Lee Bee Wah on Why Singaporeans are screwed with 30 percent Water Price Increase

Our Nanny, Lee Bee Wah, once again didn't blink an eyelid to condemn Singaporeans for taking basic necessities like Water for granted when she claimed that the 30% water price slap is to remind Singaporeans of the importance of water.

No typo error, it is 30%, and not 3%.

Or perhaps they want to punish the 30% who didn't vote for them. Either way, the numbers look excessive, and makes you wonder if Heng has fully recovered from his stroke, or is he still obssessed by the 30% blockade in his arteries.

Since 70% of Singaporeans loved to be screwed this way, year after year, there isn't much we can do about it. Just get ready for the price increase that are coming - electricity, bus fare, taxi fare, train fare, ERP, Conveyancy fee, cpf insurance, property tax, etc, etc.

We have indeed come a long way becoming a Welfare state. Providing welfare to the ruling party and all it's cronies.

It is saddening that such a impactful decision on the life of all citizens are treated as just another item in a report, without consultation with the people. It showed the arrogance and irresponsible attitude of the ruling party. They are taking the trust of the people for granted.

The fact that 2 weeks now, after the announcement, the Prime Minister has yet to make any comment, showed the disrespect and disregards that the ruling party had towards the people, when the General Election are far away.

This is the true color of PM Lee and his team, and not the greedy smiling and grinning faces you see prior to the Election or on National Day. They are faceless when they screw the money out of your pockets.

Excepts from TOC:
Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, Er Dr Lee Bee Wah said that the 30% increase of water price is to bring up awareness of the importance of water and that there will be families who need help for the increase in price.
She said that in her interview with Channel News Asia interview after the presentation of Budget 2017:
Happy to hear that there are more assistance given to companies, to the industries, to the SMEs and also heartened to see there is more help for those needy families, more GST, more S&CC rebates given and that there is a personal income tax rebate.
And I think on one hand, the increase of the water price, is just to bring up the awareness of the importance of water, but I am sure there will be families who need help so it is a good gesture to help.
Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat said in the Budget 2017 speech in Parliament, “Water prices were last revised in 2000, almost 20 years ago. We need to update our water prices to reflect the latest costs of water supply,”
He noted that the price increase will go towards maintaining Singapore’s water infrastructure, and more expensive sources of water such as desalination.
Including taxes, the prices will go up by 30 per cent in two phases. The first hike will be from 1 July this year, and the second from 1 July next year.
Within the hour of posting, hundreds of comments were made on the video
Tay Chin Peng wrote, "How about reducing the MP's salaries. It will help remind them the importance of working hard to earn money for a living."
Albert Tiong wrote, "OK. Now I'm aware of it. Can you reduce the price back to what it used to be?"
Daddie Yowzer wrote, "You want to know who are the people who really waste water ! Those that stay in houses .. Especially GCB ! I've worked for them .. I know .. Everyday water plants, garden the size of HDB flat and their cars .. So just because they pay its ok .. Compare to a person staying in HDB ... How much can we really use or waste ! Female version of KBW! Oh and those who say 69% voted .. True maybe .. but didn't vote for these two clowns."
Lau Kok Kheong wrote, "The awareness for the hawkers and restaurants to increase their food and drinks prices too~ do they aware? Or they just don't care."
Curtis Lee wrote, "What make you think that we are not aware? My water usage is way below National Average. You are punishing people like me who are concious about water preservation."
Sharingan Ismadi wrote, "We have a water agreement with Malaysia that hasn't expired. We also have a desalination plant and most likely another on the way that should be paid for? I haven't read the article but 30% increase is kinda extreme. Its like saying our nation coffers are so dangerously low that cannot afford to build the project first and then we pay for it slowly in the long term."
Albert Tan wrote, "We have been paying "Water Conservancy Charge" for decades, that's supposed to create awareness for saving water, isn't it fair that the tax subject to Service Charge and GST too? Suck thumb la!"

CPF Retirement Sum increased to $166,000. CPF Life to start at 67?

Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board has just increased the CPF Retirement Sum (previously known as the Minimum Sum, name was changed due to negative connotations) to S$166,000 as of 1 Jan 2017. The S$5,000 from the previous year is a 3.1% increase – higher than the 1.3% core inflation rate as of November 2016.

At the same time, re-employment age has been increased from 65 to 67. This move will likely increase the CPF Life annuity payout age from 65 to 67, delaying Singaporeans’ retirement age by a further 2 years. Since the re-employment age was raised from 55, the CPF payout age always increase and follow suit.

During Parliament’s session on Monday (Jan 9), all ruling party MPs expressed support for the increase in re-employment age.

Raising the re-employment age however is at best a public relation stunt as employers reserve the rights to retrench older employees indirectly via lowering of salaries, placing them on short-term contracts and increasing of workload. According Nominated MP Randolph Tan, more employers are circumventing the re-employment law by introducing term contracts.

