Archive for May, 2015

Response to “6 reasons why LKY detractors are wrong” – Part 2

May 31, 2015

This is part 2 of the response to the 4 Apr 2015 TR Emeritus article “6 reasons why detractors of LKY are wrong” by X.

X wrote:

National service is often another point of contention … In the late 1960s, the British were pulling their military out of Singapore … If we had not quickly built up our defence, we would probably have suffered a replay of the Japanese invasion in WWII.

X would be a fool to think that today’s SAF, capable as it is, can prevent a replay of Japanese invasion if the Japanese ever chooses to invade Singapore again.

X wrote:

Further, the two years gives males an opportunity to pause their academic pursuits and ponder their choices carefully, especially for many who arrive at a crossroad of what and where to study, and what to do in future, as many would have just completed their tertiary studies.

If that pause is so wonderful an opportunity, how come not many females pause their studies to ponder over choices?

X wrote:

In fact, no one understood freedom better than Mr Lee himself, when he decided that he will build a multi-cultural society and enacted laws against those who threaten such harmony.

How could Lee Kuan Yew who made no qualms about detaining people for 30 over years, know anything about freedom?

Singapore’s multiculturalism wasn’t built by Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore was already multicultural during colonial times (https://trulysingapore.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/times-magazine-lee-kuan-yew-is-not-the-father-of-singapore/).

It was Lee’s good comrades Lim Kim San and Toh Chin Chye who pointed to Lee Kuan Yew being one of the main culprits of social disharmony (https://trulysingapore.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/times-magazine-lee-kuan-yew-is-not-the-father-of-singapore/).

X wrote:

Freedom is the ability to understand and tolerate others and realise that we are unified by a common goal of progress.

By that definition, North Korea must be one of the freest countries in the world because North Koreans have one of the best understanding and tolerance for one another, being of the same race, culture, language and even politics and unified by the common goal of nuclear armament.

X wrote:

Freedom is the ability to talk freely to peoples of other race, nationality and religion, to have an open mind and to want to understand others more.

By that definition, air hostesses, taxi drivers and tour guides must have more freedom than the average person since they are in the business of talking freely to people of other races, nationalities and religions.

X wrote:

Freedom is when you can joke about racial and religious stereotypes with your friends of other race and religion, and not worry about offending them.

What is so free about a freedom that can only be practiced amongst friends in private?

X wrote:

Neither is freedom the ability to carry guns around for ‘self-protection’. The fact that you have to protect yourself is already nonsense.

What X feels as nonsense is no nonsense but makes perfect sense in other countries. Americans staying in the vast countryside near wilderness can come into contact with potentially dangerous wild animals that guns help to protect against. This is one example of X’s lack of understanding of others that by his own definition is an indication of his own lack of freedom.

X wrote:

Freedom is to be able to walk around the country at peace, not having to possess weapons for self-protection, to know that a young woman can get home safely in the dead of the night, that one can place his bag at a hawker centre to chope (reserve) seats without worry of your belongings being stolen.

If freedom is judged by crime rate, then Kuwait, a low crime rate nation ought to be a very free country. Yet Kuwait is classified as an authoritarian regime by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index and “Worst of the worst” in freedom by Freedom House.

X wrote:

Criticisms also mention that Mr Lee created a stifling education system that emphasized so much on the sciences, encouraging Engineering, Medicine and Law

Not true for medicine and law. The measly numbers of doctors and lawyers trained each year by our local universities should instead show the opposite of how un-encouraged these two courses have always been.

X wrote:

… we must understand that it was only in recent history, during the past 2 decades, that Singapore was really lifted out of the third world into the first world.

Not true. Singapore’s 1965 per capita GDP (Penn World Table) already put us in Middle Income status (https://trulysingapore.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/dont-forget-to-praise-singaporean-forefathers-too/). We progressed from Middle Income to First World, not from Third World to First.

X wrote:

At the same time, we must understand that as a small population of five million, the talent pool is extremely small. The main reason we see stars continuing to rise out of countries such as US, UK and China, is that, from the onset, they have already won the statistics game. These countries have such huge populations that they can maintain an entire music industry on their own. An amateur band, for example, could probably thrive rather well locally as compared to a band of equal standards in Singapore.

Statistically, all else being equal, UK with 12 times our population should have 12 times as many bands of equal standards. The 12 times UK fan base spread over 12 times as many bands should result in no better thriving of UK bands than Singapore bands.

Japan has more than twice South Korea’s population. Going by statistics, Japan should be more than twice as successful as Korea in the music or entertainment industry. But people all over Asia are watching Korean TV dramas, not Japanese ones. Statistics is not everything.

X wrote:

Further, because we constantly see a stream of talents rise from these countries, we rarely get to see those who fail and, just like in Singapore, get their hopes dashed. Just look at American Idol’s audition periods. They could hold days of auditions seeing hundreds upon hundreds of hopefuls, yet at the end of the day, there is only one winner. If you think it is much easier to succeed in the arts overseas than in Singapore, you are probably delusional.

X earlier argued that small population means more difficult to thrive; now he says small population means easier to succeed. More difficult to thrive but easier to succeed; easier to thrive but more difficult to succeed – how much more oxymoronic can X get?

X wrote:

let’s face it – if you fail to enter, you’re probably not good enough, don’t blame the nation for the cards it was dealt with.

The last thing we want is for X to become our education minister telling our children they are not good enough. The following are examples of just how wrong naysayers like X can be:

Elvis Presley was once fired by his manager who told him “You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”

The Beatles were at first rejected by the recording company who said “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out”.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s teachers once felt he was hopeless at composing and would never succeed in either violin or composing.

