Earthquake shook Singapore - buried thousands in Sumatra

Thousands buried as quake hits Sumatra
TOM ALLARD, JAKARTA
October 1, 2009

A POWERFUL earthquake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra has caused significant damage, with reports of more than 1000 homes being flattened and fires breaking out in the city of Padang.

At least 75 people were killed and thousands trapped under flattened buildings according to early estimates from the health ministry. Power cuts have hampered assessments of the damage but it is feared that many casualties could have occurred from the earthquake, which registered 7.6 on the Richter scale. The effects were felt as far away as Singapore and Jakarta.

According to a witness, the major mall in Padang, Plaza Andalas, was severely damaged while TV One reported more than 1000 homes collapsed in the city of 900,000 people.

In the town Maninjau, West Sumatra, a resident Hafiz told vivanews.com that he saw a hill collapse. ''There was landslide,'' he said. There were also reports of fires, bridges collapsing and burst pipes causing flooding.

''People are trapped under debris,'' one unnamed resident told Metro TV.

Panicked citizens streamed out of buildings in major cities across Sumatra, including in Banda Aceh on the northern tip of the island. People deserted their cars and headed for higher ground fearing a tsunami.

Banda Aceh was hit hard by an earthquake registering more than nine on the Richter scale in 2004, when a tsunami killed more than 200,000 people across the region.

There was no tsunami from yesterday's quake at 5.16pm local time. Padang is vulnerable to major quakes because it is close to the Indo-Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates.

ST photo of Ris Low named as “sg-stupid.jpg”

andrewpang1966

Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:08 pm Post subject: ST photo of Ris Low named as “sg-stupid.jpg”

The digital edition of the Straits Times has labelled one of the photos of ex-Miss Singapore World 2009 Miss Ris Low as “sg-stupid.jpg”!

The Straits Times has been conducting a media witch-hunt on Ris Low and the organizer of the pageant ERM World since SPH journalists dug out her past conviction last Friday.

To ensure that Straits Times does not try to wriggle its way out by changing the name of the photo later, we have taken a snapshot here:

Read rest of article here:

http://www.temasekreview.com/2009/09/30/straits-times-named-ris-lows-photo-as-sg-stupid-jpg/


garyngng
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:35 pm
Singaporeans are generally selfish and will not hesitate to kill one another. That's true in every workplace, and epitomised in Miss Low's case. She is undone by her own Singaporeans.

In 2 of my 7 previous jobs, I have to resigned because cannot put up with Singaporean women bosses.

It is only in the other jobs under Filipinos, Chinese and Indonesian, that I discovered lots of human touch and care. Maybe because they had a hard time getting to where they are, and so appreciate people who try hard and help to nurture them. Failure is the beginning to more success is what they hope to achieve for their staff, and you feel really obligated not to disappoint them the next time you had the chance.

Why Ris Low is better than the MP's


From: Masturbating Myself
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 20:56:53 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Wed, Sep 30 2009 11:56 am
Subject: Why Ris Low is better than the MP's

At the very least, she had the courage to resign for the sake of
Singapore unlike some public officials who still linger on shamelessly
at the expense of taxpayers despite making horrendous, unforgivable
mistakes.

Faced with increasing public pressure and backlash over her past
conviction for credit card fraud, Miss World Singapore Ris Low backs
out of finals in Johannesburg, South Africa in December this year.

The organizer of the pageant, ERM World will announce a new
representative shortly. It had told the state media earlier that it
would be seeking legal advice on the matter.

ERM World said it has met Ms Low and her parents and ‘they have agreed
to allow their daughter to resign from the crown as we feel is in the
best interest for the Miss Singapore World Pageant and Singapore at
large’.

On Ms Low’s conviction in May and her bipolar disorder, ERM said there
was no way of checking if a contestant has a criminal record or
suffering from depression.

‘Ris Low was determined, well behaved and performed well throughout
the 2 month competition and even went on to win eight special awards.
This is not easy task to accomplish from a group of 22 contestants.
With her good performance and beauty, she excelled in the
competition.’

ERM said it felt sorry for Miss Low but added: ‘We cannot compromise
on our contest rules, regulations and the image of the Miss Singapore
World Pageant.’

The embattled Miss Low had attracted controversy since her crowning
first with her sub-par command of the English language followed by the
sensational relevation that she was convicted in May on charges of
credit card fraud and is currently on probation.

While the majority of Singaporeans had called for her to be stripped
of her title, some felt that she should be given a second chance in
life.

In an interview with the Straits Times last week, Miss Low expressed
remorse for her past mistakes and hope she can be given another chance
to fight for her dreams.

It appears that Singaporeans are not a forgiving people after all and
given her untenable position following the negative publicity of her
case, it is only a matter of time before the coveted crown is removed
from her head.

With the fiasco drawing to the close, the state media should leave
Miss Low alone and allow her to move on with her life.

Man ejaculate on woman's leg in the bus

From: beng1 <5191 ...="" gmail.com="">
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 15:20:05 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Wed, Sep 30 2009 6:20 am
Subject: Man ejaculate on woman's leg in the bus

of top nus grad chong weien jailed for ejaculating

Molester a top NUS grad: Chong Weien, a top NUS graduate, suffers from
spontaneous ejaculation and blames his medical condition for
ejaculating on the thigh of a Chinese national woman.

Chong Weien (left) blamed his medical condition for ejaculating on the
thigh of a woman in a bus.
On the night of Sept 14, 2006, the victim, a Chinese national studying
in a different faculty, boarded a NUS shuttle bus to return to her
hostel. Chong, who was wearing a T-shirt and a pair of shorts and
holding a jacket at waist level, pressed his crotch against her in the
bus. She felt something wet on her thigh and demanded to know what he
was up to. Both of them then got off the bus.

Her male friend who followed them noticed damp stains on Chong's
jacket and realised that it was semen.
District Judge Jill Tan, said in her judgement,
Even if the accused did suffer from a spontaneous ejaculation on the
bus, this did not rule out the possibility that he could have brushed
his penis against the victim's thigh as well.
The judge found him guilty and sentenced him to 15 months in jail and
three strokes of the cane on June 19.

Bad public transport in Singapore

From: seawater
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 04:50:42 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Tues, Sep 29 2009 7:50 pm
Subject: Re: Bad public transport in Singapore

On Sep 29, 12:34 pm, "truth" wrote:

> http://singaporepublictransport.blogspot.com/
> Wednesday, September 23, 2009
> Long wait for a bus
> I had to take a connecting bus to reach home from my office. I waited 30
> minutes for the connecting bus No. 70 at the terminus. The normal waiting
> time is 8 mins but the bus was delayed. The queue was getting very long.
> Many people ahead in the queue gave up waiting and decided to walk to take
> another bus.

> Later, I found a sign posted at the head of the queue, "Due to traffic jam,
> the bus No. 70 would be delayed". That was all. As this sign was posted in
> front, there was no way that people at the back of the queue knew about the
> delay, and how long the delay would be.

> Most of the commuters would take this type of poor service as part of life
> in Singapore. There is no point in making a complaint. The people in charge,
> in SBS Transit or Land Transport Authority would not care. They might give
> some hollow apology or nice words, but they really don't care.

> If there are sincere about the customer, they would have sent a staff to
> tell the people in the queue, update them about the arrival time and help
> them with alternative arrangements. After all, there are many unemployed
> people who would be delighted to have this type of job, even at low pay.
> Surely it is possible to have some customer service officers at the
> terminal? But, SBS Transit probably decided that employing people would cost
> money and eat into their profit. So, they would save on this money. It is
> cheaper to give hollow apology.

> It took me 1 hour to get home from my office, travelling a distance of 2 km.
> It would have been faster for me to walk.

> Sigh! This is Singapore.

> Tan Kin Lian

sg is now too crowded. There is jam everywhere in shopping mall,
roads, expressway, etc. The bus cant even move. We have too many ft
and our infra structures are not able to cope we do not have enough
land. We getting very close to critical crisis level. Thank you ft.

Good news - Electricity tariff to go up

From: The Cynic
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 06:20:19 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Tues, Sep 29 2009 9:20 pm
Subject: Re: Good news!

On Sep 29, 9:09 pm, "AleXX" wrote:

> Singapore's household Electricity tariff to go up, due to higher oil price
> when the electrical power stations here uses fuel gas to fire for energy.
> The price of gas has came down drastically.
> Of course there are no problems for those rich multiple $millionaire
> ministers. What all those poor and hungry Singapoorean fart? Ho Jinx and
> simply lost $40 billions through her father-in-law's Leegime Temasek. So
> what is subsidizing a little bit for those Singapore herds?http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20...

There is an old Persian or Syrian story. It goes like this. When a
king want to make his people happy, first he will get his soldiers to
steal their livestock. A few days later the king will organize a
search, find the so-called stolen livestock and have them returned to
the rightful owners who will praise the king sjy high.

A similar situation here. Now electricity are going up. However, next
year, before the General Elections, they will be brought down. Long
live the MIW. ha ha ha

Singaporeans are fedup and angry with the Lees

From: "truth"
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 12:00:41 GMT
Local: Tues, Sep 29 2009 8:00 pm
Subject: Singaporeans are fedup and angry with the Lees

The level of resentments to the Lees high handedness and their
domination of politics in Singapore have been rising over the
years. It has now reached a dangerous level to the extent that
people are openly cursing and swearing at LKY and his
family for the hardships they have caused to hardworking and
loyal Singaporeans. These people were not trained and equiped
by the Leegime to compete against the massive influx of foreigners.
With only a secondary education they have nowhere else to go to
escape from their miseries brought upon them by the Leegime
policies. These people have dutifully obeyed the government,
study hard, work hard and served their NS. Yet for all their
willingness and efforts as demanded by the famiLee, they are
still struggling. There are even resentments in a large segment within the
pap itself. How can one man dominate for so long ?
The level of frustration, disgust and anger with Lee Kuan Yew and
his family will eventually reach melting point. The day is not far off
when the pap will realise that the Lees are a liability to them.
When that day comes, being a Lee will be a curse. Things will
change rapidly the moment LKY up the lorry. Those LKY asslickers
and cocksuckers will change their skin to survive.

