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Lui Tuck Yew should think out of the PAP box



                           

Lui Tuck Yew should think out of the PAP box by looking at faces of change and possibility.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew appears to be a PAP hero fighting WP’s nationalized public transport proposal at one hand and attacking NSP’s opening up bus services to more operators in the other end.

Whatever and however his fighting spirit is, he cannot run away from the mindset of the PAP and continues to position himself within the money box.

Lui’s assumptions on our public transport are a reflection of the PAP’s mindset and government standard operation procedures. He seems to base on the following assumptions to defend his transport policy.

More private bus operators

PAP position: Greater competition in public transport - including opening up bus services to small private operators - could hurt the interests of commuters in the long run. (Today 29 Jul)

Lui noted that the two public transport operators - SBS Transit and SMRT - run a mix of profitable and loss-making routes which they are obliged to do so under their universal service obligations. 

Indirectly, according to Lui, by opening up public transport system, he cannot demand private operators to provide services to the loss-making routes. And it will lead to control problems.  Obviously, the PAP wants to control the operators.  With so many operators, if allowed, some even operated by low cost ‘foreign talents’, it will be a situation that the PAP finds difficulties to control and manage. They prefer to control 2 big ones rather than many small ones.

Creating certain kinds of monopoly, providing them with profit incentive and then ultimately, controlling them is the business ‘normal’ of the PAP. This applies to media, banking, telecommunication, and other key industries.

PAP mindset: So, they are afraid of losing the control. No controlling power, the government cannot function as effective as it wants.


Nationalized Public Transport

PAP Position: Nationalized public transport system will lead to a welfare state and commuters could end up paying more.

The PAP is always against welfare state and their philosophy is to make the rich becomes richer.  If the wealth of the nation is not distributed to support the poor, of course, at the end of the day, with inflation, the poor will have to end up paying more.

Because of state ownership, Lui thinks public transport productivity will decline and more subsidies are needed to maintain the system.  Not to forget our public transport although semi-government owned has not achieved the highest productivity in the world.  There are productive public transport systems, like the Taipei metro, and their tax payers have not complained about it.

To be rich, there are gives and takes. The government is too well aware of the fact that without the low base of foreign workers, our businesses will not be able to make more money.  Hence, there is good reason to maintain an affordable public transport system.  This is also good for businesses.
 
You just can’t want a good and productive house but don’t feed the house well (又要马儿好,又要马儿不吃草). An affordable public transport system is key to productive workforce.

Lui also admits that ‘there is a certain amount of cross subsidy that is taking place from the profitable routes to the non-profitable routes.’ (Today 29 Jul)

Since the 2 public transport operators can do a CROSS SUBSIDY, as a nation, there is also a possibility that the government can do a cross subsidy from the rich to the poor. If the public transport operators can take care of the loss-making routes so do the Singapore government.  As a nation, they PAP should also take care of Singapore citizens by cross subsidy from the rich (profit-making routes) to the poor (loss-making routes).  This will enhance the harmony and cohesiveness of Singapore.

PAP mindset: So, the PAP is not willing to help the poor. They allow cross subsidy for public transport operators as the PAP can control them. But the government disallows cross subsidy (from rich to poor) as they cannot control the people (and voters).


The ‘change’ of lucrative thinking

PAP position: Loss-making routes are always loss-making regardless who is the operator.  There is no ‘change’ in thinking and their solution is to think within the (control) box.

Lui’s most ‘in the box’ thinking is his view of the "cherry-picking" of lucrative routes.   Because of the usual monopoly thinking, controlling and providing profit assurance, the PAP has pre-set the situation.

He has failed to realize that the problem of loss making routes can turn into profitable ones.   His assumption of loss could be a profit for others.  Just like HDB flats, private developers can still make money on state lands and not like HDB always complains about making losses.

Just an example, you can get a haircut for $5 from a Chinese barber in your HDB estates, but you need to pay $ 7 or $8 for a local barber. This is a bad example but it shows the possibility – from loss-making to profit-making for some people.

Has Lui heard of Islamic banking? The Muslim religion does not allow interest for loan but how come we see the Islamic banking is booming? How do banks make money under no interest principle?

PAP mindset: Sothe PAP needs to think out of the box – both money making and political controlling. Their old ways of money politics and mindset need a total change for the new political ‘normal’.


Change and possibility



Change: Who will ever think of the most beautiful foreign minister in the world is from an Islamic country – Pakistan?  Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbain Khar is only 34 years old, young and pretty.

