Monday, August 18, 2014

The Story of the Fishball Stick

Quite a few viewed the National Day Rally speech on Youtube, at 9.15 pm the visitor count was 6,093. Maybe they were hoping to capture a personal video of another "mee siam mai hum" moment for posterity, the type of glitch that seem to pepper his public performances. He did mention the Minimum Sum was going to be raised to $161 twice, but the staid non-reaction of the selected audience in attendance let that pass. However, it was difficult to miss the saga of the fishball stick.

Once upon a time, there was an entity that went by the acronym of PWD, which stood for Public Works Department. If you had a mosquito problem that needed defogging, a pavement that needed to be resurfaced, or a road that needed to be dug up, you had only one number to call. Think of it as the ghost-busters of public space, the sentinels of a well maintained environment, once upon a time.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told the captive audience he found out (what we all already know) that it took 3 government agencies to address one miscreant piece of wood, presumably used for piercing fishballs. Mercifully it was not bagged and sent to a government laboratory to determine whether it could have been satay or yakitori.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) would only budge if the offending litter was on a grassy slope, the National Parks Board (NParks) if it was on the park connector, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) if it was on a pavement next to a roadway. Imagine the big inter-agency quibble over a pavement running down a slope, along a park connector, abutting a roadway.

Why the need for NEA, NParks and LTA when PWD was doing a good job for the price of one? Quite simply, that kind of bloat translates to justification for 3 sets of offices, 3 sets of permanent secretaries and 3 sets of superscale civil service officers. First rule in government spending: Why build one when you can have two at twice the price?

Lee's solution is to set up a fourth agency, the Municipal Services Office (MSO) under the Ministry of National Development.  Grace Fu must be glad to finally have something to do, to justify her million dollar paycheck. After all, she must feel lost among the numbers of Minister-in-the-Prime Minister's Office, which used to be more accurately called Minister-without-Portfolio.

35 comments:

  1. “When I made the decision to join politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one [sic] considering political office.” Grace Fu.

    Has anyone suggested to Grace Fu what she should do instead of burdening the public with her excessive pay cheque?

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  2. Indeed, that is the sad state of the civil service: everyone of the 70 year old former Pee asses want to continue to delay their retirement age since a multi million dollar pay check is too juicy an enticement to stop working at 65. Just ask the Group MD of that sov wealth fund who has so much time he is chairing another NGO and write a memoir, no wonder Dhana has to help him out in his primary job to salvage the negative Sing dollar return of his bloated fund.

    Why stop at one when you can have three? because then it becomes "justifiable" to collect even more taxes, so 7% GST will soon be 10% because another chiak liao bee minister without project needs more money to form a new "coordinating" ministry with full complement estab of chiak liao bees. All this because they scrapped what worked well (the PWD) and because the new mayor is lost like a little girl about some ficticious complaint of fishball sticks. See, even with an artificial appointment called "mayor" with half a million dollar salary, she still finds herself over-paid and outranked by the "CEOs" of NEA NParks and LTA, who all play politics behind a cow! So here we go again, every year they give out some crumbs, decide the estab is not big enuf for the retiring generals and scholars and old Pee- asses, so they happily create a problem, "solve the problem" by creating more posts and more budget requirement, and proceed in a year's time to raise taxes to pay for another round of pay hike. QED.

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  3. Good grief the bloated bureaucracy just continues!!!! He's really grasping at straws.

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    Replies
    1. straw yes, but very lucrative and plated in gold one hor! may i have one 2?

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    2. Grasping at fishball sticks........

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  4. I kept my promise not to watch the NDR 2014, upon reading this ridiculous remedy by our PM, I can console myself that I did save myself of higher blood pressure last evening ! So he can only increase the number of Agencies ! What a great stroke of "wisdom" !

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  5. Incompetent and highly paid leader, employ incompetent and highly paid kakies, employ incompetent and highly paid subordinate and the list go on and on.

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  6. You forget the number of co-ordinating Ministers for security we had. Wong Kan Seng, S.Jayakumar, etc. With all that, Mas Selamat simply walked away.

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  7. spider with 7 legs8/18/2014 2:49 PM

    Ahhh! but you see.... each agency have their own lobangs for contractors/vendors.. who have bosses who are grassroots members, chairpersons, etc.. the web is very large and they have to keep it growing. Thus another addition of another agency to add to the entire scheme!

    Its a money making machine lah.

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  8. Those who are turning 55 next year should be celebrating - the Minimum Sum is going to be $161. Yes, you heard it correctly (twice) - it will be princely sum of $161.

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  9. The three millionaire CEOs from NEA, NParks and LTA can't even sit down together to resolve a "fishball-stick" issue among themselves, tell you a lot about the calibre of people we have in the government today. The billionaire PM can proudly announce he has found a solution in the Municipal Services Office to the "fishball-stick" problem during the NDR, speak volumes of his leadership. Bless you Singapore, you need lots of it.

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    Replies
    1. That idiot who reported to the mayor - couldn't she just pick it up and throw it into the rubbish bin?

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    2. What rubbish bin? The NEA, NParks and LTA CEOs probably still haven't agreed on who should supply the rubbish bin.

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  10. It is not Singaporeans salaries that is making Singapore an expensive place to do business.
    It is the PAP government that is making Singaporeans non-competitive.

    A vote for PAP is a vote that will make Singapore expensive for business.
    And result in the loss of more jobs for Singaporeans.

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  11. Unbelievable. A small stick can become a National Issue? May be it is just a fake incident.

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    Replies
    1. Some guys can't see the forest for the trees, this one can't see the forest for the stick. Definitely another mee siam mai hum moment.

