Monday, September 24, 2012

Myth Busters

"The pigs begin living in the farmhouse, and rumor has it that they even sleep in beds, a violation of one of the Seven Commandments. But when Clover asks Muriel to read her the appropriate commandment, the two find that it now reads “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.” Squealer explains that Clover must have simply forgotten the last two words. All animals sleep in beds, he says—a pile of straw is a bed, after all. Sheets, however, as a human invention, constitute the true source of evil. He then shames the other animals into agreeing that the pigs need comfortable repose in order to think clearly and serve the greater good of the farm." (Chapter VI, "Animal Farm" by George Orwell)

Poor Clover, it's tough separating telling myth from fact if the story telling keeps changing.

The Government has set up its own "myth busting" web pages called "Factually". Nestled within the tabs of the official website, is a section for "cutting through the swirl of rumour and distortion online". One of the "bite-size answers" is a nugget about HDB flat sizes. Of the 399 words, only the following really matters:

It was at the annual REACH Contributors' Forum on Wednesday night of 2 May 2012, that National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan told a student from the National University of Singapore that HDB flats are not shrinking, contrary to popular belief. In fact, sizes of HDB flats have been the same for the past 15 years.

Thanks to online feedback we soon discovered why the minister chose the magic year 1997. Those have lived longer distinctly remember that a four-room HDB flat in the 1980s boasted a size of 105 sq m, or 1,130 sq ft. Today, four-room flats built by HDB have shrunk to about 90 sq m, or 969 sq ft.

Khaw must have a shorter attention span, since HDB chief executive Cheong Koon Hean had already told the audience at the HDB Professional Forum at DB Hub Auditorium in Nov 2011, it reduced flat sizes in the mid-1990s. It is significant that the true picture emerged from online sources. Not all websites are created equal.

Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran must be having problems with his memory too, the Formula 1 race was supposed to be economically viable. Yet he has signed on for another 5 years without presenting the financial tally for a single race. Instead he's keeping mum about the bleeding ink, just because Ecclestone the Hitler lover said, "A gentleman should never speak about money". Let's see how the "Factually" pages put the spin on this one.


  1. honestly, this website coming into existence proves that the facebook page - fabrications against the pap has failed.

    that's why they didn't use the old site. if fabrications against the pap didn't work, adding another site with a public stamp doesn't make it works better.

  2. Never trust a politician. He will only tell you one half of the story. That's also the reason that he keeps raw data from the public. Information is power.

  3. Let the sun shine in.
    Best disinfectant in the world.
    GE 2016.
    A opportunity for citizens to vote in more Opposition MPs to ask questions in parliament.

    The Singapore parliament.
    The most appropriate place for a National Conversation by elected representatives of the people.

    1. You're right about the sun. All germs and low life forms hate the sun. I wish that the sun can also disinfect some human scums.

  4. How can Iswaran claim that he is not able to disclose any financial figures due to 'commercial confidentality' when tax payers money are being used to subsidise the F1 ?

    1. Because the expenses paid out are very much higher than is acceptable.

  5. They are also setting up a Singapuliticks website and publicising it through SPH and having LHL answer questions there. But to tell you the truth, never visit these propaganda sites to lend it legitimacy.

  6. I want to be a politician!!!9/24/2012 10:51 AM

    Alternate parties are also politicians and they too desire to have control.. do not ever think it would be like mother theresa's philosophy.

    Being a politician is really a wonderful job.. you get paid for using other people's money. Not only that, you are immune to all wrongdoings. You get free world travel and rub shoulders with rich and famous building networks and swiss accounts.

    The huge resources available to a politician is spectacular. Business associations, trade unions, chambers of commerce, volunteer organisations, grassroot leaders, legal fraternities, the list is endless.

    I wonder why so few aspire to be one. Being in business is really tough, I would think being a politician has a better risk-reward profile.

    The F1 is great example... other people's money and you get paid too!

    1. mmm..Mugabe, Mubarak, Mobuto, Muammar? Money...Where are the Kims and the Lees?