NS for Singaporeans - Jobs and Scholarships for foreigners

From: seawater
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 04:43:48 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Tues, Sep 29 2009 7:43 pm
Subject: Re: NS for Singaporeans, Jobs and Scholarships for foreigners

On Sep 28, 11:52 pm, "truth" wrote:

> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMxTcRs3KDU

Job for ft

http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?t=2435891

Singaporeans deserve better

From: "truth"
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 13:50:17 GMT
Local: Tues, Sep 29 2009 9:50 pm
Subject: Singaporeans deserve better

We deserve better - thoughts of a technician
Monday, 28 September 2009
Amin

My name is Amin. I am a technician in my early forties, married with
three school-going children. I tied the knot with my beloved Fatimah at the
age of 28. My wife used to work as a clerk in a statutory board but is now
my minister for domestic affairs.

We live in a four-room flat which we bought some years ago in the
northern part of Singapore. I am servicing my flat installments through my
CPF.

Two of our older children are in secondary school while the youngest
is in primary four. I travel to my work place by motor bike to escape the
hassle of travelling by feeder bus and the MRT.

I am often told, not too subtly by government and union leaders, that
I should consider myself fortunate because I am still gainfully employed.
Although my monthly income is about $2,000 my take home amount is less than
$1,700.

Besides putting food on the table I also have to take care of other
expenses, which include my children's school expenses, utilities,
transportation, etc. Occasionally we have to cope with the unexpected such
as when the children fall sick.

At the end of each month we can barely make ends meet.

Life in Singapore is becoming more and more expensive. It is really
tough to raise a family. My wife and I also make it a point to keep in touch
with our elderly parents and chip in whatever we can to make their
retirement less painful. We pray very hard that we never have to be
hospitalized because we cannot afford the expenses.

I am nonetheless supposed to be "fortunate". The frightening thing is
that there are other ordinary workers who earn even less but have financial
obligations no less daunting than mine.

But are we not supposed to be living in the First World and enjoying
the Swiss standard of living? Every now and then we are told that Singapore
is number one in something or other. Our port is the world's busiest, SIA is
the number one airline, our so-called sovereign fund is among the biggest in
the world etc, etc.

I used to feel proud of these achievements. But over the last couple
of years I have begun to have second thoughts. I ask myself what have these
achievements got to do with me?

The fact that Changi is number one really has nothing to do with me.
The fact that our reserves amount to a few hundred billions has done nothing
for the average Singaporean like me. We are still ourselves and still
toiling away day in and day out for an income that is not commensurate with
the amount of work we put in.

On the other hand, our ministers are the most highly paid in the world
as their salaries are pegged to the country's top earners.

Worse, we now have to compete with foreign workers who threaten our
livelihood. We also have the largest number of foreign immigrants percentage
wise. No ordinary worker - at least the people I know - feels secure with
his or her job. Any talk of increased wages will inevitably be countered by
the threat of being retrenched.

The temptation for employers to hire cheaper foreign labour is too
attractive to resist. There is absolutely no job security for us.

Should we lose our jobs we are expected to downgrade. This is what I
don't understand, we are supposed to be No. 1 in this and that but we
constantly face the propsect of having to downgrade.

Worse many have to resort to begging and queueing for free food. This
is our country. We have served our country in many ways. Our parents too
have done their share in making Singapore what it is today. Surely we
deserve better. But alas this is the real situation that exists in Singapore
today.

A Government leader tried to make us believe that I as a Malay enjoy
special privileges under the constitution. In fact we Malays have not
received any special treatment. We identify ourselves with Singaporeans of
other races and share the same hardship as all other citizens.

Unfortunately, our loyalty to Singapore has always been questioned to
the extent that we have been deprived of many opportunities to serve our
nation. But despite this we will join our fellow Singaporeans and put our
shoulders to the wheel to build a better nation for all.

We see little hope for a better life in Singapore unless there is a
drastic change in the way this country is being run. What good can our
country's multi-billion reserves do for ordinary people like us? We are
beginning to feel that the Singapore of today is only meant for the rich and
powerful - many of whom are not Singaporeans.Ordinary Singaporeans like
myself exist only to serve their interests.

We truly long for change. Ordinary Singaporeans deserve to be treated
better in our own country.

Why complain about Miss Singapore-World?

From: "AleXX"
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 18:18:46 +0800
Local: Sun, Sep 27 2009 6:18 pm
Subject: Miss Singapore aka Boomzz and Rat :):)

Many Singaporean see "rat" (red) and got "Boomzz" :):)
Check this out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c_A7-7B7-w

Posted by: muppet

Re: Guilty of credit card fraud - Miss S'pore World Ris Low - 25-09-2009,
08:27 AM

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

in a country like the singapore we have today, what else can anyone expect?
there are people who are placed as leaders even after being charged back
then for some white collar crime, we then have leaders who give you bull
sh!t excuses just to pay themselves millions over millions.

what do you expect? this miss singapore issue and the revelation of her
credit card fraud is nothing but a small matter compared to what this
country is becoming under this arrogant and complacent government.

if anyone thinks that there is no correlation or linkage between what is
happening with this government and their warped practices that we have, then
may we be reminded that singaporeans, both us the citizens and the business
community, everyone looks up to this government and if they condone and
indulge in those unreasonably warped and unethical practices, so will those
citizens and businesses over here.

when the higher beams of a structure is misaligned, the lower pillars and
beams will all be crooked as well.

Why Williams Safire dying before LKY ?

From: "truth"
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 08:21:10 GMT
Local: Mon, Sep 28 2009 4:21 pm
Subject: Re: Why r these people dying before LKY ?

Good man dies younger.
Evil man live long long to sufer like seeing their own
children die.

"bear" wrote in message

news:70291dbf-c5bc-4c34-85ff-a71d549829e0@q40g2000prh.googlegroups.com...
On Sep 28, 10:47 am, "truth" wrote:

> William Saifire called LKY a DICTATOR in his face. Now he is
> dead at 79, 7 years younger than LKY.

> http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=8687023

So what is your point? William made a mistake?

Singapore population surged to 4.99 million

From: achtung
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 01:39:20 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Mon, Sep 28 2009 4:39 pm
Subject: Re: Singapore population surged to 4.99 million

congs and gooks live in underworld

On Sep 28, 4:29 pm, "truth" wrote:

> This is shocking. In such a short period of a few years
> the population increased by leaps and bounds from
> over 2 million to close to 5 million. This 5 million objective
> has been achieved in record time. The next secret objective
> of the papist leegime is 10 million people. This was revealed
> to some important people in HK by one of the papist
> lapdog minister.



From: The Cynic
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 05:45:25 -0700 (PDT)

Good. Good!
Now prices of houses will shoot even higher,
buses and trains will be jam packed thereby transport companies can
see bulging profits,
restaurant owners and coffee shop owners can jack up prices,
employers can hire foreigners for a fraction of what they have to pay
locals,
locals thrown out of jobs can sleep at beaches and void decks.
foreigners can commit more crimes to keep the police busy.
It is going to be exciting times.
LOL

The fall of Singapore has begun

from: "truth"
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 03:58:40 GMT
Local: Wed, Sep 30 2009 11:58 am
Subject: The fall of Singapore has begun

http://www.yawningbread.org/

UBS survey shows Singapore slipping in standard of living

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

The Straits Times did a rather courageous thing on 26 September with
a feature on the latest Price and Earnings survey from UBS Bank. The survey
(field work March 2009) painted a rather unflattering picture of Singapore.

In a nutshell, it showed that Singapore is ranked as one of the
world's more expensive cities to live in, but people here earn only middling
wages. The result is that our purchasing power is far from sterling.
Compared to the last time the survey was carried out, in 2006, it also shows
a worsening trend.

The Straits Times wrote:

Singapore's worsened placing... highlights two possibilities: either
that consumption has become more costly, or pay packets have become lighter.
Both are worrying trends which could have crept into the country, serving a
double whammy to residents who are feeling the pinch from the downturn.

What accounts for the trend? More importantly, what are the social
and political costs if they persist?

Indeed, these are good questions to ask.

Another thing struck me from the survey: Whereas we tend to visualise
Singapore's economic standing in Asia as tied with Hong Kong for second
place to Japan, in many respects this is no longer true. Hong Kong is now
clearly ahead. Seoul has overtaken Singapore on many counts, Taipei too has
by some measures. Singapore has slipped.

Has our economic decline begun? I have argued many times previously
that decline begins with slippage in relative performance vis-à-vis our
neighbours. We won't feel poor initially. Life can still be very comfortable
and even be improving gradually as we slide gently into the second, then
third tier.

And there will be plenty of excuses available to help us deny that
sunset has begun.

For example, when the newspaper contacted Member of Parliament Seah
Kian Peng for his comments regarding the survey results, he said,

"The figures may be right, but the conclusion could be wrong."

Rather than look at prices and wages in isolation, he says the key
consideration should be: Do Singaporeans lead a better life than they did in
the past and are the poor taken care of?

"If the answer to both is yes, then moving up or down two notches
becomes mere semantics," he says.

UBS has been doing this kind of survey triennially since 1971. In
2009, it covered major 73 cities around the world, fifteen of which are in
the Asia-Pacific region.

Prices - global ranking

Prices are computed from a basket of 122 items, based on a Western
European lifestyle. The mix can be seen in the table at right. Some may ask
how representative his basket is compared to the Singapore lifestyle, but
seeing how westernised Singaporeans have become, I don't think it makes much
of a difference.

Singapore was ranked 24th out of 73 cities worldwide, only slightly
cheaper than Amsterdam (rank 23) and London (rank 21). Tokyo was 5th out of
73 cities and Hong Kong 28th.

Three years earlier, Singapore's price-ranking was 32. We climbed 8
places in the interim period, not the "two notches" that Seah spoke about.

If one adds rent to the basket, Singapore shoots up the 2009 worldwide
rankings from 24th (basket without rent) to 15th place (basket plus rent),
making us MORE expensive than London and Amsterdam. Tokyo goes up to 3rd
place. Hong Kong shoots up even more dramatically than Singapore to 11th.

Wages - global ranking

Wages are calculated from averages from 14 common occupations ranging
from unskilled (e.g. building labourer) to engineers and department heads.
UBS' report explained in its introduction that:

The data we collected includes standard local incomes and working
hours in addition to local consumer prices. The survey asked 112 questions
on wages, payroll taxes and working hours for 14 separate occupations. The
survey was conducted with a representative sample of companies, and
participants profiles were defined with maximum specificity with respect to
marital status, work experience and education.

