Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Aljunied Voters are absolutely right to reject Ong Ye Kung in 2011


Under protecting the citizens and over protecting the PAP government are what Ong Ye Kung is trying to promote. Luckily, Ong was rejected in Aljunied in 2011. However, he does a back-door listing by entering the parliament in another Group Representative Constituency.   

Aljunied voters had far sight in rejecting Ong Ye Kung. They rejected Ong for promoting one-party rule politics. They also rejected him for failing to protect citizens rights and supporting giving more protections to government upfront, without question.

ong ye kung.jpg

Ong Ye Kung is a potential future Prime Minister. While he has the potential for keeping the standard operating procedures of the PAP one-party politics. This is his potential that Singaporeans have to know - potential to maintain the status-quo.

These are the news headlines of Ong Ye Kung:  

One-party rule 'may be way for Singapore to succeed': Ong Ye Kung

Multi-party system has real long-term risks for Singapore: Ong Ye Kung

Multi-party political system in which parties align along sinister lines could ruin S’pore: Ye Kung


By selecting Ong as PM, for poor performers, like the case of Surbana Jurong, you will end up like “Trump: You’re fired.”  

Workers will be dismissed without due process and receive heartless treatments as claimed by Union.

19 January 2017

Surbana Jurong explains terminations in e-mail to staff

"How can we be the best in class and build a great organisation when employees are not concerned with how they are performing relative to their peers?" wrote Mr Wong in the e-mail seen by The Straits Times yesterday.
"More importantly, for those of us who want to do great things, why should our rewards be affected by a small group of colleagues who don't care about how their poor performance affects our performance negatively?
"We cannot allow our 1 per cent of poor performers to continue to affect the rest of the 99 per cent of staff who are performing." - the new paper

21 January 2017

Surbana ‘did not 
follow due process’ in sacking unionised staff

Unionists have spoken out against the sacking of 54 employees by Surbana Jurong, with one calling the move “heartless in the extreme”, while the Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union (Batu) has charged that due process was not observed for the affected employees who are union members. - Today
24 Jan 2017

Surbana Jurong says its dismissal of 54 workers 'could have been better managed' - Business Times



If you allow the PAP to continue the one-party politics, you will face a future of overpower the PAP government and under-power your rights.

First, you are fired without due process. When everything is done, after you complain, they just reply that things can be done better, better managed.    

Second, the law seems to give more protections to the government. The PAP has an absolute control of the parliament. They can easily pass bills to give themselves more power and more protections, like the case of the amendments to the Protection from Harassment Act (Poha).

24 January 2017

Opposition questions why Govt did not state upfront in Parliament the need to use Act for protection from falsehoods

SINGAPORE — The Workers’ Party (WP) on Monday (Jan 23) pressed the Government on the issue of amending the Protection from Harassment Act (Poha) to allow entities — including government bodies — to seek protection against false statements, questioning why the Government needed such extensive provisions under the law given the vast resources it has to put across information in the public domain.
It also again questioned why it was not stated in Parliament in an upfront and unambiguous manner when passing the Act in 2014 that there was a need to protect the Government — and not just individuals — from either false information or harassment. - Today

The voters in Aljunied GRC had rejected Ong Ye Kung. This is a clear rejection of one-party rule, one-party state. Perhaps, Ong can consider standing in Aljunied GRC again to prove his “One-party rule 'may be way for Singapore to succeed' and Multi-party system has real long-term risks for Singapore.”

Saturday, 21 January 2017

泰极否来的经济?知道问题所在,但却找不到对策?



否极泰来念起来比较顺口,但是,泰极否来却也是一种自然的规律。资本主义的发展,经济发展的结果,却也是如此。有些国家胜出,有些公司壮大起来,相反地,有些国家,有些公司却一败涂地。全球化让中国壮大起来,相对的,欧美日等先进国家却出现问题。

而他们往往把在政治上,选举上的失利,归咎于民粹。就像英国脱欧,特兰普当选,都是民粹在搞鬼。

事实上,大家心里都明白,经济蛋糕没有平均分配,贫富悬殊,中产阶级看不到希望,就如英国首相特里莎·梅说的一样:

