Income Inequality Motivates Singaporeans to Work Harder

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong defended Singapore's income inequality in a Parliamentary reply yesterday (Feb 5) saying that it motivates Singaporeans to work harder:

 "Some degree of income inequality is natural in any economy. It gives people the motivation to strive to do their best and improve their lives." The scion of the powerful Lee family also refused to take set up a ministerial committee to address income inequality, saying that existing measures is sufficient and refused to acknowledge the danger of income inequality: "

A specific committee is not necessary since government ministries already seek to tackle these challenges in a concerted and coordinated effort."


Former PAP Elites Telling The Truth About The PAP


In a recent exclusive interview with DEALSTREETASIA, former People's Action Party Member of Parliament Inderjit Singh criticised the Committee for Future Economy (CFE) which was led by Minister Heng Swee Keat. The transcript of the interview was published on Monday (29 Jan).

The CFE was established in Dec 2015 at the behest of PM Lee to address the new economic challenges that Singapore faces. It is a high-powered committee made up of five Cabinet ministers and 25 other members from the private sector.

The committee is led by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, with Minister of Trade and Industry S Iswaran as co-chairman. Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong and Minister in Prime Minister Office Chan Chun Sing are the other ministers. CFE is supposed to map out a strategy to transform Singapore by embracing innovation so as to become a digital economy.

However, at the interview, Mr Singh expressed his disappointment in Heng's committee.

Rehash of old ideas

"The CFE was something that everyone was really looking forward to. There was an expectation that if something came out, it would inspire us and show the government realised the changes needed for a future economy," Mr Singh said.

"When the report did come out, it was just many old initiatives being rehashed. So it was all about things being tried and tested, but with some fine-tuning. Nothing new came out of it, which was the biggest problem."

Mr Singh said that ideas like innovation and overseas expansion as the second wing of Singapore economy have already been discussed some 20 years ago and Heng's committee were "just rehashing things".

"They’re all the right things to do, but the only way to do it is if we change our approach," he added.

Mr Singh explained, "For instance, there’s lots of intellectual property (IP) in the universities and research institutes. How can we accelerate their commercialisation and entry into the market? Don’t make the transfer of technology so expensive or difficult."

"The CFE implementation team needs to explain how they’re going to go about fostering and implementing innovation. Currently, there are no great ideas," he added.

Chasing after new trends
He also criticises that Singapore economic planning model for many years was about focus on growth plays at the moment. "A group of smart civil servants sit down and review world trends, achieve a consensus on what Singapore needs to get involved in and then try to develop that industry cluster here," he observed.
"But the mistake we’re making is that we have got some very solid industry clusters that we’ve neglected. In the past, we had the semiconductor sector, but after 10-20 years, the government lost interest in it and felt we should shift our focus."

He said that the government should actually concentrate on deepening the skills and capabilities in each of the existing industry clusters and continue to run them as long as possible and innovate on them beyond cost, not just give up on them.

Using Belgium as an example, Mr Singh explained that it has been having a strong textile industry for a long time. Today, they’re still a major player in the world in textile manufacturing, automation, technology, all the parts of that value chain.

"Hopefully, the CFE understands this need for a different approach and really shows the nuts and bolts of how to build up innovation capacities and how we’re going to create the future economy," Mr Singh lamented.

The government is the bottleneck

Mr Singh also criticised the government for being the bottleneck for slowing Singapore's transformation towards the digital economy.

He said that Singapore is not changing fast enough in view of the disruption caused by technology and the effects of globalisation.

"You’re seeing massive disruption of traditional business models and changes coming from automation and robotics. A lot of the reports and research I’m reading indicates we’ve got to change more rapidly," he said.

"But the government is the bottleneck for this right now, because they believe in their past model of success and think this will continue to work."

The past model of success saw Singapore develop an MNC-driven economy but "today, there are many nations around the world who can provide the same kind of appeal for a lower cost and offer a greater availability of talent and a larger market. Our advantages are being eroded and we cannot depend on that anymore."

He went on to criticise the government for not supporting Singapore's SMEs, "We should have shifted gears 10-15 years ago and focused on supporting local enterprises that can be grown into large global corporates."

But the government was content with SMEs playing supporting roles for the MNCs and neglected to make them a focal point of local economic development.

