Friday, May 30, 2014

Crouching Tigers Hidden Heroes

The Workers' Party was recently accused of being inarticulate about many things, but come election time, they turn into tigers and heroes. Strangely, their members of parliament (MPs) seem to have quite a bit to say during the "Debate on President’s Address 2014". More than the oldest member in the house anyway. Maybe they should have livened up the proceedings by throwing shoes and stuff.

MP Sylvia Lim’s speech - Towards a Safe, Fair and Just Society - touched on two essential services that are supposed to ensure that we live in a safe, fair and just society, namely challenges for the Home Team and Access to Justice. She was surprised to discover that new NPPs (Neighbourhood Police Post), called e-NPPs or enhanced NPPs, offer electronic services, but are completely unmanned. Ah Kong will have to learn to type if he needs help. Access to justice, she noted, means the rich have the resources to engage expensive lawyers, but the poor have to make decisions based on their means. This sometimes includes pleading guilty, when they do not have the resources to contest their charges.

MP Png Eng Huat’s speech pleaded the case for our pioneer generation workers, in particular the anxiety of not knowing what is to come after retirement. The anticipation and excitement of being able to finally collect their lifelong CPF savings in full at retirement age, which was 55 then, dashed to bits with the shifting of the goal post to 62 and beyond. Instead of looking forward to grandchildren bouncing on their laps, they had better be familiar with bouncing checks.

MP Lee Li Lian’s speech lauded the Presidential commitment to keeping the pathway upwards open to all Singaporeans, regardless of their background or circumstances, but brought home the harsh reality faced by vulnerable groups. Guys ensconced in ivory towers need the occasional reminder of what ground zero is like. Her Mandarin portion commented on financial incentives introduced by the Government such as Baby Bonus and Child Development Account to encourage having more children. They need to be complemented by a change in attitudes and mind-set of employers with regards to flexible work options.

MP Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap’s speech asked the hard questions. Is the social safety net doing its job? Is the social safety net performing to help Singaporeans pick themselves up after a fall? Is the social safety net pulling families out of the poverty trap? How do we know that the temporary poor are indeed temporarily poor and are moving up the government’s different scales of help closer to median income self-sufficiency? What do you think?
"Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister may be right to say that there are no dead poor in Singapore because no one here lives under the World Bank’s extreme poverty line of $1.50 a day. But as he acknowledges, there are the relatively poor and the temporary poor. These are Singaporeans who are experiencing a fraction of the standard of living enjoyed by the average Singaporean. We need to know whether the government’s multiple lines of assistance, the social safety net, is helping them and whether the overall situation is improving year on year."

MP Pritam Singh’s speech weighted on Defence Diplomacy and better management of the Defence Budget. But splurging on expensive F35s is pretty pointless when, "Unfortunately, we are not in a position to determine or prevent a conflict in the South China Sea beyond offering ourselves as a neutral arbiter and an advocate for a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea." Focus instead, on more immediate worries closer to home.

NCMP Yee Jenn Jong’s speech on education and social mobility is close to his heart, as he declared, he owns businesses that provide services and products to schools. He frets about the reproduction of class stratification. In 2008, the PSC revealed that 47% of the PSC scholarship recipients that year lived in HDB flats, and 53% lived in private housing. This is an over representation of private housing as up to 85 per cent of Singaporeans live in HDB flats.

NCMP Gerald Giam’s speech is about managing risks, incentivising hard work and constructive politics.
MediShield Fund having a capital adequacy ratio of 161% in 2012, which is more than 40% higher than what the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) expects of commercial insurance funds, means that it is collecting a lot more in premiums than it is paying out in claims, transferring too much risk to citizens. Socializing risks, privatising gains - does that ring a bell? That has to be a damper on incentivising hard work.
Low Thia Khiang has more to say about constructive politics.


  1. Maybe some MP should ask our PM what is going on in Singapore that we have 17 & 71 year old Singaporeans so frustrated with with our PAP Govt that they have to resort to vandalism acts to release their frustration?

    Does that mean what exactly went wrong with our country & yet our PM has absolutely no clues because he is too busy fixing the opposition?

  2. With the GE not very far away judging by the look of things, the Workers Party should now put on their warring armour and become Crouching Warriors Hidden Victors.

    Slay the shit out of these shadows of a past we admired and cherished but now long gone, except for one still waiting to go.

  3. Ah boy's admission that others can turned into tigers and heros is a good start...let the tigers eat them up & let us support the heros !

  4. WP MPs questioning looks very organized. Each MP touch on specific subject. Sylvia Lim on matters related to Law, Pritam on Defence, Muhamad Faisal on Social etc. And they asked hard questions, hard truth which PM, cabinet and MPs find it hard to handle. They have to use mundane issues like TC cleaning of hawker centre to rebuke WP's hard questioning. They seems to run out of ideas. It seems that they also enjoy the show (from the video) put up by their colleagues - grinning, looking smug, conceited. I just wonder why are we, the tax payer paying them millions in salary? Cannot understand.

  5. Vote more opposition MPs into parliament to check on the PAP government. They are too smug and complacent.

    1. Why don't just vote them out?

    2. When you vote more opposition MPs in, that mean you are voting out Papies.

  6. I doubt our useless PM will ever appreciate Low TK's gentlemanly conduct in and out of parliament.

    When asked "where does the WP stand ?", LowTK could have humiliated PM Lee by saying, " WP as the co-driver has been slapping the incompetent driver but with the way things are going, the majority of passengers onboard realised it is futile and are now insisting that the driver should be Kicked Off the bus."
    "Please don't take my word for it, show some guts and do a poll with citizens to confirm the driver is really hopeless."