X wrote:

However, we should not penalise Mr Lee heavily for his mistakes, for what he has done for Singapore far outweighs what he has undone with his errors. Further, he is no God, he is human too. We ought not to deify him and expect perfection of him. As much as he was a perfectionist, he could not have always made the right decisions alone, and, as he has always acknowledged, required the input of his able team.

Lee Kuan Yew’s sins cannot be atoned with glories taken from others like Dr Winsemius. If Lee was no God but human, why should he and he alone escape judgment? Not expecting perfection from Lee doesn’t mean we therefore cover up his flaws. Lee’s acknowledgement of his team was rare. His denial of false praises in the press was even rarer.

X wrote:

Mr Lee was a living, breathing human who walked amongst us and devoted his life to creating a miracle. With his passing, the world becomes a little darker, and it is up to Singaporeans to continue his legacy and do enough justice to restore his light.

Lee Kuan Yew did not create a miracle. Singapore was already one of two prosperous miracles in the British Empire’s Far East long before Lee was born. Singapore made a great leap forward after independence but the strategies came from Dr Winsemius, not Lee. Lee devoted his life to consolidating his personal fiefdom even if that meant trampling upon the lives of fellow Singaporeans. The world is no brighter with his passing because the people are none the wiser to his true colors. It is up to Singaporeans to wake up from Lee’s false legacies and restore justice to Singapore’s true heroes who suffered and sacrificed so that we may be free today.

Response to “6 reasons why LKY detractors are wrong” – Part 1

May 30, 2015

This is part 1 of the response to the 4 Apr 2015 TR Emeritus article “6 reasons why detractors of LKY are wrong” by X.

X wrote:

With the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew … hundreds of thousands of people willing to queue for hours just to pay our respects to the founding father of Singapore.

Lee Kuan Yew is not the founding father of Singapore and can never be considered one because he never fought for our independence like George Washington or Gandhi did for their respective countries.

X wrote:

Singapore is often said to be more a dictatorship than a democracy … because there is no option to vote for, we are ultimately living under a dictator. Yet, this is really because our small population provides for a dearth of talents willing to serve Singaporeans in politics … In fact, the man himself has considered a two-party system where both parties are equal, to be ideal. However, Singapore just does not have enough people to have such a system. Big countries already have a problem finding a pool of dedicated, patriotic, intellectual and selfless talents. In a tiny island state like ours, this problem is magnified.

Many of our ministers come from the SAF or civil service. But there are so many more generals and high ranking civil servants from SAF and civil service respectively. How can X say there is a problem finding dedicated, patriotic, intellectual and selfless talents? To turn it around, is X saying those generals or high ranking civil servants who did not end up in politics are either not dedicated, not patriotic, not intellectual or are selfish? If any of those are true, how in the first place did they become generals or high ranking civil servants?

There are many small population nations like Norway and Finland that have multi-party politics so small population is a poor excuse for lack of political plurality.

Action speaks louder than words. Lee Kuan Yew clearly demonstrated his preference for a system where his own party is dominant over a two-party system. He even claimed to be able to govern much better if he could rule without elections.

X wrote:

Perhaps detractors would also argue that few dare to join the opposition party because of Mr Lee’s history of suing his opponents. Yet, if we look at the facts, the people that he did sue were attacking him on a personal basis.

Lee Kuan Yew never lost any defamation suit. That perfect record is something that is almost never found in real life. Shouldn’t X wonder if the same cases had been read in a court in US, UK or any other Western nation, would the outcome have been the same?

X wrote:

The current reigning opposition never ran into legal troubles with Mr Lee or the other Members of Parliament, simply because they do not defame others. They do their job of the opposition party by supplying alternative, constructive views, and not by supplying personal attacks as previous opponents did.

The current opposition has been stifled to such an extent that much of what they can raise in parliament has been severely curtailed.

X wrote:

Many western publications … sing praises of Mr Lee, saying that a benevolent dictator like him is hard to come by, and is actually the best form of governance a country could get.

Most Western publications that sing praises of Mr Lee often do so with stale regurgitated motherhood statements from the local press that doesn’t stand up to truth or logical reasoning.

X wrote:

At the end of the day, it matters not what form of governance we subscribe to – it is undeniable that the policies the government have put in place have indeed helped with our progress.

X must not deny that the key policies that helped us progress came from Dr Albert Winsemius, not Lee Kuan Yew. Lee Kuan Yew was devastated, shattered and hid from public view for six weeks upon our ejection from Malaysia. In the end, it was Dr Winsemius’ wisdom that we relied on, not Lee Kuan Yew’s.

X wrote:

Further, so long as there is a capable opposition standing for election, we as citizens have the power to vote them in – this is the defining point of a democracy.

But democracy requires a free press to be its guardian without which there can be no democracy, so says Winston Churchill whom Lee Kuan Yew admired. Since Singapore does not have a free press or free television, what democracy is there to speak of?

X wrote:

However, let us not oppose for the sake of opposing, but instead vote for the candidate that best represents the people.

Similarly, let us not support for the sake of supporting. Chiam See Tong’s good performance in parliament for Singaporeans and for his constituency over many years shows that the candidate that best represents the people need not necessarily be the smartest or the most decorated.

X wrote:

Mr Lee’s argument, however, was that the high salaries of private companies are keeping the talents from coming to civil service. He said that, “If this salary formula can draw out higher quality men into politics, whatever their motivations, I say, let us have them.”