"The whole bottleneck is the government’s economic strategy and if this doesn’t change, then it’s too late. By 2030, 50% of the jobs as we know now would be gone. And if we cannot create new jobs, then it’s not a viable situation," he warned.

"However, if we get the government to change their mindset and get the manpower and resources mobilised to execute the necessary changes, then we’re nimble enough to act as a centre for Asia. But the government has to first let go and not be the bottleneck."

Mr Singh is certainly a rare maverick among the PAP MPs. In 2013 when Parliament voted for the unpopular 6.9 million population white paper, Mr Singh "conveniently" excused himself from the chamber and avoided voting for it. If he was in the chamber, he must then vote "yes" together with the other PAP MPs as the party whip wasn't removed.

In the end, it was 77 vs 13, with the Parliament endorsing the 6.9 million population white paper. The endorsement triggered a first big public protest in Singapore at Hong Lim Park, which made worldwide news

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dystocia of Our Next Prime Minister


It is interesting to note that PAP could not decide on which current Minister is to take over LHL as the next Prime Minister after such a long while since 2015.

Well, Singaporeans have absolutely no say in the selection of our Prime Minister and the power of to appoint the next PM lies solely in the Cabinet.

However, PAP's Ministers cannot just ignore Public Opinion and popularity of their choice of PM-wannabe. But this should be the least of PAP's concern.

The remarks made by both PM LHL and GCT seems to suggest that there is no consensus on who is the best person to take over the leadership and position of Prime Minister. Would it make any difference if it is to be selected NOW as compared to a year later?

We all know there are just a few contenders left. Tan Chuan Jin has been literally kicked out of the race for Prime Ministership when he was just stuffed into the position of Speaker of Parliament. So it seems that in public consciousness, there are only 3 persons left in the race.

1) Chan Chun Seng
2) Ong Ye Kang
3) Heng Swee Kiat.

I think Heng Swee Kiat was made to commit political suicide when the PAP government decided to increase GST as he is principally in charge of the Finance Ministry. Whether or not PAP government really raise GST this year or next year or after next GE, Heng Swee Kiat is already dead meat. The bad public impression and feelings have already been invoked. As Finance Minister, HSK will be blamed for raising GST!

The announcement of "probable" GST increase right before the battle of Prime Ministership has been concluded smacks of an attempt to kick HSK out of the race for PM!

So now, the race left OYK and CCS. It is pretty obvious CCS is PM Lee's blue eye boy. But if PM Lee says they will need more time for his successor to be confirmed, then it bags the question. Did the PM just lose the support of the majority of his own Cabinet in the selection of the next PM?

As much as public sentiment isn't supportive of CCS, but I guess OYK is the worse choice for Singapore. In this new era, he is still singing the tune that it is best for Singapore to have one party rule!

I really wonder if he becomes the Prime Minister one day, will he use PAP's majority in parliament to amend and rape our Constitution again to mimic the China's Constitution to put PAP as the only legitimate Ruling Party, effectively installing One Party over Singapore? That's really a scary thought indeed!

Between the two, CCS and OYK, I would rather choose the lesser potential evil CCS. He may talk nonsense at times but at least he isn't going to be harmful to the Democratic Development of Singapore.

I hope this Dystocia of our next PM will end soon. It doesn't look good on PAP, LHL and the whole country when such succession plan has become a mystery shrouded in secrecy and under-current arm-wrestling between the contenders.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arrogant, Slack and Lost Touch with the Ground - Goh Choon Kang

In his forum letter to Chinese newspaper Lian He Zao Bao, former PAP MP Goh Choon Kang criticised the current PAP administration as “arrogant, slack and lost touch with the ground”. The criticism was featured in a propaganda article by state media Straits Times earlier this week.

In his letter, the former PAP MP wrote in Mandarin (translated by Straits Times) poignantly pointing out the society’s inequality and government’s complacency:

“They lose touch with the masses even though they are in leading positions. They feel that their achievements today are based solely on their own capabilities and talent within the meritocracy implemented by society. They bask in their own successes, sing their own praises and no longer have the slightest empathy for the people, with the political parties fighting for power but unable to understand and sympathise with the public feeling.

