep rotten roots, we will have to do it. We want to get our country back again to serve its people, not some rotten roots or greedy branches.

Goh Meng Seng

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Singapore is BIGGER than LKY & LHL

I refer to the forum letter entitled “Govt critics riding on Amos’ case for their own cause” published on 8 July 2015 (Today).

The author insinuated that my participation in the protest held in Hong Kong on 5 July 2015 was an attempt to “incite participants of other nationalities” to protest against a “local issue”. And the author opined that I am not “patriotic” because I did nothing to stop the protestors from burning the “effigies” of Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong.

My response is as follows:

1) I believe the author, Mr. David Tan, has never participated in any protest before. It is an extremely common practice for protesters (overseas) to burn effigies of their targeted politicians or individuals. In the said protest, I would say that the printed images of Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong are not even considered as “proper” effigies to begin with.

2) A staff from Singapore Consulate was present at the protest site and he didn’t step in to interfere with the burning of the “effigies”. Is he considered as “unpatriotic” by David Tan’s definition?

3) I do not consider the two individuals, Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong as “representation” of Singapore. i.e. they are NOT Singapore and Singapore does not equate to them. I believe Singapore is definitely BIGGER than them.

4) There are reasons why the protesters have demonstrated such disgust of the two persons, so much so that they proceeded to burn their images. You may or may not agree with them, but this is their way of expression in Hong Kong.

5) As I have repeatedly said, I do not respect dictators and definitely have even lower opinion of Lee Hsien Loong after his administration has chosen to use such inhumane and cruel means against a 16 year old boy.

6) I would have raised my objection to the organizers if they were planning to burn the Singapore flag. They didn’t burn the Singapore flag but only two individuals’ images whom I have very little respect to start with. And I do not think they are in any way, represent Singapore’s sovereignty.

7) Thus I do not see why I should interfere in their protest activity at all.

8) Besides, it is a really bad move if anyone from the Singapore Consulate has interfered in their burning of the images. It will only escalate the matter and create a bigger unnecessary bad press for Singapore.

9) In fact, Singapore Consulate’s refusal to receive the letter of protest from the protesters has aggravated the situation back then, resulted the protesters to take further actions of pasting protest signs on the lift lobby. This is totally unnecessary as the protest could have ended earlier and peacefully.

10) Human right is an universal issue. There isn’t a need for anyone like me to “incite” protest by foreigners against such human rights infringement. The reason why Singapore name is being dragged into the mud is basically due to the total mismanagement of PAP government under Lee Hsien Loong in handling Amos Yee case. Anyone with good conscience should feel angry about this and should question why PAP government has damaged Singapore name internationally.

11) When our country is being invaded, we will stand up and fight our enemies. When our government has brought shame to our Nation, we should speak up against it. Only then, it is true patriotism. We should not misplace our patriotism to support any government which has done wrong and brought international shame to our Nation.

12) Last but not least, I am quite puzzled why the author is expressing more concern of the burning of effigies which didn’t cause any harm to the dead nor the living (maybe only a slight dent to ego) but chose to ignore the unjust, cruel and inhumane harm which the PAP government has inflicted on a 16 year old boy.

13) I would opine that this is a total disproportionate and unbalance focus on the inconsequential issue while trying to sidetrack from the more important issue of political persecution of a 16 year old boy.

Goh Meng Seng

MRT Mess - Failure of Leadership Appointment

The massive breakdown of MRT North South and East West lines has infuriated lots of Singaporeans. While PAP government, LTA and SMRT boast about how much improvement the train system since the new CEO has been appointed, numerous breakdowns big and small have been occurring over the years almost as a monthly or even weekly basis. This is despite of numerous increase of fare and pumping in of taxpayers' money into the train system.

What went wrong with the whole MRT system? We used to pride ourselves to have one of the world's most reliable subway system but now, we are suffering from a highly unreliable train system which is constantly breaking down or suffering from delays.

