Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Marina Bay Sands linked to HK Triads

SpringSage wrote:
subject: Sands link to Chinese traids Reply with quote
The following is a report from Reuters that shows that Sands is linked with the Chinese triads. Under the Casino Control Act 2006, the Casino Regulatory Authority should investigate this linkage between the Sands Macau operations and the Chinese triads. If the linkage is true, the Act requires that the Sands casino license be revoked.
Special report: High-rollers, triads and a Las Vegas giant

By Matt Isaacs and Reuters staff
SAN FRANCISCO/MACAU (Reuters) - Late last autumn, a Hong Kong jury convicted four men of a conspiracy to commit bodily harm and a fifth of soliciting a murder.

At first, the men had been ordered to break the arms and legs of a dealer at Sands Macau suspected of helping a patron cheat millions of dollars from the business. Later, a call went out to murder the dealer, court records show. But then one of the gangsters balked and reported the plans to authorities.

The plot's mastermind, according to testimony in previously undisclosed court transcripts obtained by Reuters, was Cheung Chi-tai. At trial a witness identified Cheung as a leader of the Wo Hop To -- one of the organized crime groups in the region known as triads. Another witness, a senior inspector with the Hong Kong police called to testify because he is an expert on the triads, identified Cheung by name as someone who would commit crimes for money. Cheung's organized crime affiliation was corroborated in interviews for this article with law enforcement and security officials intimately familiar with the gaming industry in Macau.

The murder-for-hire case sheds light on the links between China's secretive triad societies and Macau's booming gambling industry. It also raises potentially troubling questions about one of the world's largest gaming companies, Las Vegas Sands, which plans to open a $5.5 billion Singapore casino resort in late April.

Cheung was not just named as a triad member but also, according to a regular casino patron testifying in the trial, "the person in charge" of one of the VIP rooms at the Sands Macau, the first of three casinos run here by Las Vegas Sands. In addition, Cheung has been a major investor in the Neptune Group, a publicly traded company involved in casino junkets -- the middlemen who bring wealthy clients to Macau's gambling halls. Documents show that his investment allowed him a share in the profits from a VIP gambling room at the casino.

An examination of Hong Kong court records, U.S. depositions from the former president of Sands, and interviews with law enforcement and security officials in both the U.S. and Macau, reveals a connection between Las Vegas Sands and Cheung -- ties that could potentially put Sands in violation of Nevada gaming laws.

The Reuters investigation is a collaboration with the Investigative Reporting Program at University of California, Berkeley.

U.S. casinos operating in Macau are all headquartered in Nevada and must comply with that state's laws which prohibit "unsuitable" associations that "discredit" its gaming industry. Those laws are meant to keep organized crime figures out of the casinos.

Leading up to its public offering in Hong Kong last November, Sands China, a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands, acknowledged the risks of working with gaming promoters -- another term for junkets: "If we are unable to ensure high standards of probity and integrity of our Gaming Promoters with whom we are associated, our reputation may suffer or we may be subject to sanctions, including the loss of (Sands' Macau gaming license,)" the company wrote in a public filing.
Randall Sayre, a member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board that monitors casino compliance, declined to comment specifically on Sands Macau, writing in an email that the state "takes no public position on suitability ... without a full investigative work-up."

A gaming official, who insisted upon anonymity, said: "This relationship (with Cheung) would be of concern to Nevada authorities. You're talking about direct ties to bad guys." Another said the agency is monitoring the situation.

Las Vegas Sands issued a statement saying, "to our knowledge, Mr. Cheung Chi Tai is not listed as a director or shareholder" with any of the gaming promoters the company uses in Macau, but declined to comment further.

Sands was the first U.S. operator to cash in on the Chinese passion for gambling when it entered Macau in 2004 after the government opened the casino market to outsiders.

Since reverting to China in 1999, Macau, an hour away from Hong Kong by ferry, has flourished as one of the world's wealthiest cities. The territory's economy has soared in recent years -- much of the wealth generated by the enclave's casinos.

Indeed, the former Portuguese colony has become a playground for China's nouveau riche. And the gleaming neon red lights of the Sands Macau casino are the first sights a visitor takes in as the ferry approaches Macau.


The link between Macau's gambling industry and organized crime may be an open secret, but it has come under increasing scrutiny lately. Within the last two weeks, MGM Mirage said it would give up its holdings in New Jersey in response to pressure from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. The state agency had said that Pansy Ho, MGM Mirage's partner in Macau and the daughter of casino tycoon Stanley Ho, was an "unsuitable" associate, an assertion stemming from the agency's belief that her father has links to organized crime.

The involvement of the triads in Macau's casinos is centered on the murky and highly profitable junket business. The VIP sector brought in $9.9 billion last year, two-thirds of the enclave's total gambling revenues.
Macau has about 187 licensed junket operators, said Manuel Joaquim das Neves, director of Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

The junkets are crucial because they ensure the flow of capital by extending credit to gamblers, often millions of dollars on a visit. They assume responsibility for collecting on their loans -- at times indelicately, authorities say.

They also often assume management of the private VIP rooms. And while many law-abiding junkets are active in Macau, experts say the industry is highly susceptible to criminal influence given the extra-legal functions and opaque environments in which they work.

In an interview, Dan Grove, a former agent for the FBI who oversaw security for Sands Macau in the first few years after its opening -- and before the casino became involved in junkets -- characterized pressure from triads to work with the casino as "immense."

When known crime figures applied directly for contracts, blocking them was easy, Grove says. But if legitimate professionals submit applications and then sub-contract the work to the triads, detecting such ties was more difficult if not impossible.


Cheung Chi-tai's ties to Sands Macau came through such a multi-tiered arrangement. His solely owned company, Jumbo Boom Holdings, provided capital for another firm, now called Neptune Group, to acquire a stake in Hou Wan, a junket operator. Hou Wan was entitled to profits from Sands Macau's Chengdu VIP room.

Cheung owned more than 8 percent of Neptune Group in 2008, according to public filings with the Hong Kong stock exchange. That made him a substantial shareholder when the call for the dealer's murder went out.

When asked about Cheung, Nicholas Niglio, Neptune's chief operating officer, said: "I'm not familiar with him at all."
After a reporter showed him Neptune's 2008 annual report listing the firm's substantial shareholders, including Cheung, Niglio declined to respond specifically. Cheung does not appear in Neptune's 2009 annual report.

Niglio said Neptune wasn't a junket itself but invests in VIP junkets that operate at the Sands Macau, the Venetian Macau and Galaxy Entertainment's StarWorld casinos. He said Neptune now had a 20 percent stake in Hou Wan, a junket operator that runs around 20 VIP tables at the Sands Macau.

In Neptune's public filings three years ago, Cheung was described as a "merchant in Hong Kong" whose company "generally does not engage in underwriting business and has no underwriting experience as at the date of this announcement."

While Niglio described Neptune merely as an "investor" in junkets, trial testimony placed Cheung inside the casino's private room.

According to testimony by Siu Yun-ping, aka the "God of Gambling", who won about HK$100 million ($12.9 million) between August 2007 and January 2008 at various casinos, Cheung was "the person in charge" of the Chengdu Hall, one of the VIP rooms that Siu frequented.

Las Vegas Sands, however, has said it maintains management of all its VIP rooms, though it acknowledges working with gaming promoters to attract customers.


A triad member turned informant named Lau Ming-yee testified that he, and the five men who would be convicted of engaging in triad activities, referred to Cheung as "the boss."

Cheung, however, didn't appear in court and was not charged. Hong Kong police declined to answer detailed inquiries on why this was so. In an emailed response, authorities acknowledged only that a 49-year-old man surnamed Cheung was arrested in connection with the case but "released after legal advice was sought due to insufficient evidence."
Attempts to determine Cheung's current whereabouts with the Hong Kong police and U.S. gambling industry sources in Macau were unsuccessful.

The judge in last year's murder-for-hire case, Madame Verina Bokhary, said in passing sentence that, "I bear in mind of course that, behind the scenes, there is a person or are persons even more blameworthy than any of them."

In the summaries of the trial called "particulars of offense" the judge identified Cheung by his Cantonese nickname, "Tsang Pau," or "explosive money maker."

Siu, the "God of Gambling" suspected of colluding with the dealer at the Sands Macau, testified that he had been attacked, his house had been set aflame and that his son had received threatening phone calls. "As a result of Tsang Pau (Cheung), he (the witness) was frightened away from the Sands Casino," according to the judge's summary.

Macau's regulator Neves acknowledges that the junket business in Macau has links to organized crime, though he says it is less prevalent and more under control than in the past.

"This kind of business certainly involves people related to organized crime," he said. "That's why we established the license for just a year. Every year, they (the junket operators) must renew the license."

