Monday, November 24, 2014

Running Out Of Smart Ideas

The Prime Minister's Office has appointed Minister for Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan to oversee the "Smart Nation Programme Office". Not exactly the smartest of moves, given the propensity of the gutter politician to throw good money after bad, and yet to account for the overblown budget of the Youth Olympic Games. In particular, what exactly was buried under the miscellaneous charge ("Other Costs") of $78.9 million.

The haze was not as horrific as last year, no thanks to any contribution of his. Someone must have figured out he should stop sitting in the corner and twiddling his thumbs and do something useful to justify the million dollar paycheck. Something nebulous as a 3D project that defies imagination. Who needs a new 3D map for animal sightings, potential hazards for cyclists, or even the best mee pok, nasi lemak or mee siam mai hum? Google maps aside, there are apps plentiful to hunt down the discreet carpark for a surreptitious rendezvous between a senior civil servant and a compliant IT vendor. BTW, anyone with half a brain would think IT is under the auspices of the Ministry for Communications and Information. Has Yaacob gone off to fight for the ISIS?

The Executive Deputy Chairman of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Co-Chair of National Infocomm Awards (NIA) 2014 trumpeted, "Singapore is committed to become the world's first Smart, and using technology and data in new ways that can improve the lives of people of all ages is the foundation of what it means to be a Smart Nation." Ouch, that must be a painful reminder that 60.1 percent of the electorate is still dumb enough to vote in the same political party.

It was the older Lee who once told the Future China Global Forum audience, "The Taiwanese are ruthless, Hong Kongers are shameless and Singaporeans are ignorant." Maybe that's why the younger Lee thinks it's about time for Singaporeans to appear intelligent.

But not too smart. As in demanding the return of their life savings at age 55 as originally promised. Or go online to highlight how one Singaporean can be outnumbered 7 to 1 by foreigners, here at home, not in downtown Manila. Tan Chuan-Jin thinks that "Unfortunately, these actions backfire as potential employers will be reluctant to take on these individuals." So the smart thing to do when threatened by an overwhelming force is to back down and keep quiet? Not exactly the advice you would expect from an ex-general. It appears that Singaporeans will need permission first to get smart.


  1. No amount of smart technology can hide the fact that our leaders are stupid and overpaid.

  2. Who is the vendor who is going to create this Smart Nation project?
    Who is going to own the intellectual property rights to this Smart Nation Project.

    Will Singaporeans be paid if the intellectual property rights in Singapore's Smart Nation project is used to create other smart cities in India and China?

  3. SMART is the flavor of the month. Not that Smart TV or Smartphone just became available . But helping India to build Smart Cities and getting ourselves smarter was .
    Unfortunately, we must be pretty dumb all these while to have believe that the PAP had our interests at heart . I did not but I am only One.

  4. Haha..

    Helping China to be smart?

    Can Sinkies do ' 山載'?

    2nd Class copycats are
    BETTER than the talented
    Sinkies anytime.

  5. 是山塞不是山载。

  6. God Bless Singapore. Where are the pappies taking us? May not need to die to see hell ...

  7. @ Anonymous11/24/2014 7:15 PM
    //No amount of smart technology can hide the fact that our leaders are stupid and overpaid.//

    "Previously, individual technological efforts came under the Smart Cities Programme Office, a unit of statutory board Infocomm Development Authority (IDA)" Do you expect a great leap, oops, quantum leap improvement by setting up a Smart Nation Programme Office under the PMO in charge of the longkang Minister? It's all a propaganda gimmick by changing the name from "Smart Cities" to "Smart Nation".

    No matter how "Smart" any country can become through technology, it will still be deep shit with an idiot as the chief executive. What this country needs is a "Smart" Prime Minister, with wise policies, and no amount of technology can achieve this. We can either send him to a shrink, or VTO. Change we must.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

  8. In 1992, NCB came up with the IT2000 Masterplan to transform Singapore into an Intelligent Island.

    In 2000, IDA came up with Singapore ONE.

    And now, IDA is dusting off the dusts from the thick file on the shelf and re-branding it as Smart Nation.

    Seems like we are going backwards, from Intelligent to Smart.

    Looks like a smart-arse idea. What's next? Clever State? Too clever by half?

