Thursday, March 31, 2016

BUDGET SPEECH 2016 – Institutionalizing Unemployment Insurance

For Immediate Release:

BUDGET SPEECH 2016 – Institutionalizing Unemployment Insurance

The Finance Minister has put up this year’s budget on the footing and premise that Singapore Economy will slow down but not going into a recession. We have a different view on such presumptuous premise which only based on GDP projection figures instead of other more pertaining situation on the ground. Due to the nature of the industrial structure of our economy (i.e. the highly fluctuating Biomedical industry), GDP figures are no longer a good indicator of the well being of Singaporeans.

We would regard the indicators of consumption and the number of retrenchment for the coming year as the more important factors to gauge the well-being of our citizens. Considering the backdrop of the unusual number of retrenchments in the recent months, we would describe the situation as ‘bad’ and we expect the Minister to acknowledge the economic pain prevalent among the populace. The number of retrenchment is expected to hit record high (since 2008) for this year coupled with an expected corresponding drop in consumption. Thus, we believe that the Minister’s assessment of the economic outlook for Singapore is a gross underestimate of the real situation affecting the Middle-lower class Singaporeans.

The ‘trickle-down effect’ has proven to be an ineffective and inefficient policy, in view of the relentlessly globalized environment. One cannot be assured where the resources retained by the corporates would trickle down and where it would simply leave the people tricked into merely expecting the trickle down to happen

What is plainly needed now is the appropriate policies to alleviate the treacherous economic conditions for Singaporeans who have lost their jobs. It is time for the government to endorse that welfare is not a bad word and to come down like a ton of bricks upon anyone who even remotely suggest that.

An institutionalized unemployment insurance system can act as a bumper to cushion off any rapid economic downturn by making sure that local consumption will not drop drastically in such event. This system could be financed by the great amount of foreign workers’ levies which the government has been collecting all these years. It is only logical for the government to utilize levies imposed on foreign workers to help mitigate the potential loss of local citizens’ jobs due to the impact of the dependency on cheap foreign labour.

The current situation is dire and needs appropriately structured unemployment benefits. We should move away from the sporadic adhoc handouts which are more targeted at political patronage rather than a sensible, focused and institutionalized economic system of helping those who are retrenched to tie over the difficult period. In return, mitigate the otherwise dwindling purchasing power and thus consumption which will inevitably further aggravate the economy situation.

To be fair, those in the above 65 category had some of their concerns addressed. However we do not face financial problems only after we reach 65. It should also be noted those in the 55 to 65 category do not receive any form of targeted help despite their CPF withdrawal expectations having had vapourised over the last couple of years. Furthermore, this group of Singaporeans normally faces underemployment due to the influx of cheap foreign workers. We believe that it is the government’s responsibility to take care of this group of not-so-senior citizens as well.

The measures announced were glaringly spartan, with the general reason for the austerity being that it could still be a premature stage of the lean economy yet runs its course. The media would often enthusiastically tout this as a measure to ‘keep the powder dry’ for tougher times ahead and they did not waver this time. We do not believe it is good to wait till the SMEs are half dead before the government step in to stabilize the situation.

In that regard too, the phasing off the PIC would leave smaller firms and SMEs in a lurch while wanting to forge ahead during this challenging times. Although the PAP government has introduced a new scheme “Industrial Transformation Program”, but we see it as old wine in a new bottle. Throughout the decades, PAP government has talked about innovations, creativity, increasing productivity etc with many schemes being introduced and withdrawn; we do not see how this latest good sounding scheme could be any different from the previous ones if the bureaucracy and mindsets of GLCs, Ministries and statutory boards do not change at all. We foresee that this scheme will be no different from its many predecessors which were ineffective but costly.

We would remind the PAP government of its promise (made in2010) of growing Singaporean workers’ REAL wages by increasing productivity of SMEs by 3% per year. So far, it has missed this target for the past 5 years. We believe that the PAP government will have to relook into its methodology of helping SMEs and examine why many past schemes did not produce satisfactory results.

Goh Meng Seng

Secretary General for CEC

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Call for the Resignation of Minister of Health for Weak Leadership

For Immediate Release

Call for the Resignation of Minister of Health for Weak Leadership

The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on Thursday (Mar 17 2016) announced that it had meted out disciplinary sanctions to 12 SGH staffs in leadership positions and 4 Ministry of Health (MOH) senior officers were also disciplined for the lapses in the Hepatitis C outbreak which lasted from April to June last year.

The Panel of the Independent Review Committee's (IRC), which was commissioned by MOH, recommended to further strengthen the hospital’s infection control and disease outbreak surveillance and management mechanisms.

Among the various recommendations made, we are surprised that certain basic routine cleaning work has been singled out. It is apparent that SGH has been operating without clear SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) on the issue of cleaning and disinfection of contaminated surfaces. We find it totally unacceptable for the management of SGH to neglect such basic SOPs on maintaining hygienic environment in the hospital.

We would expect punishment which would reflect the severity of the mistakes committed to be handed out to all relevant mid and top management personnel. This would include the Minister of Health himself for his inability to get timely information on such matters in order to make the appropriate decisions corresponding to the seriousness of the matter.

