Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mr Ang KH Needs Help

Today saw the OnlineCitizen about an article on a Handicapped elderly man seeking help from MP Mrs Ho Geok Choo from Boon Lay.

This is Part 1 from the interview it show how difficult to get food vouchers for people liked Mr Ang.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Singapore National Anthem - Majulah Singapura

Source: Yahoo! News Singapore

Well, Taufik Batisah had sang "berseru" instead of "bersatu" during the National Anthem during the 2009 F1 Final. All forgiven, because if someone is to step into a school singing the National Anthem, how many sang "berseru" instead of "bersatu"? Myself included, because we do nto really fully understand the Malay Language. All I remember was to sing "bersatu" then sing "berseru".

However, I wonder when did our National Anthem had changed tune??

It the version sanged by Taufik a version for non-official function function such as the F1? I think it not respecting the National Anthem by changing the tune..... For example, I do not see the Americans, the British, the French or Malaysian changing their tunes for their National Anthem such as "The Star-Spangled Banner", "God Save the Queen", "La Marseillaise" or "Negaraku".

I wondered who changed or created another version......

Please stick to the original version of Majulah Singapura.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No Body Blocked Sales of Singapore Strategic Assets?

Yahoo news had an interesting article about the Australian Defence Minister John Faulkner objecting the Chinese Investment group, Wuhan Iron and Steel Co (WISCO) from getting 50 percent stake in an iron ore project near the Woomera missile test range. I believed that although Australia is such a big country, the ministers are protecting its own interest by bid to block the investment from a Foreign company, especially those of strategic values to the country.

On the contrary, this reminds me how our PAP Government sold the 3 power generation companies in Singapore to foreigners. On of such is the sales of Senoko Power Station to the Japanese Consortium by Temasek holdings. Do Singapore really need the S$4 billion? Singapore officially does not own its power generation companies after Temasek had "divested" its stakes in the 3 power generation companies in Singapore.
  • Senoko - Sold to Lion Power consortium (Japan) for S$4.0 billion
  • Tuas Power - Sold to SinoSing Power Pte Ltd (China) for S$4.235 billion
  • PowerSeraya - Sold to Malaysia's YTL Power International (Malaysia) for S$3.8 billion

Since Singapore is a investor friendly country, who will benefit from the sales? The foreign investors, at the expense of people and businesses in Singapore? Not sure about the Energy Market Authority (EMA), but do they all sit together to discuss the "best" prices for electricity with the EMA?

The power stations sold were they not national strategic assets?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chinese Actress Zhao Wei's Patriotic Clarification

Source: Yahoo News

Today I saw a news on Zhao Wei, a popular female Chinese actress deny the rumor that she is marrying a Singaporean Businessman. The article from was saying Zhao Wei herself is a patriotic woman and said "I love my country so much, I will not get married with a Singaporean."

I wondering if she is taking a "stab" at Gong Li and Jet Li who were some of the famous Chinese Actor/Actress who became Singapore Citizens. I am not sure how long these 2 new high profile Citizens will stay and hoped for good. However, according to Asianbite, Jet Li sent his daughters to Overseas Family School near his million dollars condo for education in Singapore.

I believed that Zhao Wei is gaining "playing" the patriotic card to gain more Chinese Fans on her patrotic remark. There goes our highly sought after "Businessman"'s chance :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Massive Spin for these Town Council MPs

Today Paper and I believed ST also reported "Town council assessment starts in 1 Oct"

In my own opinion, its just another round of meaningless means by the ruling party to appease the "mis-investment" of Town Council Funds in Lehmen Brothers.

Who had said "You have to walk in with both eyes open" when investors were burnt by financial products that were not regulated by MAS? Whose was Finance Minister then?

