Sunday, November 9, 2008

Town Council use our money to invest???

The fall of Lehman caused lotsa revelation throughout the world; from regulations to the over-deregulations, as well as what the mini-bond is all about. A few days ago, something new is revealed by the crash of the giant: Town Councils investments.

I am totally caught off guard that the money we paid to the Town Council is used to do investment.

What does that means? That our public fund is actually more than what they really need to service our town needs? Then why collect so much at the first place? Why arent we paying for what we need than always paying more than what is required, as a result, having enough surplus to do huge investments (one of the town council is actually a major share owner of Creative).

Come on... What is the job of the Town Council. We must be very clear here. No matter how you look at it, investment with people's money is never their job. We have CPF, GIC, even Temasek, not withstanding insurance, personal investments etc... Not to forget, the Government already collecting tax from GST, ERP, Income Tax, COE, etc... Still not enough money to serve Singaporeans???

I always wondered how the Worker's Party's Town Council able to collect so little money from their people while PAP's need to collect so much more. And eventually, Hougang under Worker's Party actually looks more beautiful and cleaner as compared to the other half of Hougang New Town.

Town Councils should collect just enough for the upcoming projects and planned projects. If there are surplus, then they should reduce the amount collected thus not putting additional pressures on the people, especially those who are earning hardly enough to save.

I had enough of seeing those Ah Ma and Ah Peks digging rubbish bins for used aluminium cans. The Government is formed to serve Singaporeans, not to make profits after profits without giving back to the people in substantial ways. (not by giving cash that you would eventually tax back)

If got excess money, keep it or invest it (on 100% guaranteed safe investments) until the next collection, and reduce the collection for the next round. There should not be over-collection on the part of the Town Councils, and if there is any ad hoc need of additional funds, it should be gotten from the Government or relevant ministries. 


Friday, November 7, 2008

"Is S'pore ready for a minority PM?" - HELLO!? Open Your Eyes.

3 Lessons from the US Elections
Can we see beyond the colour? Not yet, but young are more colour-blind
By Tan May Ping - November 07, 2008  