Some on Twitter made broader comments about Ms. Khar’s looks. Seema Goswami, a columnist for Brunch, the Hindustan Times Sunday magazine, observed,  




Can we have a foreign minister like Ms Khar to 
help us think out of the box?


“I think the new foreign minister of Pak, Hina Rabbani Khar, is their weapon of mass distraction”

I wish one day Singapore will have such a weapon of mass distraction so Lui and other PAP ministers can look at a similar Ms Khar and think out of the box to solve the public issues in Singapore.

Possibility: Otherwise, if they prefer conservative way, they better seek the help of the tycoons how come they can make more money when the economy is bad as reported in the Straits Times 29 July below:  

SINGAPORE'S 40 richest people are worth about US$54.4 billion (S$65 billion) in all, a 19 per cent increase from last year despite faltering share markets and a fragile global economy.

Hi, Mr. Lui you have a choice, to look at the beautiful face or the money faces to think out of the box.

Many will look at the pretty face for stimulating ideas and solutions. Good luck, Mr. Lui. Or good luck Singapore where is our Ms Khar alike?


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有识之士拒绝发声,新加坡何去何从?

新加坡的精英、有识之士、知识分子、中产阶级拒绝对国家的发展做出积极的评论,分享,分析他们对国家前途的看法。这种情形在李显龙出任总理后,每况愈下,越来越严重,已经成为新加坡目前面对的最大挑战,国家继续前进的绊脚石。
最近,李显龙和他的一群高级顾问,不约而同的呼吁有识之士出来,提供意见,对国家各方面建设,提供不同版本的建议。
李显龙说,他尝试不让身边只有只说“对”的人。如果,整天被唯命是从的人围着,那将是一种灾难。言外之意,就是说领袖必须接受批评,承认错误。#1

李显龙的高级顾问更进一步。他们说新加坡需要说“不对”的人。他们要更多不同的意见,反对的声音,甚至悲观的声音。他们认为新加坡需要更多(公务员)人出来挑战当局。最重要的,他们认为有识之士对政策的发声,能够让新加坡未来50年更加美好。



这种呼吁,呼应要求有识之士出来发声,提供反对意见似乎是一种哀求。有识之士的反对意见有助国家未来更加美好?为何立国以来,从来就没有如此哀求过?可见,事情已经失控,有识之士已经意兴阑珊,提不起兴趣。他们翻看历史,提供反对意见的人,尤其是反对党的有识之士,下场如何?
【不出声的历史背景】
有识之士不提供意见,不改进、不改良政府的政策,不是行动党政府一直以来的国策吗?为何现在,李显龙和高级顾问,接二连三如此低声下气哀求有识之士发声呢?难怪,有识之士并不相信行动党的诚意,前车之鉴,他们害怕步上前人的后尘。
人民行动党在李光耀领导下,对于反对他的知识分子、有识之士、学术精英、专业人士,从来就没有给予尊重,不用内安法来对付已经是客气了。到了吴作栋出任总理,原本以为比较开明,也不是闹出林宝音事件。到了李显龙任总理,人民也没有给予厚望。林宝音在林宝音事件20年后,还给李显龙写公开信。她的建议,李显龙听进去了吗?
原本以为2011年大选,新加坡选民开始觉醒,明白手中选票的重要性。新加坡人愿意接受不同的声音,但是2015年的大选,却似乎极为容易被行动党的民粹所误导。有识之士看在眼里,能够不意兴阑珊吗?不仅有识之士意兴阑珊,连一些反对党人士,也意兴阑珊起来。
2015年大选后发生的事情,更加让有识之士提不起劲来。除了压制网络言论外,看看在国会通过的立法和修法,总统选举制度的变更等等,行动党政府是否真的有诚意,接受不同的意见,反对的声音?
这是行动党的困境,新加坡的悲哀。
新加坡的有识之士,怎么有可能出现儒家的所谓的”以天下为己任…

接管市镇理事会的政治考量、政治代价?

