Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The case of the nearly win in GRC

Group Representative Constituencies (GRC) was first used in the 1988 elections. It put premium on a team (started from a team of 3 candidates in 1988 to team of 6 candidates in 2001). The gambit is high as a loss of a GRC by PAP can be devastating to their public relations.

Ever since 1988, there is always 1 GRC that ended up the hot topic and the most widely-discussed contest of the whole elections. In 1988, it was Enuos GRC (3-man team) with the PAP ended wining only 50.89% of the vote, a close contest indeed. The target of the day? It was zoomed at Francis Seow, a ex-long-time friend of the you-know-who family, who joined the opposition. The topic? His suspected backers behind his back - American CIA. Ended up, you find Francis Seow now in Australia.

In 1991, Enuos GRC became a 4-man GRC. Did PAP learned a lesson from the 1988 elections? No! The GRC was retained, amid an increase of premium. In the end, they were found fighting hard, very hard again in this GRC. A GRC with a minister, the late Dr Tay Eng Soon, struggling for thier survival? What a scene! In the end, they found 1 target. The target of the day? It was Mohamed Jufrie Mahmood, the minority candidate of the WP. The topic? It was his so-called Malay fiery speeches (read as anti-Chinese). And the result - PAP won 52.38%. An epic win? How can that be when you have a minister in the team and you managed to direct the majority of the voters not to vote for the opposition (read as not necessarily vote for you).

In 1997, the government having to sweat it out for the past 2 elections in their weakest GRC, which by 1997 has lost their anchor man (the late Dr Tay), decided to dis-assemble Enuos GRC and distribted the individual wards to other GRC. However, 天算不如人算, ended up the late J.B. Jeyaretnam (the powerful 黑马 and respected by the public) contested Cheng San GRC in a 5-man team. All the big guns of PAP started to target 1 person. And the target? The poor Tang Liang Hong. The topic? His alleged Chinese chauvinist view. Somehow one wonder how much resources did the PAP used to dig up an old interview of TLH by the media done more than 5 years ago? That interview expressed his seemingly Chinese chauvinist views. In the end, the show was tight. Like what TLH said in one of the rallies, 静山 became 火山. Explosive, aggressive, police reports, law suits, etc. Everything that you can name, they throw into the boxing ring. The conclusion? PAP won only 54.82%! And the target man? Ran away to Australia, perhaps to have BBQ party with Francis Seow (later they were joined by the tudung-issue Malay guy from the opposition PKMS and the ex-PR Malaysian pilot of SIA who got his PR revoked for leading a revolt of highly-educated pilots against SIA).

In 2001 election, the elections was held on 3rd Nov 2001, a mere 2 months after 9/11 events. Every Singaporean was so scared of terrorists that they voted for the PAP. Landslide win for them! Anyway, learning from the lessons of Enuos GRC, Cheng San GRC, after all the hoo-hah in 1997, no longer exist in 2001 election. The strongest opposition team was supposed to contest in Aljunied GRC, but a small error of not writing the GRC name on the nomination forms disqualified the whole team, PAP won by walk-over! No contest, nothing worth discussing.

In 2006 election, as expected, Aljunied GRC was the hot cakes. No surprise, expect the reaction of the PAP. Why is that so? The WP has elected their party chairman, Sylvia Lim, in the previous year. Against such a strong opposition candidate and who is a female, it was very surprising that a reshuffle of the GRC wards meant that there were 2 women candidates in the PAP line-up just to compete against the single WP lady! They are Cynthia Phua (the incumbent in Aljunied GRC) and Lim Hwee Hua (the highest-ranked female in the whole of government!). In other words, PAP is telling all the female voters of Aljunied GRC, that if you vote for the opposition, you will lose your (female) voice in the government (having voted out the top-ranked female voice). A subtle end-game gambit of hostage-bartering. I read it as in 2001 election, they have put in a useless Cynthia Phua just to fill the space for a candidate and a female slot. For now they need to use another more stronger Lim Hwee Hua to deal with the chairlady of WP! And of course, we have the now self-exiled James Gomez and his forgetfulness. And of course, as history showed, the PAP won 56.09%.

