Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Our Difficult Monkey Business

Culling animals seem like taking the easy way out to solve a problem. I read the ST article wanting to know how nature keep the number of macques in check here. If these monkeys do not have predators in the forest then their population can only keep growing. Like the wild boars they have a very healthy TFR isn't it? Come one full circle and we might still be forced to cull them.

Why is ACRES working with AVA? They ought to but it is a far more difficult job to work with affected residents.

Pickles - Got it right this time

Wifey made this on Sunday and this time she got it better than Putien. I realized this morning I better get a photo before it is all gone.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why I am so critical of this government

This presentation by K. Shanmugam at U@Live! at NUS reminded of my younger days at Shell. As a young analyst I had to track every refinery including planned and rumored in the region. Bukom financial prospects depended on it. It was frightening to envision how we might easily lose business but over me were older and wiser heads who would explain to me how and why those threats rarely materialized. There were also positive surprises too but always someone's refinery fire was our money making opportunity. But the bottom line was always this: We were damn lucky.

Today Shanmugam tell a good story that this hard fact of life has not changed. In fact, I think it never will unless you are crazy enough to do what Venice did under its legendary blind Dodge. God forbid.

That's why many of my blog posts are highly critical of the government, holding them to nearly impossible standards. What irony to have a minister throw this back at us. With such harsh realities, we are not rising to the occasion. Our school system is not producing enough people who can do or make things which others cannot. Our managers are not known for organizing us in ways to deliver which others would balk at. Meanwhile in-flight service that others talked about has stopped because others have done or exceeded that in their aircraft cabins. SQ is my canary in the coalmine.

That's why wages are stagnant except for the very top who can do what most others can't. We want more and more of us to have that ability. At the same time cognizant that this is not possible for far too many people we want to elevate our management and leadership capabilities to do as teams what others can only dream about.

Sometimes I feel bad for being so severely critical of this government. K. Shanmugam just legitimized the high standards that I have been insisting. Just over the last few days I have been pressing here how our good government is fighting against great government. We have to stop letting the good be the enemy of the great.

Update: August 3, 7:30pm

Yet another of those stories which I do not need to wait too long for. This is the reason (see below) why Singapore could make a living. Our neighbors habitually shoot their own foot. In a way it is also our bad habit. I do not know we know how to make a living in this neck of the woods if our neighbors get their act together.

Kong Hee: 1,600 thumbs down; 45 thumbs up

At the point I came across this YouTube clip there were 1,652 dislikes and a paltry 45 likes. I don't think the imbalance mattered to him. It was those in the hall he spoke to that mattered. I think he is engineering himself into a martyr of sorts, probably landing behind bars in God's name.

What if one day we have another much bigger Kong Hee whose audience isn't a big hall but the whole nation? I would really like to understand the motivation behind his so many supporters following him. Those of us outside think these folks have lost their minds when this is much less about the mind and much more of something deeper.

If I could pull away one of his supporters, he/she probably wouldn't explain sense to me why they are supporting him. On the other hand, I would have limited success changing their minds too. Oh dear, what are we dealing with here?

Today we don't think he will gather enough adherents to matter socially and politically. To me that's not the point. What are the conditions for such a phenomena to become widespread throughout the land? We must understand this in order not to be on such a road. Remember the Taiping rebellion.

Update: 8:50pm

Breakfast Network scored a coup to interview the person who uploaded this clip. Good for him to call him out. What I really want to see is how quickly and many can be cured from his dangerous idea-virus.

Update: August 1, 3:30pm

Again I am following up because I got it from Breakfast Network. CP Church and Ministry explained that Kong Hee was quoted out of context. I can't spend the 45 mins to sit through this. Anyway for God to say even in empathy, "I am sorry..." is truly novel to me. I am more familiar with, "Trust me...."

Sunday, July 28, 2013

ESM Goh: Meritocracy works?