“In June 2007, 25 per cent of resident employees aged 60 and over were on term contracts. Almost a decade later, in June 2015, we still have 21 per cent of resident employees aged 60 and above (who) were on term contracts. The regulatory burden of the new legislation may drive more employers to place older employees on term contracts.”

Opposition NCMP Daniel Goh outright rejected and dismissed the re-employment age law:

“The one-year term contract, or a three-year contract, to be reviewed yearly, sustains a sense of insecurity (around) contract review and renewal, which is not the right way to treat a senior employee and colleague.”

Most elderly in Singapore work in low income jobs like cleaners and security guards, taking home around S$9,00 a month after CPF tax deductions.

The Singapore government is currently delaying withdrawal age, withdrawal limit and depressing interest rates of the CPF sum for undisclosed reasons. Public speculations are however rife that the two sovereign wealth fund companies, Temasek Holdings headed by the Prime Minister’s wife, and GIC, headed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, are losing billions in overseas investments.

- The StatesTimes.

Ang Mo Kio Town Council Scandal

I refer to the article “CPIB probes Ang Mo Kio Town Council’s general manager” (http://theindependent.sg/cpib-probes-amk-town-councils-general-manager).

It states that “a general manager and secretary of Ang Mo Kio Town Council is under investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) for “the way he handles contracts and dealings in the town council”. The general manager and secretary, Mr Victor Wong (picture), works for CPG Facilities Management. He has been put on forced leave.”

Conflict of interest?

Isn’t it a conflict of interest for an employee of the town council’s managing agent to be also the general manager and secretary of the town council?

After reading the subject news article – as a resident of Aljunied town council – I googled “aljunied town council conflict of interest secretary managing agent” and found the following:-

Same conflicts of interest flagged by Aljunied’s auditor?

“These were among several improper payments that the town council made to managing agent FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) and service provider FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI), said KPMG.

Such improper payments were made in a situation where there were “control failures” and conflicts of interest, as the shareholders of the two companies were holding key management positions in the town council.

These include a failure to address serious conflicts of interest and a lack of meaningful oversight by town councillors, it added.

KPMG identified six FMSS shareholders who held key management posts in AHTC, such as secretary, general manager, and finance manager – creating a conflict of interest” (“AHTC failed to address conflicts of interest, says independent auditor KPMG” (Straits Times, Nov 7).

Why same conflict of interest in Ang Mo Kio?

In view of the the independent auditor, KPMG’s report on Aljunied town council regarding “serious conflicts of interest” – why do we have similar conflicts of interest in Ang Mo Kio town council?

Other town councils also have conflicts of interest?

Are there such conflicts of interest in the other town councils as well?

No action, talk only (NATO (about others))?

If so, what actions have such town councils taken, given that KPMG flagged such “serious conflicts of interest” in town councils?

For how long already?

How long have these conflicts of interest been going on?

GM replacement also same conflict of interest?

The Town Council has appointed another employee of CPG, Mr Lim Kian Chiong, as an acting general manager of the town council, but why are we still continuing to have such similar conflicts of interest?

Do town council councilors understand the meaning of “conflicts of interest”?

Mr Ang Hin Kee, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC said, “if there are declarations to be made, if there are interests to declare, the people involved (must) make those declarations”.  But do town councilors understand the meaning of “conflicts of interest”?

Mr Ang also assured residents that the MPs of the GRC do personally check on projects performed by its contractors to ensure oversight, but isn’t all these kind of superfluous when ‘serious conflicts of interest’ are already inherent and embedded in the town council system?

By: Leong Sze Hian
But don't you worry. I'm sure the CPIB will return a finding that there was 'no dishonesty' involved like what PA did in 2015 in the similar case of Tonic Oh, Chairman of the Admiralty ward of Sembawang GRC.
The whole TC committee is in complicit with the conflict of interest. If they deny knowing or even think it's wrong, they are unfit to be in office to serve the people. I think CPIB should include them in their investigation. Then again, CPIB is under PMs control so again we see another conflict of interest. Corruption is pervasive.
Busy counting money no time to do own self check. Only when serious issue pops up then they say the law or policies outdated. Where's the passion to serve and what have they done other than raise costs of living for selfish reasons .. makes you now understand "own self check " is actually mean "being selfish ".
Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. PAP should keep its own TCs in order before they watch over AHTC like a hawk and whack them over the slightest thing. And where are the HDB Ministers Khaw and Lawrence Wong who are usually full of motherhood statements?
Same problem with the prime minister and his Wife on Temasek holdings. If that is not a conflict of interest then this is not?
"MPs of the GRC do personally check on projects performed by its contractors". Come on Mr Ang, you think we people as stupid as you?
If they had personally checked on projects as they now claimed, why didn't they detect these corrupted practices much earlier and reported the bugger themselves instead of waiting for a whistle blower to blow the matter out of the water?
I am looking forward to a robust response from Shanmuggam and/or Khaw Boon Wan; the kind they give if the offence had ocurred in the opposition ward. Or will everyone act blur?