"In 1990, Mr Lee was appointed Deputy Prime Minister with responsibilities for economic and civil service matters. He also concurrently served as Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from 1998 until 2004, and Minister for Finance from 2001 until 2007. At the MAS, Mr Lee initiated reforms to liberalise the financial sector and to shift the emphasis from one-size-fits-all regulation towards a lighter supervisory touch, relying more on disclosure and caveat emptor. "

It is a meaningless procedure to assess these PAP held TCs as there is no mention of the assessment of the "investments" made or will be made by these PAP TCs. Or even disclosures of such investment, the gain and loss of such investment.

Who ever thought of these 6 KPIs are really amature. No mention of cleaniness of the surrounding especially at common corridors?

What does Dr Teo means by saying "try our best"? He was paid to try his best?

Source: Today paper, 24 Sept 09, pg 2)

I can still remember that 2 such losses by Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council:

Creative Technology - Amount loss: not disclosed?
Lehmen Brothers - Amount loss: S$8 millions

Seem Dr Teo had not learnt from the lesson of using public fund for investment. The letter to resident by Holland-Bukit Panjang seem too proud to admit that the decision to invest is wrong:

"You may have read in the newspapers that $8 million of our Town Council's Sinking Fund was invested in Lehman Brothers-linked products. Some residents may feel that Town Council should have just put our Sinking Fund in low risk fixed deposits instead of investing in other forms of investment products.
Some (not alot?) residents may also be concerned that Town Council will raise S&CC charges or delay upgrading programmes with this investment loss. We fully understand our residents’ concerns (not worries?) and would like to take this opportunity to address your doubts (??).
We would like to assure you that our Town Council's Sinking Fund is in a healthy state. Our investments on the whole are, in fact, earning positive returns, even taking into consideration this investment loss." But the TC lost $8 million dollars of the resident's money right?
What lesson have we learnt?
We will keep fine-tuning our financial strategy. One area which we will pay more attention to is to reduce concentration risk by limiting our exposure to any particular financial institution or company. Saying this that means they will still invest?

Mr Charles Chong the "higher mortal" also want to chip in the news fasco by saying the guideline should focus on "Satisfaction".

Source: Today paper, 24 Sept 09, pg 2)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Darkness in Daytime at the HDB Carpark

One day, I was returning home and reached my car park around 6:30pm darkness seem had befallen before the official sunset timing! About 2 weeks ago where the weather was very wet and sky turned dark around 6pm, I called up LTA and the customer service operator told me that the timing of the Road lighting was set by the sunrise and sunset time.

A typical answer from a civil servant..... LTA or Town Council in the case of my car park should install a light sensor to switch on light when bad weather made the sky darker before the actual sunset time.

This is a safety issue that need to be looked into as there are some sotong drivers who themselves also forgotten to switch on their head light at night. LTA or Town Council should look into the safety aspect of having such function.

But these few days, I returned home around 6:30om, some of the lights at 1&2 floor are lit. Think the TC are listening to feedback from residents.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Look at Australian Immigration Policy

I was looking at the Australian Immigration Policy over the internet and 3 features caught my eyes, firstly, the candidate need to check if his/her skill fit the Skilled Occupation List (SOL), secondly, the candidate need to pass the English Proficiency Test and thirdly, the candidate need to have a Employer Sponsor him/her for work.

I looked into the insight on how the Australians controlled the immigration flow into their country, especially when skilled immigration may threaten the locals. The Australian immigration policy looked into importing skills that are in shortage in Australia. Not liked us where our PAP gov imported people who are cheaper to compete with Singaporeans.

I observed an interesting immigration policy of the Australians immigration, when I key in the my own answers into the Australian Visa Wizard, and pretended that I wanted to work in Australia and stay more than 12 months.