The system becomes such that it is your own problem if you cannot keep up with the times or are left behind. As a result, many pressing issues do not get proper attention. For example, jobs being outsourced or becoming short-term hired labour because of globalisation, job losses, workers facing job instability, wage stagnation, uneven distribution and a widening gap between the rich and the poor…

Like mainstream political parties in other countries, the PAP may encounter issues of being too comfortable, of arrogance, slackness and losing touch with the grassroots because of its long-term rule, if it does not have sufficient awareness of potential problems or is unable to correct some possible problems in time.”

Just earlier this week, several academics published a book criticising Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as “less pivotal” when compared to his father Lee Kuan Yew:

“Founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was a captain who led from the front, while Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appears comfortable to let his colleagues do more of the talking when presenting major policies. I would not embed ‘Lee’ in the title because Lee Hsien Loong’s role and impact is less pivotal compared with Lee Kuan Yew’s.”

One of the editors even pointed out that unlike Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Kuan Yew did not hire friends as key appointment holders:

“Aside from Eddie Barker, Lee Kuan Yew and his team were not buddies. They were men who were at loggerheads about many things, but were united for a common purpose.”

http://www.zaobao.com.sg/zopinions/views/story20171206-816595

Lee Hsien Loong Infighting with Goh Chok Tong


Speaking to reporters yesterday (Jan 26), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong did not hide his contempt for his predecessor Goh Chok Tong, saying that the former PM is just watching:

“ESM Goh is speaking with the privilege of watching things rather than being responsible to make it happen. I think we know it’s a very serious matter.”

Holding the position of Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM), Goh Chok Tong had earlier last month complained that Lee Hsien Loong is taking too long to choose his successor. ESM Goh Chok Tong had also told state media reporters that Lee Hsien Loong would retire by 70 years old, which the Prime Minister had never commented to the public when he intend to retire.

The infighting between the two PAP leaders have a long history. The above slap from Lee Hsien Loong is the second public appearance with the first during GE2011, where Goh Chok Tong expressed his unhappiness with Lee Hsien Loong-allocated MP Tin Pei Ling sitting in his Marine Parade GRC. Tin Pei Ling was then removed from the GRC in GE 2015.

According to sources close with the Prime Minister, Marine Parade GRC’s Tan Chuan Jin was demoted from his ministerial position because he was too “pro-Goh Chok Tong”. The handful of “pro-Goh Chok Tong” MPs are mostly dissatisfied with the current administration of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, but are too fearful to speak out. Many of these MPs want Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat to be the next Prime Minister, but Lee Hsien Loong prefers former army general Chan Chun Sing as the latter is more obedient.

There has been an ongoing infighting between Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing for the PM position, as both refused to give up their claim. Although Chan Chun Sing’s MP supporters are outnumbered 3-to-1 against Heng Swee Keat’s MP supporters, most of them heavyweight ministers like Grace Fu, Lawrence Wong, K Shanmugam, Khaw Boon Wan and Indranee Rajah.


Why Are Parliamentary Session Not Attended by PAP Members of Parliament


In a post by the States Time Review, "More than 70 PAP MPs skip Parliament on Tuesday", it is said that "According to a screenshot of a Parliament session on Tuesday (Jan 9), an estimated of more than 70 PAP MPs did not attend Parliament. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was the only senior Minister present, and none of the three Prime Minister runner-ups - Minister Chan Chun Sing, Minister Heng Swee Keat and Minister Ong Ye Kung - was present."

Now, the opening paragraph of the article would have informed the reader that what was true at that moment of the screenshot, might not be exactly true for the entire day.

If one were to refer to the Parliament records, one will be informed that only five MPs and the Speaker of Parliament were marked absent for the day.

But it is true that the MPs and Ministers were not present during the speech made by Minister Grace Fu as shown in the video, so why are the MPs and Ministers marked as being present at the Parliament session?

If we look back to the Parliament records, late Lee Kuan Yew was marked present on the sessions he attended even though he sat often less than five minutes on his seat, being escorted in and out by parliament staff during the mid of Question and Answer sessions. If not for this occasional turn-up, he would surely have gotten zero for his attendance in Parliament.

Using that as a benchmark, we can assume that so long the MP show face at the Parliament for a while, sit down in the Parliament for a few minutes, one can be marked as being present. But of course, few MPs do that.

After the embarrassment caused by Nominated Member of Parliament, Eugene Tan for highlighting that quorum was not met in two passing of bills, leaders of the People's Action Party have taken steps to ensure MPs from their party are present during the passing of bills.  To ensure that quorum is met, one-quarter of 101 MPs need to be present or 89 MPs for the passing of constitutional amendments.