Asked specifically about whether Macau will strip the license from a casino operator if the regulators discover that it is hiring a junket operator with links to organized crime, Neves said: "It's separate. In principle, it doesn't affect the concessionaires."

Neves said he was informed by police of Cheung's alleged role in the murder-for-hire case. But he described the accusations against Cheung as "rumors" and said without formal charges being brought against him, he would be free to continue to operate in Macau.

"If he (was) condemned by the Hong Kong court ... if he was arrested and condemned ... we wouldn't allow him to run the junket," he said. "In this kind of case we must deal very carefully ... Sometimes if we use this (rumor) to deny the license, he can put us in court."
Unlike Las Vegas, where casinos tend to have direct relationships with their VIP customers, Macau's casinos rely on junket operators to bring them the majority of their high rollers, who might easily lose US$1 million in an evening.

THE $64,000 BET

On a late Friday night in February, gamblers were exchanging wads of golden one thousand Hong Kong dollar banknotes ($130) for expensive chips in the exclusive and restricted VIP gaming rooms of the Sands Macau.

The labyrinth of rooms -- decorated with classical Greek columns, Italian marble and chandeliers -- were largely filled with mainland Chinese clients at high-stakes Baccarat tables.

The atmosphere was smoky, hushed and privileged, as casino employees kept watch. The rooms seemed a world removed from the mass market gaming floors below.

At the "Luoyang" room, named after a gritty Chinese city, most gamblers were Mandarin-speaking mainland Chinese, who constitute more than half of Macau's VIP gamblers. As two Reuters reporters looked on, a middle-aged woman with diamond bracelets staked a single HK$500,000 ($64,440) bet -- and shrugged off the loss.

A supervisor of the VIP floor and several employees said the Chengdu hall - the room that Cheung Chi-tai ran, according to the court testimony -- has been renamed.

Most VIP gambling in Macau is leveraged: gamblers usually bet more than their cash on hand. This is particularly true of mainland Chinese high-rollers who, because of Beijing's strict capital controls, are limited to carrying the equivalent of US$5,000 in renminbi per trip when they leave China. Macau's six publicly listed casino operators lend to only a small minority of their patrons, according to company filings. That is because collection of gambling debt is illegal in China and Macau forbids casinos from writing off their bad or uncollectible debts.

Concerned that junkets with possible links to organized crime could harm their businesses, some U.S. casino executives were reluctant to enter Macau. Harrah's Entertainment Inc , the world's largest casino operator, decided not to bid for a gaming concession there. Michael Chen, Harrah's president for Asia, said in an interview with Reuters last year that the company worried that its regulators around the world would not permit it to run casinos in Macau.
That issue was front and center in the official report released by New Jersey gaming regulators in mid-March regarding MGM Mirage's partnership with Pansy Ho. Regulators cited the junket influence within her father's VIP rooms as a prime concern. "The VIP rooms in (Stanley Ho's) casinos provided organized crime the entry into the Macau gaming market that it had previously lacked," the report said.

When Sands first won a license in Macau in 2002, it was paired with Hong Kong-based casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group, but the U.S. company ultimately ended the arrangement. William Weidner, the former president of Sands, in a deposition for an unrelated Nevada court case in 2007, cited Galaxy's intent to run the VIP rooms in the traditional Macau style as one of the reasons for the split.

"These guys want to do VIP rooms the way they ... do them in Macau where the ... triad guys run them because they're the only ones that can grant and collect credit in mainland China, and they smuggle the renminbi across the border," he said. "I can't do that business. That's the way they want to do it, so I can't do it."

Sands' major competitor, Wynn Resorts, said the company would decline its Macau gaming concession if it was barred from extending credit and collecting debts directly in an effort to avoid the junket system, according to company filings.

But the U.S. companies realized soon enough that they could not compete with local casinos without junkets.

China's high rollers tend to prefer the personal, informal relationships of the junkets, experts say, and often demand a level of anonymity incompatible with the credit applications required by the casinos.


While triads remain active in Hong Kong, the gangs have burrowed deeper into mainland China including cities like Chongqing and retain a strong imprint in Macau. The triads are believed to have originated as a rebel grouping in the early Qing Dynasty formed to help overthrow the Manchu regime.

Ko-lin Chin, a professor at Rutgers University and one of the foremost experts on Asian organized crime, disputes the regulator's contention that the triads are less prevalent in Macau. But he said they do keep a lower profile than before internationally owned casinos entered the market and revenues grew from $2.26 billion to $15 billion today.
Even if crime groups are involved in the junket business, he says, with the casinos making so much money, the government reaping huge taxes, and the citizens of Macau enjoying full employment, there is scant political will to remove them.

"No one wants to crash the party," he said. "This is a feel-good story."

(Reporting by Reuters in Macau and Hong Hong and Matt Isaacs in San Francisco and Las Vegas; editing by Lowell Bergman, Jim Impoco and Claudia Parsons)

Electricity rates UP again in less than a year

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore, soc.culture.malaysia
From: reborner
Subject: Now Electricity charges is going up again
The Straits Times
By Tessa Wong

ELECTRICITY tariff for Singapore households will go up again in the
coming quarter, due to the fuel oil price hike over the last three

The new rate for the April to June quarter will increase to 23.56
cents per kWh, about 3 per cent higher than the current quarter, said
SP Services in a statement on Tuesday. This will work out to an
average increase of $2.47 in the monthly electricity bill for families
in four-room HDB flats.

Click here to find out more!Click here to find out more!
SP Services, a member of the Singapore Power Group, said that the rise
- the fourth quarterly in a row since last July - is largely due to an
increase in fuel oil price over the past three months, from $99.38 to
$102.95 per barrel.
How is our rate compared to our neighbouring countries.. woh one year raised more than once .. what happening????
Posted by: haya3188

Crude prices has been stable in regions of USD$80...
so if they mention cost goin up ....

Why dun Buses and MRTs raise their prices too since its also "fuel" related?
Posted by: Grave69

Chiam See Tong the useless opposition?

Chiam was forced out of SDP, says his wife

OPPOSITION Member of Parliament for Potong Pasir Chiam See Tong had been forced out of his previous party, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), and had not insisted on quitting, his wife told Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao.

Mrs Lina Chiam, 61, contacted the daily in response to its report last month citing SDP secretary- general Chee Soon Juan's version of events in 1993, which she called "half of the truth".

At the SDP's 30th-anniversary celebration, Dr Chee, 48, said that he tried to persuade Mr Chiam not to resign as the SDP's secretary-general, but Mr Chiam was bent on quitting.

Mrs Chiam conceded, in an interview published in Lianhe Zaobao yesterday, that the SDP's central committee had asked Mr Chiam not to resign.

But it eventually convened a disciplinary hearing and forced him to leave the party, she said.

If Dr Chee had really wanted Mr Chiam to stay, he could have voted against sacking Mr Chiam, or declined to become secretary-general, Mrs Chiam said.

She said that she was setting the record straight so the younger generation would know that Mr Chiam, 75, now the Singapore People's Party's secretary- general, did not betray the SDP and was pained to leave it.
Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
From: "truth"

Subject: Re: Chiam a useless opposition....

u r rite.
this asshold, collected over $160,000 per year as
an mp and what has he done for singaporeans.
he did not even channel some of these money back
to help grow the opposition.
when he was incharge of the sdp, he did not even
bothered to build up the party. there was not office
and the administrative backup was zero.
i know for a fact that chiam is related to lee kuan
yew. he is a stooge of lee kuan yew in the latter's
scam to deceive singaporeans and the world that
singapore is a democracy.
mahbohtan is paid SGD$2.7 million dollars to go all the way to hong kong to learn from those politicians there who are paid much less than him?

this is amazing isn't it?

it's like a $2.7 million paid CEO insisting that he must be respected but he has to go and learn from the a rival company's lesser paid executives?

that $2.7 million paid CEO must then be a fraud, is he?
Posted by: muppet
It is an uphill & mammoth task indeed. But we need to start somewhere. Let's start by encouraging the Opposition to come forward. Take one step at a time.
Sigh...... 愚公移山 indeed. Nonetheless ......

For the 2 gentlemen who alleged that the Opposition is mediocre, I would like to hear them comment about the MPs of the ruling party, please.
How different from the "mediocre" Opposition have they demonstrated to us all these years ?
One thing for sure, the Opposition candidates have not mocked/insulted the people of SG yet. We don't elect/pay these MPs such high salaries to insult us.
Posted by: Songshus

Pastor Kong Hee is full of bullshits

From: Masturbating Myself
Subject: Re: Kong Hee is bullshitting all the time
On Mar 29, 10:36 pm, "truth" wrote:

> Why are Singaporeans so stupid to follow this idiot Kong
> Hee. He is bullshitting all the time.
> He is operating a scam. He collects your money ('donations")
> he convince u to give more so that he can invest more in business
> and properties.
> Who benefit ?
> He and those who are close to him.
> These investments are controlled by him. All the benefits go
> to him and his cronies.
> He is abusing the name of GOD and Jesus to build his own
> empire.
> Stop being an idiot and stop going to his church. It is a huge
> scam. A deception to cheat u of your money in the name of
> God and donations. He is selling u an illusion that if u give to
> "God" u will get bigger return. He dare not tell u that u r
> actually giving the money to him.