Minister Gan’s leadership is put into serious doubt when he just lost track of what was going on in his own Ministry and the hospitals which were put under his purview. We regret that the Prime Minister is not able to see the problem of Minister Gan’s weak and incompetent leadership and does not asked for his resignation. This is a glaring lack of accountability and it puts doubts into the meritocracy system which PAP has always boasted of.

There is an apparent lack of transparency when it comes to accountability meted out to the other staffs responsible for these lapses. The amount of financial penalties was also not revealed, there was no demotion and nor any staffs found to be in the wrong asked to leave. The Ministry has promised an Independent inquiry into this outbreak but what good would it have if there was a total lack of transparency in detailing the problems, lapses and the linkages to the corresponding punishment meted to the respective staff?

Regrettably and ironically, such Black Box operation of the Independent Review Committee has just enhances the perception of the consistency of the flaws which led to the Hep C outbreak: i.e the lack of transparency and accountability when the outbreak was first discovered but no information was released to the public in a timely manner.

The most important issue that alarmed the public was the delay of reporting the crisis to MOH, it took 2 to 3 months for SGH to report to MOH when the problem was serious enough to warrant a high alert. MOH was notified of the cluster in late August and the minister of health was informed on the 18 Sep. So it took more than 18 days for the minister to be notified. There was no mentioning of delays, does it mean that the delay was not an issue or was it not even investigated at all?

There are also no mentions if the family of the victims are compensated and if the compensations are adequate.

MOH had promised an “objective and critical review” but the report seems to have left out many critical issues. In order for public trust in healthcare to be restored, we urged MOH answer and publish the information the pertaining to the above-mentioned questions.

We reiterate our point that the Minister of Health should take full responsibility for the Mess of this Hep C outbreak due to his weak leadership in which such severe cases of infectious outbreak were not reported IMMEDIATELY to the Minister himself. It is unimaginable for the Minister to be KEPT IN THE DARK of the whole period of serious outbreak for at least 5 months before he was officially notified. There is no satisfactory explanation for such disastrous situation to happen other than WEAK and INCOMPETENT Leadership.

Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General for PPP CEC

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Defending the Core Values of Democracy - No Vote Buying or Pork Barrel Politicking Please!

I have talked about this repeatedly, several times on why I decided to step into opposition politics but it is always good to keep reminding myself and others on the Core Values of Democracy.

I am a Cheng San Voter in 1997 when it was hotly contested by Tang Liang Hong and JBJ. PAP started to use their despicable vote buying tactic via HDB upgrading programs.

Any person with a strong belief in Democratic Values would immediately be disgusted with such vote buying pork barrel politicking. I decided that if I wanted to continue to stay here in Singapore, I will have to change the political system drastically else my future generations will suffer with such bad values.

I keep my Core Values of Democracy intact since. It is easy to be preacher of Democracy but it is never easy to be a true practitioner of Democracy. Example like Freedom of Speech. Most people will only pay lips service to Freedom of Speech or "Transparency", "Accountability" or such, but when it comes to the crunch, they will just forget all about these values and do otherwise.

The simplest Democratic idea is "Freedom of Speech" or Expression. Many people just pay lips service to it but when people started to criticise them, they became defensive and basically shut people up by blocking them from expressing themselves.

Back to the Core Values of Democracy which pushed me towards Opposition Politics, I hope that opposition parties and ruling party alike, should not cultivate that bad mindset that your votes can be bought over. Anybody who tries to buy votes in any ways, should be dealt with. PAP should be taken to task for many of these breaches but the political reality in Singapore under its absolute Monopoly of Powers, without effective separation of powers, it is really hard to establish the Rule of Law politically. (That is why we ended up with that idiotic conclusion that inside a polling station is not regarded as "within 200m" judgement!)

But nevertheless, we as Democratic warriors, should not fall into the dark side just because the PAP has no Honour whatsoever in upholding Democracy. They have breached the rules which they set for themselves but get away with it repeatedly but that doesn't mean Opposition parties who are fighting to establish REAL Democracy in Singapore should do what they did.

Goh Meng Seng

The following is the Electoral Rules on Corrupt Practices:



57.—(1) Every person who —

at an election applies for a ballot paper or to record his vote at a DRE voting machine in the name of some other person, whether that name be that of a person living or dead, or of a fictitious person; or

having voted once at any such election, applies at the same election for a ballot paper or to record his vote at a DRE voting machine in his own name,

shall be guilty of the offence of personation.

(2) The offence of personation under this section shall be an arrestable offence within the meaning of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010 (Act 15 of 2010).


58.—(1) A person shall be guilty of treating if he corruptly, by himself or by any other person, either before, during or after an election, directly or indirectly gives or provides, or pays wholly or in part the expense of giving, any meat, drink, refreshment, cigarette, entertainment or other provision or thing or any money or ticket or other means or device to enable the procuring of any such meat, drink, refreshment, cigarette, entertainment or other provision or thing, to or for any person —

for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting;

for the purpose of inducing that person to attend or remain at any election meeting;

on account of any such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting or being about to vote or refrain from voting at the election; or

on account of any such person having attended an election meeting.

