Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Have You Had To Speak To A Cardboard MP?

Sorry, auntie, this cannot use for medishield life premium
"Before I joined the grassroots organisation, I never knew there were poor people in developed countries." — MP Michael Palmer (2006)

That one quip summed it up nicely for the quality of the slate of candidates born after 1965, specially the batch cherry picked for GE 2006. The 'post-65' group of first-term MPs went on to make fools of themselves by launching a group blog and dancing hip-hop at the Chingay Parade. But none (thus far) fell from grace so dramatically as Michael Palmer did, all the way down from the giddy heights of Speaker Of The House. Some theologians are saying an apple did not bring about the fall of Adam, it was a fig. For Mike the fruit, his weakness was the succulent flesh of mango.

For Tan Chuan-Jin, his choice of poison is not even edible. It is doubtful cardboard will bring down an ex-brigadier general, it's just another demonstration of their utter disconnect with the ground. The tactless post that is riling netizens at an inopportune time - election fever is on - goes like this:
"The normal perception that all cardboard collectors are people who are unable to take care of themselves financially is not really true.... Some prefer to earn extra monies, treat it as a form of exercise and activity rather than being cooped up at home."

One of the milder feedback - sans colourful expletives that a horrible person deserves - about the inane social observation reads like this:
"TCJ, we have got to say, you are living in denial with ostrich mindset. No one would do this for exercise. If you have nothing important to say, suggest you just shut up and collect your salary. TYVM."

Tan responded to the constructive criticism by stubbornly insisting on his ways, “That’s what we should do, right? Find out about people? Hey, I’m trying!” Hey, how about trying at your own expense? A million dollars is a hell of a lot of money to pay for on-the-job-training!

32 comments:

  1. Tcj should get his old folks to go collect cardboard for exercise. Good grief, I don't even realise that people like him exists..see what happens when you are in with the mee siam mai hum crowd...

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    1. Trampoline is also a good exercise , tio bo?
      So in the cardboard uncle n auntie case, is t giving the, the trampoline a good exercise too?
      Then tell me, after they jump and down and bounce up again for the trampoline, what next? Does the ministry have jobs for them to earn that supplementary wages? or go back to cardboard picking? What does lim swee say have to say? In the absence of a developed welfare system for this group, how do they propose to preserve their dignity to live a meaningful rest of life? What does an ex- MOM and scholar have to do?

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  2. This is what the Hokkien called - kiang tio ho, mai kay kiang.
    Kong lanchiau weh.

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  3. Wonderful, give opposition a better chance to win his seat.

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  4. Cannot blame the 2-star, probably he hasn't "walked the ground" since his BMT days.

    A simple question would expose his hypocrisy: why did the garmen keep talking about helping the needy these last 5 years if they truly thought even elderly cardboard collectors in this red dot can "take care of themselves"?

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  5. an excellent comment from facebook that sums up well :-
    --------

    I think that we are, and have been, faced with what I would call "asynchronous" expectations. We believed that we could achieve a "Swiss standard of living" while retaining "Asian values". Unfortunately I think that most of what we call "Asian values" are "agricultural society values" and we were unprepared psychologically to move to the next phase of development.

    For instance this concept of retirement, retirement age and value of retirees. I find it strange that 45 year olds start getting phased out, 55 year olds retire and 65 year olds sit home and watch Korean dramas. This was probably the correct formulation in an agricultural society but in a developed economy this seems to be a waste of resources.

    We also expect, in the absence of a developed safety net, that children will take care of parents. With longer life spans and higher cost of living the sandwich generation finds itself financing own generation up and one down. With early withdrawal from the workforce some may find themselves in this situation in retirement. Alternatively the baton is passed to the third generation, which then feels constrained in their ability to develop themselves since they are now the economic engine of the extended family (and with smaller families the pressure is increased on the economic producer).

    I think that many of the older generation are aware of this issue but may be unable to voice it articulately. They see their children and grandchildren striving and rather than to be perceived as a burden, they look for supplementary sources of income. To save face some may say that they are "keeping busy". In that regard I think the inability of policy makers to dig beneath the surface is a failing.

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    1. The shame culture of Singapore, as a society comprising mostly of Southeast Asians of Chinese, Malay and Indian heritage, has essentially worked against it. People are always asking, "What if .....?" For example, "what if someone knows that I am old and not in a proper job?" "What if someone knows that I have been laid off although I have not reached CPF retirement age and cannot claim any of it?" People are constantly forced to internalize this mindset as if they are being watched and judged by others all the time, even if it is unnecessary.

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    2. Agree 3:24 Kevin

      The shame is further perpetuated by the ugly sentiments from the grassroots and leaders who lets ego get to their pea brain when they repeat the mantra that "if you are poor/struggling, it must be due to your laziness or stupidity. Nobody's fault but your own. " this mindset is still very entrenched in some group strata who blames such POOR folks for Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly. This kind of materialism is uncalled for. Some people just want to lead a simple, honest and dignified life, without being judged.

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    3. It is the govt's cheap foreign labour policy that has caused the displacement of many Singaporeans, including professionally qualified ones, from their livelihood.
      One has yet to hear any real contrition from any members of the ruling party acknowledging this 'stab in the back' policy.

      Delete
  6. The best trying award goes to the students and their initiatives.
    Not so much for the evil ST who tries to defend TCJ by throwing the students under the bus.
    The people have issues with TCJs comments and denial that I this first world nation, we have poor people who are too proud to ask for help because this govt has made it shameful and evil thing to do.