【脱欧后更"全球化的英国":愿景和代价

英国首相特里莎·梅周四(19日)在瑞士达沃斯世界经济论坛对各国政商精英发表讲话,设法澄清涉及英国"脱欧"的另一件事:英国将成为全球贸易领袖。
英国脱欧的主要论点之一就是摆脱束缚,独立自由地与全世界通商交易,成为更"全球化的英国"(A Global Britain)。
她对全球化现状的评判包括:
  • 全球化创造了人类历史上前所未见的巨量财富,但许多人感到自己并未受益,甚至受害。
  • 许多商界精英不守规矩,逃避税赋义务,推诿社会责任,没有设法让更多人分享增长和财富。
  • 反全球化趋势正在被那些擅长派系和恐慌政治手段的政治领袖所利用,因此需要全球精英来抵御逆流。
而脱离欧盟、欧洲单一市场和关税联盟之后的英国将成为"全球化的英国",担当起国际自由贸易领袖的角色。】

英国首相特里莎·梅把英国脱欧美化成“全球化的英国”。她认为“反全球化趋势正在被那些擅长派系和恐慌政治手段的政治领袖所利用,因此需要全球精英来抵御逆流。” 她认为全球精英应该一起合作来对付民粹主义的抬头。

但是,全球精英也知道问题出在梅首相所提出的前两个问题:
  • 全球化创造了人类历史上前所未见的巨量财富,但许多人感到自己并未受益,甚至受害。
  • 许多商界精英不守规矩,逃避税赋义务,推诿社会责任,没有设法让更多人分享增长和财富。

尤其是第一个原因。

当越来越多的人认为自己没有在全球化的过程中获得好处,反而好像是受害者的时候,也就是泰极否来的开始。‘泰极’是全球化创造了前所未有的财富,‘否来’却被认为是一种人民没有获得利益的民粹反映。

###

全球化,世界贸易组织推动的开放自由贸易,是一种理想。理想把全球化的经济蛋糕做大,然后把蛋糕公平的分配,这么一来大家就有更加好的生活素质。

的确,全球化的蛋糕是前所未有的大,问题出在分配上。政治精英说,工人,受雇人士,小商人,小企业如果要提高所得,获得多一点分配,就要提高生产力、效率。很不幸的,这些人就是无法跟进,当然,所得分配就会越来越少。

这就像奥巴马的八年总统任期一样,他的理想,被全球化感化了。中国应该感谢奥巴马,他坚持的自由贸易,让中国捉到机会,经济获得快速发展。而特兰普的上任,似乎代表了泰极否来,不稳定的因素增加了,全球化的步伐需要做出调整。

【奥巴马想改变世界,但世界改变了他


上任之际,贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)在海外激起的希望比在本国还要高。通过用一种振奋人心的言辞谈论着“带来变革”的总统,他充分利用了这些希望,而他的承诺无疑也是同样动人的。美国将被带回正轨,与其他国家精诚合作,在他常说的一个“相互依存”的世界里,共同应对种种挑战,从恐怖主义,到贫困、金融危机和全球变暖。

2008年,他于当选总统数月前在柏林发表了演讲,令狂热的人群兴奋难耐;入主白宫不到一年,他便获颁诺贝尔和平奖,奥斯陆的和平奖评审委员会给出理由是,他有着建立无核世界的“愿景”,就好像他是一位诗人而非国家元首似的。世人抱有太高的期待,几乎没注意到奥马巴计划中的矛盾之处:既要带领美国走在一个相对衰落的时代,又要以某种办法取得具有变革意义的成果。最高领导人的身份让奥巴马难以直白地谈及美国的力量正受到越来越多的限制。但没有谁比他更能体会到这种限制有多么激烈——多么令人沮丧。】
http://cn.nytimes.com/opinion/20170119/obama-hoped-to-transform-the-world-it-transformed-him/

奥巴马或许没有想到自己乌托邦的理想,会加速世界局势的乱局。已故的李光耀是这么形容奥巴马:
   
  (新加坡内阁资政李光耀本月2日在新加坡总统府接受美国合众社(UPI)特别任务总编辑博什格拉夫访问时表示,民主党的总统初选参选人奥巴马在竞选演说中轻率地承诺要从伊拉克撤军,令他感到不自在。
   
  李光耀评估美国民主党的总统参选人时,关注的主要是他们对伊拉克战争的立场。他因此对奥巴马感到不安,并看好希拉里会胜出,但他更希望麦凯恩当总统。
   
  他指出,奥巴马倘若当选总统,却又无法兑现竞选承诺,将美军撤出伊拉克,恐怕将因此而公信力大失。然而,如果他履行承诺从伊拉克撤兵,天下却会大乱。)
中评社 http://hi.baidu.com

或许说,奥巴马的当选,也是另一种民粹。只是当时不叫民粹罢了。

看来伊拉克撤军没有带来天下大乱,倒是乌托邦的贸易理想,和国内的分配问题,有机会引起天下大乱。如果奥巴马认为自己政绩很好,没有留下后遗症,或许,希拉里能够凭着他的国内外的政绩加分,事实并非如此。

奥巴马离任了,特兰普上任,天下大乱开始了?现在还言之过早。李光耀猜错了,但是,天下大乱还是有可能,原因不是伊拉克,而是经济问题,贸易大战。李光耀把时间和原因搞错,但是,方向可能是对。

###

奥巴马的理想是一个哲学问题。人类发展到了这个阶段,创造了人类历史上最多财富的时代。但是,人类却不快乐。我们如何走到这一步,下一步如何走下去。

就如习近平在瑞士世界经济论坛说的:

许多人感到困惑,世界到底怎么了?