OVERNIGHT, American voters put us to shame.
They voted in a black president, while Singaporeans will still baulk at accepting a non-Chinese prime minister, say some political top guns and many observers.
In the evolution of democratic politics, Americans just took a giant step forward.
Meanwhile, Singaporeans are still lumbering along like Third World tribes, dragging our baggage of racial hang-ups.
Of course, not all Americans are enlightened voters.
Half of the country's population, who are older and mostly white, are still living in the past and might well view President-elect Barack Obama as an 'uppity nigger'.
As one academic commentator noted: 'Today's radical Republican Party represents a large segment of the population that believes that abortions and same-sex marriages are immoral, God sent America to Iraq...'
So while Mr Obama was the favourite in polls, many expected whites to reveal their true colours when put to the test.
Well, they did the right thing by putting race in the background. Can they continue to do so as America attempts to heal itself after bruising campaigns?
And could Singaporeans do the right thing and ignore the skin colour of a future prime minister?
The leaders of the People's Action Party believe that Singaporeans do vote on racial lines, said Dr Gillian Koh, senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).
Dr Koh said: 'They feel that there are social faultlines that divide us, especially on race, so Singapore is no where near to being a de-racialised country.
'And that is the whole basis of the GRC system.'
The GRC or group representation constituency was introduced in 1988 to protect Parliament's multiracial composition.
The need for such a scheme shows clearly that we're still tribal folk, flocking together like birds of a feather.
But the immediate post-65 generation, said Dr Koh, would probably be more ready for other ideas as to who the PM can be.
'They were brought up to think One Singapore, One Nation, and would probably not be averse to the idea because of the political ideals of their time,' she added.
The young and the cosmopolitan are likely to be even more colour-blind, say some observers.
They will let the best man lead.
Political analyst Terence Chong from the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies said: 'Many Singaporeans, especially younger ones, are ready because the ideologies of multiculturalism and meritocracy have become part of the Singaporean myth.'
Singaporeans are very pragmatic, and will look for leaders with management ability and people-skills, IPS' Dr Koh said.
Citing an IPS post-2006 election survey, Dr Koh said respondents indicated they voted their members of parliament based on whether they thought they would be effective, fair and have a heart for the people in general.
Another survey last year by two academics at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) on race and religion also produced surprising results.
It found that over 91 per cent of all races polled said they would accept a prime minster of another race, while at least 92 per cent said they would vote an MP or a Singapore president of a different race.
Among the Chinese, 94 per cent did not mind if the PM was an Indian, and 91 per cent, if he was a Malay.
Referring to the topic of race as an old issue, Workers' Party's organising secretary Yaw Shin Leong said: 'If we truly believe in merit and capabilities, then so long as the person is Singaporean and can do a good job, there should be no reason why the person can't be given the top job.
'To say that certain ethnic groups are not suitable or ready for top office is regressive'.
All that debate might be purely academic given that the electoral system here is focused on political parties, not individual candidates.
The party which has the majority forms the government and chooses the prime minister.
Dr Koh said: 'I think we would need a fully functioning two-party system before we ever reach that scenario.'
The question of race and prime ministership was on then-PM Lee Kuan Yew's mind back in 1988.
He publicly said then that he would have considered then-National Development Minister S Dhanabalan for the PM's job if not for his Indian ethnicity.
Singapore, Mr Lee said, was not ready for an Indian prime minister.
Mr Dhanabalan himself did not think Chinese Singaporeans were ready to accept a non-Chinese PM. In a Straits Times report in November last year, he said that such cross-racial acceptance takes time.
Referring to the RSIS race survey, Mr Dhanabalan felt that the respondents probably gave 'politically correct' answers that did not reflect their real feelings.
He said then: 'I'm not quite convinced. It will take a bit more time. You look at the United States. How long, how many years were they a nation before a Catholic could be elected?
'Let's don't even talk about blacks. Now Barack Obama is the first one. Well, he may not even make it through the primary, right?
'So these are very deep feelings. I'm not saying it's not possible, but I think it will take some time.'
Fast forward a year later.
Mr Obama has done it, despite the widespread fears of voting along racial lines.
Commentators even spoke openly of the prospect of his assassination by a white supremacist group.
But, as in Malaysia's general election, many voters surprised even the experts by rejecting race to 'do the right thing'.
All this gives Singaporeans good reason to gaze in the mirror and ask ourselves how deep runs a tribal instinct and how far we want to evolve as a society.
extracted from The New Paper :,4136,182629,00.html?
Seriously, I feel like giving the writer a slap first before I start.

I am seriously angry and felt insulted the very first line of the article.

I want to question you, Ms/Mdm Tan May Ping, how did you get the impression that Singaporeans are not ready for a non-Chinese Prime Minister? And how does that going to put Singaporeans to shame?

First, lets talk facts. The United States took more than a hundred years to arrive at this stage. The African Americans were first brought into the continent as slaves and labourers. They are forced labours. Badly treated and discriminated. The hatred between the 2 races goes beyond you and our understanding. So on this first context, you are already making a very bad assumption or presupposition that the different races in Singapore are hostile against each other, or at least in the state of serious racism.

Singapore had lasted the past few decades based on meritocracy, and equality among all. I have Indian friends, I have Malay friends, not to mention Indonesian, Burmese, PRC nationals... Do I have any issues with them? No! 

2ndly, you are neglecting the fact that, despite the country is governed by the Prime Minister; It is the President that is the head of state. The President is above all and is the only one who can grant a 2nd chance for a person of death sentence. So by choosing PM as the topic of contention, you are making a big mistake, out of context, and insulting our President. And talk about the President, all 4 races were represented throught the rotation of Presidents. So when President S.R Nathan became the President, do any Singaporeans complaint or resented? In fact, we cheered for him every National Day Parade. Thats Singapore for you.

3rdly, while the U.S President is, may I emphasize?, VOTED IN by the citizens of United States, but our Prime Minister aren't. The choice of the Prime Minister is based on who the Cabinet and the incumbent PM choose, based on one's ability to carry out the important task of leading our country and care for the people. So by this context, YOU cannot imply that Singaporeans REFUSED to have a minority to head the nation. And again, this previous sentence is still wrong, because the President IS the head of state, not the Prime Minister. 

