Thursday, December 29, 2016

Nero fiddled while Rome burned

There is sadly a general feeling that the narcissistic PM Lee Hsien Loong may be suffering from some kind of myopia in that he could not or would not want to face up to the deteriorating economic situation in Singapore or in the region. When questioned, he had the gall to dismiss it as a seasonal trend urging the people not to worry over it instead of coming up with any possible solution to mitigate the beleaguered big and small businesses from their hardship. The happy-go-lucky Prime Minister  would rather spend his time playing with babies and mingling with his constituents. It goes the same with his millionaire ministers except one or two who would harangue the populace on the imminent threat from Islamic terrorists and the measures to mitigate it should Singapore be attacked.

Depending on how one would look at it, it could not escape the indignity of the public that it is a kind of travesty of justice for the Prime Minister and his ministers to draw such obscene salaries from the taxpayers' money for giving such run-of-the-mill service. And the one who takes the cake is PM Lee himself who could make such stupid and insensible statement about the deteriorating economic situation. They fit the Chinese saying:"Pocket and pocket till contented" (袋袋平安) which is a pun on the real adage:"Generation after generation to live peacefully” (代代平安).

Now it takes the hard-hitting words of the Chief Executive of the Singapore Business Federation to jolt the inebriated PM Lee from his deep slumber. He painted not only a deteriorating economic situation this year but a worsening situation in 2017 for businesses big and small in Singapore. He also urged the PAP Government "to consider measures to assist businesses to overcome headwinds in the upcoming Budget 2017, even as it considers longer-term strategies."

Is it not an apt title to describe Singapore :"Nero fiddled while Rome burned"? How on earth can the 70 % electorate vote in such a mediocre PAP government is still an enigma. But they will have to face up to the unpalatable fact of voting in a self-serving government giving mediocre service to the public, a result of their incomprehensible ingenuity to cast their sacred votes for the PAP. There is an appropriate Chinese saying: "A wrong step will lead to an eternal regret" (一失足成千古恨).

Friday, December 23, 2016

A heavy slap in the face for the high-falutin PM Lee Hsien Loong

It was pointed out in my post titled "Is China flexing its muscles against Singapore?" on 29-11-16 that the issue of the nine Terrex armoured vehicles detained by Hong Kong Customs on 23-11-16 could evolve into a complex problem requiring an infinite time frame to resolve. Even the dispatch of a high level SAF Team to Hong Kong and the imploration of the Ministry of Defence (reported in the Straits Times today) could not appease an intractable China to relent. This shows the level of misgiving that China's President Xi Jinping has towards a so-called untrustworthy PM Lee Hsien Loong who has evidently exasperated him with his pro-American antics to the point of disillusionment. It may not be too far-fetched if President Xi insists on the personal imploration of a demagogic PM Lee Hsien Loong before any benevolent move could be made to resolve the Terrex armoured vehicles issue. It may be a test of the mental prowess of the two leaders and if PM Lee foolishly stands his ground, it may be the end of the Terrex saga.

There is another interesting angle that may have been overlooked. In order to further humiliate Singapore and PM Lee (which again is not too far-fetched) China may lithely decide to impose a storage fee and a charge for providing guards to protect the armoured vehicles of a sum of a million dollars or more before the vehicles can be released. Of course there will be no problem for Singapore to pay up but it will have to live with it for a long time.

From this episode it may not be too brazen to say that President Xi may regard PM Lee as an American poodle which may affect his hitherto exemplary relationship with PM Lee. Hopefully this unfortunate narrative may transcend any deleterious effect which may befall on the economic front between Singapore and China which is mutually beneficial but more in favour of Singapore. President Xi is too magnanimous for that but on the other hand PM Lee must make a genuine effort to divest himself of his pro-American image to show a more balanced world view which is in Singapore's interest.

American President Barack Obama has shown exceptional affinity towards PM Lee in their relationship which may have an intoxicating effect on on PM Lee in relation to his pro-American antics. Whether the maverick President-elect Donald Trump will continue this brotherly relationship after his inauguration is questionable because of his unpredictable character. For PM Lee this will be a lesson gained and, if learned, should stand him in good stead.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Is China flexing its muscles against Singapore?

It was just a matter of time for the precarious honeymoon between China and Singapore to come to a head. It was done by China with such finesse that it came as a severe jolt to the disoriented PAP leadership, especially the day-dreaming PM Lee Hsien Loong. It was the Hong Kong Customs, no doubt under instructions from China, which detained nine Singapore-bound Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles although the Japanese-owned container ship APL which carried the armoured vehicles had passed through a Chinese province earlier. It was a shrewd Chinese move to avoid direct intricate dealing with Singapore which has willy nilly to deal with a less authoritative and unenthusiastic Hong Kong. The ostensible reason for detaining the armoured vehicles was that they were suspected to carry ammunition and sensitive equipment and the ship's cargo manifest was not in order. This has become a complex problem and may need an infinite time frame to be resolved, provided it gets the condescending consent from China.

The China spokesman has finally emerged to castigate Singapore, which is helmed by the jocular PM Lee Hsien Loong, for its role in undermining China's one-China policy on Taiwan. If this is not a direct slap on PM Lee  Hsien Loong, then PM Lee will still be under the illusion that he is still a trusted equal of President Xi JinPing. The nauseating antics of PM Lee in ingratiating with US President Barrack Obama have not gone unnoticed by the astute China President Xi who viewed them with humour and patience waiting for the day to teach this monkey a lesson.

It will be an interesting exercise to guage the reaction of Singaporeans, especially the ethnic Chinese, to the show of animosity by China towards Singapore by detaining the nine armoured vehicles in Hong Kong and the timing for this so-called show down. Will it be reasonable to say that the Chinese Singaporeans are first taken aback, like the rest of Singaporeans, but think that China is right in jolting the PAP day-dreamers, especially the US-inclined PM Lee, from their fantasy of bringing Singapore dangerously close to the US axis? They could not have been oblivious to the antics of PM Lee in usurping the role of the Chairman of the APEC meeting in Peru in his desperation of a last-ditch effort in salvaging the pro-US Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to the amusement of President Xi of China.

If the day-dreaming PM Lee Hsien Loong has not learned a lesson from the armoured vehicles detention in Hong Kong and persists in his antics of ingratiating himself with the US at the expense of China, the day will come when an exasperated President Xi will candidly say "enough is enough".

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The conundrum of online gambling

It has now become a comic opera with the introduction of the Remote Gambling Act (RGA) to curb online gambling and the PAP flummoxing act of granting exemption to the Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club from the RGA to operate online gambling legally. As the National Council of Churches Singapore (NCCS) has voiced its concern  that the move is sending "confusing and conflicting signals" given that the RGA, which kicked in last year in February, banned all other forms of online betting, it's quite significant that the Minister for Social & Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin went to great length trying to vindicate the PAP Government untenable action which the public could find hard to accept while avoiding answering directly to the NCCS concern. This is because the PAP Government is not comfortable in denying that it is sending "confusing and conflicting signals".

