LTA and Vogon-ish Road Building

November 15, 2011

Aite, the govt wants to build more and bigger roads to meet the demands of motorists and relieve jams. That’s great, depending on where the roads are being built and at what cost.

First they tore down an icon of Spore’s post-65 history, the red-brick National Library at Stamford Road to build the Fort Canning tunnel short cut. Former NMP Siew Kum Hong said poignantly, that the short cut saved motorists 5 minutes, although “for the record, I’d give up those 5 minutes and take the National Library any day.”

Then they wanted to to evict the dead at Bt Brown, about 5,000 graves or 5% of the total dead population, to make way for a 2km 4-lane short cut. Who gives a frak about the dead? Nobody cared about it before until there were plans to redevelopment the GCB-potential land. True. Face it, Sporeans couldn’t tell Bt Brown from Mr Brown or from Bt Chandu. Something like the kid who didn’t want to play with his toy until his parent wants to throw it away then BWAWHHHHHH cry. Still, since there is loud and passionate reasoned feedback that the dead should be left alone for posterity and history, please listen. WTF, anyway, didn’t anybody watch 1982’s Poltergeist about building on grave sites?

Now, undeterred with evicting the dead, the govt is going to evict the living next. Rochor Centre is kaput next in the North-South Expressway grand plan. Frak, LTA are the gawddamn Vogons! In that latest road building, 500 families, 567 flats and 187 shophouses would be affected at least. Those affected better grab a towel each. Of course compensation and the usual would follow. Whether compensation is enough is always subjective.  For those affected, it is SOP to argue that it is never enough. The compensation is out of my tax-payer dollars though. Heh.

Regarding compensation and sweetening the bitterness of being kicked out of your home or business.  Let’s put it in context. The Land Acquisition Act was revised in 2007 and those private landlords bulldozed away have a better compensation than before. They are no longer shoved and insulted with a compensation pegged at 1995 rates, but at current market rates.  This change was a result of a 2005 sit-down stay-in when compensation was unreasonable over the Circle Line acquisition. So it isn’t that bad if you sit on private real estate now. Not so good however if you live in a HDB or have a HDB shop house as you are not a private owner.

Actually, shhhh, I’m still sympathetic, albeit selfishly less sympathetic towards the eviction of the families and businesses at Rochor Centre compared to LTA’s land acquisition that steals from our history. (That’s not a politically correct comment though.) Until SLA wants to evict me from my home to build a highway.

NS, Bullshit and Deferment

October 21, 2011

In 2010, then NMP Jocelyn Yeo asked Chee Hean why, why, why local long jumper Matthew Goh was not allowed to defer  3 months to represent Spore in the Asian Junior Championships and World Junior Championships. Chee Hean said no, no, and no. Chee Hean did qualify that sometimes deferment is successful like sailor Justin Liu who was allowed deferment to train for the 2010 Asian Games.

From sportsman to student now, boys and gals. SIM student Samuel Tan could not sit for his first year exams in 2008 as he would turn 18 then. He made 5 appeals including one to defer his course for 3 months to complete his first year at the bloody least. We all know this is a No unless one is a PSC scholar. But WTF, wait at least till he finishes his first year I thought was reasonable. But when the hell is MINDEF reasonable? Heh.

From sportsman to student to musicians. Ike See, music prodigy, could not get a deferment to purse music in the Curtis Institute of Music in 2006. He wanted a 3-year degree course but MINDEF said no, no and no again. So he had to take a 2-year diploma, sponsored by Curtis as he was that good. But MINDEF in their wisdom thought he was chao keng. They were so very very terrified that Ike would be like pianist Melvyn Tan who left at 12 and almost never came back until he was 47 years old.