So after the 3rd point, that brings us to the 4th point that I want to make: The President IS voted in by the People of Singapore. And we had been representated well by former Presidents of all the 4 races: prominently, President Yusof bin Ishak, President Benjamin Sheares, President Ong Teng Cheong, and the current President, S.R Nathan. Despite I understood that the Presidential election only began with Mr Ong Teng Cheong, its still without doubt that they holding the highest position in the Government of Singapore.

So now, I come to the next point, about practical steps a minority lawmaker should take, in order to "convince" the general public, especially the majority Chinese that you make out to be "colour-bias".

First we should look back to Mr Lee Kuan Yew's early political life. If you realised something, while he is a Chinese, he spoked in Malay. Big Hint.

If one minority wants to command respect among ALL races, especially from those Chinese aunties and uncles, those Ah ma and Ah peks; they need to learn to speak Mandarin. Its not a must seriously, but if you notice that Mr Lee Hsien Loong speaks in Malay during the National Day Rally, you should understand that I am not joking. 

To connect with the people, especially those less well off and less educated, you MUST speak their language, to let them know that you understand them and know their need. Imagine the impact of a Malay politician or an Indian politician speaks fluent Mandarin or even Hokkien to the crowds during the Rallies before the election. Can you imagine the impact, especially on those Ah ma and Ah peks whom only understand Mandarin? But of course, this works best with the Opposition since that commands the biggest and easily impressed crowds. Those Ah Ma and Ah Peks might very well voted the minority in...

So, stop making false accusations at your fellow Singaporeans. If JBJ can be voted in at Anson against a Chinese PAP politician, there is no reason why we are still at this question of Racism and Biasness.

After all, the Prime Minister is not of our choice. If Mr Lee Kuan Yew, then thinks that after him, Singapore is not ready for an Indian Prime Minister, then so be it. We should look forward and see how is the best capable person to "memberi kita kepada masa depan yg lebih baik". 


Understand what I meant?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama wins; a Global Victory.

Finally, after 22 months of gruelling campaign, Barack Obama beats John McCain and become the FIRST Afro-American U.S President ever, just a few days after Lewis Hamilton became the FIRST ever Black driver as well as the youngest ever driver to win the World Championship.

It looks like, finally, the world had made progress over racism and discrimination of the black ppl.

Not just paradigms had finally been broken, this victory ushers in a new era where the promise of a better future under Obama's America might come through the ashes of the Global financial crisis.

Upon knowing Obama had clinched the victory, the hype and adrenaline about the election result fade almost immediately; for me, i sense that this is not the end.


Even when Obama struggled hard against tough competitors in the form of Hillary Clinton and John McCain, his victory just marks the end of the first step towards the beginning of a long and hard journey to make America and the World a better place.

I am happy, but more, I feel for the amount of work that awaits Obama.

But for now, lets just celebrate this amazing victory.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Condolence to Barack Obama

U.S Presidential hopeful, Barack Obama's grandmother had just passed away in Hawaii.

Majulah! pays our condolences as well as tribute to this lady whom brought up the impressive man, we now know as Barack Obama.

We also wished to pay our tribute to Barack Obama, for his sacrifices in putting his nation before himself, not being able to be by his grandmother's side in her final days (only 1 single day, where he stop campaigning for a day to go to Hawaii to visit her) and continue to strive hard to fight for his cause.

Sorry to hear this news.


A Better Face for Singapore Government

Yesterday (Monday), I went for a Focus Group Discussion, organised by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore for MICA; help at the IDA office at Suntec Tower 3.

The discussion is "On The Design for Singapore Government Website".
More specifically,

If you do visit this website before (me on blue moon occasions), will find it rather useless. LOL!

I mean, how many dudes out there in Singapore really cares about everything the government is doing. I mean, other than the usual suspects: ERP, COE, HDB Price, handouts, GST hikes, and every single other stupid hikes, Singaporeans mainly are ignorant, or simply cant be bother about politics.

Face of Singapore they said...

So for its function, said to be "The Face of the Singapore Government", looks pretty dull, plain, and downright "Organised". Not to mentioned my lack of understanding on why is it so "blue". Just to push a bit further, the website simply lack of purpose, and totally uninteresting.

