Saturday, April 9, 2011

Insurance Definitely Required

When Milan Fischer from Canada, 68, surely one of the oldest YOG volunteers in the Olympic Village, was taken to the medical station for a leg cramp, he would end up costing the Singapore taxpayers a nifty sum . He had a 4-hour open-heart operation for an aortic dissection,  remained in hospital for two weeks, and stayed with wife Beata at the Fairmount Singapore for about a month to rest before flying home. We were told all medical expenses and lodgings for the extended medical holiday were paid for by the Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee, presumably signed off by Vivian Balakrishnan.

Meanwhile 14 -year-old Thai student Peneakchanasak Nitcharee lies in Tan Tock Seng hospital, both young legs severed by a MRT train. Her parents have to make their own way from home town Trang in southern Thailand, and catch a plane from there to Singapore. Transport Minister Raymond Lim is keeping awfully quiet about the lack of safety measures at the Ang Mo Kio station which contributed to the amputation of both limbs. He's probably afraid to admit liability and having to pick up even part of the hospital tab. It would appear not all ministers have equal access to the cookie jar.

That kind of disparity should knock the wind of DPM Teo Chee Hean's arguments about the need for an insurance policy. Teo was attempting to belittle the Workers' Party call to vote opposition as an insurance against the failings of the PAP. This is one premium Singaporeans are willing to pay, considering the financial exposure of the one party dominance which allows them to dispense taxpayers' funds without accountability. The list of abuses is long, and the YOG over budget is but one glaring example. Not forgotten is Mah Bow Tan's extravagance of spending $400,000 to rename Marina Bay. Lee Kuan Yew claims that the present team costs less than what Mindef paid for an F15 fighter jet, but exactly why we need such a fancy plane was never up for debate. Do you know that RSAF purchased 400 aircraft to to protect 710 sq km of land? Wanton profligacy is only one issue, how they came up with the magic population number of 6 million without provision of supporting infrastructure is another. You don't even want to get started on affordable housing for the masses.

Retired top civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow once called for an alternate leadership that would keep the current leaders on their toes and stave off inevitable decline. Accusing fellow civil servants of "a particular brand of Singapore elite arrogance" and "believing our own propaganda", he said that unless Lee "allows serious political challenges to emerge from the alternative elite out there, the incumbent elite will just coast along. At the first sign of a grassroots revolt, they will probably collapse." If an insider has such concerns, is there still doubt for an insurance policy to be in place?


  1. In comparison, the low premiums by WP is still a way better insurance than the dwindling CPF that couldn't be paid out by PAP after all these years.

  2. Papies have a way of using selective examples, much like people with selective hearings or memories. Why not Finland, Denmark, Norway , NZ all 4-6m ppl & enjoyed multi-parties and democracies successfully. Yet TCH quoted UK, US & Belgium to poke their lame duck parliaments. What is it about "best-practices" that they don't seem to know where taxpayer are paying them for on-the-job trainings? The best must come from WKS - to judge PAP candidate after their first term. If they get re-elected again, they are good! Wow, so it finally dawned on me, we have been paying these PAP interns for 4 years before they can prove they're good talents. So Mas Selemat Run-first-and-if-I-can-catch-you-I -am good-cat seems to fit his theory. Except that he's been talenting for the past 40years as an acting PM. Subsidy to his insurance has expired.

  3. The total RSAF count of 422 aircraft include helicopters, transport aircraft and tankers.

    We do not have 400 strike aircraft, and the other portions of the fleet will come in handy in HADR ops and PSO ops, even local disaster scenarios.

  4. For a PAP who tries to convey that they're not looking for Yes Man/woman, but when you visit TCH's FB, he only "likes" those who supported his views!
    So much for accepting diverse views. Does anyone remember how AIG the world class solid insurance co. that was bailed out by taxpayer from bankruptcy?

  5. Is that why Dr Vivian decided to pat himself on his own back to claim YOG is so successful. Pity he didn't include the samaritan act that was accorded to the special guest who benefited most in his healthcare than any ordinary citizen here can ever dreamt about, an FOC medical recovery in a posh hotel. Truly unique!

  6. The mishap to the little girl could have been avoided. The barriers for above ground stations were proposed by many in 2004 when there were deaths or injuries due to fall or other incidents. However, strong objection were made by various ministers and officials, citing high cost and impractical. Then U-turn of decision few years later after 2006 election. If it had started earlier, this incident would not have happened.

  7. John Baptist4/10/2011 11:27 AM

    Kuan Yew just doesnt get it.

    His idea of talent is someone who will never question his fundamentals. His way, albeit with some concessions, is the only way. He cannot see anything beyond his outdated myopic worldview.

    Real talent are those who are willing to question sacred cows and to go beyond the "we-dont-have-much-options- because-we-are-a-small-island-with-no-hinterland" argument.

  8. The Insurance that Sin truly needs
    is that the Native Singaporeans
    know what policy is needed for their
    own protection and not sold themselves
    to attractive sweet promises that were
    never honoured.


  9. I honestly don't know why the incumbent party is constantly rehashing the "insurance" stuff for us to hear. Insurance is a case of business, and when it comes to running a country, it is not running a business. A country, if it is badly run like a badly run business, cannot simply just "fold up" and "close down" with the shareholders--citizens--leaving the country or choosing an exit out with death and hunger. A badly run business like an insurance business can however close down and the investors can choose to move onto something else. This metaphor that the incumbent party has used is asking us to make comparisons between Singapore, politics and business-making and profiteering, which is simply not a good rhetorical point in any case.