May 12, 2008

Thank You For Reading My Blog, Aljunied Town Council Members

A surprising reversal of events:
ST May 11, 2008
Litter index not linked to conservancy charges
By Shuli Sudderuddin

The air has been cleared over the litter index. Residents in Aljunied GRC need not worry about having to pay higher conservancy charges if their estate is deemed dirty.

Netizens were abuzz over a supposed link between the charges and the index after Aljunied Town Council chairman Cynthia Phua mentioned on May 3 that a litter index was being considered to find out which estates were the dirtiest.

It was reported that the index would be based on the cleanliness of lifts, condition of public property and how large pieces of rubbish were disposed of, and that the town council would consider raising conservancy charges for the dirtiest precincts to cover the extra work involved in maintaining them.

Clearing the air yesterday, Madam Phua told The Sunday Times: 'I mentioned that the litter index and conservancy charges can be linked in terms of dollar amount because there will be an increased cost to cleaning dirtier estates.

'However, that does not mean that the Aljunied Town Council intends to link them. I would like to make it very clear that the Aljunied Town Council never had the intention of punishing the residents with higher conservancy charges.'

She added that the town council may use the index to identify the dirtiest precincts. The staff can clean them and residents encouraged to maintain cleanliness. The index has not even been drafted.
Let's recall the earlier ST article, dated 5 May 2008. These sentences were, and are, crystal clear:
ST May 5, 2008
Aljunied trash index aims to wipe out litterbugs
Conservancy fees may be tied to index, with dirtiest precincts paying more
By Alfred Siew

TIRED of hardcore litterbugs, Aljunied GRC plans to start measuring the cleanliness of its precincts under a new litter index to be introduced in October.

Officials also said they will consider raising the conservancy charges for the dirtiest precincts to cover the extra work that goes into maintaining them.
As I see it, either the Aljunied Town Council has suddenly changed its plans about the index, or the Straits Times made a big error in reporting the story the first time around. Or perhaps there was just some breakdown in communication, when the Straits Times and the Aljunied Town Council were talking to each other. What do you think?

Anyway, all's well that ends well. Raising conservancy charges anytime in the foreseeable future is just plain silly - considering, among other things, the way that the price of oil, electricity and basic foodfoodstuff have been shooting up. Surely we don't want to risk destabilising Singapore?

Interestingly, I just went to the ST archive service to read the 5 May article in full again. Surprise, surprise. It seems to me that the original article has now been edited. A few extra paragraphs have been added, which I'm fairly certain were not in the original article I saw. Here's some of the "additional reporting":
Other town councils are not yet considering the same move.

Dr Teo Ho Pin, coordinating chairman of the 14 People's Action Party town councils, had reservations about the plan.

He said it means a few litterbugs at a block could end up causing everyone to be punished.
Well, as you can see, it is obviously untrue that Mr Wang and the PAP are always in disagreement.

In this case, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr Teo Ho Pin. As a matter of fact, Dr Teo is simply reiterating the very same view that I myself had earlier expressed here, so I cannot possibly disagree with him.

Well done, Dr Teo! In my opinion, you have just shown yourself to be a clear-thinking, clever person.

68 comments:

anonymous said...

Woah, from what you have raised, the editing sounds like an Orwellian Ministry of Truth...

Mr Wang Says So said...

Can someone who has the hard-copy ST newspaper on 5 May 2008 please find the article, scan it and email me?

I'm at mrwangsaysso@gmail.com

Thanks .....

Anonymous said...

you can get the copy of 050508 st from the central lending library (at b1 of national library). and make photocopies of it there too. hope this helps.

Onlooker said...

And they should thank the old aunties and uncles there for collecting the Beer bottles and empty beer cans left on the floors of playgrounds and void decks. Remember only Tiger, Heineken, Guinness and Carlsberg (special brew) bottle are worth more.The rest ( singha, tsingtao, etc) are collect as scrap glass materials.
oops lunch time over.....

Anonymous said...

YOU BELIEVE THEM? Oh my - after then flip flop on means testing - you believe them?

Sheeesh....you mean to say, they are accountable to their words?? hahaha!

How many times have SM Goh says prices by govt will not increase, but soon after, prices of everything is going up....

SHIMURE said...

Dear Mr Wang,

When an article has mistakes or if it is not in favor of the ruling party. it would be deleted, amended or substituted with another.

however, one good point is that your blog does make a difference and is monitered.

gary teoh said...

Why Aljunide TC twist and turn the story.Can we trust them?Can we trust the MP?Do they want more money from us?They have so much sinking fund,they still want to collect so much?Many question marks???My question is , can we trust them,they say one thing today, tomorrow another thing.Inconsistency is the word.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it necessarily means they have changed their plans. Read carefully.

'I mentioned that the litter index and conservancy charges can be linked in terms of dollar amount because there will be an increased cost to cleaning dirtier estates.'

'Conservancy fees may be tied to index, with dirtiest precincts paying more'

'May,' in this case, does not necessarily imply 'will'. They may or may not link it to the index, it's not definite, so there's no concrete plan to actually 'change'.

'However, that does not mean that the Aljunied Town Council intends to link them. I would like to make it very clear that the Aljunied Town Council never had the intention of punishing the residents with higher conservancy charges.'

'Officials also said they will consider raising the conservancy charges for the dirtiest precincts to cover the extra work that goes into maintaining them.'

Again, 'considering' something doesn't necessarily mean implementing it. It can simply mean giving it a thought or just pondering about it.

- f

omongpapkosong said...

Mr Gary Teoh, I do agree with you.
Don't ever trust or believe them anymore.
They've been making empty talks and giving us false promises....
More Good Years... bullshit....
Moving Forward.... instead we're moving backwards....
Mr Wang, as usual the Pay and Pay regime will never admit their errors.