But at least someone did find a use, when he once needed to get to a certain contact to a certain department to get to do certain things. So when he gave up on the stupid phone calling operation, he decided to look for it on the internet, and he found it on this site.

So practically, SINGOV (the what-I-call nickname) is useless and serves no purpose (or even failed its purpose) up till now.

But halfway through the discussion, we were shown the new mockup (not a working one yet though), and its redder and looks more appealing. Information is repackaged into 5 main portions and with the "Events/Calendar" proving to be a hit with all of us; breathing so purpose to the site.

So in a way, (its new name) will in the future, serve much better purpose in promoting and putting awareness as regards to any major events that will happen in Singapore; albeit being government related-corporate stuff or simply government sanctioned stuff like Chingay and the F1 Singapore GP.

Major improvement that are expected are consolidation of all the news and press releases into a single entity. RSS feeds will be provided for all information. Featured events will be shown prominently on the main page, as well as a seem-to-be more efficient way of looking for the point of contact.

By their active engagement in the public for feedbacks and studying suggestions made by us, I am impressed and found myself liking our government sector that little bit more.

I believe they should have a good team behind, toiling behind the scene at IDA to make this website a "Good Face" for our Government.

Lets hope to see this new site soon.


Some of you must be wondering why I went for such stuff? Or even post like as if I became an agent for PAP. Nah~

I am politically neutral for a start. I simply got interested to be part of a web development process for the government's website, hoping that I could help make it a more user-friendly and helpful website for everyone (but I then realise what I wanted to help improve is

Another reason is that I am curious about how the Government conducts their feedback and consultation sessions.

In a way, I find it - again - efficient, organised and that bit less SAF-like. I kindda almost brain-washed by how SAF conducts their stuff, especially by MCMD's courses... So felt kindda happy that at least I taste something different from another Government agency.

Just one interesting thing to note - I realised some do take the opportunity to make this a networking session....OMG... I got 3 namecards. I gave none. Because I didnt bring mine (an outdated one).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sorry, Prof of Strategy, Linda Lim of University of Michigan, I dun agree with you.


Published October 25, 2008

Is Singapore trying to excel in too many areas?

WHY aspire to be a second Boston or second London and not a first-rate Singapore?

PROF LIM S'pore's growth model may not be sustainable as it tries to do too much and achieves too little in terms of delivering returns --
It's time - particularly during a global crisis - for Singapore to rethink its economic model and employ niche targeting right where it has unique strengths to become a world leader, rather than stay a follower in various sectors, an economist suggests.

While highly successful so far, Singapore's growth model - built on wooing multinationals to drive key sectors here - may not be sustainable in the changing environment, says Linda Lim, professor of strategy at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and director of its Center for South-east Asian Studies.

A Singaporean academic who has been in the US for some four decades, she was a speaker at the Singapore Economic Policy Conference yesterday.

In her view, the Singapore growth model has both tried to do too much - going against what theories such as comparative advantage and diminishing returns propose - and achieved too little in terms of delivering returns for Singaporeans relative to foreigners and foreign firms.

'Singapore cannot be internationally competitive and a world leader in semiconductors, life sciences, healthcare, education, financial services, creative industries and casino tourism, all at the same time,' she says in her paper for the conference.

Speaking to BT, Prof Lim said: 'Of course you can make an argument for doing 10 sectors instead of three; you say diversify. But if we do all, everyone becomes uncompetitive; all face rising costs as they compete with each other for scarce land and talent.'

Outlining her alternative strategic vision, she says that the starting point is to take stock of 'what you have, including your geographic location'.

Then look for a strategy of differentiation: 'What do you have, what can you do that nobody else can do? You want to develop a blockbuster drug? Any number of places in the world can do it. You have to look at what is specific about you.

' Perhaps it may be that if we want to have financial services, then we cannot have life sciences, integrated resorts. You have to make a choice, you cannot have everything. You choose the thing you can do better than anybody else.'

And one indicator of a 'market advantage', she says, is whether a country needs to provide 'inducements, or investment incentives, otherwise known as subsidies' to attract talent.

'If people are naturally coming here, that's fine.'

And not least, 'let the private sector do it', she says, suggesting that capital and talent be released to local entrepreneurs, to be allocated according to market forces. When and if private enterprise fails, it will take only small parts, rather than big chunks, of the economy down with it, she argues.