(2) A person shall also be guilty of treating if he corruptly accepts or takes any such meat, drink, refreshment, cigarette, entertainment or other provision or thing or any such money or ticket or who adopts any other means or device to enable the procuring of such meat, drink, refreshment, cigarette, entertainment or other provision or thing.

Undue influence

59. Every person who —

directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence or restraint, or inflicts or threatens to inflict, by himself or by any other person, any temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss upon or against any person in order to induce or compel that person to vote or refrain from voting, or on account of that person having voted or refrained from voting at any election; or


by abduction, duress or any fraudulent device or contrivance, impedes or prevents the free exercise of the franchise of any elector or voter, or thereby compels, induces or prevails upon any elector or voter either to vote or refrain from voting at any election,

shall be guilty of the offence of undue influence.


(60) The following persons shall be deemed guilty of the offence of bribery:

very person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, gives, lends, or agrees to give or lend, or offers, promises, or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure, any money or valuable consideration to or for any elector or voter, or to or for any person on behalf of any elector or voter or to or for any other person, in order to induce any elector or voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act on account of that elector or voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election under this Act;

every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, gives or procures, or agrees to give or procure, or offers, promises, or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure, any office, place or employment to or for any elector or voter or to or for any person on behalf of any elector or voter, or to or for any other person, in order to induce that elector or voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act on account of that elector or voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election under this Act;

every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, makes any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) to or for any person in order to induce that person to procure or endeavour to procure the return of any person as a Member of Parliament, or the vote of any elector or voter at any election under this Act;

every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, makes any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement to or for any person who is assisting or has promised to assist a candidate at an election to induce that person to refrain from assisting that candidate;

every person who upon or in consequence of any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement procures or engages, promises or endeavours to procure, the return of any person as a Member of Parliament, or the vote of any elector or voter at an election under this Act;

every person who —

advances or pays or causes to be paid any money to or to the use of any other person with the intent that the money or any part thereof shall be expended in bribery at any election under this Act; or

knowingly pays or causes to be paid any money to any person in discharge or repayment of any money wholly or in part expended in bribery at any such election;

every elector or voter who, before or during any election under this Act, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, receives, agrees, or contracts for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration, office, place or employment, for himself or for any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting at any such election;

every person who, after any election under this Act, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, receives any money or valuable consideration on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting or having induced any other person to vote or to refrain from voting at any such election;

every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, on account of and as payment for voting or for having voted or for agreeing or having agreed to vote for any candidate or group of candidates, at an election, or on account of and as payment for his having assisted or agreed to assist any candidate or group of candidates, at an election, applies to that candidate or to any candidate in that group, or to his agent or agents, for the gift or loan of any money or valuable consideration, or for the promise of the gift or loan of any money or valuable consideration or for any office, place or employment or for the promise of any office, place or employment;

every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, in order to induce any other person to agree to be nominated as a candidate or to refrain from becoming a candidate or to withdraw if he has become a candidate, gives or procures any office, place or employment or agrees to give or procure or offers or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure any office, place or employment to or for that other person, or gives or lends, or agrees to give or lend, or offers, or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure any money or valuable consideration to or for any person or to or for that other person, or to or for any person on behalf of that other person.


Punishment and incapacities for corrupt practice

61.—(1) Every person who —

commits the offence of personation, or aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission of the offence of personation;

commits the offence of treating, undue influence or bribery;

publishes or causes to be published any election advertising during the period beginning with the day the writ of election is issued for an election and ending with the start of polling day at that election which —

in the case of election advertising that is, or is contained in, a printed document, does not bear on its face or, if there is more than one side of printed matter, on the first or last page of the document, the names and addresses of its printer, its publisher and the person for whom or at whose direction the election advertising is published; or

in the case of any other election advertising, does not bear in the form and manner prescribed under section 78A the names and addresses of its publisher and the person for whom or at whose direction the election advertising is published;

makes or publishes, before or during any election, for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate, any false statement of fact in relation to the personal character or conduct of the candidate;

makes or publishes, before or during any election, for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of any candidate, any false statement of the withdrawal of any other candidate at the election; or

being a candidate or an election agent, knowingly makes the declaration as to election expenses required by section 74 falsely,

shall be guilty of a corrupt practice and shall on conviction by a District Court be liable —

in the case referred to in paragraph (a), to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both;

in the case referred to in paragraph (b), to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both;

in the case referred to in paragraph (c), to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both;

in the case referred to in paragraph (d) or (e), to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both; or

in the case referred to in paragraph (f), to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

[31/2001; 10/2010]

(2) Every person who is convicted of a corrupt practice shall become incapable for a period of 7 years from the date of his conviction of being registered as an elector or of voting at any election under this Act or of being elected as the President or a Member, and if at that date he has been elected a Member, his election shall be vacated from the date of the conviction.


(3) A prosecution for a corrupt practice except any corrupt practice as defined in subsection (1)(d) and (e) shall not be instituted without the consent of the Public Prosecutor.


(4) Without prejudice to section 57, every offence of undue influence or bribery under section 59 or 60, as the case may be, and every other corrupt practice under subsection (1)(c), (d) or (e) shall be an arrestable offence within the meaning of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010 (Act 15 of 2010).