Come on, which church, temple or mosque is not a scam?

God is just a man-made joke, and those holy books are nothing more
than comics of the medieval age.

Anybody seen God? nope. Anything in those comic books ever came true? nope.

From this comic books written 1000-2000 years ago, they only talk
about life then. You will never read about modem, internet, iphone, blackhole,
dinosaurs, etc. Their "God" knows nothing about what is going to happen or what has
happened. As dumb as any normal human being.

If there is a God that created everything, we should all be good guys
that can never die. But nope, they are bullshits.

No God is going to save you, if you stand in the middle of a tsunami,
or the earth quake under you, or if the barbaric Mongols or Japs is going to slaughter you.

These pastors, priests, cheats and swindlers, know these facts very
well, so they just collect their riches from the millions of idiots who
wants to pay them. ha ha.

yansimon52 wrote:
Halo Truth....CHC give 'guarantee card' that, if they die they go
straight to heaven.......?

Your church got give out guarantee card to you or not?
He (Kong Hea) got followers like PBM Jack Neo....so don't play play
with him ok?

Frankie Lee wrote:
***If u want to make false accusation,and slander against Kong
Hee,please don't use old methods,known and used umpteen times by
crooks and small people.

At least establish yourself as someone decent,sane and logical in your
discussion,and stop things like licking ang moh ass,or Chee Soon
JUan's ass,...at least you may sound less vulgar,and sane.

You started off here by hating Christians,and you hate Tang LIang
Hong's daughter,well she is a Christian,or are you implying she lick
Ang Moh's ass?Is Chee Soon JUan licking Ang Moh's ass?Chee is a

You enjoy slandering and making false accusation against Chee Soon
Juan,and then now Chiam See Tong.Tell us whom you support clearly,and
who you hope to slander clearly,rather than mess it all up.
More videos of Kong Hee's bullshits - A Man is glorified here, not God.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Singapore Casinos - over paid and over budget

From: reborner
Subject: Singapore Casinos - over paid and over budget

Uncertainty over how long Singapore's casinos will take to break even
By Georgina Joseph | Posted: 30 March 2010 2016 hrs

Visitors walk towards the entrance of the Resorts World Sentosa casino
on Singapore's Sentosa Island.

SINGAPORE: Singapore's two integrated resorts with their casinos have
gone over budget, according to a panel discussion on the subject on

The discussion was organised by the Singapore Press Club and Asia
Journalism Fellowship.

The panelists said the casino operators have overpaid for bidding and
building the two integrated resorts.

Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) spent S$7 billion on its development
instead of its original target of S$5.2 billion.

Marina Bay Sands will spend S$8.4 billion, up from the original S$5

The question now is how long they will take to break even, but the
panelists acknowledged it is still too early to assess their

However, they raised other issues.

They said that RWS appeals to a mass market. But with an estimated
daily taking of S$3.5 million, it seems to suggest they are not
breaking even yet.

Universal Studio's future is also questioned, once the novelty wears

"My only hesitations about RWS is more to do with theme parks," said
Sean Monaghan, managing director of AG Leisure Partners. "Disney in
Hong Kong had a troubled start, so trying to predict the viability and
the feasibility of theme parks can be more problematic."

According to gaming analysts, Marina Bay Sands should draw in S$5
million a day in the initial stages.

It has also positioned itself to cater to a more niche market of high
quality gamblers, coupled with its MICE appeal.

Ronald Tan, a gaming analyst, said: "They have a very established
theme at the moment, and they have also the Macau casino, and a huge
data base of gamblers, quality gamblers from China... I think they
will capitalise on that as well."

The panellists said that the higher start-up costs would mean the
resorts must look for more ways to increase revenue.

- CNA/yb

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why PM Lee is not productive

lock2009 wrote:
i think his policies backfired. The mistake of allowing too many FTs into Singapore has caused problems for the local Singaporeans. Many are disgusted and worry about their own debt and future of their next generation. It is not a good thing for property to rise so much compared to income. It is something his government has failed to resolve. I seriously think they may postponed election to 2012. It seems like they themselves are not pretty confident either.

If there is another wave of recession soon, it will be interesting how our government will handle. It will screw a lot of people who are inside this ridiculous game of property.
Kesamet wrote:
With a salary 4 times that of Obama, I would expect PM Lee to be running around like Obama, pushing for healthcare reform, housing reforms, banking system revamp, closing the unemployment gap, etc.

Instead, we see him sitting around with students asking for feedback.

And that was after disappearing for 2 weeks, absenting from Parliament without explanation, later found to be suing an unknown American journalist for an article written in New York, not read by most Singaporeans, related to his personal matters, earning $160,000 from winning the case.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
GoodNoGood wrote:
One day he beri free and decided to search for mee siam mai hum online, and found so many entries making all kinds of fun. beri beri angry.
Soluna wrote:
Personally to me, there is no need to help provide feedback to the incumbent party. I rather they be voted out naturally if they cannot see the obvious.

Asking for feedback and expecting Answers/Solutions, is an indication that they are not good enough.

Wait...'Expecting Answers and solutions' to problems ?!? ....sounds familiar?!?

As usual...finding excuses and blaming on citizens.

They are deaf frogs and deaf to criticisms mah...

Planning to leave in the future already, but got other considerations now.
This is still our home afterall...i rather fight than flight or forced to leave...besides i say/do what i feel is right...

Toured in quite few countries already, lived in a few too...from EU to US to Australia to China etc...why?...

To tell you the truth..if u read my post few years back...
I supported FTs openly too (except for the 6milion target)...
later i realised and experienced that things are turning out the wrong ways....now sibei anti-FT....certain ones, not all...
kamomo wrote:
But I must agree that some of the attacks at HDB are rather immature, esp those "young couples" who want high floor, best view, best location etc etc at a huge market discount IMMEDIATELY and want government to somehow miraculously feed them the high floor, best view, best location HDB on a platter. Even when buying condos etc., sometimes you don't get the best unit and have to wait for years for TOP. If you want immediate occupation, then you have to settle for the resale market. But the attacks at LTA are probably justified
PM Lee on govt's approach in engaging S'poreans in new media
By Imelda Saad | Posted: 27 March 2010 1143 hrs

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has spoken of the government's approach on how it engages Singaporeans in the new media.

Speaking at a forum for the national feedback arm, REACH, Mr Lee noted how easy it is to mount online campaigns.

He cited the example of the AWARE saga, where he said he received many emails from opposing camps.

But the Prime Minister said he noticed many emails were identical and obviously cut and pasted from a template.

He said the government cannot make decisions simply based on the volume of emails supporting or opposing a particular situation.

Mr Lee noted the government must also be cautious of what he calls "Astroturfing" campaigns.

That's where individuals or groups fake identities and orchestrate online movements.

He pointed to another example - recent emails criticising the government on property prices were circulated.

He said upon verifying the emails, the names and phone numbers attached turned out to be fake.

Mr Lee said the campaign was clearly a covert attempt to pressure the government for personal benefits.

So authorities must assess such attempts critically and carefully.

Mr Lee noted, though, that online feedback can be useful, as seen in REACH's digital platform.

He said REACH has also found that the best way to engage Singaporeans is a combination of online and face-to-face engagement.

- CNA/ir

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reality of life for the young in Singapore

Not a Dad wrote:
I am a engineer too and I am of the same age as you.

Ten years ago, LKY told us that the country needed engineers to service
our manufacturing industry.

LKY and the PAP had more credibility than now, so I must be forgiven for
my naivety. I went into NUS Engineering with straight As.

Into my 1st year in NUS, there was a FLOOD of foreigners into our faculty.
Most were 3rd rate students from China, Malaysia and India brought by MOE
here (Free education with $500 monthly allowance while I need to work part
time and try to repay student loans.HAHAHAHHA!!!!!).

Innumerous engineers were given PRs and citizenships like toilet paper,
even till now! The PAP told us to go into Engineering, BUT did not even
BLOODY wait for us to graduate before MASS importing foreign trash!

-I served NS and forgone 2 years of work and pay. FARK!

-I need to risk my life to protect these idiots who deprive me of work,
depress my pay, inflate housing prices. DOUBLE FARK!

-Many engineers around me, like your hubby, WORK OT with no OT pay. Why?
Because the company will fire your ass if you dare to leave at 6pm!If you
are unhappy with work conditions, then you can go. The company can replace
you with cheap and slave-like engineers from Malaysia in less than a day,
thanks to PAP! TRIPLE FARK!