Singapore is particularly well-placed for a whole cluster of economic activities 'from finance to forestry and fisheries', Prof Lim says.

'Where are we? We're next to the biggest forests in the world. Why not be a carbon finance centre? People are doing this in San Francisco! They are doing Indonesian . . . avoiding deforestation . . . out of San Francisco! Why can't we do it from here?

'Why do we want to be a second Boston or second London? We want to be a first Singapore. There are already second, third and fourth Singapores all over the world - people are copying our strategy.'

Singapore could also be a centre of expertise in creative fields such as traditional and modern Asian arts and culture. Already, Singapore is the best place in the world to do South-east Asian studies, Prof Lim says.

Economic growth here has focussed on quantitative targets, but it may be time to look at the qualitative aspects such as its 'purpose' and nature.

'I'm saying, look at net value creation for citizens. 'People for growth' - growth as an end in itself - is not the same as 'growth for people', growth as a means toward greater welfare for people.',4574,302734,00.html?


I seriously dun agree with her. I think one a many of you guys might be "duped" by her simply "make-sense" analysis but here we examined why her words cant be taken at that.

First, despite her superb resume of being the ,professor of strategy at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and director of its Center for South-east Asian Studies, bombastic isn't it?; we must take into account that she is a "Singaporean" whom had been living and looking at Singapore half a globe away (physics will tell you she can only see stars), for 4 DECADES. 



So how is she to judge when she didnt even live through the struggles and miracles of this little red dot called Singapore?

Being Singaporean doesnt make one an expert in Singapore's affairs.

She quoted saying that Singapore's current policies  are "going against what theories such as comparative advantage and diminishing returns propose" is inaccurate and simply a wild shot hoping that it could hit something.

If one were to predict Singapore will become a first class port, handling a huge percentage of cargo, boasting the World's Best and Most Valuable Airline, being the only country that have 0 slums, a financial center in the middle of turmoil-easy neighbours in the laid-back waters of South East Asia; any sane guy will tell you, you must be crazy.

Same for the current pursuit of the country. We are no longer the cheap and highly trained labours who manufacture goods and electronics efficiently; that role is now China's area of expertised. Singapore had transformed from a manufacturing nation to one which must depend heavily on service-centric businesses and acting as the safe-water for MNC to park their regional HQ as well as their funds; all together with what we already had been doing. 

To further our livelihood and survivability, we need explore into the tourist dollar, which had already shown to be a important contributor to our GDP; we must get a head start into new sectors like Life Science, Health Science R&D, Nano-Tech, as well as the ever bigger Electronic Gaming & Animation industry. All the just mentioned are new frontiers, and for a country as nimble and flexible, coupled with strong financial backing, we must not wait for these technologies to flourish THEN we get into it.

We cannot beat India and their army of IT experts and really smart ppl, nor the economic power of China with their limitless resource making them almost near god-like in their potential to become a powerhouse in nearly every industry you can imagine (think Baidu vs Google). So for Singapore to have an edge in the global stage, WE MUST engage into all these various sectors.

We cant make every Singaporean financial ppl nor, just concentrate on just 3 sectors like the writer mentioned; what about ppl like me who majored in Design? What I eat then? There are always ppl for every industry; foreign investment remains as important as ever, Singapore must not slow down an compromise. 

Like most PAP's decision, most of the time, they are going to be right.

I glad this Mdm Linda Lim still cares for "her country", but be realistic, we no need to be a 2nd Hong Kong. (HK is mainly a financial center, with service sector being the biggest GDP contributor, other than that, nothing.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama already heralded as President by press?

The amazing thing that I notice in the papers these few days (in Singapore) about the U.S Presidential Election, is that many of the editors/columnist had already started to herald Barack Obama as the next U.S President.

Its amazing how they fluidly and easely state Obama taking over George W Bush as the next US President, without even suggesting a single bit about Obama's adversary, and the fact that "their fact" has not even turned "fact" at all, as the U.S Election had just gone underway with the Early votings.

Not like how most opinion votes, snap polls, as well as the "iftheworldcouldvote" results shows; that Obama is leading by a hell lot, the voting so far still suggest that McCain still have the chance to fight back. (omg... i mentioned his name~ LOL!)

