Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A poignant tribute to ex-President Ong Teng Cheong

In the midst of all these flattering adulations on the ex-President SR Nathan following his demise on 22 August, perhaps it has not occurred to the mesmerised PM Lee Hsien Loong and his equally hypnotised Cabinet colleagues that there is still considerable anger among a significant section of Singaporeans on the disgraceful act of the PAP leaders in not according a State Funeral to ex-president Ong Teng Cheong upon his death. To add to the insult the PAP demagogues did not even have the decency to give a satisfactory explanation for the omission except from time to time they issued nonsensical statements that the Prime Minister and his spineless Cabinet colleagues have the final say on such matters. There is no quarrel about according a State Funeral to SR Nathan but that the wife of former PM Lee Kuan Yew (the mother of PM Lee Hsien Loong) was given a State Funeral upon her death is in the mind of discerning Singaporeans the extreme case of the abuse of political power. What locus standi could Mrs Lee Kuan Yew have to deserve such state honour? And how could she have been more qualified than ex-President Ong Teng Cheong for a State
Funeral?

Ex-President Ong Teng Cheong was known as the People's President during his tenure, a title which our ex-President SR Nathan would have like to be bestowed with but which had eluded him. This was the measure of the popularity of ex-President Ong Teng Cheong, especially among the Chinese. He incurred the displeasure of the PAP demagogues, especially ex-PM Lee Kuan Yew, for being too honest and straightforward in wanting to know about Singapore Reserves to the discomfort of the PAP wallahs. How the PAP demagogues could have felt so panicky about disclosing Singapore Reserves to the President may be enigmatic to the public but that they could have turned inimical to the President over this could be a million-dollar question to know. To take it further, they even showed their vindictive strain by not giving ex-President Ong Teng Cheong a State Funeral which he greatly deserved, at least more than Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew, to the dismay of Singaporeans who watched the comic opera with abated breath.

Ex-President Ong Teng Cheong had brought immense progress to Singapore even before he became President as a PAP lawmaker and Minister. He was instrumental in making the mass rapid transit a reality in Singapore which has benefitted immensely the commuters. The question of the withholding of his State Funeral upon his death will not go away from the people's mind and will resurface from time to time to the discomfort of the PAP wallahs, especially PM Lee Hsien Loong.

It's quite in order to accord ex-President SR Nathan a fitting narrative to his memory but quite a lot of the adulations are repetitious and some of his so-called achievements were really given a bit of cosmetic treatment. In any case, may the soul of eminent SR Nathan rest in peace.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Looking at Joseph Schooling's Gold Medal in perspective

The fantastic achievement of Joseph Schooling in winning a Gold Medal in the 100 metre butterfly swimming event at the Rio Olympics has brought a supreme reputation and prestige to Singapore in the history of the Olympics. Singapore, especially PM Lee Hsien Loong and his ministers, have shown superb gratitude in according Joseph Schooling the supreme honour that has never been given to any athlete or artist in the past. The whole of Singapore is in ecstatic celebration in his honour  and Joseph Schooling could not have been oblivious to all the adulations that have been poured on him. In all these frenzied exuberances would it not be prudent that a rational thought be given to the sensitivity of Joseph Schooling in having to face the future? He has been lifted so high on the pedestal of fame that we may be overdoing it so that there would be no consolation, but devastation, if he could not win any gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Of course, in the midst of all these celebrations, it could not have occurred in his mind.

True to their character, the PAP leaders are never slow in their haste to claim credit for the global honour  to Singapore that Joseph Schooling has brought. Apart from granting Joseph Schooling a deferment for national service to enable him to train for the Olympics, it was left entirely to the parents of Schooling to finance his training, especially his mother May Schooling.They had spent more than a million dollars for his training and the Singapore Government is not known to have made any financial contribution to it. In fact the people who should claim credit for Schooling's gold medal achievement should be his wonderful parents, his equally wonderful American trainers and the American Government.

Joseph Schooling is a genuine local born swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal for Singapore, unlike the mercenary women paddlers from China that the somnolent PAP Government brought in at great expense to the taxpayers with the hope that they would win gold medals for Singapore at the Olympics. They were all second-rate players trained by China who were only too happy to foist them on Singapore so that they could have an affluent livelihood with the easy money they get from the Singapore Government. It should not surprise the PAP leaders if they could not win any Olympic gold medal for they were more interested in acquiring wealth. Due to the PAP's lax policy, they became permanent residents (PR) over time and became eligible to purchase HDB flats which they sold in the lucrative re-sale market at great profits when they returned to China. With the exchange rate in China, they became affluent overnight.