(5) Where any election advertising is published in contravention of subsection (1)(c), the printer of the election advertising as well as the person for whom or at whose direction the election advertising is published shall each also be guilty of a corrupt practice and shall each be liable on conviction to the same punishment and incapacity under this section as the publisher thereof.


(6) Subsection (1)(c) shall not apply in respect of —

the distribution of a book, or the promotion of the sale of a book, for not less than its commercial value, if the book was planned to be published regardless of whether there was to be an election;

the publication of a document directly by a person or a group of persons to their members, employees or shareholders, as the case may be;

the publication of any news relating to an election —

in a newspaper in any medium by a person permitted to do so under the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act (Cap. 206); or

in a radio or television broadcast by a person licensed to do so under the Broadcasting Act (Cap. 28);

the telephonic or electronic transmission by an individual to another individual of the first-mentioned individual’s own political views, on a non-commercial basis; or


such other circumstances or activities as may be prescribed by the Minister by order in the Gazette.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Separation of Powers & Hypocrisy of PAP's Elected Presidency Agenda

PAP is most afraid that non-PAP approved candidate gets elected as President next year. The initial concept of Elected Presidency was to help PAP check on other party which become ruling party if PAP lost power in a Freak Elections.

However, PAP is not ready to accept such checks and balances exercised upon it while it is still in power but it just lacks the moral high ground,of reasoning if it is to scrap the Elected Presidency. If PAP could have its own ways, it would definitely set the criteria of Presidential candidacy so high that only PAP members could become candidates and thus President!

The hypocrisy of PAP is pretty glaring and it just proves that PAP is more self serving and ignored a proper and healthy development of Democracy when it comes to meddling with Constitutional changes and policy making.

After the scare that President Ong has given them and the near loss of their approved candidate in last Presidential Elections, they suddenly realized that the Elected Presidency may just become a double edged sword after all.

PAP is just too used to its dictatorial rule that any annoyance from the Elected President is considered unbearable. It only wants Ownself check Ownself as well as Ownself Check others but never be open and transparent for others to check on them!

Such dictatorial mindset is extremely dangerous and thus, it is only right for us to push for more powers to be given to the Elected Presidency so that it could be constitutionally empowered to effectively check on the ruling party. Instead of scrapping the Elected Presidency, which PAP would not mind really, and get us stuck forever in this model which breeds dictatorial rule of Ownself check Ownself, we should seek to perfect the democratic system of checks and balances by enhancing the Separation of Powers.

This is the reason why PPP decided to submit our ideas and recommendations to the Constitutional Review Committee even though we know the chances of them adopting our proposals are extremely slim.

Goh Meng Seng

Monday, March 21, 2016

PPP Submitted Views on Elected Presidency

Submission to the Elected Presidency Review Committee

The People’s Power Party is submitting this feedback to the Constitution Committee which is tasked to review the Elected Presidency.

The People’s Power Party believes that the Elected Presidency could become an important pillar of a more effective Democratic system by playing the role of balancing power. We also believe in the Separation of Power as the effective checks and balances in building a sustainable democratic political system for Singapore.

Organizations to be put under Elected Presidency’s Charge

The Elected Presidency should act as the pillar of power in administrating the Power of Impeachment as a check to the Executive. It should also take charge on the Selection and Appointment of important key personnel to top civil service position as well as the Sovereign Wealth Funds like Government Investment Company and Temasek Holdings. We are proposing the following organizations or commissions to be put under the charge of Elected Presidency:

1)      Corruption Practice Investigation Bureau
2)      Ombudsman Commission (to be established)
3)      Equal Opportunity Commission (to be established)
4)      Elections Department
5)      Public Service Commission
6)      People’s Association
This will prevent the massive conflicts of interests which existed in the current system.

Formation of Council of Advisors to Presidency

On top of that, we believe in the proper democratic representation of the Council of Advisors if they are to be vested with more powers. The Council should consist 25 members whereby 5 of them are appointed by the Elected President while the rest of 20 members should be elected by Singaporeans. This could be done by a universal suffrage running concurrently with the Presidential Elections.

The Executive arm or the Cabinet or Parliament, should not have the power to appoint any members into the Council of Advisors.

Veto Power of Presidency

The President, with the endorsement of the Council of Advisors, should be empowered to VETO any important legislation which the Presidency regards as detrimental to the welfare and benefits of Singaporeans at large. Such Veto can only be overturn by a Two Third majority votes by the Parliament.

We believe that with these modified features, we will be able to build a more balanced, stable and sustainable political system for Singapore.

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

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Bukit Batok By-Elections

In response to Singapore Democratic Party's announcement of Dr. Chee's candidacy for the Bukit Batok by-elections, on behalf of my party People's Power Party has made the following statement:

It has been confirmed Dr Chee will be the SDP candidates of Bukit Batok by-elections.

People's Power Party does not see the need to contest in this by-elections since SDP has put up one of its BEST candidate forward for this by-elections.

We wish SDP and Dr Chee good luck and all the best for this coming by-elections.