But not surprisingly, that the press are already ignoring McCain, when you look at how the world look at this election:

Barack Obama87.1% (378,136 votes)
John McCain12.9% (56,029 votes)
Total number of votes:434,166
Countries voted from:200
As of time of post.

Such is the margin that Obama is proved that is charisma had not just penetrated in the American ppl, but as well as all the people around the world.

Even the police forces in U.S had been on alert for this election in fear of riots outbreak on the event of a shock McCain win:  You need to note this, even the police acknowledge that Obama is really way ahead in the popular opinion.

Lets hope nothing goes awry...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Republicans? OMG...

I am seriously doubtful about who would vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin into the top job in United States, possibly the most important job in the entire world...

And just when I was comtemplating for like 2 weeks on how am i going to "condemn" them on Majulah! , i saw this today:

John McCain 'endorsed by al-Qaeda supporters'

Supporters of al-Qaeda have said they would prefer Republican candidate John McCain to win the US election because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

John McCain supported by his wife Cindy in Bensalem, Pennsylvania: Supporters of al-Qaeda have said they would prefer the Republican candidate to win the US election because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Senator McCain supported by his wife Cindy in Bensalem, Pennsylvania Photo: AP

In a message broadcast on the password-protected al-Hesbah site, the group said they would also welcome a pre-election terror attack on the US because that would make a McCain win more likely.

In an endorsement that will not be welcomed by Mr McCain's flagging campaign, the group said that if al-Qaeda wants to exhaust the USmilitarily and economically, the "impetuous" Republican presidential candidate is the better choice.

"This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier," the message said.

"Then, al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush."

"If al-Qaeda carries out a big operation against American interests," it said, "this act will be support of McCain because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda then will succeed in exhausting America till its last year in it."

Mark Salter, a senior McCain adviser, had no immediate comment.

The message is credited to a frequent and apparently respected contributor named Muhammad Haafid. However, Haafid is not believed to have a direct affiliation with al-Qaeda plans or knowledge of its operations.

So its kindda... wtf...

What those this show? Even Al Qaeda believes that John McCain is more less the same type of "Enemy" as George W Bush.

John McCain for the past week had been reduced to simply using negative tactics to smear Obama's name, rather than putting up a head to head fight to see who can come up with a grand plan to save America and save the World from further degradation...

Reminiscenes of our own Opposition party of the past which went firebranding into battle against the PAP. Which of course, any "smearing" is dealt with in the most "appropriate" manner. But of course, United States do not have such stuff.... Imagine Obama sueing McCain for compensation for damages of reputation...  = \

The funny thing is that, Sarah Palin, herself, condemned the smear tactic deployed by John McCain; what an Ally he got there.

The best part about Sarah Palin also appeared in the papers today:

Republicans spent more than $150,000 on Sarah Palin's clothes

The Republicans have spent more than $150,000 (£92,000) on clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin and her family since she was chosen as the vice-presidential candidate in August.

1 of 3 Images
Sarah Palin - Republicans spent more than $150,000 on Sarah Palin's clothes
Sarah Palin's bills for campaign accessories include a $75,000 shopping trip Photo: AP

Questions over the legality of Mrs Palin's wardrobe bill – paid for out of campaign donations – prompted her spokesman yesterday to say that the clothes would not be kept but donated to charity.

According to financial records obtained by, a US politics website, the fashion spending spree started in early September.

The spending on so-called "campaign accessories" included bills from the fashion chain Saks Fifth Avenue in St Louis and New York that came to a total of $49,425.

There were also a couple of hefty splurges at another expensive fashion store, Neiman Marcus, in Minneapolis, including one worth more than $75,000.

The Republican National Committee also spent $44,716 on Mrs Palin's hair and make-up in September after reporting no such costs in August.

The rest of the Palin family made do on rather less. Around $295 was spent at Pacifier, an upmarket baby store, and just under $5,000 at Atelier, an expensive men's clothes shop.

The legality of such expenditure was questioned by campaign finance experts who cited the Federal Election Commission's opposition to campaign money being used to buy items for personal use.

