Thursday, February 28, 2013

Facebook does not recognize S R Nathan's face




I respect this guy for what he has done and not so for what he has not done. He says his most difficult moment in his 12 years of presidency is approving death penalty, but he "does not have the power as the president of Singapore to oppose it. It is a very complex procedure and his duty is to ensure the investigation is done properly"

???

He does not want to comment on the population white paper.

He does not want to comment on the death penalty.

He does not want to comment on social media engagement of the government.

He does not want to comment on why he did not follow up on his predecessor question on the sovereign funds.

If the president's position is just a figurehead that draws $4 million a year,  perhaps its time to review the role of the president? Do we even need one?

-- Ironbowl



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Similarities of Singapore (2030) and Haiti


Haiti is a beautiful country, and Port-au-Prince is nice, and perhaps in 2030, Singapore will feel very much like Port-au-Prince.


I am not talking about the difference, which there are many, but lets look at the similarities.

Does Singapore want to be like Haiti 2013 during 2030



Haiti (Port-au-Prince)
Singapore (2030)
Many Third World People with no sense of personal space
Many Third World People with no sense of personal space
People working long hours with depressed wages
People working long hours with depressed wages
Foreigners visiting the country as far higher buying power than the general public
Foreigners visiting the country as far higher buying power than the general public
Housing often cost more than 100 months worth of salary
Housing often cost more than 100 months worth of salary
Government not doing enough to support the general population
Government not doing enough to support the general population
Welfare in country is from Charities not government
Welfare in country is from Charities not government
Malaria is a big concern
Malaria is a big concern
Lesley Center is popular (To buy Toto)
Singapore Pools is popular (To Buy Toto)
People are constantly rushing around, and will take anything that is free, whether or not they will use it
People are constantly rushing around, and will take anything that is free, whether or not they will use it
A lot of small private universities setup running degree programs where many employers/government do not recognize qualifications even when certified by government
A lot of small private universities setup running degree programs where many employers/government do not recognize qualifications even when certified by government
Very packed on public transportation on peak hours
Very packed on public transportation on peak hours
People working jobs that add little value to society (Selling things they buy in bulk and breaking bulk on streets as middlemen)
People working jobs that add little value to society (Selling Tissue, little keychains, insurance, and being middlemen for corporations)
Trying to copy Silicon Valley in Entrepreneurship
Trying to copy Silicon Valley in Entrepreneurship
Many Casino Hotels
2 Casino Hotels (or more?)









Saturday, February 16, 2013

Protest at Hong Lim Park #Singapore on 16 Feb 2013

It was rather surprising for Singaporeans to protest. Let alone protest on a wet day, however, on Feb 16, 2013. About 5,000 Singaporeans made history by appearing to protest the government's white paper to have 6.9 million population by 2030.

The crowd was an angry crowd, but things were peaceful. There were many speakers sharing their views on the white paper. Some speakers were mediocre, stating the obvious and failed to make much impression on the crowd.

Notably, Tan Kin Lian was speaking about his thoughts which were similar to his blog, just his views and seemed to be rather disconnected to the point of the protest -- against the white paper. In my opinion, he was just there to get attention, and for a rich guy like him to talk about some of the issues he raised, it did not seem or sound sincere when he does not live in a HDB or take the MRT.

Vincent Wijeysingha however was much more interesting and made salient points which stirred the crowd.

Later, there seemed to be the crowd favorite, Tan Jee Say. Jee Say seemed much bolder than the other speakers and even called on the PM and his team of ministers who cannot solve Singapore's problem to step down.

There was nothing xenophobic about the protest. The feel was patriotic as the people who attended sang "Count on me Singapore", cited the pledge and sang the National Anthem. There was also a constant reinforcement to say that the protest is against the government's policy. A few of my friends did not attend as it was organized by Transitioning.org, which made xenophobic remarks last year.

For me, I felt that this may be a turning point. The crowd certainly had not much fear in them, no fear of the weather and no fear of the government. There was a common call -- say no to the white paper, say no to 6.9 million population by 2030. And there was also an unexpected message -- to have minimum wage for the low income workers, focus on reducing income inequality.

With minimum wage, a wage that enables a person with a full time job to support himself and perhaps together with his working spouse, raise a family, more Singaporeans will work in jobs which the government labeled "low skilled"

I agree with some of the points raised, however even after the protest, I felt that none of the speakers shared my concern. My main concern was that the white paper was passed to efficiently and fast without much consideration, and this has been seen before when they approved the Casinos, and my concern was with the passing of the white paper, when the infrastructure is built and Singapore needs more energy to power the homes, another white paper will be submitted and passed in  similar manner for Nuclear energy.

After visiting Japan and what I saw and hear from friends in Fukushima, Singapore cannot afford any failure, especially with a 6.9 million population, as we cannot have a 20km exclusion zone. With the way SMRT is running, I do not have confidence that proper maintenance will be done, and the people in charge, appointed by the people in power, will not be competent enough, and will not have the sense of duty, but rather do it for profits.

-- Iron Bowl.






















Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chinese New Year 2013 is crappier in Singapore than 2012

CNY last year was pretty ok. The year of the Dragon (2012) sees many nice flower displays outside Mandarin Gallery and in 2013, it seems void of anything nice. The whole of Orchard Road seemed a little dull and lack luster.

The River Ang Bao by Esplanade seemed to recycle many things, and the displays in 2013 are much uglier than last year. And in Chinatown, the Lego snake display is so much worse compared to last year.

Go check it out yourself while you still can. Wonder if they ran out of budget again?

-- Iron Bowl

2012 CNY








2013 CNY