As one who frequents the Parliament, the MPs present in the Parliament can at times drop down to 24 MPs during speeches made during debates.  The Ministers might not be even present when the speeches made were addressed to them during lengthy sessions such as the debate on the Administration of Justice bill, but it doesn't matter because the speeches are written by civil servants from the ministries on behalf of the ministers.

This is perhaps one of the reasons why the government refuses to live stream its parliamentary sessions so that people are not informed how engaged are their MPs in representing them in the parliamentary debates.

Note that there is already a live stream being broadcasted to the various media agencies in Singapore, which is why the journalists can do live-tweeting so it will take a minimum of effort to live-stream the sessions via Youtube or Facebook.

Despite the constant excuse that there is no livestream because the demand for the livestream is low, the resources and manpower required to make this happen is minimum, in fact, so minimum that is it almost free to the government. Since last year, The Online Citizen had volunteered to stream the livefeed to public for free, but Parliament has not replied to TOC's offer till date.

Contrary to the good practices by many democratic first-world countries that offer real-time streaming of parliamentary sessions and public access to parliamentary video archives. The refusal to perform such an effortless duty as a public good, will simply imply that there are things which the government does not want the public to know.

Corruption in Our Neighbourhood


With the “Corruption” being the buzzword lately, many of us were quite disturbed on the Keppel news and our Govt’s (non)reactions as the news flashed across the world.

Most Singaporeans were relieved that the old man is no longer around to witness such tragedies with PAP in power.

As a bird enthusiast, I visited Serangoon North 1 recently. As you can see in the photo, it’s stressfully shocking to see how common areas have been invaded by shopkeepers with the display of goods.

With so many bird shops, all are trying to outrun each other, as common areas outside shops have been ‘taken over’, leaving minimum space for people to walk.

Back in 2014, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said: “Unfortunately some shopkeepers go overboard, with indiscriminate stacking and display of goods that spill beyond the yellow boxes. This can inconvenience shoppers and compromise fire safety”.

For the record, one in four HDB shops is in breach of the guidelines on displaying goods outdoors.

You may wonder what this got to do with Corruption.

Understand from some bird enthusiasts that most of the shopkeepers are illegally occupying, with “blessings” from HDB and Resident Committees, who turn a blind eye due to the massive “donations, sponsorship, hampers, red-packets” that are being given to community events, with even some businessmen sitting in various organizing committees.

Is this tantamount to Corruption at grassroots level?

When safety and well-being of shoppers are inconvenienced or compromised, authorities from HDB and grassroots leaders from Resident Committees must ensure compliance to rules and regulations are enforced with heavy fines and penalties. But what’s the point when such people are from the “same camp” going to these businesses for monetary support.

CPIB’s definition – “Receiving, asking for or giving any gratification to induce a person to do a favour with a corrupt intent. There are many kinds of gratification, including money, sexual favours, properties, promises, services and etc. Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs. Favours also come in different forms such as seeking confidential information, leniency, special privileges, contracts and etc.”

Common sense suggests that Corruption is the root of the non-action or blind-eye approach by authorities in such cases, which has been going on for many years, like the recent Keppel incident.
Showing leniency or non-enforcement by officers is definitely allowing favouritism to these shopkeepers, as they flout rules and safety, in order to receive “financial favours” for events.

Incidentally, most of the community events are actually organised by People Association, the propaganda mouthpiece of PAP through its community centres, similar to GLCs-run corporations.
Corruption is a criminal offence; regardless the scale as it harmful to humans and society.

Chan Chun Sing Leading the PM Race over Heng Swee Keat


For several hours last Monday, the digital coffee shop conversations of Singaporeans were animated by news that a member of the government had put up his hand to say he was willing and able to be prime minister. Chan Chun Sing, a 48-year-old minister, was quoted by Reuters as saying he was “prepared to become next PM if called upon”.

 The report on Chan’s remarks at the Foreign Correspondents Association lunch was immediately refuted by the government, which accused the wire agency of publishing a “fabricated” headline. Although Chan was responding to a direct question about his own desire for the top job, his answer referred to all members of the government needing to be prepared for the role. The next day Reuters amended its headline to say “Singapore minister says he, and his colleagues, all prepared to become next PM if called upon”.