In the net wages ranking, Singapore was placed 41st out of 73 cities,
thus the word "middling" I used above.

* * * * *

Comparing with Asia-Pacific cities

To better show where we stand in relation to our neighbours, the
charts below refer to the fifteen Asia-Pacific cities included in the
survey.

The first chart shows the relative price of the basket of 122 items,
without rent, indexed to the price of the same basket in New York. Singapore
is in second place, with Hong Kong very close.

If we look at wage levels from the 14 occupations, Singapore is
nowhere near second place. We stand lower than Seoul and Taipei, and we're
only twice the level of wages in Shanghai. We've been surpassed, with others
catching up.

(Note: the chart is based on net wages, which means wages net of
taxes, social security contributions, etc)

Purchasing power is a function of wages and prices. Since we have high
prices and middling wages, the purchasing power is not a pretty sight. We
rank 8th out of 15 Asia-Pacific cities. Even the average guy in Kuala Lumpur
can afford a better standard of living than us.


* * * * *


Why prices so high?


What is wrong with prices in Singapore? It's hard to say. The survey
does not contain enough data for us to tease out the problem. It may also
fail to account for quality. Take, for instance, this chart showing the
price of public transport:

As you can see, Singapore is one of the more expensive places, but
you'd have to be blind to think that the quality of public transport in
Manila or Mumbai is anything comparable to Singapore's.


However, the next chart may give us a clue as to how prices are pushed
up. On the left is the number of minutes the average person must work to
earn enough to buy 1 kilogram of uncooked rice. On the right is the number
of minutes of work needed to buy one McDonald's Big Mac.

Most places require less than twice the working time to buy a Big Mac
compared to buying 1 kg of rice. Singapore is one of the few places that
requires more than twice, in common with cities like Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur,
Manila and Mumbai -- not quite the set we normally imagine ourselves to
belong to.

What differences are there between uncooked rice and a Big Mac? Rice
has far fewer domestic inputs. We buy what has been imported, adding on a
little cost for storage, transport and retail space. Thus our purchasing
power over rice is really derived from the strength of the Singapore
Dollar's exchange rate.

A Big Mac includes many more domestic cost inputs. The buns are baked
locally, there is the rental cost of kitchen and dining space, power and
water, plenty of staff, disposal of trash, licences, etc. It appears that
our purchasing power is degraded by our own domestic cost inputs.

Another look at domestic cost inputs can be found in services. The UBS
survey has this to say:

Service prices reflect local labor costs

To compare global service costs as accurately as possible, we
analyzed a basket of 27 services. They ranged from classic expenses such as
haircuts, phone charges, dry cleaning, movie tickets and restaurant meals to
newer services of everyday consumption, including DSL Internet, training and
continuing education courses and tickets for a variety of leisure
activities. We have responded to the broader changes in consumption habits
by increasing the weight of services in our study from 20% to 22% in our
total basket of goods and services.

Here are the fifteen Asia-Pacific cities:

As you can see, Singapore is the second-most pricey of the lot. Does
this mean that our wages are high? Despite what UBS wrote, not necessarily.
What you pay in the price of services ultimately goes to more than wages; it
also goes to corporate profit and reinvestment as well as to the government
in the form of taxes and levies (including the Development Charge, which in
turn pushes up rents), and used for paying a bureaucracy, the military and
infrastructure investment. It can also be parked away through surpluses as
reserves.

As shown in the second chart above (wages), our wages aren't the
second highest in the Asia-Pacific. This suggests that the (second highest)
price of services here reflect more the elements of corporate profits and
government take. Our workers do not benefit commensurately form the high
price charged for services. Corporate profits may be kept up through the
lack of competition while the slice taken by the government stems from
political decisions.

How true is this? Economists might want to study the matter.

* * * * *

Four occupations

Now, let's look at the wages computed for four occupations. The next
two charts show data for a car mechanic and a cook:


The Singaporean car mechanic is paid significantly less than his
counterpart in Hongkong, also less than the guy in Taipei, and not much
differently from the mechanic in Seoul.

The Singaporean cook earns less than the guy in Seoul too.

The next two charts look at the higher end of the job scale: product
managers and engineers.

Among product managers, the Singaporean one is paid third highest
among the 15 cities; among engineers, fourth highest.

Our economy seems to be one where we have an extraordinary gap between
the powerful and the powerless, even by Asian standards -- countries not
known for soft-hearted socialism. Average wages for Singapore as a whole are
pulled down the city rankings because our low-paid are so lowly paid.
Meanwhile, one suspects that our prices seem to be kept up not so much by
labour costs but by profit-taking and the government's share.

With the resulting degradation of purchasing power, one can then ask:
Is the average Singaporean really having it so good?

© Yawning Bread

Judge Jill Tan should let the accused's pe.nis rubbed into her thigh

From: beng1 <5191 ...="" gmail.com="">
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 2009 17:49:06 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Sun, Sep 27 2009 8:49 am
Subject: Re: District Judge Jill Tan should let the accused's p.enis rubbed into her thigh

> > Just to be fair to the accused, the District Judge Jill Tan should let the
> > accused rub his pe.nis on her thigh to see for herself whether it is
> > spontaneous ejaculation.

It is strange that they have a woman judge for such a sensitive case.

The Straits Times reported:

A TOP graduate blamed his medical condition for ejaculating on the thigh of a woman in a bus but the judge did not buy it.

Two doctors said Chong Weien, 28, suffers from spontaneous ejaculation and is easily aroused even without any physical stimulation.

This cut no ice with District Judge Jill Tan, who said in her judgement: 'Even if the accused did suffer from a spontaneous ejaculation on the bus, this did not rule out the possibility that he could have brushed his penis against the victim's thigh as well.'

F1 Race transforms the Singapore into Hell

From: Siansiansian
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 23:03:32 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Thurs, Sep 24 2009 2:03 pm
Subject: F1 Race transforms the Singapore into Hell

Today, I drove to city thinking of having lunch at Esplanade. Never
realized that all roads leading to marina Square and Esplanade are all
blocked. Wasted ERP, petrol and my precious lunch hours. I have to
turn back without lunch.

This is really a Fucking One (F1) event that has transformed the whole
city area into living hell. The F1 (Fucking One) race only benefits
small group of people like hosteler and organizers, but making life so
difficult and troublesome for the rests of Singaporean (drivers and
pedestrian alike)

Singaporeans blamed for housing woes

From: "truth"
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 04:42:09 GMT
Local: Thurs, Sep 24 2009 12:42 pm
Subject: Shitty Times blames Singaporeans for housing problems

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Straits Times Editorial: ...Its all YOUR FAULT!

This is an incredible editorial even by Straits Times standard. It makes no
mention of HDB failure to sufficient housing when the foreign influx caused
a population expansion of 400,000. The 23 Sept 2009 editorial puts the blame
for all the unhappiness surrounding the surge in HDB prices squarely on
ordinary Singaporeans :

"There is little doubt that state housing is affordable, whether new or
resale"

"Home seekers create problems for themselves when, as seen, they buy bigger
places than they can comfortably finance."

"They could also be unyielding about wanting to live.....for the (selfish?)
child-minding convenience".

"This newspaper would go further: If they choose to be obstinate about
quirks, they should not be hectoring the HDB for impossible concessions".

Well this newspaper is not a newspaper but a propaganda sheet. The PAP govt
through its FT policy took in 400,000 people in 3 years without the
corresponding increase of housing supply caused this problem. They now want
Singaporeans to shoulder the burden - lower their expectations, shoulder
more debt for housing or stay in smaller units. Straits Times is ridiculous
to berate Singaporeans for being obstinate, unyielding and selfish.....this
paper deserves its 142 ranking....it is nothing more than propaganda. They
have sunk to a new low blaming a problem created by the PAP govt on ordinary
Singaporeans who are now struggling to cope with the pain caused by poor
govt planning.
--------------------------------------
Watching HDB price behaviour, sensibly
http://business.asiaone.com/Business/My%2BMoney/Property/Story/A1Stor...

There is a rising pitch of anxiety evident in queries and feedback about HDB
housing in recent months. -ST -->
Wed, Sep 23, 2009The Straits Times

Editorial
THERE is a rising pitch of anxiety evident in queries and feedback about HDB
housing in recent months. These have centred on affordability mainly, no
surprise considering that the sudden spurt in private property prices since
July has boosted HDB values, which already were holding better during the
recession. Hence, complaints about cash over valuation. Why don't buyers
exercise their democratic right to not pay a premium by looking in towns
less 'prime'? Home buyers have also touched on policy issues like household
income ceiling and the operation of ethnic quotas. National Development
Minister Mah Bow Tan addressed most outstanding grouses in a well-timed
statement in Parliament last week, but such is the variety of need and the
habits of personal preference that assurances would still leave some
home-seekers unconvinced.
.
Affordability is a bugbear, which in turn influences notions of supply
relative to demand. Median income and the ratio of household income used for
loan service (up to 30 per cent, as a general rule) cited by the minister
are indicative of most people's ability to pay, but these are rough guides.
In every flat type of up to five rooms and the corresponding price ranges,
households which fall below the median income line could progressively be
less able to own their homes. That's a lot of families. Financing difficulty
can also arise when a family chooses a bigger flat than it can pay for, or
needs. There are far too many of these big-is-better purchasers. But this is
also where the comprehensiveness of HDB's income-differentiated schemes and
the different types of supporting grants available reinforce affordability.
.
There is little doubt that state housing is affordable, whether new or
resale, if one considers carefully precise matching need. The HDB has every
conceivable flat type and location to suit every budget. Home seekers create
problems for themselves when, as seen, they buy bigger places than they can
comfortably finance. They could also be unyielding about wanting to live in
'mature' towns or to be near their parents, for the (selfish?) child-minding
convenience. It is an odd mentality that regards only as 'ulu' the new towns
which otherwise score heavily in more spacious estate layout and the much
nicer, contemporary design of flats. And what of 'distance'? Farthest points
on this island are reachable inside an hour by public transport, faster by
car. Mr Mah urged buyers to be sensible about making 'trade-offs' between
location and price. This newspaper would go further: If they choose to be
obstinate about quirks, they should not be hectoring the HDB for impossible
concessions

posted by LuckySingaporean

GIC huge paper lost on UBS investment

From: "AleXX"
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 00:18:10 +0800
Local: Thurs, Sep 24 2009 12:18 am
Subject: Re: GIC huge paper lost on UBS investment

"truth" wrote in message
> Meanwhile, GIC's investment of 11 billion Swiss francs in mandatory
> convertible notes issued by UBS in March 2008 has taken a much worse
> battering than its Citi venture, despite various safeguards that were also
> built into the investment agreement with UBS.