That the problem of online gambling is actively engaging the mind of the public for the social ill-effects that it will bring in its wake can in a way be reflected by the intense debate in Parliament by mainly PAP lawmakers. One pertinent question asked is whether allowing the two operators to launch online gambling services is not tantamount to encouraging more people to go online to gamble by making it legitimate. Again Minister Tan Chuan-Jin could only give a non-committal answer. Hongkong and the United Kingdom were quoted to show their relentless efforts in curbing online gambling.

The fact remains that Singapore is neither Hongkong nor the United Kingdom and our illegal online punters are quite a determined and elusive category on whom neither the RGA nor the legalised operators could make a dent..The two legalised operators have not begun their operation and it is still early to assess their effectiveness in curbing illegal online gambling. With the restrictions that they are required to impose on prospective online punters, would it not be reasonable to expect those who are disqualified by the restrictions to resort to illegal online betting?

There is no way the PAP Government can completely curb illegal online gambling and this will be a perennial headache for the PAP until some PAP smart Alec can come out with a panacea to the problem.

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Perspective of the Elected President Scheme

The spectre of Dr. Tan Cheng Bock being elected President in the next Presidential Election had been haunting a diffident PM Lee Hsien Loong and his drolling Cabinet for a long time after the last EP election in 2011 when Dr. Tony Tan won by a miniscule 35.2 % with the PAP fearing and declining a run-off. Dr. Tan Cheng Bock, if elected, would not be a compliant President like Dr. TonyTan and the late SR Nathan. So the PAP caucus, under the so-called sagacious PM Lee Hsien Loong, had been racking their brains to try to find a solution to this vexing EP problem. Some bright spark in the Cabinet, probably PM Lee himself, came up with a life-saving solution of establishing a Constitutional Commission to review the EP Scheme which would set the eligibility criteria so high that Dr. Tan Cheng Bock would automatically be precluded from standing as a candidate for the EP. Indeed, Dr. Tan had earlier indicated that he would stand as a candidate for the next EP election and he was so popular with an overwhelming public response that it would be a cinch for him to become the next President which was seen to have sent a shiver of fear down the spine of the PAP caucus.

So when PM Lee Hsien Loong announced the establishment of the Constitutional Commission to review the EP Scheme, it sent an unmistakable message to the public that this was all a massive exercise at public expense just to preclude Dr. Tan Cheng Bock from standing for the next EP election. Notwithstanding all the blatant tongue-in-cheek talks by PAP leaders that this was not an exclusion exercise against any particular individual, no amount of glib talks by the PAP leaders would be able to convince the public that this was not against Dr. Tan Cheng Bock. In fact this had been the talk of the town. In the end the Commission Report has confirmed their greatest fear.

Dr. Tan Cheng Bock is a hardy politician and had been mentally prepared for such political adversity which he has to his credit gracefully accepted. He knows that he will never qualify to stand with the $500 million company equity requirement and will only be an exercise in futility to pursue it. The Commission Report with some slight modification has been incorporated in a Government
White Paper which will be debated in Parliament. It will just be an eyewash as with the Government's overwhelming majority in Parliament there is no question that it will not receive approval.

The minority Presidential concession is no doubt a subtle move to appease the minority Malay Community which would otherwise feel marginalised. It may be apparent that they may regard this as a gesture of tokenism.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A poignant tribute to ex-President Ong Teng Cheong

In the midst of all these flattering adulations on the ex-President SR Nathan following his demise on 22 August, perhaps it has not occurred to the mesmerised PM Lee Hsien Loong and his equally hypnotised Cabinet colleagues that there is still considerable anger among a significant section of Singaporeans on the disgraceful act of the PAP leaders in not according a State Funeral to ex-president Ong Teng Cheong upon his death. To add to the insult the PAP demagogues did not even have the decency to give a satisfactory explanation for the omission except from time to time they issued nonsensical statements that the Prime Minister and his spineless Cabinet colleagues have the final say on such matters. There is no quarrel about according a State Funeral to SR Nathan but that the wife of former PM Lee Kuan Yew (the mother of PM Lee Hsien Loong) was given a State Funeral upon her death is in the mind of discerning Singaporeans the extreme case of the abuse of political power. What locus standi could Mrs Lee Kuan Yew have to deserve such state honour? And how could she have been more qualified than ex-President Ong Teng Cheong for a State

Ex-President Ong Teng Cheong was known as the People's President during his tenure, a title which our ex-President SR Nathan would have like to be bestowed with but which had eluded him. This was the measure of the popularity of ex-President Ong Teng Cheong, especially among the Chinese. He incurred the displeasure of the PAP demagogues, especially ex-PM Lee Kuan Yew, for being too honest and straightforward in wanting to know about Singapore Reserves to the discomfort of the PAP wallahs. How the PAP demagogues could have felt so panicky about disclosing Singapore Reserves to the President may be enigmatic to the public but that they could have turned inimical to the President over this could be a million-dollar question to know. To take it further, they even showed their vindictive strain by not giving ex-President Ong Teng Cheong a State Funeral which he greatly deserved, at least more than Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew, to the dismay of Singaporeans who watched the comic opera with abated breath.

Ex-President Ong Teng Cheong had brought immense progress to Singapore even before he became President as a PAP lawmaker and Minister. He was instrumental in making the mass rapid transit a reality in Singapore which has benefitted immensely the commuters. The question of the withholding of his State Funeral upon his death will not go away from the people's mind and will resurface from time to time to the discomfort of the PAP wallahs, especially PM Lee Hsien Loong.

It's quite in order to accord ex-President SR Nathan a fitting narrative to his memory but quite a lot of the adulations are repetitious and some of his so-called achievements were really given a bit of cosmetic treatment. In any case, may the soul of eminent SR Nathan rest in peace.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Looking at Joseph Schooling's Gold Medal in perspective

The fantastic achievement of Joseph Schooling in winning a Gold Medal in the 100 metre butterfly swimming event at the Rio Olympics has brought a supreme reputation and prestige to Singapore in the history of the Olympics. Singapore, especially PM Lee Hsien Loong and his ministers, have shown superb gratitude in according Joseph Schooling the supreme honour that has never been given to any athlete or artist in the past. The whole of Singapore is in ecstatic celebration in his honour  and Joseph Schooling could not have been oblivious to all the adulations that have been poured on him. In all these frenzied exuberances would it not be prudent that a rational thought be given to the sensitivity of Joseph Schooling in having to face the future? He has been lifted so high on the pedestal of fame that we may be overdoing it so that there would be no consolation, but devastation, if he could not win any gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Of course, in the midst of all these celebrations, it could not have occurred in his mind.