-I want to get married and I really really love kids. But the financial
burden weighs down on me as it does on you. To be secure to have kids, I
need to scrimp and save till I am 40 (I am a miser who spends less than 25%
of my income!).

A single retrenchment, or a few months without renewal of my engineering
contract, or a disease could put my kids and us sleeping on the void decks.
(Actually the HDB doesn't even allow us to do that)

I can only look sadly at the kids of others and imagine the kids I can
never have..(TEARS.)

From: "David Teo"
Subject: Re: Realty of life for the young in Singapore

I lived in SAFTI Hilton for about 2 years after marriage. Then to HDB flat.
Now still living in one. ALL my peers are into condos and landed. To keep up
with the Jones, they're talking about semi-Ds and some even GCBs. But I
always tell them I'm paying monthly housing mortgage of sgd 300+. No need to
worry so much. dt

"herozero" wrote in message

> For a young married couple, buying a 4 room resale flat in Sin Ming for
> S$500,000 is already big mistake.

> Didn't MBT mentioned instead of going for high price resale flats in
> matured HDB estates, they should be buying HDB flats in "non matured"
> estates such as Sembawang, Sengkang or Punggol and they could have bought
> a 4 room HDB flat for less than S$350,000, if they are not "choosy".

> In the old days, most teachers and engineers were living in 3 or 4 room
> HDB. I even know teachers who used to live in 1 HDB room flats before they
> start "upgrading".

> In the end, the Sg govt will always blame you for being "unrealistic" and
> "choosy".

> On 3/24/2010 9:45 PM, truth wrote:
>> http://www.temasekreview.com/2010/03/24/singapore-teacher-burdened-by...
>> Dear TR,

>> Thanks for publishing the article by Ms Judy Eng. (read article here) It
>> really strikes a chord in my heart as I am in the same situation as her
>> too.
>> I am 28 this year now working as a teacher in a secondary school.

>> My fiancee just found a job in a GLC as an engineer after six months of
>> looking for one. The pay isn't fantastic as there is an abundance of
>> foreign
>> engineers in Singapore. He considered himself lucky to finally secure a
>> full-time job after months of being on contract.

>> We are planning to get married in July and just bought a 4-room resale
>> flat
>> at Sin Ming. Guess how much it costs? You won't believe it, we bought it
>> at
>> almost $500,000. No kidding, it's true! All the flats in the vicinity
>> cost
>> above $500K. After paying about $30,000 in COV partially paid for by our
>> parents, we do not have a single cent left for our wedding which we will
>> have a simple afternoon tea buffet at our church instead of the
>> traditional
>> 8-course Chinese dinner.

>> I am really worried about our future. We earn barely $5,000 together and
>> the
>> mortgage loan already took up 30 percent of our income. We still have to
>> cough out some cash after using up the entire CPFs. The moment I think of
>> this, I lost all the mood already.

>> People used to say that marriage is the happiest moment in a girl's life,
>> but I am not looking forward to it. I feel very heavy, like a burden
>> placeed
>> on my chest, sometimes choking me, it is so suffocating. Can we buy a new
>> flat? I do not wish to wait for another 3 to 4 years, anything can
>> happen
>> to our relationship during this period of time. It is a risk I cannot
>> afford
>> to take.

>> My hubby-to-be is burnt out everyday from work - OT, OT and OT and he is
>> not
>> paid for it. For me, my weekends are either burnt in school CCAs or
>> marking
>> the homeworks of my students. We hardly meet each other at all, sometimes
>> just enough time to have a meal or catch a movie. Somehow I feel
>> apprehensive startinig life together with another person, am I ready for
>> it? I don't think we can start a family, at least for the next three
>> years
>> or so. How to have children when we are not financially stable?

>> I will pay the loan mostly on my own as my hubby still have to pay for
>> his
>> student loan and car loan. I have only a few thousand dollars in my
>> savings
>> now and I wonder how long they can last me. What happens when there is
>> an
>> emergency? Or if we are retrenched? I dread to think of the worst.but
>> women
>> being women, they always think alot.

>> Every month, my pay gets used up almost immediately after it's deposited
>> into my POSB account - living expenses, allowances for parents, and now
>> with
>> housing loan, I really don't know how far we can continue like this. Did
>> we
>> do our Maths before we make the purchase? Yes, but what can we do, the
>> flats
>> are expensive everywhere and we want to stay near our parents. Even
>> 4-room
>> flats in Jurong are calling above $400,000 nowadays! The prices are
>> really
>> going crazy, the agents told us that they will only go up in the future
>> as
>> the govt will never allow them to come down.

>> Sorry for the ramblings. There are so many things on my mind now, I can't
>> think or type clearly...Thanks for providing me an outlet to vent my
>> frustrations, who can understand what we are going through? Sigh, maybe I
>> am
>> one of those few unlucky souls.

>> Please edit and publish this rant of mine as you see fit. Thanks again
>> for
>> listening.

>> Melissa Quek
Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
From: "truth"

Subject: Agony of a 14 year old in Singapore

Dear TR,

After reading mails from Ms Melissa Quek, Mr Devoran, Ms T.Rajendran and Ms
Judy Eng, I've decided to stop idling behind the computer screen waiting for
change to happen. I'm writing in hopes that I can reach out to people whom
may read and perhaps relate to what I have been experiencing as of late.

First off, I'm a 14-year-old Secondary School student. My family aren't
rich, but we are staying in a 4-room HDB flat. Even though I'm 14, I
understand the things that are happening.

A little about my current family position. My mother has cancer and she has
to go for check-ups regularly.

Early last month, about 8 hours after my mother had left for a checkup at
Singapore General Hospital, I went with my father. It was 11pm then, and we
both were worried about her. There was no reason for a checkup to be this
long. So we went, but we didn't know which block she was at. I called her by

Turns out that she was at the emergency block, Block 1.

A little of a back-story. A doctor who removed the tumor in her right lung
claimed there was no need for chemotherapy. However, she still complained of
pain in her right chest. It turned out that the cancer cells had already
infected her lymph nodes and it wasn't detected then. Now it's too late
though. The cancer cells are slowly eating her life away.

Now that when I recall this incident, I feel disgust and hate towards this
medical standard. Is this acceptable? Why should a check-up, in the
EMERGENCY block, end up being 8 hours long?! How on earth did that doctor
think that chemotherapy was not necessary? I had no idea what happened. By
the time my mother had received the report and we reached home, it was
almost 2am. I missed school the next day as I was too fatigued.

What is the government doing? Did they even CHECK? Where's our money going?!

Obviously that greedy geezer and the famiLEE.

This really angers me. My mother also has very little money left in her
bank. She cannot go to work, and now I'm also trying to save as much as I
can so she doesn't have to give me too much allowance everyday. GIRO doesn't
help much either. Luckily, my now married sister and brother, who have their
own families, are helping. But that doesn't even amount to much. It's still
a hard road to walk, but walk it we must.

Other than this beyond disappointing medical incident, I also have a school
life. It's not very enjoyable either.

MRT, public buses. I'm sure everyone knows that it's crowded as heck, and my
gigantic monster of a school bag doesn't help either. Going my car isn't any
better. The road is congested as hell in the morning. In the afternoon, it's
better. But I occasionally have a couple of PRs sitting in the seat before
me, talking loudly non-stop. Even the earpieces blasting my ears to deaf
doesn't help.

In school, sometimes we have CME or PG lessons and the teacher gives the
class a worksheet which sings praises about what PAP has done for the
people. One I recall from memory, was roughly,

"Every time I see old folks gathering recyclables from a garbage can on the
street, my heart laments for them. The people these days are lacking filial
piety." .. ".I am glad that the government is helping the needy with
assistance schemes. The government is doing a good job."

Obviously there is something very wrong there. I thought to myself, 'if the
government is doing a good job, then why are these old folks gathering and
selling recyclables?' I asked the teacher so, but he just shrugged and
replied that he doesn't know why.

He's probably another brainwashed PAP dog, that's why.

Also, 4 china students transfered into my class during the past month. They
are always getting the praises and 1st place for tests/exams. They are
leeching the motivation out of everyone. No one really mixes with them. The
whole class might as well be a class for PRs instead! I cannot really
express myself too well with words, but every time I see them, I can't help
but hate their attitude. I know not all of them are bad, but with all these
incidents like then acting all big and mighty, or talking loud and sometimes
insulting us behind our back loudly, really left this impression on me.

