Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Outrage over Upgrading Issues
i'm reproducing the article from Littlespeck.com here regarding
the Upgrading carrots the ruling party dangle every Ge.
Goh Chok Tong Stirring it big
Senior minister's warning that Singaporeans who elect opposition will lose out on
state subsidies for estate upgrading has raised a large outcry among the Internet community.
Mar 27, 2006
Mr. Goh also told voters of two opposition wards - Hougang and Potong Pasir -
that if the PAP candidates win, the party whip may be lifted for them in Parliament.
Online response, in volume and depth of feeling, has been very intense. Following are excerpts, rather
one-sided only because there were hardly any views supporting Mr. Goh at this compilation..
Mr. Chiam See Tong was quite clear about the "very unethical disbursement of public funds.
Town councils run by the PAP have almost unlimited funds.Their main source of money is the
Ministry of National Development," of which a PAP MP is senior parliamentary secretary.
Chiam has to make do with the maintenance rates collected from residents and the $280,000
that each town council receives annually from the government. "The world is divided between those who support the PAP and those who don't," said Chiam. "If you don't vote for the PAP, you don't get the facilities. These facilities are provided by public funds, yet the government is using public funds to gain votes." And how did Goh Chok Tong respond to that? "You can argue that the money belongs to the people, but you still have to queue up to receive it."
He is playing with tax-payer monies. May be he should consider Hougang's
and Potong Pasir's residents be exempted from paying GST?
Nobody is taking him seriously any more.
Are we in a mafia election?
Goh Meng Seng (Workers Party)
Heard that one stall holder of Hougang Market openly rejected the idea of upgrading the Hougang market outright during the dialogue session with Goh CT. He cited the reason that with an upgraded market, rental will increase and he will ill afford that. Goh CT then says that after upgrading the market, more people will come to Hougang market. The priority right now is not about upgrading but rather, how to keep cost of livnig low! Upgrading is contrary to this primary objective of keeping cost of living lower! Dear SM Goh, What we are looking for is LOWER Cost of Living and not Upgrading!
Yes. We would want cheaper food, lower education cost, medical fees and cheaper houses and not extravagent upgrading which we have to bear the costs anyway. If these unnecessary costs passed on to the neccessities then it will be good.
"If the food is nice and cheap.. customer sure come." My friend brought me to Johor Baru, there no upgrading. But I saw many many people. Food is cheap cos rental is cheap. But food not only cheap but also very nice so, many many people go there even place is ulu ulu and no upgrading some more.
I'm confused, why do some people talk about upgrading as a FREE gift, when it is a PAID gift?
PAP is trying to turn people's attention from National issues to local issues.
It is the goverment's responsiblity to provide clean and properr eating and rading enviroment. it is the goverment's responsiblity to help local business grow. However, if the goverment should not comment on matters they cannot be responsible of or able to predict no matter how good the matter turn out to be. A newer and cleaner market, a upgraded one, might attract more visitor in the short term, but that does not garuntee more sales in more short or even long term. Unless the goverment can garantee that an upgraded market will result in an increase a revenue for the stall holders, they have no right to increase rental and collect profit from any stall holders when the stall holders themselves do not see any increase in their own earnings.
Let GCT talk himself from losing the grass support. The point is that "upgrading is using the public money" and should be used for the common good based on needs and not on political affiliation. The PAP can neither use it as a carrot to gain votes nor use it to blackmail the people into not voting for the opposition parties. All public funds should be channel through the legitimate elected Members of Parliament and not through PAP advisors in opposition wards. Chiam and Low should seek legal (not Leegal) advice on whether the practice is against the constitution and common law. Why are they silent on these unfair practices?
They can make threats but that can trigger a backlash. Do remeber that PAP is not
returned as a majority on polling day since more than half the seats will be contested.
They can try to threaten at their own peril.
No harm done. Come election day, all is forgotten due to their fear and
PAP gets their mandate. Coffee shop grouses only.
In fact I'm saying this for all the opposition. Don't fall into such petty quarrel traps
setup by them. Focus on what and how you can better people livelihoods, national interest
and stay clean, at the same time how to move Singapore forward. That's the key in defeating them.
