Following Me

Hi. Please do not add me on Facebook as my Fb page is private. Instead, please like me on my public page

Sunday, 7 December 2014

A Deadly Serious Election

PM Lee has said that the next General Election will be 'deadly serious' as each constituency would be fought on national issues, not local issues. Each constituency will fight a National Election and not a By-Election.

In my humble opinion, PM Lee is by and large correct. Singapore is so uniformly run that we cannot say that the residents of East Coast GRC have overwhelmingly distinct and different issues from the residents of West Coast GRC. Local issues will not win and lose elections in PAP wards - as Aljunied GRC found to their dismay in 2011. They fought a local election (laying down municipal plans for residents) whilst the WP fought on a national slogan ("First World Parliament").

The WP will do the same again in 2011 - telling residents of Aljunied GRC that if they lose, the PAP will again be in control of all GRCs and the historic gains of 2011 will be lost. They will emotionally appeal to the residents of Aljunied to keep the fires of democracy burning. They will repeat the same in other constituencies, again telling voters that they are not ready to be an alternative Government, but please give them another GRC so they have a stronger mandate to 'check' the PAP in Parliament.

Ironically, the PAP's best strategy in Aljunied is to employ their losing tactic in 2011. I am surprised the WP has made such a hash out of managing the Town Council.

The PAP should ask the residents of Aljunied, and other residents this: even if Western-style democracy is an ideal, are they willing to continue paying the price so other Singaporeans - those that vote the PAP - can enjoy a 'check-and-balance', whilst they continue to suffer from terrible town council administration? Are they willing to be guinea pigs so that other Singaporeans can have their cake and eat it as well?

These are the issues that will decide the next GE.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Let The Vanquished Tell Their Tales

Every Singaporean should agree with the MCI Minister Yaacob Ibrahim that it was fortunate that the Communists lost the battle for Singapore in the early days of our state; as it turned out Communism proved to be a fatally flawed political system that eventually collapsed. Even China is now only nominally communist, having adopted capitalist reforms that have brought it prosperity that communism could not. Cuba and North Korea are mere dictatorships operating under the facade of communism, and are all but failed pariah states.

The victory of Capitalism over Communism is so utter and so final that it is hard to imagine a communist revolution taking place anywhere in the world today; as a beacon of capitalist success, Singapore is no different. A bourgeois nation such as Singapore is hardly fertile ground for the communist provocateur. It is thus extremely strange that the Government would ban the documentary 'To Singapore, With Love' on the grounds of national security concerns.

Comintern, the organisation tasked with spreading communism in the world can now only be found in history books; young Singaporeans are unlikely to have even heard of it. The Communist Party of Malaya, an armed revolutionary group was no doubt guilty of many deaths in its decades-long insurrection - but with it's surrender to the Malaysian government in the 1980's, they are also a relic of history.

Many of the exiles from the 60s are also octogenarians in the twilight of their lives; unlike the detainees of Operation Spectrum of the '80s, they have little or no hope of making a comeback.

The argument of the government however is that some of the interviewees have distorted the truth by denying that they were ever communists.

I fail to see how this matters. Even if they were not communists, there is no doubt that most were left-leaning activists whose vision for post-colonial Singapore was a at least a socialist one; however, no post-colonial country which adopted left-leaning, socialist policies has prospered. Every of the 4 Asian tigers, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea have developed first-world states by embracing capitalist, market-economies. Socialism, on the other hand, proved to be a bankrupt ideology for poor, new nations that had nothing to re-distribute.

Whether they were communist revolutionaries or socialist radicals, everything they have stood for has been proven wrong by the passage of time.

Throughout history, at the birth of every nation, there is always a gigantic struggle between competing ideologies and their adherents. Often, blood is shed. In Singapore's case, the losers were exiled and the victors, the PAP government have cemented their victory with fifty years of prosperity, taking its people from third world to first.
The triumph of its vision versus those of the exiles could not be any more absolute.

It is precisely because of this that I feel that the Government should be secure enough for the stories of those it long-ago vanquished to be told. Almost 50, Singapore is no longer a new nation and understanding what-could-have-been, if things turned out differently half a century ago, may well help a new generation of Singaporeans better appreciate the achievements of the PAP government.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Reply to TOC's Facebook Page re-post of Andy Wong's article on MDA Regulations

Some of these points I have already put on my Facebook Page, but I think it is useful to re-post on my blog, and add some clarifications.

Firstly, I have never said MDA regulates companies. That is the job of ACRA. Neither have I said that MDA is only interested in regulating companies. I have also NOT said anywhere that companies are special, as Andy Wong alleges.

My point is that in the case of The Independent and The Breakfast Network, after it was deemed that they were involved in the "promotion, propagation and/or discussion of political issues”, it was clear their mode of operation was through a corporate entity and so this entity was the subject of regulation. When the corporate entity The Breakfast Network Pte Ltd refused to register, then any social media platform it owns, be it website, Twitter and Facebook should be shut down. However once the corporate entity ceases to exist, the subject asked to register is inactive and thus regulation at this point is moot.

I don't know how to make it clearer.

Specifically, there are three simple points I can make to rebut 'blogger' Andy Wong, and The Online Citizen who claim he 'took apart' my reaction to Free My Internet Movement.

1) Andy Wong and TOC still claim that in Breakfast Network's case, it was the website and not the company the MDA was regulating.
These are the important parts from MDA's press statement:
"as we had assessed that as a corporate entity providing political commentary and news, they could be susceptible to foreign funding."
"MDA has informed Breakfast Network Pte Ltd that the company should cease to operate its online services"
"Should Breakfast Network Pte Ltd remain active as a company, it must not operate any iteration on other Internet platforms as doing so would contravene MDA’s registration requirements. These other Internet platforms include Breakfast Network’s Facebook page and Twitter Feed."

I do however agree that the first sentence in the press release is confusing

It says "MDA had required, operated by Breakfast Network Pte Ltd, to register under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification, as we had assessed that as a corporate entity providing political commentary and news, they could be susceptible to foreign funding."
"" is a URL. It is not a corporate entity as the statement grammatically implies. It is the Pte Ltd that is the corporate entity, as the rest of the statement says.

MDA should clarify.

2) Andy Wong then says the legislation does not say that MDA ONLY regulates companies.

As I said above, nobody said such a thing. I certainly did not.

The regulation allows MDA to regulate companies inter alia, which IN THIS CASE, MDA has chosen to do.

3) Employees and senior management can also be taken to task for the malfeasance of a company. A Pte Ltd

For example, the CEO, CFO of Enron were jailed even though Enron was a public listed company.

We are not talking about financial responsibility here, where a Pte Ltd shields even the shareholders from the debts of the company.

4) There are several ludicrous statements in the article which is not worth responding to including

"Strictly speaking, companies are not set up for commercial or profit-making reasons."