Sunday, August 02, 2015

interview and performance review

Besides having a little red dot stickers that reminds us that it has been 50 years since we celebrated our independence, let us not forget that this also happens to be the election year. And that, politicians incumbent and aspiring is really in our face to remind us every step of the way  that they are the best choice and that they are the right person for the job.

Which is interesting, that at the crux of us having 50yrs behind, and looking forward to the next uncertain 50, we have to set our mind and think straight.

Now, to deconstruct elections and all its campaigning, it is a nothing more than, " An interview and performance review for the politicians to take on the job of becoming our boss, or if you may, the lords and masters."

Why are they the lords and masters? because they will be solely responsible for the next 5 yrs to decide what we are suppose to do for the next 5 years. If they decided that it is illegal to use the phone while walking or use the camera, you can be arrested for playing candy crash while going to the MRT station....... So, it is a serious matter.

As with all interviews and appraisal, every trick in the book is being pulled out, such as making sure that the playing field is levelled or tilted in the form of election boundary redrawing and such.

Staking claims and introducing new faces and changing a few appointments, there are also people retiring for good measures, or as a transition to a higher position of eminence.

As with all interviews and appraisals, the whole idea is to connect with the other sides, in this case, the voters, to show them the great work that has been so far, through connections by using effigies of eminent statesmen pass and also if all else fails, doles out goodies.

But that, if we talk about great work being done thus far, some of them had to be that bold audacious move to put even more people on this land. And that, as less and less couples are inclined to put more babies as their duties of nation building this increment has to be done through import. While I am not a big fan of that, lets just say that my opposition to that is simply that, in order to pull that off and to convince me that it should be done, show me that our island can support that many people. And this time, my simple exhort is this, show me that our infrastructure is able to cope and that we have facilities that is so under used before you even talk about bringing more in. And while you are at it, fix the bloody train or at least make sure that there is a direct bus to connect me.

In short, this is no longer about what we have achieved for the last 50 years but where we want to go for the next 50. I have my reservation about trusting nation to people that pilfer tooth picks and regales about it on national media and that I am probably had had enough about butterfly lovers as an explanation to oversights.

We the people are grateful for the last 50 but, in order to need the confidence for the next 50 and not a distant memories of the greatness that was coming 2065, please:

Show something concrete
Show that you listen
Show that you care
Show that you can really deliver
Show that you have the solution and not asking me for a solution to my problems
Show that you are worth the money.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Videos and Slap

I do not condone violence and that I believe to express oneself in an act of violence is silly and pointless. Nor do I believe in slapping people and run away, slap is an insult, and that if you can't stand there and gloat over the slap, it is probably not done in righteousness. To slap and run is an act of cowardice and that to slap a young boy because his post offend you, that is probably as heroic as a school yard bully.

Now, I did watch the video, if some of you is wondering, I stopped half way as I was disgusted by it. But I do feel that the boy who made that video is not the problem. He has problem obviously. whether he was prodded to do the video by some misguided people with nefarious design or he was just simply troubled, he needs alot of counseling and maybe even psychiatric help. I am not so sure if a jail term or fine is going to be of any help.

Now, back to the slap. Slapping someone is what they call " Voluntary causing hurt", whatever reason it may be, it is a crime. Now, doing it in front of a court, to someone that you think deserves jail time, that takes it far beyond just causing hurt. It is now sending a message that the slapper thinks that the boy needs to be punished beyond what the court can mete out.The slapper also pronounced the boy guilty, isn't that like telling the judge that he thinks the boy is guilty and deserves punishment, or he is just being the judge and executor all in 1? And doing that in front of the court, is that not slapping the court and the judiciary as well?

It wasn't a random accident, the slapper knows who he was intending to slap and he went there and did just that. Now, imagine, if it wasn't a slap but a stab? The boy is terrible, but did he deserves to be knife and gutted? Or was it someone that once suggested to cut off his.....

Monday, March 09, 2015

Mine, yours or theirs

There was this fantastic speech being made in the parliament concerning CPF which was lauded by our esteemed Prime minister, and can be found here
And that I was reading a post by a friend and I would just want to embellish some points.

There was some uproar caused by the following quote

In relation to the use of CPF money, we have heard proponents who say that the CPF monies is theirs. “It’s our money, it’s in our account, it’s our retirement money. I want it out, I will spend it anyway we want.” Fine. Is it our money? Our CPF savings are enhanced and forced CPF savings which are accumulated through our own deferred consumption, through co-payment by our employers and through top-ups from public funds. Is it really my private money? Do I have the right to spend it the way I would spend my own salary? I’m not entirely sure.

