Tuesday, 24 March 2015

WSJ to LKY : No special treatment

Singapore’s late prime minister wanted to know: Where was his copy of the Journal?

An interesting article written by WSJ, a bit biased but provides a balance to Singaporeans who can think for themselves.
 
By
   
 
Lee Kuan Yew, who died Monday at age 91, is rightly heralded as the founder of modern Singapore. As prime minister from 1959 to 1990, Lee led his country’s transformation from a swamp-infested island into a prosperous, first-world metropolis. He did so in part by allowing economic freedom to flourish, giving the people of Singapore a chance to achieve their full potential.
The marketplace of ideas was another matter. Singaporeans are less fortunate when it comes to political and personal freedoms, among them free speech and free access to information.

Lee famously was a foe of the Western press. “We allow American journalists in Singapore in order to report Singapore to their fellow countrymen,” he told the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1988. “But we cannot allow them to assume a role in Singapore that the American media play in America, that is, that of invigilator, adversary and inquisitor of the administration.”
In the late 1980s and 1990s, almost every international publication that circulated in Singapore tangled with the government over its news coverage of the city-state, and faced lawsuits or the threat of lawsuits. A partial list includes the Economist magazine, the International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Reuters and Time. I am unaware of any news organization that prevailed in a Singapore court.

Dow Jones, publisher of this newspaper and the now-defunct Far Eastern Economic Review, took the biggest hits. In 1985 Singapore sued The Asian Wall Street Journal over an editorial that criticized the government’s harassment of one of the two opposition members in the Parliament. Dow Jones later faced additional lawsuits, restrictions on circulation, and rejections of visas and work permits for its reporters.

In 1986 Singapore’s Parliament passed a law restricting the sale or distribution of any foreign publication found to be “engaging in the domestic politics” of the country, the interpretation of which was left to the Minister of Communications and Information. Once the minister published his finding in the official government Gazette, he could order that the circulation and distribution of the offending publication be curtailed. This process was known as “gazetting.”
What was Lee afraid of? The answer, in a word, was readers. He had little confidence in the ability of Singaporeans to listen to different points of view, evaluate them and form correct opinions, which is to say, his opinions.

“Many people are uncritically imitative,” Lee said in an address in 1971 to the International Press Institute in Helsinki. “A report of an airplane hijacking leads to a rash of hijackings in other unexpected places. A report of a foreign diplomat kidnapped for ransom by dissident groups is quickly followed by similar kidnapping in other countries.” He pointed to examples in Singapore, where in his view press reports sparked riots, which led to deaths.
Lee concluded his Helsinki speech with the following line, which he quoted approvingly in his autobiography: “Freedom of the press, freedom of the news media, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore, and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government.”

One of my favorite stories from the Lee Kuan Yew press wars dates to the late 1980s, when Singapore had gazetted The Asian Wall Street Journal, cutting its circulation to 400 copies a day from about 5,000. The cuts were in retaliation for the Journal’s refusal to print verbatim two long letters from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The government ordered that many of the approved copies go to government or quasi-government libraries.

One day the phone rang at the Journal’s bureau in Singapore. The prime minister’s office wanted to know where Mr. Lee’s subscription was. Yes, we know that your circulation has been restricted, the caller said, but surely this doesn’t apply to the prime minister.
The Journal representative replied that Mr. Lee would receive no special treatment. In other words, if the prime minister valued the Journal’s reporting and commentary, he had the same option that was available to all Singaporeans who were deprived of their newspaper: Go to the library.

Ms. Kirkpatrick, a former deputy editor of the Journal’s editorial page, twice faced criminal contempt charges in Singapore for editorials that appeared in this newspaper. She and other Journal editors were fined.
  