 Chan Chun Sing, whose name has been linked with the prime minister job. Chan Chun Sing, whose name has been linked with the prime minister job. The headline brouhaha has since subsided. But it underlines both how curious Singaporeans and observers are to know who will take over as the next prime minister, as well as how anxious the government is to keep the succession question open until a binding decision is made on the matter.

 Any impression that a minister is jockeying for the position is frowned upon in the Singaporean system, where “naked political ambition” is anathema, according to Eugene Tan, a Singapore Management University law professor. The anxiety, if not impatience, to know who will take over is because of a long-established precedent.

The conventional wisdom has been that for the sake of stability and foreign investor confidence, a successor must be made known early and the actual succession must be an uneventful exercise. Hence, the “absence of an anointed successor seems particularly alien to many, if not most, Singaporeans”, said Chong Ja Ian, a political science researcher. Going by that precedent, the selection is overdue.

The current prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has set 2022 as the year he will retire. Lee, 65 and in power since 2004, has for some years voiced his wish to stand down before he turns 70. He repeated that hope in a CNBC interview last month, and further raised eyebrows among the chattering classes because of a suggestion that he might even bring forward the handover date. Asked by CNBC whether he was ready to step down in the next couple of years, Lee replied in the affirmative but added the caveat he needed to make sure “somebody is ready to take over from me”.

However, he has given away few clues about whom that might be. As the deadline draws closer, the Lion City is finding itself in the unfamiliar position of not knowing just who will be its next leader. Singapore has gone through only two leadership successions since 1959, and in both cases little room was given for speculation. The current premier, Lee Kuan Yew’s eldest son, was elevated to deputy prime minister 14 years before becoming the country’s third premier. In his unique case, Lee Hsien Loong was an heir apparent the moment he entered politics.

That assumption was so strong that Lee Kuan Yew’s immediate successor, Goh Chok Tong, had to contend with the widespread assumption that he was only a seat-warmer for the younger Lee, though Goh eventually served an impressive 14 years. Goh was also anointed as the chosen one long before taking office. He was named Lee Kuan Yew’s deputy five years before the late political patriarch handed over the baton in 1990, after having been selected by his peers the year before. In sharp contrast, none of the members of the so-called fourth generation, or “4G”, leadership team has yet been made deputy prime minister.

That title is held by two ministers who are just between two and five years younger than the prime minister. One of them is Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 60, whose rare mix of technocratic brilliance and empathy has made him a favourite of many Singaporeans.

However, Tharman has been discounted as a potential successor because of his age and race: the ruling party is operating under the assumption that majority Chinese Singapore is not ready for a non-Chinese premier. Lee has acknowledged that the run-up period for succession has shrunk significantly, but insists he will not jump the gun and handpick his successor. He has maintained that the fourth prime minister will be picked the same way he and Goh were selected: the sitting premier stays out of the succession process, and gives that responsibility to younger ministers who choose one among themselves as the first among equals. The most that can be said is that the field may have narrowed.

The Straits Times, which rarely strays from the official narrative, last week ran a picture of three ministers with the label “front runners”: Chan Chun Sing, Heng Swee Keat and Ong Ye Kung. Ong Ye Kung, education minister, has been linked with the top job. Photo: Handout Ong Ye Kung, education minister, has been linked with the top job. Photo: Handout Two others appear to have fallen out of the race. Tan Chuan Jin, 48, was moved out of the cabinet in September to become speaker of the parliament. Another newcomer, Ng Chee Meng, 49, and of the same generation, does not appear to have made it to the top league.

 Chan’s remarks to foreign journalists this week are not the only reason eyes are on him. A former army chief, he is the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) whip, and leads the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and the government’s grass roots network known as the People’s Association (PA) – organisations with immense mobilising clout in the city state. The PAP-aligned NTUC is the only body of its kind in the country, and has some 900,000 members – about a quarter of the citizen population. Coy and cautious as his remarks may have been, they are the fullest about succession made by a “4G” minister to date.

His high profile in domestic politics as well as a rising involvement in foreign affairs have given rise to speculation that he could be a front runner to succeed Lee. Lee’s decision to move him out of the social and family development ministry and into the NTUC in 2015 was hailed at the time by the former premier Goh as a sign that Chan was “poised to play a bigger role in politics”. In external affairs, Chan’s solo trip to the Chinese cities of Chongqing, Nanning and Guiyang just weeks ahead of Lee’s official visit to Beijing in September showcased the premier’s high level of trust in the young minister.