Except the following there is nothing I haven't heard from any of our leaders,

He recalled that as far as 30 years ago, Singapore's leaders recognised such downsides of meritocracy.
He had listened in as then PM Lee, in a discussion with Dutch economist Albert Winsemius and then labour MP Devan Nair, argued that ideally and philosophically, all wealth should revert to the state on the owner's death so that each successive generation would start on an equal footing, and success would depend on hard work and ability, not inherited wealth.
But that idea was impractical, Mr Goh recalled.
This idea would only be practical if that's what is common around the world but it isn't and most likely never will. Those who have succeeded hate it and those who want to have a fair go at it welcome it. You know which group is the larger one. Better not make the winners too nervous because they are not going to leave empty handed.

I don't see anyone trying to make a case that if meritocracy is no good anything else is worse. Do our leaders assume that as a given? I don't think enough people feel that way. What is the use? At this time any attempt to persuade people on this is likely to be seen as self serving.

Like our declining TFR this problem is an impossible nut to crack. Perhaps an even harder nut. Elsewhere time and tide offered its own involuntary solutions and they are rarely pleasant. What are we to do? In times past but very rarely, good men find better men to take over who can solve problems. Given Rachel Chang's yesterday article, "Narrowing the empathy gap", which I must assumed is government approved that's not coming. Good people must make way for great people but often we are faced with the good is the enemy of the great.

It was convenient that there is a story on Jack Sim today. How he the great had to battle the good for a long time. Thank goodness he was also lucky. Many great people might not be.

And here is another great one over good men and women. This time from the civil service. They don't make these types any more and outstanding as he was, he can't solve our big problems either.

We need men and women unlike Rachel Chang proposed who do not see empathy and being hard headed as dichotomous to lead us. Others have the luxury of accepting lesser characters and wait for the moment for the truly great to lead them but I am not sure we are so fortunate.

ESM Goh suggested that meritocracy works. I agree it does up till about a decade ago.

"What we need is to get the successful to understand that they have a responsibility to help the less fortunate and less able with compassion," he said. They can do this through cash donations, sharing skills and knowledge, and serving the country.
At the same time, the Government needs to continue to help families that have fallen behind, through its policies and programmes, he added.
"Together, these efforts will ensure that our brand of meritocracy remains compassionate, that it is fair and inclusive for all - not just those who are lucky in their backgrounds or genetic endowments."
By and large the government have not succeeded at persuading the successful to do their part especially when a cancer of entitlement has developed in our top schools as well. Neither is the government doing an admirable job until we wielded the electoral weapon, a reckless response from us. Remember Lily Neo in her famous exchange with Vivan B, which the exasperated minister asked her if she wants meals for the poor from the hawker centre, food court or restaurant? No, it is not a happy and harmonious society. Rather it is one with widening gaps and growing fault lines.

As before we fail to give enough credit to being lucky. I am afraid we need even more luck than ever. Looking at what other countries are going through and doing, we the perennial price takers can be hopeful.

Update: 9:30pm

I just read the above in the NYT. Another unnecessary reminder that this problem is global. In the worst case, if we are able to tough it out we should survive and remain intact. What we would fail to do as I recall from Paul Romer, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Can't be helped when we do not have the empathetic but also hard headed leadership of great men and women. We would just live with the good. It is doable but very stressful and tiring as we are always trying to run as fast as possible to catch the departing train.

What is not forgivable is when the good tries to kill off the great but they didn't stop Jack Sim. So it's alright. No malice only pitiful ignorance was at fault.

Update: July 29, 11:30

This is concerning Philip Yeo.

Excellent! Couldn't have come sooner. I didn't want to blog about this then. I am aware of such stories too - different ones. I had a good friend, no longer young now but was once an impressive young fellow. Then he got a scholarship, came under EDB and I am quite unhappy what he turned into under PY. They often picked up a lot of his bad habits and few of his gifts. I am being generous here.


Note: Steve Jobs was a far more obnoxious character. Take away the lesson Warren Buffett gave regarding how being great and nice do not necessarily come in the same package.