In the coming election, what can we expect? More elected opposition candidates? You can bet the PAP only wanted more non-constituency MPs, not elected opposition MPs! That mean to say, Aljunied GRC (while not likely to get dis-assembled) is likely to undergo some changes. However, this time round, there are 2 GRCs likely to be in hot-news! The other, likely to be Jalan Besar GRC, with the impeding contest of Chiam See Tong leading a team, instead of staying put in his Potong Pasir SMC. Now, all the big guns (of PAP) have to split their time to run here (Jalan Besar) and there (Aljunied). Topics of the day? The health of Chiam See Tong after his recovery of his stroke (for Jalan Besar GRC). The other topic (for Aljunied GRC)? I have yet to find out. No, wrong, I am not so smart until I can predict what the PAP will use! One wonder if the old man's heart can take the pressure of running here and there himself, while discussing about the health of a younger opposition candidate. What irony!

One thing for sure - we will see more fireworks and fanfare! Sit back, sit tight, pop your chips, enjoy the show!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Clear ball prediction of General Elections in 2010?

With the impeding changes to the political landscape from 2009 onwards in Singapore, we are told to expect these:

(a) At least 9 opposition MPs (including NCMPs)
(b) Mean GRC size will be reduced from 5.4 (in 2006) to no more than 5 (for coming election)
(c) Increase of single-ward seats (SMC) from 8 to 12

Let's look at some analysis:

(1) Does the PAP really want more opposition MPs?
My answer would be a "no-no", without a doubt! What they want is more NCMPs so that they (opposition) get to blah whatever they want in parliament, and when it came down to the crucial event - that is.... VOTING...... only the MPs get to vote. Every issue will have unanimous decision, since party whip is always dangling out there, like it or not.

(2) Chiam See Tong declaration of wanting to contest a GRC in coming election
The threat of losing a GRC for the first time is real and would be very damaging to the reputation of PAP (if that happens). Henceforth, the likely topic of the day (during the election campaign) will be on focused on the health and ability of CST to continue serving the public. That's the exit strategy for the PAP, and in fact, is the only strategy!

(3) Will Lee Kuan Yew last the whole of the next term, given his elderly age?
This very issue means that the anchor person of Tanjong Pagar must come from some other GRC and take over when the old man is no more. None of the current crop in Tanjong Pagar, if I may say so, is fit to take over.

(4) The economy is in deflationary stage
Election must be held by Apr 2011. Can the government wait this long, given that Singapore's economy recover is now beyond their control. Whichever fiscal policy or monetary policy they apply will be useless against the largeness of the deflated macro-economics of the consuming world. Hence, only 2 things matter:
-- (a) Will there be more retrenchment?
-- (b) Is the government forcasts for 2010 going to be worst-off than 2009?

My take, is that both are true. Henceforth, the only choice for the government now is to hold the elections early, as early as possible.

Let's do some crystal-ball projections. I have my takes:

(1) Elections can only be held during the school holidays, as some of the school premises are used for election purposes. Election windows will come only in Mar, Jun, Sep, Nov/Dec. Since, I bet the government is expecting the economy to be worst in 2010; A-N-D that there will be more high-profile, large-scale retrenchment, elections therefore can only be held this year (2009) before these 2 events occurred. With the setting up of the Election Commission again, this means that the elections is likely to be scheduled for SEP-2009! That's my prediction!

(2) Currently there are 5 6-man GRCs, and 9 5-man GRCs for an overal average of 5.35-man per GRC. To achieve an average of not more than 5-man per GRC, this is what I expected:

--> Pre-prediction analysis #A: Singapore's population has grown since 2006, hence from 84 seats, we can expect 86 seats (gut feeling) this time round
---> Pre-prediction analysis #B: With 12 SMC, that will leave 74 seats for the GRCs. To achieve no more than 5-man average, there should be 15 GRCs (an increase of 1 GRC aka giving back the old Cheng San GRC or some can say giving back the old Enuos GRC). But not true either, since the population "increase" come from the Sembawang GRC and the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC side (both are strong PAP GRCs).