 In addition to this, while responding to reporter from Sin Min newspaper, I have made the urge to other potential contenders, including potential independent candidates, to allow Dr. Chee to have a straight fight in this imminent Bukit Batok by-elections.

As I understand, the ground at Bukit Batok is not a sweet ground at all and since SDP has demonstrated its determination and resolves in doing its best to win the seat by putting up one of its best candidates to contest, I think it is only fair for us not to jeopardize SDP's chance of winning.

All the best to Democratic progress for Singapore.

Goh Meng Seng

Consistency, Transparency and Accountability in Governance

TAN TOCK SENG HOSPITAL sacked Roy just because they say he used hospital computer for his own blogging about CPF and social issues while at work.

But SGH and MOH only issue "warning letters" to 16 staffs after causing more than a couple of dozens patients infected with HEP C permanently for life and worse, death of 8 patients.

Do you see the logic or injustice?

This is a case of the lack of consistency and worse, a sense of proportion and common sense. What is worse, is the lack of transparency.

Ministry of Health is supposed to have an INDEPENDENT Inquiry but somehow, nobody has any idea what report has the committee  submitted and how the Ministry has arrived at these decisions of just issuing Warning Letters to the 16 staffs.

Most important of all, there is ABSOLUTELY SILENCE on the matter of compensation. It is only fair for the Ministry to compensate the infected patients adequately because Hep C Infections will have long lasting effects and not to mention, the families of the dead patients due to the infections, should be compensated as well.

It is only fair for the infected patients and families of the dead to have a full view of the report done by the Committee's findings so that they could take legal actions if there was none or inadequate compensations made.

This is a serious lapse of medical care and it also affects public health and interests in the long run. The matter should not be shredded in secrecy with a total lack of proper accountability, both by the staffs involved as well the Ministry of Health in terms of compensations.

Goh Meng Seng

Thursday, March 17, 2016

PAP's Most Disrespectful Rule to "He Who Cannot Be Named"

When "He Who Cannot be Named" is alive, we could still scold him, make fun of him etc... But now, PAP even BAN us from doing it by setting some silly guideline or rules saying "He Who Cannot Be Named" should be accorded with "dignity or respect"?

Hello! "He Who Cannot Be Named" had made so many people's lives so miserable and so many enemies, you expect people not to scold "You Know Who"? You expect these people to treat "He Who Cannot Be Named" with "respect and dignity"?

I guess only Communist countries set such rules... or did they?

Photo from PAP Propaganda Department now made irrelevant by PAP

Every "Historic" figures or politicians with significant influence to his time, will no doubt has his own controversies, enemies and adversaries. In Chinese culture, we always say, you will be judged once you are in your coffin.

Even in Ancient Chinese history, very few Emperors will have all POSITIVE records and praises; even the most outstanding Emperors will be criticized for some of his failures.

As a politician, even a great politician, you couldn't possibly please everybody every time. Some people may have to suffer from your policies or even ruthlessness and it is only right for these people or their future generations, to view you negatively.

Thus I do not think PAP's "Ownself Protect Ownself" legacy of "You Know Who" has any sense at all. It just exposed their own insecurity and lack of confidence that He Who Cannot Be Named cannot gain all good praises but would receive negative remarks or criticisms for his past deeds. 

It will become the Biggest Joke of the 21st Century, during this Internet Era to have such guidelines even mentioned.

He Who Cannot Be Named had never been afraid of any criticisms from anyone when he was alive but PAP has just made him look like a wimp who needed extra protection else his legacy would extinct! This is the most disrespectful thing they are doing to You Know Who: A show of Total No-Confidence in his political legacy and apparently, they think that He Who Cannot Be Named cannot withstand the test of time and criticisms.

Goh Meng Seng

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The means and the ends - Bukit Batok By-Elections

The means and the ends

When opposition parties come together to negotiate to avoid three corner fights, there are a few things in my mind.

To avoid duplicate efforts that would be wasted in facing off a big common opponent, PAP.

To increase the chances of winning of any opposition party.

A demonstration of United aim and strength.

For a General Elections, I believe every party could not put up equally good candidates to contest in the wards which they have bargained for. Thus naturally when the elections took place and candidates revealed, there would bound to be unhappiness expressed of the bad practice of "choping place".

There are a lot of dynamics involved and it seems that we have all miscalculated and our assessment of the ground is wrong for GE2015.

It created an extremely low morale in opposition camp.

Elections are very expensive activities for an average person and it drains a lot of energy and demands a dedicated sacrifices from party members and volunteers. It is natural for many opposition political players to feel upset and discouraged for getting such a result in 2015 despite of sacrifices made.

Now that we are going to have a by elections Bukit Batok, which historical results seem to suggest a better chance of winning for opposition, what basis or criteria should we consider first before we decide which party or who should contest?

Naturally, most people would see SDP as the rightful contender because they have contested there in 2015, despite the fact that their campaign focus was basically in Holland Bukit Timah instead.

Well in my view, no matter which party contests, as long as it puts its best efforts and best suited candidate, we should let that party has good one on one contest.

Thus if SDP was to field one of the two best candidates they have, aka Dr Chee or Prof Paul, I would be more than happy to sit back and relax, or even get involved in helping Prof Paul to campaign.