Coping with Dyslexia

Click on pic to enlarge.

My daughter's dyslexia is remarkably like Lee Wei Ling's. The good doc was fortunate to be in the CL stream. It helped her avoid her weakness for many years. She is far more able to overcome her spelling deficit but my girl is always penalized for them. In her last exams, she had an unusual number of spelling mistakes. It must have given the examiner a very poor impression and she was duly punished for it. This is very clear when the marking report came back and content wise she had hit nearly every point. Fortunately she isn't keen on reading Law in uni.

It is more important that she copes with dyslexia in real life than in the exam hall. This she has achieved.

Caregiving Welfare Association

Wonder why they bothered to set themselves up here on a quiet Sunday when there is very little human traffic.

Wifey and the girls picked up several lovely trinklets from them. We were making payment when realized that this is going to charity. So we up it more than double what we owed. Happy to do that.

Where are all the N95s?

I couldn't get any from West Coast Plaza on Saturday when we went to Sukaraya for dinner. I also had to leave empty handed from the Unity outlet at ARC after our lunch at Astons.

Where are all the N95s?

Rice Cookers

Time to retire the old rice cooker. We  have had it since we got married. The Panasonic is taking its place to prepare rice for us.

I have told wifey that I think we have another old rice cooker. In my imagination it was the same one as the Sanyo we are giving up as its protective anti-stick coating is coming off (never wash rice in it as the grains are abrasive)

This morning wifey turned out the second rice cooker which looked completely different from the image in my mind. It was much smaller and barely good enough to serve the needs of family meals.

We shall be using the new rice cooker for the first time tonight. My bet is that we wouldn't tell the difference from our old cooker but my unanswered question is would the Zojirushi and Tiger branded ones which are extremely pricey make rice special? I am not willing to pay to find out. The most pricey rice cooker I came across was $888. Our Panasonic was only $62.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Missing the point: Narrowing the empathy gap

Yesterday veteran writer Susan Long's missed it and now she is succeeded by Rachel Chang.

There is no dichotomy choosing between empathy and being hard headed.

Since Rachel Chang mentioned the PWP, just as well the report is a useful example here. It had billed nurses as lowly skilled but look at some of the more basic work they perform which I just posted here. In the end the nurses protested and the government had to apologize. That's was woeful ignorance from an elitist mindset and sourly lacking in empathy.

Ask a good military commander if there is a separation between empathy and hard headed and painful command decisions which might send troops to their deaths. The greater the empathy, the greater the trust the more willing the troops are willing to take the risk and make the sacrifice if necessary.

I will remember for a long time what TCJ said in the Raffles Conversation.

"I was already very mindful of that in the army when I was doing force development, when we restructured the army and when we looked at the capabilities we brought in - the Leopard tanks and a lot of the capabilities (we have) today. I was very mindful of the fact that, if one day, we actually have to use it for real, there are lives on the line in the battlefield. You want to make sure ... it works, and actually be able to protect your sovereignty and make sure that as many of your soldiers come back alive, to win and be successful and not to just lose your life because you had an inadequate system."

Note "that as many soldiers come back alive".

Why Rachel Chang had made this issue so complicated? First a leader must show that he understands and that he cares. He must communicate it successfully, afterward he can sell and carry out the most difficult decisions. Just like the British people did not want to surrender to Hitler and what did Winston Churchill promise them? "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." and later he even added, "Poor people, poor people. They trust me, and I can give them nothing but disaster for quite a long time."

KISS - Keep it simple, stupid. The government must get the people to understand that they are not working for the rich, elites and themselves only. Don't be or be seen to be out of touch. If this hurdle is not overcome it is useless doing everything right as perception is reality.

Finally the government need to address the issues of values and faith which sometimes will stare down rationality - it was rational to surrender to Hitler, it was even more rational for Dongwu to surrender to Cao Cao, but no, we will not act rationally but by our values and with faith, not forgetting that in as much it takes more faith to be a citizen here than many other first world nations.