Anonymous said...

George says:
Mr Wang, it would not be the first time that reported news have be surreptitously changed by the govt. It's easy as pie when the mass media have to operate out of your pocket.

I have often marvelled at the phrophetic foresight of George Owell.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang,
it is obvious they fear backslash because Mr Wang has exposed the inner working of investment scam using consituational estate fund of citizen and therefore quickly to prevent further scrutiny and quickly wanna abandon such plan.

Rather to stay low and then secretly plan more money into investment using low key, than make it high profile like now, where citizens are anguish about it.

The government want to move on again to pretend nothing else happen and then plan other way to take money from citizen similar to Annuity plan.

Mr Wang, you do good to expose such scam.

Anonymous said...

"'I mentioned that the litter index and conservancy charges can be linked in terms of dollar amount because there will be an increased cost to cleaning dirtier estates.'

'Conservancy fees may be tied to index, with dirtiest precincts paying more'

'May,' in this case, does not necessarily imply 'will'. They may or may not link it to the index, it's not definite, so there's no concrete plan to actually 'change'."


Anon, you must be naive and innocent.
PAP will always use 'may' or 'uncertainty' words to protect themselves. If they publish in newspaper, it always should that they going to implement it. Doesn't you know how PAP works. PayAndPay scam announce and plan first , wayang debate, and still go through later.

Don't you even remember they say 'more ERP gantries may be built' ? It is not a matter of 'whether it is been built' but when it is activated because it is already been built !

Don't be clown. If government dare to say it in newspaper, chances are that they already want to do it 100%. Word like 'may', 'consider' are hogwash because it will go through, just matter of time. Every Singaporean knows how government works except you.

So either you are a 'Gillian Chung'
or a foreigner.

gary teoh said...

I think this time WP will win Aljunied GRC handsomely,5 members enter parliament,that is what many people hope.

Anonymous said...

The pap government is increasing very fearful of the internet especially after the what happened in Malaysia. So they do keep very close tap on discussions on the internet and at times even reacted to it like this one.
However, always remember that the pap is also very determine in the pursuit of their objectives. If they cannot achieve it through one route they will try other ways. So it is wise that Singaporeans be on guard and not be that easily taken in by their words. Watch for their actions.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr wang,

have got a copy of the ST report.
Will email the pdf tomorrow.

Thanks for the effort in writing the blog.
thought provoking!

Anonymous said...

Behavior that does not stand up to scrutiny, a shame.

Still, lets not extrapolate the misdeeds of a few to that of the whole.

Anonymous said...

I do wonder about this:

"Netizens were abuzz over a supposed link between the charges and the index after Aljunied Town Council chairman Cynthia Phua mentioned on May 3 that a litter index was being considered to find out which estates were the dirtiest."

Apart from Mr Wang's blog, who else has blogged about this, paying such attention to the details? I don't believe I've seen many other blogs that discuss this as extensively as you have.

"Netizens were abuzz" ... Hmm... No double the past few posts have garnered a fair bit of attention. But I wouldn't exactly say it was a furore (No offence, Mr Wang). Interesting choice of words by ST, as usual. Then again, maybe, the ruling party is feeling threatened by a couple of hundred citizens expressing their discontent on a single blog, that they have resorted to reacting in such a way.

I would think that it is a good thing though, if indeed they see such little discussions (a buzz!) on blogs, as a threat to their hegemony. It goes to show that they are on the defensive - hopefully, they are feeling threatened.

They are not as infallible as they think they are, if they can be dealt blows like that.

Good job, Mr Wang, keep them on their toes. You are being monitored closely, but take heart in the fact that they are not the only ones monitoring your blog.

Vendetta

Anonymous said...

"Still, lets not extrapolate the misdeeds of a few to that of the whole."

Another dickhead comment. These few are enough to make the major decision that cause hardship and pain to citizen. PAP scam. One fuc$#$%king LCY and Ah Loong enough to make your pant goes wet if they announce another PayAndPay schemem.

Anonymous said...

Agree - let us not assume the good deeds of a few and extrapolate to all PAP MPs either.

While we are at it, do not extrapolate the good deeds of MM Lee and assume it will be the same, while holding the fort at GIC. He may fight the commies in 1960s out in the open, but with Chee Soon Juan, the hearing MUST BE IN CHAMBERS - what a chicken.

Stirrer aka Wang 2.0 said...

Careful phrasing of the article is required, lest your article be interpreted as accusing people of plagiarism...

Anonymous said...

can be
could be
possible
maybe
considering
intend to
likely
not confirm
possible
plausible and feasible can be used for testing the water. They can also be used 'to prepare' the Ground. And lastly, they can be used for 'face saving withdrawals' when the testing proved negative.

patriot.

geriatric_eunuch said...

Readers thrilled and excited by the smell of riches beyond their wildest dreams (you know who you are) might like to look at theonlinecitizen's in-depth article of December 2, 2007 which puts the issues of Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) and the levitating, er, sinking funds of Town Councils under the microscope.

They managed to obtain 6 Town Council (TC) financial reports, for the financial year 2005/2006. Some interesting snippets:


[1] ST Online, May 12, 2008 reports that more than $1 billion in sinking funds is managed by the 16 town councils in Singapore.

[2] The sinking funds of Town Councils largely comprise S&CC contributions from residents. Apparently, by law, more than 1/3 of S&CC and 80% of the accumulated surpluses are required to be transferred to the Sinking fund. (*eeek!*)

[3] Loadsamoney rankings '05-06:

Sembawang Town Council ($237 million). Hong Kah TC '06-07 ($150m). Bishan-Toa Payoh TC ($96m). East Coast TC ($88m). Holland-Bukit Panjang TC ($81m). Aljunied TC ($67m). Hougang TC ($14m).