Chan met Chongqing communist party boss Chen Miner, a key protégé of President Xi Jinping, in that visit, and was also part of the prime minister’s delegation for the Beijing visit. Heng Swee Keat, 56, is the finance minister. He has headed high-level committees, including one tasked with restructuring the country’s economy. He suffered a stroke last year which temporarily halted his quick political rise, but has since returned to the political front lines. He is regarded as a safe choice because of his proven ability in economic management. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, also tipped as a possible successor to Lee. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, also tipped as a possible successor to Lee. Ong Ye Kung, 47, is currently education minister. Like Chan and Heng, he was fielded as a candidate for the first time in the 2011 elections, but was among the PAP’s losers in that contest. He won in 2015 and was immediately installed as one of two education ministers.

 Asked by The Straits Times in January about talk that he was “PM material”, Ong, the son of a 1960s MP who defected to a camp opposed to the elder Lee, said: “When the time comes for the team to select a leader, I will support the person who emerges.” In the meantime, Chong thinks there has also been too much attention focused on the first among equals, rather than on the team. “Individuals, even if they form a team, are susceptible to various human weaknesses especially given the pressures and temptations [that come with] holding authority,” Chong said.

 But Singapore Management University’s Tan said the “4G” leaders themselves are trying to forge a “collective mindset” with their cautious statements about sharing an equal sense of responsibility. Meanwhile, with a dearth of clues on the succession in the public domain, Singaporean palace politics watchers have little choice but to wait for the next milestone in the process – the elevation of a minister to the post of deputy prime minister. Lee Hsien Loong has said he would carry out a major cabinet shake up some time next year, likely after the budget debate wraps up in March.

In the CNBC interview, Lee said the “4G” team was likely to come to a consensus on their new leader “in time”.

Keppel Bribery Saga Why Isn’t AGC and CPIB prosecuting those involved


One corruption on top of another corruption?

I read that AGC has only given “conditional warning” to those involved in the bribery acts..

My question is why didn’t CPIB press charges to those involved?

This seems rather unusual to me. Why would Corruption act of such scale warrant only a “conditional warning” ?

I’ve worked in large Fortune companies and frankly what Keppel did, ie. Funneling bribery money through an intermediary with an arm length approach is common practice AND it is done with the knowledge of the highest level (CEO and CFO). It is certainly not just some antics by mid level executives. So mid level or even director level being fired are just scapegoats in such cases.

You think anybody else other than CFO and CEO could sign off some $50m payments and without the CEO, CFO asking for details of such payments?

Muddy Waters
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arrests....


Several former executives of Keppel Corp have been arrested by Singaporean authorities in a probe related to charges its rig-building unit bribed Brazilian officials, Singapore's Straits Times newspaper reported on Friday.

Keppel Offshore & Marine in December agreed to pay $422 million to resolve investigations into the matter by authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore.

But Singapore's Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said at the time that investigations regarding the individuals involved were ongoing.

The Straits Times said more than six people were currently out on bail connected with case.

A CPIB spokesman said he was "unable to comment as investigations against the individuals involved are still ongoing". The AGC declined to comment.

A spokesman for Keppel Offshore & Marine said: "We are unable to comment on any investigations by the authorities."

Keppel Offshore & Marine has taken disciplinary action against 17 current and former employees in relation to the bribery charges, court documents showed.


PAP Continues to Fake Economic Growth Numbers


More lies from the ruling elites who are living in their own glory and totally out of touch with the people and who they are.