We used to have cheap and good ministers whom Singaporeans complained little about. Now we have expensive and not so good ministers that Singaporeans complain a hell lot about. So it’s not necessarily true that higher salary necessarily draws out higher quality men.

X wrote:

Was he wrong? Was he really after the money? At this time, with the many reports on his frugality, I think not.

X is mistaken. It’s not necessarily true that a frugal person wouldn’t go after money. In fact, it’s possible that a person is frugal because he loves money so much that he feels pinched if he has to spend it. The same love for money that makes him frugal can also make him go after money. In the case of Lee Kuan Yew, we must never forget his eternal phrase “what’s wrong with more money?”

X wrote:

Mr Lee really was after able talents from the next generation to bring Singapore forward and continue his legacy. He was simply being pragmatic, recognising the fact that in this practical society, his people would rather enjoy a high pay in private companies than to serve in civil service with lower pay.

We know that is not true. George Yeo earned around SGD 1.4 million in 2013 (HK$ 8.8 million) working for Kerry Logistics which is about half of the SGD 2.8 million he earned as a minister in 2010 (http://www.transitioning.org/2010/02/19/worlds-richest-and-best-paid). Civil servant Tan Yong Soon could afford expensive culinary lessons in France because civil service pay is not bad.

X wrote:

Let us pause for a moment and take this for what critics call it – corruption. Compare it to the prevalent corruption in other countries – ministers accepting bribes, paying their way into power, pushing for policies that benefit those who bribe them. If our government is corrupted because of their high pay, I say at least their corruption does not crush the country.

X does the usual selective comparison that PAP loves. If Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Germany and so on can have uncorrupted government without crushing their countries, why can’t we? Why does people like X always compare First World Singapore to corrupted Third World ones? It reeks strongly of Third World mentality.

X wrote:

Take the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2009 for example. Singapore, being a highly trade-oriented country, was among the first and most greatly affected. With consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth from 2008 to 2009, Singapore had officially gone into recession. In the 2009 Budget, the Resilience Package was introduced. The policies were generally commended by financial experts for them being well thought out instead of knee jerk reactions, and they proved to work extremely well when Singapore was one of the first to recover from the crisis, with a GDP growth of over ten percent in 2010. If this does not prove that we have quality ministers who do their job, I don’t know what does.

It wasn’t just Singapore but Asia in general had been praised by IMF for handling the crisis well and for rebounding quickly and strongly:

In my view, the macroeconomic, financial, and corporate sector reforms put in place over the last decade have played an important role in the region’s resilience. So, despite being hit hard initially, Asia was able to bounce back quickly from the global financial crisis.

[Dominique Strauss-Kahn – Managing Director of the IMF, Opening Remarks at the Asia 21 Conference – Daejeon, Korea, 12 July 2010, “Asia and the Global Economy: Leading the Way Forward in the 21st Century”]

Malaysia has come out strongly from the world recession. Forceful counter˗cyclical policies, sound balance sheets … Malaysia’s financial sector has withstood the global recession well. Thanks to the Bank Negara Malaysia’s proactive supervision, measures to ensure uninterrupted access to financing, and prudent lending practices, loan book did not deteriorate as much as feared and started improving in the second half of 2009.

[IMF Executive Board Concludes 2010 Article IV Consultation with Malaysia, Public Information Notice (PIN) No. 10/114, 13 August 2010]

… IMF praised the Indonesian government and central bank for their response to the global financial crisis …

[IMF urges Indonesia to target inflation, Financial Times, 7 Jun 2009]

The praise that other Asian countries received for their similar sound handling of the Global Financial Crisis should instead prove that quality ministers that do their jobs can come at a fraction of what they cost in Singapore.

Call it corruption, embezzlement, greed; call it whatever you wish. This writer, however – having been brought up in a meritocratic society that is Singapore – believes that one should be rewarded for his hard work, and even more for producing quality work. If we hold the notion that civil servants should be paid and treated like what they’re called – servants – then we would hardly get good leaders in the Cabinet.

X should understand that the common man on the street that does hard, menial jobs may not be less hard working or produce less quality work than the civil servant scholar writing nonsense in the comforts of his office cubicle. X should acknowledge that it was the common people who first recognized the problem of escalating housing prices long before any MP raised the issue in parliament and long before any minister took action. No matter how good a cabinet leader is, he may not have the best ideas or the greatest wisdom which can come from the people instead. Based on X’s essay, the quality of future civil service leaders is not something to look forward to.

Don’t give thanks to Lee Kuan Yew

May 23, 2015

I refer to the 2 Apr 2015 TR Emeritus article “Give thanks to LKY, but bid PAP ‘Good Bye’” by MC First.

MC First wrote:

To me, the thing is simple. No ah gong means no today’s Singapore.

Hong Kong progressed just as well without Lee Kuan Yew but with British governors. Is MC First going to say no British governor means no today’s Hong Kong? Then we can turn things around and say without Lee Kuan Yew, we would still have today’s Singapore because a British governed Singapore would have turned out just as well.

MC First wrote:

This is something that we can never take away from him and it is a legacy he has left behind. Ah gong is like our parents, a lot of times they dish out very good advice, but we just don’t want to listen.

There is no legacy to take away from Lee Kuan Yew because the legacy of Singapore is not Lee Kuan Yew’s but that of past British governors and generations of Singaporeans past and present.