[4] Hougang TC gets the wooden spoon because it received Government grants of only up to about $111 per household in 2004-05 whereas Aljunied TC next door got $560 per household for the same period. Community Improvement Projects Committee (CIPC) funds are not made available to the seditious ratbags of Hougang and Potong Pasir.

[5] Prior to Dec 1, 2007 when a New rule to safeguard council funds took effect, TCs used fund managers to invest in stocks and bonds, just like Temasek. For example, Hong Kar TC has about one-third ($50m) of its Sinking Fund so invested.

Holland-Bukit Panjang TC is listed as one of the majority shareholders with 530,000 shares currently valued at about S$3,000,000 in Creative Technology’s latest Annual Report.


Why so miserly? How should I know - ask Mr. Wang. Luckily I'm not a suspicious man or I might think a war chest is being built up for emergency use come 2011. Meanwhile, I have it on good authority that The Meek shall inherit the Earth, so cheer up all ye litterbugs, the cheque is in the mail.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wang has done the oppositions a disservice, by giving notice to the PAP that what they are considering doing is bad.

Had no one alerted PAP, it would have gone ahead with the plan and angered Aljunied GRC residents beyond tipping point come next election!

For this reason, I hope in future, netizens will NOT highlight PAP's mistake before it screws up people's life sufficiently. The majority of Singaporeans have not been screwed enough yet - at least not enough for them to vote the other way.

I sincerely hope PAP will screw them up more AND received no feedback or constructive criticism from anyone. That's the way all Chinese Dynasties were overthrown - when the emperor punished his subjects very hard and yet receive *positive* feedback from his staffs, till tipping point!

For this reason, I also wish LKY a long life. With him around, there will be no welfare for Singaporeans since this is one of his unshakable principle. With no welfare for another 20 years (may he live to 100!), I fail to see how Singaporeans will not vote for opposition or even take to the street! So Long Live the Emperor! Wan Sui, Wan Sui, Wan Wan Sui!

PAP up lorry said...

As I see it, PAP is doomed. Look, just think about it: Aljunied GRC is THE most vulnerable GRC, and yet its MP is so forgetful and arrogant and out of touch with the grounds that it nearly went ahead with this nonsense scheme!

So just imagine how much more forgetful and arrogant and out of touch are the MPs from other much less vulnerable GRC!! The next election marks the end of PAP, as far as native-born voters are concerned! Mark my words.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr Wang.

Even though you are doing this blogging part time, you have unearthed a real nugget of gold.

Mentime maybe all Singaporean bloggers should bug Asiaone for an apology and accountability.

Should Paul or some editors of ST APOLOGISE for the oversight, putting words into the mouths of Mdm Phua and saying prices of TC contributions will go up?

Should Asia one stick to their stand and Mdm Phua should apologise for her miscommunications? - much like how they 'used to' stick to their guns regarding NKF.

http://singaporemind.blogspot.com/2008/04/good-leadership-high-principles-and.html

This tells us accountability must come from the top. We should not just let it go.

If ST is now 154 in ranking, bloggers must continue to highlight these issues, and help push Singapore to another record breaking 200 out of 200 nations. So much so that the Chua sisters, Andy Ho et el can no longer raise their heads in international circles eg reporters from Reuters, IHT etc.

Yes, even pimps serve a purpose in the economy. I have no doubt ST journalists are doing their best in the local context and constraints, but bloggers will need to counter them to ensure we citizens are served by journalistic integrity.

We have to be more vigilant to ensure that the population is not conned by our straits times.

If the integrity is not in ST, then it better be in blogs etc.

Credit to you, Mr Wang.

Mercia said...

Someone's covering their tracks, and more importantly, someone's retracting previous statements. Are the people at the ST getting spooked now? From the looks of the shifting about, the SPH must think that public opinion has dropped to fairly low levels for them to resort to such thorough backpedalling - or does this happen very often?

Mr Wang Says So said...

The Lianhe Zaobao has an article (10 May) which gives a more detailed explanation from ATC on what happened.

Perhaps, as I had said, it was just a communication breakdown between SPH journalists and ATC.

http://www.zaobao.com/sp/sp080510_526.shtml

(For the benefit of non-Chinese readers, I've attempted to do a quick translation)


针对把“清洁指数”和组屋杂费挂钩的构想,阿裕尼市镇理事会主席潘惜玉昨晚对感到不满的居民进行安抚。她澄清说,这个构想虽在逻辑上不无道理,但市镇会不会这么做。


"Regarding the proposal to link the cleanliness index to conservancy fees, 潘惜玉 has given some consolation to unhappy residents. She clarified that although the idea, from a logical perspective, is not unreasonable, the town council will not implement the idea."


  潘惜玉上周末在阿裕尼集选区的“零垃圾月”推介式上宣布将从今年10月起采用“清洁指数”来衡量邻里清洁程度。她也告诉记者可以考虑把“清洁指数”和组屋杂费挂钩,也就是说组屋越脏,居民所需缴交的杂费越高。

Last weekend, 潘惜玉 .... told reporters that it was possible to consider linking the cleanliness index to conservancy fees, implying that residents in the dirtier preceincts would have to pay higher conservancy fees.


  不过,这个构想引起民众激烈反弹,许多居民也向阿裕尼集选区的基层领袖表示不满。他们认为在这物价高涨的时刻,组屋杂费已没有上调的空间。他们也指出,因为几个没公德心的害群之马而连累整栋组屋的居民破财,有欠公平。

However, this idea provoked vigorous opposition from the people. Many residents expressed their dissatisfaction to the Aljunied grassroots leaders. They felt that raising conservancy fees was inappropriate at this time, given the inflation situation right now. Also it was unjust and unfair to penalise the residents generally, for the wrongful acts of a few inconsiderate individuals.