6-man GRC:
--- Sembawang GRC - likely to remain a 6-man GRC and yet be able to spin-off 2 SMCs (due to the increase in population at Sembawang and Woodlands new towns)
--- Ang Mo Kio GRC - remain as a 6-man GRC (no change expected)
--- Marine Parage GRC - remain as a 6-man GRC (likely to give 1 ward to Aljunied GRC and abosrb 1 ward from Jalan Besar GRC)

5-man GRC:
--- West Coast GRC - remain as a 5-man GRC (no change expected)
--- Hong Kah GRC - remain as a 5-man GRC (no change expected)
--- Jurong GRC - remain as a 5-man GRC (no change expected)
--- Holland-Bukit Timah - remain as a 5-man GRC (no change expected)
--- Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC - remain as a 5-man GRC (no change expected)
--- Tanjong-Pagar GRC - might be reduced to 5-man GRC and spin-off Chinatown as the SMC
--- East Coast GRC - remain as a 5-man GRC (no change expected)
--- Tampines GRC - remain as a 5-man GRC (no change expected)
--- Aljunied GRC - remain as a 5-man GRC but likely to give up 1 ward to Punggol-Sengkang GRC and absorb 1 ward from Marine Parade GRC (Balestier Height SMC maybe)

4-man GRC:
--- Pasir Ris GRC - likely to split from the current Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC (due to population increase in Punggol)
--- Punggol-Sengkang GRC - likely to split from the current Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and absorb 1 ward of the current Aljunied GRC (due to its strong opposition support)
--- Jalan Besar GRC - impeding Chiam See Tong contest in this ward means likely to give up 1 ward to Marine Parade GRC, abosorb some parts of Tanjong Pagar GRC and still be able to spin-off another SMC. Rationale is simple, if there is a predicted loss due to CST effect, let it be a 4-man GRC and not a 5-man GRC. And to prevent that loss, give up a weak ward to Marine Parade GRC, split off another weak SMC, and absorb parts of the strong Tanjong Pagar GRC to tilt the balance more into PAP favour.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pedra Branca stays with Singapore and its implication

The International Court of Justice awarded the sovereignty of Pedra Branca outcrop on 23rd May 2008. There is no estate value, economical value of having this outcrop. It does not and will not change the ways the fishing communities of Singapore and Malaysia in any way, because I do not think Singapore will go all out to stop Malaysian fishermen.

What it does (the award of sovereignty) do is merely confirmed that Singapore can push forward its plan to do what she knows best - reclamation! That she can now perform, without any protest from her neighbours.

What is strategic about the outcrop is simple. It stands roughly equidistant between the hinderlands of Malaysia proper and Indonesia's Bintan island. Therefore, it controls (with the right setup) the Straits of Singapore totally, except otherwise destroyed by a cruise missile. With the right level of reclamation, such as adding more land the sizes of "football field" size, and the right protection of a permanent presence of patrol vessels, corvettes or frigates and a permanent station of a land forces, the outcrop becomes a military installation in disguise.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Are we “Singapore Inc.”?

Why are we denounced as “Singapore Incorporated” and not respected as “Republic of Singapore”?

Vision: etc etc etc etc {in simpler terms – to grow the company}
Mission: etc etc etc etc {in simpler terms – to maximise profits}

If you can contribute to the company and ADD VALUE, please stay. Otherwise, we don’t need you. Please go elsewhere.

A Country:
Vision: Build a democratic society
Mission: Achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for the NATION (not for you)

In Singapore context:


You shout too much, I sue here, sue there; make sure you broken till got to sell backside. Don't talk too much, just do what I tell you to do.


Are you happy?
Answer that yourself.

Are you rich?
The rich get richer.
The poor?
You are being blamed for becoming one.

Oh yes, we did!
Progress from a Asian society with Confucian mindset to a open westernized society with a confused mindset.

Survivial Series - Singapore

A comparison of the working culture in both the United Kingdom and Singapore:

You work, you earn, you pay tax, and you contribute to social welfare system. When you get sick, you go consult a doctor, you get medicine and you pay nothing. When you are hospitalized, the company and/or welfare insurance pay for everything.

You work, you earn, you pay tax, and you contribute to your old-age fund (a.k.a. CPF). When you get sick, you go consult a doctor, you get medicine and most likely the company pays/subsidizes heavily for you. When you are hospitalized, the company and/or insurance pay for everything PROVIDED you pay for your insurance first!