The main point remains that Hougang residents pay tax and serve NS like everyone else. How can the govt discriminate against Hougang and deprive them of services paid for by tax monies? GCT might as well threaten the Hougang residents that the govt will stop maintaining the roads in Hougang and withdraw all SCDF services from them if they don't vote PAP! What a disgraceful freaking tyrant!
Looks like GCT is not very wise in the ways of the Parliament. The whip cannot be waived or raised for individual members of Parliament on a suka suka ('as you like') basis. The whip is always on the PAP MPs but is lifted only on very few occassions and this is dependent on the issue at hand beingof universal Sinbgaporeans apeal such as say National Service. Otherwise the whip remains and when in force all MPs must conform or be disciplined by having to resign etc. This proposal to lift the whip only for the two candidates of Houqang and Potong Pasir is a proposal that can never hold true..
You think he does not know. This is election talk.
A compliant media is one that fails to 'check' him on that.
I couldn't believe my ears. is he serious? One does not know whether to laugh or cry. Actually I am doing both, laughing to tears. However this does point to a few things: They know people want an opposition. They does see the oppostion as a growing threat. They are not as relaxed they pretend.
It's been more than 24 hours since I read about what GCT says and I am still completely floored and flabbergasted by the insanity of it all. Seriously, for him to even suggest this speaks volumes aabout his respect for the voters and the intergrity of our elections.
I believe the core issue for this election should not be on the upgrading. Instead it should be on the livelihood of common people. What the use of upgrading when most are starving and cannot pay for electric and water bill? Upgrading can be done when everyone can afford later. LHL really play his cards wrong. Many are disinterest with upgrading but more on bread and butter issue. See those oldies picking can drinks bottle and carton boxes, he think they fancy upgrade more than livelihood? I suspect he is trying to divert attention from this which he has no idea how to solve.
Using State fund to advance own political goal should be mada a crime against the nation,
People should stand up and reject all upgrading unless all Singaporean are treated equal,
opposition ward or not. CST said he have no access to the funds form Ministry of National
Development, that is something that must be corrected.
The point is that "upgrading is using the public money" and should be used for the common good based on needs and not on political affiliation. The PAP can neither use it as a carrot to gain votes nor use it to blackmail the people into not voting for the opposition parties. All public funds should be channel through the legitimate elected Members of Parliament and not through PAP advisors in opposition wards. Public institutions should also work through the elected representive and not through a particular political party. Chiam and Low should seek legal advice on whether the practice is against the constitution and common law. Why are they silent on these unfair practices?
Why is the ruling party always uses UPGRADING as the bait for residents to vote them in the past few GEs. Is there nothing but just upgrading that they are concern for the vote winning? What about job security, cost of living, medical cost etc ... these are much important and essential than upgrading issue!!
The flat is the only asset its people held. All thanks to the stupid policy of buying a bigger flat, sell it when one is ready to retire by dun know which minister. Now the flat price plummeted and got older. No way the value can return for ugly flat even if the location is good. So the govt will upgrade with heavy subsidy after all these years of sucking its people. But they are smart to tag something into the deal, which is vote them in first. I wonder if we can vote all of them out and continue with the upgrade as well?
I just can't understand why treating fellow singaporeans double standards?? Didn't the residents in Hougang and PP pay taxes, GST, COEs, housing loans...etc just like the rest of the singaporeans.. it just being very unethical using such remarks to "blackmail" the citizens there... I feel even they choose other people as MPs, they should be receiving the same treatment as a singaporean citizen.
Politics is dirty. Just this comment is enough for them to lose, AGAIN!!!
The funny thing is that Sinaporeans all do the Singapore pledge....
We, the citizens of Singapore
Pledge ourselves as one united people
Regardless of race, language or religion
To build a democratic society
Based on justice and equality
So as to achieve happiness, prosperity & progress for our nation
Well....We're one united people, so, everyone should have his fair share of upgrades etc...
All are carrying the pink IC and Singaporeans...so, why the difference...but then....
After upgrade, they will raise lots of charges, 'cos they will say need to maintain the standards etc..so end up paying much more..