To MINDEF’s credit, they are going to release details on who gets deferment from now on. Obviously this was a reaction to the infamous Patrick Tan case where the son of President Tony Tan, years ago, managed to get a deferment for 12 years. Not 3 months like Samuel or Matthew, not an extra one year like Ike, but 12 frakking years. Imagine Pri 1 to Sec 4 and then JC 1 and 2.  Seriously, I doubt that Tony Tan was dumb enough to ask MINDEF to give Patrick some slack. Tony can’t ask but he sure can at a meeting with some SAF general who is thinking about going into PAP politics, raise his eyebrows, clear his throat or stretch out his hands when pretending to yawn and point at his son’s White Horse file with right hand and a deferment letter plus 12-year programme with the other hand. No words, all smiles and  pointing. Voila. OK kidding maybe it didn’t happen that way.

However, all of us did NS before and we know there are armies of ass-kissers waiting to rush and rushing to wait to brownnose anyone higher up in the MINDEF command chain. Majors would lick the boots of Colonels, who would be sycophants for Generals who would love to carry bags and polish the cars of Ministers. Some things get done even without asking.

We are mature enough to understand that getting deferment and downgrade is part of the game and kudos to those who managed if they did it fair and square, and not via a patricktan. This magic list of people who deferred should be transparent as much as possible, so that all can know what are the successful and unsuccessful reasons for getting a deferment. Wink wink.

Our Healthcare Policies Attend C – Parliament Debates

October 19, 2011

Hospital bills and 4Ms – Medisave, Medishield, Medifund and damnit, Means testing. Don’t forget meany testing which former health minister Boon Wan slipped into your restructured hospital bill after GE 2006. Screw you Boon Wan! What next? Means testing on secondary and tertiary education? (Excuse my wannabe middle-class bitching here)

Anyway, here’s a montage of what happened on healthcare by our MPs and NCMPs in the parliamentary debate so far. PAP dongfangbubai Fatimah Lateef wants to level up Medisave400 to Medisave500. WTF is Medisave400? Well, it is the limit of $400/year since August this year that can be drawn from Medisave for selected vaccination, screening and chronic disease management. Good move, but more is always better as Medisave is after all the person’s own money. And WTF is this “selected” usage bullshit. Anyway, there is no $1-for$1 top-up by the govt. Hey! That’s an idea for Medisave, capped to some arbitrary level for people of certain age upwards, like inretirement since that is when they need to worry about healthcare most.

Noob PAP MP David Ong asked that CPF be unlocked for medical care too, presumably he is talking about drawing down the OA or SA after the Medisave Account is depleted. Makes sense since any excess above the MA ceiling of $32,500 is transferred to the SA. So the reverse should happen too. If some chronic illness is sustained enough to zero the MA, let the guy draw from other parts of the CPF. Assuming we want to retain the idea of a MA in our CPF. We can do away with it (Jedi mind trick on you), move along, there is not MA as it serves no real function but to constrain the use of CPF.

NCMP Gerald Giam (aite guys, applause now for his first timer poke in parliament) went on about how senior citizens’ healthcare burden is shouldered by their children and the self-reliant citizen pays policy sucks, more or less in practice. We all hear that it is better to die than to be ill in Spore coz of the healthcare costs. He has a sickening point. The fact of life, face it and let’s not be pussy politically correct, many Sporeans are too poor or too ignorant to buy proper health insurance. The old bellyaching about Boon Wan’s $8 hospital bill is faint writing on the wall about the lack of understanding of hospital insurance and how it works. We should not help to pay the health bills of the ignorant. However, we should certainly help the poor old retired for a start. The PAP’s healthcare debate runarounds are about how the citizen can use more of his CPF to pay for his own medical bills. WP is saying that medical bills can be catastrophic and the govt, with its fat reserves, can do more for the poor. Much more. Mega mega more.

OK before we go anywhere, Singapore’s healthcare policy is not rock bottom crap. It has been accorded accolades now  and then. Also, I don’t know about you and I don’t want to be taxed higher to subsidise the healthcare of other citizens esp if they smoke, drink, don’t exercise and basically don’t treat their body as a temple. I rather use the amount that I might have been taxed to pay for my personal accident, hospital and critical illness insurance instead.