A comparison of the jobless culture in both the United Kingdom and Singapore:

You are on the dough! Every week that you are jobless, you get a tidy sum of STERLING POUNDS to tide you over the week. And you get (or forced to receive) lots of recommendations and referrals from the welfare arms to job opportunities.

When you are sick, the hospitals will take you in and say “show me your health problem”. Money is secondary – it either gets it from you, your welfare insurance or their insurance (bad debt).

You are in deep shit! Everyday you are on your own. You got to find your own money to obtain your physiological needs (food, hygiene, accommodation, etc).

The garmen sends you to referral centres and put you on the unemployed statistic (unwillingly). After countless of mis-matching of job expectations, you are blamed by the ministry for being choosy and not becoming a road sweeper! Henceforth, after don’t know how many months; you have officially become a house-maker in the statistic – still a noble job! Whether it is by your choice or the garmen decide for you is not your say. Hey, Singapore unemployment rate is low indeed.

When you are sick, the hospitals register you and ask “show me the money”. No vitamin-M? Perhaps you should go to xXx hospital instead… you get shoved out.

Free medical treatment? Of course there is one! No country done it better than Singapore! How? It’s very simple – visit a hospital, use their services, declare no money to pay, get jailed, and get free medical service from the prison hospital. Who say Singapore got no free medical services?

Better still, want to have health problem, make sure it's kidney failure. Then you get a FREE job with a FREE pay and get GUEST APPEARANCE on television and ACT like a dying man so that you can get TEN PERCENT of the donation!


It is expensive to work in U.K. (high taxes).
It is sucide to become jobless in Singapore (you are on your own).

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Sedition Act

The link to the Sedition Act (Chapter 290) [Link]. In general, I have listed the major sections of the ACT that are of concern to all bloggers on the net:

[Quote] "
Short title.

1. This Act may be cited as the Sedition Act.
2. In this Act —
"publication" includes all written or printed matter and everything whether of a nature similar to written or printed matter or not containing any visible representation or by its form, shape or in any other manner capable of suggesting words or ideas, and every copy and reproduction or substantial reproduction of any publication;
"seditious" when applied to or used in respect of any act, speech, words, publication or other thing qualifies such act, speech, words, publication or other thing as one having a seditious tendency;
"words" includes any phrase, sentence or other consecutive number or combination of words, oral or written.
Seditious tendency.
3. —(1) A seditious tendency is a tendency —
(a) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the Government;
(b) to excite the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to attempt to procure in Singapore, the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any matter as by law established;
(c) to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Singapore;
(d) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore;
(e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), any act, speech, words, publication or other thing shall not be deemed to be seditious by reason only that it has a tendency —
(a) to show that the Government has been misled or mistaken in any of its measures;
(b) to point out errors or defects in the Government or the Constitution as by law established or in legislation or in the administration of justice with a view to the remedying of such errors or defects;
(c) to persuade the citizens of Singapore or the residents in Singapore to attempt to procure by lawful means the alteration of any matter in Singapore; or
(d) to point out, with a view to their removal, any matters producing or having a tendency to produce feelings of ill-will and enmity between different races or classes of the population of Singapore,

if such act, speech, words, publication or other thing has not otherwise in fact a seditious tendency.

(3) For the purpose of proving the commission of any offence under this Act, the intention of the person charged at the time he did or attempted to do or made any preparation to do or conspired with any person to do any act or uttered any seditious words or printed, published, sold, offered for sale, distributed, reproduced or imported any publication or did any other thing shall be deemed to be irrelevant if in fact such act had, or would, if done, have had, or such words, publication or thing had a seditious tendency.

........." [Unquote]

For the full Act, please refer to the link. I advise every blogger to review their own blogs and check against the Act for compliance.

For mine, in general, I am safe. I have been advocating that the only way to beat the ruling party is to emulate their campigning methods and win against them using as such. Also, I have been against the provision of guarantee for the minority races in Singapore because we are Singaporean and each and every one of us should earn their rights to do certain things based on merits and honours and not because they have been allocated that rights by-law.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Singaporean We Are

Some spoof comics on our general Singapore behaviours.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Why EIGHT DIFFERENT Elephants? My Take on it!