  9. Politicians create aspirations
    Voters foolishly try to realise them
    Civil Servants collect their salaries whatever
    Bankers enjoy their whiskies
    Investors exit with all the profits
    Voters raise their arms
    Election for change called

    The cycle begins anew....

  10. Instead of trying to govern with a leaner bureaucracy, they lay on another layer of kueh lapis. The seems to be no end to the co-ordinating and overseeing entities being created. Flush with money squeezed from the hapless citizens, they spend as though there is no tomorrow. Prestige projects and events that the ordinary folks do not care about or cannot afford to go to. Going around the world offering to build smart cities, eco-cities, scholarships, etc. All the while our elderly and other disadvantaged citizens have to eke out a living. Shouldn't charity begin at home?

    1. Agreed. The pappies are making sinkapore more and more expensive to live in.

  11. PAP is doing its best to create as many high paying jobs to talented citizens.
    So long as citizens strive hard, the Government will do its best to recognise and reward them.
    Singapore has got many doctors, investment, property and logistic professionals from very humble background. Their parents could be hawker, construction worker, lorry/taxi drivers or even cleaner.

    If there is only one layer of elite, there will not be layers for the talented others.

    The Government takes great care of the people from different strata and provide them the best possible. If there is a need for multi layers creation to look after the people, the Government will create as many to cater to the benefits of its' citizens.

    1. That was true for first 40 years. After that, all the high paying jobs went to foreigners.

    2. Smart nation technology can help PAP's SMRT CEO protect buses and trains from vandalism?

      Smart nation technology can prevent Singaporeans and tourists from being cheated in Sim Lim Square?

      Smart Nation technology can help Temasek & GIC make better investment decisions?

      Just how stupid do you think we are?

    3. Maybe they are not paid enough - even with those millions. Pay peanuts, and you get monkeys. Maybe should have pay reviews for GLC and Stat Board CEOs. Obviously a few millions a year does not attract good talent. Should up it to $5 million or $10 million a year.

      Hopefully, we don't pay tens of millions and still get monkeys.....

  12. I know of a laundry worker's child holding a very senior post in the economic development board.

    And there is also a security with two children who are doctors.

    The Government had done great for Singaporeans.

    Kudos to the PAP Government.

    1. Did the parents sign up for CPF LIFE?

  13. Benefits no ones except for the people on their payroll

  14. "The Taiwanese are ruthless, Hong Kongers are shameless and Singaporeans are ignorant."

    How can any wise but cunning man make that kind of wide accusation is beyond my imagination ? It only takes a Jover Chew to prove he is wrong beyond all reasonable doubt. How can we ever believe him or his son any longer ?

    Speaking out just for the sake of his own interests of speaking out loud doesn't make any sense at all. No wonder so many politicians including those who were once respected must be the least respected of all professions in this world.

  15. Smart for them stupid for you, is it?.

  16. I probably cannot afford to live in a smart nation, with the latest and expensive technology and a show piece for the world.. Just give me an affordable nation with a good enough technology to make my life happy.

    1. What's the point of having all the latest technology and a smart nation if you have a dud of a Prime Minister who will run the country into the ground?

  17. Me has been told by many elderly neighbours as well as fellow elderly workers of the high incomes their children are getting from their professions. The unfortunate side of it is that these elderlies are working to keep themselves for upkeep and to be occupied. Their children do not live with them. Some even visit only a few times a year and whence the old folks fall sick. Nevertheless, most of these old folks feel very proud of their children. Glory seems something they cherish more than the care and filial piety that Orientals consider the ultimate virtue.
    There is a Chinese Saying 百善孝为先. There is nothing to be proud of the Achievements of the Youngs if they lack virtue and do not understand the Societal Values.

    Leaders that lack virtue, values and conscience are also not honourable and respectable.


  18. "...anyone with half a brain would think IT is under"

    The PM wants this project from the get go to be under Water ...and subsequently all other PMOs as well...

  19. PAP's best efforts is simply not good enough.
    Definitely not first or even 2nd best.
    Out of deference to LKY;
    I would call PAP 3rd rate talents at best.

    It's time to change drivers and let PAP slap themselves awake as an Opposition party.
    I think PAP will make a good Opposition Party.
    I have never come across a political party that is so opposed to the well being of Singaporeans before.