Federal campaign finance law prohibits the use of campaign funds for personal use, which it defines as any expense "that would exist irrespective of the candidate's campaign or duties as a federal officeholder".

After initially refusing to discuss the spending, the McCain campaign issued a new statement as criticism mounted.

"With all the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses," said a McCain spokesman.

"It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."

Tax experts said Mrs Palin will be liable to tax on the clothes, even if she eventually gives them away.

Excessive primping and preening by presidential candidates is fraught with risk. John Edwards was lambasted over his $400 hair cuts in 2007 as was John McCain over his $520 Ferragamo shoes.

In 2006, Hillary Clinton was teased after she spent $3,000 for two sessions at the hairdressers.

I am speechless about the extend of how messed up the Republicans made of themselves and the Presidential Campaign.

God bless America. = P

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Response towards the Open Letter


30 September 2008

Dear Prime Minister & Cabinet Members

By all accounts, we have lost a figure of uncommon strength and conviction in Mr JB Jeyaretnam.

No matter which side of the political fence we stand, it is undeniable that Mr JBJ, as he will be fondly remembered, has fought long and hard for what he believed was good for Singapore and, good for Singaporeans.

Mr JBJ did all he could with all he could. In staying the course, he has undoubtedly performed a public duty as a citizen of Singapore and, amply demonstrated the public spirit, the commitment to country and, the "nation before self" maxim that the government has sought to propagate.

As Singaporeans we are proud that such a man as Mr JBJ walked among us. We appreciate the sacrifices Mr JBJ has made for his beliefs in serving the people of Singapore . We are equally proud that the government, in spite of its political differences, has acknowledged the same resilience and service to nation in Mr JBJ.

Mr JBJ is an icon - an individual who stood up to serve the country and who stood tall for his beliefs and principles. As citizens of Singapore , we hope that Mr JBJ's public spiritedness and love of the law can be preserved in the following manner:

1) a professorial chair in the name of Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam be created in the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore and,

2) A scholarship fund in the name of Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam for graduate studies in political science and/or constitutional law and/or civil society studies.

We also humbly ask the government to further demonstrate its commitment to public spiritedness and active citizenry by taking the lead to provide the seed fund for the above honours for others to follow.

We look forward to your encouragement as we mourn the loss of one of Singapore's better sons.
The above is the open letter sent by some JBJ supporters.

Point to note is their request for a professorial chair in the name of Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam be created in the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore and, a scholarship fund in the name of Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam for graduate studies in political science and/or constitutional law and/or civil society studies.

In a way, i feel that its quite appropriate for such request to be fulfilled, as JBJ will remain in history as the legendary man who broke that Opposition's duck as well as being infamously passionate towards his course. Not to forget his big heart towards the ppl who needed help. His strive in the political circle (one though fiery but constructive) marks that he deserve to serve as a role model for the younger generation of Singaporeans, especially the political science students, as to what is Patriotism and Loyalty to Country is all about.

I applause what the open letter sought to achieve. But I am kindda skeptical if PAP or the Lee family would cede to such a request. It seems that this could be especially difficult given the personal rivalry between JBJ and MM Lee... 

But if PAP do cede to this 2 request, I think Singaporeans will truely respect the magnanimousness that the government would display. 

I think a person like JBJ's calibre and legacy in the non-PAP world do deserve that is proposed. I applause the person who seed this idea as well. =}

This request is actually beyond my expectation. It probably marks a more civilised approach from the non-PAP side of Singapore. A memorial in which is, in my opinion, acceptable, not too flamboyant, and totally within "reach" and nearly doesnt cost anything. Totally "un-opposition-like", given how oppositions tendency to ask for the impossible, this is a markly different approach.

Hopefully in the future, the Oppositions can be more constructive as the above request; one in which ppl can respect and not find it wanting.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

End of an Era: Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam

YESTERDAY, 30 Sep 2008 marks the end of an era, as Singapore lost one of the most legendary opposition leader in Singapore history: Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam.

Despite I cannot agree on many of his manifesto and political beliefs, but no doubt, have my utmost respect for his fiery determination to fight for the rights of fellow Singaporeans. 