Here was how Michelle Obama presented her husband at the DNC.

And as President, you can get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people. But at the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as President, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are. So when it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother.

Think about how our leaders' values guided us into the two IRs and now one of the senior officers from the CPIB is caught it that web.

We have paid a huge moral price for the two IRs. Don't give me the dollars and cents, they are not worth it.

So Rachel Chang completely missed it. She is a smart young woman but she had the misfortune to be bonded to SPH and ended up writing a tortured piece when a simple and passionate one was called for.

Singapore's Nightingales

Heartwarming! I have seen examples of these with my own eyes before :-) In fact I often prefer the nurses over the docs. Fortunately overall we have been very fortunate to mostly meet very good doctors especially those in ICU.

First Spam at Facebook

Alas, spam has arrived at my Facebook account too. I'm glad it took so long but it is here!

Will have to tweak the privacy settings if this gets out of hand. I think it's a matter of time or would Facebook up their game and provide spam control as good as Gmail is providing?

American Tourister Luggage Bag

Bought this for the daughter's trip to Vietnam. The ones we have and there are quite a few of them are either too big or too small. Also I think we need to retire one of them.

Paid about $150 from Giant. We went to take a look at Samsonite first but it was way over priced. I think people would steal the bag for its own sake! That would be absurd.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Best Toilet here

I like the attitude of this couple responsible for keeping Mayflower Market Food Centre toilet spick and span.

I  have seen Jack Sim posed and even don up in costumes in toilets. They obviously take pride in their unglam jobs. Respect!

Susan Long: Giving bright kids a head start

If I were the Education Minister, this is not happy reading. Susan Long has been nailing it for a long time but her hammer missed the nail this time. This article read like Pamela Lim has found some ring on Susan Long's nose and pulled her where she wants her to go. To top it all, I think Susan Long was oblivious perhaps even welcoming the opportunity! Susan Long was selling Pamela Lim's commercial interests. Ms Long fell into a hole because I think she has a very narrow view of education. Why didn't she just confine herself to writing a family 'Nick Vujicic' type challenge story? Pamela had given up her high flying career for five challenging kids ranging from autism to mysterious school adjustment problems and even existential depression.

I know many of us would love to out perform academically like Pamela Lim's children. That's the bait isn't it?

I think MOE should give ST a call and express its unhappiness over this article because education is far more and beyond all that Pamela Lim is offering.

Pamela Lim has done the right things for her special needs kids who would otherwise have fallen through the truck size holes in our system. But what she is offering (she is such a savvy business person) to others unless they are misfitting our system will do more harm than good. With all these delicious low hanging fruits she is offering, scores of parents will succumb. How can we have so many special needs kid out there?

I wouldn't be surprised if Pamela Lim is keener to make a success of this commercially than helping special needs kids. This is her way of leaning in, to have it all.

Update: 11:40am

Contributions to community say more than academic transcripts: Heng Swee Keat

Heng Swee Keat speech is for the normal folks but the care of special  needs children go far beyond their academic performance even if they are precocious. We close as many gaps as possible with normal people but some gaps may never be closed. On the other hand special needs kids may have extraordinary gifts elsewhere. Today our system pretty much leave you alone to help yourself. If Pamela Lim really wants to help fill the gap here, her interview with Susan Long would have come across very very different.

Perhaps Susan Long didn't know she was used. If only she had gotten the chance to interview MP Denise Phua, the contrast would be like night and day.

AdSense Experiment

Blaming myself now for failing to make a post why I made some small experiments putting AdSense on a few pages of this blog. There wasn't a need to do this when I get so much more from my other more serious web assets. I vaguely recall reading an article which led me to the experiment.

I will never be serious with using AdSense here because I am blogging for myself. When I have the time I am going to remove all the AdSense here. Experiment over long ago and a waste of time when I can't remember why I even did it. Most unsatisfactory...I left for a few minutes and search 'AdSense' off this blog and what did I find? The partial reason for the experiment :-) Discover that only seven pages have AdSense notices and it has got to do with something I learned from "KaChing"

Shanmugam as Good Samaritan

K. Shanmugam Samaritan act on our roads.

I welcome every opportunity to post something like this because I complain so much about the government but also often point out that they are among the best in the world.