The government loves them too. They bring money with them. They are also
cheaper, faster, better. The way I see it, they are cheaters, liars, asses.
Again, I know not all of them are bad. I am referring to the ones that
really gives the impression. I have seen it too many times. It's easy to

I also sometimes worry about my future if I were to continue to stay in
Singapore. No doubt the population density would get really dense, and at
some point, buying a house would blow a million dollars. Everything sucks
you dry. So therefore I arrived with this conclusion. If nothing is done
right to change is broken system, then I'm moving to another country. Living
here is as good as being in a lifetime debt to the government, and that is
the same as being on a leash.
I feel so much rage for this greedy government. Leeching our money, which
they then throw them in a well praying a genie would come out. I vow, if PAP
is still not voted out after the next election, then goodbye, Singapore, I'm
moving onto another country once I am able to stand on my own.

By the by, there's more mind control worksheets I've done.

"Do you feel proud to be a Singaporean? If so, why?"
No. The government is ignorant and greedy, that's why.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I feel better getting these off my chest. You
may do whatever you wish with this.

Kristine Tan

Pap admits manipulating Property Market

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
From: "truth"
Subject: papist leegime confirmed property market NOT FREE


(SINGAPORE) The government yesterday defended its policy of managing price
movements in the private housing market and also stood by its method of
supplying developers with state land sites.

It was responding to Wednesday's speech by the president of the Real Estate
Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas), Simon Cheong, who said that
the government should allow the private property market here to operate as a
completely free market.

Mr Cheong also questioned the need for government intervention to manage the
rise of private home prices and asked if the state should be so concerned
with private housing prices when the segment serves only 16.5 per cent of
the overall population.

His speech took some developers by surprise but most said that it was
'brave'. There was also broad agreement that the government should reveal
the reserve price of each site it puts up for sale.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) said it would 'like to respond to
the key points he (Mr Cheong) raised'.

'The government's objective is to maintain a steady and healthy property
market where price movements are supported by economic fundamentals,' MND
said in a statement. 'A property market bubble, if allowed to form, may not
only impact housing affordability but also severely impact the economy when
it bursts.'

MND does this by making sure that there is an adequate supply of land to
meet demand and by providing timely and comprehensive real estate
information to the public.

'When necessary, the government will also introduce measures to dampen
market exuberance and prevent prices from running ahead of economic
fundamentals,' MND added.

The ministry has in recent months taken several steps to keep private
housing affordable, including the introduction of a stamp duty for sellers
and the removal of the deferred payment and interest absorption schemes.

In his speech, Mr Cheong also cited two sites - one in Tampines and another
at Ten Mile Junction - that were not awarded in 2008 after government land
tenders as examples to illustrate how market forces were not allowed to act
freely and were constrained by the reserve price system.

Both sites were recently awarded in new tenders at much higher prices than
the bids in 2008.

Mr Cheong argued that if the government had awarded the sites at lower
prices in 2008, it could have helped to moderate the recent hike in private
home prices.

But MND 'disagrees totally with his view'. Firstly, it is arguable if
awarding the two sites at the low bid prices in 2008 would have moderated
property prices, MND said. It could have instead simply allowed the bidders
to achieve higher profit margins.

MND also said that the potential yield from the two sites is small (around
800 units) compared to the total supply of 60,476 uncompleted private
housing units from projects in the pipeline (as at Q4 2009) - of which
34,234 units are still unsold. It is 'questionable' whether the added supply
of the two sites in 2008 would have affected prices today in any way, the
ministry said.

The reserve price also did not deter the successful sale of sites under the
government land sales programme in 2008, MND pointed out. That year, seven
residential sites which could yield a total of 2,464 units were sold through
the confirmed list.

The Tampines and Ten Mile Junction sites, which were released for sale
through the confirmed list but not awarded, were among the few exceptions.

MND added that a reserve price is necessary, as it is the government's duty
as the custodian of state land to ensure it obtains a fair market price for
a site. But the reserve price serves only as a guide, and is not a rigid
formula for the government in deciding whether to award a sale site.

Said MND: 'The government had awarded sale sites in the past even when the
top bid was below the reserve price. However, for the two sites cited by Mr
Cheong, the government was not convinced that the bids represented fair
market value rather than opportunistic bids, as there were very few bids for
the sites, and the bids were exceptionally low.'

Developers BT spoke to said that MND's response was 'as expected'.

'MND has always stuck to its line about maintaining a sustainable property
market and so we didn't expect changes just because of his (Mr Cheong's)
speech,' said the chief executive of a property group here.

But while not everyone agreed with all parts of Mr Cheong's speech, most
developers were in favour of asking the government to disclose the reserve
price of each site it puts up for sale by tender.

'For future tenders, if the reserve price is released, there won't be cases
where bids come in under the minimum price,' said EL Development managing
director Lim Yew Soon. 'By simply listing the reserve price, it makes the
whole process easier.'

Stop suing journalists: RSF tells Singapore leaders

SINGAPORE (AFP) - – Media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders has urged Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his father Lee Kuan Yew and other top officials to stop taking "libel actions" against journalists.

RSF secretary general Jean-Francois Julliard wrote an "open letter" to the Singapore leader Thursday asking for a meeting about the group's observations and proposals "for guaranteeing press freedom" in the affluent city-state.

His letter followed an apology and payment of damages by the New York Times Company to the Lees and former prime minister Goh Chok Tong over an allegedly defamatory article.

"A foreign news organisation has yet again been forced to apologise to you and your father and pay you a large sum of money for publishing an article you did not like," Julliard said.

He urged the government to "put a stop to the libel actions" being taken against journalists.

The New York Times Company on Wednesday issued an apology to the Lees and Goh over an article about political dynasties it published in February in its global edition, the International Herald Tribune (IHT).

The article, entitled "All In The Family", was written by Hong Kong-based columnist Philip Bowring.

Davinder Singh, a lawyer for the three men, said the New York Times Company and Bowring would pay damages totalling 160,000 Singapore dollars (114,000 US) to the leaders, who said their reputations had been sullied by the article.

An apology that appeared in the IHT's Wednesday edition said the article may have implied that the younger Lee did not get his job on merit.

Singapore's leaders have won hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages in defamation cases against critics and foreign publications.

The leaders have defended their actions as necessary to protect their reputations from unfounded attacks.

"Freedom of expression is not a source of political unrest. Quite the contrary," said Julliard, who proposed a meeting with the prime minister.

"We have no comment," the prime minister's press secretary Chen Huai Liang said in response to an AFP query.

Last year, Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review and its editor paid more than 400,000 dollars to settle a defamation suit filed by Prime Minister Lee and the elder Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore.

A Wall Street Journal senior editor was fined 10,000 Singapore dollars in March 2009 for contempt of court over three articles that were ruled to have insulted the city-state's judiciary.


Bangkok kid
Open letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Prime Minister’s Office
Orchard Road
Singapore 238823

Paris, 25 March 2010

Dear Prime Minister,

A foreign news organisation has yet again been forced to apologise to you and your father and pay you a large sum of money for publishing an article you did not like. This time it is the New York Times Co. that is a victim of this double punishment because of a compliant judicial system that always rules in favour of you and your family in all the lawsuits you bring against foreign news media.

Before the New York Times Co., you succeeded in punishing the Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), FinanceAsia.com, The Economist, International Herald Tribune and Asian Wall Street Journal for their coverage of the political and economic situation in your country.

Threatened by a trial, the New York Times Co. apologised to you and your father, Lee Kuan Yew, for the article “All in the Family,” written by Philip Bowring and published in the 15 February issue of the International Herald Tribune. As well as an apology, this US media company had to pay 114,000 US dollars in damages.

Your lawyer, Davinder Singh, said Bowring’s article violated an “agreement” between your family and the International Herald Tribune, which was sentenced in 1994 to pay a large sum in damages for an article entitled “The claims about Asian values don’t usually bear scrutiny.”

The now defunct Far Eastern Economic Review agreed last November, after a long legal wrangle, to pay you and your father 290,000 US dollars in damages. Despite a lack of evidence, Singaporean judges ruled in favour of your family both in the original trial and on appeal without a thought for media freedom.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the judicial harassment which you and your father have practiced for years in order to prevent foreign news media from taking too close an interest in how you run your country. It does serious and lasting harm to press freedom in Singapore.

Your government has repeatedly displayed a disturbing inability to tolerate foreign journalists. Last October, for example, Benjamin Bland, a British freelancer who strings for The Economist and The Daily Telegraph, was denied a visa and permission to cover an APEC summit in Singapore. “I was forced to leave Singapore after the government refused to renew my work visa without any explanation,” Bland told Reporters Without Borders.

But the censorship has above all affected local media and local artistic production. In October 2009, for example, the ministry of information, communication and arts upheld a ban on a documentary by Singaporean filmmaker Martyn See about government opponent Said Zahari. Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOI2...

In response to the publication of the Reporters Without Borders 2009 press freedom index, in which Singapore was ranked 133rd out of 175 countries, your law minister, K. Shanmugam, described it as “absurd” and “disconnected from reality.”