Unscrupulous Ministers To Be Paid 5.5 Months of Bonuses

Singaporeans will not be having much of a celebration for the New Year, no thanks to the pathetic bonus the middle class and poor are getting for 2017.
According to a state media interview with the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME), Singapore workers in the private sector will likely receive an annual bonus as low as 0.5 month for 2017.
The pathetic 0.5 month bonus is only one-fifth of what the public sector’s 2.5 month bonus, and an eleventh fraction of 5.5 month bonus the Singapore Ministers are getting. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong alone will bag S$465,000, excluding his other bonus as Chairman of GIC.
Singapore Ministers are paid “National Bonus”, calculated off “social indicators” determined by the Public Service Division under the Prime Minister’s Office.
Below is an estimated calculation of how much bonus they are getting from taxpayers for 2017:
Real Median Income Growth Rate (2016): 2.6% -> 1 month bonus (100%)
Real Growth Rate of Lowest 20th Percentile Income (2016): 3.2% -> 1.5 month bonus (150%)
Unemployment rate of Singapore citizens (2017): 3.1% -> 2 month bonus (200%)
Real GDP Growth rate (2017) -> 3% -> 1 month bonus (100%)
Total: 5.5 month bonus
Singapore has one of the worst income inequality problem in the world, at a GINI coefficient of 0.458. At around 10% of the popuation, rich foreigners and the high income live in private property estates, while the remaining 90% rent from HDB public housing.
According to a demographic survey conducted by the government earlier this month, the survey found that Singapore’s rich and “elites” do not interact with the middle or poor. A key indicator of social class is the school one goes to, where neighbourhood schools for the masses are shabbily treated when compared to the elite schools of Raffles Institution and Anglo-Chinese High.
Class divides have resulted in political divisions, with most of the rich and high income middle class forming the major support base of the incumbent party PAP. The poorer population is however divided, with many depending on the ruling party for crumbs-like social support. The poor fear voting against the ruling party as they believe they will be denied government assistance, since the Prime Minister controls the Election Department. Fortunately, as the population gets poorer, more Singaporeans are coming out to oppose the dictatorship after realising that they have nothing more to lose.

Latest SMRT Corruption Scandal 2017

In a media release today, three employees with Singapore state-owned public transport operator SMRT were found to have engaged in corruption by awarding S$9.8 million worth of contracts to a company where they have vested interests. From SMRT, line manager Zulkifli Marwi, 52, former manager Jamalludin Jumari, 61, and assistant engineer Zakaria Mohamed Shariff, 59, were revealed to have conspired to award various contracts ranging from S$3,700 to S$3.9 million to a company called Enovation Industries.


The fourth person to be charged is the director of Enovation Industries, Akbar Ali Tambishahib, 60. One of the four guilty, Jamalludin Jumari, absconded and left Singapore in 2013, but was found in Malaysia and extradited to face charges in Singapore.

CPIB made the announcement without explaining how did the contract award process resulted in the corruption:

“Three of them were each charged with four counts of conspiring with each other to cheat SMRT Trains by dishonestly concealing the fact that they had an interest in Enovation Industries (EI), resulting in SMRT being deceived into awarding contracts worth S$3,900,000 to EI. Jamalludin absconded in 2013, but was found recently in Malaysia and brought back to Singapore to face charges. The CPIB had worked closely with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission who acted expeditiously on our request for assistance.”

The four accused face up to 10 years jail and a fine.

This is the second high profile corruption case involving state-owned companies in recent months, following the conviction of Keppel. Keppel was fined S$567 million for bribery in Brazil.


Singaporeans charged over $7 mn metro scandal

Four Singaporean men were Friday charged over a scandal involving contracts for the metro worth almost Sg$10 million ($7.4 million), the latest problem to hit the financial hub's train network.
The prosecution of the group, which included former and current employees of metro operator SMRT, came after a series of breakdowns on the train system and a collision that injured dozens.
The accidents have caused anger in the city-state where public transport is usually efficient and most have to rely on buses and trains as car prices are among the highest in the world.
Three of the four men caught up in the latest scandal failed to disclose their interest in two engineering companies which had been awarded contracts from SMRT totalling Sg$9.8 million, the anti-corruption bureau said.
The offences allegedly happened between 2007 and 2012, the bureau said, adding that the men have been charged under a law that prohibits cheating.
Two of the men, Jamalludin bin Jumari, 61, and Zakaria bin Mohamed Shariff, 52, are former employees of SMRT and face 28 charges each.
Zulkifli bin Marwi, 52, still works at the rail company as a line manager and faces 24 charges. Akbar Ali bin Tambishahib, 59, a director of the companies awarded the contracts, faces 28 charges.
If convicted, they face up to 10 years jail on each charge.
"The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau takes a serious view of any corrupt practices and will not hesitate to take action against any party involved in such acts," the bureau said in a statement.
In October, rail services on a main line were stopped for 20 hours when an underground tunnel flooded. Last month, 36 people were injured in a train collision.
State investment giant Temasek took full ownership of SMRT last year, delisting it from the Singapore stock exchange, in a bid to overhaul the company.