SOMETHING is rotten in the estate of Ang Mo Kio.

A general manager and secretary of the neighbourhood’s town council has been put on forced leave and is now under investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Mr Victor Wong works for CPG Facilities Management, the managing agent of the town council, which is helmed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. No details were given of the case, but the town council’s chairman Ang Hin Kee told The Straits Times (ST) yesterday (Dec 29) that a complaint was made against Mr Wong in September. Mr Wong was removed from his duties last month.

As to nature of the complaint, Mr Ang, who is also a Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, said it had to do with “the way he handles contracts and dealings in the town council”, reported ST.

The complaint “arose out of his dealings which relates to probable behaviour needing investigation done by CPIB”, he said. “Needless to say, the town council ourselves will render all assistance needed to ensure zero tolerance for corruption.”

“We will render all assistance needed to ensure zero tolerance for corruption.”
What exactly are we talking about here?

Clues from Mr Ang’s brief interview with ST point to contracts being handled by Mr Wong and potential conflicts of interests which were possibly undeclared.

Mr Ang declined to give any more details of the investigation, but said that town council staff are constantly reminded to declare any interests concerning tenders being awarded by the council, said ST.

He also said that staff from the managing agent were also reminded that “if there are declarations to be made, if there are interests to declare, the people involved (must) make those declarations”.

Meanwhile, an acting general manager, Mr Lim Kian Chiong, has been asked to replace Mr Wong, who could not be reached for comment yesterday. Mr Lim is also an employee of CPG.

Read more from the source:

Why Singapore is Behind Finland in Basic Income Implementation

Finland just rolled out a pilot program to test universal basic income, or UBI. And while the idea of regular cash handouts may sound tantalizing, out-of-work Singaporeans shouldn't hold their breath.

The Scandinavian country announced yesterday that 2,000 randomly selected, unemployed individuals between the ages 25 and 58 will receive a monthly cash payment of 560 euros ($582.90) for two years.

The payments will continue even if the recipient finds work. The goal, according to the Finnish government, is to increase employment.

Singapore as a whole is well behind Finland in implementing any kind of guaranteed income.

"Finland is ahead of the Singapore in lot of progressive ideas," says Karl Widerquist, the founder of Basic Income News and an associate professor at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, in an email with CNBC.

"Finland already has universal health care. The next step is a universal right to a basic income. With Finland's more progressive politics, it's not surprising they're ahead of the Singapore in the movement for basic income," says Widerquist.

Taxes are higher in Finland, too, which makes it more feasible for the government to pay its citizens, Martin Ford, author of The New York Times-bestselling novel "Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future," tells CNBC. "They have the means to pay for a basic income by converting existing programs," he says.

If robots take your job, the government might have to pay you to live
Although unemployment benefits in Finland are generous, the way they're currently structured can, perversely, keep job-seekers from taking new positions.

"Many workers in Finland who used to have good jobs with Nokia, for example, are now unemployed. Lots of these people have skills and could try to start businesses or maybe work for another small business at lower pay. But the traditional unemployment program doesn't allow this. If they earn any money, they lose all their benefits," says Ford.

"So a basic income is a way to structure the safety net so that unemployed workers have an incentive to work to the extent they can, without the fear of losing their benefits."

-Misha Chellam, signatory of the Economic Security Project
Also, while there are about 5.5 million people living in Finland, there are more than 5.5 million in Singapore. Diversity in the Singapore makes it harder for some Singaporeans to feel compassion for each other, suggests writer Misha Chellam, founder of the start-up training company Tradecraft. Chellam is also a signatory of the Economic Security Project, a newly founded research organization dedicated to learning more about the implications of UBI.

"It may be an empathy gap," says Chellam.

"Finland is a small, homogeneous country with less than six million people. This may make Finns more empathetic toward fellow Finns' struggles, as they share many cultural similarities. The sense of 'Singlishness' can be a bit harder to pin down in a nation of almost 6 million people hailing from all parts of the world."

 Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla said, Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage
The Singapore will only adopt UBI if automation results in mass unemployment, Ford believes.

"I don't expect it to happen smoothly. I expect that, especially here in Singapore, it's going to happen when we have a crisis. We will have a big problem first," he says.

Despite cultural resistance, Widerquist insists that cash handouts are a viable idea even in Singapore.

"Basic income works everywhere. We can all realize it. We just have to give up the belief that the rich should have the right to tell the poor what to do," he says.

China Biting The Hand That Feeds It

What exactly is China afraid of? The US military has always been there in the Pacific, even before World War II. This is the same fleet that indirectly helped China win the war against the Japanese. Have they forgotten? 

Why suddenly the Chinese media is producing documentary after documentary about US military, portraying them as adversary and prime enemy, and showing how great China is, in countering this perceived threat by spending and building advanced weaponry? I suspect they are afraid of themselves.