His legacy of his Anson by-election victory, the first man to break PAP's monopoly; his Chengsan GRC that gripped the nation at the edge of their seats where they were so close to winning Opposition's first ever GRC. Not to forget his countless barring from elections, how he is sued for defamation till bankruptcy, his amazing victory in court thru the Privy Council that stunned both PAP and the nation, his struggle of selling his books at various places in Singapore, his presence/influence in the most recent election, his forming of the Reform Party, as well as the challenging the Prime Minister to held a by-election this year, which the court session will be one that he will never be able to stand for. 

With his passing, it probably marks the end of the era of fire-brand opposition politicians, that had made my childhood's political scene so interesting. With the Mr Chee totally crippled as a politician (almost everyone I spoke to, many of them taxi drivers, condemned him), the days where Opposition leaders launches into frenzy screaming and shouting is probably over.

I hereby pay my respect to this man, whose dedication to the People of Singapore is unequal among the men of so few against so many.

Rest in Peace.

related links:
His personal blog :
Mr Impossible of S'pore Politics -
What PM and SM told JBJ's sons -
JBJ's death caught many by surprise -
Remembering Mr J B Jeyaretnam -

additional links added at 012230h Oct 08:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Anwar D-Day

Today is the supposed D-day, anniversary of the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, that Anwar say he is going to form the new government.

And on the news, Anwar said he gotten 31 lawmakers from Barisan Nasional to join his coalition. Abdullah Badawi, the Prime Minister reject that claim.

So everything seemingly stucked in the air somehow.

But I kindda happy, in fact wanted, Malaysia to be headed by Anwar and his non-BN coalition.

Reason : It will mark the end of the Bumiputera Policy

The Malay superiority policies had actually hampered the growth of Malaysia more than the BN government like to believe. And with the UMNO (United Malay National Organisation) looking more and more racist, and their increasingly disregard towards the Chinese and the Indians Malaysians; it had no doubt that one day, this aggression might be directed towards my country: Singapore.

Singapore left the Federation because of the disagreement on the same issue that Malaysia is STILL facing today. 

Malaysian Malaysia or Malay Malaysia?

Mr Lee Kuan Yew's vision of an equality society marked by meritocracy, more or less rejected by the PM of Malaysia then, Abdul Rahman, eventually strived in the little Lion City to the south. While Malaysia pushed itself forward to becoming one of the most looked up to Islamic Country in the world, the social fabric remained very very fragile.

Mainly due to Minister Mentor Lee's power and success that built up over the years, he made calculated potshots at Malaysia's Bumiputera policy; saying that the the attitude of neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia towards Singapore was shaped by the way they treat their own ethnic Chinese minorities.
"Our neighbours both have problems with their Chinese. They are successful. They are hardworking and therefore they are systemically marginalised," he said.

Indonesia and Malaysia "want Singapore, to put it simply, to be like their Chinese — compliant", Lee said.

MM Lee's words seems sinister and very deliberate, perhaps the revenge for expelling of Singapore from Malaysia; but with his influence and power today, he know he can pull it off.

And true enough, Malaysia goes into racial turmoil; not once, but twice. With the local minorities agreeing with MM Lee's words while of course, the main Malay papers and the government condemning it. But the damage is done.

As Malaysia decides their fate during the election just months ago, everything becomes very clear: Malaysian want changes.

What changes exactly i dunno. The minorities definitely rides on the promise of the Pakatan Rakyat's intention to put an end on the Bumiputera Policy, while the Malays, perhaps fed up with the probable corruptions, worsening crime rates as well as Malay Elites dominance through the exploitation of the Bumiputera Policy.

Anwar definitely gains from all these. Anwar had proven during his term in government, good knowledge of economics and seemed to understand that for some long term benefit for the country, short term pains must be endured (Singaporeans are so used to this till we are immune to such pains). He was sent to prison before he can implement his widely opposed plans. Now he is back, and I reckon that Malaysia will grow stronger with him as leader.

A stronger and more prosperous Malaysia will also add on to the growth of Singapore; and of the whole of ASEAN.

Not that i dun not like Badawi, but its just that i dun not like the Bumiputera Policy that is enforced by his party. 

Anwar should be able to succeed in his "change the sky" operation, i guess, no minority in Malaysia would want the disputed policy to continue any longer.

other articles abt Lee Kuan Yew's "accusation":