习近平没有说这是民粹问题,也没有说这绝对是全球化的问题。他提出一个大同社会,大家一起承担,协助人们寻找(失落的)实体经济的感觉
#http://pijitailai.blogspot.sg/2016/12/blog-post_26.html

【习近平: 共担时代责任 共促全球发展

“这是最好的时代,也是最坏的时代”,英国文学家狄更斯曾这样描述工业革命发生后的世界。今天,我们也生活在一个矛盾的世界之中。一方面,物质财富不断积累,科技进步日新月异,人类文明发展到历史最高水平。另一方面,地区冲突频繁发生,恐怖主义、难民潮等全球性挑战此起彼伏,贫困、失业、收入差距拉大,世界面临的不确定性上升。

对此,许多人感到困惑,世界到底怎么了?
。。。
“甘瓜抱苦蒂,美枣生荆棘。”从哲学上说,世界上没有十全十美的事物,因为事物存在优点就把它看得完美无缺是不全面的,因为事物存在缺点就把它看得一无是处也是不全面的。
。。。
3年多前,我提出了“一带一路”倡议。3年多来,已经有100多个国家和国际组织积极响应支持,40多个国家和国际组织同中国签署合作协议,“一带一路”的“朋友圈”正在不断扩大。中国企业对沿线国家投资达到500多亿美元,一系列重大项目落地开花,带动了各国经济发展,创造了大量就业机会。可以说,“一带一路”倡议来自中国,但成效惠及世界。】

相对于世界贸易的不稳定性,‘一带一路’的发展却稳定多了。同时,参与‘一带一路’的国家,注重经济发展,而不把民主放在第一位。(印度和巴基斯坦2017年加入上合组织)。

Belt, Road and Shanghai Security Cooperation - Capitalism first, democracy second.http://pijitailai.blogspot.sg/2017/01/belt-road-and-shanghai-security.html

是的,从义乌到伦敦,火车所经过的国家未必都是民主国家,但是,却能够从互通有无中,获得利益,取得发展。

2000多年前的世界格局
今天世界的新格局?。

但是,全球化所带来的分配问题,是否可以在‘一带一路’中获得解决?它会不会进一步加深贫富悬殊,造成了另一轮的民粹?

###

特兰普一上任,就打着美国优先的路线,同时,他也终结了TPP.

如果我们看他的就职演说,似乎和英国梅首相的‘全球化英国’冲突,就是有一批人在全球化时代没有得到好处。

Trump inauguration  Full text of new president s speech   BBC News.png
特朗普宣誓就职:权力交还给美国人民   BBC 中文网.png

谁是被遗忘的人民?

资本主义的发展竟然产生一批批被遗忘的人民。

难怪,中国习近平会问:许多人感到困惑,世界到底怎么了?

政治精英似乎都明白这个简单的道理,但是,却一直做不到。政治精英已经江郎才尽?

被认为民粹的特兰普,不认为自己是政治精英,那么,他真的能够做到美国优先,为被遗忘的人民找到新的出路吗?

还是,他也像奥巴马一样,‘奥巴马想改变世界,但世界改变了他’?

Sunday, 15 January 2017

SAP Schools Without Higher Chinese???


2016 ‘O’ Level exam result is out. But...

SAP (Special Assistance Schools) schools offer Higher Chinese but students can also not to take Higher Chinese as a ‘O’ Level exam subject. Recently, my friend gives me another reason, perhaps a rather ridiculous one. TAKING HIGHER CHINESE MAY MAKE THE GCE ‘O’ LEVEL CERTIFICATES LESS PERFECT!!! If you score all ONE except Higher Chinese, like the following example.


Untitled drawing.jpg

My friend also prints another picture. When his child collects his certificate, the teacher has to use a spray to darken his hairs in order for him to meet the school rules for certificate collection.

What kind of value education are we given to our children?  Despite knowledge learning and bonus points for JC admission, our students choose not to take Higher Chinese exam for fearing to be a perfect scorer. Without asking right or wrong for hair dying, the teacher just wants to help the students (to fulfill the school rules) to get their certificates.   