Yah .. sounded hipocrite...Got democracy? You vote opposition then get blackmailed for no upgrading..even you are a fellow singaporean..I staying in a PAP constituency, but just can't help getting furious when I heard Lau Goh said that...
Dont worry they go see GCT only, but they still vote Chiam See Tong. CST cannot afford to lose, he is the icon for democracy. If PAP wins, then next time there will be no more Potong Pasir, it will merge with neighbour GRC. They use upgrading as a threat, I feel it is unfair. All blocks regardless where is the ward shall be given upgrading according to the age of the flats. The reason why I don't like PAP is they control too much our lives.
We need more people to reject this. It's so blatant, how a corporate entity's plans for upgrading can be tied into the Ruling Party. Just reject the whole f--king idea man..in the end, that HDB flat is not yours.
If people give in to this, it will be a sad day for Singapore. It is downright low in characters that our Ministers had to resort to this to win votes.
It is still a political issue cos' it does work...Your property is your most valuable asset and money always counts in Singapore. Would anyone wish to buy a resale flat from from Potong Pasir unless the selling price is way below the market value? Without upgrading, your investment will only depreciate in value.. The government's policy is not fair but why should residents in Potong Pasir continue to suffer for choosing the Opposition? Those who want to keep Opposition MPs in Parliament should help defray the costs of upgrading for flats in Opposition wards.
yah... but in the first place... HDB is now a corporatised entity where their reason for being is based on profits and losses. Politics shouldn't influence their upgrading plans.
In the first place, the PAP should be banned from dealing in the corporate plans of HDB.
Face it, no ombudsman, and no ombudsman with a big stick.
This is an open threat man! I hope the opposition issue statment tomorrow.
In today's competition, people are always trying to gain an unfair advantage, be it in studies,
work, sports or politics... it's really sad... I just hope people give their vote to the
leaders they believe in and not look at the material sides of things...
In the first place, they shouldn't even mix grassroots organisations, political parties and governmental agencies together. Now, in my opinion, the PAP has trouble differenciating the differences in the above as they have been doing the job since independence (actually, since M'sia was formed...).
This is characteristic Singapore Politics conducted by Incumbent Politicians with a Third World mentality, trying hard to up-grade the HDB environment into a sham image of a First World to be lived by Singaporeans, who are governed by Third World legislators. With the constant insecurity that is typical of Third World Politicians, can we not expect that they will need to control and manipulate every facet of government structure, so as to gain the upper hand for themeselves in any political situation.
Pork Barrel Politics in play?
I am sure even some PAP members are against using this as an election tactic but what to do? Have to toe the party line.
Let it collapse. To resort to such tricks..is very unbecoming.
HDB upgrading has become a political issue because we indirectly approved it with
our votes. So, what is there to complain about; we have only ourselves to blame.
The most horrible part is they never feel shameful by saying such crap year after year...
They make it seem like we owe them or something. bloody authoritarian regime...
I am really disgusted that people are actually cheering and applauding at the end of that awful and pretentious speech. I don’t see how he is sincerely being ‘caring’ for the welfare of the residents there for making such a threat. Can’t they see through the hypocrisies in this? It is like unofficially telling people that anyone who voted for opp should be treated as 2nd or 3rd class citizens. I don’t care how truth this is as a pre-election propaganda, as someone with dignity I am finding it hard to swallow. And propaganda only works for the fool, this kind of thing only further convinced me that why we should need to vote for more opposition members than having more MIW.
My thought is that irregardless whether that town belong to opposition or not, when come to upgrading of lift or flat and when is really needed, govn should put aside of the different and serve the ppl when is in need. It should not use it as a weapon or candy or any mean to win back the vote. Talk about income tax, everyone pay the tax irregardless whether he is in opp ward or pap ward, why should the opp ward not able to get the 'money' to upgrade those needed flat? But..I was disappointed, 'cos majority of S'porean are short sighted, they only noe what is good in front of them but they did nt noe that behind them..there are some other thing going on.
Wake up S'porean!! It time for you to see a bigger picture..get out from the smoke.