I know at the end of the day, that because I’m not the only person contributing to the fund, I cannot be the only person to call the shots as to how I am going to spend it. At the very least, I have a moral obligation to spend it wisely. Why do I say that? Because if I’m not judicious in my spending at the end of the day, who’s going to maintain me in my twilight years – the state? Who? Ultimately it means someone else is bearing it right, another taxpayer. So if I’m not judicious and I’m arguing this is my money, I’m not going to be responsible in my use and if I argue this is your money, you use it anyway you want – I’m not responsible as a citizen. – Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Chia Yong Yong

The first question here is about the ownership. I am wondering if Ms Chia was wondering if she was wondering about the fact that CPF was her own private money? If she has the rights to spend it the she want? if she can spend it like her own salary?

The first question here is about ownership. Is CPF really our own money?
using Singlish, I will say, it is "by right", your own money.
because, it is in name, your money. because like some labour chief once said, he saw his CPF contribution every month and he felt very rich. So, if it is not his, why will he felt rich?

But yet, it is as much my money like the Ang Bao money that my parent kept for me when I was young. It was kept for the future, being saved on my behalf and as I would not know any better. It is mine, in name but sometimes, I hardly see it.

The question here is that, just because it is a forced and enhanced saving that receive top-up from the employer and sometimes, the government, made it any less, mine? I hardly think so. I think that so long as it comes to an account that bears my name, I am responsible for it.

Another point is that, it is because I worked in that company, and that the company is willing to pay my remuneration,  and most importantly, it is considered as part of the pay package offered to me, as such, I will considered this point as moot.

Which comes to 1 point in Ms Chia's statement about being responsible as a citizen. One of the key responsibility of the citizen is that of tax. We pay taxes, which means, we contribute to the national coffer. putting it into prospective, going by Ms Chia's rationale, the government should bear in mind when they spend on the coffer, they should think twice when spending it willy-nilly and we should be consulted, no? We should be accountable to, no? anyway, I shall leave it to another time to dwell on this point.

And this comes to the next point in her discourse about how it is irresponsible to allow the account holder should be allow to use the funds anyway they want. Lets just say that nobody is talking about a carte blanch, but rather, a greater liberty to use the funds when they are in their vulnerable years after 55 whereby they could be retrenched or fall ill while taking a substantial impact in their income.
That has nothing to do with irresponsible spending, more on not being dependant on the public and becoming destitute.

Lets get back to basic. The whole idea of the CPF in its inception is a self funded retirement fund that is based on how hard one has worked during their working life. It spurs the economy as most people worked hard to make sure that they have not just enough to make ends meet, but also to build a nest egg for their Golden Years. To suggest that money is anything less than their own, and to suggest that people worked hard to have better access as irresponsible is derisory to say the least.

Lets just say that we should go back to the basic and make the fundamental changes that is needed to meet future challenges. It is as simple as the following:

  1. Improve wage condition for everyone, especially those of lower wages
  2. Increase Employer contribution ration
While some will say that this will result in market meltdown and foreign investment exiting en masse. It unfortunately has become inevitable as the minimum sums rise and rise again year after year while my pay seems to be getting nowhere.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

How Long and How far

Thanks to a recent change in the nature and location of my work, I did not take public transport that often. I am sure that the statement below was not due to me.

Which does make 1 wonder, what is the capacity that our MRT was built for, because I was once led to believe that, it is a matter of if we choose to board or not.

As such, it is clear that, the recent occurence of train having issue has absolutely nothing to with SMRT or the LTA whatsoever, it is not their fault.

And we,  as commuters, should just

However, I do have questions

While it is possible that we all staggered our time to avoid over crowding the public transport, can LTA come out with an app that let us indicate our time at the MRT station so that others can decide if they should wake up even earlier to avoid crowding?

Can I tell my boss that I need to clock out earlier so that I will not crowd the MRT on my way home?

Can We have an excuse chit to show to our children's childcare so that we will not be fined when we are late to pick up our kids due to train breakdown?

Can I ask that PTC be finally able to include in their SLA that if there are train breakdown after a fare hike is annouced, they should just pay for the fare hike themselves instead? I mean, I am not asking them to resign or comit Harakiri which is what honourable people did in the good old days

In the mean time, please know that COE just went up and that there will be more Gantry in case you are thinking of driving

And for the rest,

We still need to ask ourselves, how long is the journey going to take and how far that we have to walk to our destination.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Money can't buy

The recent parliament speech by Ms Josephine Teo was indeed inspiring. And that I think she is right in saying that National Service is something bigger than money and that it should not require a higher remuneration in the form of an increase in NSMEN allowance.