  本报在星期一发表的社论已指出这个构想恐怕会碰到阻力,也势必引起诸多争论。一些民众也透过电台开讲节目,表示不能接受把肮脏程度和杂费挂钩的构想。网民Mr Wang也在博客上引述阿裕尼市镇会的常年报告,指出它在2006/2007财政年共收取了3196万元的杂费,花在清洁的费用仅423万元,全年盈余是496万元。其他网民甚至借题发挥,主张下次大选不投人民行动党。

[Some residents said on a talk show that they find such an idea simply unacceptable.

Ahem, the next part is something about a blogger Mr Wang pointing out details about Aljuied Town Council's financial statements.

And also other Netizens saying that they are not going to vote for the PAP anymore.]


  基层领袖跟着把居民和公众的观点反映给阿裕尼集选区的五名议员,包括潘惜玉。

[Aljunied grassroots leaders relayed the feedback to the Aljunied Town Council members].

  经过民间五天的热烈讨论之后,潘惜玉昨天以阿裕尼市镇会主席身份致函本报,表示市镇会不会把“清洁指数”和组屋杂费挂钩。

After five days of vigorous debate and discussion among the general community, 潘惜玉 yesterday clarified that the town council will not link the cleanliness index to conservancy fees.

  在峇厘公干的潘惜玉昨晚接受本报记者长途电话访问时承认,她上星期六在推介“零垃圾月”和“清洁指数”的记者会上接受采访时,的确说过“清洁指数”和组屋杂费是有可能挂钩,但事实上,市镇会不曾打算这么做。

She admitted that last Saturday, during the press interview, she did say that the cleanliness index might be linked to conservancy fees ... but that in truth, the town council had never intended to do such a thing.


  她说:“当天有记者问我,清洁指数和杂费有没有可能挂钩?我回答说两者可以挂钩,因为清理垃圾是需要付出代价的,越肮脏的地方需要越多的清洁工人来打扫。这名记者过后没进一步发问,我也就没进一步说明。”

She said, 'That day, a reporter asked me whether there would be any chance that the index would be linked to conservancy fees. I replied, yes it's possible, because cleaning works do cot money, and the dirtier the area, the more cleaners we need. The reporter did not ask any further questions, so I myself didn't elaborate any further."

  潘惜玉昨晚受访时强调:“市镇会从没打算把清洁指数和杂费挂钩,我们搞清洁指数的目的是提高居民的意识,鼓励他们积极保持环境清洁。我们向来都采取宣导的手法,例如在每次的社区活动结束时,我们都提醒参与活动的居民捡起地上的垃圾。”

Last night 潘惜玉 emphasised: "The town council has never planned to link the index to conservancy fees. Our motive for the index is just to raise residents' awarenss and encourage them to keep their environment clean. We always use this approach ... for example, after every town council event, we remind all participating residents to pick up trash on the floor."

-----

Anonymous said...

Another U-turn. no?

Anonymous said...

There is a salutary lesson in the tortuous explanation and retreat by Aljunied Town Council. The bottom line is that they have now "reconsidered" their initial action. Mr Wang, his blog and netizens have done all a service by highlighting, alerting and fostering comments on the issue. Singaporeans have been taken to task (tsk tsk) for being complacent. Well, one sure way of not being complacent is through constant awareness and highlighting of actions like those of the town council. Well done Mr Wang.

Peesai tua diao said...

Mr Wang, did you miss this out?

"...felt that raising conservancy fees was inappropriate at this time..."

At this time only. So later time when "can", how? Hehehe.

Anonymous said...

dun be naive, everyone, for saying how vulnerable Aljunied GRC is.

Aljunied GRC will not be Aljunied GRC come next election.

remember Eunos GRC? Cheng San GRC?

Anonymous said...

Hmm,
What does the Lianhe Zaobao equivalent of the May 5th article say? Anyone has a hard copy of that, since i'm assuming any online version will have been edited.

Anonymous said...

After so many years and so many 'keep Singapore clean' campaigns and fines, if Singaporeans want to litter what use is it to have an index to tell them that their precint is dirty. Nothing will change. And that's all that the index will do? How much time, effort and cost will they need to compile the index and bring it to the attention of the residents in the dirty precint? What is the real purpose?

Anonymous said...

Meaning Testing - No we are not going to implement them, but after the GE, Mean Testing will be implemented.

ERP in Toa Payoh - No we are not turning it "On" until traffic along that area get worst, but 2 weeks later, we are going to turn "On" the ERP.

Now, not going link the litter index to conservancy charge, but then.....you can guess what is coming soon.
The so call promise not to increase charges extended to end this year.

You just cannot believe what they tell you anymore. It is all about make more $$$, taking care of the people is no longer important to them.

Anonymous said...

To Anon : May 13, 2008 2:10 AM

I have no sympathy for PAP's policies. My life is already screwed upside down by PAP.

I'm in my fifties, jobless for more than a year. After countless interviews, it is very disheartening that the potential vacancy has gone to a FT. Is it not a lie that FT will bring more jobs for Singaporeans ? I still cannot fathom how our PM can continue with this kind of propanganda ? Or do we belong to the weak minority that our Gahmen do not mind sacrificing for the sake of the economy ?

It's so easy for LKY to talk c**k. Extending the retirement age is so meaningless for people like us especially when we are also shunned by our own GLCs.

Come a few years time, I am supposed to be able to withdraw my CPF savings, to spend it in anyway I deem fit. Yet they changed the rules without first seeking my approval. They seemed to have completely forgotten that it is my own hard earned savings, not money signed off by the stroke of the pen by the Emperor!

To me, PAP's mistakes are countless and unforgiveable. Therefore giving advance notice is not doing us a disservice as I am not one to forgive easily.

dennis said...

Way to go!