Every election, people complain. Every election, MIW win almost every damned thing.
So whats happening?
People shouldn't fear the government. The govt should fear the people.
I find it amusing that people actually feel worked up over such rhetoric. Everyone knows it's just for show. As if the opposition politicans will be saints if they were in the PAP's position. If I vote for the opposition, it won't be because I think Chiam or Low are saintly persons (whether that's true or not). It will be becoz i think Singapore needs an opposition to check the PAP. If I don't think so, then there is nothing wrong with voting for PAP. What dignity? Ridiculous.. why should I identify myself personally with either of the sides?
It is just isnt right to use public funds for their own party's interests in voting.
I believe these are just some of the gimmicks that they will associate to the election. Sad to say, this is Singapore.
SM Goh over the news. He's 'concern' that residents of potong pasir will missed out on the upgrading. And, he said that with a straight face. My first reaction? Nauseating.
I began to wonder what is the role of HDB in Singapore. Does HDB functions as a Singapore Government Organisation or PAP Organisation? What exactly is the mission of HDB?
Even though the chairman of HDB is from PAP, it should still plan and develop all areas in
Singapore, regardless constituency. To plan and develop, ensuring vibrant community of PAP wards is not the mission of HDB. If HDB is not going to upgrade PAP opposition wards, does it mean that residents from these wards no longer have to pay car park fees or miscellaneous fees to HDB? The whole deal, somehow, sounds like an extortion. Isn't it?
I agreed with what most of you have said.
I hate the idea of PAP using Tools that are surpose to be for "Public",
as their own Election Tools.
1 - This Is Unfair To The Oppersitions! (sic)
2 - These Should Belong To The Public At Large, Not Their Personal Items!
3 - Tax Payers Pay Taxes To Them, Thus We Should Be Treater Fairly!
4 - This Issue Reflected How Ignorance Most Singaporeans Are How Are We Going
To Be First Class In Such Cases?
Yes.. it is like dangling an ice cream or a durian to a group of deprived kids:
Listen or else you don't get to eat them! what an insult!
Can you really blame the PAP government when the people vote because of HDB upgrade?
In the last few elections, PAP has always used the HDB Upgrade as 'Carrot & Stick' to get their votes. successfully. The more important question is:
Is Singaporean so devoid of Higher Aspiration that they vote according to what happen to their HDB? It has happened time and again in the past! The NKF saga is just an eye opener. If Singaporean keep ignoring the issues of Transparencies, Accountability and greater Civic Freedom, then who is to be blame for the state that they are in? Do Singaporeans even realised that their childrens are going to be totally lacking in civic consciousness, politically awkward and behave like society-nerd that cares only about the one or two thousands sq ft of HDB cement that they paid a lot for, but do not own and can be asked to leave anytime? Is this what being a Singaporean means?
What a let down!!
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Hotly-Debated "Time Bombs"
Recently, the Workers' Party of Singapore released their Manifesto 2006.
This sparked a furious upset in the ruling party, which used words like "time-bombs"
and "poison" to describe it.
The Workers' Party Manifesto 2006 is a lengthy 52-page booklet, so to have the
contents simply summarised into "4 time-bombs" is a tad unfair for the Workers' Party.
Fret not. The Manifesto is available online. It would take time to read, but the time
spent will be worthwhile. Read the REAL THING from the horse's mouth and not rely on
our government-controlled-nation-builder press for a change!!
Disclaimer: I am in NO WAY associated to Workers' Party of Singapore. I am putting
up the links here to enable easy access to these links for friends of my blog.
The Workers' Party
You Have A Choice
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Government and Civil Liberties
Chapter 2 Justice, Law and Order
Chapter 3 Economic Policy
Chapter 4 Society
Chapter 5 Education
Chapter 6 Health Care
Chapter 7 Public Housing
Chapter 8 Public Transport
Chapter 9 Environment
Chapter 10 National Security
Chapter 11 Arts, Media, Information and New Technology
Chapter 12 Sports and Recreation
Chapter 13 Population
Chapter 14 Labour Policy and CPF
The print copy of the Manifesto 2006 is available at S$5 at Workers' Party
Open House on Monday evenings from 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm (except public holidays).