Well, it is a bloody frakking Gordian Knot. We don’t want income taxes to increase, yet we want the govt to do more, we should have more flexibility to use CPF for medical care. Screw that MA and just like we bloody draw CPF for housing, CPF can frakking well be used for healthcare too. Why? It. Is. Our. Money.

Maybe the govt should reform the CPF as that has a knock on effect on housing (like if limit amount of CPF to be used, that would curb bullish demand for housing and bring prices down if the conditions are right), healthcare (folks can use CPF OA to pay for outpatient and inpatient bills, health insurance including riders) and retirement all (can withdraw all at retirement at one shot or keep it inside and the govt can do a $1-for-$1 top up based on some formula for healthcare spending only for the retired)

How’s that for cutting the healthcare Gordian Knot. MOFO.

More COE Shrinking Coming Right Up Your Ass

October 16, 2011

Not  shrinking of the COE price, but the COE quota! In April last year, the transport ministry, then under epic fail Raymond Lim, made a drastic change to the COE quota system and set the car population growth rate to a lower 1.5% per year. Also, any car deregistered would have its COE thrown back into the existing COE quota for that 2-week bidding period. This was a sign of the end of the good old days.

Just when news couldn’t get worse for people intending to decide to part with close to $50k for a COE for a sushi or kimchi car, the new transport minister Lui Tuck Yew, keen to be unpopular so early in his job, announced more badder news this month. That’s right folks, badder news like a further cut of COE quota till 2015! Until July 2012, the 1.5% rate would remain. Thereafter, it would crash to 0.5% till January 2015. Boooooooo!

To get a rough idea of how shitty it is to buy a new car, a Chevrolet Cruze now costs about $80k, a 6-month low more or less for that Transformer made in Korea, marketed as USofA car.  Of course, second hand dealers are happy as they are on the roll again and authorised dealers in J-pop and K-pop cars, who laid off sales staff in the past 12 months, are slowly opening up pre-owned car arms. Honda and Nissan are into it. Borneo is also just getting into the game so that they won’t lose a piece of the shrinking pie.

The current COE system is a sham as there are better ways of dealing with road congestion. The transport ministry is still sticking to its formula that regulating car ownership is the same as regulating car congestion. They are trying to frame it in the same way they do for politics – to love Spore is the same as to love PAP. WTF totally not the same dudes. Cars can be made cheaper in Spore, just that make it very expensive or inconvenient for people to drive and park their cars. NYC or London for that matter. Usage of cars cause congestion, not ownership per se, so do a handbrake on usage not ownership.

If car parking costs $10 / hour and ERP costs $10 / gantry, then that is serious regulation of traffic congestion as there would be fewer cars on the road as there is no place to park at the destination and it is expensive to drive on certain roads and areas. At the moment it is like being gangbanged mouth and back by the govt as not only is COE ridiculously high, there is also ERP etc to screw us over. People always want to own cars, give them this aspiration. But make them realise that using it at certain times and places is expensive and less sensible than taking public transport, and that’s more equitable and a fairer trade-off compared to now.

Lots of folks have ranted these over and over again in the car forums. But the govt does not listen. Assuming that Tuck Yew is so pig-headed about controlling car fleet size and growth. The COE quota is fixed, but the COE price is not and that can be lowered by making changes in solving the problem if the govt insists, insists and insists on tackling car ownership and numbers. Currently, the COE bidding system is geared towards the rich, and not the heartlander who wants a car for his sales job, commuting to his workplace in Tuas, ferrying his kids to school etc. So what were among the numerous recommendations by fellow Sporeans.