> According to UBS's latest annual report, the UBS notes held by GIC must be
> exchanged for ordinary shares by March 5 next year, giving GIC an
> estimated 228.83 million shares.

> At Monday's closing price of 19.27 francs for UBS shares, those shares
> would be worth just 4.41 billion francs, or about 6.6 billion francs less
> than its original investment of 11 billion francs.

> Including the two yearly coupons of 9 per cent, or 990 million francs
> each, that GIC is entitled to over the two-year term of the UBS notes it
> holds, UBS's share price would have to reach 39.4 francs for GIC to break
> even on its investment in the bank, based on the current terms of
> conversion.

Looks like when he lost $Billions, you have to search for the small print in
the shit times for the news. But when he $millions, his propaganda
newspapers will help him to yell on top of his voice to the world.

Singapore has most US$billionaire per population

From: bear
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 01:11:27 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Thurs, Sep 24 2009 4:11 pm
Subject: Re: Singapore has most US$billionaire per population

On Sep 24, 12:20 am, "truth" wrote:

> If u take the population of Singapore of 4.3 billion and
> divide by the number of US$billionaires in singapore of
> 8 and do the same with the rest of the world, u will
> find that Singapore has the lowest population supporting
> one US$billionaire.
> This is another clear indication of the screwed up policies
> of the papist leegime which favours the rich and well
> connected while penalising the poor. The low tax regime
> also and no inheritance tax also help these people accumulate
> so much money.
> HK is next with a population of 10 million and 14 billionaires.
> America is third with a population of 303 million and 269
> billionaires.

The Gini co-eeficient has become more and more unfavourable, this is
not surprising at all. Even our fucked up neighbours like Indonesia
has better Gini co-efficient.

Myth over LKY's family holding high office

From: "truth"
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 14:39:50 GMT
Local: Thurs, Sep 24 2009 10:39 pm
Subject: Re: Myth over LKY's family holding high office

At 86 years old, his brain is weak and operating at less than 50%
capacity. His physical is suspect and his energy low. His capacity
for work is limited and his ability to take stress is low.
That is why he ended up making such disastrous judgement like
Singapore is in a "Golden Era." That Asia will be shielded from the
Western financial crisis.
He is still in power because he has used his dictatorial power to
decimate all who are a threat to him and his family.
In the FreeWest he would have been dead by now and his family
fallen into disgrace.

"Teshan" wrote in message
He's the best person for the job otherwise he would be voted out the
last ge..

On Sep 24, 12:40 pm, "truth" wrote:
> http://singaporeanskeptic.blogspot.com/2009/09/lee-kuan-yew-says-darn...
> Wednesday, September 23, 2009
> Lee Kuan Yew says the darndest thing.
> 'After five years, nobody doubts that he is able to do his job better than
> anybody else, so the question has stopped being asked.'
> -Harry Lee on Harry Lee Jr. in a Q&A to 10 hand-picked Moscow students

> This is the myth of the Lee family- that they were thrust into high
> positions just purely on their own abilities and the fact that Lee Kuan
> Yew
> was PM had absolutely nothing to do with it. This myth has been repeated
> ad
> nauseum that they themselves even believe in it. Not so for some
> Singaporeans.

> The problem is that no one else is given the chance to decide. How do we
> not
> know that there is someone who can do the same job better for half the
> price? It is time to out-source our PM's job to Singapore's PRCs or India
> Indians in the same way the PAP outsourced our jobs to them. :) Maybe
> there
> is some foreign talent who is much better than Hsien Loong.

> Harry has seriously lost touch with reality. But to preserve his sanity,
> his
> lackeys should have hand-picked the 10 students more carefully.

UBS survey shows Singapore slipping in standard of living

From: "truth"
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 03:58:40 GMT
Local: Wed, Sep 30 2009 11:58 am
Subject: The fall of Singapore has begun

http://www.yawningbread.org/

UBS survey shows Singapore slipping in standard of living

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

The Straits Times did a rather courageous thing on 26 September with
a feature on the latest Price and Earnings survey from UBS Bank. The survey
(field work March 2009) painted a rather unflattering picture of Singapore.

In a nutshell, it showed that Singapore is ranked as one of the
world's more expensive cities to live in, but people here earn only middling
wages. The result is that our purchasing power is far from sterling.
Compared to the last time the survey was carried out, in 2006, it also shows
a worsening trend.

The Straits Times wrote:

Singapore's worsened placing... highlights two possibilities: either
that consumption has become more costly, or pay packets have become lighter.
Both are worrying trends which could have crept into the country, serving a
double whammy to residents who are feeling the pinch from the downturn.

What accounts for the trend? More importantly, what are the social
and political costs if they persist?

Indeed, these are good questions to ask.

Another thing struck me from the survey: Whereas we tend to visualise
Singapore's economic standing in Asia as tied with Hong Kong for second
place to Japan, in many respects this is no longer true. Hong Kong is now
clearly ahead. Seoul has overtaken Singapore on many counts, Taipei too has
by some measures. Singapore has slipped.

Has our economic decline begun? I have argued many times previously
that decline begins with slippage in relative performance vis-à-vis our
neighbours. We won't feel poor initially. Life can still be very comfortable
and even be improving gradually as we slide gently into the second, then
third tier.

And there will be plenty of excuses available to help us deny that
sunset has begun.
For example, when the newspaper contacted Member of Parliament Seah
Kian Peng for his comments regarding the survey results, he said,

"The figures may be right, but the conclusion could be wrong."

Rather than look at prices and wages in isolation, he says the key
consideration should be: Do Singaporeans lead a better life than they did in
the past and are the poor taken care of?

"If the answer to both is yes, then moving up or down two notches
becomes mere semantics," he says.

UBS has been doing this kind of survey triennially since 1971. In
2009, it covered major 73 cities around the world, fifteen of which are in
the Asia-Pacific region.

Prices - global ranking

Prices are computed from a basket of 122 items, based on a Western
European lifestyle. The mix can be seen in the table at right. Some may ask
how representative his basket is compared to the Singapore lifestyle, but
seeing how westernised Singaporeans have become, I don't think it makes much
of a difference.

Singapore was ranked 24th out of 73 cities worldwide, only slightly
cheaper than Amsterdam (rank 23) and London (rank 21). Tokyo was 5th out of
73 cities and Hong Kong 28th.

Three years earlier, Singapore's price-ranking was 32. We climbed 8
places in the interim period, not the "two notches" that Seah spoke about.

If one adds rent to the basket, Singapore shoots up the 2009 worldwide
rankings from 24th (basket without rent) to 15th place (basket plus rent),
making us MORE expensive than London and Amsterdam. Tokyo goes up to 3rd
place. Hong Kong shoots up even more dramatically than Singapore to 11th.

Wages - global ranking

Wages are calculated from averages from 14 common occupations ranging
from unskilled (e.g. building labourer) to engineers and department heads.
UBS' report explained in its introduction that:

The data we collected includes standard local incomes and working
hours in addition to local consumer prices. The survey asked 112 questions
on wages, payroll taxes and working hours for 14 separate occupations. The
survey was conducted with a representative sample of companies, and
participants profiles were defined with maximum specificity with respect to
marital status, work experience and education.

In the net wages ranking, Singapore was placed 41st out of 73 cities,
thus the word "middling" I used above.
* * * * *
Comparing with Asia-Pacific cities

To better show where we stand in relation to our neighbours, the
charts below refer to the fifteen Asia-Pacific cities included in the
survey.

The first chart shows the relative price of the basket of 122 items,
without rent, indexed to the price of the same basket in New York. Singapore
is in second place, with Hong Kong very close.

If we look at wage levels from the 14 occupations, Singapore is
nowhere near second place. We stand lower than Seoul and Taipei, and we're
only twice the level of wages in Shanghai. We've been surpassed, with others
catching up.

(Note: the chart is based on net wages, which means wages net of
taxes, social security contributions, etc)

Purchasing power is a function of wages and prices. Since we have high
prices and middling wages, the purchasing power is not a pretty sight. We
rank 8th out of 15 Asia-Pacific cities. Even the average guy in Kuala Lumpur
can afford a better standard of living than us.

* * * * *

Why prices so high?

What is wrong with prices in Singapore? It's hard to say. The survey
does not contain enough data for us to tease out the problem. It may also
fail to account for quality. Take, for instance, this chart showing the
price of public transport:

As you can see, Singapore is one of the more expensive places, but
you'd have to be blind to think that the quality of public transport in
Manila or Mumbai is anything comparable to Singapore's.

However, the next chart may give us a clue as to how prices are pushed
up. On the left is the number of minutes the average person must work to
earn enough to buy 1 kilogram of uncooked rice. On the right is the number
of minutes of work needed to buy one McDonald's Big Mac.

Most places require less than twice the working time to buy a Big Mac
compared to buying 1 kg of rice. Singapore is one of the few places that
requires more than twice, in common with cities like Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur,
Manila and Mumbai -- not quite the set we normally imagine ourselves to
belong to.

What differences are there between uncooked rice and a Big Mac? Rice
has far fewer domestic inputs. We buy what has been imported, adding on a
little cost for storage, transport and retail space. Thus our purchasing
power over rice is really derived from the strength of the Singapore
Dollar's exchange rate.

A Big Mac includes many more domestic cost inputs. The buns are baked
locally, there is the rental cost of kitchen and dining space, power and
water, plenty of staff, disposal of trash, licences, etc. It appears that
our purchasing power is degraded by our own domestic cost inputs.

Another look at domestic cost inputs can be found in services. The UBS
survey has this to say:

Service prices reflect local labor costs

To compare global service costs as accurately as possible, we
analyzed a basket of 27 services. They ranged from classic expenses such as
haircuts, phone charges, dry cleaning, movie tickets and restaurant meals to
newer services of everyday consumption, including DSL Internet, training and
continuing education courses and tickets for a variety of leisure
activities. We have responded to the broader changes in consumption habits
by increasing the weight of services in our study from 20% to 22% in our
total basket of goods and services.