True to their character, the PAP leaders are never slow in their haste to claim credit for the global honour  to Singapore that Joseph Schooling has brought. Apart from granting Joseph Schooling a deferment for national service to enable him to train for the Olympics, it was left entirely to the parents of Schooling to finance his training, especially his mother May Schooling.They had spent more than a million dollars for his training and the Singapore Government is not known to have made any financial contribution to it. In fact the people who should claim credit for Schooling's gold medal achievement should be his wonderful parents, his equally wonderful American trainers and the American Government.

Joseph Schooling is a genuine local born swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal for Singapore, unlike the mercenary women paddlers from China that the somnolent PAP Government brought in at great expense to the taxpayers with the hope that they would win gold medals for Singapore at the Olympics. They were all second-rate players trained by China who were only too happy to foist them on Singapore so that they could have an affluent livelihood with the easy money they get from the Singapore Government. It should not surprise the PAP leaders if they could not win any Olympic gold medal for they were more interested in acquiring wealth. Due to the PAP's lax policy, they became permanent residents (PR) over time and became eligible to purchase HDB flats which they sold in the lucrative re-sale market at great profits when they returned to China. With the exchange rate in China, they became affluent overnight.

The latest antic is the shameful defeat of the mercenary Singapore paddlers by an unflattering Japanese team at the Rio Olympics for a bronze medal. Do Singaporeans feel that they have been shortchanged by the PAP leaders?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Coroner's verdict on Benjamin Lim

This was the letter I emailed to the Right Honourable Law Minister K. Shanmugam on 1.7.16 on the subject:

Dear Mr. Shanmugam,

I seek your indulgence in writing to you as the Minister-in-charge on a matter of public interest.

Singaporeans have been following the coroner's inquiry on Benjamin Lim with keen interest. Benjamin Lim was the frail 14 year-old student who was hauled by five burly policemen in plainclothes from his school in January for alleged molestation of a girl to the police station for interrogation. He was arrested and released on bail. He went straight home after that and the tragic thing was that he was found dead at the bottom of his flat after he jumped out of the window.

The coroner's inquiry was not without controversies and threw up a complexing picture of questionable police procedures and the inadequacies of the school authorities in dealing with the case. As a result the coroner had to adjourn the inquiry to 8 June to give his verdict. But the puzzling thing is that there was a no-show of the coroner's verdict nor was there any announcement of postponement.

Almost a month has now passed since 8 June and would it not be time for the public to be advised as to the progress of the coroner's proceedings and when a verdict is to be expected? The verdict is important as it would show whether there is any culpability on the part of anybody, especially the police, in the tragic death of Benjamin Lim, who in the meantime may be making a poignant cry for justice.

With due respect and regards. Yoong Siew Wah

This must have come as a shock to Mr. Shanmugam but I am not too optimistic that the high and mighty Law Minister would have the humility to reply to a plebeian. My letter could have caused not a little ripple  as it brings to the public notice a disturbing and unusual situation in the administration of justice. The State Coroner was scheduled to give his verdict on the tragic death of Benjamin Lim on 8 June and quite inexplicably he gave a no-show without any announcement of any postponement. And this was to drag on with no explanation or announcement by the Minister of the reason of the no-show or the resumption of the inquiry. This unusual state of affair would have been allowed to continue indefinitely if this had not been brought up with the Minister.

It boggles the mind as to why there as no-show by the State Coroner. He was scheduled to give a very important verdict on the tragic death of Benjamin Lim which could have serious repercussions on certain quarters like the police. Could there be a possibility, even if remote, for the State Coroner to have suddenly found himself to be in an unpardonable situation where he had to act against his own conscience and abstained from giving his verdict?

The inquiry has so far disclosed some disturbing features. The State Coroner might have found it bizarre that the police had to send five burly policemen in plainclothes to haul a frail-looking 14 year -old student from his school to the police station for interrogation. And the manner in which the confession was obtained from him left a very big question mark. Benjamin"s father tried to raise the question of the five policemen  in the inquiry but this was blocked by the State Counsel assisting the inquiry who was obviously anxious to shield the police from being shown as extremely stupid by sending such massive force to haul in a frail student. How can the police now say that they are understaffed? Then there is the doubtful evidence of the school supervisor on the reason for stopping Benjamin Lim from attending a school function the next day which the coroner found questionable. This was the reason for adjourning the inquiry to 8 June for a verdict as the coroner wanted to satisfy himself on the truthfulness of the supervisor's evidence.

A young innocent life has been sacrificed and the public has the right to know what caused his death and whether anyone is responsible for it. The distraught parents are left with no one to look after them in their old age. It cannot be more strongly emphasised that the coroner's inquiry must be resumed without delay to arrive at a verdict and the Law Minister must come out with an early announcement, if only to redeem his serious omission. Let this be a warning to an over-confident PM Lee Hsien Loong and his Cabinet, especially his Law Minister that there should not be any attempt at cover-up which will have dire consequences to the PAP.

A final word for the Workers' Party. An email was sent to Pritam Singh on 23.6.16 requesting him to enquire from the Law Minister but it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. The Workers' Party needs to buck up and it can redeem its omission by taking up this matter in Parliament.

Friday, July 1, 2016

An insight into Singapore's preparedness in counter-terrorism measures

Especially after the murderous terrorist attack on Istanbul in Turkey recently, it has been daily exercising the nimble mind of our so-called intrepid PAP leaders, especially the unusually alert PM Lee Hsien Loong and the pushy Defence Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen almost to the point of insanity on means and ways of softening the public to an imminent terrorist attack of the scale of Paris and Istanbul. That Singapore may be targeted for terrorist attack may not be a myth anymore. It's a question of when and not if. That Singapore may be attracted as a terrorist target may also be attributable to the blustering accounts by PAP Ministers, especially Dr. Ng Eng Hen of the so-called formidable forces at their command to counter any terrorist attack.

The latest gimmick is the establishment of the so-called Army Deployment Force (ADF) of battalion size with a rapid response of ten minutes to a terrorist attack. All this is very well for local consumption but what do you think of the terrorist reaction to such a bluster? Would it not be a challenge to them to target Singapore for all its bluster even if there was no such intention initially? Who would suffer in such an attack? Not the ministers or the armed forces.There is a Chinese saying: If you are careful you can drive a ten-thousand year ship (小心駛得萬年船). There is nothing to prevent Dr. Ng Eng Hen from continuing his blustering way, but it would be at his peril.

It is therefore more prudent to assuage the public mind to our counter-terrorism measures in a less pushy manner so as not to incur the animosity of the terrorists. So far all these talks were about counter-terrorism measures. Has it not occurred to the high and mighty PAP leaders to lay out measures to deal with the aftermath of any terrorist attack? Are there no lessons to be learnt from the terrorist attacks in Paris and Istanbul? Conditions may well be so chaotic that it is difficult to distinguish terrorists from victims and it will be a time when it will require monumental effort to calm the public. Notwithstanding the so-called fool-proof immigration security system, if the terrorists are determined to smuggle themselves into Singapore, events in Paris and Istanbul had proved this can be achieved by the terrorists.They are suicide bombers and their whole aim is to smuggle themselves into Singapore to carry out their mission. They do not expect to leave Singapore alive.