Make it a pay as you bid, disallow car dealers to bid for COE and have a new COE category for cab companies like Comfort. Make it pay as you bid since under the current system, the COE premium is based on the lowest of the top 100 bids. So those who can afford can bid more e.g. $70k for a Cat A and they know that they can get their car with such a high bid, yet at a lower COE price i.e. market rate of about $50k for a Cat A. Secondly, car dealers do not absorb the COE – they hand over this cost to buyers. So they don’t really care that much about how high the COE is as the money is not out of their pocket. So they would bid high to get a successful sale esp for the continental brands as the mark up is higher. Thirdly, cab companies can afford to make higher COE bids as they are companies and not individuals buying cars. They have deeper pockets than Ah Seng or Ahmad the car buyer living in a HDB flat in the heartland.

Thus, even if the government insists on controlling further car growth in Spore (I think they are missing the big picture as it is mostly not a car ownership problem but one of car usage, whatever), amendments at least to the COE bidding system can actually lower COE costs and therefore deflate prices of cars. It makes it more affordable to the masses while tackling congestion, unlike now where the masses are priced out. There can be a win-win of sorts. Just saying.

The Big Fracking Fuss about Malaysia’s No-More ISA Show

September 15, 2011

Teased on earlier by an old pal from the Spore Angle days, I got interested in this hullabaloo. With arms wildly gestiluating the people to appluad and congratulate BN, Malaysian PM Najib Razak is taking the high road by saying bye bye ISA. Tsk tsk What would Mahathir say! Razak, kenapa begitu?

 

Heh. Not many people read the teeny weeny fine print that to replace the ISA, his excellency the Malaysian PM will bring in other badass laws to curbstomp jihadi dicks, Hindraf protestors, MYR counterfeit rings and the regular activist or Keadilian member. So on one hand as an early holiday candy thrown at voters before the Malaysian election which should be held by say, 2013, the ISA is going to get kaput, Razak on the other hand obviously wants to have other kickintheballs laws to make Malaysia’s real or imagined enemies squeal, clutch their crushed balls and go down on their knees.

 

Also going around Facebook is the ST news that in 1991, Young Lee said Spore might scrap the ISA if KL does so, since the ISA is a Malaysian relic from the old Federation days when communism was real. So it seems that the PAP self-pwn by taking that position?

 

Facepalm. The context has changed somewhat. That PAP bravado was made in 1991, 10 years before Osama fanboys crashed hijacked planes in USA and totally ruined air travelers’ privacy and patience forever since then. (damn you Osama, I was patted down by the TSA at JFK on 4.6.2006 230pm and touched inappropriately because of you! I still curl up and cry when I think of that) The world has turned upside down since 2001 and even Western democracies grudgingly realise that they need “special” laws to deal with “special” people. Basically, in less politically correct lingo, you need retarded laws to deal with retards. And so ISA-ish laws still have a function to play, just that the form would be different.

 

Among those foaming at the mouth to get rid of the ISA is the SDP, as usual. Errrr If you haven’t realised, that party is becoming the de facto ex-ISA detainee association with people like Vincent Cheng and Teo Soh Lung. All they urgently need for their axe to grind with the ISA is to get some bushy beard ex-JI ISA detainee into their cell or one of those dudes arrested for selling state secrets to foreigners in the 1990s. Voila. Anti-ISA picture complete.

 

Everybody is shouting at the PAP govt to ape Malaysia and do away with the ISA. IMHO, they have a point as the ISA in its current form, is irrelevant to the uninformed public who only know about the ISA and the Marxist whatever Conspiracy from testimonies from those detained. Not about terrorism and espionage ISA incidents. Heh. So, (drum roll) change the form of the ISA, but keep its function!

 

The PAP govt should rescind the ISA at the earliest opportunity and not just before the next GE. However, they should also introduce similar laws to really frak up the lives of Osama and Cambridge Five wannabes. I say bin the ISA! Bring in the hmmmmm whatshallwecallit…. Domestic Security Act. Errr the govt should have a name the new security act competition also.