But don't let it end here. Not just yet!

There's still the matter of the town council's humongous sinking fund that it's holding.(For who and for what purpose still needs to be discussed)

Don't let our attention be diverted!

Mr Wang. Waiting eagerly for your write up on this. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It is disturbing to read that ST records can be edited. This is much more serious than the idea that sc charges could be raised for selected blocks.

Sensitive Peesai said...

One point Mr Wang, I like how their stupid screwup is rectified, but, if this pushes them further into seclusion and intransparency, we're screwed too.

We should welcome them in announcing plans, discussing them before deciding to implement or not. Unlike what they are doing now, just deciding for us like we are cows in their stable.

But if immaturity amongst us make them "lose face" enough to want to go back to their turtle shell. We're really screwed.

Anonymous said...

I agree
"Well done, Dr Teo! In my opinion, you have just shown yourself to be a clear-thinking, clever person."

Read
As a result, the town council chairperson, Dr Teo Ho Pin, felt it ("HDB rules do not allow cats") should be extended to town councils and the common areas as they were administering HDB estates for the HDB.

The HDB wrote back very quickly and their reply states that their rule only applies to cats in flats and is not applicable to cats in town council estates. I am sure that this will be a very useful clarification for officers and MPs who may have misunderstood what the HDB rule referred to.

Anonymous said...

This group punishment but never group reward concept is something all NS men are familiar. E.g if one individual fumbles over something, the whole platoon or section is punished. Our Aljunied GRC MPs ( indeed all PAP MPs ) have bought into this. Viz linking upgrading to votes etc Only difference is that they use $$ to motivate as well as decentivise.

gary teoh said...

whether they implement the index or not,I will definitely vote for opposition in Aljunide GRC,if there is one.Perhaps they will merge Aljunide with other constituiency, typical pap kiasu culture.No matter how much money they give me,progress package,shares etc.. I will still vote for opposition, no more pap, can't trust them any more, once bitten twice shy.Tak boleh tahan

yamizi said...

Everything in Singapore just goes up and up; but the higher you're, the heavier you'll fall!

Anonymous said...

Singapore. The civil service, the politicians in reality exists in a parallel reality.

Their pay, their social circles, their expectations have nothing in common with the average singaporean.

Average means, lack of intellectual capabilities-> just keep quiet, and vote the government into office.

And be grateful for all scraps that are thrown to you.

Unfortunately, all of us are no longer the peasant they are used to 40 years back, 50 years back.

The social compact, PAP takes care of a good wage a good and u keep out of politics no longer work.

:) Cheers
Anon

Anonymous said...

>>However, this idea provoked vigorous opposition from the people. Many residents expressed their dissatisfaction.... They felt that raising conservancy fees was inappropriate at this time, given the inflation situation right now...

Er...sure boh? the news coverage on t.v seemed to paint a different pic leh..i.e. 200% supported the idea.
Hhm...guess it's about time someone "track" the other media (in addition to the print media)

Anonymous said...

Somehow I feel that if the role of mps is opened up for foreign talents. Then we can compare how foreign talents will run a constituency.

Also roles like ministers, prime minister should be opened up to foreigners or outsource to employment agency who could use lesser salary to hire people like Alan Greenspan...

Just my thought.

Anonymous said...

"The pap government is increasing very fearful of the internet especially after the what happened in Malaysia. "

Are u sure or not?
S'pore does not a pro-Malay official policy that has been ongoing for more than 40 years and still going strong.

40% of the non-Malays (Indians & Malays) this time threw in their lot for the Opposition.

The rest comes from the disenchanted Malays who did not seem to much benefit from the NEP.

UMNO (BN) is still in power today because the majority Malays are so used to having the free crutches provided by UMNO albeit more goes to the leadership cronies.

I left my hometown Penang many years ago to make a living here. Singapore gives me and my family HOPE & JUSTICE.

"Ask not what your country can do for you; but what you can do for your country."

I have a small business here and I now make my contributions back in taxes to the State.

Anonymous said...

This episode is another example of how out of touch the MPs are with the concerns of the ground. It's a wonder that the PAP can't find better people to be part of their team. Since the last election, which MPs has really impressed with what they have done for the constituencies?

Anonymous said...

i still remember that time during elections cynthia phua keep trying to grab the mic to when interviewed on TV..the reported just pulled it away from her after she hogged if for so long...:P

Anonymous said...

To that ex Penang guy:

Big deal, you pay taxes, most Singaporean also pay taxes.

And if you are a man, my next question is did you serve NS? If not, SHUT UP!

Anonymous said...

I think we have to let Time be the arbiter to the whole saga. Let's not downgrade the discussion by being blind to reality. Certainly Aljunied is one of the cleaner estates in Spore, and I know it cos I shuttle to and from the estate to others during my sales round. The Town Council is doing a good job. Yes, one can ask for more. - Passerby

Anonymous said...

City-state a role model for the world

http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story.asp?col=insightdownsouth&file=/2008/5/10/columnists/insightdownsouth/21193771&sec=Insight%20Down%20South

Anonymous said...

Aljunied is one of the cleaner housing estates? I'll take your word for it.

This only makes it more puzzling why this idea of linking the index to conservancy charges was proposed.

Perhaps they need the extra money for some other purposes. Who knows?

I hear that the past six months have been very tough on stock markets, many investments have lost big money, LOL.

Anonymous said...

As for those who doubt the potential influence of the Internet on politics, well, you can check out Mahathir's blog here

http://www.chedet.com

and check out the number of comments received from Malaysians.

dennis said...

To the ex-Penang guy(Anon may 15 2:38pm),

Can very well see that you are not in the S'pore pyche yet. That's 'cos you're not born and bred S'pore.

Even if you have lived here for many years, you will not understand. And I can see you still carry your M'sian trials and tribulations to S'pore. What has that got to do with us.