Lee Kuan Yew’s advice was always about highlighting the 10 cents of good for you leaving you to figure out for yourself the $100 of good for him and his party.

MC First wrote:

Without a single doubt, ah gong was a man of integrity.

Without a doubt, Lee Kuan Yew wasn’t a man of integrity. As an opposition MP in the 1950s, he championed for press freedom only to turn his back on it once he cemented his power. Back in 1965, he pointed to the people as the ultimate determinant of the nation’s success. Many decades down the road, he pointed to his own party as behind Singapore’s success.

MC First wrote:

He ate and breathed Singapore.

LKY consumed the soul of Singapore to such an extent that more than half are left with either no balls or no brains.

MC First wrote:

YES, he was utterly ruthless against opposing politicians. But which politician is ever benevolent?! Politics is a dirty, dirty game. For instance, even the supposed enlightened Tang Emperor Li Shi Ming. He too had to kill his own brothers in order to become the Emperor. What you and me – people on the street, should really be concerned about is whether the power taken has been used to do GOOD or do EVIL?

There is a big difference between Lee Kuan Yew and Li Shi Ming. Lee Kuan Yew continued to do evil even after he has won power whereas Li Shi Ming did not. Why did Lee Kuan Yew have to detain Dr Chia Thye Poh and Dr Lim Hock Siew for 32 years and 19 years respectively? Surely the struggle to survive had long passed after 32 years and 19 years respectively?

MC First wrote:

From kampong to metropolis in less than FIFTY years, you think this is an easy feat?

Bullshit. Lee Kuan Yew himself boasted to businessmen in Chicago that Singapore was already a metropolis back in 1968. There’s no way Singapore could have transformed from kampong to metropolis in three years. Singapore was already a metropolis or nearly so by the time Lee Kuan Yew took power.

MC First wrote:

Just go across the Causeway and take a look at JB, and you can easily tell the difference.

But that difference had already existed long before Lee Kuan Yew took power. Singapore was already much better developed than JB during colonial times as one of three Straits Settlements and as a British Crown Colony.

MC First wrote:

In a land that is surrounded all over by Muslims, we are effectively a mini-Israel, but who has ever dared to challenge our sovereignty?

Our law minister Shanmugam has made it clear that that is largely due to US military presence in the region, not due to Lee Kuan Yew.

MC First wrote:

The SINGAPORE passport today is one of the few passports that allows you to travel uninhibited to any part of the world. Ah gong’s international diplomacy is the result for this convenience.

That’s nothing to boast about. Malaysian passport is not far behind with a Visa Restrictions Index of 163 compared to Singapore’s 167 (Straits Times, “Which passports are most accepted around the world?”, 18 Apr 2014).

By comparing Singapore’s score of 167 with Malaysia’s score of 163, MC First can at most say that Lee Kuan Yew diplomacy resulted in a measly 4 extra points compared to Malaysia’s 163 points or 2.5% extra convenience only.

MC First wrote:

My dad was a taxi-driver and my mum a housewife, yet they managed to buy a flat for $8,000 so that my family could have a roof over our head. All these were made possible by ah gong and his generation of pioneers!

You look at the advertisements all over MRT trains asking people to sell their flats back to the government for retirement funds. Hopefully, MC First can see that having a roof for two, three decades only to sell the roof back to the government means no roof at the end of the day. So at the end of the day, that was what Lee Kuan Yew gave many of the pioneer generation, the illusion of a roof over their heads.

MC First wrote:

They had integrity and were SELFLESS!!

If Lee Kuan Yew had integrity, how come he never admitted to his mistake of killing Singapore’s birth rate? If he had been selfless, how come he didn’t volunteer to fight the Japanese like Lim Bo Seng did?

That’s why ah gong deserved a grand send-off.

For all those reasons, Lee Kuan Yew did not deserve a grand send off.

So, we must give credit when it is due.

If credit due must be given, then credit must be given to Dr Albert Winsemius, not to Lee Kuan Yew as it was Dr Winsemius who masterminded our industrialization, not Lee Kuan Yew.

Ah gong did his very best to shape Singapore and we must ALWAYS be grateful for that.

Lee Kuan Yew did his best to consolidate his power. Instead, it was Dr Winsemius who gave us the plan and the ideas to shape Singapore’s post independence economy. MC First must not forget that Lee Kuan Yew himself said that both he and Singapore are indebted to Dr Winsemius. Thus, MC First should listen to his Ah gong Lee Kuan Yew and be grateful to Dr Winsemius instead.

Proposal for political change

May 18, 2015

Current situation

Members of Parliament (MPs) have conflicting interests between representing their respective parties and representing the people who voted for them.

For example, in the recent Seng Kang columbarium issue, MP Lam Pin Min represented the PAP government’s position when he openly disagreed with the Seng Kang people he was supposed to represent.

Residents at the dialogue said the HDB should have been more upfront about the Chinese temple housing a columbarium …

… Dr Lam said the authorities had been upfront, noting that it was indicated in the Fernvale Lea brochure for the new flats that the temple may include a columbarium allowed under the guidelines of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). “There is really nothing to hide,” he added.

Some residents had also asked why the Chinese temple is being developed by a private company.

Dr Lam said current regulations did not restrict the type of company that can develop a place of worship and he understood from the URA and HDB that it has been done before.

[Straits Times, Upset over columbarium plans, Fernvale Lea’s future residents want a refund from HDB, 4 Jan 2015]

It’s hard to imagine Dr Lam would wholeheartedly represent his people when he didn’t even agree with them. Similarly, during the Population White Paper debate, most PAP MPs conformed to PAP’s wishes but not to the wishes of the people.