Lunchtime Quickies: HDB Eligibility for PR-Citizen Applicants

August 16, 2011

HDB flats are meant to root Sporeans to Spore. It is supposedly subsidised spartan public housing, (cough) market subsidy and not cost subsidy (cough). The Ra-Ra Rally over the weekend was to me remarkable as the PM wore a blue shirt rather than his trademark pink shirt. Trivial pursuit aside, it was also remarkably odd as the PM went out on and on about building more HDB BTO flats to cater to the growing number of people who need them. Basically he was trying to power up the supply side and bring down the cost of resale HDB flats as an intention.

 

All supply side and no demand side pressures to bring down HDB resale flat prices makes it a dull solution. What he or Boon Wan or HDB isn’t doing is getting real anal on the eligibility criteria in buying new and resale HDB flats. Now, as long as one is a citizen and the spouse is a PR, it is good to go. So if the HDB squeezes the criteria and go to a citizen-only eligibility, that would cut-off a seizable demand pressure I presume for new and resale HDB flats. If citizen-PR couples want to stay in housing built with taxpayer money, the PR should go apply for citizenship. This would streamline HDB flats for Sporeans in a Sporean First policy. Nothing xenophobic and is a sign to foreigners that they are welcome to work and stay here, but no freeloaders in this ride.

 

The impact on the HDB and private property market is the tough gazing into the crystal ball here. This HDB for Sporeans firstly would displace non-citizens to private property, especially those 99LH (cough) now overpriced rip-off (cough) mass market condos next to the MRT, where the landlords for now are mostly citizens anyway. HDB prices will probably be corrected to the relief of young couples waiting to get their flats soon while there would be a booming private property rental and sale market, smiles to the landlords. Ka-chng. Heh.

 

HDB is for citizens right? Aite. Repeat after me…Right, HDB is for citizens.

I’m going on a holiday during PE 2011…

August 11, 2011

The renewed debt crisis and slowing economy couldn’t have come at a better time for the PAP.  When economic turmoil strikes, Sporeans, being the uber-realists that they are, know that their best bet would be with the men-in-white to maneuver the country through financial tsunami waves.  Sporeans wouldn’t trust the current SDP or NSP with economic policies. Besides having no track record, they have a knack for drawing inspiration from western models/examples (unpopular with local business circles), which are in decline along with their western moral values. (Btw, WP is just 1960s, 70s PAP trapped in smurf blue shirts.) So if the Presidential Elections is what some argue it’s turning out to be, a judgment on the PAP rule, then the unstable economic situation would benefit the PAP.  “Don’t play play lah, vote PAP safer”, I can already hear them saying.

 

And the PAP govt is not daft. Their refusal to endorse a candidate demonstrates an (bo pian) appreciation of their recent lack of popularity. Anyone they endorse would be the kiss of death. But the ass (read: donkey) who advised PM Lee on this PR strategy is the daft-est of them all. PM Lee might be a Maths whiz kid, but a PR man he is not (his hair is more boring than Tony Tan).  Look, even the auntie who sets aside 80c a day to buy Lianhe Wanbao knows Tony is a PAP man – otherwise why would he have so much press coverage, help a boy in the park, go here there every where to give speeches. It only serves to reiterate the notion (or fact) that PAP buggers are insincere, condescending and think that at least 51% of the electorate are dumb and easily hoodwinked (cuz that’s what they need to win it).

 

Now let’s get back to the basic function of the Spore President – he is the world’s most highly paid state-sponsored GOH (guest-of-honour), smile, wave cut ribbon, smile again, wave again. He is not even a diplomat because matters of bilateral importance are certainly handled by the Foreign Minister, the PM and overpaid civil servants. His office is merely LKY’s and GCT’s warped idea of an insurance policy in case daft Sporeans vote in a rogue govt (which of coz is never the PAP), eager to raid the reserves, prevents the CPIB from investigating a corrupt regime etc. A $4million yearly premium for a President that is only needed when we vote in a rogue govt??!! Ridiculous.