Monday, 23 March 2015

In memory of Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015)

In memory of Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015)


"Singapore is dead, Long Live Singapore"

Monday, 9 March 2015

Petrol Prices - The Real Hypocritics



I read with amusement the last proceedings in Parliament on taking action against petrol companies.

http://therealsingapore.com/content/teo-ser-luck-well-take-action-against-petrol-companies-who-unfairly-raise-prices

The real pirates is the government that increased petrol taxes when oil prices around the world has collapsed! Even before the latest increase, each petrol of litre was already taxed at 80 cents of $2 for RONC 95. Now that prices per litre have increased by around 20 cents, that means that for each litre of petrol that you pump, you are paying half the amount to the government. The road tax rebate for one year is pittance compared to what they will reap over the years.

Now the government as usual is trying to distract the daft locals that the evil-doers are the oil companies. No doubt, the oil companies are no saints themselves, but the real profiteers and opportunists are this government. If they truly believe in public transport, than all the Ministers should give up their official cars and travel by public transport for their appointments and meetings!

Wake up Singapore !

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Lighter side of things : Anti-Govt websites setting up Columbarium for MIW political careers




In the recent dialogue session involving Seng Kang West resident Sharon Toh, it was revealed by  Lifecorp that they were not registered with any religious association or charity. They were a For-Profit organization which is public listed in Australia that was going to develop, build and operate a Buddhist Temple with Columbarium.

After this astonishing news went viral on the Internet, our BOT's reporters went to town to ask if any other commercial entities were planning to develop, build an operate other religious establishments.

First to respond to our enquiries were DeBloodSucking Bank, their spokesperson, Ms Lui Pa Pa commented, "We are equally shocked and surprised that For-Profit organizations could set up religious establishments to make money. We are disappointed that despite being closely linked to the MIW, we were not informed of such a lucrative and profitable business. With our wealth of knowledge in sucking blood, I mean money from Singaporeans, we will definitely be successful in such endeavors. We are immediately convening a taskforce to study and identify areas of opportunities to move into the religious arena."

Mr Tau Lor Ri, owner of a large transport company was also excited about the prospects, "I think we have the right infrastructure and vehicles to support such services. It really brings new meaning to the phrase Up-The-Lorry."

Less enthusiastic were the incumbent religious organizations, Mr Not-to-Be-Name lamented, "After the NKF Durai, Ren Ci Ming Yi, and CHC cases, the religious and charity industry has already a bad name and Singaporeans are skeptical and hesitant on donating or participating. Now we even have competition from For-Profit organizations. The real people in need will be the ones who will suffer."

The latest news is that Anti-Govt websites are also gathering to talk about a potential plan to set up a Columbarium near Parliament House, spokesperson Mr Jin Wu Ta, "With the continued tripping up by MIW MPs, I think we have space for 81 places in our Columbarium for their political careers."

Friday, 10 October 2014

Friday, 1 August 2014

Both Singapore & Malaysian Govts screw their citizens - Causeway Toll Hike

Both ruling parties of the Singapore and Malaysia Governments made their citizen's lives even more miserable with the latest Causeway Toll Hikes. Tolls for a round trip into and out of JB is now 556% higher!

Lessons to be learnt

(1) Trust No Govt - Especially BN and PAP. They will only have their self interest at heart and not yours.

(2) Remember all the times that they screwed you over and exercise your vote wisely.

(3) Never fall into their trap of over selling to you. Case in point Iskandar residential homes.
Are you going to travel to work in Singapore from JB every day? Assuming a 20 days working month, that amounts to S$ 256 added to your travel cost and time. Good luck to those who bought into the nightmare.

(4) These toll hikes are poorly thought out and will just hurt businesses and trade. Your food, raw material imports are going to be more expensive as traders claim that they need to recover their costs.

(5) What can you do? Don't keep quiet, make sure you express your displeasure (legally). Silence only makes them more bold.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Employees that stay in companies longer than 2 years get paid 50% less!!!

 

Employees that stay in companies longer than 2 years get paid 50% less!!!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2014/06/22/employees-that-stay-in-companies-longer-than-2-years-get-paid-50-less/

Key Takeaways from the article :

(1) Within 10 years of working, your salary will be 50% less.
(2) If your annual increment is less than 5%, time to look around.
(3) Own your own career, you are the CEO of yourself.