These are wrong; there is a need to decouple MPs from political parties.

Proposal

Separate the election of MPs from the election of the government.

Choosing the MP

Constituency elections will strictly be a constituency level event, not a national level event. Each constituency will have elections once every five years but different constituencies can hold elections at different times.

To qualify to be an MP for a constituency, an individual:

• Must have no affiliation to any political party

• Must be resident of that constituency

• Must not hold any full time job

Choosing the government

Every five years, there will be an electoral contest between political parties to form the government. Political parties will come up with cabinet proposals of between 10 to 15 individuals as well as their 5-year plans and total pay packages including bonuses. The entire nation will elect the party to form the government based on their 5-year plans, deliverance of past plans, strengths of individual candidates and asking prices.

The party with the highest number of votes wins the right to form the government without winning a single constituency. This will give no reason for the governing party to give advantage to one constituency while disadvantaging another constituency. At the same time, there is no diminishing of legitimacy as the ruling party has been elected by the entire country.

Relationship between government and MPs

The Government will propose bills to MPs in parliament for their approval. 2/3 of MPs’ votes are required for bill to be approved. An MP absent from parliament will automatically count towards a “no” vote. (MPs who clock less than 80% attendance in parliament in the preceding year of full year service as MP will have his MP title revoked and re-election must be held within reasonable time as decided by the election committee).

President, election and CPIB committees

• The elections department and CPIB will be transferred out from the prime minister’s office to the president’s office to avoid potential conflict of interests.

• The meaningless ceremonial reporting of prime minister to president and the equally meaningless need for the president to adhere to advice from the prime minister will be abolished. The president will make his own decision on matters concerning elections and CPIB only. Use of past reserves will be approved by MPs in parliament.

• The president must not have any past affiliation with any political party.

• The president will appoint up to five MPs to watch over and keep tabs on each and every ministry so that when the government presents bills pertaining to any ministry, there will be about five MPs sufficiently well versed and given full access to ministry information to appraise government matters raised. Sensitive ministries like Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be partially exempted.

• The judiciary will come under the president’s office and all judges will be appointed by the president independent of the prime minister.

Election committee

• All constituencies will be fixed in accordance to the current postal districts

• On average, every 25,000 voters will have one MP representing them. The current 2 million voters will have a total of 80 MPs on average. Final discretion on number of MPs for each constituency will lie with the election committee.

• Districts with less than 12,500 voters can be merged with a neighboring district as decided by the election committee.

• Districts with two or more MPs can have one MP designated as minority MP as decided by the election committee. In a district designated with minority MP, one MP position will be given to the best performing minority candidate.

Others

Referendums

• The government of the day must carry out a nationwide referendum on any matter deemed necessary by 1/3 of MPs.

Constitution

• As a starting point, all laws must not contradict the constitution. Any laws that contradict the constitution must require a referendum to pass.

Newspapers and media

• Lee Kuan Yew’s newspapers act of 1974 will be abolished. The independence of newspapers and the media and the freedom to set up newspapers and other media will be enshrined in the constitution. The constitution of media freedom will be above the authority of any ministry, government department or the prime minister himself.

• Media freedom will still be subjected to the rule of law and judicial discipline.

Defamation laws

• Onus of proof of defamation will lie with the complainant

Citizenship rules

• A minimum of 5 and 10 years of continuous residency are required for the granting of PR and citizenship respectively. Only sportsmen and sportswomen may be exempted from this ruling subject to the approval of the president.

• Granting of citizenship must be approved by at least 2/3 of MPs in regular meetings outside of parliament sessions. Details of all such citizenship grants must be posted regularly on the government website.

Advantages of new system

• Better separation of powers

• Less grid lock than traditional two party system as MPs do not belong to confronting parties opposed to each other but are independent individuals representing the broad spectrum of the population across all constituencies

• MPs are independent of political parties, answerable only to the people who voted for them and are not encumbered by party agenda.

Cynical Investor admits to being a lot less economically literate than retired GIC economist

May 4, 2015

I refer to the 11 Apr 2015 TRE article “TRE discovers retired GIC economist” by Cynical Investor.

Cynical Investor wrote:

Hopefully TRE readers start reading Yeoh Lam Keong’s pieces because he is a lot more economic literate than most of their heroes: people like Roy Ngerng, Philip Ang, Ng Kok Lim and Uncle RedBean.

TRE publishes a fair share of CI’s articles too. If CI feels that TRE readers aren’t getting sufficient dosage of economic literacy from Roy, Philip, Ng and RedBean and so recommends Yeoh’s pieces instead, then surely he must also feel that TRE readers are also not getting sufficient economic literacy from CI himself despite numerous of CI’s pieces on TRE. Wouldn’t CI, in effect, be saying that his economic literacy is also a lot less than that of Yeoh’s?

Cynical Investor wrote:

Yeoh Lam Keong’s criticisms of govt policies are founded on facts and proven (or at least academically accepted) economic models , not BS or hot air …

Isn’t CI engaging in BS and hot air when he disparaged Roy, Philip, Ng and Redbean without substantiating what he said? What does a BS and hot air like CI know about facts or economic models?

Cynical Investor wrote:

Interesting while TRE is getting less and less the place where anti-PAP cybernuts gather, TOC (never a place of the anti-PAP cybernuts: in fact TOC made it respectable and fashionable to criticise the PAP administration online, showing that it could be done in a professional manner) is becoming the Hammer on-line.