 

And the beauty of it all, if daft Sporeans can vote in a rogue govt, they can vote in a rogue President as a complete package. If majority of the population thinks that the reserves should be raided and distributed then this “rogue” govt is surely no longer rogue because it now has legitimacy. We’re a democracy, no?

 

In order to build in further checks and balances, the govt should give the Council of President veto powers over the President and the members of the Council of President should be chosen by the main religious and union leaders and so on and forth (u get my drift). Btw, you can get all these for free, it’s called a civil society.

 

This Presidential Elections is getting too painful to endure, the wayang, the pursuit of personal fame, the pretentious nature, the ridiculous salary, the resources wasted, every single bloody Tan in the race should be ashamed of themselves. The PAP has won the General Elections and they have the power even to change the Constitution if they wish to do so. They can if they want, enact a law to make every male citizen above 16 years old take off their trousers before they fart.

 

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE, the office of the president is nothing in the grand scheme of politics in this country unless the people are willing to risk a constitutional crisis – I mean we have trouble even getting people to Hong Lim Park (unless they’re wearing pink)…so fat chance. Even a MP has more meaningful work than a President.

 

And what’s this recent shit about politicians being the moral compass and having the qualities that embodies Jesus and Buddha rolled into one. Have Sporeans drunk so much (shit) Newater that they can’t think straight?? If I am looking for moral authority, I would look towards my parents and their past deeds. If that ain’t up to mark, I would ask my Zen master, Taoist priest, pastor and ustaz. I just need my politicians to be incorruptible, ensure an equitable access to opportunities, maintain social order, provide public goods and shut the frak up when I choose to screw an a*hole or v*hole.

 

For the four bloody pretentious Tans running to be President, please get the hellvua out of my sight. TCB and TKL, if you think something should be changed in this country (I think so too), why didn’t you step up during GE?? President salary more?? Or like both of you have said, since it’s all about the character that counts, then the office doesn’t matter and you still can contribute as an ordinary citizen? TJS, please do not try to be my moral compass and I don’t know what’s your fave drink but u sure like to party-hop. Come back in the next 5 years if you really have heart to serve. TT, for fraks sake, please let down your stylo mylo white hair and admit that you’re backed by the PAP – you might finally gain the respect from those that you’re trying to win over.

 

Ultimately, this whole Presidential shit betrays PAP’s lack of trust in the electorate and the democratic system, that we are a bunch of ignorant peasants who would one day under mysterious circumstances produce a freak result, voting in an incredibly incompetent government. Good luck cleaning up the mess MIW and Mr TT, there is no new normal, you’re still treating us as kids.

 

As of now, I am glad that we have six WP MPs in the parliament (thank god they haven’t said anything about this silly presidential race) and screw the PE voting, I am taking myself a holiday on 27 August 2011 to get the hell away from this Little Dot..but that means I might get struck off the list of voters?  Heh.

Friday Night Quickie: Wooden and the Presidential Hopefuls

August 5, 2011

Aug 27 (dum dum dum, and no, don’t hum to the South Park ditty in Season 7, Episode 12, wink wink)

 

I lost track of how many Tans and how many former PAP members are joining this so-called presidential election. In the end, only Tony might qualify according to the interpretation of the checklist by the Presidential Elections Committee on who can be the head of state for Spore. The former senior civil servant (Wooden’s Farquhar in a way), the popular and former old guard MP (Wooden’s schoolmate from a galaxy far far away), former insurance kingpin (PAP grassroots dude from Wooden’s GRC) might all be crossed out by the PEC in the end.

 

WAIT! WTF! Tony’s competition are all linked to Wooden Emeritus!

 

We can hope, hope, that there is at least a contest this round. That is what the ELECTED president is about, there has to be an election for the Istana resident, not some walkover or disqualification. Anyway, don’t you get the impression that those who are wanting to be president all don’t deserve it? Heh

Tan Cheng Bock for President!?