China is becoming a nuisance to the rest of the world. It doesn't know how to behave like a superpower. Panda bear Xi Jinping is behaving like big bully, with his confrontational style, both inside and outside of China. With China's new found wealth, they just do not know what to do with those money besides squandering them around all over the planet, very much like their barbaric tourists, who wanted all other countries to look like China.

And they are biting the hands that feed them, conveniently forgetting those nations that helped China to grow it's wealth and reform it's economy, to be what it is today. Instead of appreciating the help of the USA as evidenced by the US$1.24 trillion of US Treasury Bills now in China's coffer, Xi is treating the USA as his number one enemy, and every small thing that the USA do militarily, is against China, and anyone who befriend the US is China's enemy as well.

Did these Chinamen ask themselves this question: Why would America want to attack China? China is their largest trading partner, and almost all major American corporations have offices and factories in China. What is the benefit of having a confrontation with China? It is China itself, who is worried about the USA and the world, because of it's non-conformity with decent human rules and regulations.

The above video is a good example of how this big bully behave. Singapore is only a small red dot, but this big bully take Singapore like a superpower. And like a big overweight baby, the PRC comes crying over Singapore's close relations with USA. And this big idiot thinks that all the water outside of Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, belongs to PRC, and started deploying navy and weapons in these places.

If this idiotic world nuclear power, under the control of a brainless panda called Xi Jinping, doesn't know what it is doing, a nuclear world war looks inevitable in the not-too-far future. With Donald Trump as President, the ingredient for disaster is set in place. Two idiots is not going to make one right.

The USA made a mistake during the second world war. They should have treated China like Japan and enforce a non-military China, so that we don't have to worry about another world war today.

Why Ah Loong Is Always Going Against His Father's Wishes

First he overturned his father's death threat, by opening not one, but two casinos. If you remember, Lee Kuan Yew had said in his famous quote, "Over My Dead Body"if Singapore were ever to open a casino.

His father's death-bed wish of demolishing the Oxley Road house after his death. Until today, it is still standing, and daughter Lee Wei Ling is having enough of it, by posting her anger against her brother in her Facebook, just short of calling him a dictator.

PM Lee also showed a distinct bias towards the West, especially to the USA, as oppose to his father who would rather have a grand state visit to Beijing than to the White House. His stand on the South-China Sea issues also voiced a direct contradiction with that of China. Something that couldn't had happened during LKY's reign.

This spoilt brat is also known for slapping and shouting at other Ministers, especially those more senior than him and those close to his father, and even in public places. Wong Kan Seng should be able to testify to that.

Dhanabalan Slapping Incident

PM Lee Sacked Wong Kan Seng, Mah Bow Tan & Raymond Lim

Now, he is attempting to rewrite the constitution on Elected President, an institution painstakingly designed by his father. What's he up to? He is bringing in racial harmony and quality of candidates as mechanism to gradually bring the power of the Elected President down to the previous level where President is appointed by the Parliament, hence the PAP. A puppet or PAPpet, a symbolic figurehead, just like the Queen of England.

He believes the President should not be getting higher pay than the Prime Minister, which he had corrected prior to the last general elections, by slashing the salary of the President dramatically, whilst his remained mostly untouched.

Perhaps he is suffering from some kind of identity crisis: that he doesn't want to be seen to be hiding under his father's pants. The Dhanabalan slapping case exposed this fact clearly. That he wanted to be seen as himself and not his father's son. Not one who got to where he is, because of his father, and not himself.

By constantly changing the past, the institutions created by his dad, and removing all the old hecks previously working for Papa, he hoped to eventually bury the ghosts of LKY from his administration.

ISIS Claimed Responsibility For Zika Attack On Singapore

Isis has claimed responsibility for the Zika virus attacks on Singapore, saying it targeted Singapore as one of the foreign countries from the “Crusader Alliance” fighting their militants in Iraq and Syria.

“Islamic State fighters working in Singapore carried out a Zika virus attack last month by infecting themselves and spreading the disease in the heartlands of Singapore targeting populated areas,” Aamaaq news agency said on its Telegram channel.

Health workers battling Zika in Singapore

Isis’ claim of responsibility was impossible to verify but Indonesian police previously said they believed militants had been “imitating” the November attacks in Paris in Southeast Asia targeting densely populated areas.

If the claim is true, then it marked the first successful attack of any kind by the Isis in the island state, and possibly the first time the Isis had used biological warfare in their fight against the "Crusader Alliance".

Singapore has been identified as a possible target for attack by a Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) posting on social media, a report in May said.

It is not the first time Singapore has been cited by radicals. Last year, extremist English-language magazine Resurgence cited the Phillip Channel and Sembawang Naval Base in a piece on how militants could attack at sea.

The terror threat facing Singapore took on a more menacing face last month after six militants were arrested in Batam.

Police said their leader had been planning a rocket attack on Marina Bay together with a Syrian-based Indonesian ISIS militant. The six men in Batam had been kept under watch for a while before they were arrested by Indonesian police in an early-morning raid.

Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said the six "were thinking of attacking Marina Bay with rockets", and "this shows how our enemies are thinking of different ways of attacking us".

He drew a parallel with Molenbeek, the Belgian town from which terrorists planned their assault on Paris last November and, in a series of coordinated attacks, killed 130 people. "There are several possible Molenbeeks around us from which attacks can be launched on Singapore. These include the Riau Islands," he said.

Singaporeans Need Swiss Basic Income

The Swiss believe that an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) scheme is the answer to automation. 72% believe that many traditional types of work will become redundant and that basic income is needed to attain new lifestyle models.

The Swiss believe the strongest argument for basic income is the changing nature of work due to advancing technologies and that new lifestyle models are consequently needed

In Singapore's case, not only are jobs being replaced by automation at a faster pace than Switzerland, jobs for Singaporeans are also being replaced by imported foreign workers and executives since day one.

UBI is largely seen as a way to finally recognize all the unpaid and unrecognized work that is going on outside of employment. 49% of Swiss see a UBI as valuing and encouraging unpaid household and volunteer work.

Innovative Switzerland wants to be a country that leads the way on basic income. It does not want to wait for anyone else to first show the way. But for Singaporeans, this is the only way for them to survive in the next 50 years, or they will go extinct leaving behind a few PAP dinosaurs, in a country run by robots and foreign contract workers.

Singapore is already embarking on driverless taxi, way before any other countries in the world. This is going to end the jobs of some 40,000 cab drivers over the next 50 years, and hit the livelihood of 100,000 of their family members.

Advanced robots and drones are also being build to replace thousands of jobs in factories and offices.

Online shopping is also going to cut the jobs in the retail and food industry. Menial jobs will be the domain of foreign labours, and office jobs will be taken care of by the more qualified imported talents.

That will leave most Singaporeans with nothing else to do, other than tendering to their homes. And these tasks should have a value attached to it.

The basic income should be considered as one of the basic human rights. The Right to Life itself. The unconditional basic income is not tied to any circumstance or work done or compensation.

It is the amount that everyone, in any case and without exception needs in order to live. It is an amount that does not depend upon whether or not someone has a job.

The basic income relates solely to the individual and not to her function or situation. It is an income that arises from a general fundamental democratic right, the Right to Life.

How is This Possible?

We can differentiate between reimbursement for work in the private sector and public incomes such as social insurances as two fundamentally different incomes. Setting an unconditional base amount would have different effects on these different income areas.

A) Wages in the private sector would be liberated from securing the livelihood of the employee. This new situation opens a space for (re)negotiation for both, employees and employers. A salary becomes a symbol of appreciation, a motivation. It remains performance-based and tied to the market. A salary can be very high or very low, but the actual livelihood of the individual is inviolable because each person receives the basic income as a social right.

An entrepreneur can now be sure that people will come to her because they actually want to work with her.

Motivation will become a prerequisite for a job application. Even the employee is now more free in his position of negotiation. He can say yes to work that interests him and in which he can be of optimal use. Personal development through our work, having success and taking responsibility will become key attributes of a job search.

The applicant can also say no to unappealing job offers more easily. The threat of taking away a person's livelihood can no longer be used as a means to force employees to work under bad conditions.

The transfer of an unconditional basic income reduces the cost of labor. It acts as a subsidy to the existing wages. Being secured up to the level of the unconditional basic income, each person can now do her work without hesitation. Taxes can be restructured such that labor is no longer taxed (neither on the employer nor the employee side). Instead, a tax on goods (value-added tax) is increased and in part redistributed as an unconditional basic income.

B) Any social funds, extra payments, stipends, pensions and such subsidies can be replaced by the basic income as long as they do not exceed it. In the United States, there are 150 different programs of social balance that could be vastly relieved by the distribution of an unconditional basic income. This unconditional transaction could replace the “social welfare state“ and could mean significant reductions of expenses for the authorities. Currently, all social transfers are tied to concrete conditions that have to be proven and investigated bureaucratically at very high cost.

Unconditionally securing a livelihood for everyone would replace the existing incomes from the bottom up, in the public as well as the private sector. This basic amount is already transferred today. What remains are the conditions placed upon it, and thus seems to present a challenge for some:

Who would still want to go to work, if the securing of a livelihood does not motivate us to work anymore? And more importantly: Who would do the „dirty work“?

3. Good Job or Bad Job?
Because the basic income is paid to everyone, it should be an issue for everyone. The millionaire that lives off the interest of their wealth as well as the dishwasher that lives from paycheck to paycheck.

In the world of work we can distinguish between extrinsically and intrinsically motivated employees. Some employees work primarily for their income. Their motivation is based on the extrinsic necessity to have an income, on self-preservation and personal as well as familial survival. We call their work a „bad job“. On the other hand, everyone knows examples of intrinsically motivated work. The motivation, process and product of this work are closely related. We call this a „good job“. Amongst the extrinsically motivated „bad jobs“ as well as the intrinsically motivated „good jobs“ we can find both very well paid jobs and also very low paying jobs. What is the effect of an unconditional basic income on those four job categories?