Here are the fifteen Asia-Pacific cities:

As you can see, Singapore is the second-most pricey of the lot. Does
this mean that our wages are high? Despite what UBS wrote, not necessarily.
What you pay in the price of services ultimately goes to more than wages; it
also goes to corporate profit and reinvestment as well as to the government
in the form of taxes and levies (including the Development Charge, which in
turn pushes up rents), and used for paying a bureaucracy, the military and
infrastructure investment. It can also be parked away through surpluses as
reserves.

As shown in the second chart above (wages), our wages aren't the
second highest in the Asia-Pacific. This suggests that the (second highest)
price of services here reflect more the elements of corporate profits and
government take. Our workers do not benefit commensurately form the high
price charged for services. Corporate profits may be kept up through the
lack of competition while the slice taken by the government stems from
political decisions.

How true is this? Economists might want to study the matter.

* * * * *
Four occupations

Now, let's look at the wages computed for four occupations. The next
two charts show data for a car mechanic and a cook:

The Singaporean car mechanic is paid significantly less than his
counterpart in Hongkong, also less than the guy in Taipei, and not much
differently from the mechanic in Seoul.

The Singaporean cook earns less than the guy in Seoul too.

The next two charts look at the higher end of the job scale: product
managers and engineers.

Among product managers, the Singaporean one is paid third highest
among the 15 cities; among engineers, fourth highest.

Our economy seems to be one where we have an extraordinary gap between
the powerful and the powerless, even by Asian standards -- countries not
known for soft-hearted socialism. Average wages for Singapore as a whole are
pulled down the city rankings because our low-paid are so lowly paid.
Meanwhile, one suspects that our prices seem to be kept up not so much by
labour costs but by profit-taking and the government's share.

With the resulting degradation of purchasing power, one can then ask:
Is the average Singaporean really having it so good?

© Yawning Bread

Singaporeans overpaying PM Lee

crazy chicken
New postPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:42 pm
Did you realize that each residents are paying LHL 54cents a year

1. Lee Hsien Loong - Singapore
Salary: $US2.47 million
Per head of population: 54c

2. Brian Cowen - Ireland
Salary: $US341,000
Per head of population: 9c

3. Donald Tsang Yum-Kuen - Hong Kong
Salary: $US516,000
Per head of population: 7c

4. Kevin Rudd - Australia
Salary: $US229,000
Per head of population: 1c

5. Stephen Harper - Canada
Salary: $US246,000
Per head of population: 0.7c

6. Nicolas Sarkozy - France
Salary: $US318,000
Per head of population: 0.5c

7. Gordon Brown - UK
Salary: $US279,000
Per head of population: 0.5c

8. Angela Merkel - Germany
Salary: $US303,000
Per head of population: 0.4c

9. Taro Aso - Japan
Salary: $US243,000
Per head of population: 0.2c

10. Barack Obama - United States
Salary: $US400,000
Per head of population: 0.1c

LKY lied on Citi investments

From: Damned-Virus-Data Miner providers
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 09:18:51 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Thurs, Sep 24 2009 12:18 am
Subject: Re: LKY lied on Citi investments

On Sep 23, 10:58 pm, "truth" wrote:

> When Temasek and GIC made those investments in
> American Banks, most Singaporeans were critical of
> the decision. And they were right when the American
> and Western financial system went into a melt down
> and those investments looked terrible with huge paper
> loses not long after. LKY has to defend those decision
> more than once and his defence was that those investments
> were for long term of up to 30 years. Most Singaporeans
> knew that this cunning old fox is just confusing Singaporeans
> in order to save his own skin on an extremely bad decision
> with Singaporeans wealth. Then Temasek shock Singaporeans
> and the world by cutting those investments at huge loses.
> Now we see that GIC is taking some profit on those
> "long term" investment less than two years after.
> So LKY lied to Singaporeans and the world that those
> investments are for long term of up to 30 years. Can u
> trust this slimmy old fox again ?


an addon message......so what? he becomes a super fart
afterall.............
after too much of good things happened from last time........

Pay for life for an HDB pigeon hole

From: bear
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 07:35:57 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Wed, Sep 23 2009 10:35 pm
Subject: Re: Pay for life for an HDB pigeon hole

> The Papist government took a piece of land they pay nothing or free of
> charge and started telling you it is worth $millions. They go on to build
> pigeon holes and tell you that each holes are worth the market price even
> though it has been "heavily subsidized". No money? No problem, but you can
> still buy and not before they clean off all your CPF savings and you pay the
> remaining mortgage until Thy Kingdom Commeth. You owed the Papist government
> a living. You have been enslaved to work and pay back those "jacked" housing
> loan for the rest of your life.

> Remember to vote for the PAP. They are your perpetual masters. Your fate and
> future are in their hands and determined by them as long as you are here and
> they are in power.

> Cheap "affordable" and heavily "subsidized" HDB pigeon holes selling at
> market value.

> http://business.asiaone.com/Business/My%2BMoney/Property/Story/A1Stor...

You pay $350k for a flat that cost less than $100k to build.

You don't have $350K? take a loan from the bank. Now you have not got
enough money to retire? Reverse mortgage your property, pray that you
die before you run out of money.

Why are you working for your entire life to buy a flat that does not
is not even 2 years of your salary, and you have not got a single cent
left when you die?

GIC makes $1.6bn on Citigroup sale

From: beng1 <5191 ...="" gmail.com="">
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 07:01:31 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Wed, Sep 23 2009 10:01 pm
Subject: GIC makes $1.6bn on Citigroup sale

GIC makes $1.6bn on Citigroup sale
The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) has realised
a $1.6bn (£977m) profit on its investment in Citigroup after reducing
its stake in the troubled bank to below 5pc.

By James Quinn
The GIC, one of Singapore’s two key sovereign wealth funds, originally
invested in the banking conglomerate in January 2008 as part of a
$14.8bn fund-raising.

The GIC exchanged $6.88bn of convertible preferred shares in Citigroup
for ordinary shares this summer as part of a wider share exchange, and
the sovereign wealth fund ended up with a holding in excess of 9pc,
while the US government holds 34pc.

In a statement, the fund said it made a $1.6bn gain on yesterday’s
share sale, and it also has a $1.6bn paper profit on the less than 5pc
stake it now holds in Citigroup. The profit is a by-product of the
four-fold increase in Citigroup’s shares since the start of March. The
share price rose 21 cents to $4.64 yesterday.

The GIC’s investment compares favourably with that of Temasek —
Singapore’s smaller sovereign wealth fund — which has sold stakes in
both Barclays and Bank of America at a loss.

FORMULA ONE singapore Entertainment

From: beng1 <5191 ...="" gmail.com="">
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 00:47:11 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Tues, Sep 22 2009 3:47 pm
Subject: FORMULA ONE singapore Entertainment
Monday, September 14th, 2009 05:50:00

Jim Kerr of Scottish rock band, Simple Minds
NOT content with having the only night race in the Formula One
calendar, Singapore will be adding even more excitement — and reason —
to attend to their second Singapore Grand Prix on the weekend of Sept
25 through 27.

Racing fans will be in for a big treat, with the 10-day celebration
that includes shopping and travel promotions, plus F1 Rocks
Singapore, a music fest that brings in the big names such as No
Doubt, Black Eyed Peas, Beyoncé, N*E*R*D, ZZ Top, Simple Minds, Jacky
Cheung and A-Mei.

The three-day spectacular, from Sept 24 to 26, will see top
international artistes fly into Singapore from all over the globe to
bring audiences an unforgettable and not-to-bemissed ‘East Meets West’
music extravaganza.

F1 Rocks fuses the world’s most popular annual sporting series with
the most iconic music stars to create an unrivalled experience for
Formula One and music fans alike.

MUCH ANTICIPATED RETURN: No Doubt is certain to blow fans away
Part of the Singapore GP Season which isan entire lifestyle
celebration complementing the world’s only Formula One night race, the
three-day event will see performances by artistes who between them
have sold over 300 million records worldwide, making this a truly mega-
star line up.

The show will also feature guest appearances from top Formula One
drivers and international celebrities.

These megastars will be performing full sets during the three nights
and ticket buyers for F1 Rocks will have this stunning opportunity to
enjoy these multi headlining, stand-alone concerts for the price they
would normally pay to see just one of these acts in Singapore.

Along with the global sensation that is F1 Rocks, two TV programmes
will be produced and will be broadcast
worldwide across a potential 188 Formula One territories; the first,
from F1 ROCKS Singapore with LG will be an hour-long music and
entertainment show, giving viewers unlimited access to F1 Rocks and
the glamorous world of Formula One with A-List music stars, celebrity
interviews, TV stunts, unique performances as well as aspirational and
lifestyle features.

The second will be a highoctane Music Special, showcasing the best
live music performances and interviews from F1 Rocks.

Chinese pop legend Jacky Cheung will be joined by Chinese pop diva A-
Mei, also known as the ‘Pride of Taiwan,’ for an exclusive performance
at the opening night on Sept 24.

F1 Rocks Singapore with LG will be the first time that both artistes
will share the same stage on the same night. Jacky has won numerous
awards, including the RTHK Top 10 Gold Song Award, the Jade Solid Gold
Award and is one of Time Magazine’s “25 most influential people in New
Hong Kong” and A-Mei won a staggering six awards at this year’s Metro
Mandarin Awards. They will be joined by a whole host of exciting Asian
artistes, including Sodagreen and Da Mouth.

The show will also be a number of firsts for superband No Doubt. F1
Rocks will be the band’s first performance outside of the US in
seven years and their first outdoor show in Singapore ever. No Doubt
was formed in Anaheim, California in early 1987 and have never looked
back, with huge hits including Don’t Speak, Hella Good, Just A Girl
and Spiderwebs.