To me he is one of the better ministers, but let's remember that even when we are not happy with our leaders, as citizens they are better than most of us.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Finally World Toilet Day

Thumbs up Jack! May we long remember this. November 19 is now World Toilet Day.

An unsexy topic, the butt of jokes but one of the most important things of life.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Video: Dairy Farm Rd Bus Crash

Gasp! What do you make of this? You think this was taken out of some movie! But it was purportedly real. The driver claimed brake failure but we will have to wait for the investigations to complete to learn the true cause of the accident :-(

Corruption in the CPIB

I kinda recall as kid that teachers, police officers and civil servants were not permitted to indulge in common vices, which gambling was one. So why was this Assistant Director of CPIB Edwin Yeo patronising the casino at MBS?

No point speculating and jumping the gun. The PM said the Head of the Civil Service will report the findings of the inquiry by the end of this week.

Common sense informed me that if you want to stay out of trouble don't go near nests where troubles breed. The IRs are definitely one of those places. Officers trying to test their ability to endure temptation should be disciplined. Why wait till they succumbed? This time it is just money, another time it might be our national security.

Update: July 25 9:50am

He is going in, he is not going to waste court time.

To me he is history what we need to concern ourselves with is the future. There must be as I said before an uncomfortable number of corrupt officials still not yet caught. They might really be regretting in private now but it's too late. Too much of that "just don't get caught" mentality around for too long.

I don't buy Teo Chee Hean's conclusions from the joint findings of the CAD and CPIB. What I want to know is the trend. Don't just tell me there is no change in the level of uncovered corruption over the past five years. Go far back enough to tell us how things have improved or gotten worse. A flat line on a graph for five years, what does it mean? Would there be fewer cases from the civil service in future? You know this thing is a cancer and you want to keep getting better at rooting it out.

Update: July 26, 3:45pm

Don't stop at just gambling OK. There are a few more vices to be included. How could you all have missed them in the first place. In fact, I was even thinking there were such rules. I had that impression from a very young age. Now it seems like in those days, civil servants were more careful and following some unstated OB markers.

Women serving NS

Women serving NS and eventually compulsory enlistment like men do now? I think that is the long term plan. If it can be helped I don't think the government want to go on a hard sell over this one. Let it come more or less naturally, after the number of women in the military continue to grow as per their publicly articulated target.

On the other hand I am surprised at the results of this focus group. I imagine here was a bunch of women like every morning in the talk back program on radio, where people who know next to nothing talking and making suggestions. Why should I take this focus group seriously when in the first place? ST had failed to qualify how their opinions were informed?

Update: July 25, 11:05am

These Talk Back sessions missed the point most of the times. If I weren't forced to be driving during that time of day, I wouldn't have tuned to them. The other stations are even more inane.

Here is one guy who gets it and save me the time writing myself. The key purpose of NS is our national security but most people are fixed on the collateral benefits. They had also forgotten the onery of reservist obligations.

  • Nathanael Lin The main purpose of NS is to defend Singapore. It is not to forge social cohesion or build individual discipline. However, it seems like these secondary reasons have become more important than the main reason.

    In that case, perhaps we should look for more direct solutions for these secondary reasons, and consider whether NS is necessary in the first place. Would Singapore be better served if we start other social programs, scrap NS and expand the regular SAF instead?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

LOL: Wrong woman to mess with!

I can't stop laughing at this the four times I watched this. It deserves to be recorded here.

Picture shows what happened milliseconds after she delivered a masterly kick to the groin! It was a goal! The idiot deserved it!

Now see the action! BTW, I think passerbys must have correctly guessed why he was writhing on the ground.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Larger Displays for iPhone, iPad?