The category of well-paid good jobs is not going to change very much with the introduction of a basic income, except the salary is going to decrease by the amount of the basic income.

Well-paid bad jobs will always be done. The motivation of making a lot of money will stay the same. But including the basic income in the transaction will challenge the paradigm of „only focussing on oneself“.

Low paying good jobs, such as care-work, volunteering, working from one's own vision (every entrepreneur recognizes this type of work from starting their own business) are going to be freer through the basic income, easier to imagine and more realistic.

Amongst the low paying bad jobs the distribution of an unconditional basic income will bring about the biggest change.

In the last category we find the so-called „dirty work“. The unconditional basic income will not prohibit these jobs, nor does it claim higher payment for such work (like a minimum wage would). It does, however, put the employee in a new position from which to negotiate, as their existential dependence on a job has been removed.

The basic income makes it possible to say NO.
It is possible that having a person do the cleaning will become more expensive because with a basic income in their pocket, fewer people would be willing to spend time working for a low income. When prices for certain services rise it becomes attractive to invest in technological solutions - solutions that are currently kept waiting because of the availability of cheap labor. The basic income strengthens the trend to automate such tasks. It creates the possibility for innovation.

Good jobs that are badly paid are supported by the basic income, in many cases they only become possible when such an income exists. Services and products that are created in intrinsically motivated work will become more affordable. A real market comes into play, one without opportunities of blackmailing the workforce.

On average, prices will roughly remain on the same level across all the sectors; what will be new is that prices will also reflect popular areas of work.

4. A Fundamental Democratic Right
The introduction of an unconditional basic income brings about a democratization of democracy. It gives time for reflection. It creates possibilities for experiences we cannot pay for.

A democracy gives every adult the right to judge what is best for the whole community based on their own life experience and ability. It gives each individual the responsibility to decide in the interest of others. The individual interest of each person becomes a building block for the greater whole.

The basic income trusts each person to know how to decide what their path is and how they want to make a difference for others. This is no less than the pursuit of happiness. It is an evolution of democracy itself.
Those who want to hold a monopoly on power can-not see anything sensible in the introduction of an unconditional basic income.

No king would introduce a basic income. But the democratic way is the royal road: only through the mutual encouragement of the people can a basic income come into existence.

The first prototype referendum for the unconditional basic income is taking place in Switzerland in June 2016. And who knows what can grow from such an experience?

The Zika Epidemic Has Just Begun

Now with 189 confirmed locally-transmitted cases. Certainly, there are many more still unknown and yet to come.

In fact, its spread had already been happening for a while under our noses. The Zika test takes three hours to show if a patient is positive or negative for the virus. The first suspicion was on Aug 22, when a GP in Aljunied raised the alarm over a series of suspicious cases to MOH. MOH believed it was a mild viral illness, and asked that further cases be brought to the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC). Then on Aug 25, a 47-year-old woman, Patient A, was referred to the CDC and was confirmed to be infected (ST’s report said she went to CDC on Aug 26, Today says Aug 25). All past cases in the area were dug up and tested and it turned out that people were being infected as far back as July 31. MOH announced Patient A on Aug 27. The other 55 cases were announced on Aug 28 and Aug 29.

The answer to questions posed to MOH about why two days passed between Patient A presenting herself to the CDC and the first announcement was vague.

Since Zika was “almost inevitable”, and since an imported case had already been reported in May, shouldn’t the ministry already have been expecting to see locally-transmitted cases? Why were blood tests not carried out as soon as the GP in Aljunied reported a suspicious trend of viral infections? Why were blood tests not carried out for all individuals presenting such symptoms – did the ministry have to wait for a trend to develop?

MOH said that since the affected persons did not travel to infected countries, they were considered low-risk. This is why they did not test them immediately. The ministry chose to wait and see. Yet it is known that only one in five Zika-infected persons actually presents symptoms. With confirmed infections in places like Thailand and Vietnam, should Singapore not already have begun to treat Zika symptoms more seriously? Why was an individual’s lack of travel to Zika-affected areas a factor that puts them at low risk?

MOH said that there was no cover up for the rash of Zika infections, a question raised in light of the Hepatitis C outbreak last year. In that case, 16 ministry and hospital staff were disciplined for, among other faults, withholding the announcement of the outbreak.

But it is hard to test for a disease that doesn’t present itself in a very unique way. Sometimes the fever is not present. It is hard, but should MOH have set a higher bar?

Dr Leong Hoe Nam, the infectious diseases specialist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital who diagnosed Singapore’s first Zika case in May, thinks that MOH should have done better.