Unfortunately, the facts show that we are right.

In the six years since you became prime minister and said you favoured an “open” society, we have seen very few improvements in the situation of free speech.

We therefore think your government should take the following measures as a matter of urgency:

1. Put a stop to the libel actions which you and your relatives have been bringing against Singaporean and foreign media that cover Singaporean developments in an independent manner. As the UN special rapporteur for freedom of expression recently said, the prime minister, his minister and high officials must refrain from suing journalists over their articles and comments.
2. Amend the criminal code so as to abolish prison sentences for press offences.
3. Amend the press law, especially the articles concerning the granting of publication licences. The current restrictions are preventing the emergence of independent media. The film law should also be relaxed.
4. Reform the national security law so as to abolish administrative detention, which allows the authorities to imprison people because of what they think.
5. Reform the Media Development Authority so that it is no longer able to censor and can solely make recommendations about TV programmes and films.
6. Allow government opponents and civil society representatives unrestricted access to the public media.
7. Guarantee the editorial independence of all the media owned by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and Media Corporation of Singapore (Mediacorp).
8. Transfer the money that your family has obtained in damages from foreign and Singaporean news media to a support fund for imprisoned journalists that Reporters Without Borders proposes to set up.

We regret that you, the members of your government and your father keep citing the need to guarantee Singapore’s stability as grounds for controlling the media and maintaining its draconian laws. Countries that show the most respect for press freedom, such as Finland and Norway, are peaceful and prosperous democracies. Freedom of expression is not a source of political unrest. Quite the contrary.

You have perpetuated your father’s legacy by continuing to harass and intimidate news media. As a result, aside from a few websites specialising in Singapore, no news outlet can publish independent news and information about issues affecting the political situation in your country.

We would be very honoured to be able to meet with you in order to talk about our observations and our proposals for guaranteeing press freedom in Singapore in person.


Jean-François Julliard

Thursday, March 25, 2010

PAP to keep their mouths shut from now on?

Lui vs. Wong Ching
From: OngBak3
Subject: PAP to keep their mouths shut from now on?
GOVERNMENT communications in the future may not always be in the form
of a press statement and may not even need to be cleared by senior

Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lui Tuck
Yew on Thursday challenged some age-old practices as he set out his
vision of what the task of communicating will be like for government
agencies in the years ahead.

Speaking to some 260 information and public relations officers from
government agencies at a seminar, he said the current system needs to
be reviewed: 'I think the Government had always operated on a very
centralised model within the different ministries, within the agencies
and statutory boards - clear everything through to the top and it goes
down and gets disseminated through the right channels.

'Going forward, we have to consider whether this is still appropriate
or whether we need to be more judicious in finding an equilibrium
between centralisation and decentralisation...'

A wider approach was needed to get the message out on the different
channels that the new media wave has thrown up, Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui

He was quick to add that the key to making a decentralised system work
was finding the right people and helping them develop the right skills
and instincts. 'So you need people who are able to respond, stay true
to what you want to communicate and yet do so in a way that does not
seem as if you are only blasting a certain message across...' he said

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

International Herald Tribune (IHT) makes a mockery of Singapore Judicial system

3 parties apologise to Singapore leaders for "libellous" article

SINGAPORE : Three parties have apologised to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew for an article written on February 15 this year in the International Herald Tribune (IHT).

The parties are the International Herald Tribune's publisher, editor of global editions and the article's writer Philip Bowring.

They also had to pay S$160,000 in damages to the three men - S$60,000 to PM Lee, S$50,000 each to the senior minister and minister mentor.

Davinder Singh, the lawyer representing Singapore's leaders, told MediaCorp the article was libellous and a breach of undertakings and so the leaders wanted an apology, damages and costs.

An apology on the IHT website published on Wednesday, said that in 1994, Philip Bowring, an IHT contributor agreed as part of an undertaking with the Singapore government leaders, that he would not say or imply that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had attained his position through nepotism practiced by his father, Lee Kuan Yew.

But in the February 15 article, Mr Bowring included these two men in a list of Asian political dynasties, which may have been understood by readers to infer that the younger Mr Lee did not achieve his position through merit.

The statement said this inference was not intended and apologies were made to the three leaders for any distress or embarassment caused by any breach of the undertaking and the article.

From: "truth"
Subject: NY Times make a mockery of Singapore Judicial system

In quickly and willingly admit guilt and pay damages, the NY Times
is actually making a mockery of the Singapore Judicial system.
The article only mentioned : " Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong is
Lee Kuan Yew's son." a statement of FACT. Unless of course
the Lee Kuan Yew wants to tell us that Lee Hsien Loong is not
his son. That is the butt of the joke the New York Times is playing
on the Lees.

I cannot imagined these people are so stupid. In
their jealousy to defend their "reputations" they have actually
acted stupidly and damage their reputation even futher.
In short the NY Times is saying - there is no justice in Singapore,
so might as well pay the RANSOM $ as demanded by the Lees.
Read the offending article here and decide for yourself.
Strange that of all the leaders mentioned, only the Lees take actions.
That in itself speaks volumes about the character of the wicked

The offending article :

HONG KONG - Are political dynasties good or bad?

Election time in the Philippines is a regular reminder of the roles that
feudal instincts and the family name play in that nation's politics. Benigno
Aquino, son of the late President Corazon Aquino, is the front runner to
succeed President Gloria Arroyo, daughter of Diosdado Macapagal, a president
in the 1960s.

Senate and Congressional contests will see family names of other former
presidents and those long prominent in provincial politics and land-owning.

But the Philippines is not unique. Dynastic politics thrives across Asia to
an extent found in no other region apart from the Arabian peninsula

The list of Asian countries with governments headed by the offspring or
spouses of former leaders is striking: Pakistan has Prime Minister Asif Ali
Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, herself the daughter of the executed
former leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Bangladesh has Sheikh Hasina, daughter of
the murdered first prime minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman . In Malaysia,
Prime Minister Najib Razak is the son of the second prime minister, Abdul
Razak. Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong is Lee Kuan Yew's son. In North Korea,
Kim Il-sung's son Kim Jong-il commands party, army and country and waiting
in the wings is his son Kim Jong-un.

In India, the widow Sonia Gandhi is the power behind the technocrat prime
minister, Manmohan Singh, and her son Rahul is showing political promise and
being groomed in the hope of leading the Congress party and eventually
filling the post of prime minister, first occupied by his great grandfather
Jawaharlal Nehru.

In Japan, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is the scion of a Kennedy-like
political dynasty: His father was a foreign minister, and his grandfather
was a prime minister.

Indonesia's last president, Megawati Sukarnoputri, is the daughter of its
first, and family ties could well play in the next presidential election
when the incumbent, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, must retire. In
Myanmar, the durability of the opposition to the military owes much to the
name of Aung San Suu Kyi's independence-hero father as well as to her

Thailand lacks obvious political dynasties but that is likely because there
is already a monarch. South Korea's rough and tumble democracy would seem to
leave little scope for dynasties but even there, the political career of
Park Chung Hee's daughter, Park Geun Hye, has benefited much from her
father's reputation.

With the exception of North Korea, Asian dynasties are a phenomenon of
countries that are more or less democratic.

In China, family connections help immensely but the party is still a
relatively meritocratic hierarchy. Vietnam is similar. In the Philippines,
it is easy to blame dynastic tendencies for the nation's stark economic
failures. But its problems go much deeper into the social structure and the
way the political system entrenches a selfish elite. It is a symptom not the
cause of the malaise.

In India, the Gandhi name has been an important element in ensuring that
Congress remains a major national force at a time when the growth of
regional, caste and language based parties have added to the problems of
governing such a diverse country. In Bangladesh, years of fierce rivalry
between Sheikh Hasina, daughter of one murdered president and widow of
another, have been a debilitating factor in democratic politics. But their
parties needed their family names to provide cohesion and without them there
could have been much more overt military intervention. Ms. Megawati was a
poor leader but just by being there helped the consolidation of the
post-Suharto democracy.

Dynasties can be stultifying too. In Malaysia, the ruling party was once a
grassroots organization where upstarts like former Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad could flourish but over time it has become a self-perpetuating
patronage machine. Too many of the key players are the offspring or
relatives of former leaders.

There are more fundamental problems, too. Most current Asian dynasties trace
themselves to the post-1945 political transformation. In that sense they
have become a crutch, reflecting a failure to devise systems for the
transfer of power to new names, faces and ideas.

Dynasties are a poor commentary on the depth of democracy in their
countries. Without parties with a coherent organization and a set of ideas,
politics becomes about personalities alone and name recognition more
important than competence. Parties run by the elite offspring of past heroes
easily degenerate into self-serving patronage systems.