Finally, has it ever occurred to our high-falutin PAP wallahs that the ordinary humble Singaporeans may be able to contribute some very good ideas to our counter-terrorism measures or the aftermath? Only that they have not been asked probably because they are not considered to have the requisite expertise.

May God bless Singapore?

An insight into Singapore's preparedness in counter-terrorism measures

Especially after the murderous terrorist attack on Istanbul in Turkey recently, it has been daily exercising the nimble mind of our so-called intrepid PAP leaders, especially the unusually alert PM Lee Hsien Loong and the pushy Defence Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen almost to the point of insanity on means and ways of softening the public to an imminent terrorist attack of the scale of Paris and Istanbul. That Singapore may be targeted for terrorist may not be a myth anymore. It's a question of when and not if. That Singapore may be attracted as a terrorist target may also be attributable to the blustering accounts by PAP Ministers, especially Dr. Ng Eng Hen of the so-called formidable forces at their command to counter any terrorist attack.

The latest gimmick is the establishment of the so-called Army Deployment Force (ADF) of battalion size with a rapid response of ten minutes to a terrorist attack. All this is very well for local consumption but what do you think of the terrorist reaction to such a bluster? Would it not be a challenge to them to target Singapore for all its bluster even if there was no such intention initially? Who would suffer in such an attack? Not the ministers or the armed forces.There is a Chinese saying: If you are careful you can drive a ten-thousand year ship (小心駛得萬年船). There is nothing to prevent Dr. Ng Eng Hen from continuing his blustering way, but it would be his peril.

It is therefore more prudent to assuage the public mind to our counter-terrorism measures in a less pushy manner so as not to incur the animosity of the terrorists. So far all these talks were about counter-terrorism measures. Has it not occurred to the high and mighty PAP leaders to lay out measures to deal with the aftermath of any terrorist attack? Are there no lessons to be learnt from the terrorist attacks in Paris and Istanbul? Conditions may well be so chaotic that it is difficult to distinguish terrorists from victims and it will be a time when it will require monumental effort to calm the public. Notwithstanding the so-called fool-proof immigration security system, if the terrorists are determined to smuggle themselves into Singapore, events in Paris and Istanbul had proved this can be achieved by the terrorists.They are suicide bombers and their whole aim is to smuggle themselves into Singapore to carry out their mission. They do not expect to leave Singapore alive.

Finally, has it ever occurred to our high-falutin PAP wallahs that the ordinary humble Singaporeans may be able to contribute some very good ideas to our counter-terrorism measures or the aftermath? Only that they have not been asked probably because they are not considered to have the requisite expertise.

May God bless Singapore?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Is this another Sermon on the Mount?

It is a well-known fact that the Straits Times is a PAP propaganda organ. For it to come out now to portray itself as a purveyor of unvarnished news to the public is stretching the imagination to the limit. The sceptical public may want to know the motivation of the Straits Times in its editorial today casting unmitigated aspersion on the integrity of the TR Emeritus (TRE) when the issue of the erroneous reporting of the medical expenses of Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has been satisfactorily clarified by TRE and other websites. TRE has already apologised for the inadvertent error and does the Straits Times consider that a pound of flesh is the more appropriate punishment?

No one benefits from aggravating the mishap of Minister Heng and what locus standi is the Straits Times on in insinuating that TRE is making Minister Heng the target of lies? Is the Straits Times not admitting that it lacks the ability to exercise proper judgement and due diligence (to quote the ST) on such a serious accusation?

As mentioned before, Mr. Heng is a well-liked minister and it is unfortunate that he is afflicted with a severe stroke in the course of his duty which requires prolonged hospitalisation and intensive care. As the cost of the hospital care is quite astronomical it is quite natural for some members of the public to wonder if this is shouldered by the taxpayers. Since the government has now clarified that the taxpayers will not be burdened with Mr. Heng's medical cost, it would have expected that matters will take their normal course of waiting for the complete recovery of Mr. Heng with TRE having apologised for the erroneous reporting and other websites giving their views in mitigating the TRE's error. In fact the whole issue is a storm in the teacup.

It is indeed mind-boggling that the Straits Times editor has found it fitting the revitalise the issue at this point and it will be interesting to know if this is done with a noble motivation. That the Straits Times has all along viewed TRE and other similar websites as undermining its monopoly of purveying unvarnished news to the public is not too far-fetched. So if it could expose TRE and other websites for disseminating gutter journalism, it would smooth the way for it to continue to disseminate PAP propaganda to the public. In this way the people who are short-changed will be the public.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Must the SPD be so overbearing in its statement?

It's a reminiscene of the British colonial days when you get civil servants writing in an uncultured manner chastising the disconcerted public for any minor infringement. Would you not think it is anachronistic if this happens in Independent Singapore today? Let's examine the so-called civilised statement of the Public Service Division (PSD) chastising the website TR Emeritus (TRE) for allegedly misleading the public that Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's medical expenses were being paid by taxpayers. Is it not couched in unmistakable overbearing language and would it be expected of civil servants to show some civility in the exercise of their authority towards the public? Surely it is not beyond their ability to compose the statement with more civility without losing the severity of the admonition which they intend to convey.

Mr. Heng Swee Keat is quite a well-liked minister who has unfortunately suffered a severe stroke and is still in the Intensive Care Unit after more than a month. That the public is anxious to know the prognosis of his condition is quite natural. The TRE has inadvertenly published Mr. Heng's medical bill in the region of $500,000 to be paid by taxpayers.without first checking the veracity of the statement. It has since apologised to the government for its inadvertent mistake but added it is disappointed to be accused of misleading the public.

There is a saying that to err is human. To err and to mislead are two entirely different matter and it is obvious that the TRE has erred and not to mislead. A fine example of erring or misleading was in the blustering disclosure by the former Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan that he had paid only $8.00 for an operation and hospital stay some time ago. TRE can therefore be excused for a momentarily indiscretion.

In the public interest the proper attitude to adopt is to monitor the progress of the health condition of Mr. Heng Swee Keat and not how his medical bill is to be settled. Civil servants are not public masters and a showing of a little civility in dealing with the public will endear them to the populace. TRE is doing a public service by providing alternative news to the public from the PAP propaganda that the mainstream media, especially the Straits Times, is dishing out ad nauseam.

There is a Chinese saying : People are not grass or wood so who can not have erred but to err and can change is a virtuous act. (人非草木 孰能無過 過而能改 善莫大焉)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Has the makings of a high-falutin and hubristic diplomat

The name Bilahari Kausikan has come into prominence recently for his high-falutin utterances on opposition politicians about their political views as if he was a PAP political office holder. He was a Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before he relinguished his post to become now an Ambassador-at-large. He has written a number of articles denigrating opposition politicians ostensibly in the nature of a political treatise by a prominent politician. He tried to impress with his so-called intricate erudite verbose writings and blatantly believed that this would draw attention from the public as to how clever he was, but in fact lacking in depth.