However, if for whatever reasons SDP decides to send other candidate instead of their best, I do not think it is fair to the voters in Bukit Batok to have a limited choice of second tiers for a by elections.

Thus, the initial spirit of avoiding multi corner fight doesn't stand anymore. The spirit is to give the contesting party to have the best chance to win but if the party doesn't seize the opportunity to put up its best candidate to fight for real winning chance, then it really defeats the purpose and goodwill of avoiding multi corner fights.

The avoidance of multi corner fight is just the means to the ends of trying our best to put more opposition party MPs into parliament, not just a wayang show of back scratching.

Thus when Many people ask me why I have not made a definite declaration of PPP's intention for this by elections, I told them I have such considerations.

We have to take voters more seriously, far more important than just putting up a token contest or a show of that "opposition unity". We have to make sure they have the best real choice possible from opposition in such by elections.

Bukit Batok used to be a good ground for SDP in early 1990s but it may not be so for 2016. It is a very grassroots area, predominantly Chinese speaking area. SDP was able to score good result in 1991 basically because they fielded Uncle KWAN who is very grassroots and can speak Chinese and dialects very effectively.

Though that was 30 years ago and demographics might have changed a bit, but I can foresee great difficulties ahead for SDP, even more so if they don't send in their best candidate.

All the best to SDP if Dr Chee or Prof Paul is to contest. My promise still stands, I will help Prof Paul to campaign if he was chosen as candidate.

But if that slim chance, almost impossible chance, that SDP decides to choose other candidate, then I Will have to make serious consideration for PPP to contest in this by elections.

Goh Meng Seng

Political 007 Musing

There are a lot of rumors going around about me since a decade ago. Almost all are malicious unscrupulous smearing aimed at defaming me. These rumors come from BOTH WHITE AND BLUE camps.

There are many funny ones, ranging from having mistresses to being " PAP moles". My wife is actually my best fan who cannot stop laughing when she read or heard all these rumours.

She was born in Hong Kong and studied in Singapore. She didn't quite like those Singapore boys she met during her study in Singapore because she has met with extraordinary situations while staying in hostel that made her concludes that Singaporeans in general, do not care about justice, social or criminal justice, liberty, freedom of expression and lack the courage to speak up and fight for their own rights.

Until she met me in NUS, she didn't have good impression of Singapore guys. I was the outlier and surprised find for her.

Thus, when anyone suggested that I am some undercover PAP mole, she either gets pretty amused or sometimes, extremely annoyed. I told her to relax, that's how dirty play politics is.

I am extremely fortunate to have my soul mate as my wife, which may not agree totally in what I do (making family sacrifices for Singapore, which she doesn't find wanting the change or the freedom and democracy which I envisioned) but nevertheless, given me the moral support throughout these years.

Anyway, the latest rumor which my adversaries are trying to spread in order to discredit me will really make her laugh. I could only reward her periodically with such silly jokes.

The rumor says that there are intelligence which indicates that I am living off the sponsorship of the American government! Hahaha.

If that is so, I won't be the only opposition party leader attacking the TPP agreement!

These basically Chinese Educated Blue supporters spread such rumor basically because I am pretty vocal about China's meddling in HK And South China sea.

But laughing matters aside, there are real interventions via sponsorship and support by foreign powers in Singapore's politics, not only the Americans, Europeans, Malaysia or even China government. If you are observant enough, you will see those subtle invisible hands around.

However, I am really a hard nut to crack and uncompromising in many ways. My wife will definitely laugh and tell me, "over your dead body lah!"

Goh Meng Seng

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Minimum Wage - Including Prisoner Labour

Imagine that they will be made to think there is no value in good hard work because people will look down on them, make them slaves. So they would rather go back to gangs again or bad old ways when they are released.

If the prisoners are rewarded with a decent minimum wage, it will make them realize that they can also survive if they are willing to work hard. That is positive reform message to them.

Thus, in my view, to establish a Minimum wage even for the prisoners, is an important move towards the Yellow Ribbon Movement.

Goh Meng Seng

Monday, March 14, 2016

Does "Personal Indiscretions" matters in Politics?

Personal indiscretions may or may not be such an important issue politically.

It could be a purely personal matter if there is no conflict of interest involved. But most of the time, there will be conflicts of interests when it comes to political organization with powers which oversees public funds.

This is my stance made since the very first YSL saga and that's why I deemed it as important to investigate and clarify matters and related interests entangled within the relationship and to see whether public funds were allocated partly or wholly due to such illegitimate relationship.

There were a couple of high profile corruption cases which involved illegitimate relationship or extra-marital affairs in the past few years involving top civil servants with power of allocating contracts or funds to projects or purchases.

Thus, in my view, beside the legitimacy or morality of personal love affairs, there is still a dimension on whether such illegitimate live affairs which were hidden underneath affects good governance as in prevention of conflicts of interests and favoritism which constitute corrupt practices when public funds are involved.

Goh Meng Seng

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Thoughts and Position on Imminent Bukit Batok By-Elections

First of all, I thank all those people who private message me to encourage me to contest in this coming Bukit Batok By-elections. Their encouragement is pretty warming.