No Doubt have sold over a staggering 30 million albums worldwide, with
their first album released in 1995 entitled Tragic Kingdom selling
15 million copies and their 2001 multi-platinum album Rock Steady
earning the band two Grammy Awards. With their last performance in
Singapore dating back to 2002, No Doubt’s much- anticipated return is
certain to blow fans away

Mas Selamat having a good time in Msia

From: "Anamalai Sinnathamby"
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 08:28:10 +1000
Local: Tues, Sep 22 2009 6:28 am
Subject: Mas Selamat 'happy' to be detained in Msia

Malaysia should send him to singapore where he will be properly interogated
to divulge all his activities and hence make the region safer. Malaysian
authorities are probably treating him like a maharaja because they probably
think in their deluded minds he is a hero.

Singaporeans need not apply....

A real ads looking for foreign workers instead of locals...

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From: publeak
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 02:28:17 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Mon, Sep 21 2009 5:28 pm
Subject: Re: Singaporean need not apply .........

I heard for PR employer only pays 5% CPF. Even if a job ad does not
discriminate its obvious who is cheaper to employ. Other factors like
disruptions going for reservist training etc could also be taken into
consideration.

SMRT Taxi driver Dr. Cai Minnjie - the Phd research scientist

From: Zanzibar
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 03:14:08 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Mon, Sep 21 2009 6:14 pm
Subject: Re: SMRT Taxi driver Dr. Cai Minnjie, the Phd. research scientist .

On Sep 19, 11:34 pm, "truth" wrote:

> http://taxidiary.blogspot.com/

> "uputih" wrote in message

> news:rt2dna76B7aKbinXnZ2dnVY3goqdnZ2d@giganews.com...

> > Would appreciate very much, if any newsgroup reader, could forward me the
> > Blog address of Dr. Cai Minnjie, currently the infamous SMRT taxi driver.

> > Much thanks in anticipation- Hide quoted text -

Why this taxidriver with a Phd from stanford cannot find a job..

The Bizarre Behaviour of some Singaporeans

From: "kingkong"
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 07:58:34 +0800
Local: Tues, Sep 22 2009 7:58 am
Subject: Re: The Bizzare Behaviour of some Singaporeans

What is so difficult to explain ?

Unlike ordinary Germans, Singaporean workers do not have any social welfare
benefits and therefore need to work like a dog in order to maintain the
status quo.

Singapore is not welfare state, there is no social market economy or so call
"Sonderweg" system.

A Singaporean worker have no work union protection. There's no minimum
salary in Singapore. Salary keep falling further and further in Singapore. A
worker here do not have 6 week paid holidays, there is no unemployment
benefits if you are layoff, there is no generous housing allowance for
married couples,, no 2 years maternity leave, no generous healthcare
insurance, no pension after 55, no free medicines, no free university
education, etc, etc. And we cannot come to work drunk like some German
workers.

We Singaporean are constantly being threaten with job loss and lower
standard of living.

Under this sort of "fear" , how can we relax ?

German companies are very lucky to exploit Singaporean workers because our
cost is 3 times cheaper and our productivity is 40% higher because in
Germany you can't tell workers to change shift or sack workers or do
anything without consulting their unions.

Why do you German companies are moving to Poland or China or Russia ?

Who would want to work like a dog if they are so generous paid (minimum wage
US$25/hr) like the Germans ?

"truth" wrote in message
>
> - observations made by a German national who has lived in
> Singapore for 9 years.

> 44 years of economic and material success have spawned some
> very strange behaviours among Singaporeans. They spent so much to buy a
> house or flat, furnished it up like a palace, but spent their time
> outside, most of the time at work. And the maids are the ones enjoying the
> million-dollar or multi-million-dollar assets.

> Then they pay so much, the highest in the world, for a car only
> to park at home. Too expensive to drive, too many ERPs and car park
> charges to pay. And they are encouraged to park their cars at home and
> take public transport, being cheaper and more convenient.

> And when Singaporeans travel, instead of seeing the places,
> they went shopping. The best part is that they would head for the cheapest
> bargains, buying stuff that they could get in Chinatown or pasar malam, at
> even cheaper prices. But they are still happy that they got a bargain.

> And while the heartlanders are busy trying to make a life here,
> being told to bust off if they are not happy, which they could not, the
> rich and presumably very happy and contented citizens are buying up
> properties overseas just in case they need to make that escape from this
> paradise..

> While many Singaporeans are thinking of jumping ship, or
> preparing to jump ship, hoards of new immigrants are rushing in to take
> their place in this paradise.

> And to top it all up, they keep complaining about the govt and
> all the policies that they found unpalatable, but come every election,
> they will vote and return the govt to power.

> Strange Singaporean behaviour

Singaporean Move-star Felicia Lee found murdered

From: beng1 <5191 ...="" gmail.com="">
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2009 03:47:37 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Sun, Sep 20 2009 6:47 pm
Subject: Singaporean Playboy por.n-actress murdered

Singaporean Por.n-star Felicia Lee found murdered

Former actress and model Felicia Lee who went by the stage name of
Felicia Tang, was found dead in her Monrovia, California apartment
last week. The 31-year-old was reportedly tortured and murdered by her
45-year-old boyfriend Brian Lee Randone

Watch her in action here....

http://singapore-scandals.blogspot.com/

Felicia

Brian the murderer...

Nordin Top - wanted terrorist is DEAD!

From: beng1 <5191 ...="" gmail.com="">
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 17:28:06 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Sat, Sep 19 2009 8:28 am
Subject: Nordin Top - wanted terrorist is DEAD!

PM Lee congratulates Indonesia for successful anti-terror raid
By Imelda Saad, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 18 September 2009 1758 hrs

NGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has congratulated Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the successful raid by the
Indonesian police that led to the death of wanted terrorist Noordin
Mohammed Top.

In his letter to President Yudhoyono on Friday, Mr Lee said it is a
significant achievement that will make Indonesia and the region safer.

But the prime minister added that although terror groups linked to Top
will be weakened by his death, they still pose a threat to the region.

He said Singapore will continue to work closely with Indonesia and
other regional governments to combat terrorism.

Mr Lee said he is confident that under President Yudhoyono's able
leadership and the professionalism of the Indonesian police and
security agencies, Indonesia will score more successes against
terrorists in future.

Temasek ready to invest as rally reverses losses

Temasek ready to invest as rally reverses losses

Temasek, the parent of Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT) which is poised to take over Eircom, recovered from most of its portfolio losses this year as markets rallied, giving it firepower for new deals.

Chief executive Ho Ching said any dip in markets could be a buying opportunity for the $122bn (€83bn) investment firm that is still open to buying financials and investing in emerging markets.

Temasek, which has telecoms investments across the globe, lost over an estimated $4bn on selling its stakes in Bank of America and Barclays, but said it had benefited from investing in rights issues for its portfolio firms such as Standard Chartered, since these investments more than doubled by the end of July.

"We are in a very good cash position," Ms Ho said at Temasek's annual review yesterday. "We think there are lots of opportunities in (China and India) over the long term."

The review showed Temasek's portfolio slumped S$55bn or around 30pc to S$130bn in the year to end-March. Its portfolio then rose 32pc to S$172bn by end-July, and its August performance was in line with market indexes, Ms Ho said.

The firm's value-at-risk was S$28bn at the end of March, meaning it had a 16pc probability it would lose that amount or more this financial year, down from a value-at-risk of S$40bn a year earlier, the review said.

"We believe the worst of the global meltdown risks are behind us," said Ms Ho. "While there are some green shoots of growth, some structural risks still remain for the medium term," she said.

Temasek is Singapore's second biggest sovereign wealth fund after the Government of Singapore Investment Corp.

Differences

Ms Ho, the wife of Singapore's prime minister, said Temasek's board would still search for her successor after chief executive-designate and former BHP Billiton chief Chip Goodyear unexpectedly resigned in July over strategic differences.

The investment company, whose sole shareholder is Singapore's Ministry of Finance, said net profit for the financial year fell two-thirds to S$6.2bn, as it was hit by losses on financial stocks and lower contributions from earnings by its portfolio firms, like DBS Group.

"Like investors everywhere they're just relieved that the market pulled back from the brink," said David Cohen of Action Economics in Singapore.

Eircom is preparing for its fifth change of ownership since its flotation to STT.

Eircom's parent company, Australian fund Eircom Holdings (ERC), has recommended shareholders accept the AU$225m (€133m) cash and shares offer made by STT.

The deal involves the transfer of the entire share issue of ERC to the new entity called Emerald Communications (Cayman) SPC (ECC) and values the firm at just over €132.5m.

Independent.ie, 18 Sep 2009

Rich crowding out ordinary Singaporeans

From: "truth"
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 02:55:14 GMT
Local: Wed, Sep 16 2009 10:55 am
Subject: Rich crowding out ordinary Singaporeans

truth comment: the poor has got no place in the singapore which
the papist leegime created. the statistics are confirming this trend.
more and more ordinary singaporeans will have to move to the
poor areas around the region to live out their sunset years. will u
continue to support the papist leegime policy of turning singapore
into a place for the rich only ?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/15/wook-kundor-age-107-seeks_n_...
Singapore most tycoon-dense

NEW YORK - Singapore has the highest density of millionaires at 8.5
per cent of the population, according to a Boston Consulting Group study.

Switzerland is second, at 6.6 per cent, followed by Kuwait, at 5.1 per
cent.

In fourth place is the United Arab Emirates, at 4.5 per cent, then the
United States, at 3.5 per cent.

The number of millionaires worldwide shrank 17.8 per cent to nine
million, as the global recession caused the first worldwide contraction in
assets under management in nearly a decade.

Europe and North America were hardest hit in that regard, posting 22
per cent declines.

The US still boasts 3.9 million millionaires, the highest worldwide.

Wealth dropped 11.7 per cent to US$92.4 trillion (S$131.5 trillion),
and a return to 2007 levels of wealth will take six years, said the study
that examined assets overseen by the asset-management industry.

Also hit hard were offshore wealth centres like Switzerland and the
Caribbean, where assets declined by 8 per cent to US$6.7 trillion last year
from US$7.3 trillion in 2007.

Europe posted a slightly higher US$32.7 trillion of assets under
management, edging out North America for the wealthiest region, though total
wealth in the region dropped 5.8 per cent.

Latin America was the only region to report a gain in assets under
management, posting a 3 per cent uptick from US$2.4 trillion in 2007 to
US$2.5 trillion last year.

Do I smell a General Election round the corner?

From: "truth"
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 13:43:38 GMT
Local: Wed, Sep 16 2009 9:43 pm
Subject: Re: Do I smell a General Election round the corner?