I watched with great amusement and interest when the news at 5, 8, U and CNA keep on repeating the same OLD news on the "white elephant" event. You can read the news here - AsiaOne and Channelnewsasia.com.

If we are living in Thailand or Cambodia, I am sure Dr Vivan Balakrishnan, the Minster for C.D.Y.S., must be glad to find the 8 white "beautifully-cut" elephants! I quote a passage from 1 website "In legend the Royal White Elephant brought sacred power. It brought fertility." [Link].

Alas, we are not living in those countries where seeing a white elephant, real or otherwise, is a great blessing. What then is a the meaning of a white elephant? I found 1 very interesting explanation and I would like to share with all.

From nationmaster.com, it is explained as such "......In the past, lower grade white elephants were given as gifts to the king's friends and allies. The animals needed a lot of care and, being sacred, could not be put to work, so were a great financial burden on the recipient - and only the monarch and the very rich could afford them. According to one story, white elephants were sometimes given as a present to some enemy (often a lesser noble with whom the king was displeased). The unfortunate recipient, unable to make any profit of it, and obliged to take care of it, would suffer Bankruptcy and ruin......" [link].

Bingo! There we are! So are we breeding a white elephant at Buangkok? I wish our government (or garmen in Singlish lah or cheng hu as described by Ah Goh) can answer that with DEFINITIVE answer and not VAGUE avoidance. It is as good as I asking you "Where is the moon?" and was given and answer such as "It is where it will be. It is there when it is time to be there.". These are not acceptable answers to me!

Why use 8 white elephant and not 1? Look carefully and you should realise from Dhoby Ghaut interchange to Sengkang interchange, Buangkok station should be the 8th station to be open for business! Woodleigh station is still sleeping till all the lingering souls have been removed from that area. It does look bad or rather devastating on his/her heart senses for a passenger on a passing train to see a headless soul sitting on the bench waiting for the ghost train.

Now to the most interesting part - Why 8 DIFFERENT elephants and not 8 UNIFORM elephants? How I wish I know the person(s) who did it and ask them! Ask yourself, isn't it more simpler to make uniform placards from 1 design than to create 8 placards, each with different expressions?

Conspiracy theory and my inner senses tell me the following:

If the creative people(s) put up 8 uniform elephant placards, they will be showing the following messages:

(a) That the station is a white elephant and they don't like a white elephant sitting beside them when they are paying for some stupid fare increase on buses

(b) That they are actually really protesting (in a protest, there are only angry peoples)

(c) That they did not make an "effort" to seek other recourses, so they make 8 relatively easy-to-duplicate placards to protest (that is, protesting for the sake of protesting)

As we all know, the government does not tolerate any kind of anti-establishment activities in a non-legal way. Hence, if the creative people(s) were to be deemed to have committed such activities, they will be arrested very soon. I don't believe there aren't fingerprints on the placards by these people or by the supplier selling the placards to these people. It's a matter of time of the law catching up with them.

Will the police take action? Perhaps the media should quickly seek clarifications from them soon. Then we will know!

So putting up of 8 uniform white elephants is not the way to go! Then how? Put up 8 different white elephants, each with different facial expression! Why is that so that this action is more acceptable to the government (in the hope that they will not pursue further actions)?

(a) Some elephants are smiling and some are sad
(The creative people want to pass the message that they are actually happy to have the station in their area and they appreciate what the government has done for them but they are quite sad that they can't have the benefits of using the station now)

(b) I don't remember reading about any of the elephants has an angry expression
(They want to tell the government that they are not here to protest. Rather, they just want to pass a message to the visiting Minister)

(c) All the 8 different placards take MUCH effort to produce
(They are putting up some "illegal" thing for 1 time only. Because if they are protesting for the sake of protesting, it is much simpler to put up placards cut together - uniformity. Therefore, by putting up 8 unique white placards, they spent so much effort to do it that there won't be a second time.)

All these are my personal opinions on the interesting event that took place on Sunday at Buangkok station. I saluted them for their creativity! For your reading pleasure only!