Source : The Workers' Party Website
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Recap 2001 - 2006
Singaporeans have short memory. LUCKILY, with internet, everything (from news reports
to parliamentary speeches to overseas news) can be easily archived and accessed with
just a few mouse clicks.
So, what had happened in the past few years?WHAT will seriously make you think deeper before you decide to cast
the VERY IMPORTANT vote in your hand?
Let's recap the events in the years that we were ruled by MIWs.- Tampines Falling Lamp Post Case
- Tampines Bicycle Barrier Case
- Dengue Fever peaked at 700+ cases
- Retrenchment and pay cuts
- RSS Courageous Collision Case
- Commando drowned by Instructor in POW training Case
- Commando drowned under watchful eyes of 4 Instructors in Anti-terrorism Trg Case
- Nicoll Highway Collapse Case
- Biopolis Ayer Rajah Collapse Case
- Fire Onboard the Vessel 'Almudaina' at Keppel Shipyard
- The Great Power Outage of 2004
- The Micropolis Debacle
- The HongKong DaoHung Bank Debacle
- The Australian Octpus Debacle
- The SuZhou Industrial Park Saga
- The NKF GoldenTap Corruption Case
- The $400,000 Renaming "Marina Bay" Huge Waste
- The Renaming "Budget Terminal" Huge Waste
- The RGS White Elephant T-Shirt Clamp Down
- The SAFRA (Mt Faber/T. Blangah) Gassing Incident
- The 2010 World Cup Soccer Target / Vision / Dream Egomania
- Ong Teng Cheong's 52-man year audit frustrate
Source: Coffeeshop Forum
... and these are only some of the more memorable events... there are many more.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Recap GE 2001 Part (3)
SMRT reviewing fares after no hikes for two years
"SINGAPORE: Rail operator SMRT says it is reviewing fares to cover higher
costs and declining revenues."- ChannelNewsAsia (Apr 28, 2004)
SMRT Corporation made $126.9 million and ComfortDelGro $200.6 million last year (2004).
'Nobody likes increases,' said Ms Saw. 'But it's a way of life. The basic point is:
we are not profiteering from it.'
* Ms Saw is president and chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa of SMRT.- Straits Times (May 14, 2005)JUST Before Elections --> - Straits Times (Oct 28 2001)After Elections --> - Straits Times (Sept 16 2002)
Reason?? - Straits Times (Sept 16 2002)
Lesson Learnt: Think twice before you rejoiced over govt's handouts this coming GE.- Straits Times (Jan 13 2006)
"The opposition's plans to 'give and give' will lead to Singaporeans having to pay higher
taxes in order to foot the bill, General Lee Hsien Loong said at a rally in Tampines."
- Straits Times (Sept 29 2001)
In that same time, the PAP promised:
$11 billions for new MRT and LRT lines,
$1 billions in subsidies for hospitals and polyclinics,
$170 millions to improve 8,300 HDB flats.
$2.7 billions in new $ingapore shares.Source : Big O Magazine ... to be continued
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Recap GE 2001 Part (2)
"A people united - Secure Future, Better Life."
- PAP election manifesto 2001"Will you keep your job? Can your families cope with school expenses,
medical bills, rent and utilities charges? I understand your worries." - PM Goh Chok Tong, Straits Times (Oct 28, 2001)
After Elections:Medical costs went up, rental went up,
utilities went up, school fees went up."Top task for PM - to save and create jobs. There is one thing on
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong's mind these days : jobs, jobs, jobs."- Straits Times (Oct 26, 2001)
Economy went downwards. There was retrenchment everywhere. Singaporeans in their 40s
got retrenched, yet more and more Foreign 'Talents' were coming in. It was reported
in the news that "100,000 Singaporeans (were) unemployed in 2003". Lowly-paid jobs
(jobs such as Cleaners and Gardeners etc.) were 'created' and 'redesigned' for
the jobless. The Unemployed were labelled 'fussy and choosy Singaporeans'. "Build compassionate meritocracy : PM"- Straits Times (Oct 27 2001)
After Elections:NKF swindles Singaporeans and kidney patients. Till now, we are STILL waiting
for the government to finish its INVESTIGATIOn.""I know you are worried about your job and your family's future. I understand your concerns.”- PM Goh Chok Tong, Straits Times (Oct 20, 2001)
After Elections:CPF rate was cut. The cut caused many Singaporeans not having enough $ to pay their housing
loan. Till now, the CPF cut was still not restored to its original level.