In the Visa Wizard,

I was "rejected" by the Visa Wizard if:

1. I do not have a Sponsor such as Employer, Family members or State or Territory government agencies.

2. Even My skill or qualification is Listed on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

To be able to proceed to find out if I am able to be qualified for any Visa, I need to be:
  • sponsored by a Employer or Government Agencies
  • my skills must be in the SOL.
After that requirement is met, then I was informed that I will be eligible to apply for a "Business - Long Stay (subclass 457) visa" (Staying more than 12 months)


The requirement for the Business - Long Stay (subclass 457) visa is summarized (Staying more than 12 months):
  • be sponsored by an employer
  • have skills, qualifications, experience and an employment background which match those required for the position
  • have an offer of employment from your sponsor
  • meet the English language requirement unless eligible for a waiver
  • be eligible to hold a license or registration for your position (if required)
  • be paid the rate of guaranteed salary specified in your relevant nomination, based on the market salary rate for your position.

If I decided to choose stay permanently in Australia in the Visa Wizard, I will be eligible to apply for a "Skilled - Independent - Migrant (subclass 175) visa" (Permanently Staying)


The requirement for the Skilled - Independent - Migrant (subclass 175) visa is summarized (Permanently Staying):
  • be under 45 years of age
  • have the skills and qualifications that meet the Australian standard for an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
  • meet the Australian study requirement, or meet the recent work experience requirement (you must have worked for 12 months in the last 24 months in any occupation on the SOL)
  • meet the English language requirement.

Of course, the logical argument is that Australia is a large country with plenty of natural resources that are able to support the Australians economically. Thus I cannot compare Singapore with Australia.

However, I believed that our beloved PAP gov can learn some lessons from the Australians policy makers on protection of their own citizens from competition in the same job pool. The PAP gov gave excuse to the liberal immigration policy by saying Singapore have to support the aging population with high tax if Singapore did no increase immigration. These high up in their ivory towers ministers must have forgotten that Singapore is only 697 sq km.

They must do more to boost birth rate among the true blue Singaporean families rather than taking the easy way: opening up immigration, especially to the Mandarin speaking people.

On the language qualification of our immigrant, the Immigration should make basic English a requirement for PRs or Citizen requirement. Singapore is a multiracial country, even though we have 4 official language, English is still the working language in Singapore. The PAP gov did not look into the feelings of the non Chinese citizens in Singapore too. Non-Chinese citizens also contribute to the GDP and served NS right?

Monday, September 21, 2009

National Flags Gone, Most Likely to be Disposed

Last Saturday, I noticed that the National Flags in some HDB blocks Town Councils had already taken down the National Flags put up by the "patriotic" Bangladesh workers before the National Day on 9 Aug 09. I noticed that some of the hooks that the flags that were tied had been to tightly tied and the workers had to pull off the strings attached on the top corners of the National Flags.

Although I do not blame the works of these workers, but I do want to question the TCs on the cost of putting up these National Flags plus the National Day Greeting Murals featuring the MPs. I am not sure if these cost of the National Day "Look Good" exercise was bear by the MPs, but definitely TCs paid for these items.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What is the PAP thinking?

$10 million to Integrate our fellow new PRs and new Citizens payable over 3 years? I thought I was dreaming when I saw this news last Friday!

Firstly, PM Lee says to the NTU Students last week that we (he is the PM right and he made the decision right?) should slow immigration and now there is fund to be spend $10 million to Open our hearts, Open our houses, Open our Minds some more??

I felt that I was living in communist era in East Europe, where we need a national publicity to push a unpopular immigration policy?

I got a friend who related to me when he was looking around for a condominium recently, the agent ask politely to see the condo. Apparently it was the parents of a PRC FT who allowed them to view the condo. Just then, the PRC son came back and chased them out of their condo! From this incident, I will not open my house to any foreign talent at all!

This money will be spent intended to brain wash the true blood citizens and I believed that the policy makers up there had long lost touch with the ground. Such decisions from the PAP will only make people liked me to be more pissed off. The PAP government instead of spending more money on its own citizens, choose to spend money on "Ah Tiongs" so that they can learn English?

Why would these PRCs want to spend time learning English if they work or hang out among Mandarin speaking citizens or with their own kinds? I had already share my thought about a PRC PR who worked more than 3 years in Singapore and YET, he does not even know how to fill in a job application form in English!