    1. I thought it was bloody clear what the WP stand is!

      1. Not to be the Government ( not yet )
      2. To serve as a check & balance ( which they are doing)

      They have also offered alternatives from Population White Paper, Public Transport, Housing and social assistance schemes.

      Maybe PM reads the ST only.. thats why he is not aware.

    2. @anon 2.19pm,
      Other than reading the S.T. only, he has 6 ministers in his PMO to advise him, but obviously they are all Yes Men and equally dumb. There is also the Law miniStar, uncle Tony, but at the end of the day, LKY's genes prevail.

  7. Voting opposition is the only way.
    It's useless to engage PAP in a CON-versation.

  8. By PM's own admission, his team is the crounching Dragon, hidden zeroes lah...but LTK was kind to compliment that the PAP team having the most lot of 'talents'.

    OTOH, all I could hear from PM Lee mouth were words like "weasel out...irresponsible...sub-standard..flip-flopping...not taking a stand..." etc . Constructive much?

  9. More WP's "tigers and heroes" in the coming election rallies please! Beat the sh*t out of the elephant. Just recently, the elephant has been on a rampage to crush a mouse as it claimed the mouse has damaged its reputation by comparing its long nose to that of Pinocchio.

  10. Since one mountain cannot have two tigers, I am glad there is only 1 tiger that is LTK. The other 龙 somehow only know how to 藏龙, 显 “射不出来”..nobody fault but his right?! Must be hiding alot of things in CPF that nobody other than TCJ can only give standardised motherhood statement. NOBODY ..not even a civil servant Chief Head responsible for CPF dare to come out and outline clearly and engage the citizens/retirees face to face..even a staff at CPF claimed that she doesn't know the details. Everyone giving scripted response, but nobody really knows what is going on. We need them to lose one more GRC before they will cough out so-called "our" money.

    1. Sorry pal, losing one more GRC is not going to alter the PAP's behaviour towards ordinary citizens. Just treat the PAP like the Mafia and it's easy to understand that taking away one of their dens (GRCs) will not change the way they conduct business.
      Like the Mafia, the PAP is essentially a parasite.

  11. If my memory is correct, how come nobody dares to query the PM about the $40~50 billions losses in our investment funds ? Is this the sacred cow that people says cannot be slaughtered at all costs to the extent that they have to silence someone by all means ?

  12. Examples of "constructive politics":

    "I will make him crawl on his bended knees, and beg for mercy".

    “Supposing you have a Parliament with 10, 15 or 20 opposition members out of 80, then instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I will spend all my time, I have to spend all my time thinking of what is the right way to fix them, what’s the best way to buy my own supporters over”.

    1. You can't NatCON with these people.
      Just vote them out.
      It's truly for the greater good.

    2. LTK et al are too gentlemanly. How long do you want to crouch and hide? Tigers and heroes spring into action. Time to fight fire with fire, tit for tat, quid pro quo, no holds barred. See how they use their numerical superiority and arrogance to intimidate you? Power and strength are what bullies understand - backing down is a sign of weakness.

    3. Parliament is the worst place to engage the useless PM in a mudslinging debate. It will give the PAP's state media the opportunity to make LTK and WP MPs look bad from many angles. It should not be viewed as backing off or a sign of weakness but about winning hearts and minds of the middle ground and that of our young men/women approaching voting age.
      The way proceedings have gone including the lawsuit, PM Lee should be encouraged to do more of the same. Afterall, this idiot is shooting himself in the foot and quite possibly the head next.

  13. “But we either believe in democracy or we not. If we do, then, we must say categorically, without qualification, that no restraint from the any democratic processes, other than by the ordinary law of the land, should be allowed… If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought.”
    - Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition leader, April 27, 1955

    “If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law – if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states – then what is it?… If we are to survive as a free democracy, then we must be prepared, in principle, to concede to our enemies – even those who do not subscribe to our views – as much constitutional rights as you concede yourself.”
    - Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Legislative Assembly Debates, Sept 21, 1955

    “If we say that we believe in democracy, if we say that the fabric of a democratic society is one which allows for the free play of idea…then, in the name of all the gods, give that free play a chance to work within the constitutional framework.”
    - Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Oct 4, 1956

    “If you are a troublemaker…it’s our job to politically destroy you. Put it this way. As long as JB Jeyaretnam stands for what he stands for – a thoroughly destructive force – we will knock him. Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.”
    - Lee Kuan Yew, The Man And His Ideas, 1997

    “Anybody who decides to take me on needs to put on knuckle-dusters. If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no way you can govern a Chinese society.”
    - Lee Kuan Yew, The Man and His Ideas, 1997

    “Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love-it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.”
    -Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

    “…you attack only those whom your Special Branch can definitely say are communists. Then you attack those whom your Special Branch says are aiding communists. Then finally, when you have gone that far, you attack all who oppose you.”
    -Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

    “These powers will not be allowed to be used against political opponents within the system who compete for the right to work the system. That is fundamental and basic or the powers will have destroyed the purpose for which they were forged.”
    - Lee Kuan Yew speaking in Parliament on the Preservation of Public Security Act, a precursor to the ISA, Oct 14, 1959

  14. I too feel that Low is too much a gentleman. With the constant heavy artillery from the ruling party, a change of tack may be in order. As the saying goes: "老虎不发威你当我是病猫"。

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