But I have to clarify an important point. Elections is an expensive and energy draining activity. Funding aside, it requires volunteers and party members to spend their efforts on the ground relentlessly. Thus, I have never preferred multi-corner fights UNLESS really necessary for important considering. I am more concerned about my volunteers, supporters and party members' welfare than going into contest for the sake of it.

That is why my first response to media inquiries is that though I would not rule out any contest yet, but I will have to discuss with SDP first and understand their plans before making any decision. This is to prevent replication of efforts and wasting resources, tiring out our own volunteers for absolutely nothing to be gained.

If SDP is going to send their previous candidate who has contested in Bukit Batok to go for the by-elections, then I would have to seriously consider whether PPP should contest in this by-elections. To be fair to the voters of Bukit Batok, we should give them a real choice, a better choice. For the current assessment, I do not think SDP will do that.

So far, many supporters online have been calling out for Dr Chee to contest the by-elections. With due respect, I would not want PPP to contest if Dr Chee is to contest in this by-elections. However, it would be a regrettable decision to me.

My view is Dr Chee will have great difficulties, more difficult than some, in winning the seat in Bukit Batok. He will risk stagnating his political upswing for the next GE.

But if SDP is to nominate Prof Paul to contest, I would not only support SDP but also help in the campaigning because there will be a REAL chance for opposition to win another seat in parliament. I will also convince my party members, supporters and volunteers to help in the campaigning as well.

Goh Meng Seng

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Securing the Secrecy of Your Votes

Mr. Syafarin Sarif (Left) and Mr. Augustine Lee (Right)

Officials Loading up the ballot boxes

It is important for political parties to ensure that the votes Singaporeans cast remain SECRET. Even though People's Power Party (PPP) has only contested one GRC with four candidates, we see it as an important responsibility for us to send our representatives to attend and witness the burning of the ballot boxes along with the ballots inside them.

The most important fundamental principle of Democracy is to have voters to vote according to their will, without Fear of any repercussions.

We have heard people spreading tales and rumors that their votes are not secret and PAP government knew who they voted for. Tales about Grassroot members harassing them because these people knew they voted for opposition or civil servants or employees of GLCs were treated badly because their votes were made known to their bosses... these tales and rumors are TOTALLY BASELESS and UNFOUNDED.

If anyone told you he or she knew who you voted during the General Elections, please report him or she to the police! This is because by acknowledging that they knew who you voted for, is amount to the breaching of Official Secret Act!

Nobody will know who you voted for if you do not tell them or hinted them in any way. 

PPP has sent two representatives, Mr. Syafarin Sarif and Mr. Zixu Augustin Lee to witness the destruction of the ballot boxes. This is an important step to make sure that all ballots or votes are secret and no one could check the records of your votes hereafter.

However, we are disappointed that candidates present are not allowed to examine or inspect the contents of the ballot boxes to make sure that everything inside is in order and nothing was taken out of the boxes or tempered with.

The excuse given by the officials was time constrain. This is unacceptable. It is important for such a step to be taken so to make sure and give confidence to ALL Singapore voters that their votes are really secret.

We hope that the Elections Department should review such procedures in future.

Goh Meng Seng

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Inconsistency of PAP: Chicken, Pork and Fukushima Food Imports

The PAP government has come down hard on the Chicken distributors and accusing them of price fixing.

However, when it comes to petrol companies which are just too obviously acting like a big powerful cartel, defying world oil price slides to maintain a relatively high petrol prices with the blessing as well as SQUEEZING from PAP government by an additional petrol tax, PAP government kept absolutely quiet about it. Why? It has enormous vested interests in keeping petrol prices high and it was the one which imposed additional petrol taxes!

Well, let's get back to poultry. Pork was banned from Malaysia since late 1990s when Nipah Virus broke out. But since then, there is no more outbreak of Nipah virus in Malaysia for the past 16 years and yet, pork is still banned from Malaysia up till now. There is vested interests for some stakeholders who own or trade in pork from nearby Indonesia pig farms.

Henipahvirus, which was in the same family of Nipah virus, was first found in Australia, outbreak among horses. Nipah virus can infect other animals other than pigs. Since 1999 Malaysian outbreak of Nipah virus, there were numerous outbreaks of Nipah and Henipahvirus in Bangladesh and Australia (Townsville 2004, Sunshine Coast 2004, Cairns 1999/2004). Latest updates for 2014, there were a total of 50 outbreaks of Hendra Virus (same family) in Australia!

However, there were no ban of poultry, lest long term ban of poultry products (including pork, lamb, beef etc) from Australia, unlike the ban on pork from Malaysia. Why?

This is the reason why Singaporeans are suffering from higher priced pork when one main cheaper source of pork from Malaysia was totally banned. While we would expect cost of rearing pigs in Indonesia would be cheaper but due to the monopolistic nature, someone is enjoying high extraordinary profits from this protected and controlled trade in pork.

Nobody has died from Nipah Virus in Malaysia since 1999, either from consuming pork or working in pig farms. So why is PAP still banning pork from Malaysia for more than 16 years?