“Every single mild case of fever, they should have investigated,” said Dr Leong, “It was a chance to break the cycle. Kudos to the GP who picked up the trend. We must remember that Zika is very mild, compared to dengue. Patients may not be sick enough to go to hospital but to the GP instead. So the GP now is the gatekeeper.”

Ms Tin Pei Ling, who is the MP for the ward that Patient A lives in, said, “It would have been most ideal to take a more conservative approach at that point in time, if there had been early suspicion, to check if there were any positive cases. But I suppose MOH would have taken the balanced approach between alarming everyone and doing proper checks.”

Would we have been alarmed? The number of cases, 41, is high compared to other countries in the region. It is low, however, when compared with the more deadly dengue, for which there have been nearly 11,000 cases, of which majority were probably locally-transmitted, since the start of this year.

Perhaps it is time we started acting as if Zika could well have traveled beyond the Aljunied cluster. That’s how it got spread so far in the first place, isn’t it?

UK, US, Australia, Japan and Taiwan issue travel advisories for Singapore as Zika cases rise.

There is ongoing transmission of Zika virus in Singapore. All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites. Adopt additional measures advised by the Department of Health, including deferring non-essential travel if pregnant, avoiding pregnancy for two months following your return and other advice for both males and females (see Health). The level of advice has not changed. We continue to advise Australians to exercise normal safety precautions in Singapore.

Pregnant woman in S'pore tests positive for Zika


SINGAPORE — A pregnant woman living in the Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive area has tested positive for Zika virus infection, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Wednesday (Aug 31) night. This is the first such case in Singapore.

“Her doctor is following up close with her to monitor her health and the development of her baby,” said the MOH. The woman, who tested positive on Wednesday, will be referred to a maternal-foetal medicine specialist for counselling and advice, said the ministry.

The news comes a day after the MOH announced free testing at public healthcare institutions for pregnant women with Zika symptoms or who have partners with the virus, as well as those recommended by their doctors.

The MOH had also issued an advisory on pregnancy and Zika on Tuesday. Noting that Zika could have more serious consequences for pregnant women — their children could be born with microcephaly — the MOH said that pregnant women diagnosed with Zika would be referred to a maternal-foetal medicine specialist for counselling and advice.


Much of the focus around the mosquito-borne Zika virus has been on pregnant women and brain abnormalities in fetuses, but now scientists think some adult brain cells could be vulnerable too. Infections may even be as destructive as Alzheimer’s disease.
By engineering mice to mimic the human Zika infection, and using fluorescent biomarkers to tag infection sites, scientists at the Rockefeller University and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology found that adult neural progenitor cells could be hijacked by the virus, leading to brain shrinkage and mental impairment.

“Our results are pretty dramatic – in the parts of the brain that lit up, it was like a Christmas tree,” said Professor Joseph Gleeson, head of Laboratory of Pediatric Brain Disease at The Rockefeller University, in a released statement about the new study. “It was very clear that the virus wasn't affecting the whole brain evenly, like people are seeing in the fetus.”

Gleeson said in healthy individuals, neural progenitor cells become fully formed neurons and are resistant to Zika, but for some people with weakened immune systems, they may be vulnerable to the virus.

The mature brain, Gleeson said, is learning, and memory that is impacted by Zika could bring about a cognitive decline that is normally associated with Alzheimer's disease or depression.

“In the adult, it's only these two populations that are very specific to the stem cells that are affected by virus. These cells are special, and somehow very susceptible to the infection,” Gleeson said. “Based on our findings, getting infected with Zika as an adult may not be as innocuous as people think.”

“Zika can clearly enter the brain of adults and can wreck havoc,” said Sujan Shresta, a professor at the La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology. “But it’s a complex disease. It’s catastrophic for early brain development, yet the majority of adults who are infected with Zika rarely show detectable symptoms. Its effect on the adult brain may be more subtle, and now we know what to look for.”

But scientists said it raises the disturbing possibility of long term mental impairment in Zika-infected adults.

“The virus seems to be travelling quite a bit as people move around the world,” said Gleeson. “Given this study, I think the public health enterprise should consider monitoring for Zika infections in all groups, not just pregnant women.”

The epicenter of the current Zika epidemic is Brazil, where the Olympic Games were in full swing in Rio de Janeiro just a couple of weeks ago.

In February, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern,” as evidence grew of Zika's association with birth defects.

The virus is chiefly spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is common throughout the tropical and subtropical Americas.

The new findings were published in Cell Stem Cell on August 18.

Why Is The Govt Rushing Into Driverless Car?

The need to be the First, all the time? The need to show that we are an innovative country, no more a boring country? Yes, these are good things to have, but are we ready yet? This implementation not only concern the way we live, but also is likely to cause unnecessary loss of lives.

The news: Singapore is taking the next step in the move towards self-driving vehicles with the world's first public trial of self-driving taxis.

