Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Talk City is cheap but you may need to pay for opinions 

$50,000 - that's what you may need to deposit with MDA if you express too many opinions or your website or blog becomes too popular

To date, more are said than done
Plentiful of promises are said but few, if any, delivered
Funnily, what is said and what is actually done more often contradicts

What is correct & what is wrong seems to have merged and grey (outcome) is an acceptable result.
What is legally correct may not be morally correct; possible? Well, guess its not impossible as the Laws lag behind reality and practices.
合法; literally to mean comply legally, 合情; comply with culture & practices, 合理; comply with reason or reasonably correct
The Rule of Laws must be fair and equitable and the outcome must be consistent as in Case Laws but where the human hand is involved, the weight of Laws can be skewed towards a desired outcome.

As harmless as it may be, respect for the Laws of the Land will erode over time.

The mass are, by and large, indifference and live a 'carefree', non-politisize lifestyle, building upon their own dreams, chasing their dreamed rainbows and running round their own 'Garden @Eden' with lots of space for ventilation, complaints, controversies and self-worthy opinions. In simple term, its a 'world of their own'; the 'Gamers world', where reality and fantasies merged seamlessly.

There is no need to control nor regulate the 'Gamers World'; a world where fantasies and realities merged with plentiful of ideals but few ideas...ideals that float and change with time.

When Mao tried to immotalize his ideas and flood his thoughts throughout the populace with unquestioned authority, the country suffered (economically). Deng swung the pendulum to the other end and free the 'minds and thoughts' of the people and let 'free play' dictates the pace of the future. China enter an era of peace, prosperity and status few can challenge.

Let there be free play of ideas and ideals. There is no monopoly of ideas and wisdom.

If Martin Luther King didn't speak out, today's world may still be clearly black and/or white. For Singapore to breakout into a new era, a new paradigm must be allowed to manifest.

Friday, May 24, 2013

ERP; It's Costs & The Spy Traps

Whatever GNSS & ERP x; its a revenue chaser.

Car ownership has been, and will always be, expensive in Sgp. Apart from the variety of taxes currently in place, throwing-in 'charge by usage' will only further burden the users, minus the wealthy.

From experiences, the current system (or any new measures) are revenue centric; why disallow car pooling, car sharing & the likes. If every cars on the roads have four or more passengers (two in the case of two-seaters), half the car population will be parked at homes. What traffic jams?

With GNSS and ERP3 and a whole gamut of devices installed in-car, drivers are deprived of freedom, choice & privacy. Monitoring your movements, knowingly or unknowingly, becomes the norm. What's there to prevent a rogue government (if an evil group seizes power through the box) from misusing these for their selfish purposes?

Control at extremes will breed resentment and rebellion against the system and paralyze initiatives.

At the rate we are introducing, and passing more costs, to consumers/citizens, Sgp is a pressure cooker waiting to explode. The mounting stresses will create more zombies & cracks on the roads. The health costs of a stressful citizenry outweighs economic gains.

What's wrong with traffic jams? Economic costs? Sure, but if the health of the general citizenry is cracked or collapsed, what price are we paying?

Singapore is an experimental bed for many policies but our citizens must not be sacrificed like guinea pigs.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Country That Got Stuck In Her Path

...paralysis by analysis

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”  -  Confucius

Sir Stamford Raffles probably foresaw and reflected on this trading post islet and trust that it will be a great
trading point between East & West.

Mr Goh Keng Swee and his team strongly believed that we can transform this sunny island into a gem-of-sorts. There must have been a success story somewhere on Earth that whatever we want to do and forge ahead, we can imitate, adapt and create our Destiny.

In the early days, there were few educated men and information were not readily available. Who would have believe that there is, and will have, such easy access to info via www.?

Singapore started as (and progress):
- a trading post - 1800s
- an entrepot point - 1900s
- a labour intensive hub - 60s-70s
- mechanisation, automation, financial and value-add centre 80s-90s
- technology, knowledge-base, financial, leisure & value-add metropolitan - 2000s

With progress, comes costs.

Our strings of disillusions, disquietness and discontent is not without reasons; many were left behind in the name of progress and (GDP)growth. Our Gini-coefficient widens by the year reflecting our gapping income disparity.

The untame influx of foreigners seeking fun, abode, fortune & jobs took their toll on infrastructure, space, income and citizenry rights & privileges. Income were suppressed and jobs became scarce while costs of housing, medicine & medical care, transport, education, food rose in general.

Dissenting voices (often heard in alternative media/www) became louder but their cries were dismissed as noises.

Knowingly or unknowingly, Singapore had moved towards labour intensive industries like hospitality, medi-care, education, tourism and the likes; we have come 'one full circle' by experience.

With a global unemployment of 200mil and more, we must seek to protect the interests and well being of our citizens, not out of selfishness but, by necessity; Singaporeans are citizens and PRs & others are foreigners. To anyone who thinks and says we are xenophobic, please show me a country, preferably yours, that practices such liberal 'open door' policies to allow foreigners to work and reside here.

It's time to move upward & forward. But, please, Do Not leave our citizens behind.

For a start, all the leaders & leaders-to-be must step forward to serve and fight for the people's rights, well being and put 'Singaporeans First'. 

A good leader leads his men. An excellent leader leads his men and share his dreams, aspirations and fears. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Singapore; My Country, My Home

The toughness of being ...

There are cries about the tough lives and living conditions in Singapore.
Does anyone bothers or its just 'noises'?
Why & how did we reach this stage and how long can the people hold before they act to change their destiny?

Education, health costs, housing, transport and, to some extent, food are getting expensive and becoming less & less affordable to the poor, less able and bottom half of the population.

The stagnation of wages resulting from the onslaught of inflows of cheaper substitutes (foreigners who cannot find jobs back home & global unemployment, coupled with favorable exchange rates) have caused undue depression and stress to the body, the mind & the pockets. Statistics released showed that unemployed PMETs figures were higher last year.

When the economy was smaller, the pace was slower yet everyone was happy. Or at least, not unhappy.  Life & living were stress-free. The corporatisation of Singapore Inc had monetize everything; land, labour, capital including emotion - 'no money, no honey'.

Class division is a norm despite denials.

The elites & the mandarins get choice deals and jobs.
The entrepreneurs grease the economy while the working class work support the system & feed themselves. Many dread the possibility of displacement.
The poor, less able, less fortunate and the fallen ones pick up the crumbs. Worse hit are those who are geared; living on borrowed time & resources.

What has become of our sunny island nation?

Boys at their economically & educationally prime are conscripted to serve & defend the country while foreigners their age are en-route to finish their Uni education. By the time our boys finish their education, the foreigners are, and have, already gained two years or more of working experiences.

Jobs are hard to come by; good paying jobs are the exclusives of the elites & the 'connected'. Alas! Our boys fight, defend & die for the nation while the elites & foreigners feast. I pray this is fiction!

The rich cannot live in a sea of poor. Similarly, the hungry soldiers cannot win any wars. No generals, leaders & tycoons can be an island unto themselves.

I am born, live (& will die) here. I love my country & this is my home. I will not allow my country to go down the drain. If words & cries fall on deaf ears & nothing changes, we must act to save our little sunny island-nation called Singapore for our future generations.

Saying "You are free to pack & go", "It's cheaper to have retirement homes in JB", "Gang rape, afterall, is democracy in action" or "That welfare will breeds dependency & it's some form of scam" may mean well, or nothing, to some but these statements are very short on EQs, care & concern.

Again, I pray that whatever I have written is fiction & my understanding of the real situation is completely different; how silly & shallow I was - still deep in my dream?