So please don't apply it to S'pore 'cos you're totally totally out of context. As one commentator here said if you have not serve NS shut the hell up. You, of course, may think that is insignificant 'cos you didn't go thru it. And therefore you don't understand.

Big deal you pay taxes here. Everyone in S'pore pays tax in way or the other. But are you S'porean enough who understands issues that are closer at heart to who are born, bred, educated in S'pore. Your comments say it all. You are not Singaporean. You don't get it.
So leave S'pore issues to S'poreans.

And you use A US president quote:

....""""Ask not what your country can do for you; but what you can do for your country."""...

Shows you are a real hypocrite. 'Cos my question to you would be: Why haven't you try to do what you percieved as injustices in your country then?

Anonymous said...

(1)"And if you are a man, my next question is did you serve NS? If not, SHUT UP!"

be gentle my friend. don't get so worked up. be rational. the choice of vote is still yours. btw, my son is a regular in the navy (with my blessing).

(2)"As for those who doubt the potential influence of the Internet on politics,"

no one doubts the potential of the blog or internet. but everything has to be seen in perspective. no one will want to rock the boat. people have eyes to see that many countries due to poor management are now sinking faced with a crisis today.

basically, "yes . . to Opposition BUT not my ward please." who wants higher than others conservancy charges, unpainted blocks, lifts in danger of not being serviced regularly, illegal hawking, etc., in one's constituency. property value will automatically drop! remember the ling how dong, cheo and others etc., who was voted into parliament. they cursed and swore in parliament and left their estates to go into the red. came next election. your guess is as good as mine. anyway, that's history.

check out what WP candidate Yaw Shin Leong disclosed in the ST today to confirm. "Yes for Opposition, but please not MY ward."

By and large Singaporeans are still sane and sober people.

Anonymous said...

Quote:Are u sure or not? Unquote.

I only hope that I am wrong. Then they will pay dearly in the next GE.


Quote:S'pore does not a pro-Malay official policy Unquote.

Singapore has a PRO-FOREIGNERS policy which is even worst.

Quote:"Ask not what your country can do for you; but what you can do for your country."Unquote.

Singaporeans only ask that they be given a fair go. Right now they are not. As an ex-foreigner, u have enjoyed the pap policies in this area. That is why you are very happy with the pap government. However do try to appreciate the plights and angers of the native Singaporeans. First they have no where else to fall back on if their lives are screwed up in Singapore. Second, the male native Singaporeans have to serve NS which set them back by up to two years in the job market. On top of that they have to endure 13 years of annual incamp training which can be very disruptive to they works and holiday plan with the family. Third, after the sacrifice, they no special consideration in the job market. In fact some companies are discriminating against them.
If only the pap is more restrictive on the foreigners and more protective of Singaporean's interests, then Singaporeans will have a much better quality of lives.

Anonymous said...

"Why haven't you try to do what you percieved as injustices in your country then?"

Did i make the right choice? Did others like writer, Catherine Lim, make the right choice? In case u didn't know democracy is in the numbers. With the continued liberal import of Malays from Indonesia (eg Boyans, Javanese, Acehnese, Bugis) and Indian Muslims into Peninsula Malaysia to dilute the non-Malays & the orang asli (indigenous aborigines), the ballot can't bring abt equality and justice to the non-Malays. Tomorrow another so-called "social contract" could be legislated in Parliament.

Read on. It's a timely reminder . . .

The 'social contract' and May 13.

The current debate over the ‘social contract’ is not the first time that attempts have been made to revise history for reasons of political expediency.

Nearly 40 years ago, after the searing Sino-Malay race riots of Friday, May 13, 1969 in Kuala Lumpur, many historians attributed the bloodshed to the ‘breakdown’ of the ‘social contract’ when non-Malay political parties made substantial gains in the Tuesday, May 10, 1969 general elections. The island of Penang, the Pearl of the Orient, had fallen to the newly-formed Gerakan.

Rakyat Malaysia, which was, in fact, mostly composed of ousted rebel leaders from MCA, a key member of the ruling Alliance Party.

DAP, the Malaysian chapter of Singapore’s ruling PAP, had almost won half the seats in the Selangor state assembly while the PPP (People’s Progressive Party) made similar gains in its Perak heartland. The MCA saw no further purpose in being part of the Federal Government and pulled out while still remaining as a member of the Alliance.

MIC, the other key member of the Alliance, stayed put in the federal government and in the states and at the local level even as quite a number of panicky Indian families sold their properties for a mere song and packed their bags for India. Elsewhere, long queues of would-be migrants formed for weeks outside the Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian high commissions and in particular at the US embassy.

The MCA pullout from the federal government was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Race riots erupted first in the Chinatown area of Chow Kit which had a Malay hinterland and soon spread all over the capital city. The incomplete polling was abandoned, Parliament was disbanded, democracy suspended, a state of emergency declared by the caretaker government and Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, seen as too pro-Chinese, ousted and placed virtually under house arrest for a while. It was like a coup d’ etat. There were isolated incidents everywhere.

The police were hopelessly outnumbered and overwhelmed and the Royal Malay Regiment was brought in while the multiracial Federation Army and the famed Sarawak Rangers of elite Iban and other Dayak troops were both confined to their barracks. The Malay Regiment were mindless robots who contributed to the carnage as well as to the perceived defence of race, religion and country. They were eventually ordered, albeit reluctantly and gently, to return to their barracks but not until the blood-letting had dragged on for some 10 days or more of unspeakable tales of horror.

In hindsight, the apologists and conspiracy theorists rationalised that the Malay Regiment ran amok in revenge for the killings over two weeks by the Communist Party of Malaya’s Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army which virtually had a free run of the country while awaiting the return of British troops in strength following the Japanese surrender after World War II. The Japanese looked on.