But TRE is also where CI gathers, for how could he not if he is to know that TRE is a gathering place for anti-PAP cybernuts? Why does CI insist on gathering with fellow cybernuts at TRE if he isn’t a cybernut himself?

How could it be that TOC made it respectable and fashionable to criticize PAP when it is TRE that has much higher readership?

Just by looking at CI’s own blog makes you wonder where he finds the cheek to comment about what is professional and what is not.

CI is the undisputed No. 1 shameless cybernut.

Cynical Investor is Cynical Rat

May 4, 2015

I refer to the 30 Apr 2015 article “Bukit Batok, PAP or TRE rats in space?” by Cynical Investor.

Cynical Investor wrote:

The team hoping to send a Singaporean to space has completed a groundbreaking experiment – after three rats sent to space returned to Earth alive.

The experiment, conducted in Hyderabad, India, saw the rats contained in a prototype capsule designed to reach an altitude of 32km. Pressure was kept constant, and the temperature was a comfortable 28 degrees Celsius. The rats returned to land in “very good condition” (CNA a few months back)

Hmm wonder if Ng Kok Lim was one of these rats?

CI is good for nothing except making cheap pot shots without substantiation, without substance.

Cynical Investor wrote:

For those who don’t yet know, Ng Kok Lim cannot help but misrepresent me.

No one misrepresented CI. Ng Kok Lim’s representation of CI was truthful. It is CI who has shamelessly denied what he wrote.

Cynical Investor wrote:

In his second latest BS on TRE he claimed I sympathised with Amos Yee, quoting me out of context, and saying I too didn’t help Amos. He conveniently left out the link I put in the article he selective choses quotes from: that he should be caned. Err that sympathy? But then that point disturbs the narrative of the misrepresentation,

The BS is CI’s. Ng Kok Lim did not quote CI out of context but exactly within context. Ng Kok Lim had no need to conveniently leave out CI’s link because CI’s link did not contradict the fact that CI had indeed expressed sympathy for Amos. CI cannot adopt the twisted logic that as long as he had expressed some disapproval for Amos, he can then sprinkle in some good words or words of sympathy for Amos without being considered to have expressed good words or words of sympathy for Amos. He cannot have the twisted logic that negative comments combined with positive ones means the positive comments aren’t positive. He cannot shamelessly condemn others for speaking up but not taking action when he himself was guilty of the same thing.

Cynical Investor wrote:

In his latest piece, he shows that he read a lot of my pieces, yet quotes and misrepresents me, Chin Peng and the Plen extensively. (He makes Roy look like a paragon of truth on CPF when it’s a fact that Roy admitted that he lied about PM stealing our CPF*. M Ravi had a problem explaining to the court hearing the case why this admission shouldn’t be taken into account by the judge.)

CI could only claim but cannot prove that Ng Kok Lim had misrepresented him, Chin Peng or the Plen and shamelessly deny what he wrote in his own blog. If his own words from his blog don’t count, then what credibility does his blog have?

Ng Kok Lim quoted exact phrases of Chin Peng’s and the Plen’s respective denial of Leftist relation with the CPM and relation between the struggle in Singapore and the insurgency in Malaya. CI had chosen the biographies of these two gentlemen to base his arguments yet could not provide any similar phrase by them saying the opposite. Where does CI find the cheek to accuse Ng Kok Lim of misrepresenting Chin Peng or the Plen when he himself could draw no bullets from either gentleman?

CI should look himself in the mirror before making cheap potshots at others. Nobody can beat him in shamelessness.

Cynical Investor wrote:

Yet Ng cannot point to anything I wrote over the years that called certain leftists “communists” as he alleged when he screamed: CI is making the same unqualified smearing of the Lefitsts by the PAP by labeling them as communists like those in Cuba and so on. Where is CI’s proof that the leftists were actually communists?

But Ng Kok Lim has already returned the ball back to CI’s court by pointing to CI’s referral to the Leftists as those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals to only mean the communists and nobody else. If CI has no answer to that, it means Ng Kok Lim was right and CI had indeed referred to the Leftists as communists.

Cynical Investor wrote:

I ask him again: Where did I ever call the Coldstore detainees “communists”?
Ng may have wished I called some leftists “communists”, but where’s the proof?

Ng Kok Lim answers one more time: CI did indeed call the Coldstore detainees communists when he referred to them as those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals.

Ng Kok Lim has no need to wish that CI had called the leftists communists. The proof that CI indeed called the leftists communist can be found in CI’s referral to them as those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals.

Time and again, CI’s defense never included any explanation about who those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals were.

His silence despite being asked point blank who those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals were tells us that he has no answer other than the one that would give his game away.

TRE readers are given truth and facts. No one misrepresented CI

May 1, 2015

I refer to the 25 Apr 2015 TR Emeritus article “TRE commentators seek truth from facts! (Don’t misrepresent me)”

No one misrepresented CI. Instead, it is CI who has shamelessly denied what he said.

CI wrote:

“This is what Ng wrote: CI is making the same unqualified smearing of the Leftists by the PAP by labeling them as communists like those in Cuba and so on. Where is CI’s proof that the leftists were actually communists?)
Where did I call our leftists “communists” in http://brokensilencesg.blogspot.ca/2015/03/where-forgotten-heroes-are-born-chinese.html?
Ng may have wished I called our leftists “communists”, but where’s the proof?”