Let us examine his apparent motive in his esoteric immature behaviour. It is quite a fad nowadays for promising writers to pen articles on topical political subjects to gain prominence as a rational commentator and it will not be far-fetched to say that our honourable diplomat Bilahari saw this as an opportunity to make a name for himself. Of course it will not be doing justice for himself if in the course of his writing he did not ingratiate himself to the powers that be by writing something that is not very flattering to the opposition. As an Ambassador-at-large he must be thinking that he is in an unassailable position that the opposition cannot retaliate. He may be right that the opposition cannot do anything to rattle his position and so he just continues his antics with impunity.

We have other ambassadors-at-large who do not behave in his hubristic manner. In fact they really live up to their name in promoting cordial relations with the government. Workers' Party Pritam Singh and Singapore Democratic Party Dr. Paul Thambyiah have shown their civilised upbringing in not being too drastic in their response to Bilahari's attack on their character.

Bilahari is not too young and one would have thought that at his age there will be some maturity in his action towards others, especially members of the opposition. He is only a diplomat and not a politician and for a diplomat to take up an offense against an opposition politician is not something which an ordinary Singaporean can normally stomach. So for Mr. Bilahari it is not too late for you to redeem yourself by adopting a more conciliatory attitude towards the opposition. It is alright to be bombastic sometimes but you must do it with finesse. There is a Chinese saying: Turn the head and there is the shore - repent and salvation is at hand (回頭是岸)。

Friday, May 6, 2016

A cliffhanger Bukit Batok by-election

The last nine days have witnessed a very vigorous campaign by the PAP candidate Murali Pillai and SDP candidate Dr. Chee Soon Juan for votes of the Bukit Batok electorate. There had been daily meetings with the residents and PAP election rallies and SDP rallies. Both candidates worked very hard to capture the minds of the voters with their respective programmes and it looks like the BB voters are spoilt for choice in trying to decide which candidate to vote for.

PAP candidate Murali Pillai had been very meticulous in enumerating the benefits that he and his PAP colleagues from the Town Council and constituency have brought to the residents of Bukit Batok for the elderly, the children and healthcare especially for the elderly. In addition, he had the services of PAP big guns like PM Lee Hsien Loong and DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam to appeal to the voters to vote in his favour. His sixteen years of voluntary service to the constituency could also be a factor in his favour. Therefore, Mr. Murali sees himself as a candidate that deserves the support of the electorate.

SDP candidate Dr. Chee Soon Juan on the other hand is a more dramatic and flamboyant individual who shows great intent that he is a more favourable candidate with his diligence and acumen in fending off accusations of character flaws and management disabilities from his PAP opponents and giving a optimistic account of what he could do, if elected, to bring enhancements to the welfare and livelihood of Bukit Batok residents. He has assembled a transit team to take over the Town Council and to make it more efficient and resident-friendly that it will surpass the performance of PAP Town Councils. Most important he has pledged to work full time in the constituency as its MP to which Mr. Murali has no answer. Another important factor is that he will act as a potent alternative voice in Parliament. At times Dr. Chee had appeared to have gone over the top in his eagerness to expose the so-called 
 political flaws of the PAP Government which could not have been to his credit. SDP rallies had been better attended but, from past experiences, this is not an indication of better vote gathering. 

The polling starts today and judging from the vigorousness and competency of the respective campaign, the chances of the respective candidates appear to be equal with neither side appearing to have an overwhelming advantage. For Dr. Chee to romp home in this contest, he will need divine help to tilt the balance in his favour, for example a 50.01 per cent win. There is a Chinese saying: Heaven will not forsake a person with great pains taken in a plan (皇天不负苦心人). Whether this applies to Dr. Chee's case, only the election result will tell.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Highlights of the by-election campaign

The election campaign of the PAP and the Singapore Democratic Party in the Bukit Batok by-election has thrown up some interesting highlights which will captivate the mind of Bukit Batok voters in particular and the discerning Singaporeans in general. Quite naturally the PAP is taking this by-election seriously and the big guns who have come out to campaign for the PAP candidate Murali Pillai included PM Lee Hsien Loong and DPM Tharman Shamugaratnam. But what should appear abominable to the voters and the public is the disgraceful performance of the heinous Grace Fu who behaves like a real witch in carrying out a character assassination of Dr. Chee Soon Juan. However, she is not alone as other PAP speakers are also of the same ilk. Arrogance and hubris seem to be the order of the day for PAP leaders in dealing with Dr. Chee.

Dr. Chee Soon Juan on the other hand is a picture of composure in answering deftly all the accusations levelled at him by the PAP speakers. He is an underdog and does not expect any kid-glove treatment from his PAP opponents. He is aware that he is pitted against a party with enormous financial and manpower resources and above all a ruling party. From observations and reports, Dr. Chee is making reasonable headway in his campaign and this is what irks the PAP leaders.

Even PM Lee Hsien Loong finds it imperative to come forward to campaign for the PAP candidate and it is not surprising that he goes straight into a character assassination of Dr. Chee branding him as an unchanged unruly politician of his early days. This is a serious indictment by a prime minister who does not seem to be on solid ground as it is a well-known fact that Dr. Chee has now matured into a consummate politician with sound principles. Moreover, Dr. Chee now has a sizeable following and there is a appropriate Chinese saying: To view other people lowly with canine eyes. (狗眼看人低)。

That Dr. Chee's ethnicity is an advantage is not without reason. This is now being skewed by PM Lee to be a campaign against the PAP candidate by some unknown persons to vote along racial line. It is now known where PM Lee obtained this rumour but it sounds more like a pre-emptive attempt to warn voters against voting for Dr. Chee raising the race spectre. Dr. Chee is not known to be exploiting the racial element in his campaign. PM Lee should know that ethnic propensity is a characteristic of any race, especially among the elderly Chinese and should not be alarming if this is visible in Bukit Batok.

It is obvious that Dr. Chee Soon Juan is causing considerable anxiety in the PAP camp and it will be interesting to watch how the campaign evolves in the remaining days of the campaign.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Bukit Batok by-election

It is an auspicious start for Singapore Democratic Party Dr. Chee Soon Juan that there is complete unity of the opposition parties in support of his candidature in the Bukit Batok by-election. Even Kenneth Jeyaratnam of the Reform Party has pledged to organise the opposition parties to support Dr. Chee in his election campaign. Such a show of opposition unity is unprecedented and augurs well for Dr. Chee in his pursuit of an election victory.