“I would want to form an alternative policies group in Parliament, comprising 20 PAP MPs.
These 20 PAP MPs will be free to vote in accordance with what they think of a particular
policy. In other words, the whip for them will be lifted. This is not playing politics,
this is something which I think is worthwhile doing." - PM Goh Chok Tong, Straits Times (Nov 3, 2001)
After Elections:"If you sing Jailhouse Rock with your electric guitar when others are playing Beethoven,
you are out of order. The whip must be used on you." - PM Goh Chok Tong in report "Not in people's interest to lift whip",
Straits Times (Apr 6, 2002)First this -->
"Members of Parliament yesterday supported the government's promise to put
people first and to promote active citizenship that was laid out in President
SR Nathan's address to Parliament last week."
- Straits Times (Oct 12, 1999)Then this --> - Straits Times (June 25, 2003)First this --> - Straits Times (Mar 23 2002)Then this --> - Straits Times (May 11 2003)And this --> - The Business TimesFirst this --> "Having enjoyed football as a national sport for decades, we in Singapore have set ourselves
the target of reaching the final rounds of World Cup in 2010."- Ho Peng Kee on Goal 2010 in 2002Then this --> "...Goal 2010 is not a target. It is merely a symbol for our aspirations. It's a vision to
set us in motion. And we should not believe it is a trap from which there is no escape."- John Koh, FAS on Goal 2010First this --> "Finance Ministry spokesman said yesterday that the higher year-end bonus was because 'the
economy has performed much better than was expected' at the time the estimates were first made." - The President's salary was increased by $114,900 to $2,507,200. - Straits TimesThen this --> “I don’t think my reading for the economy is strong enough for us to even consider
asking for the restoration of the cut in CPF.” - Lim Boon Heng, NTUC NewsNever in the world was a supposedly ELECTED President
paid a DAILY salary equal to a cleaner's yearly wage.
- about $6 944 / day.
- about $16 / day.Source : Big O Magazine
.... to be continued.
Recap GE 2001 Part (1)
Let's recap GE 2001...Source of above picture - SammyBoy Forumthe blue portion is PAP territory.
are strongholds of Workers' Party
and Singapore Democratic Alliance
Total number who voted - 1,880,560
(of which PAP won 65% of total votes)
Walkovers - 47 seats (out of 83 seats)
Total PAP seats in Parliament - 81
Other Political Parties - 2 seats
Total number who voted - 579,720
(of which PAP won 75% of total votes)
Walkovers - 55 seats (out of 84 seats)
Total PAP seats in Parliament - 82
Other Political Parties - 2 seats
So that is what PAP means when it says it has 75% mandatory votes
.75% out of the total eligible voters is only 470,765 votes
HoW many will get to vote this time??
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Election Mode 'ON'
Source of above pict - SammyBoy Forum
EVER since the news reported that the Election Committee has updated the voters' registry,
ALL online (sg)forums were in 'Election Mode'. there are hundreds of posts everyday that
debate on election issues and till now, there are still many posts that i have not got
the time to read.
one funny thing is, suddenly there are so many new nicknames (mostly clones) which dish
out pro-government messages. and you see old nicknames coming out to debate again after
lying dormant for years (probably since the last Elections).
reading the posts has become an entertainment for me. at the very least, the
sometimes-funny-sometimes-vulgar posts beat mediacock's programmes hands down!!!our ministers had commented before, about how our sg youths are becoming apathetic to
local politics. in response to our ministers' call, i will take the opportunity to put up
insightful posts from the forums. hopefully this will create more awareness among our youths.
i won't enforce my stand on anyone who reads this blog. you will be your own judge.