What CI actually wrote earlier was:

(Which brings me to the tot that if the leftists had won, would they be so magnanimous to Lee Kuan Yew and gang? For a start, LKY and gang and many others may not have been allowed to grow old and bitter. Think Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China, and I think you will get the drift of what I’m thinking: opponents and intellectuals not sympathetic to the leftists cause were, imprisoned, exiled or killed.
Much good it would do the PM and his PAP administration that these leftists benefit from their policies.

Thus, CI had referred to the Leftists as those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals. The question you have to ask CI is who were those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who collectively imprisoned, exiled or killed opponents and intellectuals? The answer to the question is the answer to what CI had referred to, namely the communists. Since there can be no other answer other than the communists who were in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals, it is therefore undeniable that CI had in fact referred to the leftists as the communists.

Thus, no one had misrepresented CI, it is CI himself who had strung together a list of communist countries and equated the leftists to those in these communist countries. There is no need to wish that CI had called leftists communists. The evidence that CI had referred to the leftists as communists can easily be found in his own writings.

CI wrote:

I would ask Chris K, Ng Kok Lim and others who believe the self-serving rubbish of the Coldstore detainees that they were a bunch of social democrat peaceniks with flowers in their hair) to go have a word with students (now in their 60s and 70s) of Chinese High, Chung Ching etc about their time in school. In their clandestine cell groups, did they study the works of leading European and British social democrats or socialists? Nope they would tell you that they studied the works of Mao.

Ask them about the cell leaders who led the discussions. Were they steeped in the tots of the ang moh social democrats or socialists? Nope they were acolytes of Mao, steeped in the doctrines Chinese communism.

Coldstore detainees fought and sacrificed for Singapore’s independence. How could they have been any more self-serving or rubbish than CI?

CI once recommended a book called “Singapore a Biography”. The book contains an example of what CI’s so-called Chung Cheng High student did at that time:

I write essays, poetry … critical political essays and so on attacking the government. Sometimes I will continue to write for three days and three nights, only in between I will have a little nap for 20 minutes, half and hour … because at that time everything moves so fast.

Chin recalled girls who would come over to his place and sometimes stay on after ‘a meeting or a study group’ … There was also the ‘student cells’ made up of five comrades who would swim, go to the cinema and do just about everything together, building up their ‘collectiveness’ in preparation for their call to revolutionary action. Not least, there were the famous student picnics, involving games, songs and an ‘interesting programme’ to ‘eventually get some messages across: anti-government or anti-British, to praise [the] socialist system and things like that’ …

[Singapore a Biography, Mark R, Frost and Yu-Mei Balasinghamchow, page 376]

Writing essays and poetry, swimming, going to the cinema, having picnics, games and songs – are these what CI wants us to know about these students? Even if these students weren’t peaceniks with flowers in their hair, surely they can’t be likened to those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals?

It was written in the same book:

Now I would say this, during the 1950s and 1960s, the entire struggle, we have to clearly define what is ‘Left’ and what is really communist activities. There are not really that many communists, okay? … But in terms of method of struggle, this is what the communists think: they would use the Left as a front. And the Left is actually leading the struggle in the anti-British movement or anti-whatever the system not to their favour.

[Singapore a Biography, Mark R, Frost and Yu-Mei Balasinghamchow, page 377]

Not that many communists, okay CI? Not that many of those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals ok?

It was written in the same book:

… Chinese student Han Tan Jian, who like Chin studied at Chung Cheng High School, where his after-school activities consisted of lessons in Chinese history and Marxist dialectics organized by Lim and Fong’s Chinese Middle School Students’ Union. Han frankly admitted that in the late 1950s he and his fellow students wanted to build a ‘socialist Singapore/Malaya’ on the ‘Chinese model’. But as he looked at the broader situation beyond the Chinese schools, such doctrinal certainty began to dissolve:

Malaya and Singapore could not establish a new country using the Chinese model. Although the communists could lead, […] even if they had the power to lead, they could not make Marxism the national ideology. There was the Malay issue. It was unimaginable that most Malays would, one day, give up being Muslim, convert to Marxism and give up on their Allah.

[Singapore a Biography, Mark R, Frost and Yu-Mei Balasinghamchow, page 377]

So contrary to what CI claimed, the students studied Chinese history and Marxism in general, not just Maoism. The students had also come to the realization that communism wouldn’t work and that they weren’t going to be one of those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals, ok CI?

It was written in the same book:

Apparently, Changi Prison during the late 1950s witnessed a similar realization take root amongst the PAP detainees. As Devan Nair recalled:

While we were in prison, the debate began. Where should we be heading? To a Chinese Communist Malaya, or to a multiracial, Democratic Socialist Malaya? What should be the meaning of Malayan nationalism?

We carried on the debate in prison. And the people who were supporting my stand, vigorously, were James Puthucheary and Sandra Woodhull. I persuaded Fong Swee Suan. And he agreed!

According to Fong’s more recent interview, though Lim Chin Siong was for some time detained separately, when he and Fong eventually debated the same issue Lim also agreed: a democratic, multiracial Malaya was the only way forward. It seems that as young revolutionaries got older they also got wiser.

These recollections give us the impression that in the late 1950s radical, anti-colonial leftists were still experimenting, still weighing the options – in fact, not so much ‘pro-communist’ but rather, as Lim described himself, ‘not [yet] anti-communist’.

[Singapore a Biography, Mark R, Frost and Yu-Mei Balasinghamchow, page 377]

Thus, even the Leftist leaders have also decided they weren’t going to be one of those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals, ok CI? All from the book you recommended, ok CI?