Dr.Chee had started off his political career in a turbulent manner which did not stand him in good stead but he has since matured into a consummate politician with sound principles. He is certainly more articulate than many of the PAP lawmakers, even some ministers, and, with his fertile ideas to further the public interests and livelihood of Singaporeans, will be a potent alternative voice in Parliament. He also has the prescience to cobble an impressive Town Council Transition Team to improve the welfare of the constituents especially the elderly covering a wide range of assistance including fiance, education and legal matters if he is elected. He has also pledged to devote full time to his constituency work and to give part of his MP allowance to ten deserving poor families in the constituency.

Dr. Chee may also have an ethnicity advantage especially with the elderly Chinese voters in Bukit Batok.The PAP may be over-confident in bucking the trend by putting up a non-Chinese candidate. The result will show if they are vindicated in their choice of candidate.

That Dr. Chee has a sizeable mass following could be seen in the last GE 2015 where he contested in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. That crowd that was attracted to his rally and book-signing event was an encouraging sign but his party failed to win because of the political circumstances prevailing at that time leading to a fantastic 69.9 per cent victory for the PAP, which even stunned the PAP wallahs. Dr. Chee has certainly learned a lesson from his failed mission and is now contesting in Bukit Batok as a more seasoned and wiser politician. He is certainly more than a match to his PAP rival and with God's help and a sympathetic electorate may just romp in in this by-election.

A stimulating scenario will be for Dr. Lee Wei Ling, sister of PM Lee Hsien Loong with whom she is having a political spat, to come out in support of Dr. Chee Soon Juan as both are advocates of the freedom of speech. It will be a miracle if this were to come to pass and she will  forever be remembered as a national heroine. However, it is hoped that this may serve to kindle a favourable imagination in the mind of the enlightened Bukit Batok electorate.

Finally, this is a deeply earnest appeal to the Bukit Batok voters to exercise your sacred votes in favour of a candidate who will bring improvement in welfare and municipal services to your constituency and more important to act as a potent alternative voice in Parliament in matters of public interests affecting your political life and livelihood. The PAP has 83 seats in Parliament and is in a predominant position. The loss of one seat in a by-election is not going to cause any dent in its armour. If elected, Dr. Chee Soon Juan will become the most successful underdog to win a seat in Parliament.

May God bless you.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Last dance for TR Emeritus?

TR Emeritus website has since its inception been doing an exceptionally great service to Singaporeans with its cogent comprehensive coverage of political events affecting the future of Singaporeans, especially those who are not entirely convinced of the sincerity of the PAP Government in its often professed service to the people, which is more often than not sounded hollow. The main stream media, especially the Straits Times, is a PAP propaganda organ and only disseminates news in praise of the PAP Government and its ministers, especially the Prime Minister and TRE serves an important alternative role in exposing the failings of the PAP Government and its ministers whenever they occur so that Singaporeans can have a more balanced picture of the political situation.There are other websites doing similar service but TRE has proved to be more penetrating and edifying as can be seen by its more wider readership. Discerning Singaporeans are so used to TRE's scintillating presentations that it would be an unthinkable and disastrous event if any cessation of its publication is to occur.

TRE needs considerable finance to administer its sizeable website and it had in the past managed with some difficulty with revenue from its advertisements. But this has depleted with the result that the website is hardpressed in finding sufficient finance to administer it.The editor and staff of the website are all working on a voluntary basis and it would be invidious to expect them to finance it out of their own pockets. As a last resort its editor has published an appeal for donations under the heading :Last dance for TR Emeritus?

The TRE is no doubt facing financial hardship for the editor to publicly appeal for donations. It cannot be gainsaid that TRE is doing an indispensible and great service to Singaporeans by providing an important alternative channel to the intricacies of political events happening in Singapore. There will be a political vacuum which will be keenly felt if TRE suddenly ceases to publish. There will unlikely be a website of such political dynamism to fill the vacuum. We have proved that we are not wanting in making donations to a worthy cause and saving TRE from going out of existence is indeed a worthy endeavour which will do the donor proud. It is hoped that generous Singaporeans will respond kindly to this appeal and donate generously to the TRE fund. Please view the TRE article Last dance for TR Emeritus? on how to donate. They need $20,000 in order to pull through. Your generous donations will go down well in history.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Review of the book "Living in a time of deception"

This is in response to requests to make a review of Dr. Poh Soo Kai's book "Living in a time of deception". The book has been successfully launched recently but no serious attempt has been made by any quarter to review it. The Straits Times has attempted to make a rather feeble review by its journalist Leong Weng Kam which does not quite capture the essense the author has tried to convey.

Quite apart from giving a biography of his maternal grandfather Tan Kah Kee in the opening chapter, it gives a powerful insight of the intricacies and complicities of his former comrade-in-arms and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew from the time of the Fajar sedition trial in the 1950s up to his two detentions under the ISA in the 1960s and 70s.

Quite startlingly, Dr, Poh had been privy to the numerous so-called underhand manoeuvres against PAP interests by Lee Kuan Yew including his alleged collaboration with the then Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock leading to the detention of CUF leaders like Lim Chin Siong and company. But what is puzzling to the public was Dr. Poh's reluctance or inaction in exposing such machinations to his PAP members at the right opportunity. Perhaps it could be the magnitude of the problem that he faced which could have devastating repercussions he was unable to predict or handle.

Dr. Poh has a remarkable memory and the book is very informative on the interplay of forces between Lee Kuan Yew and his highly suspicious so-called comrades-in-arms like Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Suan and other similar so-called CUF leaders who controlled the mass base which was critical to Lee Kuan Yew in his quest for political power. They were strange bed-fellows, perhaps in a kind of modus vivendi, but Lee Kuan Yew had control of the State Apparatus and there was nothing Lim Chin Siong and his comrades could do but to bide for time which turned out to be in vain.

For those who have a superficial knowledge of the PAP saga, Dr. Poh's book gives a ringside view of the battle of minds of the protagonists of both sides which had been unknown to the public but nevertheless intriguing. It may be surprising to many how Dr. Poh could have been so privileged in observing all these epoch-making events and is now so forthcoming in regaling the public with these tales. His intention may not be to portray Lee Kuan Yew intentionally as a villian who betrayed his comrades-in-arms in order to sustain his one-man rule but is a sincere effort in presenting history as he saw it. There is a Chinese saying:When a war is won, tens of thousands will have perished (一仗功成万骨枯)。

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Was this a mammoth PAP propaganda exercise?

Ever so often we find the filial sonny boy Lee Hsien Loong trying to revive the memory of his late famous or infamous father Lee Kuan Yew (depending on which side you are on) with some massive propaganda at taxpayers' expense to perpetuate his godly image. And so it was with the mammoth PAP propaganda to honour the first anniversary of the death of PM Lee's father Lee Kuan Yew. True to its slavish character as a PAP propaganda organ, the Straits Times produced voluminous columns of celebratory articles extolling the so-called virtues of Lee Kuan Yew, the distinguished father of PM Lee. Who would want to read such a hugh amount of literary trash except the fanatical fans of the late Lee Kuan Yew who had nothing better to do? But then the Straits Times could not be seen as lagging in pandering to their political masters.