The latest antic is the shameful defeat of the mercenary Singapore paddlers by an unflattering Japanese team at the Rio Olympics for a bronze medal. Do Singaporeans feel that they have been shortchanged by the PAP leaders?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Coroner's verdict on Benjamin Lim

This was the letter I emailed to the Right Honourable Law Minister K. Shanmugam on 1.7.16 on the subject:

Dear Mr. Shanmugam,

I seek your indulgence in writing to you as the Minister-in-charge on a matter of public interest.

Singaporeans have been following the coroner's inquiry on Benjamin Lim with keen interest. Benjamin Lim was the frail 14 year-old student who was hauled by five burly policemen in plainclothes from his school in January for alleged molestation of a girl to the police station for interrogation. He was arrested and released on bail. He went straight home after that and the tragic thing was that he was found dead at the bottom of his flat after he jumped out of the window.

The coroner's inquiry was not without controversies and threw up a complexing picture of questionable police procedures and the inadequacies of the school authorities in dealing with the case. As a result the coroner had to adjourn the inquiry to 8 June to give his verdict. But the puzzling thing is that there was a no-show of the coroner's verdict nor was there any announcement of postponement.

Almost a month has now passed since 8 June and would it not be time for the public to be advised as to the progress of the coroner's proceedings and when a verdict is to be expected? The verdict is important as it would show whether there is any culpability on the part of anybody, especially the police, in the tragic death of Benjamin Lim, who in the meantime may be making a poignant cry for justice.

With due respect and regards. Yoong Siew Wah

This must have come as a shock to Mr. Shanmugam but I am not too optimistic that the high and mighty Law Minister would have the humility to reply to a plebeian. My letter could have caused not a little ripple  as it brings to the public notice a disturbing and unusual situation in the administration of justice. The State Coroner was scheduled to give his verdict on the tragic death of Benjamin Lim on 8 June and quite inexplicably he gave a no-show without any announcement of any postponement. And this was to drag on with no explanation or announcement by the Minister of the reason of the no-show or the resumption of the inquiry. This unusual state of affair would have been allowed to continue indefinitely if this had not been brought up with the Minister.

It boggles the mind as to why there as no-show by the State Coroner. He was scheduled to give a very important verdict on the tragic death of Benjamin Lim which could have serious repercussions on certain quarters like the police. Could there be a possibility, even if remote, for the State Coroner to have suddenly found himself to be in an unpardonable situation where he had to act against his own conscience and abstained from giving his verdict?

The inquiry has so far disclosed some disturbing features. The State Coroner might have found it bizarre that the police had to send five burly policemen in plainclothes to haul a frail-looking 14 year -old student from his school to the police station for interrogation. And the manner in which the confession was obtained from him left a very big question mark. Benjamin"s father tried to raise the question of the five policemen  in the inquiry but this was blocked by the State Counsel assisting the inquiry who was obviously anxious to shield the police from being shown as extremely stupid by sending such massive force to haul in a frail student. How can the police now say that they are understaffed? Then there is the doubtful evidence of the school supervisor on the reason for stopping Benjamin Lim from attending a school function the next day which the coroner found questionable. This was the reason for adjourning the inquiry to 8 June for a verdict as the coroner wanted to satisfy himself on the truthfulness of the supervisor's evidence.

A young innocent life has been sacrificed and the public has the right to know what caused his death and whether anyone is responsible for it. The distraught parents are left with no one to look after them in their old age. It cannot be more strongly emphasised that the coroner's inquiry must be resumed without delay to arrive at a verdict and the Law Minister must come out with an early announcement, if only to redeem his serious omission. Let this be a warning to an over-confident PM Lee Hsien Loong and his Cabinet, especially his Law Minister that there should not be any attempt at cover-up which will have dire consequences to the PAP.

A final word for the Workers' Party. An email was sent to Pritam Singh on 23.6.16 requesting him to enquire from the Law Minister but it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. The Workers' Party needs to buck up and it can redeem its omission by taking up this matter in Parliament.