Isn't obvious to Apple's management that consumers want larger displays for their iPhones and iPads.

Had they started with display sizes like those from Samsung from the very beginning, I believed the iPhone would have flopped. This was something you need the consumer to grow up to. Samsung has more than qualified this opportunity and Apple if the rumor is true is playing catch up.

Myself I am beyond this, looking for fold-able displays. I am also hoping that driverless cars will come soonest. And what has cars got to do with a post on device displays? Nothing but only to record how badly I wish for them; how tired I am of driving.

Cars as status symbols? I am not willing to pay for these things. This is one thing the young Japanese consumer in my view gets it.

Nice Pineapples

I used to buy Sarawak pineapples like these at the hawker centre I frequent but for years they have not been giving such quality. Used to be 60 cents but I would gladly give the dollar they asked for. I these at B2 in Plaza Sing while waiting for wifey to have lunch together.

Next time!

Update: July 28, 2:50pm

Surprise! Wifey bought me this from the market.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

New shoes from Timberland

Bought two Timberlands today at their outlet store today. $207 altogether for both pairs.

This has Gore Tex. Will be very useful to protect and keep her feet dry the many days she will be spending hiking in the national park doing scientific field work.

Bought this for wifey in order to enjoy additional discount. She likes it very much. This will replace her present pretty Nike.

Early "Crunchy Prawns"

It's our family tradition to prepare these dishes on each National Day. This year we are having it very early because one of our girls would be away on a Science expedition over the National Day and Hari Raya holidays.

I don't remember when we first started doing this. The recipe was from my mom and so I had been having these since I was a kid. We kids used to call them "heaty prawns" but to my children they are known as "crunchy prawns". "Heaty" meant it was heavily rationed but these days the kids have their fill. Almost all what is shown here would be eaten by them.

MSM on heavy school bags

I want to tell him, "wait long long" for the school bag to get lighter. So many ministers of education have come and gone but nothing in this department has changed. I wonder if nobody scores points or get promoted for fixing this problem. Too unsexy. Even they have done many things about the weight of equipment our SAF servicemen carried on their backs but not these heavy bags.

I gave up years ago. I took my kids' heaviest textbooks and scanned them into electronic files and transfer them to their iPads. Huge reduction of bag weight.

What this issue tells me about our school bureaucracy a culture that is at odds with the world beyond the school gate. I didn't begin to think this way until Dr. Goh complained how difficult it is to change things at the Education ministry compared to Mindef. I supposed that is still true today eh?

Update: July 28, 10:05am

Found in ST yesterday.

My first new $1 coin

Picked up my first new $1 coin at the Giant Hypermart yesterday. I am keeping this one. Everyone at home was excited to look and feel it but the novelty will wear off quickly.

Photo taken against my Kindle case as background

Shrinking Singaporean Core

Half of the babies born here last year did not have both parents who are Singaporeans. At this rate what it means to be Singaporean tomorrow would be very different from today. The trend cannot be reversed without a heavy price and a more severely shrinking population.

Get used to us disappearing and accept that we would be transformed, at least not transmogrified into something else. But would it produce a people that is able or even want to keep this place going is another matter. Perhaps it is already too late in the day to preserve the core. Not a problem to the elderly now as they will be dead. The young better adapt to becoming global citizens. Quite scary if many people are here only for economic reasons than faith and commitment. Anyway commit to whatever and faith for what outcome? I don't know but what we stand for must be globally attractive. At least that would also make us attractive to foreigner arrivals.

I wonder if our future population would not be like asset markets that boom and bust, but  it is only possible to rise from a bust if people see value and not a has been. How do we create that? We can't keep growing bigger. Cities must allow for growth and retrenchment to regrow themselves again. I think that is just the circle of life.