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  7. The cardboard will not bring this paper general down. His future is secured with his prayer for his boss posted on his Facebook. Must have taken the cue from Khaw's unadulterated praise for Kwa Geok Choo. By the way, Palmer's would not have fallen because his weakness is for mangoes, not apples.

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  8. That’s what we should do, right? Find out about people? Hey, I’m trying!”//

    Why not try to define the poverty line and open the data to let the society know how many voiceless and nameless there are in SG? that would be a start wouldn't it? If you can't acknowledge it exists, how to render sunshine to them?

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    Replies
    1. Try asking about the "peak earning age of Singaporeans".
      It is rumoured to have declined from the high 50's to the present age of around 39 years old.

      Without this statistic, a discussion of a CPF Minimum Sum and etc is meaningless.

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  9. Just tell the asshole minister to try living on 1k a month in singapore for 3 months...then talk again in public domain lah....alll these xiao people with so much money of cos cannot see what life is really like for those who live near, on or below the provety line...shiet for brains these politicians...no wonder this planet going to hell surely and us all in the end with it...planet will recover in a couple of million years later but without us of cos...zzz

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    1. 1k is only a small change for him. He certainly cannot survive on that amount.

      The issue is not how much he makes. Its about a Minister who has wrong perception of life. It is ridiculous to equate collecting cardboards as exercise. Its insulting to our PG and insensitive as a minister. Actually, if he has nothing good to say, just keep quiet. Noboy is missing him anyway.

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  10. http://asingaporeanson.blogspot.com/2015/07/listen-to-comedians.html

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  11. Before I joined the grassroots organisation, I never knew there were poor people in developed countries." — MP Michael Palmer (2006)"

    What does grassroots org got anything to do with developed countries? He was probably too shy to say is Singapore. And that statement also lend credence that His ah gong's party and the state newsletter have done a great cover up job !

    Today, people are still none the wiser where these penniless people are hidden. Only constructive successful stories need to be told. And perhaps one or two examples of hand picked lucky ones will be showcased in order to prove the benevolence of the regime. An anointed Chia YEN YEN came to mind. But of course, we cannot generalise that all handicapped people are as lucky as she is. We just need to be grateful that our CPF money is our money!

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  12. No, never talked to a mango MP, cardboard MP, selfie MP, guitar MP, katespate MP, kee Chiu MP, cheaperer MP etc...me have little to no municipal needs to bother them.

    Only the national issues matter

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  13. This Minister explained some of the old folks do it as a form of exercise ? I really can't believe it.

    But can someone tell this Minister whether he know how much do the old folks get paid about 10 cents per 1 kg of cardboard collected and on average how much do they earn per day ?

    Now is he going to do to solve their problems after having spent his expensive time finding out the information for himself ? Or was it just a wayang to show he bothered ?

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    1. Some men will do anything for power and $$$, including harming the very demographic they are appearing to care about with spin doctor stories of elderly solidarity-cum-independence of "rejecting" government "assistance".

      Delete
    2. From Tony Fernandez CEO of air asia

      -----
      When we moved from the 737 to the Airbus, the Airbus is slightly higher off the ground and my guys said we need belt loaders. It would have cost us about a million US dollars. We used to just put the bags manually into the cargo hold on a 737.”So he turned the idea down. But on his next stint working alongside staff, he says he almost ‘broke his back’ loading the plane.
      “I said ‘Ron, you’re right, we’ll get belt loaders’… I made the decision instantaneously.’ He says that without the experience, “I could have made a decision – a very wrong decision that damaged a lot of people and destroyed the morale of the organization at that level.”Fernandes says that to him “employees come number one, customers come number two. If you have a happy workforce they’ll look after your customers anyway.”“You can have all the money you want in the world and you can have all the brilliant ideas but if you don’t have the people, forget it.”

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  14. The attitude is the same the speaker of this sentence --->
    “How much do you want? Do you want 3 meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?”

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  15. “You can have all the money you want in the world and you can have all the brilliant ideas but if you don’t have the people, forget it.”

    Tell that to the looney Pinky

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  16. Perhaps he was trying in a very unusual way to lend support to the lecturer who once declared that there are no poor people in Sinkiepore.

    Well it just turned around and bit the general in the ass!

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  17. Sooo out of touch with the common man.

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  18. “That’s what we should do, right? Find out about people? Hey, I’m trying!”

    Sigh!
    No wonder our trains are breaking down.
    Amateur hour at a salary of a million dollar a year.

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  19. Please don't trivialise all those who have to scrounge and scrabble for a living. Pay me a million bucks, and I am sure I will not be too pained at missing those "many moments when my children are growing up and time with my family." Bukit Brown is a heritage site that I will miss. "Those moments missed do not return. Ever… "

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  20. The King and Queen says look how powerful we are....but without the people full faith, high morale and real support....the King and Queen are nothing in the end. Basic common sense lesson 101....provided the person have the common sense in the first place...zzz

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  21. This guy was an army general?

    Good Lord, we'd betta get outa here!

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  22. Don't forget another Post 65er workout LKY91 blooper. Award goes to Teo Ser Luck for his......

    Did a workout.
    6 sets of 9 burpees,1 min run, 20 air squats and 15 crunches
    5 sets of 9 chin ups, 1 min of skipping(double unders preferred)20 air squats and 15 crunches
    I will name the workout LKY91
    Thank you, Mr Lee, for inspiring us!
    #thankyouLKY”

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  23. ANYONE who actually believes that pple in their 60s, 70s and 80s would go around scrounging for cardboard to keep busy or as exercise is seriously STUPID.

    And we have people like this Running The Country???

    The only bright spot in all this is that more and more businesses are putting aside the cardboard for collectors.

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