You find that all the celebratory events were dominated by PAP minister like Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Chan Chun Seng. Tharman was so comical in highlighting the quirkiness of Lee Kuan Yew over some bougainvilia plant that he could have passed off as a stand-up comedian. Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang stood out like a sore thumb, a forlorn opposition figure among past and present PAP parliamentarians in the old Parliament House. Does Low honestly believe in Lee Kuan Yew's character and so-called achievements and adultaes him like the PAP leaders?

Clearly, this was purely a mammoth PAP show to idolise their late leader who started off promisingly as a founding prime minister. But it was debatable if he had stood steadfastly in his original principles which had led to a lot of sufferings and unhappiness among a considerable section of the society. Except for Low Thia Khiang whose stand is questionable, no opposition leaders had shown any inclination to participate in the honour of someone regarded by the PAP as a national hero but regarded by them as an antithesis. Then there are those who had suffered inordinately under his rule and their families and supporters. And a considerable number who consider him an autocratic ruler.

PM Lee Hsien Loong is really keen to portray his late father Lee Kuan Yew as the Father of Singapore. He would have liked his father to be accepted in the same manner as the late Dr. Sun Yat-sen had been respected by the Chinese people as the Father of China. There is no way that Lee Kuan Yew can be compared with Dr. Sun Yat-sen in character and achievements, especially in the way Dr. Sun was idolised by the Chinese. One is a titan and the other is,well, a dwarf by comparison.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Papier-mache caricature of a Hero

It is not difficult to fathom the reason behind the fanatic glorification of the late Lee Kuan Yew on the first anniversary of his death. To say that it is a colossal effort by PM Lee Hsien Loong and his ilks to shore up the waning reputation of the PAP for future domination of Singapore is not way off. So it became imperative for the jocular PM Lee Hsien Loong to over-hype the so-called achievements of his late father, the papier-mache caricature of a hero, to rally gullible Singaporeans to bolster the erratic reputation of the PAP.

The PAP wallahs are trying to create the image of the questionable Lee Kuan Yew into some kind of a demi-god. But what do the students and younger Singaporeans, even older Singaporeans, know of the heinous character of Lee Kuan Yew?  They simply follow the leader in exhibiting their enthusiasm of idolising the late Lee Kuan Yew without actually knowing the real meaning of it. And this is accentuated by the PAP propagandists, PM Lee and his ministers not exempted, by dwelling on Lee Kuan Yew's so-called virtues and making him out to be the sole leader to transform Singapore to what it is today. They try to impress the public that they owe their living today to Lee Kuan Yew.

To put it cynically, nothing can be more preposterous. Lee Kuan Yew would be floundering like a drowning man if he did not have eminent ministers like Dr. Goh Keng Swee, Mr. Hon Sui Sen, Mr. S.Rajaratnam and last but not the least the eminent Dr. Albert Winseimus, to help him transform Singapore, economically and politically, to what it is today. And where is the sense of integrity and duty to the public for the PAP propagandists to say that it is a one-man show by Lee Kuan Yew to transform Singapore to its present stage? Do PM Lee and his flattering ministers think that this is a fair representation of the contributions of Dr. Goh and his colleagues, especially Dr. Winseimus who almost single-handedly transformed Singapore economically with his inimitable expert advice.

There is an urgent need to put Lee Kuan Yew's achievements in perspective, warts and all, in order not to short-change Singaporeans. There is a reason why renowned historians have so far not given any verdict on Lee Kuan Yew. Dr. Poh Soo Kai, in his book "Living in the time of deception", has given an illuminating account of the complicity of Lee Kuan Yew with Lim Yew Hock in dealing with his political adversaries.. The million dollar question is why Dr. Poh had held back in exposing Lee Kuan Yew to his PAP members at the first opportunity?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The bizarre behaviour of the Honourable Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam

"Nero fiddled while Rome burned". This famous quote could not be more poetic in portraying the bizarre reticence of the Honourable Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam when the whole of Singapore is agitated and livid over the questionable tactics of the police in the handling of the case  of a 14-year-old student Benjamin Lim which resulted in his tragic suicide. Minister K. Shanmugam is known to be very loquacious at other times especially in his crusade against the cruelty of cats. Does this mean that a human life is less worthy than a cat in his lofty views? Just like the Chinese saying: To treat the people like grass.(視人民如草芥).

A young life has been cut short which could be attributed to his traumatised experience at the hand of the police. While Singaporeans are questioning the antiquated police procedure in dealing with a minor and are waiting for a decent answer from the police, it is beyond logic and belief that the Honourable Minister K. Shanmugam could be turning a deaf ear to all these deafening rumblings by Singaporeans for social justice. The public would certainly like to know what he has to say about the questionable police tactics and the tragic suicide of the minor. The police department comes under his control and it is incumbent upon him to give his unbiased views on the issue.

On the other hand the police seem to be dragging their feel in the long overdue review of their antiquated procedure in dealing with minors. While they are sitting on their arses wrangling among themselves, there may be another tragedy waiting to happen. How can they be impressed of the urgency of finding a quick solution to the problem? They seem to be waiting for a cue from their Honourable Minister which is taking a long time to come. So the opening quote of "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" is not misplaced. PM Lee Hsien Loong has prided himself on a prompt and efficient civil service. It would be interesting to hear what he has to say on both the police tardiness in reviewing their procedure and the funkiness of Minister K. Shanmugam in giving his views on such a grave matter.

The Minister for Education could also not escape the admonishment of the public for staying aloof of all these discreditable happenings. Did he not find something remiss in the conduct of the principal of the school and should not there be a review of the procedure in the handing over of a minor to the police for investigation making it less stressful to the minor? Benjamin Lim was in a state of starvation and the principal would be remiss in not noticing it. And his tardiness in responding to the minor's father who called him after his son's suicide cannot be condoned. He returned the call only the next day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The police could show more compassion and finesse in dealing with teenagers

The tragic suicide of a 14-year-old teenager Benjamin Lim has struck a raw nerve among Singaporeans about questionable police methods of interrogation of teenagers. The manner in which Benjamin Lim was hauled from his school by five burly plainclothes police officers for a suspected molestation offence for interrogation could not but cause consternation to the public by the display of excessive intimidatory tactics by the police. The question uppermost in the public mind is whether it was necessary to send such massive police manpower to the school in the first place to deal with a minor? Was it not a clear case of wasteful use of resources when a single police officer would have been more than adequate.

At the police station Benjamin Lim was subjected to more than three hours of interrogation without any of his guardian being present. He was released after interrogation and went straight home, only to jump out of his window to his death. The only conclusion that could be drawn was that he was over-traumatised by his traumatised experience at the hand of the police. An innocent life has been tragically lost at such a young age.