My children must prepare for a much more different world than my generation have taking over from our parents. Worry the generation who must ride the down phase. The first time this happen must be totally unnerving. I hope enough people could somehow see a different tomorrow then and rebuild. Great fortunes would be made buying so many things cheap. Alternatively everything is lost and a new Singapore in a different place rises but more likely another global city inherit what we have foolishly bequeathed. This is the one track scary scenario we are sold on to get us to behave. By the laws of growth, I am afraid we cannot ignore the cycle of life in death and rebirth. Smarter to provide for rebirth. Even long ago Isaac Asimov knows he must write his Foundation series this way or simply there would be no readers. He was just being realistic.  What is our Psychohistory? It cannot be fiction for us.

Maybe the secret is to always have a remnant seed and I hope a very big seed as I think size does matter here.

The unfaithful MSM

The MSM especially ST is trying to keep two lovers. They have to choose between the government or readers. It would be ideal if they could choose the mother of the two: Singapore. But Singapore has no volition and need those two lovers to give her that ability. A big problem when we are divided and perhaps getting more so. Looking at some of their latest articles, I think the ST is under a lot of pressure.

This is the government idea of good politics. I don't know if this is Rachel Chang's idea but it must  be her job to put out this and to the satisfaction for the government. To me this is an impossible job. I could tell she didn't write as well as she usually could with all those longish and stretched sentences. It is as if she has to pile on qualifications why she is writing this or that, like she would not remember unless she makes notes.

Zuraidah Ibrahim had the easier task with this article. Like Rachel Chang's piece yesterday, this is so partisan to the PAP. These are the moments you can't please two lovers, so keep happy the one who calls the tune never mind the other who actually pays the bills but has  no power except at Elections.

I like Elgin Toh's article which I had missed when it first appeared in Singapolitics. So ST tried to leave something for the other lover?

Torn between two lovers, breaking all the rules...

Actually it isn't so bad for them. In reality they are permitted to love only one but occasionally flirt with the other when first lover feels secure and confident. Some readers are unhappy and stopped reciprocating ST advances. My sister would read the ST provided she get to do so for free. Who knows, I might follow her example some day.

Specifically where is the ST taking us? They are leading us into, 'Good Politics, What's that?'

Sadly and I hope not tragically for them and the PAP they are such lousy salespeople. Go learn how to connect like Obama just did again.

Latest example of Obama connecting with Americans. If the government cannot connect, it cannot do anything substantive. Then it becomes a matter of time things get really ugly here as the Opposition get fixed and the ruling party falls into the abyss of moral bankruptcy. This isn't too far fetched. You just wait and see. Right now they are trying to seal the abyss before they could act. I think they have a good fighting chance. Nothing loving with all these at all. Don't let love mess up prostitution. So do they want to connect in the end? I think they are divided about this.

Even if Obama could connect he could not do anything quickly but that's America. As my daughter reminded me, their politics is if there are five wolves and one sheep in their Union, they would try to protect that sheep. She said this came from Lincoln*. We used to sacrifice that sheep but now we just starve it. We do not have the faith or wherewithal to protect that sheep because we are a tiny red dot now recognized to be filled with children too.

Update: 9:35pm

*Mistake! She emailed me when I was out earlier today to let me know.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Car got rear ended.

Car got rear ended by this reckless lady driver this afternoon. :-(

This is bad luck. It could have been worse, it could have been better. That's life. Just move on. I hope she is more careful next time.

Basically life is not fair. Don't just think of getting the raw end of the stick. Sometimes you get better than you deserve, other times worse. My thoughts are more with the tragic deaths of the Indian school children than this. It is so painful I couldn't bring myself to blog about it. Such tragedies visit the poor Indians everyday :-(

What's wrong with NDP 2013 Theme Song?

To me the place is right because there can only be on place: here in Singapore. However the time is wrong for too many people. Just ask anyone who is not upbeat about this place due to the ongoing and festering issues, and he/she surely wouldn't like this song. In short, this is yet another out of touch with the people enterprise, just like the Pop. White Paper and many things else.

All is not lost. When the time is right, this song would be too but not in 2013.

Anyway it will succeed on August 9. On that they as one people we would momentarily choose to set aside our issues and keep our focus as one nation. From this perspective it would be a very good success. What more do you want? Congrats to Selina and Elaine.