CI wrote:

Finally Chris K and fellow believers in the peaceful nature of the leftists’ movement here who fought the British and LKY should read the memoirs of the Plen and Chin Peng.

The book that CI recommended had already dissociated the leftists from the communists. In his memoirs, Chin Peng also drew the line between Singapore’s Leftists and his own revolutionary CPM which operated mainly in Malaya:

But neither Dr Lee Siew Chor … nor, I understand it, other prominent opposition figures like the Puthucheary brothers – James and Dominic – had ever been CPM members.

[Chin Peng: My Side of History, page 438]

In another book, Chin Peng referred to the Leftists as “them”, not “us”.

… Lee Kuan Yew seized the opportunity to have the Barisan Socialis leaders arrested in Operation Cold Store (February 1963), branding opponents of Malaya as pro-Indonesian. This harmed them badly at a time …

[Dialogues with Chin Peng: New Light on the Malayan Communist Party, C. C. Chin and Karl Hack, page 320]

Fong Chong Pik (Plen) too had denied that his work in Singapore had anything much to do with the revolution in Malaya:

I still need to declare that in Mr. Lee’s broadcast, the words “… wanted to help to bring about the Communist revolution in Malaya” were definitely not mine. Mr. Lee should admit that the person who spoke to him was not an idiot. Why should I say such a stupid thing? After all, the entire struggle at the time was far from being linked up with any “Communist revolution in Malaya”.

[Fong Chong Pik: The Memoirs of a Malayan Communist Revolutionary, page 137]

Thus, both memoirs of Fong Chong Pik and Chin Peng that CI wanted us to read contain the evidence to show that CI had been wrong. Neither gentleman associated Singapore’s Leftist movement with the armed revolution in Malaya. Stripped of any real association with the armed revolution in Malaya, there is no reason to consider Singapore Leftists as anything but peaceful.

CI wrote:

But at the very least they should read
http://brokensilencesg.blogspot.ca/2015/03/where-forgotten-heroes-are-born-chinese.html.
This blogger is anti-LKY (like Chris K and Ng), yet his view of the students chimes with LKY’s views of the students.

Not true, the blogger described the students in terms of song and dance whereas LKY tended to regard the students as militant. Whatever the case, the blogger certainly did not portray the students to be like those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals.

CI wrote:

Then come talk to me.

Who would want to talk to a shallow creature like CI?

CI wrote:

The very serious point I’m trying to make that LKY’s and PAP’s self-serving narrative of our history, is not all rubbish. Like all good propaganda, it has elements of the truth. In the 1950s and early 1960s
— the Malayan Communist Party and China used the leftist movement here for their own ends;
— the students and other Chinese-educated leftists here were highly influenced by the writings of one Mao.

That’s CI bullshit. Many books say it is the other way around – that the leftists were fighting for their own destiny even if their anti-colonial stance were aligned with those of the communists. The leftists being influenced by the writings of Mao didn’t mean they were employing Mao’s tactics of guerilla warfare. They were openly defying the government with strikes and demonstrations.

CI wrote:

But I’m sure Ng Kok Lim doesn’t “Gather truth from facts”.

CI was sure darn wrong. It is the other way around instead; it is CI who doesn’t gather truth from facts while Ng Kok Lim always does.

CI wrote:

He didn’t read what I wrote: I never called the Coldstore detainees “communists”. Or he decided to misrepresent me?

CI conveniently forgot about other occasions where he did refer to Coldstore detainees as “communists”.

Why make things complicated by KPKBing that the Barisan Sosialis detainees were not communists … But unless one doubts the memois of the “Plen” and Chin Peng , the party’s formation was part of the plan to by the communists to seize power.

[CI’s blog, Ex-Barisan gang and friends missing the point, 26 Dec 2014]

My conclusion? The SDP is the kingmaker of the Opposition. Remember how the Communists destroyed David Marshall and the WP in the early 60s? They told their supporters not to vote for the WP.

[CI’s blog, Who is the Opposition Kingmaker? 23 Sept 2011]

After all his dad, who speaks several languages, has shown that he can multi-task: merger with Malaya, economic dev and “fixing” the communists and British.

[CI’s blog, Why can’t our PM multi-task? 24 Oct 2010]

Thus, no one is misrepresenting CI. It is CI who is shamelessly and ballslessly denying what he said.

CI wrote:

Taz the quality of Ng Kok Lim: either not bothering to read what I wrote or trying to make me say what he wanted me to say, despite me not writing it, by accusing me of writing something I never wrote.

The quality of Ng Kok Lim is such that he can easily defeat CI anytime, all the time. CI’s claim that I did not bother to read what he wrote is falsehood, as I produced substantial evidence from his website to prove him wrong. CI’s claim that I was trying to make him say what I wanted him to say is ridiculous. There’s no need to try to make him say what I want him to say when anything he said can so easily be used against him.

CI’s accusation that I accused him of writing something that he never wrote is also falsehood. CI indeed referred to the Leftists as those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals. Even if CI would choose to be dishonest with himself, his invitation for readers to get his drift would put the onus on us to ask who those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China were who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals. If not the communists, then who? In the absence of any other sensible candidate other than the communists in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals, CI cannot deny that he was actually referring to the communists.

For all his explanations, CI couldn’t even provide a reasonable explanation as to who those in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Red China were who would imprison, exile or kill opponents and intellectuals. What CI doesn’t say or couldn’t say says a lot about what he actually said.

That’s the quality of CI, falsehoods upon falsehoods without the slightest shame.