No wonder, quite frequently, we have similar news like   

Son of senior lawyer hauled to court for evading NS





People who know the system are most likely to abuse the system? Why is the teacher spraying the hairs? What will a less perfect score with Higher Chinese downgrade a student? These show how we prefer short-term solutions over longer term solutions. We are giving ‘get rich quick’ value to our students.

In Singapore, when discussing about Chinese language learning, there are many debates, controversies. Some are true, some are false.

However, even you study Higher Chinese, you may not know Wang Yang Ming. (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wang-yangming/)

This is the point I want to make.

[Why Wang Yang Ming?]

Wang Yang Ming’s father was a Zhuangyuan, the first scholar in Ming Dynasty Imperial Examination in 1481. Few people know about his father. Although Yang Ming passed the Imperial Exam, he was not a Zhuangyuan. However, his achievement is many thousand times of his father and his influence is all over China, Japan and Korea, and even the modern world.  

Mao Zedong talked about him. Chiang Kai-shek talked about him.

Xi Jin Ping also talked about Wang Yang Ming.
王阳明的心学正是中国传统文化中的精华,也是增强中国人文化自信的切入点之一。   ——2014年3月,习近平在参加十二届全国人大二次会议贵州代表团审议时指出

Ma Ying-Jeou even wrote about his ‘unifying knowing and acting’.
马英九 知行合一.jpg

Perhaps, the most applicable learning example for foreigners is Japanese admiral, Togo Heihachiro who led the Japanese fleet to victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05).  Note: Not promoting Japanese militarism.  

The Japanese Admiral of the Russo-Japanese War, Tōgō Heihachirō, was influenced by Wang, and made a stamp which read, "One's whole life followed the example of Yangming" (一生低首拜陽明).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Yangming

I am not  sure whether our Defense Minister knows Wang Yang Ming or the Yang Ming influences to the above mentioned politicians.  If he knows, he must be a failed learner of Yang Ming School.  

If Singaporean officials know more about Yang Ming, described as the ‘cream of crop’ in traditional Chinese culture by Xi Jinping, our handling of the Terrex army vehicles in Hong Kong will be very different. We may have received the vehicles long ago.

ChinaX video


[Unifying knowing and acting 知行合一]

‘Unifying knowing and acting’ is a famous philosophical concept by Wang Yang Ming.

知 - knowledge/understanding
行 - doing/action
合 - union/unifying
一 - one

Yang Ming believes knowing and acting have to come hand in hand, moving in concert.  Just like when Lee Kuan Yew introduced Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools, he expected the enrolled students to study Higher Chinese and have better Chinese culture exposures than non-SAP schools.   

For the case of the senior lawyer, knowing seems to result to another, opposite way of acting.

For the case of the teacher, spraying hairs seems to suggest a quick escape route, a by-passing way for the students to get the certificates.

This is the story of Singapore education.

Look at the way bicycles and personal mobility devices travelling on footpaths you may already know the answer.

For Singapore economy to grow further, we need investments.  Unfortunately, these includes Chinese investments. We cannot be a Southeast Asian hub or regional centre if the soon to be world number one economy does not put their investments here.

And sadly, we think our Chinese B, Chinese O or even Higher Chinese can handle the job requirements of Alibaba, Huawei, wechat, Lenovo, ...etcs.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

新加坡的外交困境:无人理睬,没人关心。


https://tw.news.yahoo.com



新加坡武装部队装甲运兵车在香港自从去年11月被扣后,我们只是单方面,偶尔看到听到新加坡方面的说辞。新加坡政府的意思是说,不知为何运兵车被扣留,责任似乎是在运输公司,而且我们以往都这么做,也没有出事。

除此之外,在国际上,甚至在亚细安国家中,新加坡的运兵车事件,似乎不是什么新闻,说的白一点, 就是无人理睬,中国方面已经懒得理你,即使新加坡单方面向香港当局表明立场(什么立场?),还是没有下文。这种官样立场,似乎是向新加坡人说明,行动党政府拿了高薪,确是还做一些维护新加坡利益的事情。

但是,在国际舞台上,新加坡国防部说什么,国防部长说什么,说的再大声,也是无人理睬的。难怪,在新一轮的人民行动党的18人中央执行委员中,没有国防部长黄永宏的名字。黄永宏在2015年的大选,时任行动党组织秘书,意气风发,可以说是一个有功劳的中央执行委员。回想当年在提名中心,黄永宏的豪气,现在,变得对牛弹琴。