Update: July 28, 3:15pm

Dick Lee gets it!

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Jihad National Day Song

Jihad is not inane "holy war" where people are duped into strapping bombs to their bodies to blow up infidels. Jihad is about struggle. I am not a Muslim but as an act of faith I believe they must include helping each other in our struggles, and that's how I see this song by Lorraine Tan. Just lovely! Another gem!

While others wait for the sun and rain to bless their crops or dig into the ground in search of abundant wealth, our story will always be one of Jihad. We are complain kings and that's fine but failing to constantly struggle for tomorrow is not fine. Enjoy the struggle. Don't retire but find something you are happy to work on. A government white paper that assume we will retire is just simply nonsensical and faithless. Sure, the people are tired and say after a lifetime of toil they want to rest but if you have enough wisdom you will realize that when the time come they would want to work.

I just came from a quick tour of because my brother Whatsapp me about it. Very knowledgeable but quite unwise. I hope I would change my mind when I have the time to look at it more carefully.

And the Mandarin version.

Where is Magnum One for One?

Disappointed to see that there was no Magnum one for one this year when again I checked as I waited for the petrol tank to be filled.

As I blog this I decided to check what happened before. I was too early! Look at the dates. Nearer to National Day. They have been giving this offer since 2010, perhaps before but I didn't record.

This blog is good for the little things and these are the stuff that makes life interesting.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Car Dealers want crutches

I have no sympathy for these babies. Already I felt the PM shouldn't have given in to them in the first place. If you want help, go and own a bank that is too big to fail otherwise welcome to the real world!

From the comments, I noticed many also share my sentiments. So many scumbags in this industry. This is your comeuppance. You should exit the business and let more ethical ones come in. We don't owe you a living.

  • Jack Lin A few things shooting their own foot

    1. Targeted towards low or middle income??? Cars shouldn't be targeted for low income else they would have problem servicing it. Ive seen low income go bankrupt becos they lost their jobs and service a hefty loan of 105% of the car because of cashback at 10-12% effective interest rate
    2. Currently there are some private dealers giving 80% loan
    3. Of course 2nd hand car should valuate the cars properly. They had been valuing the car too high and pple use it for speculation or "drive and dump", but in our case is resell for higher value since COE went up. Some 2nd cars actually sold for more than they were bought.
    4. Buyers shouldnt be taking out 100% loan in the first place, thats just bad finance
    5. The govt has given an extension and you guys clear your stock already, and now asking for more and more and want to "replenish stock"
    Like · Reply · 8 · 2 hours ago via mobile

Vivian Balakrishnan failed to anticipate haze

That meeting of ASEAN environment minister was more show than progress. This is unsurprising.

This is also the moment I think we learn that Vivian Balakrishnan was caught napping.

I will count my chickens when they are hatched. Not putting too much by such a promise to ratify the treaty. A minister, even the President cannot speak for the legislature. If they could the accord would have been ratified long ago.

The fact that the Jambi collaboration has lapsed is the early warning sign to expect haze. How could Vivian Balakrishnan have missed that? We were lucky in 2012. The haze came thick and heavy this year. If it didn't it could be next year but whenever, it will come and it should not be surprising if it is bad.

Let's see if the WP would ask him to account for this lapse. 

Update: 3:45pm

Received a very helpful comment with a link to Hansard. WP did press the point earlier.

How odd we take such a different attitude towards the haze compared to water.

On water, LKY attended to it personally. Where is LHL? Yes, he was making jokes as the commenter pointed out. What abysmal judgement from the PM. So not one but two of them were napping. No wonder we didn't actually have enough N95s. No wonder the government had to throw their smoke bombs playing with categories. Yes, we have enough N95s but....Fortunately the wind changed direction or we would have our Katrina moment.

So much for the much vaunted foresight of this government. They had 16 years to figure a way to achieve leverage over Indonesia but they didn't.