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  12. There was never any fishstick complaint, because no sweeper would leave it there unless he or she wants the sack. It was another PAP mole instructed to create a problem out of thin air, what you may call a "false flag". Like they say, Taiwanese are ---, hongkies are... sinkies are just plain naive, believe every story told to them, accept every tax increase, every fare hike, ....

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. Sounds like a planted story. To justify whatever new stuff they wanna do.

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    2. It was a fishy story from the start, the kind concocted by a disconnected story teller.

      Delete
  13. We are in deep shit if we have a Prime Minister thinks;
    (a) a fishball stick is worth a mention
    (b) the solution is to create yet another government agency

    We are a country of 720 sq km and 5 million people.
    We have FIVE mayors plus I don't know how many Ministers.
    Is it really so difficult to keep this country clean?

    New York City:
    Population: 8.4 million
    Land Area: 789 sq km
    Number of mayors: ONE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. re is it so difficult to keep this country clean?
      yes it is. becos sporeans don't see it as Their job, but the Cleaners' job. alternatively, they blame it on foreigners.

      why else would u find empty drink cups here and there, and pizza boxes in parks, lying less than 5 feet from dustbins? why couldn't the pple who discarded these things put them IN the dustbin?

      laziness or rebellion? or something worse?

      Delete
  14. Basically, the new MSO is now known as the Multi-Shit Office that handles all these insignificant bao-ka-liao.

    HE called out the special command center that Rio set up for the World cup & resolutions. All they have to do is "rightsize" the other 3 agencies, and lump them into this master shit office - business done. What so complicated ? If a large city like Shanghai already has a hotline that does what the PM wants to do , albeit for a city 3x our population!

    Sigh, this govt is so bloated, now you know where all our money goes to. Just to keeping propping up these puppets.

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  15. This PAP government is so incompetent they don't even know they are incompetent.
    - wonder if they ever heard of "one sparrow does not make a summer"
    - ergo; one fishball stick does not justify one whole new government agency.

    Here's my constructive criticism;
    - Create an agency called the "Public Works Department"
    - Merge NEA+NPB+LTA into this super-agency
    - Singapore is only 720 sq km big for fark's sake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The PAP needs those extra useless agencies to employ and reward their sycophants.

      Delete
    2. New York City only needs ONE mayor.

      In Singapore we need FIVE mayors.
      ONE Prime Minister.
      TWO Deputy Prime Ministers.
      ONE Mentor Minister (now defunct)
      ONE Senior Minister (Now defunct)
      HOW MANY Ministers-In-The-Prime Minister's Office
      HOW MANY Ministers Without Portfolio
      .....
      Seriously ... can anyone here tell me how many PAP Ministers are there in the PAP government?

      Delete
    3. You left out the Extremely Stupid Minister:
      Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong

      Delete
  16. 10 years' tenure as PM gives him not 10 years' experience but 1 year's experience x 10. The already grossly inefficient bureaucracy is to saddled with yet another layer - truly a kueh lapis government.

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    Replies
    1. Pinkie is more like a 1 day OJT times 3650 - talks rubbish and skirt the real issues, amateurish, boh liao, bullshit he doesnlt even know why people are unhappy, or maybe he knows people hates the arrogance of the papigs and the high handed pay-and-shut-up attitude of the civil servants and just trying to rub it in, "fix" their detractors.

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  17. Governemnt always asked us to be competitive. Work harder and longer hours; take on more responsibilities. Yet, the government is doing the opposite. Add more and more ministries and give them no responsibilities. Even PMO has many Full Ministers who have no clear job scope. Talk is really CHEAP.

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  18. Basically, it's all about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, because we already have a bloated and expensive bureaucracy. And the PM has brilliantly solved it by creating another agency, boasting about it and making national news in the process. They are repeating the same story again and again, trying to undo the damages caused by their own policies, and calling these new initiatives. Truly “inspiring, holistic, caring and transformational” (Amy Khor). And we are paying them millions to reinvent the wheel.

    What is especially worrying is that the PM has kept mum on immigration and the population white paper, and both father and son are still pushing on with GDP growth and creating a global city. Looking around at all the construction frenzy, it is not a good sign if you are against having an overcrowded Singapore - and you what this means.

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  19. Same like LTA given so many responsibilities until they also don't know who is responsible when MRT mishaps happened. Some more given the added authority to sub-let responsibilities to look for more summons to issue to catch lorry drivers, despatch drivers & taxi drivers.

    Really no brains those LTA enforcement officers out to chase away those cars parking at the dead-end roads to add more congestion to surrounding roads. Why no brains - because those at the top give specific instructions to them to meet their quotas in order to catch enough drivers to pay for their salaries ? All in a vicious cycle ?

    Can motorists be forgiven for hating LTA (as well as PAP) so much for causing unnecessary hardship to them ?

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  20. Sure or not want to squeeze more people into singapore for the sake of more money to line yr own pockets pap...

    Please look at this...if you are still a human being..

    http://healnowtherapyhypnosis.blogspot.sg/2012/06/rat-city-effects-of-overcrowding-on.html

    ZZzzzzZZzzz

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  21. I think PM Lee cares more for a discarded fishball stick than he does about disadvantaged Singaporeans.
    One brand new government agency because of a discarded fishball stick.

    Do you think PM Lee will form one new government agency because one Singaporean has been left behind?

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  22. 6.9 million fishball sticks will be nothing compare to 1, just one Ebola Case.

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  23. PWD was corporatised as CPG and sold to the aussie and managed to snarled a few town council contracts..

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