说到没人关心,这是新加坡外交部的苦呀!没有一个亚细安国家愿意帮助新加坡,做中间人拉线,把事情降温,早一点把运兵车拉回新加坡。美国也不出声,没有帮新加坡这个小弟出声。

但是,美国海军却能够很快,很顺利的把被中国捕鱼一样捕到的水底探测器拿回。12月15日探测器被捕,17日中国国防部就回应会归还。中国国防部还说中方与美方一直就事件保持沟通。这和新加坡的运兵车事件相比,有很大的不同。中美双方一直在沟通,而新加坡却是音信全无,没人理睬,无人关心,似乎新加坡在演独角戏。

美国的立场很清楚,探测器是在公海,但是看在不同国家眼里,也可以说不是公海。这是一个有争议的海域,可以变得公说公有理,婆说婆有理。而最接近这个海域的国家-菲律宾也没有出声。因此,看到下面这条早报的新闻,也不出奇。


菲政府:南中国海仲裁不列入亚细安峰会议程   联合早报.png

想一想,新加坡运兵车在香港被发现,立场上就不能够搬出公海的问题。因为,这是香港特别行政区,是中国的一部分领土。黄永宏似乎没有把立场和问题说清楚。

当然,黄永宏更加不可能像美国候任总统特朗普那样的‘豪气’,形容事情的发展: “中国在国际水域“偷取”探测器,行为前所未有,又说“偷取”的探测器他们(中方)可以留著。”

我们的国防部长绝对不会像特朗普那样,像他在提名中心的豪气,大声的对香港和中国当局说,运兵车不要了,中方可以留着。

国防部长黄永宏对国内人民的豪气,就是不能复制到国外去。想着想着,这不是人民行动党的嘴脸吗?对人民大声说话,豪气的很,对外却没有朋友,没有信用#。



难怪,东南亚国家中,没有人愿意出来做和事佬。





Monday, 2 January 2017

Belt, Road and Shanghai Security Cooperation - Capitalism first, democracy second.



Despite uncertainties ahead, perhaps the only certainty for big development is ‘One Belt One Road’. To guard and protect the developments along the belt and road, Shanghai Security Cooperation, with the joining of India and Pakistan as full members in 2017, is playing a key role in the new silk roads.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a political, economic and military organisation and her main concern is security. The SCO is primarily centered on its member nations' Central Asian security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Under this framework, democracy is secondary. SCO’s main focus will be economic development under the state-led capitalism. China and Russia are key partners in SCO, with India and Pakistan joining SCO soon, in term of population, this will be the biggest Co-op in the world.

Looking back in history, this is just a continuation process of the past 2500 years of silk and spice roads.


UNESCO has maintained a site for silk and spice routes that provides historical background of the past.

State capitalism over democracy

2017 is an interesting year for state-led and state-sponsored capitalism over the world. In the SCO zone and Belt/Road development areas, we will see big developments led by states and state-owned businesses, of course with Chinese investments and AIIB (the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) money.

Let take the example of Aleppo, there is a recent peace deal led by Russia and Turkey. When there is stability and security in Aleppo, foreign investments and business will come, in particular Aleppo is part of the silk road. In history, Aleppo was taken over by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, more than 2300 years ago.

The Aleppo peace deal is an initiative without American participation. What does it mean? Peace in the middle east can go without the USA but with Russia, SCO and bigger countries in middle east.   

And it seems to match Donald Trump’s foreign policy as he wants to engage in his state-led capitalism. Trump wants manufacturing back, big corporations (with tax cut) back, infrastructure development back in USA. His policy, although without certainty, will be very different from Democrats or may even move away from the known and usual democracy principles.   

In Europe, we face uncertain elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany. States will have to play bigger roles to convince voters they can deliver security and stability to the people. What can democracy help to ensure security in Europe?

Singapore is an odd example

Singapore is well known for her state-led economy and capitalism. Even the town council management is an extension of state-sponsored business activities.

Singapore’s mindset, in fact, is very close to SCO which places security, stability, non-interference in domestic politics over democracy. This framework works well for Singapore. Since independence, Singapore is operating under state capitalism with full control of internal affairs.  By this analogy, Singapore can easily and comfortably fit into belt, road and SCO zone developments.  However, we seem to at odd in this certain development in 2017. Why?

If you look at the way we handle the Terrex issue, we are just see the small issue of protecting assets and fail to see the bigger issue. No matter how well you protect your assets, there is always a bigger picture of guanxi.

2017.png

No wonder, if you read Chinese, the advertisement put up by Zaobao at the right, seems to suggest our economy is in bad shape and we need to start a future economy???

In discussion of future economy, are we just concerning about ‘protecting our assets’ or trying to improve relationship?