May 29, 2011

Now that is a president! LOL

 

Alrighty. Former PAP man and Goh Chok Tong’s RI crew, Tan Cheng Bock, said that he is ready to run for president. Chok Tong was the one who roped in Cheng Bock into the PAP way back supposedly. Anyway, Cheng Bock was one of the more popular old school PAP MPs around. Check out his GE vital stats for his Ayer Rajah turf from 1980 to 2001. He swept away Tan Lead Shake with an astonishing 87.96%  in the swan song 2001 GE for the guy who sparked off the Feedback Unit.

 

GE 2001 87.96%

GE 1997 73.17%

GE 1991 75.16%

GE 1988 69.55%

GE 1984 75.44%

GE 1980 83.39%

 

Okey dokey, cynics and conspiracy theorists might charge that Cheng Bock is still PAP – once PAP, forever PAP. Heh. Fair enough. My reply. Ong Teng Cheong. That dude was the first elected president i.e. the guy in Spore who has veto powers over the use of the reserves, key civil service appointments and the last say in the ISA and MRHA cases. Resigned from the PAP to become the president, but Teng Cheong earned street cred status now because as president,  he supposedly asked tricky questions about the reserves in parliament and made the PAP rather uncomfortable and rather pissed. Let’s put aside the thought that Teng Cheong was probably a disgruntled ex-PAP guy, who was a yes-man when he was in PAP and decided to speak up only after he left the PAP. Lots of those around IMHO, people who supposedly did not speak up when they were part of the in-group, but adopted “rebel” status only after they left e.g. Ngiam Tong Dow, Tan Kin Lian. Unfair observation? You decide. <shrugs> So is Tan Cheng Bock a planted selected president in the end? Or is he just a dude who realised that the PAP he knew is not the PAP the knows now and being a president is the good way to contain the PAP.</shrugs>

 

My take is that the PAP is not a homogeneous lot, look at Goh Chok Tong’s comments during GE 2011 and the innuendoes of intra-PAP divisions. Chok Tong was sidelined with George’s exit from cabinet plus his so-called retirement as SM to instead became ESM (extra senior minister IMHO). So Chok Tong got his old pal Cheng Bock back into the game to carve out space for disgruntled PAP cadres, all ready to  rock n roll when Harry is really out of the picture, which might be soon since bluntly put,  Spore’s philosopher-king-Odin has nothing left for him i.e. no longer a minister and his wife has passed on. Now, THAT is a worthy third gunman conspiracy theory on Cheng Bock’s presidency bid! LMAO

 

Seriously though, Cheng Bock doesn’t seem so bad given his popularity and indie streak. What we now await with some anticipation, I’m rather down with a bad case of GE fatigue and kinda jaded about the presidential election, is whom the PAP is going to push up for president. Then we can compare whether Cheng Bock or PAP Mystery Proxy is the better candidate, and choose the lesser of 2 evils if you want to call it that way.

 

Ahem. Maybe the PAP’s next president candidate might be Tarmugi. If we go down the CIMO theory of heads of state. <snigger> Would there be sudden jack-in-the-box candidates like Andrew Kuan in 2005? With his stunt of I’m in-I’m out as a indie candidate in GE 2011, I’m not too impressed with Andrew though. Maybe someone really credible and outside the PAP-GLC politicised chaebol might step in. Ho Kwon Ping, if he doesn’t mind the pay cut? LOL</snigger>

What Next in PAP’s Bag of Tricks Post-GE

May 24, 2011

The PAP has bought themselves time, some political capital and brownie points. Sent off to Valhalla the unpopular ministers and retired PMs although Wooden the philosopher-king wannabe has gotten another airy fairy sounding minister title that allows him to gallivant around the globe on taxpayers’ money, where that job should be rightly Shanmugam’s. Also proposed big bad bold cuts to ministers’ salaries. Any cut is never enough IMHO. Nathan is also going to get a pay cut. But as there will be a new president soon, it won’t matter that much to that former civil servant who volunteered to be part of a hostage exchange in a ship hijack in Singapore in the 70s.

