25 September 2015

GE 2015: How Mainstream Media Helped PAP

The mainstream media played an important role in People's Action Party's landslide win GE 2015.

Publicity for Government Programmes

In the weeks or months before GE 2015, Channel News Asia set aside about five minutes after its nightly news programme to explain what the Government had done in respect of:

▪ MediShield Life: how it makes hospitalisation more affordable than non-mandatory MediShield
▪ CPF LIFE: how its annuities provide retirees with a cash payout for life
▪ HDB flats: how they are supposedly more affordable

While there's nothing wrong with the mainstream media's explaining Government policies and programmes, MediaCorp (Channel News Asia's parent) seemed to think that viewers need to be told again and again over several weeks.

Coincidentally, the broadcasts seemed to have ceased shortly after polling day!

The Value of 1-hour PM2.5

The haze is back.

We have been advised to check the 24-hour PSI.

But take a look at the 24-hour PSI compared to the 1-hour PSI (based on the 1-hour PM2.5 pollutant concentrations) for the west region for the 48 hours starting 1 am 23 September 2015:

18 September 2015

Trumpeting The Distribution Of Masks

Channel News Asia reported on 15 September that the People’s Action Party ("PAP") team which contested and lost in Aljunied GRC in GE 2015 distributed masks to residents, especially the under-privileged.

Mr Victor Lye, chairman of the Bedok Reservoir-Punggol Citizens' Consultative Committee, said: "Originally, we were going to do our thank you to our residents, but we noted the haze situation getting worse. In fact this morning, we found out it might be quite bad this evening.

"Thank goodness for the rain in the afternoon, but before the rains came, we felt that between saying thank you to people and doing what we believe in [pause] we decided to do what we believe. So we decided to go to our own divisions and take care of the people."

14 September 2015

GE 2015: Thank You Singaporeans ...

Thank you, the following people in GE 2015:

▪ The 677,238 voters, or 30.1 per cent of the total valid vote cast, who kept faith with the Opposition.

▪ Some of the 47,315 voters, or 2.1 per cent of the total vote cast, who caused their vote to be rejected, assuming that they couldn't bring themselves to vote for either the Opposition or PAP. Their action denied PAP of the bragging rights to a possibly even higher percentage vote.

09 September 2015

Social Media Messages Say Vote PAP

Over the past few days, many of us would have received messages from friends and acquaintances warning us to think carefully before voting for the opposition this GE 2015.

Here are some of them, and my thoughts.

WP's Hidden LGBT Agenda

The unnamed writer, who is a member of a religious group, points to WP's manifesto and infers or concludes from paragraph 4 of Section 5.3 Responsible Public Sphere that it has a hidden LGBT agenda.

4. Independent Body for Arts Licensing. We propose an independent body with representation from the arts community should be set up to oversee arts licensing. We should create a vibrant infrastructure under which proper support and a more conducive environment be provided for the arts to flourish with minimal state interference and direction.

MediShield Life: Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

MediShield Life, the compulsory universal hospitalisation insurance scheme that the Government will be introducing later this year unfairly forces some members to help pay the premiums of other members.

Pre-Existing Conditions

People who are excluded from MediShield will be included under MediShield Life.

Individuals with pre-existing conditions will pay an additional 30 per cent of the standard premiums for the first ten years, after which they will pay the standard premiums.

Eight Reasons To Vote For Opposition

1. The PAP will be returned to power because the quality of some of the opposition parties' electoral platforms likely puts their candidates at a disadvantage. So if we vote for credible candidates of credible opposition parties, there is no possibility that the PAP will win less than a majority of seats in Parliament.

2. The PAP tells us to vote for its candidates because we need leaders for the future. It is not less important that Singapore needs to groom good opposition MPs from among whom will emerge leaders of the future to form an alternative government when the PAP fails. Singapore will be in serious trouble if there is no political party in Parliament that can form an effective alternative government when the PAP fails. Without putting in place an effective opposition and giving it the opportunity to develop and gain experience, Singaporeans will be at the mercy of the PAP.

08 September 2015

Reflections On PAP's GE Statements

How should we respond to some of the statements made by the PAP during GE 2015?

The Government has delivered on all its promises to improve our lives. (Lee Hsien Loong)

PM Lee said in his swearing-in ceremony on 21 May 2011:

"I pledge to work together with all Singaporeans to create a just and fair society, which gives all citizens the best start in life, and leaves no one behind. A Singapore which is open to the world yet puts Singaporeans first. A Singapore which excites our young and respects our old. A society that nurtures and inspires the human spirit, beyond material success. Rich or poor, young or old, men or women, Singapore is our home. Here we all belong. Here we can work together for the common good, and share our pride in being Singaporeans."

Has the PAP Government delivered on all (PM Lee's word) its promises to improve our lives?

07 September 2015

Immigration Fairy Tales

Population and immigration is one of the hot topics during GE 2015, as it was during GE 2011. Here is a critique of the Government's views.

We were once immigrants and Singapore continues to be an immigrant society. The spirit of openness and diversity is an integral part of our identity. If not for the major migratory shifts in our earlier years, Singapore would not be what it is today. Our being an open society then helped shape the Singaporean core, ethos and values that make our country what it is today.

That we were once immigrants is irrelevant today. Firstly, we were a colony previously. Secondly, our population density is very high now.

Whose view is it that Singapore continues to be an immigrant society — the Government's?

04 September 2015

Should MPs Be So Busy?

Members of Parliament, especially those from the ruling People's Action Party, are very busy people.

Duties of MP
The primary duty of an MP is to represent the people in Parliament to discuss government policy, proposed legislation and current issues.

Opposition MPs have an additional duty: to examine and challenge the work of the government. While PAP MPs do speak up on some issues, it is not often that they challenge the core principles of key government policies. Opposition MPs have to deeply scrutinise government policies and because they are currently greatly outnumbered in Parliament, they cannot expect fellow opposition MPs to carry their load for them.

03 September 2015

The Irrelevance Of AHPETC In GE 2015

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had this to say about The Workers' Party and its management of Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council ("AHPETC"):

"The way we've designed the system to make town councils the responsibility of elected MPs, so that people who want think they can form the next government can prove they're capable of administering a town council.

That's what some other countries do, too. For example in France, where those elected are simultaneously local and national politicians.

I think AHPETC has got serious issues. Questions of governance, viability, propriety. More facts have come out over last few days that The Workers’ Party will have to address and explain. It's regrettable that they haven't been addressed satisfactorily up to now. I think it's something voters will notice."

02 September 2015

PAP Nomads, Quitters, Stayers and Over-Stayers

Candidates fielded by the ruling People's Action Party in Singapore's Parliamentary elections generally fall in the following categories.

The Nomads
Nomads are candidates who contested, lost to opposition candidates and then moved to another constituency in a subsequent parliamentary election.

01 September 2015

Paying Friends Richly

Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan keeps harping on the matter of the fees paid by Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council ("AHPETC") to its erstwhile managing agent, FM Solutions and Services Pte Ltd ("FMSS").

AHPETC is managed by The Workers' Party ("WP").

Mr Khaw alleges that the managing agent's fees paid by AHPETC to FMSS are "very rich". He questions the "motive" for such an arrangement and asks, "The point is why are they making such an arrangement to reward their supporters and friends. All I know is the outcome is a very sad one for the Aljunied residents. They end up losing money because the town council was rewarding their friends excessively, from our point of view."[1]