The ground is extremely bitter. Internal polling indicated only
20+% job approval rating.
So these measures are to sweeten the ground first.
Will not be this year. Could be next as there is a small window
of economic opportunity before a second dip.

"The Cynic" wrote in message

> Have you all noticed that the latest developments in the corridors of
> power are aimed at appeasing locals, eg, curbs on property
> speculation, setting a cap on immigrants, taking measures to make
> Chinese nationals learn basic English and increasing allowances for
> full time NSmen. These are some of the grouses that have been
> simmering on the ground for a long time but the MIW either brushed
> them off or justified their stance. One MIW even went to the extent of
> saying that China mei mei at kopitiams created jobs for locals.

> However, the groundswell must now have alarmed the hierarchy and hence
> they are taking remedial steps. Why the sudden interest in listening
> to the ground? Obviously they intend to hold a General Election soon.
> Hence, they have decided to go soft. We can expect more yearend
> goodies and payouts, and then GENERAL ELECTION.

Singapore prostitutes are driven out of business

From: "truth"
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 13:20:14 GMT
Local: Wed, Sep 16 2009 9:20 pm
Subject: Even Singapore prostitutes are driven out of business

http://mrwangsaysso.blogspot.com/

Citizens in the Vice Trade Up Against Strong Foreign Competition
Tougher rules for new hotels
By Kor Kian Beng

THE Government will come down hard on new hotels that rent rooms by the
hour, as it tightens the rules for these places which are often seen as
hotbeds of prostitution.

Newcomers applying for an operating licence have to justify why they are
offering such rates. In addition, they have to install closed-circuit
television systems, and hire guards to preserve the safety of their guests
and look out for possible illegal activities.

Hoteliers with an eye on offering such rooms in residential areas will
face an even harder time. They are required 'to engage the community and
respond to concerns of residents', said Mr S. Iswaran, Senior Minister of
State for Trade and Industry, without elaborating.

He announced the new measures in Parliament on Monday. Singapore Tourism
Board's director of resource development, Ms Rebecca Lim, said the new rules
take effect immediately but apply only to new hotels.
In the debates about foreigners versus citizens in Singapore, the sad plight
of our local prostitutes is often neglected.

In the first place, the fact that you've chosen to be a prostitute will
often mean that you're already hard-pressed to find any better way of making
a living. Unfortunately, nowadays you not only have to compete with other
Singaporean prostitutes, you also have to compete with prostitutes from
different countries.

And the competition is growing.

When I was a DPP many years ago, I would come across criminal cases
involving foreign prostitutes every now and then. (Prostitution itself is
not a crime in Singapore - however, prostitutes tend to show up in criminal
cases from time to time, either as victims or witnesses). Back then, foreign
prostitutes tended to be either from Thailand or the Philippines. Nowhere
else, really.

Nowadays, the Thais and the Filipinas are still here, but there are also
foreign prostitutes from a much more international background. Even
Wikipedia, the world's most popular online encyclopaedia, comments on the
wide range of prostitutes' nationalities at Orchard Towers - "They are
primarily from Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Russia, Ukraine
and a few from mainland China and South America".

The ladies from China even give newspaper interviews now and then. And the
wide selection of nationalities available at Geylang recently won praise
from a German expatriate.

How did all these women get here? It cannot be the case that the Singapore
government has not noticed their presence. Perhaps the PAP has been too
liberal with its foreign talent policies.

Posted by Mr Wang Says So

PAP chenghoo kon lan chiao weh

From: Siansiansian
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 09:13:12 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Thurs, Sep 17 2009 12:13 am
Subject: Re: PAP chenghoo kon lan chiao weh

On Sep 16, 10:49 pm, "AleXX" wrote:


> Those who understand, read, write and speaks mandarin has advantages of
> doing business in China. Fuck these Papist Wooden Scholars off..!!! These
> mandarin speaking lots are the ones most got cheated and conned by these
> mainlanders because of they think they can overcome the language barrier and
> so to get themselves involved.

One of my old classmate was swindled millions of dollars in the late
90s, and he had to declare bankrupt because of his investment in
China.

This is not the fault of CCP, but the ordinary sucker businessmen that
can happen anywhere in the world.
==================================================

Singapore sees Mandarin as its future
Wed, Sep 16, 2009
Reuters
SINGAPORE - A cacophony of Mandarin and English echo through the streets of Singapore's Chinatown as crowds of shoppers buy joss sticks and fruit as offerings to the spirits during the Seventh Month Ghost Festival.

English has long united the ethnically diverse island-state but Singapore's leaders now foresee a time when Mandarin will be the country's dominant language and they are aggressively encouraging their people to become fluent in Chinese.

'Both English and Mandarin are important because in different situations you use either language. But Mandarin has become more important,' said Chinatown shopkeeper Eng Yee Lay.

Hit hard by the global slowdown, strengthening ties with China has taken on a strategic imperative in Singapore which seeks to leverage the bilingual skills of its ethnic Chinese majority to get a larger slice of China's fast expanding economic pie.

'With the growing importance of China on the world stage, Chinese Singaporeans who are competent in the language and familiar with the culture would have a distinct advantage when working and interacting with Chinese nationals,' Lim Sau Hoong, chairwoman of the Promote Mandarin Council, told Reuters.

The government-sponsored campaign to promote Mandarin began in 1979 to unite under one language Singapore's disparate Chinese communities that spoke a multitude of dialects passed on by their ancestors who came from China in the 19th and early 20th century.

Unifying the Chinese majority in a country with sizeable Malay and Indian minorities was a priority and in the early days the Speak Mandarin Campaign discouraged ethnic Chinese from speaking the dialects that prevailed such as Hokkien.

Now, with a majority of Singaporeans speaking Mandarin in their homes, according to government figures, the focus is on improving fluency in spoken and written Mandarin.

'In two generations, Mandarin will become our mother tongue,' said Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at the launch of the 2009 Speak Mandarin Campaign earlier this year.

His vision is for Singapore to become China's Southeast Asia hub as it expands its commercial interests in the region, while Singapore firms would entrench their positions in China, giving them a first-mover advantage over foreign firms.

Already, despite its small demographic size, Singapore was China's third largest foreign investor with total foreign direct investment of S$6.5 billion in 2008, a 40 per cent rise from 2007, according to the Chinese government.

Trade between the countries has risen 17-fold since 1991 to S$91.4 billion ($63.34 billion) in 2008

LKY system of government is dangerous to global freedom

From: Damned-Virus-Data Miner providers
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2009 19:47:47 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Tues, Sep 15 2009 10:47 am
Subject: Re: LKY system of government is dangerous to global freedom

On Sep 14, 11:34 pm, "truth" wrote:

> truth comment: so now someone has written a book exposing the
> evils of lky system of government. for many years now i have been
> warning the free west to watchout for this megalomaniac, lky who
> wants to establish his system of government for the whole world
> so that he will be remembered in history as the greatest politician
> ever live.

> http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/sep/13/freedom-for-sale-john-kam...
> Freedom for Sale by John Kampfner
> John Kampfner's study of the Singapore style of government - now spreading
> across the world - chillingly shows how much is lost under this brand of
> democracy, says Peter Preston

> a.. Somehow, as the last millennium began to turn up its toes, Winston
> Churchill's "least worst" system of government became a quasi-religion for
> those who worshipped shining cities on hills. Democracy, loosely defined,
> had slain the red dragon of Marxism. Henceforth, St George Bush could launch
> his crusades against the infidel (waging more wars to end wars). Ballot
> boxes possessed the supposed power to deliver peace, harmony and full
> partnership in global growth. They magically separated the good guys from
> the bad guys.
> But now, much assisted by John Kampfner's acidulous essays in autocratic
> reality, we can all wake up. Kampfner, political journalist turned human
> rights campaigner, isn't dealing here with the shambles of Afghanistan. His
> more amorphous target is the anaesthetised freedom of the city state of his
> birth, Singapore, and the insidious spread of Lee Kuan Yew's model
> democracy - not just to Malaysia, but on to Beijing and beyond.

> Can you have economic success without political freedom? The Bush and Blair
> camps would probably answer no, with a windy rhetorical flourish. Capitalism
> depends on the market and the market depends on human beings (aka consumers)
> exercising free choice. But Singapore has slyly inserted another level of
> choice. It has made what Kampfner calls "a pact" with its citizenry. You can
> accrete wealth and trappings, eat good food, live in fine houses and enjoy a
> "good" life: just don't rock our boat.

> It's a covert deal intended to keep everyone happy. It offers those who've
> made it the ability to keep it. It gives new generations of loyal citizens
> the prospect that they, too, can grow rich and contented. The price - a
> certain quiescence - doesn't seem so high by the side of a swimming pool.
> What alternative is there? Utter a word out of place and you'll be sued,
> banned or taxed out of existence. Play the game and the world smiles with
> you. Free choice can mean choosing not to get involved.

> There's one further factor that Kampfner shrewdly pops into this pot: simple
> fear, as in terror of chaos. Lee Kuan Yew, like his disciples in Kuala
> Lumpur, trades on fear of communal violence. Beijing has centuries of civil
> war and imploding dynasties to shiver the timbers of its fledgling tycoons.
> Vladimir Putin, offering order against the drunken debacles of the Yeltsin
> era, adds Moscow to the list. And so, from India to Berlusconi's Italy, to
> Brown's phone-tapping Britain, we see true freedoms under attack, fading,
> dying.

> It is a pungent thesis, argued with verve and an abundance of telling
> detail. Maybe the force diminishes as we reach Obama, because he doesn't
> (yet) fit. Maybe the shock of the new blinds Kampfner to the grot of the
> old. Was there ever a golden age when Labour in office served all of the
> people all of the time? And Kampfner's habit of parading his travel
> schedules in the present tense - like Alan Whicker playing John Pilger -
> gets irritating.

> But none of this diminishes the fundamental questions of Freedom for Sale,
> often posed with a clarity that makes you wince. We in the west still
> swagger over a cold war won; we still see, if not the end of history, then a
> dividing line with grim things past; we still employ the verbiage of
> liberation, hope and achievement. Has the crunch squeezed all of that out of
> us? No, not quite. Business as usual remains somewhere on the back of the
> menu. But what does it amount to?