The MPAJA’s victims were mostly Malays seen as Japanese collaborators. There were feeble attempts in official circles to blame the communists for May 13 but these were quickly denounced and roundly condemned by the man-in-the-street. At the height of the Vietnam War, the communists were the eternal bogeyman in Southeast Asia and everywhere in the free world.

The Malay Regiment, disgraced in the eyes of the non-Malay population, was replaced by the Federation Army and the Sarawak Regiment and calm quickly returned to the burnt-out streets of Kuala Lumpur. There had been a heavy price to pay in innocent lives, all because the extreme right Malays in Umno, the lead player in the Alliance, had been rattled by the electoral setbacks suffered by the MCA and feared the unraveling of the ‘social contract’.

Apparently, this right wing’s game plan was to intimidate the political opposition, punish the voters and force the MCA back into the government. The fact that the political opposition had never been party to the ‘social contract’ was lost on the right wing instigators of the May 13 bloodbath.

Even so, the Gerakan and the PPP were virtually blackmailed, with the promise of democracy being restored, to become members of an enlarged Alliance which was renamed Barisan Nasional. The ‘social contract’ was back on track. The Alliance, symbolised by a sailing boat, had sunk. The BN chose the scales of justice as the new symbol.

Hardly five years before May 13, Singapore had queried the ‘social contract’ as a member of the Federation and was quickly ushered out. It's important that Malaysian history books explore the expulsion of Singapore from the Federation. However, this tragedy along with the Japanese occupation is simply glossed over. The key lies in former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's ‘infamous’ outburst: ‘If these people (Kuala Lumpur) think they can squat on Singapore and get away with it, they are sadly mistaken’.

Apparently, Lee was alarmed that Kuala Lumpur had rapidly changed track after Malaysia was formed with the extreme right wing in Umno calling the shots. A serious deviation of the ‘social contract’ was the misinterpretation by the right wingers that the it was a carte blanche for Ketuanan Melayu, Malay political dominance and supremacy. This was an anathema to Lee. Surely such a system could not be good for anyone, even including the great majority of the Malays themselves.

Sabah and Sarawak, the Borneo states, remained in the Federation after some initial demands for a review by Sabah. Kadazandusun leader, Donald Stephens (later Mohd Fuad Abdullah), was eventually packed off into 'exile' as the high commissioner to Australia, before making a stunning political comeback in 1976 and dying mysteriously in an air crash shortly after with almost his entire state cabinet.

Is the ‘social contract’ still relevant in this day and age? Every two people have three opinions.

Joe Fernandez
May 16 2008

Anonymous said...

Quote:....who wants higher than others conservancy charges, unpainted blocks, lifts in danger of not being serviced regularly, illegal hawking, etc.,...Unquote.

If the situations in Hougang and Potong Pasir have been as bad as you made it out, why then are the residents still returning the oppositions despite tremendous odds including some tempting seductions by Goh Chok Tong. Fact is these two constituencies are as well run as the others despite the huge handicaps unjustly imposed on them by the pap government. Why are government grants to these two constituencies much lower than the pap town councils ? Why are they unjustly punished by the pap government by being put at the bottom of the upgrading list ? If this is the way the pap run Singapore, is it any wonder that after close to 50 years of pap government, nationhood is still eluding Singapreans. The pap government policy of divide and rule is toxic to Singapore as a nation. The sooner they realise the destructive consequences of their selfish actions, the better it is for all.

Anonymous said...

Quote:Did i make the right choice? Unquote.

Of course from your perspective, you made the right choice. There is little doubt that you would have achieved as much if you had stayed on in Malaysia. That you have achieved more for yourself in Singapore is testimony to the very favourable einvironment the pap government has created for foreigners at great adverse consequences to native Singaporeans. It is hardly surprising that most of the favourable comments in support of the pap government policies are from ex-foreigners.

Anonymous said...

"Did i make the right choice? Did others like writer, Catherine Lim, make the right choice? In case u didn't know democracy is in the numbers. With the continued liberal import of Malays from Indonesia (eg Boyans, Javanese, Acehnese, Bugis) and Indian Muslims into Peninsula Malaysia to dilute the non-Malays & the orang asli (indigenous aborigines), the ballot can't bring abt equality and justice to the non-Malays. Tomorrow another so-called "social contract" could be legislated in Parliament."


In the Singapore context, try to replace in the above para: "Malays" with "FTs" ( the author included) and the "non-Malays" with "Singaporean"( I mean the real ones, not those born else where). Sounds familier?

Anonymous said...

The comment by Anon 10:07 AM deserves to be answered. It is probably from the same ex-Penang guy.

The long article he posted is taken from a website. Why such a long article to answer a short question from another user on why he did'nt remain in M'sia to right the injustices he saw there?

I gather that ex-Penang guy did'nt think it is possible. Alas he is proven wrong. The recent trouncing of the ruling party there by the opposition shows that even Malays no longer believe pro-bumiputra policies are ultimately helping them.

For this reason, Penang guy sounds lame given that he lacks belief in his country and now comes to Singapore to lecture Singaporeans how they should perceive their own govt.

Now my view of racial relations is this. I do not judge people's based on race. In every race there are both good and and not so good people.

Fortunately a very large majority of people are good at heart irrespective of their race.

However it only takes a few mean people who are power crazy to exploit racial sentiments. This happened in M'sia. But it is also wrong to think that Singapore's politicians are totally innocent of this.