Friday, July 1, 2016

An insight into Singapore's preparedness in counter-terrorism measures

Especially after the murderous terrorist attack on Istanbul in Turkey recently, it has been daily exercising the nimble mind of our so-called intrepid PAP leaders, especially the unusually alert PM Lee Hsien Loong and the pushy Defence Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen almost to the point of insanity on means and ways of softening the public to an imminent terrorist attack of the scale of Paris and Istanbul. That Singapore may be targeted for terrorist attack may not be a myth anymore. It's a question of when and not if. That Singapore may be attracted as a terrorist target may also be attributable to the blustering accounts by PAP Ministers, especially Dr. Ng Eng Hen of the so-called formidable forces at their command to counter any terrorist attack.

The latest gimmick is the establishment of the so-called Army Deployment Force (ADF) of battalion size with a rapid response of ten minutes to a terrorist attack. All this is very well for local consumption but what do you think of the terrorist reaction to such a bluster? Would it not be a challenge to them to target Singapore for all its bluster even if there was no such intention initially? Who would suffer in such an attack? Not the ministers or the armed forces.There is a Chinese saying: If you are careful you can drive a ten-thousand year ship (小心駛得萬年船). There is nothing to prevent Dr. Ng Eng Hen from continuing his blustering way, but it would be at his peril.

It is therefore more prudent to assuage the public mind to our counter-terrorism measures in a less pushy manner so as not to incur the animosity of the terrorists. So far all these talks were about counter-terrorism measures. Has it not occurred to the high and mighty PAP leaders to lay out measures to deal with the aftermath of any terrorist attack? Are there no lessons to be learnt from the terrorist attacks in Paris and Istanbul? Conditions may well be so chaotic that it is difficult to distinguish terrorists from victims and it will be a time when it will require monumental effort to calm the public. Notwithstanding the so-called fool-proof immigration security system, if the terrorists are determined to smuggle themselves into Singapore, events in Paris and Istanbul had proved this can be achieved by the terrorists.They are suicide bombers and their whole aim is to smuggle themselves into Singapore to carry out their mission. They do not expect to leave Singapore alive.

Finally, has it ever occurred to our high-falutin PAP wallahs that the ordinary humble Singaporeans may be able to contribute some very good ideas to our counter-terrorism measures or the aftermath? Only that they have not been asked probably because they are not considered to have the requisite expertise.

May God bless Singapore?

An insight into Singapore's preparedness in counter-terrorism measures

Especially after the murderous terrorist attack on Istanbul in Turkey recently, it has been daily exercising the nimble mind of our so-called intrepid PAP leaders, especially the unusually alert PM Lee Hsien Loong and the pushy Defence Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen almost to the point of insanity on means and ways of softening the public to an imminent terrorist attack of the scale of Paris and Istanbul. That Singapore may be targeted for terrorist may not be a myth anymore. It's a question of when and not if. That Singapore may be attracted as a terrorist target may also be attributable to the blustering accounts by PAP Ministers, especially Dr. Ng Eng Hen of the so-called formidable forces at their command to counter any terrorist attack.

The latest gimmick is the establishment of the so-called Army Deployment Force (ADF) of battalion size with a rapid response of ten minutes to a terrorist attack. All this is very well for local consumption but what do you think of the terrorist reaction to such a bluster? Would it not be a challenge to them to target Singapore for all its bluster even if there was no such intention initially? Who would suffer in such an attack? Not the ministers or the armed forces.There is a Chinese saying: If you are careful you can drive a ten-thousand year ship (小心駛得萬年船). There is nothing to prevent Dr. Ng Eng Hen from continuing his blustering way, but it would be his peril.

It is therefore more prudent to assuage the public mind to our counter-terrorism measures in a less pushy manner so as not to incur the animosity of the terrorists. So far all these talks were about counter-terrorism measures. Has it not occurred to the high and mighty PAP leaders to lay out measures to deal with the aftermath of any terrorist attack? Are there no lessons to be learnt from the terrorist attacks in Paris and Istanbul? Conditions may well be so chaotic that it is difficult to distinguish terrorists from victims and it will be a time when it will require monumental effort to calm the public. Notwithstanding the so-called fool-proof immigration security system, if the terrorists are determined to smuggle themselves into Singapore, events in Paris and Istanbul had proved this can be achieved by the terrorists.They are suicide bombers and their whole aim is to smuggle themselves into Singapore to carry out their mission. They do not expect to leave Singapore alive.