人民行动党政府已经做好司法程序,可以在模棱两可‘莫须有’的理由下,接管市镇理事会。国会已经通过市镇理事会修正案,一旦市镇理事会的管理出现所谓的状况,国家发展部长便可以顺理成章的、名而言顺的把民选市镇理事会的管理工作接管过来。
这里的市镇理事会,当然是指工人党管理的阿裕尼-后港市镇理事会。行动党没有傻到接管自己的市镇理事会。修改后的司法程序能够让行动党政府,合法合理的在符合新加坡法律的条文下,明目张胆的把一个民选的市镇理事会收归到自己的管理之下。就像民选总统那样,明目张胆的修改选举制度,否定一些人的参选资格。
新加坡人又能说些什么?又敢做些什么?就像陈清木昨天的记者会,他除了对总统选举制度的变更表示不满外,他还能说什么?就是这么简单,轻描淡写的回答:
行动党和李显龙总理,就是看准了,看透了新加坡人的心理,表明这是司法程序,在法庭、在法律上,行动党政府都不会被打败。那些敢于挑战法律的人,在新加坡的短短50多年的建国历史中,下场都是以悲剧结束。最近的一个例子, 就是新加坡最年轻的政治犯余澎杉在美国的遭遇。同样一个人,不同的国情,命运也不一样。
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【下届大选的变数】
今年的总统选举,基本上已经是没戏看了。大家大约都可以估算到结局。反而是三、四年后的大选,存在变数。 行动党也了解,要重获2015大选的佳绩,在没有造神运动的条件下,似乎是不可能。因此,要维持一个高得票率,就必须出一些怪招。把非选区议员人数增加到12位,就是给人民一个小甜头。如果真的上当,新加坡就清一色没有非行动党的市镇理事会了。
没有工人党的市镇会,这个机会似乎不高。因此,最好能够把工人党困在阿裕尼和后港。而通过合法接管,又通过媒体,社交媒体,一系列的‘转型正义’活动,说不定死马当活马医,动摇阿裕尼选民的心,从接管变成收复,那就是美事一桩。
事实上,市镇理事会修正案通过后,行动党和工人党表面上没有说出口。但是,大家都在盘算国家发展部长,会通过什么理由,什么时候,进行接管工作的法律和司法程序的准备。2017年是总统选举年,大概不会在这个时候出手。
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李显龙的幻象:新加坡人对他的 dishonorable 行为无动于衷。

李显龙的焦虑,最近特别的明显。焦虑后的行动决策,如,总统选举,李光耀孙子李绳武事件,议长人选,都显示他的幻象。他认为,新加坡人对他的所作所为,无动于衷。国人心里虽然不满,但是,在高压和照顾既得利益者的背景下,新加坡依然可以保持稳定,经济继续成长,政治上没有改变。
李显龙当然有焦虑,正如他的妹妹和弟弟对他的指责:Dishonorable son。李显龙害怕人们对他的诚信起疑心,因此,在国会搞了一个自辩。既然国会没有提出相关资料证明他的诚信有问题,那李显龙就是清白了。
同时,李显龙也明白,自己的清白,只是国会里才站住脚。在国会外,当然有不同的解读。李显龙还不至于把英国广播公司BBC给关掉,因此,英美的广播和新闻,还是,可以对新加坡政治发展做出评论。李绳武在脸书上对纽约时报对新加坡司法的评论文章,就让李显龙焦虑不已。通过私人管道,进入李绳武的私人脸书部分,焦虑的把私人空间,公开化并且告上法庭。李显龙不顾个人隐私,既然为了个人的焦虑,不惜进入别人的个人空间,这简直就是内安法恐吓手段的升级版。
新加坡人真的如李显龙幻象中的,无动于衷吗?原本上个星期六,在演说者角落,有一场抗议总统选举的活动,由于当局的种种限制,最后不得不叫停,从室外的公开活动,改成日后的室内活动。这不也是李显龙的焦虑吗?
李显龙的确有焦虑,但是,他却认为新加坡人很乖,很听话: 给你们什么总统候选人,你们就会认命接受; 想提告什么人,就提告,法律面前人人平等,没有人有意见; 给什么议长人选,国会就认命接受; 地铁误点误事,任何解释,人民都会接受; 无现金就是无限金,跟不上是你的错; 糖尿病就少吃白饭,多吃糙米饭;。。。。
这是一种李显龙独特的焦虑幻象。他很焦虑,自己无法做得比老爸好,甚至连吴作栋都不如。他也焦虑在后工业时代,新加坡无法创造高薪职位给年轻人;新加坡无法照顾贫穷老弱,无法为他们提供医药服务; 接班人无法胜任挑战; 新加坡人在无限金时代,成了乡下佬; 地铁和教育服务提不上来; 。。。
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