There are a few dimensions of this problem and one of it is of course the over population which inevitably over burden the system which was initially designed to serve only a population of 3 million. PAP's over ambitious and aggressive population policy has worn down the system faster than it was designed for.

Unfortunately, while the train system was facing such unprecedented over-strain, PAP government has appointed someone who may be good in retail business and well connected to the top powerful elites but has absolutely ZERO experience in running a train system. This woman, Saw Phaik Hwa, was the most disastrous CEO PAP Government has ever appointed and the fundamental root problems of the whole MRT system was nurtured and cultured during her era.

The only thing PAP and Saw had in their minds was to squeeze and milk maximum profits from the whole train system. While Saw was good in turning and transform space in many MRT stations into retail rental space which helps MRT to gain enormous profits out from rentals, but she had at the same time cut down maintenance budget for the train system in relative terms to further squeeze more profits. In fact, her whole management focus was on retail and maximizing profits. This could be seen from the various people she employed whom are her former colleagues or associates in retail business. In doing so, it is inevitable that maintenance standards has dropped drastically with more experienced staffs being replaced by cheaper foreign labour.

Imagine that while we are facing an over strained train system, lesser resources were channeled to maintenance services. This further aggravated the situation and it is only a matter of time the whole system will break down.

In short, MRT under Saw, with PAP blessing and approval, has gone overdrive to milk the whole MRT system in the expense of proper maintenance needs. This single minded pursue of profit maximization compromised safety and reliability of the whole train system.  

Thus, when MRT has its first major breakdown, all blames are pointed to Saw. Thus, Saw resigned and the rest is history.

When we thought that with the departure of Saw, PAP government would have learned their lesson and take public transport reliability as their top priority. In view of the challenging time SMRT was facing back in 2012, PAP government should have looked for somebody who really has the relevant experience in running a subway system to look into the teething technical maintenance problems but it failed in doing so.

Instead, PAP government put a formal Army Lieutenant General Desmond Quek who also has absolutely Zero experience in running a train system to be SMRT CEO. 

While the new CEO is good at boasting about how much improvement the train system is after he took over as CEO and increasing his own salary disproportionately to the growth of SMRT earnings, but by the hard true records shown on the list above, we are still facing INCREASING disruptions and annoying breakdowns of the train system! This is a fact and the problem may become worse when more MRT train services and lines are added into the whole system.

What Desmond Quek is seen to be good so far, is to constantly ask for more fare increment and injection of funds by the Government (LTA) while he continues to increase his million dollar salary.

Thus we can see the fundamental problem of MRT system very clearly. While there are external factors like explosion of population which causes the train system to wear out faster than it is designed for, the real fundamental problem is GREED in profit maximization and the totally unprofessional appointment and management of the top leadership by their own kakis.

SMRT is an important public entity to ensure our economic efficiency can be maintained with efficient and reliable mass public transport system. It should not become an entity for PAP government to "reward" their own people or for purely self serving profiteering agenda. Neither should it be a dumping ground for retired general with absolutely zero experiences in running such important public train transport system.

SMRT is not just any other company which you could just manage with your mouth or shifting resources here and there. It needs people who really understand the whole technical aspects of the train system and its operations to manage it effectively. No matter how smart you are or what a scholar you are or how good you are in maximizing profits, you will need to get the fundamentals right Reliability of the whole train system will affect the whole country's economic efficiency. This should not be taken too lightly

Up till now, from Saw to Quek,the results speak louder than anything else: they have BOTH FAILED in running SMRT effectively, FAILED to maintain its technical reliability despite of the fact that they were increasing their own salaries over their tenure.

No matter how much tax payers money PAP is willing to throw into this system, as long as they do not have the right person who knows the whole train system inside out, they are not going to get any reliable results out of such massive injection of funds.