Finally, has it ever occurred to our high-falutin PAP wallahs that the ordinary humble Singaporeans may be able to contribute some very good ideas to our counter-terrorism measures or the aftermath? Only that they have not been asked probably because they are not considered to have the requisite expertise.

May God bless Singapore?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Is this another Sermon on the Mount?

It is a well-known fact that the Straits Times is a PAP propaganda organ. For it to come out now to portray itself as a purveyor of unvarnished news to the public is stretching the imagination to the limit. The sceptical public may want to know the motivation of the Straits Times in its editorial today casting unmitigated aspersion on the integrity of the TR Emeritus (TRE) when the issue of the erroneous reporting of the medical expenses of Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has been satisfactorily clarified by TRE and other websites. TRE has already apologised for the inadvertent error and does the Straits Times consider that a pound of flesh is the more appropriate punishment?

No one benefits from aggravating the mishap of Minister Heng and what locus standi is the Straits Times on in insinuating that TRE is making Minister Heng the target of lies? Is the Straits Times not admitting that it lacks the ability to exercise proper judgement and due diligence (to quote the ST) on such a serious accusation?

As mentioned before, Mr. Heng is a well-liked minister and it is unfortunate that he is afflicted with a severe stroke in the course of his duty which requires prolonged hospitalisation and intensive care. As the cost of the hospital care is quite astronomical it is quite natural for some members of the public to wonder if this is shouldered by the taxpayers. Since the government has now clarified that the taxpayers will not be burdened with Mr. Heng's medical cost, it would have expected that matters will take their normal course of waiting for the complete recovery of Mr. Heng with TRE having apologised for the erroneous reporting and other websites giving their views in mitigating the TRE's error. In fact the whole issue is a storm in the teacup.

It is indeed mind-boggling that the Straits Times editor has found it fitting the revitalise the issue at this point and it will be interesting to know if this is done with a noble motivation. That the Straits Times has all along viewed TRE and other similar websites as undermining its monopoly of purveying unvarnished news to the public is not too far-fetched. So if it could expose TRE and other websites for disseminating gutter journalism, it would smooth the way for it to continue to disseminate PAP propaganda to the public. In this way the people who are short-changed will be the public.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Must the SPD be so overbearing in its statement?

It's a reminiscene of the British colonial days when you get civil servants writing in an uncultured manner chastising the disconcerted public for any minor infringement. Would you not think it is anachronistic if this happens in Independent Singapore today? Let's examine the so-called civilised statement of the Public Service Division (PSD) chastising the website TR Emeritus (TRE) for allegedly misleading the public that Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's medical expenses were being paid by taxpayers. Is it not couched in unmistakable overbearing language and would it be expected of civil servants to show some civility in the exercise of their authority towards the public? Surely it is not beyond their ability to compose the statement with more civility without losing the severity of the admonition which they intend to convey.

Mr. Heng Swee Keat is quite a well-liked minister who has unfortunately suffered a severe stroke and is still in the Intensive Care Unit after more than a month. That the public is anxious to know the prognosis of his condition is quite natural. The TRE has inadvertenly published Mr. Heng's medical bill in the region of $500,000 to be paid by taxpayers.without first checking the veracity of the statement. It has since apologised to the government for its inadvertent mistake but added it is disappointed to be accused of misleading the public.

There is a saying that to err is human. To err and to mislead are two entirely different matter and it is obvious that the TRE has erred and not to mislead. A fine example of erring or misleading was in the blustering disclosure by the former Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan that he had paid only $8.00 for an operation and hospital stay some time ago. TRE can therefore be excused for a momentarily indiscretion.

In the public interest the proper attitude to adopt is to monitor the progress of the health condition of Mr. Heng Swee Keat and not how his medical bill is to be settled. Civil servants are not public masters and a showing of a little civility in dealing with the public will endear them to the populace. TRE is doing a public service by providing alternative news to the public from the PAP propaganda that the mainstream media, especially the Straits Times, is dishing out ad nauseam.

There is a Chinese saying : People are not grass or wood so who can not have erred but to err and can change is a virtuous act. (人非草木 孰能無過 過而能改 善莫大焉)