So dynastic leadership in Asia's quasi-democracies can provide a focus for
nations, a glue for parties, an identity substitute in countries that used
to be run by kings and sultans. But it is more a symptom of underlying
problems than an example to be followed.
Baldeagle wrote:
> In quickly and willingly admit guilt and pay damages, the NY
> Times is actually making a mockery of the Singapore Judicial
> system. ..........
> In short the NY Times is saying - there is no justice in Singapore,

How so ?

NYT did not say so in the Singapore court, nor did it say so
elsewhere ...not in the USA , not in Asia.

You are making it up...like you always do. No wonder
others take you as a liar.

A hundred thousand dollar is a small price to pay...for
a great boost to its sales. I suspect, NYT intentionally
bait LKY to sue the publisher...and then quickly pleaded
guilty....as a sales strategy...to increase the sales of its

I salute NYT ...for using LKY as a tool...like using nude
models..to boost sales.

Dr Tan Khee Giap blames Singaporeans - lazy and fussy

Pagani wrote:

subject: LKY School Prof: Singaporeans are “protesting” too much
An economist and associate professor from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Dr Tan Khee Giap (see pic) has lashed out at Singaporeans for complaining about foreigners taking away their jobs.

Echoing PAP strongman Lee Kuan Yew’s views that Singaporeans are “champion grumblers”, Dr Tan claimed that Singaporeans are “protesting too much” at a roundtable session at the Tax Academy of Singapore’s annual Budget seminar yesterday.

He told the audience presence that figures last year showed that about three out of ten job vacancies had been unfilled for at least six months which implied that Sinagporeans are turning away the jobs.

Dr Tan did not provide any explanation as to why the unfilled jobs are not accepted by Singaporeans. Perhaps the pay is too low and the working hours are too long.

The PAP and the state media have been busy trying to portray Singaporeans are being “fussy” in job application to deflect blame from their discriminatory labor polices which favor the foreigners.

In the last few weeks alone, the Temasek Review has published job advertisements put up by companies based in Singapore seeking foreigners for positions which can otherwise be filled by Singaporeans.

Dr Tan accused some Singaporeans of being “voluntarily unemployed” and suggested that “every resident worker who is unemployed for more than three months should be made to register with the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), which will have to help him find a job based on his last drawn pay.”

“The WDA can then track how many times each unemployed person turns down a job – much like the statistics the Housing Board recently revealed of new flat buyers turning down flat options,” he was quoted as saying in the Straits Times.

He believes that WDA rejection rate will be “fairly high” without substantiating his statements and that this will “quash the perception there are not enough jobs to go around for Singaporeans.”

“WDA should work actively to help citizens get jobs. When these people turn down jobs once, twice, three times, the Government then doesn’t have to make apologies about bringing in foreign workers,” he added.

Being an economist by training, it is appalling that Dr Tan is not aware of the basic fact that having jobs alone is not enough – the jobs must pay reasonably well to ensure a decent standard of living for Singapore workers.

The PAP has opened the floodgates to foreign workers without putting in adequate measures to safeguard the interests of Singaporeans. It is impossible to expect Singaporeans to compete directly with the cheaper foreigners while remaining “cheaper, better and faster” at the same time.

Despite recent promises made by PAP leaders to “slow” the inflow of foreigners to placate angry Singaporeans, Dr Tan continues to call for foreign workers to spur Singapore’s growth:

“Foreign workers, while unpopular, are necessary for Singapore’s growth, which may not be able to rise on higher productivity alone. This is especially so as the Government has been spending more than it earns – for instance, on help for the needy – and running budget deficits for a number of years now,” Dr Tan said.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, the relentless influx of foreign workers in recent years has depressed the ordinary wages of Singaporeans, increased the cost of living and led to an overall decline in the standards of living.

It is pretty obvious that there will not be any major overhaul of the PAP’s disastrous liberal immigration and pro-foreigner policies so long it remains in power.

Unless Singaporeans reclaim their rights as citizens of their country and vote out the despotic PAP regime in the next general election, they will soon be relegated to second class minorities in their own homeland with the males having to serve two years of National Service to protect the lives and wealth of the PAP elites and the immigrants.

Dr Chee Soo Juan is a disgrace because of him Singaporeans have to vote for the PAP.

From: "truth"

Subject: Re: Dr Chee Soo Juan ... is a disgrace ...because of people like him, Singaporeans have not choice but to vote for the PAP.

So if a family member lose $billions it is ok.
But if an opposition member take even $1 by mistake
it is a major crime. Wow who invented this kind of
judicial system ?

"AleXX" wrote in message

> While he was still a lecturer, CSJ used his office postage stamp to post
> his private letter. He stole a 22 cent stamp and this is a very serious
> offence in the eye of his superior and the government then. He also used a
> few dollars of his office petty cash for his taxi fare. Under the
> respectful eyes of LKY, his daughter-in-law can screwed up S$40 billion
> through Temasek and GICs, and to LKY this is peanuts. But CSJ's siphoning
> off a few dollars of his official money was an unpardonable crime.

> "truth" wrote in message
>> Pls tell us what are the lies that CSJ told.
>> What are his bad characters ?

>> "baldeagle" wrote in message
>> Observer wrote:

>>> Too much detail.
>>> When someone's made the decision to lie, they will work out many
>>> details of their story. Many times, there will be incredible detail
>>> with their story, but if you quiz them, there will always be some
>>> discrepancies. Wait a few hours and then ask for some detail again.

>> Yes. CSJ is a liar, a cheat and a bad character.
>> He does not have the character nor the ability
>> to be a leader of Singapore.

>> In fact, he is a disgrace....to the human kind.
>> Because of people like him, Singaporeans have
>> not choice ... but to vote for the PAP.

>> Fortunately, now there are better people who
>> have come forward...people like Mad Cow...who will
>> give Singaporean voters a real choice.... give
>> Singaporean voters a chance to change the leaders
>> in Singapore ....to the better.
Chee Soon Juan wrote:

Lianhe Zaobao reporter Ms Yew Tun Lian recently conducted an interview
with me in which she described my answers to her questions as evasive. I was
alerted to her recent Facebook posting in which she continues to insist that
she had not misrepresented me.

I had fielded several questions in the hour-long interview with her
during which I was asked about the SDP's development, the schism with Mr
Chiam See Tong, and the upcoming elections.

While I readily answered these questions, I was less willing to talk
about my personal affairs such as the kind of flat that I lived in as well
as my personal income.

I hesitated when Ms Yew asked me those questions not because I had
something to hide but because they were intrusive (in her own words "rude").
But she chose to put the worst possible spin on my response, that is, that I
was evasive. For obvious reasons, the Straits Times ran a report on this
part of that interview, highlighting Ms Yew's point.

In the context of her report, the implication was that I was being
funded by a foreign agent to work against Singapore. This is not surprising
because her colleagues at the Singapore Press Holdings have time and again
used this line against me.

I work hard - very hard - for the little money that I earn through my
writing. I chose, a long time ago, to marry my writing with my political
work. It is impossible to carry on a full-time job as a neuropsychologist
and do what I am currently doing in politics.

Yes, I could have had a successful career if I had concentrated on
building up my practice. But I decided against it because there was
something more urgent that called to me.

It was a difficult decision to make, but my wife gave me her support,
and I took that fateful step of immersing myself in political work.

To be certain, it has been a struggle financially. We live in a
three-room flat. We don't go overseas for costly holidays, and we don't buy
each other expensive gifts. We eat simple meals and don't dine in fine
restaurants. I don't play golf or indulge in expensive hobbies, my only
recreation is my morning jogs.

But I don't feel deprived. On the contrary, I thank God everyday that
he has blessed me with such a wonderful wife and three lovely children who
mean the world to me. I feel like the richest man on earth.

I hestitated to tell Ms Yew these details because they were personal.
The fact that she works for my political opponents who never felt any
compunction in ruining my life and career makes it even harder to talk to
her about such personal matters.

It is certainly not that I was evading her questions because I am
being paid by a foreigner to ruin Singapore. Think about it: Who would want
to pay me to ruin what?

And if I am indeed on the payroll of some foreign agent, I would have
been living much more handsomely than I am now. As it is, I have been made a
bankrupt, I cannot travel overseas, I keep going in and out of prison, and I
am barred from standing for elections.

But don't get me wrong. I do not complain and I am not the slightest
bit bitter. I do what I do with my eyes open and with the gratitude -
gratitude because I am able to cast aside my fears and speak truth to power,
and gratitude because I have the honour of working with some very courageous
men and women in the SDP.

I willingly live the kind of life that I do because I believe that
Singapore and Singaporeans are worth fighting for.

I don't need anyone, foreign or local, to tell me what to do. This is
why I find Ms Yew's insinuation that I am bankrolled by some foreign force
so beyond the pale.