One last ironic comparisons. PAP have banned pork from Malaysia due to one Nipah Virus outbreak in Malaysia happened more than 16 years ago which will not have lasting effect than nuclear radiation but PAP has decided to allow primary products from Fukushima Japan to be imported while the nuclear disaster has long lasting devastating impact on farm produce. Got logic?

Goh Meng Seng

Afternote: A friend of mine message me an update on the ban of pork from Malaysia. Singapore has allowed FROZEN pork from Sarawak since May 2015. (Read: However, this is far from allowing FRESH pork import from West Malaysia which will be cheaper and provided much better price competitiveness to the current situation. If AVA could make assessment and inspections on the pig farms in Sarawak, I do not understand why they could not do so in West Malaysia as well. 

Sunday, March 06, 2016

How to Die for Our Contry?

When I was young, I was pretty dead serious in serving my country. I took my National Service very seriously and with every pride. I couldn't quite understand why some of my peers would "Keng" or skive, avoiding contributing their best.

But throughout the years, I realized the reasons. You will be "penalized" when you are too serious in serving NS. When you get yourself injured or hurt, the State won't really take care of you.

Thus throughout my years of reservist training, the only top priority in my mind is the safety of my man, nothing else matters more than their safe returns to their families, because I know the State will not take care of them if anything bad happened to them.

It is an irony. I have learned from history, the only way to ensure or motivate the soldiers to go all out and put in their best efforts in fighting and even willing to die for the State, is not only to make sure they will be well rewarded but also to give assurance that if anything happened to them, they or their families will be well taken care of.

But this is not how PAP government runs the conscripted army. Our boys are paid peanuts as ALLOWANCE when they are expected to give their best or even die for the country. But when they get hurt or die for their Singapore, the State will not take care of them or their families.

Goh Meng Seng

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Dodging the REAL Issues - The Case of Benjamin Lim

I am utterly disappointed by the Minister for Home Affairs (who is also the Minister of Law, which I always feel is totally inappropriate as it may constitute a conflict of interests but this article is not about this) Mr. Shanmugam's statement made in parliament with regards to the case of Benjamin Lim Jun Hui.

Instead of addressing the many valid pertinent concerns raised by the public, on and off-line, he has put up a barrage of fire attacks at The Online Citizen (TOC) and the President of Law Society, Mr. Thio Shen Yi with totally irrelevant petty details of bickering.

Whether there were 4 or 5 policemen went to the school, wearing police uniforms or plain clothes are really irrelevant to the pertinent questions asked by TOC, Mr Thio and the public at large.

It is even more ridiculous for the Minister to cast doubts on TOC's intent by raising the fact that it has reported that the Police refused to comment on the matter when approached!

For whatever reasons the police refused to comment (such as those reasons presented by the Minister himself), it should just say so when TOC asked them! A good and competent Public Relations Officer from the Police would have made simple comment like "We cannot comment on this case as internal investigation is still ongoing." or "We cannot comment on this case as there will be Coroner Inquiry, please wait for the result of Coroner Inquiry"...etc.

The total ignore or silence from the Police is smacked of either arrogance or complete incompetency in Public Relations communication.

The Police has its own Public Relations officers. If the Police refused to answer to TOC's inquiries, then the Minister cannot blame the TOC for reporting so (the truth that the police refused to comment) and the public will have their own discretion to form their own opinion.

So my dear Minister, it is the FAILURE of Police Public Relations officers in responding to the matter in timely manner that created public perception, not TOC. TOC merely reported the NO RESPONSE from the police!

It is of course the prerogative of the Police in keeping silence but it must also understand that keeping quiet will have its consequences and implications.

By the way, the Main stream media also reported 5 officers went to the school! Please lah! Why not fire at the Main stream media as well?

As for the President of Law Society, the point made was the necessity of the police making the arrest at the school! So, don't try to divert from this pertinent question by going into the irrelevant bickering. Do you think it is appropriate or necessary for the police to send 4 or 5 police officers to the school to make the arrest?

There are more important questions raised by the public and I expect the Minister to address them, instead of using diversion tactic to dodge from these questions and public anger:

1) Does the Minister think it is RIGHT (never mind if it is legal or not) for policemen to go to school to arrest students who are just suspects of crimes?

2) Does the Minster think it is RIGHT (never mind if it is legal or not) for the police to interrogate minors without the presence of guardian or legal representative? In fact, is it right for police to deny legal representation or aid to suspects, regardless of age, during interrogation?

These are the two important issues raised by the President of Law Society and they are valid questions to be addressed fully.  These questions raised does NOT constitute sub judice but it is of GREAT PUBLIC INTERESTS.

I hope the Minister could address these real issues instead of wasting time trying to divert attention to inconsequential minor details and bickering.

Oh, by the way, the poor boy was just investigated but NO OFFICIAL JUDGMENT has been made about him just yet. I do not understand why the Minister would insinuate him as "guilty" in parliament just because, according to the police interrogation, he "confessed" to the crime. His confession could be contested in court if there was really a court case but unfortunately, he won't have that trial now. So I would urge the Minister not to put judgment on the poor dead boy in parliament even though he is also the Minister of Law, but he is not the judge nor the case has been heard.

Goh Meng Seng