The million dollar question is who is to be blamed for this tragedy? The public could not be blamed if they point their finger at the police. They cannot understand how the police, with all their expertise, could deal with a minor as if he was a hardened criminal. The police will find it hard to defend themselves and whatever statement issued by them would not be able to calm the public.

So what is the best course for them to regain public confidence? It is natural to be wise after the event and the police will be found wanting if they could not be doing this. To begin with, it is obvious that their procedure in dealing with teenagers is defective and it is incumbent upon them to revise thoroughly their current procedure to do away with the unpalatable aspects such as the massive use of police manpower and the interrogation of minors without their parents or guardian being present. There should be the application of more commonsense in implementing the procedure. They should always bear in mind that minors are a vulnerable class and should be treated compassionately and decently.

If we can henceforth see significant improvement in the police procedure in dealing with minors, the the tragic death of Benjamin Lim will not be in vain. But then it is very sad that his parents will have to live with the pain of his premature death for the rest of their lives.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The passing of a Titan

The passing of Francis Seow in Boston, USA, came as a bit of a staggering news to Singaporeans, especially those who knew him well. As is to be expected, the Straits Times does not carry or is afraid to carry the news for obvious reasons.

The career of Francis Seow as a legal counsel of the Singapore Government in the 1950's and 60's was one of the most dramatic and sensational in the manner in which he prosecuted whether in the criminal court or a Commission of Inquiry. The late David Marshall was a class of his own as a defence lawyer and in a similar vein Francis Seow was a class of his own as a Government prosecutor. The late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew regarded Francis Seow as an inimitable gem and held him in high respect.

Politically PM Lee Kuan Yew was greatly troubled by the brazen pro-communist activities of Chinese school students who were encouraged and supported, both politically and financially,in their nefarious acts by none other than the President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC). Lee was so impressed with the unique talent of Francis Seow that he appointed him the Government inquisitor to expose the complicity of the SCCC president in a Commission of Inquiry in the notorious Secondary IV examination manipulation by Chinese school students in 1963 prior to Singapore's entry into Malaysia. Francis Seow, with his exceptional prosecutor's skill, had very dramatically and convincingly reduced the SCCC president to a physical wreck with all his secret dealings with the Chinese school students exposed thoroughly. And Lee Kuan Yew thus scored a political victory over the SCCC president. Francis Seow was awarded with a gold medal.

Things began to sour up between Lee Kuan Yew and Francis Seow  after the latter resigned from government service to go into private practice. Lee was so afraid that Francis Seow would pose a formidable opponent to him, both politically and administratively. Lee was so devious that he would imagine all kinds of evil acts that Francis Seow was going to foist on him that he would take pre-emptive action. Lee even accused the writer of abusing his authority when he was Director CPIB in helping Francis Seow in the discharge of some detectives for pilfering his property when they were investigating a theft in his dwelling. As it turned out this was nothing more than a figment of his imagination. But he was so vindictive that he defamed the writer by stating on TV that he had dismissed the writer, but it was pointed out to him that he had on the contrary promoted the writer to the post of Director ISD.

Somehow, the name Francis Seow struck a feeling of fear on Lee Kuan Yew. He detained Francis Seow under the ISA for 72 days in 1988 accusing Francis of having received funds from the United States of America to promote democracy in Singapore. He was no stranger to fantasy and this was too far-fetched for people to believe. Francis Seow was released before the General Election in 1988 and his announcement of taking part in the General Election threw Lee Kuan Yew into a spasm. Lee knew that Francis Seow had the charisma to sway voters in his favour and the idea of Francis Seow entering Parliament would upset the equilibrium of Lee Kuan Yew with Francis' eloquence. Francis Seow and two fellow candidates contested the Eunos GRC against Tay Eng Soon from the PAP. Lee was determined by hook or by crook to prevent Francis Seow's team from capturing the Eunos GRC. And Lee had no compunction in using even underhand methods to secure a PAP victory. Even Chinese primary school teachers were mobilised to distribute pamphlets to persuade voters not to vote for Francis Seow. In the end the PAP team won by a whisker of 50.9 % despite all their bullying tactics. Francis Seow and his team had the honour of securing 49.1 % of the votes.

Lee Kuan Yew was determined to fix Francis Seow and ordered the Comptroller of Income Tax to fix him. This suited the Comptroller as he was a sworn enemy of Francis Seow and how he managed to dig up the dirt to charge Francis Seow with tax evasion is still a mystery. Francis Seow left for the United States and never returned.

Now both Lee Kuan Yew and Francis Seow have departed from the good earth and it is a matter of intricate diplomacy whose name is more morally accepted to the people. The netizens will have no difficulty in picking Francis Seow as their man of the moment. Renowned historians have not so far given any verdict on Lee Kuan Yew.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Is this the benign feature of ESM Goh Chok Tong?

This is obtained from the grapevine and it is up to the readers to form their opinion as to its veracity. At the end of it, if there is no denial from ESM Goh, then readers can form their conclusion.

As a respect for his privacy, the location of ESM Goh's house will not be given. His house is built on a slope and slightly above his is a neighbour's house. The neighbour must be of an affluent class to be his neighbour. Recently, the neighbour had his house renovated no doubt at a costly sum. What could have suddenly struck the security-conscious ESM Goh that the renovation could have presented a security or ethical problem to his residence is too far-fetched. He required the neighbour to cover up the portion of his renovated house facing ESM Goh's residence. How he made the approach to his neighbour, whether any coercion was involved, was between ESM Goh and his neighbour which may not be known to the public.

It certainly begs the question of whether it is reasonably expected of a man who had spent a small fortune to renovate his house to cover up a portion of his house because of some esoteric reason from a politically powerful neighbour. Quite apart from jarring the aesthetic quality of the house, it also causes extreme anguish to the neighbour and his family by preventing them from looking out of the covered-up portion of the house. So the question of complete voluntarism on the part of the neighbour is a myth.

So let's see what possible motive ESM Goh could have on his mind in requiring such egregious action on the part of his neighbour. If it is from the ethical voyeurism point of view, people will be wondering what is there so sexually stimulating to peep from two who are over the hill in their youthful exuberance. If it is from a security point of view to prevent the threat of snipers, it will really need enormous convincing that ESM Goh could be the target of any sniper from his neighbour's house. Could it be that he drew his inspiration from his late political master Lee Kuan Yew who ordered that apartments in Cavenagh House be covered up to prevent snipers from taking aim at the Istana. But ESM Goh is not Lee Kuan Yew and has not reached his stature.

So let's now go back to the principle of propriety. If the above narrative is true, the question before the public is under what authority is ESM Goh acting in requiring his neighbour to cover up a portion of his house. Is he a law unto himself and is that how an exemplary minister should conduct himself? Above all, has he got the imprimatur of PM Lee Hsien Loong to issue his order to his neighbour? In any case, PM Lee is duty-bound in principle to come to his defence even if he had not been consulted. There is an old Chinese saying: Behead first and petition the Emperor later.(先斬後奏)。