> Government by some of the people for some of the people (the ones who
> matter). Election by clique, twist and fiddle. Lip service to public
> service. And fear rippling onwards, as rationale or excuse. Where will this
> cowardly new world go when the threat is real? Is there a strong man who
> will bust through the facade of freedom and construct a rescue pact? It's
> where John Kampfner's grisly logic takes us next, one more reason to read
> and flinch. Perhaps we haven't seen anything yet.

The addon to the message, he is not only creating global freedo
trouble but also allow local troubles which whatever had happened until now....business freedom is also a problem under his MM rule of Singapore.....isn't it so?

PAP in Leadership Crisis ?

From: "truth"
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 03:04:12 GMT
Local: Tues, Sep 15 2009 11:04 am
Subject: Why current pap leaders are fuckup ?

http://temasekreview.com/?p=12811
The PAP in crisis (Part 3): Lack of real political leaders in a team of
technocrats
September 15, 2009 by admin
By Eugene Yeo, Consultant Editor

[In this classic five-part series, Eugene Yeo will examine the inherent
weaknesses of the ruling PAP, its implications for Singapore and possible
scenarios in the post-LKY era.]

The Singapore model of government which was characterized by a high degree
of efficiency with minimal fuss was often referred to by admirers and
detractors alike as "Singapore inc".

The entire government is run along the lines of a major corporate company
with the Prime Minister as the CEO and the ministers as directors of various
departments. With literally no opposition to speak of, Parliament became a
mere "board meeting" to rubber-stamp decisions already made by the party
honchos.

Of course this definition of "Singapore inc" is pretty narrow as it includes
the mammoth bureaucracy and various government-linked companies connected in
an intricate network of mutual interests and relations.

After 50 years of uninterrupted rule, the PAP has become the de facto
government in Singapore and as the boundary between party and state becomes
increasingly blurred, the political aspect of governance is relegated to the
backdrop as ministers are handpicked from outside the party and parachuted
almost immediately into their respective positions in government.

In a typical political party like the British Conservative Party,
minister-wannabes usually spend the early years of their political careers
learning the ropes, gaining experience, building bridges and soliciting
grassroots support in the lower rungs of the party hierarchy. They will have
to prove themselves as capable political leaders within the party first
before they are allowed to assume positions in the government (in the event
their party win the general elections).

The current PAP bypasses this essential route for budding politicians due to
a weak party support base probably kept in this way deliberately by the
senior leaders to pre-empt a challenge to their leadership from young turks
in the party. Hence they are besieged by a perennial leadership crisis in
which they have to resort to recruiting "talent" from outside the party.

The PAP's definition of "talent" is based chiefly on one's academic
qualification, profession and status in society which explains their
fondness for lawyers, doctors, engineers and senior civil servants. However,
while these "talents" may be excellent leaders in their respective
occupations, they may not necessarily good politicians.

A political leader is different from a CEO of a company. Governing a nation
is not the same as running a business. Not only must a political leader be
equipped with the basic credentials on paper, he/she must possess the
uncanny ability to understand the concerns on the ground, communicate with
the people and to inspire a generation to follow his/her leadership.

Some are born to be politicians while others are not, but what is certain is
that all will need to have their political skills and acumen trained and
honed by passing through the school of life and unfortunately, given the
undemocratic nature of the PAP and Singapore's political landscape, there is
dearth of astute, intelligent and empathetic politicians in Singapore who
can connect with the ground and lead the government bureaucracy at the same
time.

The present PAP cabinet is full of technocrats, but short of political
leaders. MM Lee, having gone through the baptism of fire is perhaps the only
minister with real political experience. Technocrats are good followers,
capable administrators and they can get things done quickly, but they are
hardly the type of leaders who will capture the attention of the masses and
motivate them to work for a worthy cause.

The lack of political training and experience is a key reason why PAP
leaders have been making so many insensitive comments, outrageous gaffes and
callous statements in public much to the amusement and fury of the
citizenry.

From Prime Minister Lee's infamous "fix the opposition" Freudian slip,
Charles Chong's deplorable "lesser mortal" and Tharman's hilarious
"strategic purpose" which would have caused politicians elsewhere to be
cruxified by the people, the PAP is only saved by a combination of
coincidental factors unique to Singapore - a dormant opposition, compliant
media and apathetic citizenry.

The PAP's current batch of MPs, especially the new recruits who did not have
to face an electoral battle seriously lacked the charisma, communication
skills, empathy, intelligence and most importantly, the "X-factor" of a good
politician. They may be leaders in their respective professions and careers,
but politics is a different ballgame altogether.

As they face no formidable challenges from the opposition, media or the
people, they do not have the opportunity to hone their political skills.

MM Lee said recently that "political leaders cannot be trained, but must be
found and be people with passion." (Channel News Asia, 2 September 2009). He
is only partly correct. Some are born politicians while others are forced to
become politicians by the surrounding circumstances.

In his early days as a politician, MM Lee was outshadowed by his party
colleague Lim Chin Siong who was a passionate and fiery orator. It was he
who won over the Chinese support base for the PAP, enabling the PAP to win
the legislative council elections in 1959. Being English educated and
spending 3 out of the last 10 years in Britain, Harry Lee was not proficient
in Mandarin and Hokkien, the lingua franca of Singapore in the 1950s.

Lee became a strong, authoritarian and some would say oppressive leader
because he had to fight for his own political survival after being forced
into a corner by the communists and leftists within the PAP who almost
caused the government to collapse when 13 of them left to form the Barisan
Sosialists. Without these traumatic experiences, Lee would never grow and
develop as a political leader.

According to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, only the fittest will
survive in nature and similiarly in the cruel world of politics, only the
most talented, capable and astute politicians will make their mark on
history. There is a Chinese saying: "Heroes are created by time and
circumstances." Lee himself is a product of the tumultuous period in
Singapore's history when a strong leader was needed to lift it out of
political chaos and anarchy. He was the right person at the right place and
time.

The PAP's current leaders are like caged birds who have never flown in the
sky as they did not go through the baptism of fire like the first generation
leaders. To compound matters, there is no opposition for them to pit their
skills against in Parliament. Without the intellectual rigors of
parliamentary debates to stimulate their minds, many of them become
inflexible, ossified and one-dimensional in their thoughts.

Likewise, the lack of any challenge to their positions mean that they can
take the Singaporeans for granted without paying a political price for it.
They do not have to court the people for their votes since they are almost
guaranteed to win either via walkovers or safe seats in GRCs. Even in
one-to-one fights, the opposition candidate is often of such low calibre
that he/she will not pose a serious threat at all.

They do not have to be equipped with excellent communication and PR skills
when dealing with the media because Singapore journalists will never dare to
contradict or rebuke them. In the rare instances when a public gaffe is
made, the faithful journalist can be expected to take the rap for
"misquoting" their words since they are paid by SPH, a state-linked company.
That's why when our Prime Minister was interviewed by the western media, he
always appeared awkward, uncomfortable and unnatural. Unlike the local
media, foreign journalists usually minced no words in their questions which
can be rather sharp, acerbic and cruel.

Our PAP MPs are highly protected "endangered species" in Singapore. Any
forms of public display of disrespect or contempt for them will be
immediately stamped out with the culprit being arrested and charged for a
plethora of laws such as illegal assembly, rioting, harrassement,
threatening a public official etc. Not too long ago, a mentally retarded
teenager who slammed a chair against the glass door of a RC during a meeting
with a PAP MP was arrested by the police on the same night though nobody was
injured and no property was damaged. To spare the rod will spoil the child.
How can the PAP expect its MPs to be trained as politicians when they are so
pampered in such an artifically coistered environment without any challenges
or dangers?

The lack of real political leaders among the younger MPs and ministers will
mean that the old guards have to hang around longer than they should to help
them learn the ropes. However, few will find a government led by group of
octagenarians like the ex-Soviet Union inspiring. Even the Chinese Communist
Party have set a limit to ages of their Politburo leaders. Under ex
Paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, an unwritten rule was introduced that the
leaders more than the age of 70 will have to retire from all positions of
public office "gracefully" out of their own personal accords which he
personally led by example (though he held on to the coveted position of the
Chairman of the Central Military Commission).

Singapore has produced many successful corporate leaders, technocrats and
civil servants, but it has few capable politicians to speak of because of
the politically apathetic environment in general, a disinterested and
nonchalant citizenry, a controlled media and a system which does not promote
political competition.

The PAP is facing a major leadership crisis that is largely of its own
doing. The ruling elite want to find obedient, permissive and compliant
"leaders" who are smart, capable and motivated at the same time, but this is
simply impossible because real political leaders are their own men. They
have their own ideas, visions and principles and they will never bend over
to the will of others. Such a "leader" does not exist in reality at all.

On the other hand, if the PAP leadership were to appoint somebody with an
independent streak to take over the reins of the party, it may risk internal
turmoil because he may want to change certain rules and regulations which
may affect the vested interests and legacy of some people.

Either way, the PAP's crisis is Singapore's crisis because it has dominated
all institutions of Singapore to the extent that there are no viable
alternatives waiting in the wings of the opposition to replace them. If the
PAP should fail, then Singapore will surely fail for the party has
entrenched itself deeply in all aspects of the state which cannot function
without orders from the party.

In a way, the PAP is a victim of its own overwhelming success in maintaining
and perpetuating its political hegemony over the years to the exclusion of
its opponents and the eradication of any space for the meaningful expression
of political dialogue, discourse and dissent in Singapore.

As ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad once said, the opposition
is like a mirror for the government to see its own flaws. Without a robust,
strong and credible opposition to check on it, the PAP has grown complacent,
arrogant and confused after years of one-party rule for there is nowhere
else in Singapore now for them to hear the brutal truth of their own
deficiencies. The MPs are all yes-men, the media dare not criticize or
offend them and no Singaporean will show any form of disrespect to them in
public. Such a surreal scenario which masks the fault lines of our society
does not bode well for Singapore's future.

What will become of the PAP when the real power behind the throne finally
passed on? Given its entrenched position, it will probably manage to
continue its rule for a number of years. Singapore will still retain its
economic superiority over its neigbhors while losing its slight edge now
over its nearest competitors Hong Kong and Taiwan, but its inherent social
tensions and divisions will worsen, caused partly by a government filled by
technocrats who are grossly out of touch by the reality on the ground.