  7. Please explain these in your "Factually":

    "We're gradually increasing our land area, and if we rebuild our older towns, then we can accommodate more people." - PM Lee

    Wonder what Kool-Aid he has been drinking. Unless there are plans to make use of our expensive, "mighty" armed forces to claim new territory (the Spratly's is still open and deep enough to accomodate our 6 useless submarines), or to reclaim the seas around Pedra Branca, to increase our land area. Unless places like Bukit Brown Cemetery are "new" lands!

    Does adding more MRT stations and new lines by spending $60 billion relieve congestion at the existing lines? So people staying at Tampines will hop to Thomson to avoid the jam along the East-West Line which is already packed like sardines at peak hours? And how will adding 740,000 more people not make the congestion worse?

    Use your bloody marbles for which you are paid millions, and not just regurgitate the old schtick! "If we have made mistakes, we are sorry." Memory lapse?

    1. "We're gradually increasing our land area ..."

      He's gradually increasing the air space in his head.

    2. I have deep misgivings that Pulau Ubin and our Green Corridor (the former KTM Railway land) are already slated for development in the not too distant future. That is PAPspeak for how to increase the land area.

      Major cities can sustain large populations because they have a hinterland to fall back on. What have we got here? What can I say, we have an airhead for PM.

    3. The only Green Corridor that is of genuine interest to the Millionaires-In-White is the green colour of money.

      Our Green Corridor is doomed.
      Dead space waiting for the construction companies to show up.

    4. Aiyah, our money is not green lah - that refers to Uncle Sam's money - all green for all denomination. The only green Singapore money is the $5 notes, and those are not worth millions.

  8. I can't believe that the new website actually Admits that HDB flats have shrunk in size!!! Is that officer who put it up still employed?

    Excuse the cynism, but is the purpose to admit to stuff that's right in your face and that pple jolly well know is misinformation, so that we will believe other stuff which we don't have the data to disprove and show is an outright lie?

    Will they admit that this place was NOT a barren island, a fishing village or a swamp in 1965? Kuan Yew has been rpting and rpting this place was a nothing ad nauseum. I once thought highly of this man. Not any more. Not for the last 20 years actually.

    How about us not feeling 5% inflation? Will we be told the truth about that too? There is some truth in that, I'll admit. I've been feeling inflation of 20% to 50%!!! So no, not 5% by a loong shot.

    All the utterances and claims now are worse than the crap spouted in the 70s. Factually has (will have) its work cut out (pun intended).

    1. Don't say also wrong. Say also wrong.

      Think they admitting that flat sizes have shrunk. BUT NOT SINCE 1997.


  9. I thought the F1 Boss already let the cat out of the bag on renewing the contract months ago. Then that Iswaran still want to put up the wayang to say they are still negotiating ?

    I just can't believe our PM can be that dumb either. Based on the feedback from some 30 participants as to whether we should bring in new immigrants, he concluded "Not bad, that's two to one".

    I suppose that's how he formulate his policies affecting the rest of the population based on 30 specially selected persons.

    We all must be idiots, what does he need the National Con for ?

    1. Put the immigration options by PAP and WP on a referendum and let the people decide!

    2. I absolutely agree the so called 'national conversation' should be on having a referendum and let the people decide.

      A Collective Referendum on ministers' pay, GRC system, appointment of the judiciary, ISA, Immigration, CPF, HDB, SMRT, etc, etc.............

    3. Decision to renew F1 race was made more than 1 year ago. Retender for new 5 yrs contracts for the contractors already came out by Australian company Confluence in December 2011.(check the Strait Times Tender pages). Iswaran says renewed only in Sep 2012. This is not politically accountable.

  10. "Mr Lee made these remarks today while hosting French oil giant TOTAL to dinner at the Istana.

    He has been on the firm's International Advisory Committee since 1993, and said the experience has given him useful inputs as a Senior Advisor to the
    Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC)." unquote.

    ( - Total's Formula 1 commitment in 2012)

    (Singapore a “Barren Island” in the 1950s A miscommunication or another untruth Jentrified Citizen)

    (Feed Me To The Fish CPIB What Is Corruption in Singapore)

    (Diary of A Singaporean Mind Why Nations Fail)

    Joshua Chiang

  11. F1 is for power projection and money is never an issue, like Singapore regularly over spent on security that we do not need at the expense of Singaporean male.