Why would these Mandarin speaking PRCs want to integrate with the rest of races such as the Malays, Indians or even Eurasians if they cannot speak English and they are clearly not interested at all?

How can I not started to think about migration to another country if your own "walk over" government implemented all these funny policies? As Dr Vivian Balakrishnan retorted by counter question a poly students who asked him why Foreigners are allowed to compete with the locals for Jobs. Lame answer because of the need to pay high tax to support aging population! These world top No. 1 highest paid paid ministers should use their elite brains to think of a better solutions than to just say increase immigration to boost the number if taxable citizens or PRs so that we can support our aging citizens.....

Last Friday I saw a population news from Australia where the Australian gov announced that they had achieved higher population growth due to immigration and birth rate of >2 birth per woman. Australia have tighter control over its immigration as they have Points system for immigration and Employer Sponsored workers. They also have a list of skills that is in demand in Australia. Thus Australians will not be facing competition from foreigners over the same pool of employment but really supplement jobs that the attracts lower take up rates.

Channel News Asia: Australia's population to increase by 65% to 35m by 2049

Sungei Road Real Flea Market

A few weeks ago, I park my car at the Sim Lim Tower and I decided to go to visit the real Singapore flea market nearby Sungei Road.

The sellers are trying to all sort of items that normally people will not buy, but if you keep your eyes open, occasionally, there may be gems in the heap of "useless" stuffs. I had ever bought 2 items that were considered gems to me even though 1 item bought was not in working condition. But a bit of soldering soon fixed that! I even bought a odd electronics item that cannot be bought elsewhere in Singapore but it was in perfect working condition!

However, I soon realised that most of the sellers are elder men or women. But this place so far had not been penetrated by the "Foreign Talents" trying to take over their place. But I can see some PRC ladies or men looking around for good bargains. Its truly multi-racial flea market with all the major races represented.

Although some people are saying some of these items being be sold are of shady origins, these sellers some how managed make use of the place to scrimp a living out selling these odd items.

But some people high up in the Singapore society, especially the minister class or the elites may dispute my view and started to dig these old folks' backgrounds and say these old folks are not poor because they have children and they live in this sort of housing etc... Which well-to-do old folks in their retirement do not want to enjoy their retirement but spent their day time under hot sun or under rain selling in the flea market?

I believed that most of them lived in a flat although I do not know if they owned them and all of the are locals (after hearing their accents) and some old ladies can even speak English!

Friday, September 18, 2009

An Interesting Walk at Jurong East

I had not been to Jurong East for about 2 years and last week, I walked over to Jurong East Central from IMM and I was surprised that the unofficial "walkway" had been enlarged by the large crowd of people walking on it, between Jurong East Central and IMM.

This pathway I had walked on many years ago is still there and the same, except for the enlargement. The corrosion by human walking had increased the size of the walkway. I do not know which government departments is incharged of that plot of land since no one had bothered about it.

Further down nearer to the bus interchange, I saw a lot of bicycles chained to the railing near the bus interchange. I do not know if the place will become a bicycle grave yard when the foreign workers who "help" to shield Singaporeans from being retrenched left Singapore after bearing the blunt of retrenchment.

I was amused that there were some "Falun Gong" members trying to tell passersby about the atrocities caused to the Chinese Members in China by the communist China government. In the flyer one of the member passed to me, it stated that Singapore had allowed itself to be influence by the China Government. I do not support the Falung Gong members and their cause and I do think that it is useless to bring their fight to Singapore and I believed that it is easier to to stage a protest in Communist China than here in Singapore!

However, there is truth in the bill board above, "爱国<>爱 党", "Love the country not equal Love the party (Chinese Communist Party)".

Some how these Falung Gong members know about this and I wondered how many Singaporeans are aware of this statement?

"Singapore is not equal to PAP"