 

IMHO Two items on the table for the PAP to quickly show that they are really doing something since PM recognised that Raymond and Bow Tan should go because of public ire. Transport and housing. Eerrr healthcare, education, CPF, all important issues for the heartlander especially, can wait for the time being.

 

How is the government going to minimise the chances of the property bubble from bursting? Cutting off foreigners into Singapore too fast and hard would rock the rental and less so, the sale/subsale markets. However, that would be one way to deal with public insistence on xenophobia and simultaneously sending signals to multiple property owners that the good old rental days are ending and they had their good run. Buyers might be comforted that the price is going to drop or stabilise, but it would stabilise at a relative “high”. To placate new HDB buyers, increased grants or new grants might be offered e.g. a NS grant for Singaporean couples if the guy completed his 2 year stint. Immediate premium on the marriageability of local guys. Heh. That would put those who went thru nation-building blablabla one up above Singaporeans who just got their pink IC after a swearing ceremony at a CC near you. w00t. Also, HDB might become available to Singaporeans only, not even PR.

 

Boon Wan wants to make sure property is not an albatross around his neck like what happened to Bow Tan. Hopefully, his Muse would not make him and impose a mean means-testing when buying HDB flats and that the HDB price is pegged to income. WTF. For all his supposed quotes out of context by his detractors,  Khaw did fairly well in MOH and he might signal the start of stabilised property prices since correction or bubble is bad for somebody either way. Might. Again he might not. But let’s wait and see. Now leaning back and scratching my armpit as all of us online armchair generals should.

 

Transport. Another pile of dung that Tuck Yew has to clean up. Not easy to please everybody in any policy, so let’s give him some space for now. The current mess –  public transport is barely coping at peak hours and car prices are at a high again because of the current COE bidding and quota system. Public and private transport whammies. As a driver myself, will there be COE balloting instead of bidding. Would buyers have to bid for cars themselves instead of dealers doing it and inflating the COE bids. I for one would want the government to focus on a car ownership policy i.e. anybody can own a car without taking a bank-busting car loan and park it in their lot near their home. And for that, I’m prepared to pay for a car usage policy. $20 ERP, higher petrol tax, CBD parking surcharge that makes it $10 an hour parking in Orchard or Shenton. For such a car policy to work, the public transport better be performing so that it can be a good alternative to people who want to own cars for weekend and after-work driving, but prefer to take public transport for the daily office-home commute. One tentative step in the right direction, encouraging private feeder bus services in housing estates. Direct localised competition to SBS to wake that duopoly giant up. Such thinking would be a game changer, watershed and what other buzzwords used in post-GE intellectual jerk offs like this one.

 

AFAIK compared to Boon Wan, Tuck Yew looks like epic fail since under his reign the newspapers still looked like they were PAP proxies most of the time on local political news. I qualify, most of the time on local political news. Assuming that the online attacks on his personality and zero lack of EQ during the hustings was not some opposition astro-turfing, the transport woes afflicting those who drive or take bus/train is not going to end soon.

 

Overall, while welcomed like a hot chick seductively stroking my thigh in a pub, the PAP efforts on pay cuts and retirements do not solve the problems. The main problem is the voters’ displeasure with the bread and butter mundane daily choices in their standard and cost of living to Singaporeans. The ministers can be paid millions, all things equal, if the voters’ are kept relatively happy with good, affordable, efficient transport, housing and whatnot. The coming national day rally and its proposals on change in thinking and policy would be the better signal on whether the PM really understands why and how the PAP is disconnected, and what it is doing about it. We have to wait about 100 days to know then.