Looking beyond materialistic needs, I cannot help but agree with her.

I also think that, besides National Service, the other higher state of calling will be to be called to serve the people through the ballot box. As National Service is a law enshrined to ensure that able bodied men are called to protect our Nation, Electing of the Members of Parliament is a higher calling as it is the people who desired that you represent them.

As such, I think it is only fair that we restructure the MP's pay in accordance to that to reward them.

The first thing I can think of, is that a Member of Parliament should be paid in a multiples of that of a NSMEN. As such, I think a MP should be paid 10 times that of a NSMEN.
Of course, we should also give them other perks.
1 of which I can think of, is that, they should be given free Safra memberships as long as they are in office.

Also, They should be given a card, not unlike that of a Pioneer Generation Card so that they can pay less when they visit GP and Polyclinics. Speaking of healthcare, they should also be given annual $8 heart bypass and also prostate examinations.

They should also be given a fare card that allows them to have free rides on our world class public transport. I will gladly subsidise them if a fare increase is warranted. After all, public transport should not be a lost-making business despite it being a public service and all.

I will think that they will need their everyday expense taken care of, as such. They should be given NTUC voucher of a princely $100 every quarter and entitled to CPF life. They also should be given a subsidised rate to an elder care services in Batam or JB.

I mean, we have to make sure that we spend public fund prudently and also that it is not always about the money but the feel good element for one being elected to serve..... No?

Saturday, January 31, 2015


近日重温梁祝这经典, 发现原来这典故还挺好用的。
基本上, 已经有成就百搭经典的门道,达到不朽的殿堂。
成就了, 升学宝典,反推经验,书生YY,以及其它不具名引经据典的妙用108式。
但,近期最引人瞩目的, 非引以为'不察' 的引据莫属。
这故事,之所以会成为经典, 升华至续庄周之后,唯一的化蝶,那间私塾的不察有着难以推诿的责任, 基本上,最少,梁祝的两条人命。私塾的不察,有着一定的关系。
别的不说,只是叫祝家小姐把裤子脱下, 大小姐立马打道回府。 梁公子就无需英年早逝, 祝小姐更不用,在大婚之日,玉殒香消了。

所以, 需要正视的,这个典故,也是个悲剧。悲剧的因缘,是一个失察的使然。
失察,是一个失误, 若把失察,当成是一个常态, 造就的,将会是一场又一场悲剧。抱着失察是常态的人, 如果不是变态或是白痴,就是绝对的有严重的心障。将其毁灭跟斩妖除魔的功德无二。
曾经有人说过,祝小姐从未被识破, 无外乎利益与关系二由。 孰是孰非,也以无从考证。

Ashes to Ashes

And in this case, it should not be dust to dust.
It does seems like the dust has settled somewhere in Sengkang and that Eternal Pure Land will need to seek out another piece of land for their business in selling a little piece of paradise in the afterlive

Firstly, I must say that, while there are missteps in how the authorities are handling the matter, the future residence should note that, there will still be a temple there, eventually. And that, despite all the misgivings, religious, superstitious stands, the whole idea probably boils down to, Money.
Money as the possible resale value of the house will go down, the convenience and such. No matter what misgivings that they have, are not really problem, but issues that can be addressed when you have enough money and resources thrown in to mitigate all possible issues.

However, this is where everything  gets interesting. the authorities initially seems to have taken a stand to not spend too much money to address the issues. How is that so?

one of the points raised was that it was part of ancillary function was cremation and funeral services.
but unfortunately, Eternal Pure has the aim of making the ancillary function as the core function of the site.

Another point raise about traffic, instead of improving the road and increase the parking, it came to the point of provision of bus services to the temple and manning of roads to prevent illegal roadside parking.

Guess bus company's bottom line and that traffic enforcement income is set to increase.

But at the end, it does seems that Eternal Pure Land, was found out as a commercial entity with no religious affiliation and that on their website, it was clear that the land was use as a "Premium Columbarium"  

The land in question, besides sitting in the middle of some BTO estates, was not a free piece of land given to some religious body so that they can provide, besides a place of worship, community services and such. It was a tendered and that as with most, if not all tender, it was awarded to the highest bidder. It was a financial transaction and not a good will gesture. As such, should the money be redirected to the residence to mitigate their concern, it would have been less of a bitter pill to swallow. 

On top of which, should the whole columbairum comes to being. All the problem that the residence faced will be brownie points for any politicians who came their way and resolve it for the residence. And naturally, the solution will not be paid for from the MP's allowance or the minister's salary. 

I am glad that the episode came to pass in the way it is. But of course, there are more things to laugh about but that is fodder for another post.