But I have come to expect this from the state-controlled press through
the years. It is nothing new. My opponents have called me a gangster, a
psychopath and now a traitor.

These words don't bother me, because I know who I am and what I
believe in. And I believe in Singapore. I believe in a free and just
Singapore that is yet to come.

I will not submit nor will I run away. I will stay, because I love my
country and I will fight because I want to empower my fellow Singaporeans so
that, one day, we can walk tall again and be full citizens of a truly
democratic country.

Yet Another Young Actress Leaves MediaCorp

Jesseca Liu is leaving MediaCorp

MediaCorp’s Seven Princesses will soon be down to four.

Following the departure of fellow princesses Fiona Xie and Dawn Yeoh, Jesseca Liu will be the next to leave MediaCorp.

Media Corp, with its history dating back to the 1960s, has been the cradle in nurturing celebrated TV stars in Singapore. Among them was Fann Wong, who starred in Jackie Chan’s Shanghai Knights and is now one of the most sought-after actresses in Mandarin showbiz.

Liu, along with Xie, Yeoh, Jeanette Aw, Joanne Peh, Felicia Chin and Rui En, have been named as the Seven Princesses, who are viewed as likely candidates to succeed Wong and Zoe Tay as the Ah Jie (top actress) of Singapore’s Chinese TV industry.

Liu, 31, has had six fruitful years in MediaCorp. Since winning Most Popular Newcomer in 2005, she was voted as one of the Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes at Star Awards in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Jesseca will not renew her contract with MediaCorp

Jesseca will not renew her contract with MediaCorp

However, the Malaysia-born actress has chosen not to renew her contract, once it expires by the end of May, reported Singaporean Chinese entertainment magazine i-Weekly.

She is trading her high-flying acting career for an opportunity to attempt at different new stuffs, such as going into business, travelling, attending short courses or just taking a long break.

In the interview with the magazine, she cited her spa business in Malaysia as one of the reasons that prompted her to make the decision.

In fact, she started having the idea of quitting MediaCorp two years ago, but only made up her mind last year, when her contract was supposed to end last November.

However, it was eventually extended to this May so that Liu can complete shooting of New Beginnings, MediaCorp’s new series that also starred another Princess, Jeanette Aw.

The series, in which Liu plays a Taiwanese bridal gown designer, will be her last work before she leaves MediaCorp.

Compared to her frequent exposure during the first few years of her career, Liu had less TV work in 2008.

It was the same year when she had a one-year relationship with Taiwanese heartthrob Viter Fan.

The pair started dating when they collaborated in a Mandarin film, but split in 2008.

“The relationship took place around the same moment, so it had more or less affected my career,” she admitted.

Liu, who is now vacationing in Thailand, admitted that she felt a little apprehensive after making the decision.

“If there are opportunities in the future, I would still like to act,” she added.

She will next appear at the press conference for New Beginnings.
- Channel News Asia and Xin.sg

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pap charges 1.4M rental to charity hospital

notcareful wrote:
British are much more kind hearted than our Gov, they only charge $2. for Kwong Wai Shiu to use the land. Now who is inflating our hospital charges?
Kind hearted ppl donate in charity show and Gov collect high rental.

Marine Rat wrote:
Otherwise how to support their $$$$million salary.
Not only something wrong it is definately VERY wrong
Increasing fee is their annnual ritual.

ziggyy wrote:
Literally blood suckers... even charitable hospital also want to charge so high....
How greedy can one be....
What are the reserves for... Does the govt really need an additional 1.4million? Each minitoot reduce their salary by $100k (not even 10%...), can pay the 'rent'... and who determines the rent price again????

123abc wrote:
please lah, give some face leh.
can't you tell they are collecting the money to help the poor?

LaoZhi wrote:
If not how can they raise the charges and fees of gov linked hospitals and claim they are giving "higher subsidies"!!
It is all accounting tricks and number games at the expense of the public.

mykaitan wrote:
Wild Animals don't treat it's own kind this way ..... But, this happening here !!!

mic1838 wrote:
Eh, we need to pay minister salary u know........... You think cheap??? 1 charity night by Thong Chai can only raise salary for MM Lee and President Nathan only...........
World class country must pay world class salary so we need to do this.

kesamet wrote:
I won't be surprise is Cappitaland or City Harvest would buy this hospital over, and convert it into a REIT. It is chaREITy ok? Not charity that the you are thinking of.
There is no such thing as charity in Pap's dictionary, every one for themselves. Did any MP from PAP donate money during the charity show? none.

digitalman wrote:
There are so many avenues for the PAPayas to "extort" money from, like corporate taxes from companies, from personal income taxes, from foreign workers levies, foreign maid levies, from COE, ERP, GST, road taxes, MOV, fines, stamp duties, property taxes, water conservation tax, tobacco and liquor taxes and development charges. What the GIC/Temasek had lost, cannot be replaced by these taxes, but they must a concerted effor the earn back these losses, with more experienced commercial experts..........

teeth53 wrote:
and Ya..loh. Many places and many corner to collect tax and taxes.
U name it we have it....one thing they still have not admit is our lost in GIC and in Temasick, oni said where got every Sunday is a shining Sunday one. sometime win and sometime losses.

By Yen Feng (Straits Times)
But Kwong Wai Shiu's annual rent now $1.4 million instead of just $1 during British rule.

The rent has shot up, but Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital will be getting more help. Last September, the Health Ministry agreed to increase its subsidy from $170,000 to what may amount to millions of dollars every year. It will also pay a portion of the hospital's patient expenses, and cover its rent for buildings within its compound that are used for patient care.

FAR from their homes in Guangdong province 100 years ago, three clan leaders thought they would scrape together money to buy medical care for their clansmen.

They raised so much - $150,000 - that they built a hospital instead to give free care to anyone.

They also struck a sweetheart deal in their 99-year lease with the British colonial leaders to pay $1 every year in rent for Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital.

Ris Low's breasts exposed in public

Dethroned Miss Singapore World Ris Low's tube dress was pulled down by a man and as a result her breasts were exposed in public.

Low wrote about the incident in her blog on Wednesday.

"Then Lao Niang got molested! Son of a bitch xxxx (vulgarities)! He pulled down my tube in front of a taxi stand queue la! I told him off and he ran away. Regret keeping that kick I have from Muay Thai. Sigh."

Later in an interview with Lianhe Wanbao, Low said she was waiting for her boyfriend at a taxi stand on Tuesday night when she noticed a man, who was standing in front, starring at her.

"I ignored him but five minutes later he turned around and grabbed my left hand. Then, he asked me to kiss him," she said.

Low said the man, in his 30s, then pulled down her tube dress and her breasts were exposed as she did not wear a bra.

She said another man immediately went to her aid and the "molester" ran away.

She lodged a police report the next day.

Low, who had bruises on her left hand, also wrote in the blog: "Was crying like a stupid emotion full baby mad hell and Date was patient enough to calm me down."
Ris Low claims to have been molested in blog
Posted: 22 March 2010 1231 hrs

SINGAPORE: Former beauty queen Ris Low has written in an expletive-laden blog entry dated March 17 that a man had pulled down her strapless dress while she was in a taxi queue outside Park Mall.

"I told him off and he ran away. Regret keeping that kick I have from Muay Thai," wrote Low, who had been taking Muay Thai kickboxing lessons for the past four months.

The 20-year-old, who models part time while studying for a diploma at the Management Development Institute of Singapore, wrote that she broke into tears after the incident. She only stopped after she was comforted by her 31-year-old property agent boyfriend.

Low, who suffers from bipolar disorder, reportedly felt very indignant and reported the matter to the police last Wednesday.

She also posted a 37-second video on her blog that same day, in which she urged molest victims to confront their molester and vowed to seek retribution against the man who molested her.

Most Netizens were skeptical of Low's blog posts and believed the whole thing to be a publicity stunt.

"I suspect that she wants to hog the limelight, to be famous in order to get more assignments," wrote digitalman on Channelnewsasia.com's forum page.

Others were more sympathetic towards Low.

"The public should learn to exercise sympathy over her [Ris Low's] plight and understand the ordeal she went through," said TooFree on sgforums.com.

Low, who attends classes at the Academy of Certified Counsellors, told The New Paper that she blogged about it in the hopes of "getting witnesses to step forward" and to tell victims of rape or molest "that they shouldn't suffer in silence" despite being wary of a public backlash.

Low's molest case is the latest in a string of incidents that have gotten Netizens talking about the former beauty queen, who just revealed on her blog on Sunday that she was also bisexual.

She attracted public attention in January for becoming the spokesperson for a condom brand Espire and appearing in a controversial video that saw her slipping condoms on bananas of various sizes.

Low also drew flak last year for speaking poor English and lost her Miss Singapore World crown, after news of her conviction for credit card fraud surfaced. She has been under a 24-month probation for her crime since May 2009.