Desmond Quek should be replaced immediately by someone who really have the wealth of professional experiences in running such a subway system so that the right talent and focus could be used to solve the current problems. Else, Singaporeans will have to continue to expect regular train break downs and disruptions as part and parcel of their lives.

Goh Meng Seng

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Voice of Conscience

Andrew Loh expressed frustration and disappointment that no MP, be it PAP or WP has made any comment on the torture, unfair treatment or cruel inhumane vindictive political persecution of AMOS.

I would like to share with him and all here why this is so. I was persuaded by many well meaning supporters and close associates not to comment or get involved in this Amos saga simply because they opined that I will lose support and votes from Singaporeans who may be either opposition supporters or middle ground voters.

Why so? Amos is seen as a rude and ungrateful spoilt brat by many Singaporeans and many of them hold the view that "he needs to be taught a good lesson " or "he deserves it".

It is indeed sad that our society and Nation at large has lost the sense of appropriateness, conscience, Rule of Law and human decency just because many of us are overwhelmed by disgust, annoyance, hatred or simply apathy.

Such common thinking resulted in a literal MOB RULE mindset in which these people would just want HARSH punishment towards spoilt brat Amos, disregarding whether what he has done warrant any criminal charges or imprisonment or worse, sending to IMH or 18 months of reformative centre detention... They might have wished Amos to be locked away with keys thrown away if they could!

The vindictive PAP Government feeds on such irrational sentiments of Mob Rule thinking and thus we ended up with a gungho aggressive AGC trying all administrative means to punish Amos in any ways they can, going into extremes in their vindictive political persecution of a 16 year old boy. They have totally Forgotten their role as legal officers is to uphold Rule of Law and not some political persecution of their masters.

And the sad thing is, most Singaporeans have stood by watching silently, condoning such vindictively cruel, inhumane and insanely disproportionate brutal assault on a 16 year old boy. Some have even cheered, clapped and urge the authority on such act!

Amos is not the one who is mentally sick. These people are the ones who are mentally sick.
The sad thing is that apart from a few politicians, most have lost their voice of conscience. They chose to keep quiet for fear of losing votes from the irrational Mob!

Personally I have received several private messages from supposedly opposition supporters who chastised me for taking part in the Protest against PAP Government's vindictive, inhumane and cruel political persecution and said Amos deserves it and I will lose support by fighting for him! Some have even openly attacked me as TRAITOR just because I participated in the protest held by foreigners, forgetting that it is human decency and pure conscience of Rule of Law which I am standing for.

These people view that a spoilt brat like Amos is more disgusting than a regime which will go all out to persecute a 16 year old with such extreme cruel and inhumane means!

A spoilt brat like Amos could do no big harm to anyone except annoying many people. What he deserves is just zero attention from all of us. But a Government which will break all backs to seek all possible administrative means, even trespassing the rule of law just to persecute Amos will do more harm to our nation!

It has destroyed Rule of Law, instilled fear which curtailed free speech and worse, destroyed trust in our legal system!

Instead of taking the stance to stop all these nonsense from such fanatical move by PAP Government to extract maximum punishment from a naive and ignorant spoilt brat, both PAP and opposition MPs have chosen to remain silent.

Instead of taking the lead to show leadership in putting sense and reasons into people's mind of proper balance and moderation, they decided to allow PAP Government to feed on and perpetuated Mob Rule!

Instead of standing up and be opinion makers and leaders, they have chosen to hide cowardly behind perceived safety of populist Mob mentality.

This is the sorry state of affairs in Singapore, so much so that foreign observers and activists have to wonder what has happened to our country whereby those who are supposed to fight for the well being and rights of the people, suppose to be leaders of the people, have become enslaved by that little ballot box!

I know I am going to be attacked by many people again for making this post but heck it. If I have to lose my voice of conscience in exchange for enough votes to win Elections, then I would rather not have such support and prepared not to win Elections. I would rather keep my soul and conscience intact than go into parliament with an empty heart.

Goh  Meng Seng