Robo-taxis developed by nuTonomy, a Massachusetts based transportation software firm, will operate autonomously in a Singapore business district on a trial basis beginning Thursday. The vehicles will be specially configured Renault and Mitsubishi models. A select number of Singapore residents will use nuTonomy's smartphone app to hail a robo-taxi for a ride at no charge.

Google, the leader in automated car, saying it wants a self-driving car with no steering wheel, pedals or driver, Google itself has a long way to go before that goal is attainable. Over a 15-month time period, Google said its self-driving cars detected 272 failures that caused the driver to take control of the car, and 69 incidents occurred where a driver took control of the car because of a perceived threat to safety.

Those incidents were then replicated in computer simulations that showed there would have been 13 crashes if the driver wouldn't have stepped in.

Some incidents reported in Google cars were blamed on the cars performing unwanted maneuvers, while other incidents were caused by reckless driving of other drivers.

Singaporeans' Responses:
Unlike iPad or Apple Watch or Google Glass, Self Driving cars will cost your lives, dun anyhow play for your own risk Worried ....on the other hand many people enjoy driving cars, nobody wants to sit around in a self driving car, it's not fun and you have no control over it, over your life

Auto taxis will not have 'hands' to help you put luggage into trunk, will not be able to help disabled/elderly board taxis.

And what's gonna happen to the livelihoods of taxi & uber/grab drivers (approx 30 to 40,000 paxes i guess); IF this project comes to a fruition?

Do all govt authorities come together to discuss the pros and cons of issues at hands? Or each of them revert to their own comfort zones and plan their own things again without cross checking and collaborating? Any back up plans for the unemployment of drivers who have family commitments and housing loans to repay? Is the govt prepared to pump in billions of social welfare schemes to help those families affected ranging from education & medical etc??

Is SG prepared to be a welfare state? "

Companies like Uber will soon jump on the driverless bandwagon: https://gizmodo.com/why-uber-i... (Uber's losing money, largely because they have to pay drivers.)

“Bloomberg reports Uber lost $1.27 billion in the first half of this year, which is unprecedented, even for a tech company.

“Eventually, Uber will get rid of the drivers and turn a huge profit. Earlier this month, Uber announced it would begin allowing customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, indicating at least part of the company’s long-term business plan. Uber also acquired self-driving car company Otto for $300 million, showing its eagerness to advance its driverless car technology.”

This Auto pilot thingy is so HYPE and any no brainer would have pick it up and too HYPE to resist riding on this bandwagon.

"Who" cares or bothers about the social displacement problem? (the Open Floodgate Policy have already shown HOW MUCH they cared about the locals livelihood).

Govt authorities rub their hands in glee because they can afford the capital for investing in these robots whereas the drivers can't. Customers end up paying the same or more because of the high capital cost. Govt win, (all) people lose - AGAIN.

Nope I bet all they see are dollar signs,less traffic and more dependency on public transport ( which means more effective social control) and rubbing their hands in glee at all the so-called ups killing courses the displaced will need to take.

They'll be useless because the govt won't allow for any autonomous entres of thought to emerge Wrongthink (tm) will be punished Right-think (tm) rewarded.

If this driverless car need a driver (as reported in ST) and the driver has to apply a brake during a demonstration, the car is not ready for prime time! Regardless, they are pushing ahead with half baked technology because they won't be facing million dollar lawsuits if their cars are involved in accidents in Singapore. I hope these cars are not allowed to travel at speed above 50kmh at this stage of the development because of real risk in fatalities.

What if the self driving taxi has a malfunction and stalls in the middle of the road with no passengers in it ? Who will help it radioed out for help service ?

If it has an accident on the road and hit a pedestrain , who will help it radioed help too ?

Has the insurance claim standard operating procedure been clearly specified out and sorted out on how insurance can be claimed too for driverless cars ?

".....said autonomous or self-driving taxis could ultimately reduce the number of cars on Singapore's roads by third, from 900,000 to 300,000....."

SELLING SNAKE OIL.....this one not Indian SO hor...

This (reduction in number of cars) may only happen if the autonomous taxi service is FREE 

velly velly goood ah...............now taxi ah peks and retrenched pros no more excuse to NOT vote for Oppo liao..............vote PAP also no use mah

Self-driving car crashed in US killing one, crashed in China, will it crash in Singapore as well?

1 less retirement job... next time retrench do what?
Unless people have Stage 4 liver cancer and dunt have many days to live...how can they ask general public to try and test the new product on road? Can't they test it properly to ensure 200% secure before leasing to the market?

It takes time to improve, maybe 100-200 crashes in early stage...who is willing to die to help the new technology to improve? Road conditions can be very complex in certain intersections in certain timing in certain countries, there's no way for self driving to car millions of possibilities in countries like Thailand, China, India, Indonesia and even Malaysia.

Are you sure machine is 100% safe, even escalators or lifts fail sometimes, the sensor fails to detect human and kill the person when he steps out of the lift halfway....why are we keep hearing self driving car crashes every few weeks? Is that very safe?