In the book "Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore" by TJS George, the following paragraph on 76/77 was written about the role Lee Kuan Yew played during Singapore's time in Malaysia in raising racial tension:

"Lee's speeches harped endlessly upon the dangers of communalism, the need to curb 'ultras', even to restrict liberties in order to ensure multiracialism. Obviously these appeals were high-minded and sensible, but Lee laid it on so thick and made it so aggressive a campaign that the practical impact was exactly the opposite. He spread an atmosphere of impending catastrophe. The sheer emphasis he placed on the dangers of racialsim turned people's minds in that direction. Steadily a deep communal consciousness was generated among the masses on both sides of the causeway, and Utusan Melayu, the often extremist mouthpiece of Malay nationalism, called Lee 'the father of cummunalism without parallel in Malaysia'.


Such are the behaviour of exploiters.

Anonymous said...

Our Little Patch is Green No More
The text page of Voices of TODAY 23-04-2005 was missing so I have to refer to the PDF format.
A resident of Bedok South lamented on the loss of greenery in the construction of a fitness corner when the present fitness section was under-utilised. The East Coast Town Council has gone ahead with another costly construction with this "Father Knows What's Best for You" without consulting the residents that it is supposed to serve and not to dictate!
All the talks about involving residents in the management of their estate is just hot air?
Why didn't the RC speak out?
Sometimes one wonders if RC members are more interested in pursuing their RC benefits than to serve their fellow residents!

Anonymous said...

I sent an email to Mdm Phua as an Aljunied resident, urging her reflect on her actions and put herself in our shoes, who has elected her into office over a narrow margin. Her trigger happy behavior has no place in this society.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous of May 19, 2008 1:30 PM.

There's a difference bt history and propaganda.

First, the occupying Japanese sowed and planted the seeds of discord bt the Malays and the Chinese in the usual divide and rule game.

Dr Mahathir, the Indian-Muslim politician and then PM, canvassed as an ultra to secure the large Muslim-Malay votes. Today, out of government, feeling a bit shaky (over the Lingam affairs allegations & also playing proxy to his son), he has again resorted to playing the race card (reported in all media across Malaysia and S'pore). Check it out:- http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/83510. After more than 22 years of his pro-Malay rule, do the Malaysian Malays still need the taxpayers to buy the crutches (NEP) for them when global competition is already so intense?

“The recent trouncing of the ruling party there by the opposition shows that even Malays no longer believe pro-bumiputra policies are ultimately helping them.” Please analyse the results carefully. The so-called non-bumis have an edge in the lost states of Penang, Selangor and Perak. Malay majority states, Kelantan & Kedah, fell to the Islamic Party, PAS. Maybe you’re not a Malaysia-watcher. Even the newly-elected Chief Minister of Chinese majority Penang state has to water down his views on the NEP. Keep watching. Come Sep, UMNO if threatened, may . . . .

Let the facts speak for themselves. Thousands upon thousand of non-Malays, after May 13, have been streaming across the causeway and elsewhere to seek hope and a future for their families and off-springs. Their children, being citizens say, in Singapore, perform national service and those in employment are contributing taxes to the State.

Now, a bit of history. There are no native Singaporeans as such, short of the orang laut. In Peninsula Malaysia, it's called the orang asli. For that matter, Singapore, Peninsula Malaysia, the Americas, Australiasia, etc., are all immigrant countries. People leave and take up residency almost daily by the hundreds if not thousands.

"In every race there are both good and not so good people." This isn’t an issue. However, the "good people" must also help to do away with the most unjust 40-year-old NEP (legislated apartheid) that only serves one sector.

And for your information, if LKY has been what is perceived in George’s book then the most natural outcome would be that our fellow Malay S'poreans would have long ago migrated across the causeway to pro-Malay Malaysia in droves after the Separation. Our Malay population today is enjoying exponential growth as well as per capital GDP unmatched by their Malaysian counterparts. Our government provides them free school education, public sector jobs, subsidied HDB flats (paying-private condos are mainly non-Malay owned), Malay TV channel, annual ang pows, financial assistance & rebates from town councils, quasi-government agencies, etc.). How I wish the minorities in Malaysia were treated same like in Singapore!

Anyway, seeing is believing; not just quoting others who may have agendas or vendettas. The pie is in the eating, right? We‘ve all better wake up to reality or we'll all be left behind. Today's world is borderless in the age of globalisation. Singapore, bereft of any natural resources, imported inflation is soaring like hell eg oil and food. Any solutions? Short of criticizing and complaining all the time of mosquito bites. Even our current jobs are no longer secure. Talents here is better than talents there! Let’s look at the bigger picture and emerge a stronger nation by not trying to destabilize the one and only house we live in.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Once again, I remind readers to stick to making relevant comments, otherwise I just won't publish them.

I don't think Malaysia is relevant to this discussion. It is a badly-run country in many ways. To say that Singapore is better than Malaysia is not saying very much, frankly.

I hope that Singaporeans, and Singapore, can have higher standards than that.

As for inflation - there isn't very much we can do about global oil & food prices. What the Singapore government can do is avoid unnecessary fees and charges in other aspects, so as to avoid unnecessarily jacking up the costs of living all around.

For example, the idea of linking precinct cleanliness to conservancy charges would lead to a higher cost of living. This is a particularly bad idea at the current time.

So my constructive suggestion, like Dr Teo Ho Pin's, is to abandon all such silly ideas. Thank you for all the compliments so far, no need for further applause.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, Mr Wang, would like to ask this:

In the event of re-drawing of constituencies, what will happen to the funds allocated to the town councils?

Do they follow the new constituency? If so, how are they re-allocated, by head count?

I ask this because, in the 10+ years i've been staying, my estate changed from

Hougang > Cheng San > Ponggol > Aljunied > Bedok Reservoir-Ponggol Heights....

Does it make sense to redraw constituencies this often? Once or twice maybe. I'm concerned how the funds will get reallocated. Will the conservancies i'm paying end up in another constituency instead?

Anonymous said...

your template displayed incorrectly in my browser(chrome)

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